The problem is
That nothing surprises me with Microsoft anymore.
An intermittent but longstanding issue where Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 devices run super slow continues to frustrate users. The problem is not new. A May 2018 thread on Microsoft's community forum discussed the issue, with devices reportedly slowing to a mere 0.4GHz. However, a recent Surface Pro 6 firmware …
Looks like something is absolutely hammering the built-in GPU too. I wonder if the heat from that is causing something to send the signal to the CPU to slowdown? I've never seen an Intel GPU utilisation that high, especially when there is a discrete GPU there to do the real heavy lifting.
And if you RTFA again, you might realize that it's not necessarily the CPU that is overheating! That whole bi-directional thing. Some OTHER component can be telling it to slow down.
So yes, the discrete GPU is a separate chip, but in that confined of a space, moving from a warm thing right next to you to a burning hot thing 5mm away isn't really going to help a whole lot.
The GPU is also able to throttle its clock in response to demand (IIRC it is based on a multiple of the CPU's speed). Really, the GPU could be operating at a much lower performance level than normal since that low level is enough to fulfill the meager demand of drawing Task Manager and the desktop and pushing the pixels out to the display.
Really, in a well-engineered system utilizing performance throttling technologies, every component would report a usage of 90% or greater. IE, just enough performance to handle the workload without wasting watts to run their idle loops.
In any case, the problem here is that Windows crashes at such low speeds even though load is almost nil. A properly-made OS should be able to run at any speed so long as there is enough performance to keep from exhausting queues (Well, also enough to prevent the CPU cache from decaying before the instruction is complete, but that's a silicon issue, not an OS issue).
mid '90s the Acorn RiscPC 600 ran very happily at 30MHz
And the old BBC Micro ran at (strains to remember) 4Mhz?
It seems (entirely subjectively) that computers haven't really sped up at all. Yes, I know that there's lots more going on in the background and the applications are several orders of magnitude larger and more complex but still - some speedup would be nice.
We had one of our administrative assistants go out and buy 6 Surface Pros for the C-level suits, at WalMart, with no additional warranty, no licenses for enterprise use, etc.
Naturally, since she is assistant to the Finance Manager, the purchase was let stand and we had to make the damn things work. It has been a cluster, with us getting blamed for all of the various issues these have in an enterprise environment and we had to purchase all network related licenses out of our miscellaneous budget. This is important because of two things: 1. We have a policy in place that IT buys IT stuff and 2. the miscellaneous budget is specifically forbidden by policy for purchasing infrastructure including licenses.
She was recently promoted from administrative assistant to Finance Manager when the old one retired. Gotta love politics.
And AC again because, well you know.
I usually run my home laptop (4th gen i7 ULV) at its slowest, 780 MHz. Usable for browsing, email, DOSBox games, music, videos. At 0,78 GHz the laptop is cool and the fan doesn't kick in. I'm sure I'd notice the difference @400MHz (starting the programs already lot slower) but if the battery life was extended even more - I could live with it.
Of course MS should receive all the bollocking for their numerous Surface snafus. Their laptops look all right, have great specs, a few innovations even, and have had some part in the OEMs raising their standards. Still too bad many models have had big bugs like this. I wouldn't buy or recommend MS laptop. Way too many misses vs hits.
I wouldn't buy or recommend MS laptop.
OldestBrother recently wanted to buy a laptop to replace his (business) one that had died (some sort of 17" Dell that he bought about 6 years ago).
His searches had got him down to two that he liked - a recent Dell (touchscreen, foldable to become a tablet-format, hi-res screen) or a Surface Pro 6.
Once I'd finished telling him about the various issues with the Surface Pro (some of which we've had foisted on us at work) he bought the Dell. And is entirely happy with it.
(I did comment that both the units would cost about the same as an equivalent Macbook Pro but he's never used MacOS and his CRM programme isn't available in MacOS).
Are you sure?
The article says a device "unnecessarily" sending a signal to the CPU to slow down. But what if it is a motherboard design fault causing said device to overheat under certain conditions? Until someone works out a way to run a thermal camera over the board under realistic operating conditions it's hard to be sure.
I used to hate this kind of problem, with something that only goes wrong in the enclosure, till a colleague told me of his even worse experience debugging a certain military avionics system. The rack of boards had air flowing over at over 500fpm. To diagnose a board problem you were supposed to put in an extender board so that the offending board stuck out of the rack. Into still air. Whereupon the ECL promptly got hot, and even if you were able to work while a colleague aimed a hairdryer on cold at it, the temperature change promptly threw the timings off.
User: My Windows computer is running slow.
Tech Support: Have you rebooted the computer recently?
User: it's a Microsoft Slate
Tech Support: Have you forced a shutdown and restart recently?
User: yes, I've shutting down both applications and I have shut down and restart Windows and it slows down again after a few hours.
Tech Support: You should reboot while holding down the ESC and F1 keys and when the menu pops up chose option 2, Restore Operating System
User: but won't that replace everything on my computer.
Tech Support: Yes, that's why it is there.
Tech Support: Is there anything else I can help you with?
User: Will this thing run Linux?
Intel's reference design glued *badly* between two layers of shiny
(I know Apple have had their design fails (latest being the butterfly keyboard) but, generally, their heat & CPU management is good. Although my wife does complain that my old MBP (rebuilt for her with just Windows 7) gets very hot underneath - and in a way that it never did with OSx)
Microsoft bought Apple shares to keep them afloat many years ago, this was so Microsoft wouldn't appear to be a monopoly, I believe Microsoft got them cross licensing deals With Apple.
Is in some ways Microsoft effectively owns Apple. Apple will struggle to get far ahead.
So as Apple innovate, Microsoft are allowed to copy, this is one reason Microsoft make gear.
"Is in some ways Microsoft effectively owns Apple. Apple will struggle to get far ahead."
MS invested in Apple in 1997. They had sold their stake by 2003. Last I checked, they do not hold significant amounts of Apple stock. Assuming they had kept their holding rather than selling (~18 million shares @ $8) with the stock split (~36 million shares) the holding would be worth $7 billion plus change today.
It is arguable that MS did save Apple with it's investment, or at least allowed the creation of the Job 2.0 Apple.
"So as Apple innovate, Microsoft are allowed to copy, this is one reason Microsoft make gear."
That is generally considered to be second rate to Apple kit? iPhone vs Windows phone, macbooks versus... dunno, iPad Pro vs Surface etc.
MS does better when not trying to ape Apple, the only new hardware they've done successfully (Xbox) has very little Apple influence.
I have a surface go. Its replaced my Lenovo x230. It's a decent machine for web browsing and it ain't bad for typing and word processing either. Not quite the quality of a thinkpad keyboard but not far off. Does everything I need it for and its light and has decent resolution. I'm happy. Granted I'm on my second one as the first one fell out the far and the screen shattered. Thank God for Amazon's fantastic returns policy!
Get the 8GB as it comes with SSD rather than eMMC. I have the 8GB and it performs great for such a portable form factor, and as the post above says, the screen res is amazing (you'll need to set the scaling to use it, default is blind person mode). Alongside a Surface Dock at home it can function as primary system if you want it to, I use it with a 4k monitor and keyboard/mouse happily.
I have this problem on a lenovo yoga 2 Pro ever since it was updated to Windows 10. Will do this when the power is pulled after its gone to sleep, waking up after it will be throttled and will not increase in speed. Putting it to sleep and plugging in the power starting up (or just rebooting) will get the speed back up and then the power can be pulled.
From the article: "That said, the Surface range has played a positive role in encouraging design innovation in the PC market, and helping to prevent a race to the bottom by marrying Windows software with premium hardware."
Really? Let's just agree to disagree then, and not regurgitate their marketing blather. The only hardware that Microsof has ever produced that was actually usable and robust was their natural keyboard, and .. er, that's it.
I have the modern keyboard, surface mouse (several types), Go, Laptop and Book along with the Dock and all are premium hardware which works as expected, is usable, comfortable and robust. Not sure what your issue is, but we seem to be having very different experiences. Do you hate aluminium, magnesium and Alcantara? Maybe you hate touchscreen and pen input on an exceptionally high res screen with a screen ratio people can use for real work as well as movies? Perhaps the industry leading keyboard feel annoys you, or the convenient and secure Windows Hello log in feature is just too efficient? Perhaps the choice of colours offends you and you'd prefer only having silver as an option? Perhaps you're a cable collector and the standardised magnetic dock connector is where your issue lies.
The computer should also throttle the CPU when there is a tiny amount of load on the system. Why run the CPU at 1.9 GHz when you're only throwing a few hundred cycles of the chip's time? The CPU running idle instructions still wastes more power than just cranking the frequency down and running the CPU at 100% @ 200 MHz. A CPU running @ 2 GHz with a 10% load will use over double the energy as the same CPU clocked at 200 MHz and running at 100%. The difference might even be more extreme, especially if the workload is spending most of its time waiting on I/O anyway.
I've been tinkering with this on one of my laptops, I have a modified Linux Kernel that instructs the CPU to throttle itself in response to the system's load. I've been able to get the system down to 25 MHz, which was more than enough to process hardware and software interrupts. The system was a fairly basic Kernel + Busybox system, though, so not much for the system to do. Doing this extended the battery life of the system to the range of several days. Entering the BIOS config utility and leaving it there burns more battery than my tests. Putting actual load on the system will have it spun up and running at the expected speeds. The amount of time I wait for the CPU to spin back up is nothing in comparison to the amount of battery life I am saving.
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