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Surface Pro Issues

StefanScherbik
Explorer
Explorer

Has anyone else who supports Zoom for a company with Surface Pro devices noticed that Surfaces very quickly overheat and then throttle the CPU when in Zoom?  This has been a very persistent issue for us and happens on all Surface Pros from 4-7.  We have mostly i5's and i7's and a mix of 8GB RAM and 16GB RAM and it affects them all.

 

The issue is made much worse by using the internal camera and can be greatly alleviated by switching to a USB webcam.  I also noticed that the people who have it worse tend to use two external monitors in addition to the Surface screen itself.  Telling them to stop using their Surface screen also greatly helps since it helps the Surface run cooler and also uses less graphics processing since it's a whole less high-res screen being used.

 

Has anyone found a solution that allows people to use Zoom on a Surface without having to make these kinds of sacrifices?  I feel like a Surface should be able to more than handle that kind of load, but I guess they do have the design flaw of poor heat management, so maybe the issue isn't really solvable given that.

16 REPLIES 16

CollabLeader
Newcomer
Newcomer

Common reasons for your device to overheat is that a program or background process is running with a high CPU. It is normal for Surface to become hot. Often it's competing for resources. 

As an initial recommendation, i suggest that you check for processes with a high CPU. Please follow the steps below:

Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and tap or click Search.
In the search box, enter task manager, and tap or click Search.
In the search results, tap or click Task Manager.
Tap or click More details.
Tap or click on the CPU column to sort processes by those that have the highest CPU.
Identify process names that have a CPU higher than 50%. The process names are related to both currently running programs as well as background processes running in Windows.
If the list contains running programs that have high CPU, try closing the program to see if it resolves the issue.

StefanScherbik
Explorer
Explorer

Right, I know how to check Task Manager and there's nothing too crazy going on on these devices.  It happens to people even when they close out everything but Zoom (in that case, there's only security running and all the normal background processes).  It even happens when total CPU and memory usage aren't particularly high.  But the point is, the Surfaces have this problem even under a very meager load.  We also have Dell Latitude laptops in the company, and they can handle many programs open during a Zoom with no issue.  So there's definitely something fishy going on if even the newer Surfaces struggle so much during a Zoom when there aren't even any other programs running.

 

And I mentioned before how the issue only seems to occur when the internal camera is in use--to me that says it's the culprit here.  My point in making this post was to see if anyone else had this issue with Surfaces and if they found a solution specifically for the internal camera causing the Surface to throttle everything.  I hate having to tell my users to buy a USB webcam just to be able to have meetings when everyone else with a normal laptop can use their built-in cameras with no issue.

I know this post is old but wanted to add that this problem does exist across most of the surface pro's I've worked with.  As an IT consultant, I've stopped recommending them as a whole.  MS has been insufficient in addressing the thermal issue, so you the end user are holding the bag on a piece of expensive junk.  Sorry to say, that no, I've found no answers and have poured many hours of tech time into resolving with no help from MS.  I'm not longer promoting or selling as a result and it's been much better. 

Thanks for the followup!  For the record, I still have this issue at my company.  I think the solution is very much to just stop purchasing Surfaces.

lizpocock
Newcomer
Newcomer

I have a Pro 7 and I've been having these issues but was hoping it might be resolved if I upgrade to the 8... do you notice a difference on the 7 vs 8 models with your team?

 

It looks like they've tried to address some things with the new model but totally agree with you, the dropping of zoom is a huge problem with the 7 and doesn't seem to matter what I do, it will still overheat. Don't want to get the new model if it's just the same thing.

My company does not currently offer the 8 in our internal web store, and I have not tested Zoom on an 8 myself.  However, I would advise against getting Surfaces in general, as a matter of course.  They're only marginally more portable than a standard business-class laptop, but they're significantly more expensive, suffer from very low repairability, and they're susceptible to a host of issues that do not impact standard laptops.  So basically, there is no real advantage to them.  I'd save hundreds of dollars and go with a laptop.

I have the i7 with 8gb of RAM and have always had the overheating issue with Zoom. I bought the 8 i7 with 16gb of RAM and it overheats too. In fact, it's now overheating while I have a big fan blowing on the back while it's propped up as I tutor using OneNote -- as I always have to fix this issues. I'm DONE with the Surface!

COBMike
Newcomer
Newcomer

I've only recently been having this problem with my Pro 7 (i5, 8GB RAM) but not with the CPU ... it's my GPU that intermittently spikes to 100% and stays there for a while.   CPU hovers around 20-40% (multitasking).   Since the problem just started happening a few months ago, I wondered if my Surface was simply out of date ... and it was.  So I updated it ... problem got better for a minute but is back. 

 

I though it might be due to the Surface Dock since I use it with an external monitor, but I disconnected it and ran the Surface standalone ...  no change.   Ultimately I had a Surface, no keyboard or mouse, no other apps running ... and finally the GPU calmed down ... just the Surface and Zoom.

 

I then decided to try launching other apps (during a Zoom call).  Edge ... GPU spiked intermittently.  I closed Edge ... GPU calms down.  Started Chrome ... GPU spikes intermittently.  Closed Chrome, GPU calms down.   Some apps (Horizon View, Word, Excel, Adobe Acrobat) didn't make any difference.  Decided that my Surface may be running less than optimal but ultimately, Zoom is just a resource hog and moved on to tweaking Zoom settings.  Same troubleshooting I did when I tried to run Minecraft on the Surface ... for my kids, of course :).

 

Looked at Zoom settings ... noticed I had my video mirrored ... turned that off.   Noticed I had it set to adjust to low-light ... unchecked that.  HD was checked ... left that as-is.  Under advanced, I unchecked all Hardware Acceleration as my GPU was spiking not my CPU.    

 

Waiting for another call to see if things improve.  I don't know that this is a Surface issue as it wasn't happening to me before and we have others in our agency who use Zoom with some generation of Surface and similar specs without issue.   And for those like me who are having issues but only with Zoom (no other app gives me this trouble) it may just be a combination of bit-rot on this Surface (I use it a LOT) and the high resource needs of Zoom.  Now to see if I can find a good balance.

 

Buying a different device that isn't as resource sensitive (like a laptop with dedicated graphics) is obviously going to make a big difference.  But I really enjoy the Surface form factor too much to drop it because of Zoom performance issues.  I'm hoping I can get better results by just dialing things in a bit.

 

Just my 2-cents.

Any update with the changed settings?  We have multiple surface devices going BSOD when using Zoom, one of them fresh out of the box!  

 

Sorry for the late reply.  I don't really have any updates.  I haven't been using Zoom much on my Surface 7 anymore.  But I do still run Zoom locally on occasion and haven't noticed any issues.   Mostly what I've been focusing on lately is the experience of using Zoom over VDI - sort of.  I'm accessing a physical work computer through VMWare Horizon View (like VDI, except the remote desktop that I'm accessing is physical, not virtual) ... and running Zoom on the remote (but physical) computer instead of on my local Surface.  Other than a bit of lag on audio/visual, it's been fine.  But that discussion is for a different Zoom support thread 😎.

NeddyT
Newcomer
Newcomer

Just bumping this thread to see if anyone has any new updates in 2023?  Currently support a network with about 50 Surface Pro devices.  Only the older models from 7 down are having issues with Zoom.  The Surface Pro 8s don't have any issues.  All devices are up to date with latest Zoom and Windows updates including all suggested driver updates.  I'm going to try disabling hardware acceleration and see if that fixes the issue.  I'll report back soon.

 

Hi there, just curious if you had any luck with any setting changes that may have fixed your issues.

 

Thanks!

Sorry for the late reply.  No luck and issues continue even in February 2024.  This is happening on all our Surface Pro models 7, 8, & 9.  Using an external webcam solves the issue but not all users will use a webcam as they leave the webcam at the office and do Zoom from home.  I've decided there is nothing that can be done and we plan to replace all the Surface Pro devices with a Dell Laptop instead.

 

Hi NeddyT - I am just now seeing this string. Was told by MSFT that my old SurfacePro (4?) just didn't have the power and time to upgrade to stop the issues. Just bought a SurfacePro 9 and having the same issues. Curious which Dell Laptop you're moving to? I am within the 60 day return and they assured me if it continues to be an issue - return it.

NZachry
Newcomer
Newcomer

I can add that our organization is having the same issues.  We mostly have Surface Pro 7's with a mix of Pro 8's and 9's in the mix.

 

It seems to be affecting many users and I've been down the path of all the suggested fixes.  The only thing that really seems to alleviate the issue is using a different webcam.  Can anyone from Zoom chime in on this please?

JohnHarris
Newcomer
Newcomer

I can confirm issues with Surface 7's and 8's as well.  Our non-surface devices all get HOT when using zoom, and for us an external webcam does not consistently resolve the issue.  The form-factor on the surface does not allow for efficient cooling, so perhaps the issue is in the GPU load.

 

I'm not convinced that @ZoomSupport monitors this channel since it's community-based support.