SD Card issue tackled head on with latest Surface Pro 3 update

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 micro SD card reader

Microsoft has been diligent about keeping its Surface 3 2-in-1 updated with regular driver releases and tweaks, and this month is no different. In the September firmware update, the company has addressed an issue with USB 3.0 card reader drivers, which previously seemed to cause overheating and power drain issues for a number of Surface users.

The fix is designed to end a problem that no one quite understands. Sometimes, a certain process called System Interrupt will utilize as much as 30 percent of the CPU’s power for seemingly no reason, even when no tasks are being completed. This understandably can cause problems with drain on the battery and unnecessary heat output, as the device has to cool off that workhorse CPU.

The root of the problem hasn’t been discovered, but Microsoft did notice a correlation with SD card usage, which is why it’s issued this update to the card reader driver in an effort to fix it. This firmware update brings the driver to v10.0.10240.31217, as per Winbeta.

If the update doesn’t sort out the problem and you find your Surface still experiencing the CPU utilization issue, there is one fix that has been touted as quite successful — as bizarre as it is. A lot of users have reported that when the load occurs on the CPU out of the blue, playing an audio track of any type seems to fix it, causing the CPU usage to drop back to expected levels. Weird, right?

Unfortunately this is only a temporary issue, as rebooting will often see the problem rear its ugly head again. With that in mind, everyone is hoping that this update does fix the problem for the majority of users, as it is an irritating issue — perhaps mostly for those who have spent hours hunting it down in an effort to provide a concrete fix.

Have any of you run into this problem with the Surface 3’s CPU utilization? If so, has this firmware helped?