Inside the Surface Pro 4: Cooling

Surface Pro 4 Cooling

A few days ago an interesting image popped up on the internet showing how the Surface Pro 4 cooling system works.

In case you didn’t know, the Surface Pro 4 (and Surface Book for that matter) uses what Microsoft is calling a liquid hybrid cooling system. This ingenious system helps keep the Surface Pro 4 cooler and reduced the need for the cooling fan to run. This reduces noise and makes the battery last longer.

Surface Pro 4 Cooling: Then

This technology isn’t new, the Surface Pro 3 actually sported a small water cooled “horseshoe” that carried heat from the CPU to the cooling fan. However, it resulted in a concentrated hotspot in the upper right-hand corner of the device. You can see what it looked like in the illustration below:

Surface Pro 4 Cooling - SP3

Surface Pro 3 Cooling Loop (Photo credit: Computer Shopper –

Surface Pro 4 Cooling: Now

The Surface Pro 4 has a different system that boils/evaporates liquid inside a metal tube that touches the processor. That vapor then travels to two places inside the tablet where it is condensed back into a liquid, cooling the device.

One of those places is the fan which handles about 40% of the heat, and the other is a radiator plate under the kickstand which handles the remaining 60% of the heat. You can see it in the illustration below (click for larger version):

Surface Pro 4 Cooling - Large

Surface Pro 4 cooling system (Photo Credit: Imgur-

Since the radiator plate under the kickstand handles the majority of the heat load, the fan rarely needs to run, unless performing demanding tasks like gaming or rendering 3D graphics.

Cool huh? (yes, it’s a pun)


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