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Hello,

I searched prior posts but didn't see anything similar to my question / issue and apologize if a Forum Guru is about to point me to a pre-existing thread. 

 

When working in Affinity Designer on the Surface Pro (specs below) I experience significant CPU spikes when working with the Surface Pen.  For example, if I create a square shape and use the track-pad or any Bluetooth mouse to resize the shape I see very little change to the amount of CPU required to perform the tast.  Similarly, if I resize the shape using my finger via touchscreen... very little CPU require.  However, if I perform the same task using the Surface Pen (both when connected via BT and not) the CPU spikes and runs close to 100%.  I confirmed that it's Affinity Designer that is requiring the CPU and not a Microsoft process / pen tool feature.  Has anyone else experienced this?  I'm worried about overheating due to utilizing the Surface Pen in AD.

 

Computer Specs:

Surface Pro 6th Gen

SSD 512MB

16GB RAM

i7-8650U

Intel UHD Graphics 620

 

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Hi adegrella,

Welcome to the forums :)

I've tried to replicate this on our Surface Pro 4, in all my testing the CPU usage was the same regardless of pointing device used. (I tried the touchpad, touchscreen, USB mouse and Pen).

Could you please confirm, are you using your Surface in Tablet or Desktop mode?

Could you also please download the latest version of Designer beta, as we've made many improvement performances and updates that may help with your issue. You can download the beta from the following link and this can be installed alongside your retail version, meaning you do not need to uninstall your current version.

 

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6 hours ago, Dan C said:

Hi adegrella,

Welcome to the forums :)

I've tried to replicate this on our Surface Pro 4, in all my testing the CPU usage was the same regardless of pointing device used. (I tried the touchpad, touchscreen, USB mouse and Pen).

Could you please confirm, are you using your Surface in Tablet or Desktop mode?

Could you also please download the latest version of Designer beta, as we've made many improvement performances and updates that may help with your issue. You can download the beta from the following link and this can be installed alongside your retail version, meaning you do not need to uninstall your current version.

 

Hey Dan,

I appreciate the response.  I am using my surface in desktop mode.  I'll download the Beta tonight and see if that helps at all.  One thing to note though I don't think it would make a difference is the version of AD I have was purchased from the Microsoft Store.  Not sure if the fact that would play any role into the issue... given the price v utility of AD I'd happily shell out another $50 to download the Serif store version if I thought that would remedy the issue.  I'll post an update to the thread after testing following the Beta install.

Thanks,

Alex

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12 hours ago, Dan C said:

Hi adegrella,

Welcome to the forums :)

I've tried to replicate this on our Surface Pro 4, in all my testing the CPU usage was the same regardless of pointing device used. (I tried the touchpad, touchscreen, USB mouse and Pen).

Could you please confirm, are you using your Surface in Tablet or Desktop mode?

Could you also please download the latest version of Designer beta, as we've made many improvement performances and updates that may help with your issue. You can download the beta from the following link and this can be installed alongside your retail version, meaning you do not need to uninstall your current version.

 

Okay, so I did a quick screen recording with three input methods.  Mouse, finger, and pen.  I did the test before and after installing the Beta and am attaching the recordings.  You can see the spike in CPU/GPU when using touch input with either finger or pen.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Maybe i'm reading into it too much, but it seems to be an unusually high CPU/GPU load for such a menial task.  Even more so to see such a variance from an input "device".

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Thanks for confirming that, and for your screen recordings.

Could you please confirm, under Edit>Preferences>Tools do you have High Precision Tablet Input set to on or off?

Have you tested the Surface Pen in any other drawing apps? Do you see the same increase in CPU usage when using the pen over a finger/mouse here?

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Hey Dan,

I will check the preferences and let you know.  As to other drawing apps... let's be honest, are there really any other drawing apps :D.  Yes, I have and do not register the spike (Autodesk SB and MS Sketchable).

Oh, and the Beta interface and functionality is on-point.  It looks and feels amazing.

Alex

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Maybe when the pen works it triggers a different mode to the CPU/GPU ? 

The driver, or some Windows library could do that ?

Just checked this CPU, as much as I hate U series for being too much about low energy use and zero noise but discarding a lot of performance, this one of the Lake gen, does not seem as under powered as other U series that people have reported here (often boiling down to be cpus very in the edge in performance) . Also, is 4 cores, 8 threads, is enough. One thing tho, at base frequncy, this guy goes a 1.9 GHz.... 4.3 in turbo. Have you checked BIOS settings and all with turbo and etc ? Seems one issue of these CPUs is that they tend to push it for not going all performance, as the chances to refrigerate well are minimal (air flow, etc). And surely ain't safe to go the overclock way with these. But I mean, what if for some reason with the pen it were doing it not using the turbo mode ?  Or, that when the pen is working, with Affinity is triggered some windows library that requires both the GPU and CPU (or more cpu than usual, or gets into some leak). That card is really low, is an integrated (300 mhz base, again, not sure when it triggers to that other "dynamic" setting of +1Ghz...).

In this thread with a similar machine and same cpu, these people speak about touching certain settings at the BIOS (related to TDP, temperature, etc). I know there are apps and BIOS apps that force the fans to start working BEFORE they do by efault, helping so in avoiding over heat and overload, just adding more noise (and one of the obsessions for this type of device and user is the zero noise. But I prefer a nice "buzz" while knowing my pc might reach better performance and be less likely to overheat... ).

I don't know, maybe you can apply some of these tricks.  Still. am finding several threats of ppl detecting throttling with this cpu in very specific scenarios. Might be one of those...Hey, they mac book pro, one of the latest with an i9 DID throttle with a full i9, is not that rare, and Apple used to mean build quality... so, maybe not that rare.

IMO, if that CPU, for sure,  was working at 4.2 GHz, it should handle whatever the pen/mouse/finger cases without reaching cpu 100%. But no idea about what's going on there....

My machine is way older and less powerful, and for sure does not make any of that with the wacon pen...

https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/7kbqhj/surface_book_2_135_i78650u_analysis_throttling/

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/124968/intel-core-i7-8650u-processor-8m-cache-up-to-4-20-ghz.html

 

 


AD, AP and APub.  Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1650 4GB, 500GB m.2 SSD, 1TB HDD 7200rpm. Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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13 hours ago, Dan C said:

Thanks for confirming that, and for your screen recordings.

Could you please confirm, under Edit>Preferences>Tools do you have High Precision Tablet Input set to on or off?

Have you tested the Surface Pen in any other drawing apps? Do you see the same increase in CPU usage when using the pen over a finger/mouse here?

Hey Dan, High Precision Tablet Input is set to off.

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3 hours ago, SrPx said:

Maybe when the pen works it triggers a different mode to the CPU/GPU ? 

The driver, or some Windows library could do that ?

Just checked this CPU, as much as I hate U series for being too much about low energy use and zero noise but discarding a lot of performance, this one of the Lake gen, does not seem as under powered as other U series that people have reported here (often boiling down to be cpus very in the edge in performance) . Also, is 4 cores, 8 threads, is enough. One thing tho, at base frequncy, this guy goes a 1.9 GHz.... 4.3 in turbo. Have you checked BIOS settings and all with turbo and etc ? Seems one issue of these CPUs is that they tend to push it for not going all performance, as the chances to refrigerate well are minimal (air flow, etc). And surely ain't safe to go the overclock way with these. But I mean, what if for some reason with the pen it were doing it not using the turbo mode ?  Or, that when the pen is working, with Affinity is triggered some windows library that requires both the GPU and CPU (or more cpu than usual, or gets into some leak). That card is really low, is an integrated (300 mhz base, again, not sure when it triggers to that other "dynamic" setting of +1Ghz...).

In this thread with a similar machine and same cpu, these people speak about touching certain settings at the BIOS (related to TDP, temperature, etc). I know there are apps and BIOS apps that force the fans to start working BEFORE they do by efault, helping so in avoiding over heat and overload, just adding more noise (and one of the obsessions for this type of device and user is the zero noise. But I prefer a nice "buzz" while knowing my pc might reach better performance and be less likely to overheat... ).

I don't know, maybe you can apply some of these tricks.  Still. am finding several threats of ppl detecting throttling with this cpu in very specific scenarios. Might be one of those...Hey, they mac book pro, one of the latest with an i9 DID throttle with a full i9, is not that rare, and Apple used to mean build quality... so, maybe not that rare.

IMO, if that CPU, for sure,  was working at 4.2 GHz, it should handle whatever the pen/mouse/finger cases without reaching cpu 100%. But no idea about what's going on there....

My machine is way older and less powerful, and for sure does not make any of that with the wacon pen...

https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/7kbqhj/surface_book_2_135_i78650u_analysis_throttling/

https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/124968/intel-core-i7-8650u-processor-8m-cache-up-to-4-20-ghz.html

 

 

What pen are you using?  I assume its for a Wacom tablet and not the surface?

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Wacom intuos Pro 4. But I was just trying to imagine why is that happening in your system.


AD, AP and APub.  Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1650 4GB, 500GB m.2 SSD, 1TB HDD 7200rpm. Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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I tested some more tonight... it seems that the CPU spiking happens worst with vector shapes and the pen tool.  Using paint brush in both Draw and Pixel persona don't seem to exacerbate the issue too bad, same with the pencil tool.  However, if I try to use the pen tool.... even starting a line and hovering my Surface Pro Pen above the screen results in the CPU climbing to unreasonable levels +30%.  I really need help figuring out why this is happening.  I've been monitoring process and it is  isolated to Affinity Designer.  

 

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