Surface Book 2 Active cooling update

Just a quick post regarding our active cooling solution for our Surface Book 2 Vertical Docks coming to Indiegogo. We are working with a Chinese supplier to secure economical and low-noise blower fans with enough airflow to cool both the CPU and GPU under the heaviest of workloads.

Below is a 3D CAD model of the vertical dock “cradle”. Airflow is directed between the keyboard base and the tablet to help re-direct the hot air exhaust from the NVIDIA dGPU away from the CPU and cool the entire rear of the tablet chassis as well. Some CPU/GPU performance throttling is unavoidable in the Surface Book 2 at maximum load (gaming) due to the inherent trade-offs in its design, but with our cooling solution you can expect to get much better performance while docked.

With the current design, airflow is good, but we have not completed a CFD analysis for optimal flow just yet. This design is only viable for 3D printing since the internal curved airflow cavity is virtually impossible to manufacture with injection molding as a single part. If/when we move forward with injection molding for high-volume production, we will re-design as two parts that clip together.

 

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Cooling kit installation:

In the box:

  • 75mm 5v 6cfm blower fan
  • USB toggle switch
  • 3D-printed fan carrier
  • 25mm M4 screw and nut
  • cable tie

 

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Remove vertical dock from VESA mount and place face down on a table. Loosen and remove the M4 screw:

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Align fan carrier and replace M4 screw. If the screw doesn’t engage the internal nut, tilt the dock with the hinge mechanism down tap the dock a few times. This will allow the internal nut to move back to the right place. Tighten the screw most of the way but leave it loose enough to allow the fan carrier to slide left and right slightly.

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Place fan on the fan-carrier post with large circular air intake opening facing up and the label facing down.

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Carefully rotate the fan so that the blower output fits into the Vertical Surface Dock. You may need to slide the fan carrier left or right slightly for best fitment.

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Take note of the position of the fan carrier. Pop the fan off and tighten the screw the rest of the way. Don’t tight to much otherwise you can crack the plastic.

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Put the fan back in place ensuring proper fitment into the vertical dock and drop the supplied screw in from the top. You may need use two hands here to bend the fan carrier slightly to align the hole with the screw. Fasten the nut on the bottom – it only needs to be finger tight.

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Plug the fan power into the switch, and the switch into a USB port. Then cinch the cables out of the way with a cable tie so you don’t have a mess like this

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Notes:

  • Because the MS OEM docking electronics supply power to the USB ports at all times, we recommend switching the fan off with the toggle switch when undocking. We are looking into approaches to automatically switch off the fan when undocking.
  • When docking and undocking, the fan may stop spinning for ~2 seconds as the MS OEM dock electronics initialize. The fan will continue spinning after the electronics complete initialization.
  • To reduce the noise from the fan, you can install a separate 5v fan speed controller or solder a 1 ohm or 2 ohm 1/4 watt resistor in series with the fan. This will reduce the fan RPM and may impact cooling effectiveness.
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