Fan always running in Windows on MacBook Pro

Lately it’s been bothering me that my fan has always been running on my MacBook Pro in Windows. I’m running Windows 10 Anniversary Update via Boot Camp, so there’s no virtualisation in the mix. The machine is always running hot, even when not really under load.

On top of the heat, my WiFi has started dropping out randomly, and performance hasn’t been great. I’ve had a niggling feeling that the WiFi issues were heat related (like a safety cutoff), especially after seeing that the CPU had been throttled occasionally via the event log:

Log Name: System
Source: Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Processor-Power
Event ID: 37
Level: Warning
Description:
The speed of processor 1 in group 0 is being limited by system firmware. The processor has been in this reduced performance state for 43 seconds since the last report.

I wondered it if had anything to do with my power settings, so I had a look. I’ve been using the inbuilt High Performance power plan to get the most out of the machine for some work I’ve been doing.

Turns out that the High Performance setting has the Minimum processor state option set to 100% when Plugged in. I decided to try switching back over to the Balanced plan, but customised it a bit to lean more towards performance than the default. Critically though, I made sure that the Minimum processor state on battery and when plugged in was at 5%:

2017-02-27-23_49_39-power-options

So far it’s been a couple of hours since I made the change. The WiFi hasn’t dropped out once (previously it would have many times), the machine is running cooler to the touch, fan isn’t as loud, and the performance is actually better! I assume this is because it’s not thermal throttling anymore. I’ll update this post if it gets worse, but so far it’s looking like problem solved.

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