Performance Problems on Surface 3 - Help Requested

I’ve just started my trial of Roon. I have the server installed on an Intel Core i5-4460 with 16GB RAM and SSD storage. I have also installed Roon on three other PCs as remote devices. The main PC and two remotes are performing as expected, but the performance of Roon on my Surface 3 is abysmal - and unusable.

When I start Roon up on the Surface, Task Manager shows that Roon is taking 40% of the CPU, and it stays here for 90 seconds before the Roon screen is fully built and displayed. Then the CPU usage drops to a few percent. Trying to navigate around Roon often brings up a “Not responding” message in the Roon Title Bar. The application also quits playing music at random intervals.

There’s clearly something wrong with the installation or interference with other software on the Surface. I’ve got nothing unusual as far as I’m aware - just Windows 10 (version 1511) and Office 365. Oh, and Displaylink Graphics software for driving external monitors.

I’ve tried uninstalling and reinstalling Roon, to no effect. The performance issue persists.

By comparison, I also have Roon running on a Lenovo ThinkPad 10 tablet, where it is performing well. The ThinkPad has a previous generation Atom processor to that of the Surface 3, so I fully expect that the Surface 3 should run Roon without problems. Mine however does not - so where do I begin looking? Thanks.

[quote=“Geoff_Coupe, post:1, topic:7369”]
Oh, and Displaylink Graphics software for driving external monitors.
[/quote]As a test is possible to disable this software?

I’ve decided to do a System Reset on the Surface 3, just keeping my own files. Then I’ll start by installing Roon, and thereafter my apps one by one until I find the culprit…

Ok, let us know how it goes.

Right, so I’ve done a System Reset on the Surface 3, so it’s back to pretty much a pristine state (only my data files and settings have been preserved). Only the basic (built-in) set of Apps are installed, and Office 365 has not yet been installed. There’s been a round of system updates (including 1511), so everything is now up to date, but it’s a bare-bones system.

And… performance of Roon is just as abysmal. Any attempt to navigate drives the CPU usage up to 40%, and brings on the “Not responding” message. Something is seriously wrong.

Here’s a video to illustrate the performance issue:

Roon takes 45 seconds to start and display the Albums view, and the video shows the scrolling jerkiness.

By comparison, on a ThinkPad 10 (with the previous generation of the Intel Atom to that in the Surface 3), Roon starts in 7 seconds.

I have a Surface 3 Pro with Windows 10 Pro Insider installed, and it’s fine, so don’t lose hope - it’s possible to run Roon.
There are also other Surface (non Pro) users here who could maybe chip-in with their experiences.

I assume Windows is 64-bit : are you running Roon 64-bit ? If so, try 32-bit.

Virus Protection installed ?

Did you completely remove all Roon files & directories before starting again ?

Sure you’ve installed Roon & not perhaps RoonServer ?

Lots more things to check - you will get it running eventually !

Hey @Geoff_Coupe – I’m going to echo @rolski here:

Why don’t you try to find your Roon folder and rename it to something else temporarily, like Roon_old. Then, reinstall Roon and let us know how it goes – if things are still performing poorly we can look into this further.

Also, can you confirm whether the Surface is running as a Remote, or you’re looking to use it as your Core?

Thanks, and sorry for the trouble!

I have uninstalled, and reinstalled, Roon (not Roonserver) several times on this Surface 3. Each time I have checked the “remove database and settings” box, and double-checked after the uninstall that indeed the Roon folder has been removed. It has.

Yes, I am running this instance of Roon as a remote. It is working against the Roon Core running on my desktop PC (running Windows 10). I have temporarily put on hold any thoughts of trying to run Roonserver on my WHS 2011 because of firewall issues. See my separate thread on this issue.

Yes, I am running the 64-bit version of Roon on this Surface 3. I will next try uninstalling it (and delete the Roon folder) and then install the 32 bit version. Though I do have to point out that the 64-bit version is running very happily on my ThinkPad 10, which is also an Intel Atom device and running Windows 10 - and an older and slower generation of Atom, to boot.

What are the respective Intel GFX on the Surface and Thinkpad? Could you temporarily force some compatability modes on the Surface gfx to troubleshoot?

OK, 32-bit version downloaded and installed.

Difference is night and day. 32-bit version started up seemingly immediately (less than 1 sec?), and navigation is smooth and fluid.

So, my questions are: why does the Surface 3 require the 32 bit version, whilst the ThinkPad 10 does not? And is this experience what other Surface 3 owners are seeing?

I’m betting gfx drivers.

Mark, can you help me with what you mean by “temporarily force some compatibility modes on the Surface gfx”? Thanks.

One other thing that strikes me as odd. The Surface 3 has Windows 10 Home installed. And yet on the “About” screen, it’s telling me that Device encryption is turned ON. I thought that only Windows 10 Pro had Bitlocker? And when I look at the C: drive in File Explorer, the icon for the drive has the padlock shown as open - which I thought meant encryption off…

I don’t have access to a Surface but are there any 3D acceleration settings you can turn off/on to try and find the fault. I remember reading that Roon uses some OpenGL elements in rendering. Having said that if the 32bit version is working, I wouldn’t worry too much.

Only idea I have regarding the encryption status would be to check if the Surface 3 has some kind of hardware encryption built-in to the BIOS. Perhaps Win10 Home is just reporting that?

I experienced exactly the same with my Surface 3.

After upgrading to 64bit-Roon the application was nearly unusable. Switching back to 32bit-Roon the performance was flawless again.

Ah, interesting - so I’m not the only one to experience this on a Surface 3…

Can’t find any 3D acceleration settings in the Surface 3 controls - the Intel Graphics Hardware applet isn’t installed by default on a Surface.

It is probably some incompatibility with OpenGL, but it’s odd that it’s only manifesting itself on a Surface 3.

I’m re-opening this thread to ask for any other owners of a Surface 3 (not a Surface Pro 3) who are running Roon to say whether they are running the 32bit or 64bit version.

At least two of us have found that the 64bit version of Roon is unusable on a Surface 3. Has anyone out there got it running successfully?


The 64bit version now seems to be stable and performant on my Surface 3 with Roon 1.3

Well done guys :blush:

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