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Microsoft Surface CPU bug sends computing speeds back to the 90s

A Microsoft firmware update is causing some Surface device owners to experience crippling CPU throttling, while many others are having difficultly connecting via Wi-Fi.

The CPU issue, which affects the Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro 6 owners, has seen users register top CPU speeds of just 400MHz for a device running on a 1.6GHz Intel i5 processor. Those speeds are comparable to those available on the Intel Pentium II Xoen processor released back in 1998!

Microsoft has confirmed the issue and says an incoming update will fix the problems. However, it has not revealed what is causing the retro computing speeds.

Related: Surface Pro 6 vs Surface Laptop 2

In a statement to TechRepublic (via The Verge), a Microsoft spokesperson: “We are aware of some customers reporting a scenario with their Surface Books where CPU speeds are slowed. We are quickly working to address via a firmware update.”

While some users have experienced issues like these in the past (there are several Reddit threads dedicated to the problems), the instances spiked following a firmware update sent to the Surface Pro 6. The throttle-locking error seems to be related to an Intel CPU flag that restricts speeds in order to try and cool down the system. It appears that flag is being triggered by accident.

On the Wi-Fi side of things, Microsoft’s support forums are littered with complaints from Surface Book and Surface Pro 6 users who cannot connect to 5GHz networks following an update pushed out on August 1.

That firmware update featured a new Marvel Wi-Fi driver, which seems to be causing the problems. There’s an easy fix here for users, who can just roll back the update to the driver within the device manager settings. From there they’ll be able to access those speedy 5GHz Wi-Fi networks once again.

Have you experienced either of the issues with your Surface device? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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