[RESPONDED] High System Process CPU Usage while using TB Dock

This weekend I noticed the fan running a lot on my laptop when connected to my thunderbolt dock. I use the dock to drive 2 4k monitors with another port on the laptop driving the 3rd. I shut off the laptop screen while using these three monitors. At first I thought it was just a one-off and disconnected the dock and the CPU dropped. Connected the dock again and it jumped. It’s almost 100% of two of the performance cores when this is going on. I then did a restart, cpu drops back to idle, no fan, good to go. Then after about 4-5 hours, CPU is back up again, fan running full speed. Only things connected to the dock are ethernet, keyboard, a usb-c to hdmi adapter, one hdmi port on the switch, then the other usb-c port on the laptop has a usb-c to hdmi adapter as well. I’ve closed all apps and the System process is still going high. Task Manager and Process Explorer both show it’s in kernel time as well. What else can I try to let it go back to idle?

  • Which OS (Operating System)? Windows
  • Which release of your OS (Operating System)? 10 Pro
  • Framework laptop (11th or 12th generation Framework laptop) are you asking for support with? 12th Gen i5-1240p

Update 1
After posting this I restarted the laptop and CPU usage went down but now I can’t use the external monitors. They are detected but extending to any of them fails. Both through the dock and through a separate cable connected directly to the laptop. Unplugged everything, restarted. Also unplugged the dock from it’s dedicated power brick that came with the dock (Anker brand). Still can’t use any external monitors. I’ve now shut down the laptop and will wait to see if some random piece is too hot or something.

12th Gen Intel is not supported in Windows 10, does the issue still occur within Windows 11?

specifically, there are no Windows 10 drivers for the Framework Laptop 12th gen. You’ll have to upgrade to Windows 11 for the proper drivers, otherwise you’ll be more likely to run into issues like the one you’re finding here.

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I’ve been running the 12th gen motherboard since March 1st without issue until now. Even downloaded the driver bundle from the 12th gen site and the install worked fine. I’ll see about upgrading to windows 11 to see what happens but I’ll need some downtime to do it.

It’s entirely possible that this issue has nothing to do with Windows 10, but if you were to ask support, they would also tell you to try the officially supported OS with the official drivers. Knowing that one of the big issues with Windows 10 is that it wasn’t made to handle the big/little design of the new intel chips, an issue where external hardware is causing the CPU to run at 100% wouldn’t be too surprising. It’s entirely possible that you could find a solution to your issue other than upgrading the OS, but the forum here may struggle to provide you with the support you need.

Unfortunately, as others have said, Windows 10 isn’t supported on newer CPUs (leading to why I jumped ship to Linux recently out of refusal to upgrade). You may have success with uninstalling+reinstalling the 12th gen Thunderbolt drivers (not from the bundle, go get them from Intel directly).

Just to be the “official” broken record here, as others have stated, Windows 10 is not supported on the Framework Laptop 13 (12th Gen Intel Core). Please update to Windows 11, download the Windows 11 Framework Driver Bundle, and try your setup again. If you still run into issues after that, please contact Framework Support.


I’ve upgraded to Windows 11.

Now, when I try this again, and if it persists, what troubleshooting steps are there to try?

You’ve done all the troubleshooting you can for the user forums, Framework support will probably have more things for you to try. (Maybe someone else will post with other possible solutions?)