View Full Version : [ubuntu] Desktop mobo/video card known to suspend out of the box

December 9th, 2010, 08:16 PM
Hi folks.
I've spent a couple hours fiddling with my present system (Abit AV8, Nvidia video card) trying (unsuccessfully) to get it to suspend. I'm really happy that I can get laptops to suspend with a minimum of drama. (Eee PC 901, Thinkpad T500 and T40) I'm probably going to upgrade my desktop mobo before too long so I'd like to know about any that will reliably suspend/resume and what tweaking was required to accomplish. (For the record, my present system can suspend with the right tweaks. Unfortunately it does not fully resume. ;) )

It appears from my research (and from my knowledge of how computers work) that the motherboard and video card are probably the biggest factors in this equation. I'm sure the BIOS figures into this as well as any add in cards, but with on board LAN, USB, mass storage controllers and so on, I suspect these other factors mostly relate to the motherboard.

If you know of any particular characteristic that is common to working motherboards such as a particularly compliant chip set or BIOS, please hit me with a clue bat!

Feel free to hit the suspend button on the PC you're using to read this and see what happens!

many thanks,

December 11th, 2010, 02:18 PM
No one ever suspends a desktop system?

December 11th, 2010, 02:59 PM
Personally, I see absolutely no benefit (focus on the word benefit) to using the suspend feature. These days most computers power down anything that's not being used after a certain amount of time anyway, thereby making the use of suspend in order to save electricity almost irrelevant. In addition, most laptops generally only use about 20% of power when compared to their 350 to 550 watt desktop counterparts, so again, at least for laptops, I don't see much purpose in the suspend function.

Having said that, we have 4 different laptops that we use as desktop replacements in our home (to save electricity) and we don't use the suspend function on any of them for the reason that you already stated ... problems getting the computers to wake-up again after using suspend. This seems to be a very common problem which would explain why most people stay away from the suspend function altogether.

If we don't use a system for at least 24 hours ... we power it off. If we do use a system constantly, then we enable the blank screen after "x" amount of time. If I check on the system if they haven't been used for a couple of hours, everything is deadly quiet (cpu barely running) and all lights (speaker, USB, hard disk, display) are off, showing me that everything is powered down to minimal use which commonly translates to 3 or 5 percent, depending on the system that you have. Well, 3% of 100 watts (max laptop usage) is only 3 watts and I honestly don't care if I'm burning those 3 watts constantly. That may not sound very nice, but we're already doing our part to conserve by having switched all of our desktops for laptops instead. ;)

December 11th, 2010, 05:31 PM
Hi WinRiddance - thank you for your reply and viewpoint.

I would like to know what system you have that uses 3 watts when quiescent. My desktop drops from about 120W to 95W under that condition. My lowest power system (Eee PC 901) drops from about 40W under heavy load (benchmarks) to about 12W when quiescent. I'd be happy with 12W for a desktop, but performance on par with my netbook would not be sufficient.

My desktop, BTW, is a 5 year old Athlon 939 with a couple drives installed. It takes 20 seconds just to get to the grub menu on power up and another minute to get to a login prompt. My experience with suspend/resume is that it comes back to a usable state in a lot less time.

I have a Thinkpad T500 that has pretty acceptable performance and I'd be happy with a desktop with similar performance. It drops to about 40W when not in use. That's getting closer to the level where I would like to suspend when not in use.

Do you do any special configuration to get to 3W while inactive?