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I'm in the process of building a HTPC, and being the sort of person I am, I'm building it from parts. I'd really like to allow it to suspend-to-RAM (for power/noise) reasons, but, of course, that requires motherboard support to work properly.

The problem I'm facing is that it doesn't look like motherboard manufacturers are touting support for suspend-to-RAM on their product spec pages. Is this because it "just works" on every modern motherboard, or is it a feature that has never left the world of laptops? What sort of keywords should I be looking for? Are there any manufacturers that are well-known for supporting suspend-to-RAM? Do any manufacturers have a particularly good product selector that would allow me to filter out the boards that aren't appropriate for me? (I've found trawling through the huge numbers of available boards from, for example, Gigabyte, to be a real chore).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Suspend to Ram or "Sleep" or "S3" is an advanced power management state that is dependent upon your operating system and drivers. Look for a motherboard that supports "S3" sleep and use an operating system that also supports it. There are very few today which do not. Choose a motherboard based around other factors or features that are important to you, and then confirm that the board supports S3.

For windows, there is a great post on setting up and using S3:

once you find a Motherboard that you like, go get the manual for it form the manufacturer's support download site. Here is a screenshot for the gigabyte GA-H55M-S2V: If you see S3 or STR supported, the motherboard will do it.

enter image description here

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Thanks for that. I'm well aware that OS support is required. Once I've chosen a motherboard that suits my needs, how would I go about confirming that it does indeed support S3? – womble Mar 17 '12 at 3:11
No problem - get the manual for the motherboard from the manufacturer's support site and check the BIOS settings page for sleep modes. Please see my edit above. – G Koe Mar 17 '12 at 3:18
Ah, hadn't thought of that. Thanks. – womble Mar 17 '12 at 3:20
Please remember that certain settings and devices may prevent your computer from going to sleep or staying asleep. – G Koe Mar 17 '12 at 3:21
Just wanted to follow up and say thanks again for your advice; the online manual for the motherboard that otherwise fit my criteria mentioned S3, so it's on order now. – womble Mar 25 '12 at 1:57

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