View Full Version : How do brand name PC's acheive silent standby?

06-11-2004, 09:59 PM

My last two PC's (built by me) when on Standby have kept the PSU and CPU fans going. But my 2 PC's before that (Dell Optiplex's) have been silent. Here are the PC's:

Dell Optiplex GX1 - PIII 500Mhz (Slot 1), 256MB RAM, 4GB HDD (105W ATX psu)
Dell Optiplex GX110 - PIII 733Mhz (Sock 370), 256MB RAM, 10GB HDD (105W ATX psu)
Selfbuilt - Celeron 1.2Ghz (Sock 370), 384MB RAM, 30GB HDD (300W ATX psu)
Selfbuilt - Celeron D 2.4Ghz @ 3.0Ghz (Sock 478), 512MB RAM, 40GB HDD (400W ATX psu)

My friend has a Packard Bell Celeron 2.4Ghz, 256MB RAM, 40GB HDD, with an ATX psu, and it is silent in standby.

So, how do they do it? And can I make mine silent in Stand by too? It hibernates fine but Standby is more convenient.

Cheers George

06-11-2004, 10:07 PM
Just to add a little:

To make it clear, the CPU fan is plugged into the correct socket on the motherboard.

Does this mean I need to switch motherboard brand (I use this motherboard for many PC's I sell, and I want them to be able to Standby silently)?

The thread is mainly becuase some of my customers have asked why the PC is nearly as loud in standby as it is when awake.

Also, every custom built PC I have seen except one or two have not Standby'd silently. But a lot of mass-produced models do.

Thanks, George

07-11-2004, 06:34 AM
Hmmm I would say it might have something to do with the BIOS settings. (APM settings).

I just tried it on this (put it on standby), and yup, it shuts down completely (fans turn off), until u press a key on the kb.

And if u use XP go to control panel. Then power options/advanced. Make sure the bottom 2 are on Shut down and Standby.

If that doesnt work, I would say your mobo/bios doesnt support it or the the OS (95/98). It could even be the videocard drivers.

07-11-2004, 09:33 AM
buy a fan controller and turn the fans off via that

07-11-2004, 10:57 AM
> buy a fan controller and turn the fans off via that

And add a smoke detector?

07-11-2004, 01:31 PM
Look in the BIOS for a setting called S3 standby ... what it does is shuts down everything but the RAM...

07-11-2004, 03:44 PM
I only made the post because everything I tried that should have worked didn't. Here is what I have done:

Ensured S3 (STR) is enabled in BIOS
Set power settings for USB devices correctly (everything set NOT to wake from standby)
Ran 'dumppo.exe AC MAXSLEEP=S3' and the same with MINSLEEP.
Tried a registry fix

All to no avail. It still seems to go into S1 mode. IE. all the power rails are still on.

What is meant to happen is the PSU shuts off just like when you shutdown, but the motherboard keeps the RAM and RTC going with the +5VSB rail. The processor is completely off and so are the fans.

Maybe I need to reinstall Windows (only S1 was enabled when WinXP was installed).


07-11-2004, 03:57 PM
i doubt its a software problem, its most likely a hardware problemo, is your hardware compatible with the standby feature??

07-11-2004, 04:03 PM

Suspend to RAM (STR) / S3 is a listed feature of the board, and it's there in the BIOS, and dumppo tells me it's supported.


07-11-2004, 04:44 PM
um..just a noob question ...
if you want your comp to be totally silent and stuff..by using standby
why not just turn it off??

or is there some nice benefit that i'm totally unaware of that standby can give you...

07-11-2004, 05:01 PM
Are you perhaps thinking of the turning back on in < 5 secs?

Or maybe the keeping all your programs open?

Hibernate offers most of the advantages but takes about 8 seconds to resume (slow HDD), and about 12 to hibernate.

Compared to about 3 to resume and about 2 to standby.


07-11-2004, 05:02 PM
And 365 posts - (one for each day of the year;)) is not really n00b is it?

07-11-2004, 05:35 PM
hey george is it still submerged in cooking oil.

07-11-2004, 05:50 PM
have u enabled hibernation?, i cant seem to find my hibernation button..... im sure i had it somewhere

07-11-2004, 07:07 PM
Nah, I never went ahead with that one.

Not becuase of fear of damaging my components (me? fear?) but because I prefer the in-nice-case-with-cover-on look to the innard swimming in a fishtank of oil look.

And I'm not crazy enough. Nearly, but no.


07-11-2004, 11:35 PM
um..werid..but interesting

07-11-2004, 11:38 PM
the proper link (http://www.thegreenbutton.com/community/shwmessage.aspx?forumid =42&messageid=49101)

07-11-2004, 11:40 PM
THE proper link (http://www.thegreenbutton.com/community/shwmessage.aspx?forumid=42&messageid=49101)

sorry people..never good with posting url in pressf1...
didn't notice the preview button either...

that link leads to another forum with a thread talking about a registry setting that should be modified to turn fans off

07-11-2004, 11:45 PM
Thanks for the link, but when I said

> Tried a registry fix

That was the exact one I was referring to.

Cheers anyway,

07-11-2004, 11:52 PM
well.. after reading this post
i kinda want to put my pc on standby and stuff

looks like i'm missing the fuctions too
although my motherboard seem to support it

08-11-2004, 08:23 AM
I just set my BIOS to "STR" in standby, and it now standby's silently. This is a custom-built PC (even though I didn't build it), which previously didn't standby quietly.

08-11-2004, 05:48 PM
S3 (STR) is what i set mine to
but i still don't get any options in window for me to standby

and i set it so my power button when pressed will put system to standby
but in the power management settings in windows, the drop down list only lets me to choose to shutdown when power button is pressed
dont' even get the option to put on standby although the option is in bios and i believe my motherboard does support standby

08-11-2004, 06:09 PM
I did a little investigating with XP Pro at work today and PCs with the S3 option in the BIOS... Looks like you may have to do a fresh install of XP ot put the correct drivers on so you can do the standby thing properly. (And no, it doesn't look like you can find the drivers on the XP CD - you have to do a fresh install to put them on).

Anyone else who knows otherwise is free to correct me. :)

Hope this helps you out!


08-11-2004, 06:48 PM
have you checked out the power options in the control panel, theres somthing there about stand by.....

08-11-2004, 08:18 PM
I really dislike the idea of a whole new install, but will try it I guess. But first I'll look for drivers on my mobo cd-rom.


08-11-2004, 08:25 PM
If you have a spare drive, try installing on that first so you don't mess up your install of XP. :)

08-11-2004, 08:34 PM
Actually I was thinking of installing on anther (small) partition which I will make right now using my handy linux-based partition resize tool (ntfsresize).


09-11-2004, 12:17 PM
Related to this, i have a p4 box running 98se, which does suspend to ram, but wont awaken from either a keyboard press or mouse movement (will awake from a power switch press). I havent installed the keyboard drivers to get the extra key functions which might make the standyby button work, but i dont wont the overhead of the driver.

To be honest, in general ive never really understood relationship between windows power mgmt settings and the bios power settings. Ive tried turning the bios APM on and off and windows apm on and off and it doesnt really make any sense to me.