What Matt Bach of Puget Systems has to say re S3 on Pascal and Maxwell

From the comments section of the following article and quoted with permission:

December 30, 2016
Most Reliable PC Hardware of 2016 - Puget Custom Computers
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Most-Reliable-PC-Hardware-of-2016-872/

[i]"S3 sleep usually never has any problems - at least ones caused by the GPU. Sometimes we have issues caused by the motherboard, but that is usually due to a buggy new BIOS revision. When that happens, we can usually just revert to an older version, report the issue to the manufacturer, and wait for an updated version.

We usually disable hibernate on our desktops - there isn’t really any advantage over S3 sleep for workstations and with the larger RAM capacities more systems use today it makes for very large hibernate files taking up a bunch of disk space.

Most sleep issues we are able to fix in-house and unfortunately we don’t currently track the times when we had a problem but were able to resolve it without needing to RMA a part. I went back and over the last two years of failures, however, and of the times we couldn’t fix the issue ourselves we have only had to RMA a motherboard for sleep/standby issues three times. Once because it wouldn’t resume if a platter drive was plugged in, and twice simply because the motherboard itself was having issues. Both of those two times were actually with Quadro cards (M4000 and a NVS 810) but since a new motherboard resolved the issue that is probably just a coincidence.

On the GPU side, we only had to RMA a card for sleep issues twice over the past two years - one GTX 970 and one GTX 960. We haven’t had any sleep issues with either Maxwell/Pascal Quadro cards or the new Pascal GeForce cards that were not fixable.

I know we have seen more sleep issues over the last two years than just those five instances, but this just shows how rare it is to be a hardware problem. Normally the issues we see in-house are caused by things like driver or Windows update bugs, or issues with a BIOS update. Those we can usually resolve with our engineering contacts or by reverting to older driver/BIOS versions. For issues in the field, the problems are usually caused by either those same driver/update bugs or peripherals like USB hubs, USB printers, etc. Sometimes customers have installed software that is causing problems but I don’t think that is as common for us. In the DIY community, however, I could see things like fan control software and CPU/GPU overclocking utilities causing sleep issues. Or simply different hardware that we don’t sell. We also tend to stick to the highest quality components, so it is entirely possible that some of those people are using off-brand power supplies or something like that due to their budget constraints that is the actual cause of the problem…

…Just keep in mind that even though we sell and test thousands of systems a year, that doesn’t mean that what we see is necessarily 100% correct and what others see is wrong. Computers are incredibly complex pieces of technology so we might just be really lucky or maybe we are doing something different that I haven’t even thought of.

Edit: Also keep in mind that most of the systems we sell are using Windows. So for linux-based problems, we don’t have nearly the same sample size as we do for Windows."[/i]

  • Matt Bach, (Puget Labs) Puget Systems