Wait, did Microsoft kill sleep?

Hello all,

I’ve long been a desktop user and builder, but in the past few years I have been looking to replace my desktops with a daily-driver laptop, docked much of the time to a screen, mouse and keyboard. I have had quite a bit of trouble finding the right laptop however, and I’m starting to think that Windows, rather than the builders themselves, is at fault.

The best of the Windows laptops I have purchased was a 15″ Lenovo Yoga with some dedicated Nvidia gpu. It was a beautiful machine but had two major issues. One, a bad microphone. That issue resulted in Lenovo taking my laptop for two months (yes, two months) and returning it with a broken screen bezel. Bad on them.

However, the more concerning issue was it getting insanely hot when sleeping and not turning on again until after it had been forced to power off and had time to cool. Not crammed into a bag but sitting on a desk at a normal room temperature. At the time, I thought this was a problem with Lenovo cramming hot components into a pretty svelte chassis.

Fast forward two years or so though, and now I have a Dell G15 5525. Go figure, it does largely the same thing except that it’ll run its fans in short bursts every 30 seconds for an hour or two first. Bleh.

Looking around online for help, it appears that this is a very common issue. As I understand it, Microsoft is forcing computer builders to use a “low power idle” mode (S0) instead of an actual ‘sleep’ mode (S3). It basically tricks users into thinking that modern Windows resumes very fast by not actually stopping it in the first place.

Two questions:

  1. Do I have that right?
  2. If so, what in the actual [swear word]?! Seriously, [swear word] Microsoft if that’s accurate. Basically, if I want my computer to not crash and burn every time I need to go take care of the baby I have to shut my computer off or set it to burn electricity for no reason? I’d go buy a Mac if I didn’t think Apple weren’t far off from pulling the same gag. Maybe I’ll go shop System76.

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