General Question

santheo's avatar

When is leaving my laptop on more energy-efficient than putting it to sleep?

Asked by santheo (5points) May 16th, 2008

In other words, when I go to the bathroom at a coffeshop for 90 seconds, is it better to leave my laptop in screensaver mode, or to put it to sleep and wake it up when I get back? I assume putting it to sleep and waking it up causes a spike in energy. I have a Macbook, in case that’s relevant.

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10 Answers

xyzzy's avatar

It’s more energy efficient to let it sleep. This becomes an issue only if your bathroom break lasted 2 seconds or less.

On the other hand, this will cause more wear and tear on the laptop, specifically the hard drive and the display’s light source. I don’ t think it’s worth it for a mere 90 seconds worth of energy savings.

XCNuse's avatar

doing any of that causes more battery power to be used than anything else, i have it set so that i can shut my dell 1705 and it turns the screen off, which does nothing but turn off the screen, making it sleep or anything else uses more power; especially when it’s only for 90 seconds

iwamoto's avatar

my ibook is on constantly, it only goes to sleep during transport, and that’s it, i almost never put it to sleep, uhm, right now it’s only been on for 9 hours because of a reboot, but uptimes of a week or not unusual, and why should i?

8lightminutesaway's avatar

to save energy. theres no reason to leave it on when it doesnt need to be, its a waste of electricity… it also increases risk of hard drive or other hardware failures.

iwamoto's avatar

it needs to be on though, that 1.2 terabyte is not going to fill itself up out of thin air right?

spendy's avatar

So what about for people who are on the computer multiple times throughout the day? Is it better to reboot 10 times or just leave it on all day (often in sleep mode)?

Sorry for the threadjacking.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

it would depend on how much time is between each use. I would say if you’re out for more than 15 minutes, you should put it to sleep, and if you’re not going to use it for more than an hour or 2, you should shut down. Sleep is good because it stops all moving parts, so there really isn’t any risk of hardware failure, but takes only a few seconds to start back up. Still uses power keeping everything loaded in memory. I’m actually not sure how much power it uses and am very curious to find out, anyone know?

psyla's avatar

PowerBooks had issues with Sleep. MacBooks might have similar issues. Apple laptops don’t sleep well. Programs might not run right after a sleep. I never let my Apple laptop sleep, I either shut it down or let it run. 20 minutes or more away, I shut it down.

spendy's avatar

Are there any problems with rebooting the computer more than a few times each day? At my house, we spar about whether or not it’s good to keep rebooting the computer (multiple times) every day. Does it add to wear and tear?

psyla's avatar

Supposedly, yes it does. The jolt of electricity at startup supposedly puts wear & tear on the electronics. In reality, I think this claim is exagerated. Shutting down allows the parts to cool which extends life and startup clears any buggy commands that are unresolved in the system.

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