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Shutdown vs Sleep Mode

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
What is the difference? Is shutdown really necessary for a laptop or desktop?
post #2 of 6
mi laptop has not been shutdown in years

but my desktop i have to shutdown it because of crap power lines where i live (blackouts), else i would always put it to sleep

if i had to guess, sleep consumes less power than a fresh start, and wear less the drives, the ram is the only thing using power in sleep <1w
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
So no you dont need to shutdown?
post #4 of 6
Usually sleep is set up so that your using less power when the pc is just sitting and idling for an extended period of time, it saves your session in windows and all your work remains open. You can quickly resume your session and work without starting and reopening your programs. This will use power and eventually your laptop will shut down anyways or go into hibernation mode before the battery dies, not an issue for desktops as they are plugged in.

Shutting down is usually recommended if your not using the pc actively and it will be sitting for an extended period of time. Its also good to have the memory cleared out and programs and tasks shut down as well, this can be achieved with a restart though.

I usually just shut down the desktop pc at night and let it sleep during the day. My laptop is set up to sleep in 15 min. it resumes so fast its no different than having just the screen turn off, I always shut it down if I'm not actively using it though as it will die after a while on sleep mode not plugged in. My htpc is always on , never sleeps ( set up as a media server for other devices) and rarely gets a restart, perhaps once a month or so.
Edited by JieMan - 4/4/12 at 6:57am
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post #5 of 6
Sleep is essentially suspending to RAM. The physical memory is constantly buffered with power, but all the other components shut down. Hard drives turn off, the CPU isn't working. When you turn the system on again, the OS resumes from the point at which you entered sleep mode. None of your applications have closed, everything is still loaded in the RAM, and it comes back to life at the exact instant at which it went to sleep, and theoretically there is no dwell between when you power on and when you can start doing things. If you disconnect the power source you will lose everything an the machine will have to do a cold boot when you power back on.

Sleep mode consumes some power--I think on the order of a few watts. Not much.

Shut down is complete shut down of the components. The system has to load the OS (and other things) into RAM. There will be a dwell when the system is fetching data from the HDD to dump into the RAM so it can function.

I generally leave my home desktop in sleep mode. I don't notice an effect on my power bill and I like not having to wait for it to boot up to use it.

If your laptop is always plugged in, you can put it to sleep without worry. If you disconnect the wall plug, then it will begin to drain the battery. However, most computers have power profiles that automatically shut down the system if it's on battery after a certain amount of sleep time.

For my work laptop, I use Hibernate. It basically caches everything that's in the RAM onto an image on the hard drive, and then completely powers down the machine. When you turn it back on, the system will go through a procedure to read the RAM image from the hard drive and put it back into the physical memory. You will then resume from the point where you initiated hibernation--all of your applications will still be open and in the state at which you initiated hibernation, but the system won't consume power since you don't have to buffer the physical memory. Hibernation takes more time to initiate than sleep (since you're writing a lot of data to the hard drive), but it won't affect battery life--you can completely remove power from the machine entirely and it will resume from hibernation with no problem.
    
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hmm ok thanks
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