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How much power does a computer use in sleep mode?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've always thought it was only a few watts at most, but several websites keep saying how much energy you save by turning a computer off instead of putting it to sleep.
Even at idle my computer only uses 70w, can't imagine sleep mode uses much at all, which is why laptops can go weeks in sleep mode.

Anyone measured their computer in sleep mode?
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post #2 of 19
Well, you've got stand-by, and hibernation. Stand-by keeps power on your memory, so that their content isn't lost and your computer powers up near instantly when waking. This uses some energy, but 70w seems a bit much to me. I mean, it's not like your powersupply is actively running or something.

Hibernation writes your memory to your HDD and then powers off completely, just like a normal shutdown. In this case with the difference that, on boot, the cache file is loaded back into RAM and your computer resumes where it was left off.
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post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radeon915 View Post

Well, you've got stand-by, and hibernation. Stand-by keeps power on your memory, so that their content isn't lost and your computer powers up near instantly when waking. This uses some energy, but 70w seems a bit much to me. I mean, it's not like your powersupply is actively running or something.
Hibernation writes your memory to your HDD and then powers off completely, just like a normal shutdown. In this case with the difference that, on boot, the cache file is loaded back into RAM and your computer resumes where it was left off.
You know by idle I meant it's on, but I'm not doing anything right?

Also that didn't answer my question but thanks. ALSO hibernate sucks and 50% of the time doesn't turn back on which is why I use sleep. I don't mind the wait, I just don't like having to re-open everything.
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post #4 of 19
I keep my PC on sleep whenever I leave it idle or so, It actually consumes a lot less. I used to use hibernation but then sleep is much much faster in waking.
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post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Anyone actually used a kill a watt to measure it? I had one a few months ago and I probably should have measured it.
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post #6 of 19
If no one answers by Thursday I'd be happy to check when I get back home. I never use sleep anymore though, I just let the computer idle for the day and turn it all the way off at night. The only computer that I have that does sleep is my laptop (duh) and it actually will hibernate after 3 hours but I hate when it does. It's really slow and I usually end up restarting anyways.
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post #7 of 19
I have used a Kill a watt to measure several computers in sleep, and they were all 1-2 w when sleeping.
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post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blupupher View Post

I have used a Kill a watt to measure several computers in sleep, and they were all 1-2 w when sleeping.

And hippie websites say computers use 40 watt hours if you leave them in sleep while you sleep. rolleyes.gif
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post #9 of 19
I just measured my old Phenom-9600 XP computer and my newly built much faster W7 one with a Kill-A-Watt power-meter. The XP only has "standby", which leaves fans and its 3 disks and who know what-all running, and only cuts its full-on power use from 111 Watts down to 83 Watts (excluding monitor). The W7 machine is an FX8350 on an ASUS M5A99FX with 8GB RAM, a single Drive, and a fairly good NVidia graphics card, and its true "sleep" mode cuts the running power of 70 Watts to (count-em) TWO!!!! It apparently keeps only the memory refresh powered up during sleep.

I read someone's claim that computers drew 50 Watts when literally OFF, and that's totally wrong. Even my XP machine only registers 3 Watts when "off", and that's through a surge protector.

- Lenny - (an actual Electrical Engineer and long-time computer guy)
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by lenngray View Post

I just measured my old Phenom-9600 XP computer and my newly built much faster W7 one with a Kill-A-Watt power-meter. The XP only has "standby", which leaves fans and its 3 disks and who know what-all running, and only cuts its full-on power use from 111 Watts down to 83 Watts (excluding monitor). The W7 machine is an FX8350 on an ASUS M5A99FX with 8GB RAM, a single Drive, and a fairly good NVidia graphics card, and its true "sleep" mode cuts the running power of 70 Watts to (count-em) TWO!!!! It apparently keeps only the memory refresh powered up during sleep.

I read someone's claim that computers drew 50 Watts when literally OFF, and that's totally wrong. Even my XP machine only registers 3 Watts when "off", and that's through a surge protector.

- Lenny - (an actual Electrical Engineer and long-time computer guy)

    The reason your XP computer uses so much power in standby is because it is using S1 sleep, which leaves the PSU on, and only puts the computer's components in low power mode.  Computers nowadays use S3 sleep, which actually turns everything off, except for the memory, USB power (in some computers), and LAN devices (usually if wake-on-LAN is enabled).  Hibernation is perfectly identical to power off as far as power consumption is concerned.
    S3 sleep has been around for a long time, so I would be surprised if your XP computer doesn't support it.  Make sure that S3 sleep is enabled in the BIOS and that your video driver is good (not running the generic Microsoft VGA driver).
    Typical "off" power draw for a computer is 1 to 10 watts, with the majority of that usually coming from unneeded or wasteful components in the PSU.  S3 standby typically adds another 1 to 10 watts to that, depending on the motherboard and memory.
 
Edited by Techie007 - 5/14/14 at 8:58pm
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