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Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dogbone, Apr 27, 2006.
Just wondering how others use this option in Engergy Saver prefs and why that option is chosen.
I spin down the hard drive when not in use to cut down on heat in the drive and hopefully extend the life of it in the process. I also use the sleep option on my cpu to also cut down on heat and not have the fans blasting 24/7 since I never power down my mac.
My Mac is always on so I do use that feature. Also, I don't want my external running 24/7, because that thing is pretty loud. Especially when it's fan kicks in.
Interesting poll...I set mine to sleep, but I'd like to know what others do and if there's a good reason for it that I don't know about.
I put my iBook G4's HDD to sleep when possible.
Not the same case for my Power Mac G5 however.
I have my iMac set to sleep display after 7min, sleep computer (hard disk included) after 15min.
Reason is because I leave my Mac on 24/7 but I don't want it to have hard drive spinning when not in use (avoid wear) and I don't want it to consume electricity for nothing.
My Mac is always one mouse shake away.
I never have to wait for it to boot, it doesn't wear when not in use and it doesn't consume power when not in use.
One thing great about Macs is that the sleep function works and it works well.
I, for the life of me, never use sleep on Windows PC's. It only works sometimes and Windows needs the reboots now and then anyway because it tends to get slow after a while of being booted. Please don't tell me I have spyware or viruses slowing down my computer... I have built PC's since windows 95 and I always keep my systems maintained, running lean and I don't install crap software. Edit: I don't install crap software, apart from Windows itself...
Well putting it to sleep all the time certainly won't extend your drive's life. The spin up/down is actually where the HD receives the most wear and tear throughout its life.
That being said, I have it spin down as well, but to save energy (PowerBook).
I don't let my Mac mini spin down its drive. I use the machine intermittently and the constant spinups and spindowns would do more harm than good. I also leave the mini on 24x7 for instant access to music/tv/etc.
That's a negative, the 3 hard drives in my PowerMac G4 are always running...the two Hitachi SATA drives are pretty quiet, but the stock original drive, a 40GB IBM, is whiny...I keep thinking about pulling it out but never get around to it.
Other than reducing noise I don't see the benefit of spinning down the drives in a desktop - as others have pointed out it actually increases wear. In a laptop of course it makes plenty of sense from a power conservation standpoint.
Exactly. That's why I have my powermac set to never spin down.
no on my intel imac or my ibook when it's connected via power
yes on my ibook when i'm running off battery
Slightly OT, but just to expand the statement, this is true of just about anything that plugs in - from lightbulbs to TVs to computers, leaving them on constantly actually prolongs their useful life. The rapid fluctuations in heat caused by turning an electrical device on and off are primarily what cause these things to "wear out" (oxidization is another big factor too though).
PowerBook = Yes
iMac = No
(I voted yes for the record)
I started this thread to get a definitive answer but I've got a definite *yes and no*
Mabye I'm approaching this the wrong way. I understand that turning things on and off is no good. I used to work in a lab that used very expensive colour calibrated flouro tubes and turning them on an off shortened their life.
BUT if it shortened their life it was not catastrophic. I don't care that much about a few dollars extra electricity use and I don't care about the wear and tear on my hd per se, I only care about the wear and tear on a hd because of the *consequences* of a hd failure. When my external drive is on for a few hours it gets warm, not overly hot but quite warm and I was wondering if being like this all day was worse or better than it spinning up and down maybe 6 times a day, from a wear and tear pov only.
But I've since discovered that it seems to spin down when not being used regardless of my energy saver settings. Looks like another question to la cie tech support...
blaskillet4 You say that spinning up and down places more wear and tear but you spin it down anyway to save energy. Are not you concerned about making a hd failure more likely? This is really the crux of my inquiry.
What should I do? I want to do what's best for my HDD. Right now I have it set to sleep when possible.
Yes, but for some reason it only works for my internal drive, not my FireWire.
Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but I find that enjoying better battery life throughout the notebooks life outweighs the benefits than constantly worrying about the drive's life. Its just not worth the worry (Specially if you backup data).
Basically its up to you to make a choice.
Spinning the drive up/down kills the drive sooner.
Not spinning down kills the battery sooner.
Pick your poison. I chose battery life over the risk of killing the drive sooner. After all, I bought a portable computer for a reason.
You might want to think about these:
1) Drive electronics actually adapt based on the temperature of an HD. So the HD designer actually made it so that when the temperature increases and the drive gets hotter, the heads read in a slightly different place.
2) The HD platter is made of material with a low thermal expansion coefficient. The plate will not expand that much when heated within the normal operating temperature range of a HD.
So I would recommend keeping backups and letting the HD sleep. We already waste enough power as it is. And I think in a few years, you will be more worried about the environment you live in than whether your old HD is accessible or not.
I have a second drive in my Power Mac G5 and also an external drive if I have the G5 allow the drives to sleep I can get the beach ball of death in Finder while the drives spin back up. I'd rather this didn't happen so I set the drives not to sleep, and then uses pmset to actually make sure they don't sleep, not Apples cheezy no they don't sleep for 3 hours option. I've had many computers in my time and I've never let the ones with HDDs sleep the drives and the machines have always been replaced before a drive has been. Oh and if I really cared about things like AC power usage I guess I would of never bought a Power Mac G5.
I can feel a new thread coming on here...
Something along the lines of "Do you back up and wait for your drive to fail, or do you replace it before it fails (even if it's backed up), and if so how long do you give it"
I voted yes, but after reading through this thread, I turned HD Sleep off
Since I started the thread I have turned the option to sleep hd off...then on...then off again...maybe another 4 cycles of off and on...I'm not sure what the final decision will be
Just be aware that when you uncheck "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" you are actually making the drives sleep after 3 hours, not 10 minutes. You need to use "pmset" from the terminal to actually stop the drives sleeping. Check the pmset man page for more info.
I had a look at that from a link to your post about it in another thread. But I could not see the '-s' option in the manual. Also I was not sure about the argument (if that's the right word) of '0'. Was that a binary '0 or 1' option or did it refer to the number of minutes before sleep?
Another thing that is odd is that the hd sleep feature appears to have no effect on my external drive that sleeps itself anyway.
sudo pmset disksleep 0
0 = don't sleep the drives, any other value is minutes until sleep.
My external drive used to sleep within 10 minutes (the OS X default) but even with Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible unchecked it would still sleep, it wasn't until I researched pmset that I figured out it was just sleeping after 3 hours (another OS X default). Ever since I've set pmset disksleep 0 my external drive doesn't sleep at all. No more beach balls of death in Finder for me.