Computer Sleep vs. Put the Hard Disk to Sleep when Possible

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by msw123307, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. msw123307 macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2007
    Trying to find the difference between these options, and how they work together. I know that the "Put the Hard Disk to Sleep When Possible" option sets the disks to spin down after 10 mins of use.

    However, if I enable "Computer Sleep" and set it to 30 mins, while leaving the "Put the Hard Disks to Sleep" option unchecked, will the "Computer Sleep" function still spin the disks down?

    According to Apple, the sleep mode...

    What happens when the Mac goes to sleep (not just into idle mode or display sleep)?

    On all Macs:

    The microprocessor goes into a low-power mode
    Video output is turned off, and a connected display may turn off as well, or enter its own idle state
    Apple-supplied hard disks spin down; third-party hard disks may spin down

    But if that option is left unchecked, will the disks spin down, or no? I'm guessing they still will, but it's kind of confusing since that option is available.
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    I think it depends on the drive. Mine all spin down when the computer sleeps even though the USB or FW ports may still be receiving power. The only exception is an old PATA drive I have.
  3. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
    Yes, they will spin down. When the computer sleeps, it basically cuts power to everything that isn't required to ensure that it starts up again in the same state as you left it. Basically, that just means trickling power to the RAM, since when the memory is disconnected from power the data is lost.

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