Is it better for my Mac to sleep or stay awake?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by durija, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. durija macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2008
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    Seattle
    #1
    I have heard conflicting advice on this. Right now, I have my screen set to go black after a while on my newer iMac 20", but I am sure this does next to nothing for conserving power or hardware. When I have let the machine sleep, I often have minor problems when it wakes up (not seeing the mouse being the most common).

    So do I really gain much by powering things down into sleep mode, or maybe do I pay a price by all the spinning up and down of the disks, fans, etc.? Opinions welcome!
     
  2. thunderclap macrumors 6502a

    thunderclap

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    Nov 8, 2003
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    Chicago
    #2
    I have a Mac Pro and have it go to sleep after an hour of non-operation. I don't know if it protects it at all as the video turns off after 15 min. and the HDD turns off after 30 min. but it eases my mind. Plus the video card fan can be loud at times so going to sleep stops it from running.
     
  3. skagen5555 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    #3
    I leave mine on 24/7 cause i keep it there to down/upload torrents all day long. The only thing i do is set a hot corner to sleep the display and that's it.

    If PCs are able to be left on months at a time, i figure so can my mac pro.

    I've never had a problem leaving my old self built PC on all the time and never had HD failure or anything. Plus, if you leave it on all the time, the hardware isn't going to "die". It's designed to last for a lot longer than you'll have your imac.
     
  4. cheekybobcat macrumors 6502a

    cheekybobcat

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    #4
    Be careful with torrent dude. I received a copyright infringement letter to cease and desist. It was a warning so no lawsuits are going to be pressed. And I did it like 2 times.
    I'm a clean downloader from now on :)

    Oh, and to give you some feedback about sleep/awake, I personally put mine to sleep when not using it. Not sure if it helps for sure or not but I like to think that it isn't heating up while not using it.
     
  5. thunderclap macrumors 6502a

    thunderclap

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    #5
    Not to hijack the thread, but who did you get this letter from? I got one about a year ago from Comcast claiming they had received a complaint from the copyright holder. Like you I'm now clean too.
     
  6. akidd macrumors regular

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    Jan 30, 2007
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    Tunbridge Wells, UK
    #6
    Well, there is the obvious environmental benefit of shutting down rather than using more electricity. Carbon footprint anyone...
     
  7. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 23, 2008
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    Brooklyn, NY
    #7
    I always kept my Windows PC awake, aside from the display, and I'm doing the same with my new Imac, because I like to have the machine instantly available when I want to take a quick look at something or do a quick email. To be frank I never had a PC hardware failure, other than a DVD drive, when the system was on 24/7.

    The Imac certainly seems to use less energy than my PC ever did, what with the PC's three hard drives, three whirring fans, big power supply, five PCI cards and the AGP card, etc. Does anyone know how much energy a new 24" Imac uses when the display is asleep, and the machine is awake, but idle?
     
  8. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

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    Jun 21, 2007
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    Balham, London
    #8
    It's just my oppinion but I think this is a pretty irresponsible position. With everyone worrying about energy usage, it's sad that someone can't wait 10 seconds for a computer to wake up or 30-40 seconds to boot up.

    Sorry... went a bit eco warrior there...
     
  9. Jiddick ExRex macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

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    #9
  10. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    Jul 4, 2007
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    Denver Colorado
    #10
    If you choose to sleep a desktop such as an iMac, I would make sure that it is plugged into a backup battery supply. We had a power failure tonight while I was gone and it was out for a few hours. Because I always sleep my iMac and it was connected to the backup power, it happily stayed sleeping during the power failure and all my open programs were still as I left them when I slept the iMac. If I didn't have the power supply, the computer would have lost power and shut down losing what I had open.
     
  11. serega macrumors regular

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle
    #11
    Well, there is the obvious environmental benefit of shutting down rather than using more electricity. Carbon footprint anyone...

    I keep mine in sleep mode when not in use, it heating my room significantly, I think this is good at this time of the year because I use less gas for heating this way.
     
  12. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 23, 2008
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    Brooklyn, NY
    #12
    OK. You have a point. I just put my Imac on a sleep-after-3-hour schedule and to wake automatically at 6 am. I'll see how that goes.
     
  13. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #13
    You shouldn't have problems like that. My Mac never has any problems waking from sleep. Maybe you should contact Apple support or check out the Apple support forums to see whether there's something you can do to correct the problem.

    That said, I keep my iMac awake until midnight every day because I use it as a music server. I wish there was some way to get airtunes to wake a mac from sleep.
     
  14. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #14
    Intel Macs all use safe sleep mode (hibernation) with the RAM data written to the hard disk just in case. You don't need to worry about losing power while in sleep mode as the RAM data would simply be recovered from the file written to the hard disk (/private var vm sleepimage).
     
  15. durija thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2008
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    Seattle
    #15
    I usually have to unplug and replug my mouse to get it to work after coming out of a snooze. I have checked on this and a few other forums and haven't had any luck. I think it is a USB issue in Leopard. I have to jump through hoops to get my thumb drive to mount also. Maybe I should report it to Apple as a bug.

    The primary reason for sleep (for me) is to reduce power consumption. But I am also interested in what is best for hardware longevity.

    Thanks for all the replies so far.
     
  16. todd2000 macrumors 68000

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    Danville, VA
    #16
    I have my Display set to sleep after 15 min of inactivity, and the computer to shut off after an hour.
     
  17. Eric Piercey macrumors 6502

    Eric Piercey

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    #17
    Don't apologize. People need to hear this stuff- absolutely. Your post is 100% on the money.
     
  18. durija thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Thanks for the link. It answered a lot of my questions and pointed me to more info. Exactly what I needed.

    Now if I could only fix the grogginess in my iMac when it awakens and its USB drive issue. Otherwise, it has been absolutely wonderful.
     
  19. Xenious macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 22, 2004
    Location:
    Texas, USA
    #19
    I wish time machine had a variable backup interval. I like my machine to sleep after 2 hours, but since time machine is working every hour it keeps the machine awake (Mac Pro). Right now the only workaround is to have it sleep after 59 minutes or so.

    Is there a plist file to change time machine backup intervals?
     
  20. hexonxonx macrumors 601

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    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #20
    Not exactly true. If you put a laptop into sleep mode, it will use a small amount of battery power to preserve it's sleep state. The same thing applies while sleeping a desktop, they still use a small amount of power. Read the FAQ that was linked to in this thread, it says the same thing.
     
  21. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

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    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #21
    Be careful with torrent dude. I received a copyright infringement letter to cease and desist. It was a warning so no lawsuits are going to be pressed. And I did it like 2 times.
    I'm a clean downloader from now on

    Oh, and to give you some feedback about sleep/awake, I personally put mine to sleep when not using it. Not sure if it helps for sure or not but I like to think that it isn't heating up while not using it.


    Can you send a copy of the letter to me at mperkins37 at cox.net?
    My wife is a high school teacher in the Macintosh lab & she has students downloading stuff illegally all the time, she asked if I could make one up for her to scare the hell out of the offenders. :D
     
  22. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #22
    I think SaSaSushi was implying that if the power went out while the iMac was asleep, it would still wake up again without rebooting (albeit more slowly).
     
  23. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #23
    Do you have a regular Apple mouse? I've never had this issue. You should definitely contact tech support, or post a question in the Apple support forums.
     
  24. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #24
    Yes, I just discovered/realized that today. After being reprimanded by an eco-friendly poster here about leaving my machine awake 24/7, I tried to set a 3-hour sleep interval, and of course it didn't work, because of Time Machine's hourly backup to my external USB drive. Then I went into Time Machine's settings, and further discovered that there is no option to change the backup interval (I'd be happy with a daily backup). I am not going to set the sleep interval to less than an hour, because that will result in having to wake the machine a half-dozen times or more every evening, which I believe (rightly or wrongly) to be unhealthy for the hardware and will probably use more energy than it saves. So the question is: can the Time Machine backup interval be changed, and how?
     
  25. durija thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #25
    That might explain part of it. I dumped the mighty mouse on day one. I'll have to see if I can find it tonight and try that.

    It still doesn't explain my usb flash drive not mounting half the time. It mounts right up on a Tiger machine at work.

    I still think there is a Leopard/my iMac/USB issue of some kind.
     

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