Is it better to leave mac mini in sleep mode or shut it down

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Abdulhaq, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. Abdulhaq macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2013
    I have a late 2011 Mac Mini. Is it better to leave the mac mini in sleep mode or shut it down? We are using this in our family room.
  2. jpietrzak8, Jun 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016

    jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816


    Feb 16, 2010
    Dayton, Ohio
    Hmm. Sleep mode should shut down any mechanical devices attached to the machine (both internal spinning drives and external devices), so there's no mechanical wear to worry about. Extremely little power is used, so I doubt you'd notice any difference in your utility bills. The Mini is an extremely reliable device in general, whether you leave it running or not; I don't think you'd really extend its lifespan by shutting it off.

    I don't personally see any real downside to using sleep mode. The only possible thing I can think of is if your Mini is in danger of having its power disconnected when not in use (kids pulling the cords, pets knocking over the device, etc.); a switched-off Mini might fare a little better in that case, though I don't think it'd be a big difference. :)
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    From my experience the mini always stays a bit warm in sleep mode.

    I'd say switch it off if you can.
  4. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Advice from the 2009 Mac Mini manual:

    If you’ll be away from your Mac mini for less than a few days, put it to sleep. When your Mac mini is in sleep, the display’s screen is dark. You can quickly wake your Mac mini and bypass the startup process.

    In sleep mode the Mini uses very little electricity; even when switched off it still consumes a trickle, unless you unplug it from the mains. There is no really significant benefit in turning it off. Indeed it can be argued that it is beneficial for electrical components to be left powered up as it minimises thermal expansion and contraction. Overall though, probably not a lot in it one way or the other for consumer level devices.

    My early 2009 Mini has been powered up almost 24/7 (unless I've been away for more than a few days) since I got it, timed to go into sleep mode after 20 minutes of non use (preferences > energy saver). It still has the original HDD.

    I did shut down my 2005 original every evening. Anecdotal, I know, but the HDD and the power supply failed after a little over 4 years.

    In the end, there's probably not much in it; up to you.
  5. Kaida macrumors regular


    May 28, 2016
    I put my power config on Never Sleep, turn monitor off after 5mins and I noticed that the mini only draws a few watts from the wall. Less than a 10W light bulb...
  6. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    From the environmental impact report for the 2014 Mac Mini:

    Power Consumption for Mac mini

    Mode 100V 115V 230V

    Off 0.29W 0.29W 0.31W

    Sleep 0.75W 0.71W 0.73W

    Idle 5.9W 5.8W 5.5W
  7. steve217 macrumors regular


    Nov 11, 2011
    Me too.

    From what I've read, the Mac mini at idle uses about the same power draw as a clock radio. (5.9W)

    Keeping the mini awake make the Apple TV much more responsive.

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