Sleep ruins screen?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mirrorball, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Mirrorball macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2007
    My friend told me that putting a computer to sleep instead of turning it off when you're done using it ruins the screen, because in sleep mode the screen isn't completely turned off. Is that true?
  2. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Might want to find a new friend. One who knows what he's talking about. :D
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    No, it isn't.

    When you put a computer to sleep, the disk drives, screen, and most of the logic board turn off, essentially. The CPU goes into a low power state and the RAM is also preserved. The computer does consume power but the screen is off.

    In hibernation or deep sleep mode, it goes one step further and essentially everything is turned off with the RAM being written to disk cache.

    What your friend might have been thinking about is that if you use a screen saver on an LCD, this doesn't accomplish anything (except maybe for preventing people from seeing what's on your screen). Even if the screen saver is fully black / blank, the way an LCD works, the backlight is still shining fully, it's just shining into a dark LCD mask. So you don't save the backlight with this at all.

    On the other hand, both cycling the backlight (turning it on/off) by sleeping it, turning the computer off, putting the whole computer to sleep, etc, and running the backlight contribute somewhat to backlight life.

    However, I honestly wouldn't worry about this. If you use the computer for less than 6 or 7 years, the chances of screen failure (aside from you physically breaking the screen) are low. If you keep that Mac for 10 years, even if the screen eventually goes out, the cost of replacing the backlight is not that bad.... (And LED backlights should generally be a lot less susceptible to this kind of failure than CCFL ones anyways).

    So just use it.
  5. Mirrorball thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Thanks a lot! I hate turning the computer off. I've been putting it to sleep practically every time since I bought it as it's so much more practical. My friend would rather use sleep mode too, but she was turning off her notebook on account of this myth. She'll be glad to learn it's not true.

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