Sleeping instead of shutting down (Battery Power)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by NJRonbo, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. NJRonbo macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    Getting a new Macbook.

    Since it's a device geared for portability and battery use, I would like to store it in "sleep mode" when it is not being used.

    I like the idea of not having to boot the computer every time I want to use it.

    First question:

    Any downsides to operating a computer by simply putting it to sleep and awakening it?

    Second question:

    How much battery power is used in sleep mode? Is it a minimal amount?

    Thank You
  2. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    Well there are multiple sides to this argument. Ultimately it's up to personal preference.

    Back in the day it used to be hard on computers to start them up, electricity would damage components, this isn't the issue now, but you are still faced with the electricity cost so it's better to turn them off if not being used.

    As far as standby times, a MacBook can last around 30 days with the lid shut, not a big deal unless you forget about it and the battery sits completely discharged for a long period of time, it's best to turn a computer off around 70% battery to ensure the lifespan of the battery.

    Linux and Mac have something over Windows, the longer Windows runs the worse it gets, the longer Mac and Linux run, the better they get, Unix-based operating systems do optimizations in the background when you aren't using it making them run better (as far as knowing where items are and putting them in the correct order on the drive) whereas Windows kicks off a task once a week to try and do this in one go. So generally speaking leaving it on will provide better performance in a roundabout way.

    The only downsides to keeping a computer in sleep mode is as listed above 1) power consumption, 2) if always on the charger you'll probably never give the battery exercise to ensure it's life, 3) if always off the charger and hardly used you could let a empty battery sit which is not a good thing for lithium ion batteries.

    I don't have the usage metrics on power consumption for a MacBook but considering a battery will give you ~12 hours of always on use and 30 days of standby you are essentially extending the battery life 60x so you won't be using that much battery.
  3. NJRonbo thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2007
    What a fantastic, well-written, in-depth response.

    The kind of thing you don't see too often.

    My utmost thanks for taking the time to write all of that. You have been a huge help!

    I'll let the battery run down once in awhile and charge it fully (if that is the best method to maintain it)
  4. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    Here's an article from Apple on best practices, to answer your question directly, you only want to completely drain your battery if you aren't getting the life out of it that you expect. This is considered recalibrating the battery as it "knows" it's upper capacity and lower capacity. It's relatable to a car battery, if a car battery sits dead for too long it may not charge again as it needs the electrons (which hold their own charge) to hold a charge. If an electron loses it's charge, you lose capacity, likewise if you overcharge your device, the electron will overheat and die so you lose a charge. Yay physics...
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    There are no major downsides.

    You do need to restart completely every so often to maintain optimal performance. "Every so often" could be once a week, or even once a month - eventually performance degrades, but it can be quite a while before it's noticeable. (Some people put their systems to Sleep thinking they're actually shutting down - the only time they restart may be after a crash.)

    Battery usage can be quite small, but how small is up to you. Read here about System Preferences > Energy Saver: Open System Preferences > Energy Saver to see your options (separate options for when using battery or when connected to charger).

    If a Mac has been in Sleep mode for 3 hours, it goes into Standby Mode. The current Macbook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro spec sheets shows up to 30 days of operation in Standby mode
    Still, if you're operating in a situation where you won't be able to connect to power for a long time, shutting down completely between uses may still be a good idea. I wouldn't shut down while actively working (I'd probably Sleep if I'd be returning to the computer after an hour or less), but if I couldn't connect to charger at bedtime, I'd certainly shutdown overnight.
  6. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    For reference, I have a late 2013 iMac, I leave it on all the time and only shut it down if I'm installing updates or a program asks me to restart.

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