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Old 11-11-12, 20:45   #1
 
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Computers Should You Shut Down, Sleep, or Hibernate Your Laptop?



From HTG


Computers can sleep, hibernate, or shut down. Sleep allows you to quickly resume using your laptop at the cost of some electricity. Hibernate is like shutting down your computer, but you can still resume working where you left off.
Thereís no right answer in all situations. Some people leave their computers running 24/7, while others shut down computers the moment they step away. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
Image Credit: DeclanTM on Flickr


Shut Down vs. Sleep vs. Hibernate

Each of the three power-down states appears to shut off your computer, but they all work differently.
  • Shut Down: This is the power-off state most of us are familiar with. When you shut down your computer, all your open programs close and the computer shuts down your operating system. A computer thatís shut down uses almost no power. However, when you want to use your computer again, youíll have to turn it on and go through the typical boot-up process, waiting for your hardware to initialize and startup programs to load.
  • Sleep: Also known as Sleep or Standby. In sleep mode, the computer enters a low-power state. Power is used to keep the computerís state in memory, but other parts of the computer are shut down and wonít use any power. When you turn on the computer, it will snap back to life within just a few seconds. You wonít have to wait for it to boot up Ė everything will be right where you left off. However, this uses more power than shutting down or hibernating your computer.
  • Hibernate: Your computer saves its current state to your hard drive, essentially dumping the contents of its RAM into a file on its hard drive. When you boot up the computer, it will load the previous state from your hard drive into its RAM. This allows you to save your computerís state, including all your open programs and data, and come back to it later. It takes longer to resume from hibernate than sleep, but hibernate uses much less power than sleep. A computer thatís hibernating uses about the same amount of power as a computer thatís shut down.
If you put your computer to sleep and its battery becomes critically low, the computer will automatically go into hibernate mode to save your state.





When To Shut Down, Sleep, and Hibernate

Different people treat their computers differently. Some people always shut down their computers and never take advantage of the convenience of the sleep and hibernate states, while some people run their computers 24/7.
  • When To Sleep: Sleep is particularly useful if youíre stepping away from your computer for a small amount of time. You can put your computer to sleep to save electricity and battery power. When you need to use your computer again, you can resume from where you left off in just a few seconds. Your computer will always be ready to use when you need it.
  • When To Hibernate: Hibernate saves more power than sleep. If you wonít be using your computer for a while Ė say, if youíre going to sleep for the night Ė you may want to hibernate your computer to save electricity and battery power. However, hibernate is slower to resume from. If youíre hibernating or shutting down your computer every time you step away from it throughout the day, you may be wasting a lot of time waiting for it.
  • When To Shut Down: Most computers will resume from hibernate faster than they will boot up from shut down, so most people will probably want to hibernate their laptops instead of shutting them down. However, some computers or software may not work properly when resuming from hibernate, in which case youíll want to shut down your computer instead. Itís also a good idea to shut down (or at least restart) your computer occasionally Ė most Windows users have noticed that Windows needs an occasional reboot.
The exact amount of power used by sleep and hibernate will depend on the computer, although sleep mode generally uses just a few more watts than hibernate. Some people may opt to use sleep instead of hibernate so their computers will resume faster Ė while it does use marginally more electricity, itís surely more power efficient than leaving a computer running 24/7.
Hibernate is particularly useful to save battery power on laptops that arenít plugged in. if you want to take your laptop somewhere and you donít want to waste valuable battery power, youíll want to hibernate it instead of putting it to sleep.





Making Your Choice

Once youíve made your choice, you can control what happens when you press the power button on your computer or close the lid on your laptop. To do so, press the Windows key, type Power buttons, and press Enter. Youíll see the power button options in the Windows Control Panel. (On Windows 8, youíll need to click the Settings option on the search screen after typing Power buttons.)





You can modify your computerís power-saving options to control what it does automatically when youíve left it idle.
Thanks to Geek Chris Hoffman
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