On a PowerBook, “sleep” is the only option if you don’t want to shut down the laptop completely. On a Windows laptop, you get ‘Standby’ and ‘Hibernate’ settings. My Dell 700m is set up to Standby for a while, then Hibernate – basically from the factory settings. More often than not, it’s in Hibernate when I want to wake it up.
Waking from Hibernation takes ~1-5 minutes depending on how long it hangs at various stages of coming back to life. I’m considering turning Hibernation off completely and just going with the more “sleep”-like Standby option.
Can someone educate me on why I would/would not want to do this?1
- Assume that data loss is not an issue – all documents would be saved, etc. [back]
In short… battery life. On a Mac, Sleep Mode will (in my experience) last a lot longer than the equivalent PC setting–IIRC, a fully-charged battery goes down by 10% every 12 hours or so–something that I was never able to achieve on my Toshiba. In hybernation mode, the RAM is actually saved to the hard drive and the computer is shut down completely, so it will essentially consume no power and the battery will only lose charge because of its internal resistance. On my old Toshiba, a full charge would last about a month in hybernation.
Unfortunately, hybernation has all sorts of problems. IIRC, with 2GB of RAM XP wouldn’t hybernate my Toshiba, complaining of insufficient system resources despite a basically empty hard drive. That sucked big time–because sleep mode wasn’t nearly as good. Oddly, after the initial impact I really don’t mind the lack of a hybernation mode on the Mac… but maybe it’s just because my mind has been completely clouded by their marketing department 🙂
You are killing off expensive batteries by opting for stand-by. I would advice against that unless you leave your laptop connected to the socket and just wish to go somewhere else and later bring your computer ‘back to life’.
Roy, do you have some data on that? Is it damaging the battery in some way?
my impression was the contrary; that draining batteries down is actually a plus. in my experience over maybe a dozen laptops, the batteries that i’ve killed have been the ones that were plugged in continuously; the ones i took pains to drain on a regular basis still died, but much more slowly.
Sources I can recall claim that a battery in the body of the laptop never benefits, even if the laptop is bound to a source of electricity. Then fluctuation between 90% and 100% also appears to be unhealthy.
With stand-by as standard, you opt for data retention on RAM, which uses up power. Come back after a few days, and your battery might be flat. Hibernation will mirror the memory and place it on non-volatile magnetic storage device — the hard drive.
I guess I don’t really see that as a problem… what I’d be curious to know is the % drain/hour.
Depends on memory, laptop’s architecture, O/S, battery’s capacity. Experiment to find out assuming your battery meter shows depletion linearly, which is rare…
Battery meter huh? Got one you can recommend?
I do not know the Mac sufficiently well, especially iBooks…
Huh? We’re talking about a windows laptop here – a Dell 700m. Who has an iBook? 🙂
I pretty much always turn off hibernation as the first step when I get a new laptop. It’s unreliable at best, and at worst the notebook doesn’t wake up and I have to shut it off anyway.
If you use it frequently enough (i.e. it’s not going to sit on standby for days on end) I see no reason to use hibernation. Like I said, I’ve turned it off on every notebook I’ve used (mostly Dells) and never had a problem with the batteries as a result.
I have a rather old Compaq laptop, with a worn out battery. Lithium-Ion batteries wear out over time – it’s based completely on the number of times it has been (dis)charged. Note that having the laptop plugged in, it still slowly drains. when it gets to 90% or so, the charger kicks in and charges it. Tada, there is a charge cycle – there goes some battery life!
Now, given that my laptop only lasts 30 minutes on a full battery, and about 4-5 hours on standby, I almost always hibernate it unless i’m only going away for a short while.
Same here with a CPQ Presario.
Standby for Fast Takeâ€“Off
With Standby, the system shuts down your monitor, hard drive, and other devices, but maintains power to random access memory (RAM). Your open documents and applications are stored in RAM as if your system were fully powered, so you can pick up where you left off very quickly. Many newer laptops resume from Standby in less than two seconds with Windows XP.
Windows XP includes an improved algorithm that tells your monitor, hard drive, and other devices when to come out of Standby. It restores devices in the most efficient order and, wherever possible, restores more than one device at the same time.
Hibernate Turns It Off, but Saves Your State
In the same way, Windows XP helps your computer start faster when you use Hibernate. This feature saves the contents of RAM to your hard disk in compressed form so you can turn your laptop or desktop computer completely off. When you turn on the power, your documents and applications are open just as you left them so you can start work quickly.
Windows XP reduces the time it takes to compress the memory data and save it to your hard disk. The time it takes to resume from hibernation can vary considerably. Newer laptops can resume from hibernation in 20 to 30 seconds, but the actual time depends on how much data was saved in RAM at the time you started hibernation.
“Note that having the laptop plugged in, it still slowly drains. when it gets to 90% or so, the charger kicks in and charges it”
This is definitely not the way my Toshiba laptops behave. There is always an indication as to whether the battery has drained, even a little, and when plugged in the battery is always at 100%.