power saving

  charlton200 07:31 22 Oct 09

In this day and age of high energy prices I was looking to reducing my electric bill.
What is best way to save energy concerning my PC.
I have connected my PC, printer, monitor and wireless box.
Is it best to shut down and turn off after every use if it's not going to be used for a couple of hours or just leave in standby or hibernate mode?

What do you think please?

  mooly 08:16 22 Oct 09

Wireless box ? Do you mean a router. If so that's one to leave on, as it takes time to establish best line speeds etc.

PC/Printer/Monitor I would switch off.

Every watt you burn on a 24 hour basis very very approximately costs 1 pound per year. So that printer that (perhaps) uses 6 watts in standby costs £6 a year to keep plugged in doing nothing.

You can get energy monitors that you plug everything into and it will show how much is/has been used.

  charlton200 09:26 22 Oct 09

Yes sorry I meant router.

As all my plugs are in one of those long surge protected 6 point plugs I would not be able to turn off at the wall because of the router, so it will be just shutting down the computer and turning off the monitor and printer. Would this be OK? I don't know if by leaving the plug turned on but the equipment off I would still be using electricity.

Thanks for your advice.

  Batch 09:45 22 Oct 09

I bought one of these energy monitors and found that going into standby reduced the power consumption to virtually zero (i.e. the energy monitor showed zero watts - I suppose that could have been anything below 1 watt).

Anyhow, some people claim that hibernate saves a lot more power than standby, but in my case that clearly can't be the case.

Standby has the advantage of a much faster recovery time (but you can lose any current work in the event of a power interruption). Hibernation takes longer to recover from but writes everything out to the disk and so is not affected by power interruptions.

  OTT_Buzzard 10:25 22 Oct 09

I've never known massive differences in power consumption between hibernate and shutdown. Both are single figure watts (3-5w ish) on most PC's i've measured it on. You can gather from that that PC's still have a minimal power draw on shutdown.

The only way around that is to switch off at the plug.

Be aware of the power drain on things like external speakers and printers. Tey tend to draw more than anything on 'idle'.

If you run Vista then have a look at the power options. It allows for things like selective USB suspend, which will power down USB ports when they are not required. You can also set the hard drives to power down quite quickly when not in use.

For the same reasons as you I did a full rundown of all my PC's power usage a few months ago. My main PC (a heavily overclocked, dual graphics, multi hard drive beast!) and was fairly shocked to find out that it was drawing over 400W when not doing anything (and closer to 700W when in full gaming mode!).

Tweaking the system I managed to get that down to less than 300W idle load.

  Batch 11:34 22 Oct 09

Hibernate IS a form of shutdown. I.e. the system is powered off and so the power consunption of the PC should be nil in both cases.

In hibernate mode, the contents of memory are written to hiberfil.sys and on reboot the hibernate status is detected with the contents of hiberfil.sys being used to populate memory rather than reloading Windows from scratch.

In standby mode the contents of memory are left intact (and maintained using minimal power resources). On re-activation the disk and other devices are powered up, network connections re-made etc.

  charlton200 18:21 22 Oct 09

Thanks for your advice. I forgot I had external speakers; I shall do a power monitor test on them to see what they use.

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