Question Sleep mode vs "off"

gn842a

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Back in days of yore I was at an electronics shop asking about whether to get my tuner amp repaired for an issue that came up once every month or so....a hiss or buzz. The repair guy agreed it would be extremely difficult to catch and diagnose something so infrequent. So the conversation went:

Me: Well maybe I'll just turn it on and leave it on. I'll burn it out quick, till the problem becomes obvious, and then I can get it in here to be fixed.
Him: Actually if you did that you might not have that problem again for a long long time.
Me: What?
Him: The biggest shock to electrical components is when they're turned on. They go from zero to full current, they have to heat up fairly fast. If you just leave it on it can last for years.

So I went home and turned it on, left it on, and used it for about another fifteen years. My current tuner amp is also on all the time, works great, but I am sorry to report that after only 8 years the display lights are becoming practically invisible.

And so we get to computers. I had a conversation on the same topic, mentioning the tuner amp, with a PhD computer engineer at MIT, who kept nodding his head. So I asked whether it made more sense to leave the computer on. There were moving parts that could fail, like fans. His answer: "Fans are cheap." Which of course, they are. I suppose if you're not using a computer the HDD doesn't move much either. For when I had that conversation, HDD was just beginning to be a thing, it was a long time ago.

So now we get to the modern era. We don't have to choose between "on" and "off." We can leave a little current in the device via sleep mode, which I would imagine reduces the component shock of booting up. At the same time, you don't have to keep the system running 24/7.

Now I know that we need to reboot from time to time to let the update demon do its stuff, but I'm curious what people think about "sleep" vs. "off." I am a bit suspicious that even off is not off these days, I see that my mobo's aurora effect goes when the PC is "off," to kill the aurora lights I have to flip the PSU switch to the closed position. But I imagine "sleep" leaves a low level of current in the system, which would be why boot takes 3 to 5 seconds instead of 20.

Greg N
 

jay32267

Distinguished
I never use "sleep" anymore.
I haven't used it in about 10 years.
Prior to that I'd used it for about 20 years.
I have had it ruin hardware numerous times.
I'm not sure of the exact mechanism....but I'm thinking something along the lines of.....bad voltage on waking (spikes....transients....something like that).,
 
Well, the power switches have been "soft" power switches forever, which is why there's still some small amount of power running through the motherboard.

I've dealt mostly with Dell OEM machines, and some scrap-parts Frankenstein machines. Sleep has never caused me any problems. Still, it's a low power state, consuming a little more power than OFF does.

That said, it made more sense on systems with an HDD rather than an SSD. With the latter, boot-up times are fast enough that I don't know if sleep mode is really of any use by comparison.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Well, sleep mode is for convenience to get the PC boot up faster than from cold start.

I rarely use sleep mode with my PC (my wife uses it a bit more with her PC). I either shut my PC completely down (e.g when i'm leaving home or went to bed) or leave it fully running when i'm AFK for less than 30mins. I've used sleep mode on few occasions where i've went to grocery store (about 45min trip).

There's interesting phenom i've witnessed with my PC: my PC takes more time to go to the sleep mode than completely shutting itself down.
Also, i don't care about a bit faster boot up times since i have my OS on M.2 NVMe SSD and i'm nowhere in hurry that i absolutely need the extra 5 seconds on boot up.

I also have a belief (without any hard proof) that component lifespan is longer when PC is shut down, instead keeping it in sleep mode. It's mostly because in sleep mode, PC components are still powered on and even the tiny bit of current in them causes degradation. Albeit in a small scale but over time, that adds up.
 
Reactions: gn842a
I am a bit suspicious that even off is not off these days
No need to suspect, is been going on for years.

That's why when u turn off the TV, the LED indicator stays on (some TVs anyway), then something has to be active to listen for the IR signal when u want to turn it back on via remote. Even before then, old CRT the engineers decided it took too long for the cathode ray tube to warm up, so it's maintained at a low power state to keep the filament warm so impatient viewers don't have to wait 5 minutes to watch. I don't recall though CRT tubes burned out that much. Heck CRT used to last a lot longer to today's wizzybang flat screens.

Then todays computer power supply has wires that are labeled VSB, every builders know, Voltage StandBy. Run an interesting experiment. Hookup a gadget like the Kill-A-Watt, measures intake power directly from the main, and power off the PC completely, I mean issue Shut Down command, and u maybe surprised is still sipping a couple of watts.

I hope this is not another veiled what is better for the hardware post 'cuz that horse is been beaten to dead.
 

gn842a

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No need to suspect, is been going on for years.



I hope this is not another veiled what is better for the hardware post 'cuz that horse is been beaten to dead.
Perhaps you could steer me to one of the dead horses. I'd like to read up. Or perhaps suggest some search terms to employ so I get there a bit faster.

Thanks,
Greg N
 

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