Most people for whom I fixed their computer, either a standard desktop PC or a laptop, never did use the power management features of their computers. Most Microsoft Windows users are particular about the features that they can get from their system but do not really care on what these things are for and frequently ignore their purpose in daily computing.
I have been so conscious on how my computer uses energy every time I open it. It was a few years ago that I found out that my Desktop PC uses a large amount of energy every time I turn it on from a ‚Äúpower off‚Äù state. It is during the boot-up process that the computer uses as much energy as it requires to power on the necessary devices for me to use once I logged on. Also, I had problems with my electric bill when I forget to turn off the computer after dozing off while waiting for a certain program to finish its task.
I did not know that there are better ways to lessen this energy waste and extend the life of my PC at the same time. The sleep (standby) and hibernate modes of our computers that are mostly present on windows machines but I bet other platforms are also using it as well, will help us in the proper management and usage of power.
The sleep mode also known as stand by or suspend mode will put your computer in a temporary low power usage mode. It is at this state that the memory cards (RAM) are remained powered until called off from this state. Usually, a mouse activity or any keyboard presses will remove your computer from the stand by state. It is only advisable to use this method if you will be away for a few minutes to attend to something important or in the case of a laptop user, for you to quickly access data or files from your device without completely turning it off. Closing down the lid of your laptop will also initiate the sleep state (this is the default setting for most computers).
I use the hibernate mode to avoid the very long boot process specially if I have so much devices to power on and programs to boot upon start up. At this state, the computer will save the last information that you have on your computer (eg. last open program or file) so you can immediately go back quicker than the regular boot-up or power on process. Hibernating may take a few seconds longer than the stand-by state since it will be saving a hibernation file into your hard drive (can be configured according to preference). The good thing about hibernation mode is that you can completely cut off the power source to which your computer is currently connected to but just make sure that the PC has completely turned off before doing so. Just to warn some of our readers: one must have a large disk space available to make the hibernation work properly.
There are some requirements that you need to achieve before you can make use of the power management features of your computer. I suggest that you read on more information on how to configure your PCs to do these things before doing such move. Better yet, seek some help from technical people like me to assist you in initiating the power management.
Here are some useful links to aid you in using these features: