Computer standby: Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to wake a ‘sleeping’ computer?
The time taken to awaken a computer from standby is usually only a few seconds, usually done by hitting a key or moving your mouse, although you may need to press your power button to wake your computer from stand by.
Do Screen Savers save energy?
Screen savers do not save energy as they continue to use the monitor at full power. The best way to minimise energy usage by the monitor is to set it to ‘sleep’ mode and the screen saver to ‘blank’.
Can I do more?
Further to the above ‘sleep’ mode settings we encourage you to turn your computer, monitor, and personal desktop printer off when you leave the office at the end of the day. Switching them off will ensure the minimal amount of power is used. If your power point has an easily accessible switch you may like to turn it off when not in use.
It may also be helpful to switch off or unplug any wall charging adapters (mobile phone, iPod, laptop etc) when not in use as these adapters may continue to use power even when they are not plugged into the device they charge.
You can further reduce your impact on the environment by following these principals at home with your computer(s) and other electronic devices.
Does it harm your computer to power it on and off?
There are various arguments regarding the lifespan differences of powering your computer on and off versus leaving it powered on 24x7. There is no conclusive evidence that powering a modern computer on and off each day will cause it any additional damage.
We believe that the benefits associated with consuming less energy on a daily basis will outweigh any potential negative impacts on the components within your computer.
What are the cost benefits of doing this?
Based on the University’s peak, shoulder and off peak electricity rates (as at Feb 2010), the average computer and monitor running 24 hours a day would cost the University around $160.00 each year. By adopting the recommended standby settings the current maximum cost of running a computer and monitor would be less than $70.00, a reduction of around $90.00 per year.
What if I am using my computer for long data processing tasks for research?
If you are using your computer to process data as part of any research activities, it may be best to set your ‘System stand by’ setting to ‘Never’ so as not to interfere with any research data processing task.
You may however be able to set the monitor to enter stand by mode at a suitable timeframe. We would also recommend turning your computer off when it is not in use, especially over night and on weekends and extended leave periods.