Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/181780/why-your-desktop-pc-draws-power-even-when-you-shut-down-or-hibernate/
Many people say they use Hibernate instead of Sleep mode because Hibernate draws no power. Unfortunately, when it comes to desktop PCs, they’re wrong. Desktop PCs still use some power even while they’re shut down.
It's interesting to read this article, and it relates, somewhat, to the question I asked, Do You Ever Shut Your System Down - Like At Night? - which engendered a spirited discussion.
I have always been one of those people who believes in shutting off the power completely if you're not using the device. Both our desktops are connected to power strips, which are shut off completely at the end of the day - and in my case, that also includes our modem and router.
Except for appliances which require constant power, such as our refrigerator, most of my appliances are plugged in on a need-to-use basis - such as our microwave oven, which only gets plugged in for the few minutes we may actually need to use it at any given time. -- And no, I don't care about the clock because I don't need my microwave oven to tell me what time it is.
Other devices, such as our two cable boxes, I'm ambivalent about. While it does no harm to shut them off via their power strips each night, it can take up to fifteen minutes for each box to re-boot and re-set - but I'm still seriously thinking of trying it out.
Years ago, I used to have a girlfriend who kept everything plugged in - and when walked into her living room after we'd gone to bed, there was an array of little red lights everywhere, and I would always think to myself what a waste that was.
Anyway - sorry if I've strayed off-topic, but as you can see, this is a subject I have strong feelings about, and extends past the simple question of power consumption by one's desktop computer.
Thanks for your personal attacks regarding my religious beliefs and relationships with other people -- it really adds a lot of useful information for this discussion.
I would seriously like to thank @Straspey and others like him for saving electricity for me and others like me.
When I was in grade school back in the 1940s we were warned to conserve because Coal would run out in the 1980's and oil would be all gone by the 1990s. I have since formed a opinion of conservationist scare mongers (not meaning anyone on this forum) based on this personal experience.
I like to have my seven computers on and ready, along with printer, NAS, modem, 3 routers a couple Magic Jacks, 12 telephones and other miscellaneous items, no mater what time of the night or day I desire to sit, or lay as in the case of my bedroom computer, in front of them to use them.
My microwave is plugged in as well as a goodly number of night lights, transformers for charging and operating things. Three TV sets are usually running so I don't miss anything as I go from room to room.
Based on my early childhood experience and the temperatures here in Iowa over the last several years, particularly this one, where it hasn't been above 32F since last November, one can see how I might be a little skeptical of the Global Warming (oops I think the latest name is Climate Change) Crowd.
My - this seems to be a touchy subject with some people.
Okay - please permit me to clarify my position...
I do not belong to a religion which preaches living in the dark with all one's appliances unplugged; nor do I select the people with whom I associate - romantically or otherwise - based upon their electrical consumption.
More importantly - I take no political position on the issue of "Global Warming" - and certainly do not think about it every time I walk out of a room without turning off the light.
I unplug my microwave, turn off my computers - even shut off my cell phone at night for one simple reason...
Wait for it...
Because I feel like it.
I take no position or argument with anyone else's personal preferences for how they choose to run the appliances, devices and any other electronic machines which they may own and use -- that's their business and I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in trying to convince, argue with, or make any points regarding other people's personal choices.
If there are people here who find the "Global Warming" activists annoying - I respect your right to do so (and can actually see your point at times) --
However...I am not one of those people.
If you have any interest to know WHY I choose to keep my microwave unplugged, then here's a suggestion...
Ask me, and I will be delighted to enter into a DISCUSSION regarding my opinions and preferences.
Imagine if I said --
I would like to thank @JohnDoe for contributing to the eventual collapse of the national power grid, which will cause massive balckouts - leading to riots and crime (just like the New York City the blackout in the summer of 1977 - when I had to walk the streets as the mayhem was all around me).
If the fact that I choose to shut off my computers, router, modem and cell phones at night - along with keeping my microwave oven unplugged and turning off the lights and televisions in the rooms which are empty -- really bother anybody that much...then I would have to say it says more about them than it does about me.
C'mon folks -- we're supposed to be friends here.
Thanks Mike - I appreciate that very much. I was surprised at first to see that post had disappeared, but then kind of figured that somebody must have flagged it.
Also - reading my last post, it seems like I may have over-reacted and come across a little bit testy - so my apologies to any and all who's feathers might have been ruffled.
I much prefer the friendly approach
I had to do a study for my employer back in the 90's.
What I found blew my mind: a single computer costs around $200 a year to run when left on 24/7. Turning it off at quitting time reduces that cost by 2/3, which more than offsets any perceived cost of doing so.
And reliability statistics? Virtually identical. The PC's that were left on 24x7 didn't see any reduce maintenance needs compared to the ones that were off at night; in fact, the ones that were on all the time had more dust inside. That was the only real difference.
For home users, the difference is even higher, especially in the summer, where cooling a PC can add 1/3 of its cost of operation.
If your PC uses 100 watts of power while running, then it's using a kilowatt-hour every 10 hours. That's 2.4KWh a day, or 72KWh a month. If you pay roughly 25c per kilowatt-hour, then that's $18 per computer per month.
In the summer, with the AC running, you must also suck out the heat that computer generates. Over the course of a day, an air conditioner takes around 1.2 kilowatt-hours to remove the computer's heat, increasing our cost by $9 a month (on months where you have the house closed and the AC on all the time.)
That adds up to something like $250 a year in electricity.
On the other hand, if you turn your computer on when you get home, you will probably use it for about 4-5 hours before bed. That reduces your power usage to .5KWh per day on weekdays and maybe 1.25 on each weekend day, or 5KWh per week, or 260KWh per year. At 25c per KWh, that's $65 a year for the computer and around $8 for cooling.
So I turn my computer completely off to save $177 a year. As to reliability numbers? The computer that's on all the time hasn't failed any more or less often than the one that gets turned off. In fact, my work laptop, which gets turned on and off every day and carted home has lasted longer than any of my home PC's. I got it more than 6 years ago, and it's still in use.
Thank you !
And I can find a lot of better things to do with that $177 - as I'm sure you can as well...and that's the point I was trying to make in the first place.
If you have things like an electric stove and heat your home with electrically-generated hot air from baseboards - then yeah...your name is in the Power Company Hall of Fame.
I'm not sure where you are, but here in NY City, Con Edison is very pro-active regarding assisting their customers with helpful tips and suggestions for reducing their consumption, towards a goal of reducing their bills. I believe they even offer discount or low-cost home insulation assistance.
Perhaps your power company has a similar program ?
Relevant (this person does YT video creation and Twitch livestreaming for a living):
Unplug the microwave when not in use? I just plugged mine into my Kill-A-Watt (measures draw). It draws 1 watt when on standby. That means, at 10.9 cents per kilowatt hour (per my last bill), that it costs .26 cents per day to keep plugged in. The time and inconvenience of plugging it in every time I want to use it and then unplugging it when I'm done are not worth a quarter cent per day to me. I suppose I could put some kind of switch in, but even if I could get one for $5, it would take 5.2 years to pay for itself, and there would still be some inconvenience. I don't even pick up pennies I see on the ground. Maybe I should - I could leave my microwave plugged in for four days with the proceeds!
A previous reply was deleted. This is a modified version with just some facts and some math. I hope that Mr. or Ms. Straspey will reply to them. I didn't realize we were so sensitive on this forum, my apologies.
Your number for price per kwh is high. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average residential price for the rolling 12 months ending in November 2012 was 12.11 cents/kwh. Mine is slightly lower than that, at about 10.9. Though you did say IF you pay roughly 25¢ . . .
No need to worry about micro-wave clock, Colorado's burning a lot of lights now. (LOL) (LOL)
Hi! My apologies if you construed my message as an attack - it was certainly not intended that way. My tendency to use humour sometimes goes too far, as it apparently did in my previous post. My point was that some people do things not because they make any economic sense but because they have a belief that it's "right", and all that don't conform to their notion of "right" are evil. That's what I meant by a "religious" belief, one based on faith and not facts. You have clarified that you do not fall into this group. Again, I apologise.
I am still curious as to whether you've measured the current draw, done the math, and do indeed believe it's worth it to plug and unplug your microwave to save a quarter of a cent per day (possibly more depending on the price you pay for electricity). It's obviously your microwave and you can do whatever you want, but since you published what you do, I wonder if you can elaborate as to your reasons why. I do know people that don't even believe in microwave ovens at all!
Have you ever looked at an electric bill?
Electric bills have tiered rates, and the rate goes up based on how much power you use. The lowest tier (around that 12 cents you mention) is just the first tier in my neighborhood, and the allowance for that tier is only about half the power my house uses. Each tier raises the price per killowatt-hour significantly, and the highest tier in my region is 33 cents right now. The minimum tier is 14 cents an hour.
So when you're talking about saving electricity, you have to actually look at the highest tier first, since that's the rate your savings are going to come from.
Obviously, if you can stay within the lowest tier, then your costs and savings will be commensurate - about half of the price I quoted in my calculations. But I'm actually paying more than those numbers, thanks to the measly allocation my electric co gives me. (I have no idea where they come up with those allowances, but they're ridiculous.)
I have looked at my electric bill, and that's how I calculated my latest at 10.9 ¢/kwh. BTW that number includes all fees and taxes and whatnot - I just divided the bottom line by the number of kilowatt-hours. I don't know if tiered rates are in use everywhere, but there is a two-tiered price structure where I live, though I believe it's only in effect in the summer. However, the way it's structured here, and with my smaller house and no AC (not needed at my elevation), indeed I'm never past the first tier. The tiered system was killing my son, with his larger house and large summer AC use, until he put photovoltaics on his roof. Also, I mistyped - that was the rolling 12 months ending in November 2013
Yeah... My electric company sucks. They buy power from other companies, thn charge us even more. They don't generate power locally... just some peak plants.
So we pay 2-3 times the national average.
Any chance you can switch suppliers? Here in NYC we can choose our ESCO - Energy Supply Company. I have a one-year contract with my current supplier. If they raise their rate too much later on this year, I will look for another company that's cheaper (assuming that there is one). I currently pay 10.15 cents per kWh for the supply.
Of course, supply is only one half the equation. Delivery is the other. Again, in NYC, Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) is the delivery company for everyone and they charge a base fee (a daily rate if I understand my bill correctly). Plus of course all the various and egregious fees and taxes and surcharges.
For the 31 days ending on Jan 30, 2014, I paid the following covering 460 kWh:
Supply cost @10.1500¢ per kWh $46.69
NEW YORK STATE Sales tax @4.5000% $2.10
Total electricity supply charges $48.79
Basic service charge $16.29
Charge for basic system infrastructure and customer-related services,
including customer accounting, meter reading and meter
Delivery 460 kWh @10.8174¢/kWh $49.76
Charge for maintaining the system through which Con Edison delivers electricity to you.
SBC/RPS charges @0.6391¢/kWh $2.94
The System Benefits Charge/Renewable Portfolio Standard charges fund New York State renewable energy, environmental and other related public policy programs.
Temporary NY State Surcharge @0.3913¢/kWh $1.80
Covers new fees imposed by the state.
GRT & other tax surcharges $3.63
Taxes on Con Edison gross receipts from sales of utility services and other tax surcharges.
Sales tax @4.5000% $3.35
Tax collected on behalf of New York City.
Total delivery charges $77.77
To me, except for the Basic, the Delivery, and the Sales Tax, the rest of the 'delivery' charges are part of the joy of living in New York State. /sarcasm
The month's total cost is 126.56. Divided by 460 kWh which gives us the unit cost of a kWh of $0.275130434782609 or about 28 cents. Yikes, I guess I got blinded by the supply cost being so low. I am really going to have to move my stuff from my old XP system to my 2-year-old Win 7 system. Well, my Palm Pilot app is the stumbling block - I have to find an easy way to convert my Palm Desktop Calendar file to something a modern system can read.
Thanx Chris, for another very informative article.
Small issue. I don't know how many others this might apply to.
When I turn my PC completely off, but still plugged in, it has a light which stays on to tell me that the PC is plugged in. If the battery is low, this will also be charging. The machine was built in '08, so perhaps things have changed since then.
As you mentioned, for desktops, I just switch off the power strip when not in use.
As for D3343, you just......... Well, if I say what I think of your communication skills, my post will probably be deleted.
Oops.... Meant to say, when I use my 'laptop'.
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