Do You Leave Your PC Running All Night? Put it to Sleep and Save Cash

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When it's time to turn in for the night, what do you do with your PC? Turn it off? Leave it running? Put it in standby (a.k.a. sleep) mode?

There are different schools of thought on which is best. For example, some feel that the startup and shutdown processes create extra wear and tear, and therefore opt to leave their machines running 24/7.

According to Iolo Labs, which recently completed some studies on the subject, sleep mode wins the day (make that night). Their findings:

1. When you put your PC to sleep at night instead of leaving it running, you save $2 per month.

2. When you put your PC to sleep at night instead of turning it off, you save at least 25 minutes per month (in startup and shutdown time, I'm guessing), while spending only an extra five cents monthly.

I'm waiting to hear back from an Iolo rep on whether hibernate mode was considered in this study, as that would save you some startup/shutdown time and save you money as well.

(When your computer is in standby, it continues to draw a bit of power. In hibernate, however, it's effectively off.)

In any case, I think there's something to be said for pocketing an extra $24 annually just by putting your PC to sleep at night. And as someone who has long been annoyed by annoyingly long boot times, there's much to be said for resuming your work session almost immediately, right where you left off.

What are your thoughts on the whole off/on/standby debate? If you have a strong preference for one of these options, tell me why. And if you disagree with Iolo's conclusion, let's hear about that as well.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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