Should I shut down or use sleep mode?

Should I shut down or use sleep mode that is the question….

First we need to understand the difference between the modes.

Shut down is just as it sounds we turn the computer off and save the settings on the hard drive. When the power is turned off the main memory can no longer hold any information and all the data is dissipated or lost. When the computer is restarted the settings and operating system (OS) are read or loaded from the hard drive into the main memory or RAM.

When the computer is put into sleep or stand by mode the computer continues to supply power to the main memory so that the OS and computer settings can continue to reside in it while power is  turned off to the other components. By allowing the OS, programs and settings to remain in the RAM the computer is able to begin operating much faster than starting from normal boot up routine.

So which is better?

There is no clear cut winner or answer it is really all about how you are using your computer.

I recommend that my customers shutdown there computer every day. The process of emptying the RAM and reloading  the OS and setting will help keep the computer running at its peak performance.

Sleep mode is useful for users that use their computers sporadically through out the day.  There are some programs that can be negatively impacted by sleep mode. For my customer that use Dragon I recommend never using sleep mode as I have encountered problems with Dragon and sleep mode. Sleep mode can help conserve energy as well as wear tear on the moving parts inside the computers like fans and hard drives. A computer in sleep mode uses about 3 to 6 watts of power and a standard desktop computer will use between 250 and 350 watts of power.

If a computer is not going to used for a period of 4 or more hours I recommend turning off the computer and rebooting it when it is needed again.

…and of course this post was composed using Dragon Professional 11

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