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Sleep mode vs hibernation on desktop

Last response: in Windows 7
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September 20, 2011 8:12:47 PM

So i been reading a lot on what is the difference between sleep vs hybrid mode, i used to put my pc to sleep but now for some odd reason when i select the sleep button only the screen shuts off...lights and fan still on...well pc still on.. so now i been using hibernation mode and i noticed it takes longer to wake up/boot but also noticed my electric bill was a bit lower. What mode is better?/healthier for the pc,i guess is my question/concern.
a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 20, 2011 10:16:16 PM

"Sleep" means to go into a low-power state but to not actually turn off the machine. The CPU is quiesced but still turned on, and the system can wake up and resume (for a scheduled job, for example).

"Hibernate" means to save RAM contents to the hard drive then shut down and power off.

"Hybrid Sleep" means to save RAM contents to the hard drive and then shut down and power off - EXCEPT that RAM is still powered on so that it doesn't lose it's data. This permits almost instant startup.

Which mode is "healthier" is a matter for debate. There are those people who feel that spinning down your hard drives tends to "wear them out" and reduces their life. All three of the above modes do that.

I'm not in that camp. Modern hard drives have head offloading ramps and the wear on a drive due to a spin-down / spin-up cycle is basically negligible. Modern drives are rated at 300,000 start/stop cycles, which means that your drive will last for 10 years even if you stop and start it 100 times a day.

"Hybrid sleep" mode is IMHO a good balance between fast startup and minimal power usage. My Core i7 system with 12GB of RAM uses only about 7W of power in hybrid sleep mode.
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September 21, 2011 5:42:24 AM

Nice info that helps... strange enough i dont have Hybrid sleep option not on the advance power settings nor the start button
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 21, 2011 7:30:01 AM

So when you do this:

- Click "Start", type "Power Options" into the search box, and hit <Enter>
- Click the "Change Plan Settings" link for the power plan that you're using
- Click the "Change advanced power settings" link
- Click the "+" beside the "Sleep" item in the list to open up the sub-choices

...you don't see an item labelled "Allow hybrid sleep"?

If not, I wonder if it might be because your motherboard doesn't have the ability to supply power to maintain RAM contents while everything else is shut down.

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September 21, 2011 3:25:57 PM

sminlal said:
So when you do this:

- Click "Start", type "Power Options" into the search box, and hit <Enter>
- Click the "Change Plan Settings" link for the power plan that you're using
- Click the "Change advanced power settings" link
- Click the "+" beside the "Sleep" item in the list to open up the sub-choices

...you don't see an item labelled "Allow hybrid sleep"?

If not, I wonder if it might be because your motherboard doesn't have the ability to supply power to maintain RAM contents while everything else is shut down.



Nope its not there. Hmmm idk my mobo its pretty high end.. MSI Big Bang-XPower
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 21, 2011 3:42:28 PM

Odd. A driver issue, perchance?
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a b $ Windows 7
September 21, 2011 6:27:45 PM

one advantage of sleep over hibernate is if using a smaller hard drive like an ssd using sleep instead of hibernate can give you more disk space as you can delete the large hyberfil.sys file
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September 21, 2011 6:58:38 PM

mcnumpty23 said:
one advantage of sleep over hibernate is if using a smaller hard drive like an ssd using sleep instead of hibernate can give you more disk space as you can delete the large hyberfil.sys file


Can you configure where Windows writes this file? Say, if you have an 80 GB OS / Application SSD but a 2 TB media drive, could you change a setting somewhere to write the hibernation file to the media drive?
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a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 21, 2011 8:27:52 PM

emesis said:
Can you configure where Windows writes this file? Say, if you have an 80 GB OS / Application SSD but a 2 TB media drive, could you change a setting somewhere to write the hibernation file to the media drive?
Unfortunately, no. The hibernation file always resides in the root folder of the drive that contains the operating system.
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