The first thing you need to know is how much power your computer draws.
When to Shutdown a PC or Mac
The best way is to measure the actual power consumption. Once you get one, you'll inevitably go through a phase where you run around your home, measuring the power draw of everything you can plug into a wall socket.
For example, I learned this weekend that our 42" plasma television draws between 90 watts totally black screen and watts totally white screen. Based on a little ad-hoc channel surfing with an eye on the Kill-a-Watt's LCD display, the average appears to be around watts for a typical television show or movie.
programming and human factors
But I digress. Once you've measured the power draw in watts or guesstimated the power draw , you'll need to convert that to kilowatt-hours.
Power here in California is rather expensive and calculated using a byzantine rate structure. According to this recent Mercury News article , the household average for our area is My home theater PC is a bit more frugal at 65 watts. Configure the hard drives to sleep on inactivity.
- Navigation menu.
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You can do this via Control Panel, Power, and it's particularly helpful if you have multiple drives in a machine. My server has four hard drives, and they're typically asleep at any given time.
Sleep (Your Mac) More to Save Time and Power
That saves a solid watts per drive. Upgrade to a more efficient power supply. A certain percentage of the input power to your PC is lost as waste during the conversion from wall power to something the PC can use. But the good news is that there's been a lot of recent vendor activity around more efficient power supplies. That may have been a more significant issue in the distant past, but modern Macs are usually ready for action within a few seconds at most.
Mac mini: Power consumption and thermal output (BTU) information
What about shutting your Mac down? Actually, no. Every Mac uses about. And while it might seem worthwhile to save that.
OSX Tips Sleeping your Mac vs. Powering Down
In fact, depending on how many apps have to quit and reload, shutting your Mac down every night may not result in any power savings over sleep. That will get you the best combination of reliability, instant access, and power savings. Facebook: Did you know that shutting your Mac down every night might not save any power over sleep? Check out our blog for details.