Turn off your computer at night or put it on standby? What the experts say

At night, should you turn off your computer, leave it on in standby mode, or use an alternative? Here's what the experts say and the results of the latest research conducted.

At night, should you turn off your computer, leave it on in standby mode, or use an alternative? Here’s what the experts say and the results of the latest research conducted.

Turning off the computer at night, not everyone does it

Contrary to what one might think, during the night hours, therefore when users are not using it, few people turn off the computer.

Among these, there are those who put it in standby mode, those in hibernation and those who even simply leave it on. Various problems can arise from here, even if not everyone is aware of them. So what is the best way to keep your computer overnight?

The answer is quite simple: keeping it on all the time can cause serious wear problems, so it is highly discouraged. It must be turned off to preserve its performance as well as to reduce emissions which then affect the bill.

The expert’s answers

Should you turn off your computer at night or keep it on all the time? The answer comes from William Fornaciari, a professor at the Polytechnic of Milan interviewed by Focus on the issue. “In addition to saving on the bill, turning it off extends the life of the electronic components, which are subject to a form of aging influenced mainly by their operating temperature,” says the professor.

Consequently, it is advisable to turn it off to preserve the health of its components but the savings on the bill should not be underestimated either. In fact, a desktop computer can consume up to 500 Wh while a laptop up to 60 Wh.

At this point all that remains is to understand what is convenient between the other modes, i.e. standby, hibernation and sleep.

The three types of breaks, which one is best and what changes

“Standby is recommended if you are away for a few minutes, while sleep and hibernation are useful modes if you are away for a few hours.”

Says the professor, who then continues: “The difference is that, by putting it on standby, the processor’s activity slows down but the RAM memory, which will continue to contain the operating system and running programs, remains turned on to allow a quicker restart.”

It is different to choose sleep mode, with minimal consumption because only some functions of the RAM remain active, which will contain, in this case, a sort of “photograph” of the state of the system.

Finally, hibernation consists of leaving only a micro-battery on to keep the clock alive since the snapshot of the system, instead of on the RAM, is saved on the hard disk, which can thus remain without power, effectively eliminating the consumption but increasing restart times by a few seconds.

At this point the answer is rather simple: to understand whether it is better to keep the computer on or off during the night you simply need to know how it is used. If you don’t need to access it remotely, you are not doing a backup or an update, the advice is to turn it off completely.

Read also: Right to repair, EU green light: what changes for smartphones and tablets

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