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S3 Standby State Done Right

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the you-will-sleep-now dept.

Power 216

For Earth Day, Cameron Butterfield has written in with a pointer to his article on how to get your Windows PC into S3 sleep, and why you want to. It covers the question of how to take advantage of this extremely low-power mode even when your machine is an "always on" file server, remote desktop, or VNC server.

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And Linux? (4, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833317)

Great for Windows users... but what are the options to set up a Linux system to reduce power usage and fan noise when idle?

Re:And Linux? (5, Informative)

BACbKA (534028) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833381)

Gentoo's Power Management Guide [gentoo.org] is a bit gentoo-centric, but most things carry to another distribution easily.

Re:And Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833409)

'ON' or 'OFF'

Linux users are far more minimalist and much less picky.

Re:And Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833573)

yeah, screw the environment, I wanna leave my computer on calculating pi to 1 million decimal places instead.

Re:And Linux? (3, Funny)

Asztal_ (914605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833635)

You realise that would be finished in 15 seconds and then you could put it to sleep, right?

Re:And Linux? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833691)

I beleive there are 4 options currently:

Home Basic
Home Premium
Business
Ultimate

Re:And Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833935)

In principle it's even easier in Linux as it doesn't disable S3 permanently just because you've run the installer with the BIOS option disabled.
In practice though.. Let's just say that Nvidia+amd64 isn't the nicest possible combination here.

Re:And Linux? (3, Informative)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833947)

See this article: Debian HOW-TO : CPU power management [technowizah.com] . I used the info to configure a couple of Poweredge 860 server. Most of the time, it's at a CPU speed of 300Mhz instead of 3 Ghz. That saves quite some power, and you cannot notice the difference in speed.

Blame Bill Gates if it does not work. (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833981)

Anyone who has not Bill Gate's memo about this [edge-op.org] should. Anything M$ touches is shit: winmodems, wifi, ACPI, APM and the list goes on and on. They can't make their own stuff work, so they have to break everyone else's.

Despite his efforts, power management can be made to work. It's not easy and you can't expect the latest and greatest to work. The closer a company's working relationship to M$ is, the harder it will be to make things work. For example, Dell is more difficult and Thinkpad is easier. As with most free software, if it's going to work the live distros will auto configure it and it will work almost out of the box.

I still use APM for the most part and have ignored conveniences like WoL.

Encore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834293)

Old McTwitter had a post
Eei eei oh
And on his post he had some FUD
Eei eei oh
With a FUD-FUD here
And a FUD-FUD there
Here a FUD, there a FUD
Everywhere a FUD-FUD
Old McTwitter had a post
Eei eei oh...

Re:Encore (1)

livewire98801 (916940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834351)

Twitter is becoming a very amusing study of social engineering to me. He is 100% correct on most of his posts, it's only the attitude in his speech that makes him annoying to most people. Your response is just encouraging the behavior, which is the typical response to his posts. Rarely do people actually refute the content of his posts.

I think with a different delivery method, Twitter might be better received. . .

Nice FUD (5, Informative)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834511)

Anything M$ touches is shit

Oh yeah.

Bill Gate's memo

That's an interesting email from 1999. Myself, I've been known to send emails to the tone of "how can we prevent the competition from leeching on our multi-million dollar R&D investment with our technology partners", but OK.

Would you like to point me to the follow up email from Eric Rudder that says "Hi Bill - As you requested, we've made the ACPI extensions specific to Windows so no one else can implement them. Cheers!" I can't seem to find it.

Oh, wait - here's ACPIfor Linux [sourceforge.net] and ACPI for FreeBSD [freebsd.org] . Indeed, here's a quote from the WP entry:

The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) specification is an open industry standard first released in December 1996 developed by HP, Intel, Microsoft, Phoenix and Toshiba that defines common interfaces for hardware recognition, motherboard and device configuration and power management.

Now, ACPI has its shortcomings. It's complicated. It might not be your ideal of a standard. But it is an open standard, which Linux indeed implements. It might be broken in some ways in Linux as it is in Windows, but implemented it is. It's an important standard because it takes hardware out of the equation, which is important for a general OS that's supposed to support a wide range of it.

I still use APM for the most part

Really? That's also a Microsoft-defined standard [wikipedia.org] (along with Intel):

Advanced Power Management (APM) is an API developed by Intel and Microsoft

Is that standard "shit" as well? And if you all these standards from Microsoft are "shit", then why do you use them at all? You use Linux, right? Why don't you come up with your own standard and give it to the free software world so they can stop using all these "shit" open standards that Microsoft has bothered to make open for anyone to use? Which reminds me, I'd love to see that other email about ACPI I mentioned. Thanks.

Re:And Linux? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834109)

what are the options to set up a Linux system to reduce power usage and fan noise when idle?
I just built an amd x64 dual-core system, and it only draws 51 W for the whole system when the screen powers down. AMD has something called cool'n'quiet, which was supported automagically when I installed Ubuntu Edgy. It ramps down the cpu frequency when the processors are idle. Because the system draws so little power, I was able to disable the case fan, so now all I have running is the cpu fan and the power supply's fan, and it's extremely quiet.

However, I have never been able to get S3 sleep working on this system, and would love to get some info on how to do it. I enabled S3 in the bios, and gdm automatically detected that, and started offering me "suspend" as an option. But when I use it, the machine refuses to wake back up again.

For the typical user, there are several simple things you can do to cut down on the electricity your machine uses. (1) Replace your CRT with an LCD. (2) Ditch the high-end video card that you may not need if all you're not really using the system for gaming. The onboard video on most mobos these days is perfectly fine for normal desktop stuff. (3) Get a "kill-a-watt" meter, and find out what equipment is really using what amount of electricity. I had a set of speakers that was drawing twelve watts, 24/7, even when the computer was off.

The big problem in my household is the pool pump. The damn things are infamous energy hogs. Ours accounts for approximately 50% of our energy bill every month. If you cut down the number of hours it runs every day, you get a green pool. I'm starting to get seriously motivated to get photovoltaics installed.

Re:And Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834673)

However, I have never been able to get S3 sleep working on this system, and would love to get some info on how to do it. I enabled S3 in the bios, and gdm automatically detected that, and started offering me "suspend" as an option. But when I use it, the machine refuses to wake back up again.
Nvidia? You need to disable agpgart and (possibly) patch the drivers. see e.g. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=79295 [ubuntuforums.org]

Re:And Linux? (5, Funny)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834421)

> what are the options to set up a Linux system to reduce power usage and fan noise when idle?

Disconnect those pesky cooling fans. They just make a lot noise and suck up power. Truth is, your PC will run fine without them. It's just a scam by equipment manufacturers to make a few extra bucks out of you. I've been running with them removed for years, no problems.

regards
Scott E. Brown
NOAA Antarctic Station

Re:And Linux? (2, Funny)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834709)

Disconnect those pesky cooling fans. They just make a lot noise and suck up power. Truth is, your PC will run fine without them.
"You've got a hole in your mainboard. [google.com] "

On a more serious note, cooling fans are recommended as they help keep the CPU cool. PC case fans are considered optional, but can be used if your CPU is reporting temperatures that are considered higher than what they should be (which may actually be ambient heat from the power supply.)

When referring to laptops or notebooks, it depends on the model. While my notebook is at a normal temperature most of the time, I have been running a few 100% CPU tasks which does heat up the notebook. As a result, I had to purchase an external cooling fan so that I wouldn't burn my fingers on the keyboard/touchpad as much.

Also available on Linux (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833355)

It doesn't seem to be a hot topic because I couldn't google a definitive page. There were lots of pages for individual computers or distros though.

The documentation is probably on your own computer at: /usr/src/linux/Documentation/power/ ... The exact file on my system is states.txt but it also seems to exist on other distros as suspend.txt

Re:Also available on Linux (-1, Offtopic)

TizTheDavid (1091757) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833607)

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Laptops? (2, Interesting)

Vo1t (1079521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833391)

I wonder if how does S3 work on a laptop? Does laptops' built-in energy saving mechanism collide with tricks described in the article?

Re:Laptops? (2, Informative)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833521)

Most laptops come preconfigured to take advantage of most of the stuff in the article, though it wouldn't hurt to check. The last few new Dell laptops we've purchased at my organization default to S1 after a few minutes, S3 if you close the lid or hit sleep, and S4/S5 for shutdown.

Re:Laptops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833529)

Um. I've never bothered with power management before - can someone explain what S1/S2/S3/S4/S5 actually mean in practical terms?
Is it like "S1: hard drive spun down"/ "S2: display off too" or what?

I just.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833397)

let my Windows crash to make it go into Standby....

I just.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833413)

removed it and used GNU/Linux instead.

S3 and MCE (3, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833415)

I use the S3 standby on my MCE machine, and it's really really nice. I turn the machine on and off (well, awake/asleep) using the power button on the remote, and the machine is up and ready to go in about 3 or 4 seconds (as long as it takes me to switch the TV to the right input). I've only ever had it refuse to wake up once in the 1-1/2 years I've been using it, and that was remedied by using the power button on the front of the machine (it woke right up and didn't even need to be rebooted). Definitely worth looking into for instantaneous access + decent power savings.

Re:S3 and MCE (4, Informative)

MSRedfox (1043112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833565)

Under MCE, I use the MCE Standy Tool. MCE has a bad habit of waking up to record a show and then not returning to standby afterwards. This can result in the computer staying on all day instead of just 1/2 hour to record a small show. The Standby Tool has features to help MCE handle power management in better ways then Windows default methods. It makes me wonder why Microsoft couldn't get things to work as smoothly as this 3rd party software. http://www.xs4all.nl/~hveijk/mst/indexe.htm [xs4all.nl]

Re:S3 and MCE (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833731)

Interestingly, mine doesn't seem to have that problem. It always shuts down when I need it to. Then again, I only have it record a few HiDef shows a week. I use my DirecTiVo for everything else. One thing that I have noticed that it does is turn on in the middle of the night every few weeks. Whenever I've looked into it, the system tray indicates that it's getting guide data. *shrug*

Re:S3 and MCE (2, Informative)

MSRedfox (1043112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833895)

It happened after watching live TV for me. If I was watching a recording or DVD and suspended, it would re-suspend after recording new shows just fine. But if I pressed the PC suspend button on my remote after watching live TV, the next time it woke up to record a show, the PC would stay on after the recording was done. Even if I pressed the pause or stop button before suspending it would still not power back off correctly. For a while there, I would always start playing a recording before suspending the PC. The Standy Tool fixed the issue and I haven't had any weird suspend problems since then.

Re:S3 and MCE (1)

CommanderData (782739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834603)

Thanks for the link, I never tried to look for a solution... My MCE will have bouts of trouble where it will not return to standby after overnight guide updates. It seems to "cure" itself for a week or two before starting the same trouble again. Now I don't have to bother writing my own standby utility :)

Mac OS X (1)

brianez21 (945805) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833417)

I'm curious, how does this differ from the Sleep mode on Mac OS X? Is that S3 already? If not, how can I change it. Thanks.

Re:Mac OS X (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833433)

I haven't used any of the MacPro's, but in the PPC era the sleep state was similar to S3 standby.

network broadcast traffic (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833425)

Surely enabling your PC to wake up whenever any network traffic is sensed is stupid in the example described in the article.

Will it not wake up whenever any workgroup broadcasts are sent to it?

Re:network broadcast traffic (4, Informative)

Bozzio (183974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833463)

yes it will.
Or it does for me. Even if the computer is alone on the router. It seems my router occasionally broadcasts something and wakes up all my computers.

I've switched to using the magic packet alternative. The only problem is that since my server PC is behind my router, I have to SSH into the router and sent the magic packet from there. ICKY.

I hear other routers (mine is a Linksys WRT54GS) will let you WOL remotely. Normally, you just send your magic packet to the router and set up the router to convert it to a broadcast.

If I remember correctly, a magic packet is just a packet with the correct header and the client's MAC address broadcast to the network.

FreeBSD (2, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833429)

I know I'm setting myself up for flames around here, but the OS with the best support for APCI S3 Suspend is FreeBSD 6.2, even though it's certainly not perfect.

My desktop _almost_ worked. I had to swap-out my ATI video card to get it to resume from S3.

Now, the big problem is X.org... Since X doesn't play well with suspend, FreeBSD is supposed to switch off of X, to a virtual console before entering suspend mode. Unfortunately, I've found that, unfortunately, X 6.9.0 freezes about 1 in 3 times. Once I figured that out, it was just a matter of manually switching to a console, then typing "suspend" before I walk away. Now I haven't rebooted my machine in months, and it's on and usable (right where I left everything) in about 3 seconds.

Of course, the drawback to X not cooperating is that I can't set my machine to auto suspend when it's been idle for a few minutes, but I'm hopeful the next release of FreeBSD will fix that. X6.9.0 is the latest ported release, and compiling from vanilla sources goes horribly, horribly wrong, right now. I could try downgrading, but it's not worth the hassle and lost features, IMHO.

Re:FreeBSD (1)

Piquan (49943) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833611)

As a FreeBSD user, I'd be interested in hearing how you configure this.

Re:FreeBSD (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833687)

Guys! You found each other!

Shouldn't you guys exchange phone numbers or something?

Re:FreeBSD (3, Informative)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833729)

S3 mode is entered by running "acpiconf -s 3"

All available options can be listed by running "sysctl -a hw.acpi" and included in /etc/sysctl.conf to be automatically set upon boot-up. Basically you'll only need "hw.acpi.reset_video=" set to 0 or 1 depending on your system.

If you need to unload modules or any other action before suspending, see /etc/rc.suspend. Put the opposite commands in /etc/rc.resume.

That should be everything you need. Either your hardware will work, or it won't. In the latter case, strip your system down to nothing but video, and try different video cards. Then add a piece at a time to see what's causing problems.

Re:FreeBSD (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833911)

Take a look at the command chvt, and you may be able to script it and put the script as a button on your panel/dock/whatever.

Re:FreeBSD (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834449)

Take a look at the command chvt,

I looked, and found nothing.

chvt isn't installed on FreeBSD, it isn't available in ports, Freshmeat.net doesn't know about it, a web search turned up man pages for it but no source code, etc., etc.

Re:FreeBSD (3, Interesting)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833925)

I know I'm setting myself up for flames around here, but the OS with the best support for APCI S3 Suspend is FreeBSD 6.2, even though it's certainly not perfect.

Perhaps, but the issue is a lot more complicated than that. We're talking about the BIOS, the OS, and then how the two relate to each other. That said, it doesn't suprise me that the article is lame. Setting a fixed IP address and making use of WOL? What's that got to do with Windows, and what does "done right" refer to?

The only informative (and amusing) bit was the Microsoft chosen USB behaviour (hidden) that requires an "easy" registry edit to change. So much for "Oh, no, not manually editing a config file!" I guess having all the behaviour and options explicitly set forth and easily editable is the wrong approach. ;-)

X.org... Since X doesn't play well with suspend, FreeBSD is supposed to switch off of X, to a virtual console before entering suspend mode. Unfortunately, I've found that, unfortunately, X 6.9.0 freezes about 1 in 3 times. Once I figured that out, it was just a matter of manually switching to a console ...

I'm going by memory here, but IIRC, that's handled with a sysctl. You shouldn't need to manually do anything. Read through acpi(4) and then Google for more info, or better yet, just search the 'mobile' archives for some possible settings and the merits of each.

Of course, the drawback to X not cooperating is that I can't set my machine to auto suspend when it's been idle for a few minutes, but I'm hopeful the next release of FreeBSD will fix that.

I'm not sure you want an S3 state every few minutes. It would make more sense to blank the screen (and kill the backlight on a notebook) by setting the DPMS option in xorg.conf, and set your screensaver options in .Xdefaults. The CPU can be trottled using any number of methods either on a dynamic basis, or at set time. Throw ataidle into the mix and you've got most everything you need for those "every few minutes' intervals. How many more options could you want?

For a full suspend after x minutes, why not script your own approach? One option would be to use xscreensaver-command to invoke a count-down timer to invoke zzz(8)? Or if power usage is a Really Big Deal, make use of WOL and start/stop the system at set times. Dunno if that would work for a desktop system, but it might cut down the hours on /.

Re:FreeBSD (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834305)

Perhaps, but the issue is a lot more complicated than that. We're talking about the BIOS, the OS, and then how the two relate to each other.

It's certainly complicated, but FreeBSD seems to have the most people putting in effort to get it working, working-around bugs in the hardware, etc.

I'm going by memory here, but IIRC, that's handled with a sysctl. You shouldn't need to manually do anything.

First, there's no sysctl. Second, yes, it is supposed to handle it automatically, but it's buggy, so manually doing it is the only way to be sure. Though, I could have sworn I said that the first time...

I'm not sure you want an S3 state every few minutes.

You're wrong.

It would make more sense to blank the screen (and kill the backlight on a notebook) by setting the DPMS option in xorg.conf, and set your screensaver options in .Xdefaults. The CPU can be trottled using any number of methods either on a dynamic basis, or at set time. Throw ataidle into the mix and you've got most everything you need for those "every few minutes' intervals.

You've clearly never done ANY of this.

Setting X to blank the screen after 10 minutes is something I've been doing on every install for the past decade now.

You can't spin-down any hard disks that is mounted. File systems are too advanced these days. Whether journaling or not, they all write fs metadata every few seconds.

Idling your CPU is good, and should be done by default everywhere by now.

For comparison, my system, with CPU idled, uses 60W. In S3 Suspend, it uses 3W... That's a huge difference, and WHY everyone should suspend their systems after a few minutes of idle time, if possible.

For a full suspend after x minutes, why not script your own approach? One option would be to use xscreensaver-command to invoke a count-down timer to invoke zzz(8)?

I did, except with xautolock and acpiconf -s3. As I've repeatedly said, there has to be somebody there to hit CTRL+ALT+F1 or else there's a high chance the system will crash when it resumes.

Re:FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834719)

You can't spin-down any hard disks that is mounted. File systems are too advanced these days. Whether journaling or not, they all write fs metadata every few seconds.

Any filesystem which requies a disk write every few seconds on an idle system (i.e nothing is reading from or writing to the disk) is broken. Having the disks running all the time uses a lot of power, which is why both Windows and OS X come preconfigured to spin down the disks after the computer has been idle for a certain amount of time.

dumppo.exe the Microsoft Power Tool (5, Informative)

MSRedfox (1043112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833441)

Windows XP will often times not give s3 suspend as an option even when turned on in BIOS. But with Microsofts dumppo.exe utility you can force it to use an S3 or S4 state. ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/products/Oemtest/v1.1/WOST est/Tools/Acpi/dumppo.exe [microsoft.com] To force it to S3, run this under command prompt "dumppo admin minsleep=s3"

Par for the couse. M$ booby trap. (1, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833997)

Windows XP will often times not give s3 suspend as an option even when turned on in BIOS. But with Microsofts dumppo.exe utility you can

How typical, a DOS only power tool to manipulate your hardware and everyone else is out of luck. Yeah, that stinks. [edge-op.org] Thanks, Bill.

Re:dumppo.exe the Microsoft Power Tool (4, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833999)

I wrote about the power consumption of S1 versus S3 sleep [yafla.com] , and as you mentioned dumppo.exe was the enabling-tool that let me take advantage of this great bit of functionality.

The biggest downside of S3 sleep is that about 1 out of every 200 recovers or thereabouts it completely fails to come back, thought that's probably a mainboard issue more than an OS or technology issue.

Oh, and a great little helper app if you use S3 is WakeUpOnStandBy [dennisbabkin.com] . It allows you to configure a machine to "come alive" at scheduled times, even from an S3 sleep (apparently the BIOS supports configured wake-up times, and this app knows to tell it to wake up accordingly just as going to sleep). Very helpful little app -- I have my PC set to come alive in the morning when I know I'll be remoting in.

Oh, and rather than waking up on all network traffic, as the article recommends, it's far better to wake up on WakeOnLan packets. There are lots of resources out there for that.

want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (4, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833501)

often, my computers cant be put to sleep because theyre transferring files (over aim, bit torrent, you name it.. every app according to its need).

Ive noticed all companies, including apple, whose products i use, are giving you only a black and white choice. you either have the computer awake or its fully asleep.

i'd like to have a low power transfer mode, where the cpu is reduced (to 1 core at say 500 mhz), the monitor is turned off, and as much memory as possible is dedicated to the apps which are doing intensive file reads/writes. this will allow the hard drives to be used less by caching the files in ram and pulsing the hard disk.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833599)

Ive noticed all companies, including apple, whose products i use, are giving you only a black and white choice. you either have the computer awake or its fully asleep.

i'd like to have a low power transfer mode, where the cpu is reduced (to 1 core at say 500 mhz), the monitor is turned off, and as much memory as possible is dedicated to the apps which are doing intensive file reads/writes. this will allow the hard drives to be used less by caching the files in ram and pulsing the hard disk.

That is "awake", so it's not "asleep", "fully" or otherwise.

OS X and, I suspect, {Windows,Linux,*BSD,etc.} will at least turn the monitor off if you haven't used it for a while (and turn it back on for user input) - I remember seeing that with W2K and with the right X server on FreeBSD.

As for cranking the CPU down, as far as I know at least some OSes will crank clock speeds down under the right circumstances; dunno whether they'll power down cores or not. Whether they'll do it in the case you're referring to is another matter, though.

And as for memory use, I don't know of any OS that would target memory usage in exactly that fashion, although the behavior you describe might be a consequence of the memory use policy in some cases on some OSes. (If you're transferring stuff sequentially, I'm not sure caching the files in RAM helps, though - once a page has been read, you're probably not going to read it again in that transfer, and, once a page has been written, you're probably done with it, too; what you're probably thinking of isn't "caching" so much as it's aggressive pre-fetching, so you do a small number of big reads, and aggressive write-behind, so you do a small number of big writes.)

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833643)

Well, for windows at least, if you have a "power-aware" CPU (eg the Core2Duo or AMD64) then it will automatically step itself down. My AMD x2 steps down to 1Ghz and also (more importantly) reduces the voltage used to 1.075v.

You can set the monitor to switch off anytime - the 2 'mini' powersave options are 'turn off monitor' and 'turn off hard disks' - so go ahead and put some minutes in the boxes.

You don't really want to 'pulse' the hard disks, I think that'll just wear them out. Its also better to keep them spinning than it is to turn them on/off/on/off all the time - inertia keeps a drive spinning using less power than it takes to get it going from a stopped state.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (2, Insightful)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833665)

i'd like to have a low power transfer mode, where the cpu is reduced (to 1 core at say 500 mhz),

Thanks to AMD's CnQ, and Intel later following suit, any CPU made in at least the past year (and more for AMD64 CPUs), will idle down to low power states automatically.

the monitor is turned off,

Also easy. You can hit the power button on the monitor, you can wait for it to automatically shut off after 15-20 minutes, or with X11, you can run xset and tell the video card o shut-off the monitor.

and as much memory as possible is dedicated to the apps which are doing intensive file reads/writes. this will allow the hard drives to be used less by caching the files in ram and pulsing the hard disk.

That one is not done, and is not really reasonably possible to do, nor helpful (on desktops) if it was done.

You need to write to the disk every few seconds, to maintain a consistent state, with or without a journaling file system. Your (desktop) HDD can't be spun-down in such a case, as spinning it up, over and over, would use more power than leaving it on, not to mention wear and tear... And since it's still spinning, even if you cached 1GB to RAM, flushing that to disk would use just as much power as writing it to the disk directly, a byte at a time.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (2, Informative)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834019)

You need to write to the disk every few seconds, to maintain a consistent state, with or without a journaling file system.


No you don't, and in fact if you mount your filesystem read-only, or noatime, and run noflushd your hard drives can spin down indefinitely as long as your dataset fits in memory. I used to get 8-9 hours out of the battery on my PowerBook G3 using this method and low screen brightness.

Of course, if you are writing to files and you do this and then lose power, you lose data... But you could store the files you are working on in flash to avoid this.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834357)

No you don't, and in fact if you mount your filesystem read-only, or noatime, and run noflushd your hard drives can spin down indefinitely as long as your dataset fits in memory.

Perhaps noflushd will work, however, I don't know any details about how it works, and you may well risk corrupting your filesystem. Just mounting a fs noatime certainly won't work, and yes, read-only filesystems can spin-down, but that's not the situation we're talking about here.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834381)

On second though, I just looked-up noflushd, and it seems it also absolutely won't help at all:

Journaling filesystems like ext3, reiserfs or xfs bypass the kernel's delayed write mechanisms. This amounts to lousy spindown times when working off such a partition. There's no workaround for this.
http://noflushd.sf.net/ [sf.net]

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834441)

Easy workaround: Don't use a journaling filesystem.

There is no reason a filesystem needs periodic activity in order to prevent corruption; after all, it doesn't get corrupted when your system is powered off... Journaling protects against corruption when a transaction that is in progress is interrupted. If you don't mind integrity checks after a power loss, you can work just fine without a journaled filesystem. People have done it for decades. We can go with your theory that you can't do this, or we can go with my experience that I have done it, and it works.... I don't know about you, but I'm going to assume that I didn't imagine the last nine years.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834541)

Easy workaround: Don't use a journaling filesystem.

On Linux, that's not easy at all, and noflushd appears to be Linux-only.

The only reasonably capable, non-journaled file system is Ext2. Using Ext2, you have the choice of either mounting it read-only, and getting horrible performance, OR leaving it async (default) and running an extremely high risk of corrupting your entire file system in the event of power outage, or other system crash... Note: that means corrupting your ENTIRE file system, not just losing the file you're downloading.

I ran afoul of that multiple times in my early Linux days, and the issue has been much written about, since.

We can go with your theory that you can't do this, or we can go with my experience that I have done it, and it works....

Mine isn't a theory, it's simple knowledge.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to assume that I didn't imagine the last nine years.

What you're probably imagining, is that it's a reliable or well-performing option, in the slightest.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (2, Interesting)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834493)

noatime prevents reads from making journal transactions which spin up the disk. If you're serving static files (I.E. Reading only), you can mount noatime and prevent the disk from spinning up once all the data you're serving is in memory.

Another old trick, which I still use regularly, is to copy all the data you're serving into a ramdisk or a tmpfs, and then unmount all disk based partitions. Turn on PowerNOW! or SpeedStep, force the CPU multiplier low, and you can serve thousands of pages per second for under 20 watts. This even works with dynamic content as long as you're not storing any data.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834591)

noatime prevents reads from making journal transactions which spin up the disk.

No, it doesn't affect the journal activity at all. atime is absolutely not the main problem with modern file systems spinning down.

They need to constantly update the journal, or other file system info, atime or no, every few seconds to assure whatever fsck program, that the fs info contained in the journal or elsewhere is up-to-date. Of course that COULD be worked around, but that's how modern file systems work, and it's certainly not worth changing, at least for home users, who will get a trivially small power saving from it.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (2, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834159)

plasmacutter had this to say:

Ive noticed all companies, including apple, whose products i use, are giving you only a black and white choice. you either have the computer awake or its fully asleep.

i'd like to have a low power transfer mode, where the cpu is reduced (to 1 core at say 500 mhz), the monitor is turned off, and as much memory as possible is dedicated to the apps which are doing intensive file reads/writes. this will allow the hard drives to be used less by caching the files in ram and pulsing the hard disk.

You mean something like this?

http://docs.info.apple.com/jarticle.html?path=Mac/ 10.4/en/mh1669.html [apple.com]

Just a snippet from that page:

Some models support the Automatic setting, which allows your computer to switch rapidly back and forth between the Highest and Reduced settings to optimize energy use, depending on how much work the processor is doing.
This is basically what you are asking for. Your computer will automatically scale the processors according to the tasks you have running. I believe just about all modern Macintoshes support the Automatic setting.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834271)

thats not what i observe from my g5.

maybe that's true for portables, but im just not seeing it out of my tower.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834427)

thats not what i observe from my g5.

That's not a modern Macintosh.

I don't know which of the PPC processors used in Macs supported that sort of speed adjustment.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834463)

That's not a modern Macintosh.

total bunk, that was only 3 powermac revisions ago.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834655)

total bunk, that was only 3 powermac revisions ago.

OK, it's not a sufficiently modern Macintosh. The PowerMac G5 family is almost 4 years old. The 970FX supports frequency scaling (see the IBM PowerPC 970FX RISC Microprocessor User's Manual [ibm.com] ), but I can't find any user's manual for the earlier 970's, so I don't know whether they support it as well. If they don't, you're out of luck, and need to get a more modern machine.

I also don't know whether it would be possible to switch off individual processors in an MP 970 machine. Given that your machine isn't modern enough to have multiple processor cores on a single die, that's presumably what you meant by "1 core".

Slow down HD? (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834559)

I've been wondering if it's technically possible for newer 10K or 7.2K HDD's to slow down during quiet periods. It bugs me that the drive in my little home server has to run 24/7 at full speed just to receive the odd email or web page hit every 5-10 minutes.

Maybe there isn't a big enough power difference to make it worthwhile, I dunno.

Anyway, with flash is getting so cheap, sooner or later I'll find a way to delegate those things to flash and let the HDD actually go into sleep mode at night.

Re:want a "file transfer" powerdown mode. (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834633)

AMD's processors feature the so called "Cool and Quiet" technology. I have an Athlon 64 and it works great. The CPU's frequency and voltage is reduced when it's not being used for much, which is really quite often. It switches back to normal (maximum frequency) when the processor becomes loaded, along with the fan, which only spins faster when the CPU starts to become a bit warm. It's not ideal but it's better than running at full blast all of the time. Some of NVidia's graphics cards will also do the same trick when there's no application using the 3D acceleration features.

thanks! (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833505)

Wow, great article and definitely something I wouldn't even consider unless it discussed wake-on-lan settings as I use my computer as data storage for my media center also. I tested out my standby settings and my fans just kept going, which is a problem for me because right now my office is 9 degrees hotter than the temperature outside (80 to 71, in Minnesota!). Kind of uncomfortable. Also nice to see an article all on one page. I expect to see a regurgitation of this article soon on some ad-ridden PC site spanning 10 pages.

CPUIDLE (0, Redundant)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833523)

There's also programs that use the idle thread to put the CPU to sleep when it's not in use: CPUIdle [cpuidle.de] is a good one, even if you do have to pay for it. That's probably a better option if you're running an always-on system like a server.

Re:CPUIDLE (2, Informative)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833587)

Back in the pre-NT-based days, perhaps. Most modern operating system kernels issue the HLT instruction plus some extra power management jiggery-pokery to the CPU when it's not being used at max anyway. (Check out /proc/acpi/processor/CPU*/power under Linux.)

Video drivers seem very sloppy. (0, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833541)

Video hardware may be quite advanced, but video software, in my experience, is amazingly primitive. My experience is that nVidia video driver and video adapter control software is extremely sloppy. For example see: Problem: Wrong display on boot with new driver [209.85.165.104] . The link is to the Google cache version.

A good source for help with nVidia video adapters is Laptop Video 2 Go [laptopvideo2go.com] . The site is down now, and will be back soon, it says.

What about wireless ? (2, Interesting)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833563)


There was some useful info in this article about configuring your network adapter to support wake-on-lan, but what about wireless adapters? In my experience they don't seem to support WOL or any equivalent. The only solution I can think of is to connect an ethernet client device to my computer so that I can use the WOL of the computer's ethernet, but this is not really a good solution.

Is there any sort of WOL capabilities in the new 802.11n?

Re:What about wireless ? (2, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833787)

There was some useful info in this article about configuring your network adapter to support wake-on-lan, but what about wireless adapters? In my experience they don't seem to support WOL or any equivalent.

At least at one point, I found one 802.11 adapter or chipset that supported OnNow-style [microsoft.com] wakeup, but I don't know whether drivers supported that.

You'd have to keep the radio on, though, which means there's some power you can't save.

Is there any sort of WOL capabilities in the new 802.11n?

That's probably more of a chipset issue than a protocol/PHY issue, so I'm not sure there'd be any chanages in 802.11n - unless there's some radio-layer changes to allow the receiver to run in a low-power mode capable of receiving a wakeup indication.

Bad Assumption (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833569)

* I calculated (24 hours per day) * 30 days a week [sic] = 720 hours
* Power bills are generally measured in kilowatt hours or "kW/h"s. Power rates might be as much as $0.12 per kW/h
* Our total cost of having the computer on 24/7 for the month in this scenario would be as follows:
* .4 kW (400watts) * 720 Hours * $0.12kW/h = $34.56
The 400 watts per hour is a really poor assumption. First, the average home PC wouldn't use 400 watts at peak, let alone continuously. Secondly, the 400 watts would almost never be continuous. Even a PC left on overnight will use far less power then one being actively used during the day. My power costs almost $0.11 per kilowatt-hour, and I have a power bill during non-summer months (damn AC) of about $45-$55 dollars with two desktop computers running 24/7. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if most of this came from my computers, but it certainly isn't as much as the article makes it sound.

That said, it is a good article on how to keep the "instant-on" without using excess power.

Calculations are a bit off (3, Interesting)

bogie (31020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833597)

"If we take just a reasonable estimate that a computer uses 400 Watts idling along, we can find some astounding figures."

That doesn't sound very reasonable to me.

".4 kW (400watts) * 720 Hours * $0.12kW/h = $34.56"

Nope, that's way off what the average PC costs to run.

He does have a point thought about using lower power modes. On newer PCs it seems to work well and it will save you bucks if you have several PCs in your house.

Re:Calculations are a bit off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833631)

should cost $5.18, you'd probably save $3

Re:Calculations are a bit off (3, Informative)

pimterry (970628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833929)

I have a power monitor thing on the socket for my home server (it's just a box, no screen keyboard etc) and right now it's using 132 Watts downloading torrents and web serving (mostly as a web dev test site, so probably not really doing any work). It's a 3Ghz P4 too, so it's probably not as power efficient as it could be.

400 watts has got to be way off.

Re:Calculations are a bit off (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834089)

average P4 class Desktops consume about 100W in idle
average centrino laptops consume about 25W in idle.

400 watts is high (3, Informative)

jbengt (874751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834249)

I work as an HVAC engineer, and I have to take into account the PCs when designing air conditioning for an office. I figure 200 to 250 watts per workstation; that is supposed to take into account average usage including everything: the PC, monitor, peripherals, task lighting, occassional printers, etc. I've been told that this is too high, but my career has spanned a lot of changes - dummy terminals, energy inefficient monitors, heavy duty PC workstations, efficient but larger monitors, LCD monitors, thin clients, etc. - so I tend to take the conservative approach and assume that it can change again to higher wattages within the lifetime of the AC system. Power consumption of devices keeps on being improved, but instead of using less power, PCs do more with the same amount of power. If your PC has a 500 watt power supply it would probably never use much more than 400 watts (you need some safety margin) and it would probably use, on average, less than half that while working hard. With modern PCs it could easily use less than 50 watts when idle.

Re:Calculations are a bit off (3, Informative)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834365)

Those 600+ W power supplies are purely for people with inferiority complexes about other aspects of their lives/bodies. Here's [silentpcreview.com] a discussion about how much you can run on a 300W PSU. 300W suffices for a modern high-end CPU plus high-end GPU plus a bunch of drives, when under heavy load. Even a high end system will idle at around 150W. A more sensible system is probably idling around 80W.

NOTE: All the figures above are *not* including losses in the PSU. A modern PSU should be about 7 5% efficient, so increase the above by 1/3 to make them comparable to the 400W number in the article.

My weeks only have 7 days in them. (4, Funny)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833621)

From the article: I calculated (24 hours per day) * 30 days a week = 720 hours

Does that mean my PC costs one-quarter of what he calculates?

Re:My weeks only have 7 days in them. (1)

mikeyrb (686396) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833735)

I think he meant 30 days a month.

Enough with this saving power bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833639)

With electricity as cheap as it is, I see no need to have energy saving modes. I leave three dual core AMD64 and a Pentium 4 OpenBSD machine in my closet, as well as leaving my laser printers running. The only problem is my closet is hot. Let's stop focusing on how we can use less and focus on how we can use more. I want higher capacity laptop batteries and bigger engines in my minivans. Besides, the power saving bullshit just reduces system reliability. No thanks, I'll leave my machines idle.

Who Needs S3 sleep when you can get an S2 engine. (1)

lachesis-jp (886896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833659)

I don't need no friiggin S3 sleep on my computer ! The damn thing ingested an S2 engine the other day. Now I wont turn off even when it's not plugged-in !

Re:Who Needs S3 sleep when you can get an S2 engin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833779)

+1 NGE reference

Re:Who Needs S3 sleep when you can get an S2 engin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833977)

Don't worry, UN forces have already been dispatched to... um... "fix the problem".

Not really applicable to servers? (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833721)

It seems to me like this is more of a workstation thing than a server thing, at least in Microsoft land (which is what the article is about). In any sort of domain environment, the DC is going to be talking to the servers at least every fifteen minutes, if not more frequently. The servers won't be asleep for very long.

Buy specific hardware for "always on" machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833741)

The S3 tips are okay, but in the end the PIV and newer machines use way too much energy for all but gaming and high-end development workstations. Leaving them on for downloading and routing and serving and VPNs and such seems wasteful. They have embedded systems and el-cheapo mini-itx and C3-based solutions that will run flat-out 24/7 with lower profiles than waking up some core 2 duo monster to VPN. (And I do realize core 2 is a big step in the right direction power wise. Could anything be worse than PIV?)

What an opening (4, Funny)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833777)

Because of increasing awareness in the general public about energy conservation, the ability to utilize low power states on desktop PCs is incredibly underdocumented and widely unused.
The opening sentence fails to compile in my logic parser - there is little documentation because of increasing awareness? Better would have been: "Because of increasing awareness in the general public about energy conservation, people want to know more about the ability to utilize low power states on desktop PCs. What they're finding is that it's incredibly underdocumented and widely unused." Oh, and "underdocumented" doesn't appear to be a word.

Welcome to the exciting new world of UGC.

Re:What an opening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834715)

The sadder thing is that saving energy can lead to you paying more for electricity [www.cbc.ca] .

Like most electric companies, the utility in Toronto, Canada promotes conservation. But they've been too good at it. Rates will go up 6.3% to make up for a $10.4-million drop in revenue.

In before the morons (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833823)

that will now cry that their computer _has_ to be on, 24/7 (because otherwise, they couldnt improve their epenis, er, i mean uptime).

Well, i used to have my computer always on. When it wasnt needed, it went into hybernation mode. After i upgraded my system (changed from amd and old socket 939 to core2. Btw, against the "wisdom" of the typical moron, without reinstalling windows. Isnt needed since win2000, people...), S3 was activated automatically.

And it NEVER made any problems. The limiting factor for wake-up time is the HD spinup (about 4-5 seconds). Meaning that when i press that little button on my case, the desktop is available when i have sat down and grapped the mouse.

Works inside 3D games, when playing videos, ect.
Never went back. Electricity cost is down about $30 a month, without _any_ kind of drawback.

A nice way to rub salt in a wound. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834135)

that will now cry that their computer _has_ to be on, 24/7 (because otherwise, they couldnt improve their epenis, er, i mean uptime).

Uptime is something M$ can't deliver, but they have done a nice job of making sure systems with good uptime can't do power management easily [edge-op.org] . ACPI is sabotaged. I'd love to be able to have all my systems hibernate AND be network accessable, but I have not had the time to see that it does or does not work on my system yet.

From what I've heard, M$ has also unable to deliver when it come to applications data and power savings. Programs like Word used to barf and corrupt your open files on resume. I suppose that's what happens when you make spend your time making things complicated to harm the competition instead of making thins simple so your own stuff works.

Oh, yeah about uptime. I booted my laptop at 90 days because I wanted a new kernel. Other than that, all my work was always where I left, neatly spread out across virtual desktops, it whenever I lifted the lid. That's 90 days without a loss of placekeeping or the pain of booting.

Re:A nice way to rub salt in a wound. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834605)

I'm glad that your new piece of evidence is a nigh-on 8 year old e-mail about something that never actually happened.

re: S3 Standby State Done Right (3, Interesting)

AncientPC (951874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18833901)

Slightly off tangent, but hibernation (S4) fails in WinXP SP2 if you have more than 1GB of RAM. [microsoft.com]

My biggest problem with standby on my WinXP machine is that my machine will randomly wake up after a random amount of time. I've already disabled WOL and Wake-on-USB, but my computer will wake up randomly from standby anywhere from 3 minutes to never. I still can't figure out what's causing the problem. :(

Re: S3 Standby State Done Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18833961)

The link you posted references a fix from August 15, 2006. Hell, they finally even fixed that in 2003 SP2. Hibernate is the best suspend mode going. Plus no fear of power outage unlike S3.

Re: S3 Standby State Done Right (4, Informative)

bi_boy (630968) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834049)

Slightly off tangent, but hibernation (S4) fails in WinXP SP2 if you have more than 1GB of RAM. [microsoft.com]

Works just fine for me. Probably because I installed the udpate mentioned in the resolution section of the article sometime last year.

Re: S3 Standby State Done Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834259)

I had a Compaq Presario laptop that kept randomly waking up from S3 Suspend, this caused it to meltdown inside my laptop bag where the HDD would get destroyed from the heat.

I found out that this may be related to a short on the board somewhere (loose wire, bad soldering job or something like that), unfortunately this was after I sued Compaq to get my money back after they failed to fix it in 3 service trips.

Programmatically disabling sleep mode on Vista. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834047)

I usually have sleep mode enabled after 60 minutes of inactivity, but I occasionally need to keep the machine up because I'm downloading something.

Ideally I'd like to recompile the app with code inserted to disable sleep mode while it's running, or register some kind of user activity. Anyone know how this is accomplished on Vista? Another option would be to write another app that monitors network activity, and disables sleep mode when it sees activity over a certain threshold.

Re:Programmatically disabling sleep mode on Vista. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834299)

SetPowerRequirement [microsoft.com] might be what you're looking for. It might be CE specific, though.

400 watts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834175)

From the article:

If we take just a reasonable estimate that a computer uses 400 Watts idling along, we can find some astounding figures.

I'd say thats a pretty unreasonable estimate. A typical crap Dell desktop PC with one hard drive comes with a power supply who's PEAK is somewhere along 500 watts. PEAK doesnt mean "max", that means "you better not draw this for more than a few milliseconds, for example when motor coils or capacitors somewhere are reaching their steady state."

So I'd say we are talking more along the lines of 200 watts. Still same order of magnitude though.. So I guess my post is sort of useless.

Logic is lacking here (0, Flamebait)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834361)

From TFA:

" * I calculated (24 hours per day) * 30 days a week = 720 hours
        * Power bills are generally measured in kilowatt hours or "kW/h"s. Power rates might be as much as $0.12 per kW/h.
        * Our total cost of having the computer on 24/7 for the month in this scenario would be as follows:
        * .4 kW (400watts) * 720 Hours * $0.12kW/h = $34.56

That kind of money could pay for a cell phone! If you want to save some cash, keep on reading."

Er, excuse me. If your machine is not running for 720 hours at a cost of $35/month, I would suggest you dump the machine - since you aren't using it.

And if you ARE using it, then you're NOT paying $35/month for NOTHING, right?

How much of that time is the machine idle, and what does THAT time cost? Maybe $5, $10 - $1.95?

At least, he could have calculated the eight hours it presumably is not doing anything when he is asleep - unless of course his system is set to run virus scans and download updates (or run cron jobs) during that time?

Personally I don't think a computer should ever be idle - but it's admittedly hard to find things for it to do that don't require supervision in many cases.

I'm not against energy conservation, but like most environmental issues, I suspect there are more important things to worry about than whether consumer computers are sleeping or not. Given the reputed energy bill in Google's new data centers back East, I'd say that probably overshadows most of the consumer machines in that state. And since Intel is forecasting everybody using massively parallel data centers to provide computing services in the future, maybe the energy cost of that should be considered - especially since you will STILL need a consumer computer - albeit maybe a small, low power one - to ACCESS those data centers. And the more portable it is, the smaller the energy source - as in hard-to-dispose of safely old batteries?

As usual, all of this is oversimplified by the environmentalists.

ACPI is a clusterfuck (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834393)

Everybody who believes to the contrary should have to dig around in disassembled DSDT code to try to make their thermal zones report the temperature properly (which I've done) and make the machine resume from S3 instead of rebooting when hitting the power button (which has failed miserably) in a spec-compliant ACPI implementation.

If you haven't done that, go do it. Now. Gain an appreciation for either the difficulty in following the spec properly or the incompetence of the OEMs to implement their part properly---or both.

kWh (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18834445)

Energy isn't measured in kW/h. I'm not sure what a kW/h would meassure. The article writer made this mistake and now everyone on /. is doing the same thing.

Energy is measured in kWh (or kilowatt-hours), which is one kilowatt of power used for the length of one hour.

sounds like a great way to wreck disks (2, Interesting)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18834567)

S3 standby shuts off hard drives and if you're running a file-server, aside from the lag people will experience between their packet and your computer reviving itself, power cycling your drives dozens of times a day will greatly reduce their lifespan. If you're worried about going green, buying an unnecessary hard drive probably puts more chemicals into the environment from its manufacturing than leaving your computer on?
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