Is Hibernate Mode on PC More Energy Efficient Than Sleep Mode?

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Windows has two main options for shutting down your PC without actually shutting it down. Namely sleep and hibernate. There are some key differences between the two modes, but which one actually uses up the least amount of energy on your PC? Let's find out.

What is the Difference Between Sleep and Hibernate Mode?

Before we talk about energy consumption, we should talk about why these two modes exist separately. But if you think about it, the two are the same. There are modes that completely turn off your PC, but they don't completely turn off your PC.

Sleep is basically a low power mode. The last PC state is stored in memory, but other parts of the PC are turned off. This is what allows the PC to be ready very quickly when you restart the PC. This sleep mode is a kind of light nap.

While hibernate saves the PC state to the hard drive, not to memory. So when you restart the PC, it loads that state back into memory.

Since the state is saved to the hard drive, the PC basically shuts down completely but can continue from where you left off when it was turned on. It does take a little longer to boot from hibernate than sleep.

Sleep mode should usually be used if you are away for a short time, while hibernate is better for longer situations. Both save more energy than leaving your PC on when you're not using it.

But, Between Hibernation Mode and sleep mode, Which Saves More Energy?

You may have guessed from the previous description. So hibernate mode does save more energy than sleep mode.

A PC that is in hibernation should use the same amount of power as one that was completely turned off. As mentioned, that's why it takes longer to boot. While sleep and hibernate are technically still on, sleep mode is more "awake" than Hibernate. Therefore sleep still consumes more energy.

In conclusion, both modes do save more power than you leaving the PC on. Sleep mode doesn't use much power, but Hibernate is much more power efficient. So, don't bother turning off your PC if you need some time away.

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