What is real truth behind power saving options


B

Blackberry

Hi All

I work in a number of schools and I'm constantly having to turn off every
available power saving option in their desktops and laptops to try and
remove 'PC's crashed' false alarms raised by teachers.

At the mo, I use the following settings on WinXP Pro SP2 machines (desktop
and laptop):

Screensaver: 15 mins
Turn Off Monitor: 20 mins
Turn Off Hard Disks: never
System Standby: never
System Hibernates: never

Are the above settings a bad thing?

Are they costing the school money, in light of the fact that they might have
80 machines buzzing away 6 - 7 hours a day?

What are the preferred settings?

If the Monitor is turned off what is the standard way to get it back on?

Ditto re the Hard Disks, Standby and Hibernate?

Is it possible that a PC can crash frequently if left in one of the above
states, ie in standby mode, for a long time?

This whole area is lost on me and I want to follow a set pattern from now
on. Any pointers would be appreciated.

Thanks
 
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R

R. McCarty

I don't really follow the relationship between Power Savings and the
"Crashed PC" statement. You'd probably want to use Standby which
is a minimal power state but allows a quick resume to a working state.
Or at a minimum allow the drives to spin down at the same idle time
you've set for turning off the monitor.

Power savings can have problems because of drivers and the default
settings XP applies to NICs and USB Root Hubs.

Allowing 80 PCs to run 24-7 with only a monitor off is still a fairly
large current/power draw, so I'd try and use "Standby" mode.
 
L

Lil' Dave

Blackberry said:
Hi All

I work in a number of schools and I'm constantly having to turn off every
available power saving option in their desktops and laptops to try and
remove 'PC's crashed' false alarms raised by teachers.

At the mo, I use the following settings on WinXP Pro SP2 machines (desktop
and laptop):

Screensaver: 15 mins
Turn Off Monitor: 20 mins
Turn Off Hard Disks: never
System Standby: never
System Hibernates: never

Are the above settings a bad thing?

Are they costing the school money, in light of the fact that they might
have
80 machines buzzing away 6 - 7 hours a day?

What are the preferred settings?

If the Monitor is turned off what is the standard way to get it back on?

Ditto re the Hard Disks, Standby and Hibernate?

Is it possible that a PC can crash frequently if left in one of the above
states, ie in standby mode, for a long time?

This whole area is lost on me and I want to follow a set pattern from now
on. Any pointers would be appreciated.

Thanks

Well, I'm only guessing since you're inspecific about the problems posed by
the teachers AND you're using power savings changes to address those
problems. Further, I'm guessing said PCs won't come out of
standby/hibernate mode. That is appear not operating correctly. IE -
crashed.

Stick with the plan, and have the teachers physically turn off the PCs when
not required for network pushes as such.

Dave
 
J

Jeff Barnett

Blackberry said:
Hi All

I work in a number of schools and I'm constantly having to turn off every
available power saving option in their desktops and laptops to try and
remove 'PC's crashed' false alarms raised by teachers.

At the mo, I use the following settings on WinXP Pro SP2 machines (desktop
and laptop):

Screensaver: 15 mins
Turn Off Monitor: 20 mins
Turn Off Hard Disks: never
System Standby: never
System Hibernates: never

Are the above settings a bad thing?

Are they costing the school money, in light of the fact that they might have
80 machines buzzing away 6 - 7 hours a day?

What are the preferred settings?

If the Monitor is turned off what is the standard way to get it back on?

Ditto re the Hard Disks, Standby and Hibernate?

Is it possible that a PC can crash frequently if left in one of the above
states, ie in standby mode, for a long time?

This whole area is lost on me and I want to follow a set pattern from now
on. Any pointers would be appreciated.

Thanks
I'm glad the school can afford the cost of power. Let's see how much you
might save by educating the users.

Let's assume the computer could be in S3 (or hibernate) sleep 18 hours
per day, 365 days per year, and the watt difference is 100 Watt between
sleeping and your settings. We get 18 * 365 * 100 = 584 kilo watt hours
per machine per year!

You have 80 machines so the total saving is almost 50 mega watt hours
per year.

Look at the electricity bill for rates per kilowatt hours to translate
this into thousands of dollars per year.


-- Jeff Barnett
 
R

Robert Moir

Blackberry said:
Hi All

I work in a number of schools and I'm constantly having to turn off every
available power saving option in their desktops and laptops to try and
remove 'PC's crashed' false alarms raised by teachers.

Define "false alarm". Are you saying the teachers are not adequately
trainined to deal with computers that are in power saving mode (sounds
stupid to people who don't work in education, but those of us who do know
that teachers probably need a training course before they can dress
themselves and pour a cup of coffee into their mouths instead of their
ears).

Some computers, especially cheap ones or ones built on a DIY basis, have
problems with sleep / hibernate support where the computer won't sleep
properly or where some devices might have trouble waking up afterwards...
this is a real problem.
Screensaver: 15 mins
Turn Off Monitor: 20 mins
Turn Off Hard Disks: never
System Standby: never
System Hibernates: never

Are the above settings a bad thing?

Are they costing the school money, in light of the fact that they might
have
80 machines buzzing away 6 - 7 hours a day?

Obviously a machine that is powered up all the time will use more energy and
hence cost more to run than one which is powered off or which is in a
power-saving mode that cuts the power useage by 90% or more when the machine
is not in use. Jeff gave you a good way of roughly working the figures out.

Only you know if the savings in power offset the cost of each support call
you get about computers in power-saving mode.
What are the preferred settings?

Only you can determine that. I quite like hibernate because this effectively
means a computer is turned off when not in use, but has a very fast 'resume'
sequence when turned on. Standby puts the computer into a "sleep" mode from
which it can be awakened by pressing a key on the keyboard and/or hitting
the power button.
If the Monitor is turned off what is the standard way to get it back on?

This essentially sends a signal to the monitor to put it into it's own
"sleep" mode. It should be awakened by the computer when the computer is
started/resumed or (if the monitor is sleeping but the computer is still on)
when the computer detects keyboard or mouse activity.
Ditto re the Hard Disks, Standby and Hibernate?

Hard disk, same as the monitor above really. I've already explained standby
vs. hibernate.
Is it possible that a PC can crash frequently if left in one of the above
states, ie in standby mode, for a long time?

Assuming that everything works correctly, the mere fact that you put
something into standby then wake it should _never_ cause a crash in and of
itself.

However, not everything works correctly in the Windows / IBM PC world. Some
programs behave badly if left running while standby mode is deployed. Some
software also prevents sleep mode from being activated in Windows XP because
it feels that it is so important that you can't _possibly_ want to activate
sleep mode while the software is running. Ditto some hardware drivers, which
can have the charming effect of rendering the hardware concerned inoperative
until the next reboot.

read http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2007/04/16/2148139.aspx ,
http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2007/02/22/1742088.aspx and
http://jvert.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!5B074284162A63E3!373.entry for lots of
information from inside Microsoft about using power saving modes.

This is why I prefer Hibernate myself, which I find to be much better
behaved. But it isn't always perfect either... Sooner or later though you
have to say "Well I'm going to move to throw out hardware and software that
just won't work with this" because that stuff really is costing you real
money. I work in an establishment with a lot more than 80 workstations and
we've seen quite noticable changes in our energy bills from taking the time
to get this right.
 
G

Guest

I don't have 80 machines running at school, but 4 PC's in a network at home,
for mom, dad, and 2 kids.

At one time, I had no power mangement set in any of the PC's. But I knew
from way back when I had a dedicated Novell werver kept on 24/7. it was
$25.00 electric for the month at the high NYC Con Ed rates. It's more like
$30.00/month now,

I checked the ectric rates and power consumption, and it costs me $1.00 per
day to have a PC on for 24/7.

One month, the wife was screaming at the $150/month electric bill. and I
knew at once it was the PC's whcih we turn on, do some work on it, and them
walk away from, fall aslseep, and don''t turn them off. Diito for the kids.

It was winter time, and I knew since we don't ahve elecric heat, there's no
way we run $150/month lighting up the house.

I have all the PC's set that they hibernate after one hour, but they don't
always do. I don't some research, and it's due to various programs and
services running in the background. iI downloaded some third party software
that hibernates ALL the PC's between 9:30 and 10:20 each night, regardless of
what's running. That in itself saved us $50 to $60/month in power on all the
PC's.
 
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B

Bob I

And since in winter the heat has to come from someplace. You merely
replaced the heat generated by the PC running, by purchasing more energy
for your furnace. On the other hand, if you are cooling, using air
conditioning, like in the summer, then you will be saving money turning
them off.
 
U

Unknown

Furnace energy is by far cheaper than electrically produce heat. BTUs
produced by todays computers is insignificant as far as air-conditioning is
concerned.
 
B

Bob I

1. Some folks have electric heat, the point is that you must realize
that you ARE only shifting from using one to another.
2. BTU's are BTU's and ALL the watts a computer uses ARE converted to
BTU's. If the computer is using watts it is generating heat, no way
around it.
 
U

Unknown

It is so insignificant. Why not tell someone 'do not open the door to go
outside because the air-conditioner is on'?
Turn off a 100 watt light bulb and you'll save more air-conditioning costs
than turning off the computer.
Why not tell someone to turn off the furnace because the computer is on?
Insignificant.
 
S

Swifty

Unknown said:
It is so insignificant.

This attitude has a name. It is called "The disaster of the commons".
The reasoning goes like this:

1. The difference I will make is negligible.
2. Therefore I won't make a difference.
3. Then 50 billion people make the same "no difference", and the
difference that they don't make is equivalent to a few dozen
power stations polluting the planet.
 
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J

John John

Swifty said:
This attitude has a name. It is called "The disaster of the commons".
The reasoning goes like this:

1. The difference I will make is negligible.
2. Therefore I won't make a difference.
3. Then 50 billion people make the same "no difference", and the
difference that they don't make is equivalent to a few dozen
power stations polluting the planet.

I agree with you, every person can and does make a difference, but there
is nowheres near 50 billion people on Earth!

John
 
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U

Unknown

Go back and read the posts.
Swifty said:
This attitude has a name. It is called "The disaster of the commons". The
reasoning goes like this:

1. The difference I will make is negligible.
2. Therefore I won't make a difference.
3. Then 50 billion people make the same "no difference", and the
difference that they don't make is equivalent to a few dozen
power stations polluting the planet.
 

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