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  1. #1

    shahvikram123's Avatar
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    Question PC Hibernation vs Mac Sleep
    What is the difference between PC Hibernation and Mac sleep mode

    I also heard that putting your PC on Hibernate can be dangerous in the long run...is this true for macs as well?

  2. #2

    yogi's Avatar
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    Essentially, the computer stores a copy of the RAM and then then puts the drives to sleep.. When woken up, it just loads up the RAM and starts running.

    PC Hibernation or "Sleep" is only dangerous in the sense that your computer is still on. In case of a power out, you might lose data. Other tha that I haven't "heard" of anything dangerous about it.
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  3. #3

    shahvikram123's Avatar
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    so pc hibernation is same as mac sleep mode?

    I heard that PC hibernation can make your hard drive corrupt or something...don't know if its true though.

  4. #4


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    Hibernation coppies the contents of the RAM into a section of the hard disk then the PC will go to full power off. I.E not using any power. When the PC is booted again, the data that was in the RAM before hibernation needs to be loaded up and put back into RAM, hence it is slower than mac sleep.

    It's only dangerous if your PC is poorly configured in that sometimes after you start back up from hibernation, if anything has changed, hardware wise, or if windows thinks it has, it'll just cold reset and boot a fresh, loosing what you were doing before hibernation.

    Mac sleep is the same as PC sleep, which is different to hibernation: it keeps the RAM modules charged so they hold their data, which is why it still uses power in sleep mode. This is more dangerous than hibernation because if the power is removed while the mac is asleep, or while a PC is in sleep more, the RAM will 'forget' everything. This means when you start up, it'll be a cold boot, and everything you were doing before sleep will be lost.

    The fact that sleep in the mac world is a lot more stable than sleep on a PC, or hibernation for that matter, is neither here nor there.

  5. #5

    shahvikram123's Avatar
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    Oh OK thanks for the info

  6. #6

    cwa107's Avatar
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    A better comparison between the two would be "Standby" mode in Windows and Sleep mode on the Mac.

    Hibernation mode in Windows was designed to address complaints of long boot-up times in Windows. You still don't get an instaneous wake-up from hibernation, but it's typically much faster than waiting to cold boot. Since Macs boot-up so quickly (comparatively speaking, of course), there's really not much of a need for a "hibernation" mode on Mac OS.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  7. #7

    qwinkan's Avatar
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    so what's the benefit of sleep (in Mac)? I mean why do it at all? Or in what circumstances is sleep beneficial? wouldn't it be better if you just saved everything then shut it off every time?

    I never put my windows PC or laptop to sleep ever or even hibernate, I'll just be asking for trouble if I did =P never worked, either it hanged or shuts down on its own, so I just stopped doing it you know... let sleeping dogs lie I always say. (no pun intended)

    thanks, I'm a huge noob =) about to be a switcher in 2 weeks =P

  8. #8


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    the benefit of Mac sleep is that when you've got 5 Firefox pages, 4 Word documents, 7 PDFs, and a bunch of other programs running, it's easier to put the computer to sleep & come back to it in the same state than to shut down & take 10 minutes to get back to your previous state.

    I only shut down my MacBook once every couple weeks when I'm not doing much on it (ie. shutting down isn't a nuisance), because when it's been on for too long I find it gets laggy. Otherwise it is always asleep when I'm not using it.

  9. #9

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by visualpurple View Post
    the benefit of Mac sleep is that when you've got 5 Firefox pages, 4 Word documents, 7 PDFs, and a bunch of other programs running, it's easier to put the computer to sleep & come back to it in the same state than to shut down & take 10 minutes to get back to your previous state.

    I only shut down my MacBook once every couple weeks when I'm not doing much on it (ie. shutting down isn't a nuisance), because when it's been on for too long I find it gets laggy. Otherwise it is always asleep when I'm not using it.
    Not only does it save energy, but it will prolong the life of components like the battery, LCD backlight, hard drive, fans, etc. Since OS X is based on UNIX which was designed to never need to shutdown, you can safely leave your Mac running for days, weeks or even months.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  10. #10

    qwinkan's Avatar
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    that's pretty cool, it's always ready to go! =P

    so does it mean I can put it to sleep, and carry it around? or does it have to be totally turned off before you lug it around say to a next location or on the way to work?

  11. #11

    Kash's Avatar
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    I think Sleep mode is a lot more useful for those with laptops as you can just close the lid and it'll go to Sleep, then open it up again later and just pick up where you left off.

    qwinkan, you can definitely lug your Macbook around in Sleep mode. I've been doing it since I bought mine back in December and haven't experienced any problems. I absolutely love how quickly it resumed from Sleep mode compared to Windows, with which I've had nothing but problems.

    June 2007
    July 2009

  12. #12

    christm's Avatar
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    sleep is fine as long as say every week you do a restart.

    or just turn it off until you need it next time.

  13. #13

    qwinkan's Avatar
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    awesome =) can't wait to get my macbook (^___^)

    i know what you mean, with my toshiba laptop I never put it to sleep or hibernate, I'd just be asking for trouble if I did =)

  14. #14


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  15. #15

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remain View Post
    That's the first I've seen of that. Nice find!
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

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