MacMost Now 331: Energy Saver Preferences

A basic look at Energy Saver Preferences. These can be used to reduce the power consumption of your Mac when you are not using it. You can also schedule shut down or sleep patterns, and set how how Mac behaves while it is asleep.

Video Transcript
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Now if I switch my MacBookPro to look at power adapter settings you can see it changed a little bit there as well. Now I have the wake for Ethernet or wireless access, uh, added to the list there. And stop automatically after power failure also added to the list. So you actually have different options depending upon which mode you choose.
So it is called energy saver preferences because it does actually save quite a bit of energy. Two of the biggest power drains are your hard drive, which spins mechanically, and your display, which is, of course, illuminated. So, if you have your display set to go to sleep after a few minutes and your hard drive set to spin down when not in use you can save quite a bit of energy. Then when you go into sleep mode, in addition to those, you also save energy because your CPU goes into very low power mode. Pretty much the only power is going to keep the memory in tact, so you can wake up quickly and return to where you were.
Now another thing that energy saver does for you is you can click this schedule button here. And you can schedule your Mac to start up or wake at a certain time, either everyday or on certain days. And you can also set it to go to sleep, restart, or shut down at certain times of the day. So, for instance, you can have your Mac go to sleep, say, at midnight and wake up at eight AM, just before you arrive. That way, maybe, the Mac is awake for you use via network in the evening but it doesn't stay awake all night.
Now I know I'm gonna get questions about whether it's better to shut down your Mac or put it to sleep. So, please check out episode two forty of MacMost Now where I address that issue, specifically.
Also it could be useful to have your Mac wake up just a few hours before you start using it everyday. So that way it can do things like automatically download podcasts, if it's checking hourly for that, look at your email if it's checking every few minutes for that, and it's just ready to go when you sit down.
So don't ignore your energy saver preferences. Go ahead and set your display to sleep at a very low time period. Remember, it's just a touch of the space bar or a movement of the mouse to wake it up again and it does it instantly. Also set your hard drive to spin down and set a descent time interval for your Mac to go to sleep if you want it to.
So I hope you found this brief look at the energy saver preferences useful. Till next time this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 331: Energy Saver Preferences”

    Adil
    7/10/10 @ 5:12 pm

    Hi Gary,

    I just switched to Mac recently and your videos has really helped me learn about the mac, my question for this particular video is, if I am downloading something off the internet (i.e file, torrent) and when my mac turns into sleep mode, Would it disrupt the downloading process or it’ll just keep running until it finishes?. Also I hope you would consider making a video on Torrent-ing on the Mac and what to look out for , security wise. Sorry, lengthy, but thanks a lot!

      7/10/10 @ 7:12 pm

      If the torrent software is made correctly, then it should tell your Mac not to sleep if it is in the middle of a download. There may actually be some options in the prefs to let you decide how it handles sleeping and downloads.
      I have mixed feelings about torrent software. On the one hand, it is great tech and it makes much better sense that standard downloads from FTP or HTTP. But on the other hand it is used for an awful lot of illegal downloading. As a content creator (videos, books, software) that bugs me, as you can imagine. But more importantly, I want to teach safety. And part of that is trusting your download source. With torrents you just can’t do that. So I can’t recommend using torrent software even though the tech is great — it is the human element that spoils it.

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