Do I ever need to sleep?

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

I have a Mac mini that’s served me well for the last two years. A friend re­cently up­graded it to Mav­er­icks, and he pointed out that my Mac is set to never sleep. He said that this could harm my Mac by mak­ing it over­heat. Is this true? Chris­tine Twala A Late 2012 Mac mini uses 11W when it is on but not be­ing used. In sleep mode that drops to about 1W. So if you never turn your Mac off and use it for two hours a day, the other 22 hours of idle time will use a lit­tle un­der a quar­ter of a kilo­watt-hour (or about 3p in elec­tric­ity). The mon­i­tor will prob­a­bly use a sim­i­lar amount. Small amounts of wasted elec­tric­ity like this add up, but it isn’t likely to make much dif­fer­ence to your do­mes­tic bud­get. And it won’t harm your Mac.

The heat out­put from an idling Mac mini is 40 kilo­joules/hour (which wol­framal­pha. com tells me is the en­ergy re­leased by burn­ing 1 gram of coal!). That will eas­ily be dis­persed by the fans and will have no ef­fect on the life­span of your com­po­nents.

On the other hand, Macs are very quick to re­sume from sleep and en­abling it in En­ergy Saver pref­er­ences is ex­tremely easy, so there is ab­so­lutely no rea­son not to do this.

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