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Windows Sleep: Great When It Works

Anybody who’s been following sleep states and power management for the new Microsoft Surface Book and the Surface Pro 4 knows that lingering and troublesome problems have plagued those platforms until recently. ( On February 17, MS released a firmware update that finally fixed things as reported in this Ars Technica story.) In fact, sleep and hibernation have been thorny issues for Windows for years. They have been problematic enough, in fact, that I’d gotten into the habit of turning sleep off on my PCs because of issues involved in waking up. But now, it seems that with the latest cumulative update to Windows 10 (KB3140768), lingering issues are solved for Windows sleep — at least on my small but hopefully representative sample of desktop PCs.

I’ve just gotten my new production PC squared away. I accidentally blew away my habitual Power Options settings on Friday, after re-installing APC’s Power Chute (Personal Edition) software on that machine. Before I got around to resetting Power Options to disable sleep I noticed something interesting. Windows sleep not only works as it’s supposed to on this PC (and on other desktop units and All-in-Ones here at home), but because this PC boots from an NVMe boot drive it’s also darn quick. Using the stopwatch on my iPhone, I’ve timed the delay between striking a key on the keyboard or moving my mouse and getting to the Windows login screen at between 8 and 9 seconds. That’s  short enough that I don’t mind letting the PC sleep when I’m not using it. I’m even becoming confident that Windows sleep and wake behavior will stay consistent, because it’s already done so for the past four days now. No strange driver issues nor missing or lagging devices after wake-up now, either!

Windows Sleep cuts back on power usage

The real upside of this Windows sleep regime is that the PC consumes almost no energy when it’s sleeping. Thanks to Power Chute I can see that my electric bill will be dipping, too, as a result. I pay about $0.11 per KWh, and it looks like my monthly charge for the PC will drop by about $1.00 a month (down from $5 to just under $4, according to the software’s regular monitoring reports) thanks to sleeping overnight. I’m usually at my PC by 7:00 or 7:30 AM and keep it running until about 10:00 PM, so the new sleep regime gains it ~9 hours of sleep time daily.

Enabling Windows sleep saves about 25% on daily energy costs.

What’s interesting to me is to find myself marveling and happy about something that Windows has claimed to do for years that now finally seems to work as it should. You’d think one could take this kind of thing for granted but sadly, experience has taught otherwise…