Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It seems that there are two different sleep states on my MacBook:

Sleep State 1:

  • Invoked by: closing the lid or by the sleep timer.
  • Awaken by: touching the trackpad, clicking the trackpad, pressing a key, or opening the lid.

Sleep State 2:

  • Invoked by: Apple Menu > Sleep (or its keyboard shortcut).
  • Awaken by: touching the trackpad, clicking the trackpad, pressing a key, or opening the lid.

You'll notice that the main difference between the two is that in the first one you can simply touch the trackpad and the computer will wake up.

I have two questions:

  • Why are there two different sleep states?
  • Are there any other differences between them besides the one I mentioned?

I'm not sure if this is relevant or not, but I changed my MacBook's settings to cause Sleep to only Sleep and not the default 'Sleep and Hibernate'.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

There are really three, sort of, but they're not exactly as you described:

  1. Display sleep: The screen goes blank after a certain amount of time. You can wake up the screen by touching the trackpad or pressing a key.
  2. Sleep: In this state, the computer goes to sleep: the hard drive stops spinning and the CPU uses much less (almost no) power. This can be invoked by closing the lid of the laptop, selecting Sleep from the Apple menu, or via a timer. You wake up the computer by opening the lid or pressing a key.
  3. Hibernation: If the battery is almost dead, the laptop will hibernate to save power. This is similar to shutting down, except all the contents of RAM are dumped to the hard drive, which makes it much faster to start up (as well as starting the computer up into the previous state). You have to hit the laptop power key to wake the machine from hibernation.
share|improve this answer
2  
The LED on the front of the computer (which is not visible on laptop models unless it is lit) can be used to distinguish “display sleep” from the deeper sleep modes. If the screen is dark but the LED is lit and steady then only the display is sleeping. If the LED is fading between off and on (with a rate similar to that of a human breathing), then it is sleeping or hibernating. If the screen is dark and the LED is not lit, the machine is off. –  Chris Johnsen Feb 5 '11 at 4:15
1  
To clarify, since the October 2004 rev. of Powerbook G4, Mac portables have used Safe Sleep, and always backup the contents of RAM to the Hard Drive when going to sleep, in case the battery is drained while asleep. –  ghoppe Jun 9 '11 at 16:42

One just sleeps the display cuz that is the biggest battery drainer and is quick to turn back on.

The other sleeps the display, CPU and hard disks and takes longer to turn on again.

I'm sure someone else has more to say on this though, so I'll leave it to them.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.