The new retina MacBook Pro is boot so quickly that if I don't use it for even 5 minutes it doesn't make a difference to me whether I shut the computer down or sleep it.

What is the best option for computer preservation? Will a lot of rebooting in a day will ruin the computer?


According to Apple's environmental report, Retina MacBook Pros use about 1W in sleep mode, compared to 0.3W when they are turned off but connected to a power source. They probably don't take Power Nap or standby mode into account though. Starting up after shutting down also requires more energy.

Writing the contents of the memory to a sleepimage every time the computer is put to sleep might reduce the lifespan of the SSD.

I don't know if frequent reboots would be harmful, but there are a lot of questions about it on Super User:

  • I don't want to save money but my computer! ; ). If you play fast whit the on/off button of your lamp, you will brake the bulb. I'm asking if turn off and turn on the computer is more "dangerous" than use sleep mode and if this difference could be significant after a long time (4-5 years). – user30397 Sep 25 '12 at 16:28
  • If you toggle your computer's on/off switch in the same frequency as the light bulb it will definitively be more "dangerous". For normal use it most probably doesn't matter at all. – nohillside Sep 25 '12 at 19:14

I really don't think it matters. I put my MBP to sleep all the time because I like always opening it to exactly what I had open before. There are probably plenty of arguments that you can extend its lifespan by doing something or other, but unless there's a defect or you drop it in the pool, it's going to be obsolete long before it wears out.

Additionally, on flash-based Macs (Airs and Retina MBPs) running on battery power, the default setting is to go into standby after 70 minutes of sleep. Standby is essentially hibernation - the contents of RAM are saved to flash and the machine is powered off almost completely.

  • 1
    So sleep and standby are different things? – user30397 Sep 23 '12 at 16:39
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    Take a look at that Apple Support page, and Wikipedia lists the states defined by the ACPI specification. Sleep is S3: the system is in a low-power state but some power is still used to keep the contents of RAM alive. Old versions of Windows called S3 Standby. What Apple calls Standby is S4 (it used to be unofficially called Deep Sleep, and Microsoft calls it hibernation). Everything is powered off but you can still resume from S4. Shutting down completely is S5/G2. – gabedwrds Sep 23 '12 at 22:11

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