So, we have a Mac Mini here that gets used largely as a media server for our AppleTV. It doesn’t use much power, it doesn’t take up a lot of room, it’s absolutely silent most of the time, these are all good things.
It is awake all the time, though, since it can’t be in sleep mode and still work as a media server. It doesn’t draw much power – about 30W – but that’s still, you know, something.
On the other hand, we recently had our Netgear wireless router die, and I replaced it with an Apple-branded one. That, combined with a new feature of Snow Leopard, means that – now that I’ve spent the 45 minutes it took to upgrade the mini to 10.6.2 – the Mini now goes to sleep when it’s not being used, wakes up when the AppleTV wants something, and goes back to sleep afterwards.
I felt good about this, and then I got out a calculator to figure out exactly how much money I’d be saving.
Works out, it’s about $17 a year difference between having the Mac Mini staying “on”, drawing about 30W, and “asleep”, drawing about 3W.
So really, not a huge victory, but I’m sure we can find something to do with an extra 17 bucks.