Screen Savers

I was wondering if perhaps you [Adam] or one of your people or readers have info. on this: How much computer power and monitor life does using a screen saver actually save?

I don’t know that a screen saver would save any power or display life, since it’s using both. However, having the screen sleep when you’re not there for a while should help quite a bit.

Thanks for the reply Adam.
Two things:

  1. Wasn’t the original purpose of screen savers to do just that-save power and help the display last longer?
  2. I do use the sleep mode and screen savers all the time BUT when I know I’m not going to be using my Mac for over an hour I power down and am not all that concerned with how much of a power surge turning it off and on produces.

Yes, screen savers were supposed to help screens of the day last longer (prevent burn-in), but I don’t recall hearing claims that they would save energy. That would take powering off the screen, which might be called a screen-save of a sort.

I don’t think things went to sleep in the early days, hence screen savers. Could be wrong though!


I agree with Mark. I don’t think screen savers do anything to reduce energy use. I’m sure some of them use more energy to run complex animated savers than would be needed to display a static desktop of windows. Certainly putting the computer to sleep does prevent burn-in, but depending on settings, that could be along time or never, so screen savers kicking in earlier would certainly help with screen burn-in.

But displays may have changed enough that this isn’t as big an issue as it was in those early days. I know that has become true with regard to TV screens.

I believe (but don’t know for sure) that the burn-in problem was taken care of by a number of advancements to screen savers. The big one was the use of moving images in those. Years ago they were mostly static images which could/did burn-in but I think one of the first moving images was “Flying Toasters” or there was also one that was Star Trek type deal with moving stars that made you think (or so they hoped) that you were warping out through space.
But I try to use a static single colored S.S. (as well as desktop picture.) I was led to believe years ago that this would take care of not only the burn-in problem but also use less power, perhaps I got that wrong.
But a big thank you to all who provided useful info.