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Chipset Power Management Support
Most recent chipsets support a group of features that work together to reduce the amount of power used by the PC during idle periods. These initiatives came as a result of efforts in two main areas: those concerned about the power consumption of PCs which are left running for as much as 90% of the time even though idle, and laptop PC owners trying to get more life from a battery charge.
Power management works through a number of BIOS settings that dictate when to shut down various parts of the computer when it becomes idle. In general, the settings are progressive, so that you have the option to shut down more parts of the PC as the idle time increases. There are a number of different protocols that work together to make power management work.
Note: While power
management is a great idea, in practice it isn't always as great as it sounds. See this discussion in the System Care Guide.
Next: Energy Star