Why is 1-year old Windows laptop waking from sleep slower then 8-yr old iMac?


Oct 18, 2015
I use 2 computers:

An iMac (20-inch, Mid 2007) with:

Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory: 6 GB DDR2 RAM
Storage: 1 TB HDD 7200 RPM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256 MB

Running the latest version of OS X El Capitan

and a Dell Inspiron 15 7537 laptop (purchased a year ago) with:

Processor: 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7-4510U
Memory: 16 GB DDR3 RAM
Storage: 1 TB HDD 5400 RPM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2 GB

Running the latest version of Windows 10

Both computers run heavy software like the Creative Suite and on this front the Dell is much quicker, but having tested them side by side, the iMac wakes from sleep faster then the Dell.

Why is this? Is this a problem specific to Dell? Surely Windows 10 can't be that much behind!?

If any more information is needed please ask!
Mar 30, 2015
Maybe the premium iMac has a 7200RPM hard drive while the Dell has a 5400RPM. Custom builders usually don't even bother with 5400RPM drives unless they are doing a server in which case the WD Greens with shifting RPM win out. OEMs though are still shipping out machines with 5400RPM bargain basement drives. Fix this by upgrading to an SSD or 7200RPM HDD (although I wouldnt even bother with a new HDD with SSDs being so cheap.)


Oct 18, 2015

Just checked, you're right - the older iMac HDD spins at 7200 RPM while the Dell laptop is 5400 HDD.
In my experience, this is just one of those areas where OS X is faster than Windows. OS X runs on a limited set of hardware, so Apple has probably fine-tuned it to sleep and wake quickly on that hardware. Windows runs on a huge number of generic hardware configurations, so probably has to do a lot more behind-the-scenes housekeeping to make sure all those devices are properly shut down when you put the computer to sleep, and restarted when you wake it.

It doesn't always have to be this way. I've noticed the Thinkpads are really quick to wake from sleep as well (though going to sleep can sometimes take a while). So some hardware may just be faster at changing power states than others.


Oct 18, 2015

Re: it not being a software issue, maybe you could tell me this:
To wake the Dell laptop from Sleep mode I have to push the power switch... No amount of clicking or typing will wake it up. Is this normal? I feel like tapping the space bar should wake it up.



That depends on your Sleep settings. Some of my laptops, space bar works. Others, not.
Depends on how you have it set.



If you are in Sleep mode, you need to hit the power button. If you are in low power mode where the screen just shuts off and the CPU and drive slow down, you can use a keypress or mouse to wake it. Sleep mode is used often when you need to move the system from place to place or won't be using it for a while but don't want to shut if off fully. If a mouse or keyboard click could wake it, the system could wake up from Sleep and start running, with a risk of hard drive damage if in motion or overheating if placed in a bag.
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