The Power Options applet lets you manage the power consumption of your computer. Power savings is important when you're operating a laptop on battery power, but it's also important if you'd like to save money (and the environment) by cutting down on the amount of electricity your desktop PC uses.
As shown in Figure 8-18, the settings available in this control panel vary depending on the computer.
Figure 8-18. The Power Options options for a desktop PC (left) and laptop. Some of the tabs and options shown here don't appear until you click the APM tab and turn on "Enable Advanced Power Management support" (which isn't available on some older machines).
The Power Schemes tab lets you select, change, or create power schemes. A power scheme defines which components of your PC, such as your keyboard, mouse, or processor, shut down (to save power) after a certain amount of time since you last used them. Power schemes can save power using several different tricks:
Turn off monitor. Your monitor goes dark, and the power light on it changes from green to yellow.
Turn off hard disks. The hard drives stop spinning.
System standby. The computer goes into standby mode, which is something like being asleep. All of its components go into reduced-power mode. (Wake it up by pressing a key or clicking the mouse.)
System hibernates. Your computer hibernates (see "Hibernate ...