So many PC games nowadays are 100 GB or more, including Balder’s Gate 3 that is a 122 GB download. This means that if your internet connection only offers a 20 Mbit/second download rate, the game will take a whopping 13 hours and 30 minutes to download.
As a result, many gamers are leaving their PCs on overnight to download PC games. People might then be concerned about energy use, and set their PC to go to sleep – thinking that the game will download just fine, but save loads of energy.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case: the game will NOT download in sleep mode. Luckily there’s a few simple things you can do to save energy while downloading PC games overnight.
If you prefer text over video, please read on for the guide/transcript version of this video.
Video Transcript & Guide
Hey everyone, PC games nowadays are MASSIVE. Balder’s Gate 3 is a 122 gig download, for example:
The problem with this is that if your internet connection is 20 megabits per second, it’ll take over 13 hours to download it – yikes. That’s why more and more PC gamers are leaving their PCs on overnight to download these massive bloated games – but sometimes they make a FATAL mistake. Well, not really fatal but y’know. They put their computer into sleep mode. This would actually SEEM to make sense because Windows says that with the sleep mode “The PC stays on but uses low power. Apps stay open…”:
Blah blah blah blah. THAT implies that your game downloads will keep running overnight, right?
The Problem With Sleep Mode
Nope. Sorry. Putting your PC in sleep mode will effectively “freeze” everything on your PC, including Steam, Ubisoft Connect, Epic Games or whatever program you’re using to download your games. It also pretty much stops the internet connection too. That’s how Windows achieves the “low power” that it talks about.
So this video is basically a PSA to say that if you want to download your games overnight, you should NOT put your computer into sleep or hibernate mode.
Properly Downloading Games Overnight
If you’re concerned about energy use, then what you should do instead is turn off your PC monitor – or set your laptop screen to be off (but keep your laptop running) by turning the screen off within the power settings but setting the sleep mode to “never”:
Doing this will immediately save power because an LCD or OLED screen does consume a decent amount of power. You should also close down any programs that you don’t need, especially if you’ve got a browser open with hundreds of tabs. To be honest you COULD just have Steam (or whatever) open with everything else closed down.
Cost Of Running Your PC Overnight
In-fact I tried exactly this on my PC and I tracked the energy use. With three videos playing in a browser and a few programs running my power usage was around 300 watts. I then closed everything off and also turned the monitor off, and power usage fell to just 70 watts. So this is a pretty big energy saving, meaning that I then download games overnight without worrying about wasting power. Running a 70 watt PC overnight for 8 hours will cost around 16 pence in total using the UK’s ultra high energy rates:
It’ll be a bit cheaper in some other countries too.
But what if you – or your parents – are STILL concerned about leaving your PC running overnight? Well I’d probably say not to worry, to be honest. There’s certainly no harm in running computers overnight or even 24/7. I know people who only turn them off when Windows Updates force it on them, to be honest . You won’t damage your computer’s components by leaving it running overnight.
Auto Shutdown Once Download Is Done
Having said that, let’s say there’s a reason (that I can’t think of) why you REALLY need to turn your computer off when the game download is done. Well luckily, there’s a useful tool on Github called “Steam Auto Shutdown” – although this works for any programs, not just Steam:
You download and install it as normal, and you can then enable “auto shutdown”. What this does is monitor your internet connection’s download rate, and if it drops down too low, it assumes that your game has finished downloading – and it then shuts your PC down:
Noice. You can configure this in the settings menu too, so you could safeguard against little internet blips (for example) and maybe say to only shut down after 1 minute of inactivity. I would also lower the download rate a bit, but your mileage may vary.
This is actually a really useful tool and if you are concerned about downloading games overnight, THIS is a really awesome solution and compromise, and it’s entirely free too.
And that wraps up today’s quick video. I hope you enjoyed it. If you did, please click the thumbs up button – this tells the YouTube algorithm that more people should see this video. Please also subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already and thanks for watching!