"turning off PC" = Good/Bad
by tyrantiger - 4/14/04 10:28 PM
well i heard that not turning off your pc will let your pc 'last' more longer, is that true? what kind of pc is suitable for that and what kind is not?
thanx for any help.
by: tyrantiger April 14, 2004 10:28 PM PDT
1 person likes this thread
Re: The reason computers have a power switch is so they can
by aryfrosty - 11/26/04 8:13 AM
Sure they have a switch...but if you're going to power down and come back on in a reasonable time it makes sense to leave it running. There is a rather large surge drain when you power up a CRT. If you're not coming back to it today or for several days it is better to turn it off.
When I think computers fail
I have been responsible to literally thousands of PC's over the years and my experiences have taught me that computers fail at power on more often than while running. I do believe that you still need to restart any non-server Windows based system PCs everyday for optinum performace.
Re:When I think computers fail
Computers fail at power up when they have been powered down for a long enough time for them to cool. Even at room temperature, components go into a bit of thermal shock when they are powered on. At that point, a weak component will fail, whereas a consistant temperature will lengthen the life of that component. It has to do with expansion and contraction.
Although I have been told that it is good to reboot it occasionally, my NT server has been running for 3 years, with the exception of being turned of twice to move equipment. My main computer (Win98) gets turned on and off sometimes a couple of times a day just because my system resources get low, and it's the only way I can restore them, but I figure it doesn't suffer much, as I never let it cool down.
Radio and TV Broadcast transmitters and other large tube equipment are equipped to shut down and still keep power to the tubes to prolong their life. Same principle.
Re:Re:When I think computers fail
Note that an electric bulb also fails when it is turned on. But I think you have to look on how many yeas your computer lives when it's always on and how many years, when it's turned off when not needed. In both cases the MTBF is longer than you would keep your computer, so save the money you use to power and buy a new computer when it fails.
Re: I Turn My Computers Off/On Several Times A Day
I do the same and have never had a component failure in 10 years of using computers. Whats next, leaving every electrical item in my house on 24/7. Leaving your computer on just wastes electricity. It's just a computer people. Save the electricity, save money. besides if a component were to fail it just gives me a reason to upgrade.
Re: Turning off PC = GOOD/BAD
I don't think there is much electricity wasted by leaving it on all the time. Security is important if you are connected by broadband to the internet. Performance will degrade if the computer is not rebooted daily.
Re:Re: Turning off PC = GOOD/BAD
Maybe it'll lower on Win9x, but 2k, xp, and other OSes aren't hit like they are. Leave XP or Linux on for a week without a lot of tweaking, and the only thing that'll bring them down is crappy programs or memory leaks.
Re:Re:Re: Turning off PC = GOOD/BAD
I agree 100%. My WinXP Pro system hasn't been rebooted for the past 3 and a half weeks and it's still running as though I just started it. I use it for numerous tasks including playing very intense 3D games. Nothing seems to break this system down.
I also agree with what someone else here said that most failures occur at startup rather than while running.
Here's a little food for thought. Motherboards, video cards and some other PCI cards have very power-hungry capacitors on them. Capacitors draw a fairly large amount of current initially so that they can get charged up, but after that they don't use any more than anything else in the system. Also, devices like hard drives and fans are the same way; they draw quite a bit of current to get up and running but once they're running, they have a pretty steady current draw. And what has to deal with this initial excessive current draw? The power supply of course. That is why people always recommend that you buy a good/high quality power supply and not to skimp. When power supplies start to fail they can cause all sorts of weird things to happen to your system which can lead ANY experienced technician to thinik that it's your RAM going bad, or your CPU, or your hard drive, or even your motherboard! This can be very costly if you replace one of these items and it doesn't fix the problem.
Also, the power supply is not the only part subjected to stress. Pretty much all of the mechanical parts in the system, which would be the hard drives and fans, are prone to it. And of course the normal wear and tear.
My suggestion is to turn the computer on in the morning and then off in the night. There really isn't much reason to have it running all thru the night unless you have some kind of server running on it, like a webserver or a fileserver.
Re:Re:Re:Re: Turning off PC = GOOD/BAD
having delt with electronic circuit boards for many years--i feel as if the system SHOULD stay ON most of the time so as to prevent the problems that occur with cooling down then heating back up;however, there are drawbacks to leaving it on all the time as you have read in the responses--I personally agree with this response--use a little judgement---you wouldn't leave it on when going on a vacation for a week[i hope not]
lightning is another reason for turning it off during periods of non use--or during a storm--if you decide to leave it on most of the time--be sure to implement the power saver feature found under the screen saver as well as allowing the hard drive to come to rest[ no wear and tear when not being used] by using a little common sense--you can have it BOTH ways.
Re:Re: Turning off PC = GOOD/BAD
I think you mean Windows degrades if not rebooted everyday.
Powering off is good and bad. Semiconductors do have a finite life. They degrade when powered up, degredation is accelerated by heat and radiation. Therfore turning it off is a good thing.
It used to be 90%, but now with better designed power supplies, probably 70% of the failures occur when turned off. Yes, off. You just don't know it until you try to turn it on. Every time you turn off the power switch, you are playing the odds.
It is a trade off. My rule of thumb is, if it is going to be idle for 8 hours or more. Turn it off, otherwise leave it on.
Re:Re: Turning off PC = GOOD/BAD
If you run a daily maintenance schedule for every night then the computer will run at peak performance every day. So you shouldn't need to turn it off or reboot it. Simply rebooting or switching it on every day does NOT improve performance at all. In fact, every time you turn it on from cold, ie yersterday, gives all the parts a shock which will cut down on the life span of the component. Ditto for TVs, radios, etc.
Cutting down on the number of always running in the backgoround programmes (around 20-30 usually) will speed up the comp. Running scandisk, defrag, and clean up every night which is the maintenance programme for windows machines DOES bring the performance up to original performance levels.
I turn mine off. I think it helps to reduce power usage.
Yes and no. As noted in another post, yes the power does spike when a computer is turned on, but then the consumption lowers greatly. My power supply pulls at max 10 amps from my outlet at 115 volts, and I can promise you I never actually pull 10 amps. If you turn your computer off for long periods of time, yes it does save, but if your turn it off/on more than 4 times a day, it'll balance out somwhat.
Re: turning off PC
I turn my 'puter off several times a day because it tends to overheat if I leave it on.
Time for a new case or cooling setup.
When was the last time you cleaned the interior of your machine. Overheating is a symptom of dirt clogged cooling fins/.passages/fans. It is only a matter of time until your computer will toast itself. Overheating is *not* normal.
My computer used to overheat like that. I had to put it in a case that allowed better, more efficient air flow. Also I decided to have 6 LED fans instead of the 1 it had from stock. It has no overheating issues now. It sounds like a damn jet, but it never goes over 110 deg F.
Re:Re:Re: turning off PC
... sounding like a jet.... speaking of which is it normal for a high powered computer (my son has the works in his with several fans) to sound so loud? My computers at work and the one I have at home are relatively quiet but his is really noisy. Just wondering if that's the trade off?
I leave all 3 of my home pc's running nonstop. one runs my small website, and the others are for gaming or whatever. the monitors are timed to turn off though. i see no point in turning them off if you frequently use them. a restart every week or so is good too.
I personally leave my 3 computer runing 27/7. My primary XP machine run for over 2weeks without needing to restart it. My two other linux machines run different server application,http/ftp/irc/opennap/email/sql, etc. In a cold dry area where theres not too much of dust, computers can be on for years.
One of my box has this uptime:
12:01am up 345 days, 3:03, 9 users, load average: 0.15, 0.04, 0.01
and been runing 24/7 for the past 3 years. Had to restart it one year ago, and still going well, like my other one just before the hard drive died.
11:56pm up 242 days, 12:24, 2 users, load average: 0.39, 0.55, 0.43
I have 3 machines myself, Linux, XP, 2003 Server
the 2 windows boxes only get shutdown to add/remove hardware. The linux box (Pentium/MMX-166) had been up for 1 1/2 years, until it developed a bad sector on the original harddrive. All my machines stay on unless shutdown is required.
Re: "turning off PC" = Good/Bad
I worked in computer sales for Olivetti Business Machines some years back. The Olivetti computer technicians told me never to tell my customers this, but every time we power up a computer it spikes the board and components, dramatically shortening their life. A computer that stays on all the time apparently will last considerably longer than the warranty period, not something the manufacturers are particularly interested in. I was advised to leave my own computer on, as any power savings would be more than eaten up in repairs down the road.
I hate to jump on the wagon with everyone else; but here goes. I have had several PCs through the years and the latter ones have not been shut off too often; and I have FAR LESS problems with them, than the first ones I owned and was very careful to shut off; and start up several times a day.
I have personally read and heard the same: the more you turn it off/on the more it messes up your computer in the long run. I believe the mother board and the hard drive are what take the worst hits. Anyways, never had any personal experience with that. However, I know for a fact that laptops are NOT meant to be never turned off. Heh Anyways, interesting topic though.
I ran a laptop in an office environment for 6 months without turning it off. It Did the automatica daily maintenance routine every night and never had a problem.
Keeping on is better than constantly turning them on and off again.
For an older computer, I would turn it off when not in use for more than 5 hours. For newer computers though (made after y2k), with their better saving and handling of power, it's OK to leave them on. I have quite a few computers in my house, and most are never shut down except when it's too hot or hardware tinkering. All computers and parts will run down eventually. The fastest way I know of really shorten their life is overclocking. But even then, you'll upgrade long before it usually kicks in.
Re: It doesn't matter!
Alright on or off? I have an IBM Aptiva that we got in 1996 and it was fine up until my bro fried the mouse port! We always turned it off and it lasted us 7 years! By that time the computer is so out dated it's worthless, and turning it off will save you on the electricty bill! Because computers suck the hydro back like it's nothing!
Re:Re: It doesn't matter!
good point, bro.
Re: To turn or not
Leave it on. Most electronic devices fail on startup -think about how many times a light buld has failed on startup as opposed to failing during service. The culprit is 'surge' - a sudden inrush of current that all 'cold' circuits are subject to.
If that isn't reason enough think of what your computer can accomplish when you are not using it. United devices uses your unused computer power to search for cancer drugs. Seti@home crunches numbers in the search for extra terrestrials. My computer is on 24/7 and does both for pennies in power usage.
I feel you are going down the wrong path...
If you are talking about an incandescent bulb with a filament there is no relationship to a power supply with transformers and diodes etc. Transformers can be turned off hundreds of times per minute as with alternating currnet and there is no problem. Solid state devices are only susceptible to overvoltages. That is why power supplies have built in voltage regulators.
I personally leave my computer on for convenience. I set the monitor to go to sleep after 10 minutes and leave the fan and hard drives run. I feel there is more damage to hard drives starting up than running all the time.
Lightning is another story...
when there is a storm in the area... PULL THE PLUG!!
Lightning never jumps from the wall to the plug...
In other words it really doesn't matter if you power off or not... Just enjoy your computer and don't sweat the small stuff.