"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
I leave my switched on all the time, just lock the desktop and turn off the monitor... Its said that the time your HDDs take the most toll is during spin up and spin down cycles, so i dont even have any power saving set for the hard drives.
Anything with Moving Parts will wear out quicker by leaving on, i.e.,Hard drive Cooling fans, Not to mention sucking dust Hour after hour!
Re:turning off PC = Good/Bad
I always turn my computer off, I was told that it gives it a chance to clear the memory. I also clean, defrag and scan it on a regular basis and have never had any trouble with any of my computers because of it.
it is known that when you turn on an electical equipment, it consumes more than its rated wattage,( peak current), for example a TV set consumes approximately 150 watts, in normal operation, but when first turned on, it drains 5 times(sometimes more) this capacity, PCs are almost the same, (specially monitors), each time you turn on your PC, the power supply, hard disks, monitor, and your mother board are at risk, 90% of the damages caused by electricity to your PC happens in the moment you turn it on, anyway, about the dust problem, a PC should be cleaned periodically from dust, even if you dont keep your PC on all the time
I have my settings adjusted to go to the screen saver after 15 minutes of idle, after another 30 minutes it goes to sleep, which allows it to still be on but, in a sleep mode...This is just my opinion but, I like to think that it is easier on the computer and easier for me in getting back on...........Otiredfred
Re: Turning off PC
I have only one thing to say......I used to leave mine on, until we had a bloody great electrical storm whilst I was at work one day. Talk about a "Scrambled PC", I had to format my Hard Drive then re-load all my programs again, took me 6 flamin hours mate. Lucky it still worked. Now I do not store anything on my HD at all, all onto CD's, which allows my PC to run at max anyway. "Leave it on"???....Never again mate.
It's a bad thing-chip creep occurs if you use your PC's alot-on-off-on-off, etc.
Plus, you can get your O/S updates, and your virus updates automatically without having to 'actually' deal with it.
By turning off my computer and monitor, I guess I'm saving somewhere between $25 and $30 per month. This based on my computer expert who tells me how many kilowatts they use and my cost per KW hour.
Re:"turn off pc"-good or bad
Turn it off!!! Unless of course you are needing to run a program that requires that it be left on to run software or controls, such as an automatic off-site critical data backup (which is more important to me that how long my pc lasts). 1) I work on pcs and find that people that leave them on all the time are simply operating a small vaccuum cleaner or air filters. The dust build up is much greater in these pcs that ones that are turned off. And dust is a hugh problem for the life of a pc. 2) Cost of operation is 3 to 5 times higher for pcs that are left on and these are not insignificant dollars. 3) I've seen many times when power surges and lightning have fried pcs, especially power supplies. Turning them off will reduce but not eliminate these problems. 4) A fresh boot up is one of the best way to address software/hardware/configuation tie ups that slow down and disable pcs. 5) pcs and upss are the source of harmonics (a potentially serious power quality problem) and can cause inefficiency and waiste in other power utilization systems.
Don't turn the PC on & off needlessly
At work with over 4000 pcs we used to leave them on 24/7 with very little trouble. About 2 yrs ago the company decided to turn them off when you were not at work. After that our trouble calls went up 800%, and the company reversed its decision after 3 months, and went back to leaving them on all the time.
I leave my home computer on all the time unless I'm leaving for a couple of days, I have only had to replace a fan once in a very great while. I strongly reccomend you leave it on unless you are going to be gone for a day or more.
Re: The answer is YES and NO
Being a computer technician in schools with around 400 machines to look for...I can share my experience on the subject.
There is no good answer to this one and it depends of a lot of factors.
-what kind of PC?...AMD's processor tend to overheat more than INTEL's.
-What kind of hard drive?...SCSI's tend to overheat more than IDE hard drive.
-Do your electronics tend to accumulate a lot of dust in your workplace,home or not?
-Where is your box (PC), squeeze in a bad built computer desk with no ventilation permitted or on the desk with all the air it needs?
- What kind of circuitry is compose your computer, cheap electronics or well built known names?
All of these as to be taking into account for the reasons I expose next.
Leaving a computer on.
Is good for:
the circuitry....turning it on and off too often causes contraction and extension on the micro-circuitry of all electronic cards in your PC including the motherboard, causing micro-cracks of the circuitry resulting in unsuspected problems like lack of performance and freezing of the Operating System to name a few.
Cheap electronics will break faster and more often.
Contractions and extensions are cause by passing from cold (computer off) to heat (computer on) and again to cold and to heat and on and on. So turning a computer on and off at each use is bad.
This causes cards to be loosen too from their slots once in a while more often than if it has been left on at more or less equal temperature. There is no harm done here just open the box and put them back in place.
And it's time saving. We all know how long it is to load for some Operating systems with hundreds of fonts and softwares being loaded at start-up. Is for you time is money and hard on your nerves...leave it on and go on reading
Leaving a computer on
Is bad for:
The powersupply, monitor and hard drive. Leaving a computer or a monitor on all the time...is bad for the powersupply himself and the monitor's tube. As for the powersupply there's even a risk of fire hazard. Accumulation of dust is to be taking in account here. Better turning it off sometimes and a good cleaning habit to be taking. For the monitor, put it to sleep or leave your computer on but close your monitor.
For the hard drive, heat can be harmfull. Solution is to put it to sleep to so it doesn't turn for nothing and also it's good practice to open the computer's box and verify that the hard drive is well ventilated and not badly squeezed between other pieces of harware. Specially if you have more than on of those.
Leaving it on all the time...causes overheating of the computer so a good checking and replacing of all the fans (processor, powersupply, video card, chipset etc...) if needed. It's good practice for a healthy PC to open the box once in a while and verify those. If they start making noise is a good hint that it needs to be replaced.
But what good is to have a lot of fans if you can't get the air in or out because your computer box is in a restric area with limiting air passage. Don't think because your furniture's store sold you a COMPUTER's desk...that it is well built for those. I've seen too much of bad made computer's furniture in past years to tell you that you can count on that term with your eye's shut.
Your computer box need to breathe so give him air.
So the question to leave it on or off is a question of compromise here.
Leave the computer on, with energy saving ON that is put the hard drive and monitor to sleep when not in use. Restart it once a week or less if your experiencing a downfall in performance. Sometimes programming of software is bad and does'nt give back ressources use mainly in a way of memory uses. So a restart of the computer, reset all of these so as all the parameters of the operating system that can get clugged or in a incoherent state.
So my suggestion for a nice compromise.
Close the computer ONCE A WEEK is a good one. Put hard drive to sleep and monitor to sleep by activating the energy savings parameters for those. For the monitor I suggest that you close it at the end of the day.
And the most important thing....check your multiples fans for a good ventilation of your box and clean dust that cause overheating. And don't put it in a restricted area, give it air. It's the secret for a healthy PC.
Network computer technician (PC and MAC)
Granby, Quebec, Canada
Re: Energy savings vs. hardware wear
At any given time I have 600+ machines under my care, being used 24/7 by CS students. In some labs the machines get powered down repeatedly daily. In others, they only get powered off for maintenance.
The only real downside to this has been that the power switches get broken from repeated use in the labs where they get turned off, but the other hardware doesn't seem to be at a loss from the up/down activity.
The machines that get left on 24/7 *do* seem to have a much higher rate of hard drive failure, despite climate control in each lab, so I am left to attribute this discrepancy to the constant rpm's.
We shut labs down over spring break and had a 20% loss at restart in the 24/7's, vs. 100% functionality in the labs that get cycled daily. That's a pretty strong argument for regular disuse for us. Now we've implemented procedures to alter our 24/7 lab behavior to benefit our power consumption and hardware loss mitigation, despite the possibility that we may have to replace some power buttons.
The point about solder joints is fair, but it isn't really a problem in machines that sit around- failure in solder or 'cold solder joints' generally happen in things that get moved about a bit (we teach EE here, too) and I've *never* had that type of failure.
It simply doesn't make sense to waste all of that power when it's clearly just wear and tear on the hdd. I can't guarantee that I'll never have to shut them down, and it's the cold start after running for long periods that seems to be the problem, not after normal use. I used to be a proponent of the 24/7 side, but not now.
Re:"turing off PC" - Good
There is two ways for a 'Desk Top' to be used;
1; If your Desk Top is at an office, yes it should be on 24/7, and your IT or IS personel should be the one's to shut it down or off, for service of your comp.
2; Now if it's your own (at home) 'Desk Top' YOU SHOULD TURN IT OFF! for the fact that you save on energy (not to mention your Elec; Bill). And it would promote a longer health for your CRT Monitor. Then there is the dust factor..., Yes there will be DUST that gets sucked into your PC. I clean mine out (all 3 of them) twice a year. It's not that my home is not clean, it's because I live in the city and I like to air out my home in the Spring, before I put in the AC unit. And in the Fall just before I close up for the long winter. And that is when the CPU Fan gets all clogged up with dust bunnies.
Well argued Doc. Don't forget mentioning your own health too. Minimize electro-smog by turning off PC.
I think you are better to turn off if you are not going to be using the PC for more than 3hr.Your computer doesn't care and you save energy.
ps Turning off is more likley to make your computer last longer
Re:To turn off or not to turn off.
My computer is left on 24/7 as I participate in the United Devices medical research program. The present computer has clocked up 4 years 186 days with no problems so far.
Re:Re:To turn off or not to turn off.
The computer is in good health and how is your own health or it does not matter?
Re: Leave it on...what's the big deal?
as long as you've got ample firewall and LAN protection, as do I!!
Well in real life I worked as a adhesives chemist we had all kinds of very expensive analytical gear all attached to CPU of some kind and they stayed on 24/7. The theory is that the ramp up and ramp down of temperature is the culprit,not the heat itself.My personal computer is never off and I have a broadband connection.
Re:Turning off your PC
As a Solid State Physicist I can say that for the chip's concern a constant supply voltage will maximize the life of the chips. But the associated equipment (power transformers, hard drives, fans, etc.) actually benefit by being shut off. This cool off period yields a more stable operation when next they are turned on.
You wouldn't expect your car to be running at top performance for very long if you hopped in and went for a 400 - 500 mile trip at over 100 MPH without any breaks, then stopped for the night. Started up again the next day for the same trip again, every day for several years, without any major breakdowns now would you?
Leaving your computer powered up, but in hibernation when not in use, uses a minimal amount of resources. Keeps a small current supplied to the boards, and draws very little power through the power supply. It's only when you return to "wake up" your computer, does it activate all circuits from hibernation.
Solid State circuitry lifetimes are estimated given a constant supply of power which yield a stability of around 11 years (100,000 hours). This is dramaitcally shortened when surges as small as 20% over average input voltage are encountered. Most surge suppressors keep the spike ripple down to around 5% - 10% above the power comming into the power supply. But the spikes associated with hard switches and non-switching power supplies can yield spikes several times that level from the power supply to the main board chips, thus dramatically shortening the life expectancy of the average PC.
Remember, this is only concerning the chips. And here is where the debate begins. Most people don't get a new computer because their processor burnt out, they get a new processor because their fan burnt out! Since the stability of modern computers (in the GHz range) is most dependent upon cooling. Then leaving a computer on while unattended, maximizes the chance of mechanical failure. Resulting in chip meltdown.
So the best scenario is to personally determine how long you will be away before needing to use the computer, and shut it off if you will be away for many hours (probably 5 or more). And definately never shut it off when someone will be accessing the PC with less than 1 hour intervals. Also, keep checking on the fans. If they are still running, and to see if they are clean. Keeping dust off the chips and fans will prolong the life of your computer.
Personally, I leave mine on 24/7 and someone is using it heavily over 16 hours, and about every 2 hours for the remainding 8 hours of the day. I keep the side panels off and have several cooling fans in operation.
I have one computer which has just recently burnt itself out after 8 years running continuously, with few periods of dormancy. It only needed one fan, and one video card replaced in 8 years. The processor is still alive, only the motherboard burnt out.
Re: turn off or leave on
I leave mine on all the time. I have it set in power saver to turn off the monitor and hard drives after a period of time. While the computer is idling I run the SETI screen saver to look for little green men (or women).
Re: Do your computer and your electric bill a favor
I have a 6-year old Dell Dimension V350 with 1 cooling fan in it. I have been turning it off every time that I am finished with it, and it still works fine (a little slow in comparison to today's standards). I also have broadband internet service, so shutting the computer off prevents "other problems" (hackers), especially, if you don't have a good firewall and virus protection. The ONLY advantage that I see with keeping the computer on at all times is that you don't have to wait for the "boot up", other than that I have always turned it off when I am finished, thus saving on potential hardware failure and higher electric bills.
Re: turning off PC" = Good/Bad
I always left them on but over the years I've lost a hard drive, two fans, a micro-processor, a macintosh video drive, a Zip drive, and a power supply. I've decided leaving it on hasn't saved anyhthing. In that same amount of time I have had one TV power supply go out and one VCR. That's out of three TV, and two VCR's. Besides it's burning up 150 Watts all the time. Not only that but in the silence I got from turning them off I fouind out I had a drive banging it's self to death every two seconds.
As far as this goes, I've heard that turning the computer on and off consistantly leads to the expansion and contracting of the parts because of the heat. I've heard that this can cause early weardown of some parts.
Just place your computer into sleep mode and dont worry about the 2cents you'll save overnight!!!
leave on pc
Re:Turning Computer on or off
The PC needs to be re=booted on a daily basis so I believe turning it off for the night and turning it on helps in this matter....Turn it off.
In the way-bak daze you left your PC on for one reason; The switch on the power supplies were really cheap but power supplies were expensive. So you left your PC on and turned off the monitor.
After 2 decades: You still leave your PC ON but for many different reasons: Heat dissipation issues have been greatly improved upon, the mean time between failure(MTBF)for HDDs has increased through the roof. Power consumption has undergone dramatic changes. Then the are the social issues: 4AM updates to system files, antivirus, and getting SPAM from Chinease mortage brokers, not to mention your friends who seem to need no sleep. And in general always connected to the Internet.
A laptop, with it's battery plugged in, is probably the only PC to consider routinely turning off. Or you could just remove the battery. It's not the PC it's the battery technology.
Still, a cold boots are necessary. Poor programming still allows memory leaks.
I have PCs (non servers) that have been in continious operation for 4 years. They are old but they work just fine.
Keep ON keeping ON.
I do it this way. If I'm going to be using the computer several times or more over a 24 hour period, I leave it on. If I'm going to be away from the computer for more than a few minutes, I turn the monitor off. I do this for two reasons. The first is safety, monitors and televisions have been known to catch fire with little or no warning. The second is the power consumtion. A monitor can use as much power as several computers. This is how I do it.
Richard R. Johnson