Is it true that computers should never be turned off?

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Lucidfox, Jun 8, 2005.

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  1. Lucidfox RPG Nut Registered Senior Member

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    I was told that every time a computer is turned on or off, it puts a lot of stress on the computer. Also, I was told that leaving a computer on constantly would be better for a computer than turning it off every night before going to bed. So my question is, what would be the best thing to do? I tried leaving it on for about 2 days in a row before and it never got hot(although my monitor will get hot if it's kept on for a whole day)
     
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  3. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    somewhere in the middle. booting the computer pushes alot of electricity and heat through an otherwise cold system. The process takes much more power that running the machine normally.

    Putting the machine to sleep overnight, and then waking it in the morning, uses much less electricity than booting it every morning.
    If you are not going to use the machine for more than a day and half, or so; it should be shut down. A sleeping computer still uses a little electricity to keep the data in RAM stable, and this will add up over many days.

    Also, even when the computer is OFF, it is still using a little electricit to keep the clock battery charged. If you want a machine to use no power at all, you have to physically unplug it from the wall. Doing this often is not recommended, though, because it will kill the clock battery which will need to be replaced sooner.


    I tend to leave my computer in sleep mode, the monitor turned off, if I'm going to use it the next day. Otherwise, I turn the machine off. I only unplug it if I'm going away for a week or more.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2005
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  5. Neildo Gone Registered Senior Member

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    I wish I could leave my system on when not using it, but my friggin tornado fan is too damned loud, lol. Each time I do something in my room, the thing is just too distracting so off the computer goes, heh.

    - N
     
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  7. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I personally wouldn't leave a normal PC on over night purely because of the wear and tear factor. While you leave your PC running it's fans also have to run to keep it cooled, now that might not seem a problem but slowly the fan can collect dust until one day it might stop turning.

    At least with booting it up you can tell when the fan stops.

    Although you could dispute also that running the system causes it to drag more air from the room through the box and therefore subjects the inside of the computer to higher levels of dust collection.
     
  8. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    I just clean my pc from dust now and then,
    but haven't shut it down for more than a restart for about 3 years now (ok, not counting times when I replace hardware or do other inside job).
    Besides I don't have a RAM problem on Linux,
    often find out (when I bother to look) that I haven't restarted in weeks.
     
  9. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

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    The myth could have something to do with the days when hard drive technology was less advanced. You could loose a lot o f data if the computer wasn't shut off properly. A bad startup could also cause harddrive failure.

    Nowadays, computers - the quality ones - are built just like washing machines were in the 1930's. Its perfectly safe to turn them on/off. But a lot of geeks still take pride in having the greatest 'uptime'.

    Fans are pretty cheap, so if you need to replace them its worth the convenience of leaving the computer on 24/7. Otherwise, turn your computer off and help the environment. By the time it wears out you'll want a new one anyways.
     
  10. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Like I had a few weeks ago. Lost data on two partitions.
    Alas, it was partially my fault.
     
  11. kazakhan Registered Abuser Registered Senior Member

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    Do you know of any actual data to back up that claim? I disagree, if you're not going to be using your PC for a few hours switch it off and do the environment a favour. I used to leave my linux box on 24/7 but 400W at 8+ hours a day doing nothing is a waste.
     
  12. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Actually mentioning the Harddrive is also a good point, It was mentioned that if you do leave your computer on to place it into "Sleepmode". If you don't then your system will constantly be using the Harddrives pagefile for "Dirty writes".
    (This is basically a method to keep information thats running on the system "remembered" and was really imployed when there wasn't much RAM resource.)

    "Dirty Writes" are a sure way of failing your harddrive over time. In fact it was unreleased (and potentially unfounded) however I've seen a couple of older harddrives not survive Windows XP due to a mixture of the pagefile mechanics, the restore function and the Sleep mode (which takes the contents of your RAM and saves them to the harddrive).

    In fact three seperate older drives with only about 10Gb on them either couldn't handle XP's installation (Not enough Heads/Cylinders?) or failed shortly after it was loaded.

    As also previously mentioned too, power consuption isn't just an environmental problem since it can cause brownouts as a whole.

    I'm guessing that if you were to compare the data from 3 decades of computer purchases, with the data for the energy consumption (and the data of how many people leave their computer on over night) you would end up with probably a conclusion that geeks seeing how long their *nix box can stay up are causing those brownouts (With no L0pht hacks involved)
     
  13. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    I use the "standby" mode to power it down but not completly off. i find this mode to be better than Off or sleep.
     
  15. bob-bobby Born Again ;) Registered Senior Member

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    i live in nigeria and such kinda trials is not at all possible in a place like this ...

    NEPA - National Electric Power Authority SUCKS big time - big time power mismanagement !!!
     
  16. Gondolin Hell hath no fury like squid Registered Senior Member

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    Mine gets turne off everynight. It's too loud to sleep with it on.
     
  17. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Do you have Windows XP for the operating system? If so try the standby mode, there's no noie and all you need do is pres the power button and it is on to your desktop.
     
  18. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    The key is that the 400W measurement is a maximum for the power supply. The machine, running or asleep, averages much less than that.

    While booting, however, it will use pretty close to the full amount possible. Also, during games, the video card might being pushing the upper limits of the power draw.

    I did electrical pull measurements back in college, but that was for a room of Beige G3 towers; the numbers most likely wouldn't apply today, even if I could find them.
     
  19. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
     
  20. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    I find that even with Windows XP an occasional reboot is a good thing. It doesn't have the same issues as Windows ME with memory leaks (as far as I know) but I do know that if you leave it running constantly, it does tend to slow down over time and strange things sometimes happen.

    Now. Before anyone goes off about viruses or trojans or spyware or blah blah, I can pretty much guarantee that none of these are the problem.

    It's just that Windows still has a ways to go before you can call it a rock-solidly stable Operating System. It needs a reboot to clear out the fuckups it's made during the time it's been operating (my theory).
     
  21. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Dean,
    Generating links across the forum isn't going to get your point across. For one the topic that you are dealing with isn't exactly in alignment with the topic of this thread.

    If you want to discuss your views and beliefs then I would suggest creating a post in the Pseudoscience section that explains your thoughts (rather than just a long list of hyperlinks) for discussion by the masses, that way people will be more acceptant of what you suggest or at least are willing to discuss.
     
  22. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    Once every two weeks I defrag and restart into the Error Checking mode. That way I keep everything from getting messy inside my HD and check it out for any screw ups it might have, which could be a few.
     
  23. Tomoyo Banned Banned

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    This is a nice thread....
     
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