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. RubiksMaster Real eyes realize real lies Registered Senior Member

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    I always turn mine off at night. It has caused no damage so far. You should at least restart it every once in a while to clear out the RAM. I once left mine on for a few days straight, and it really bogged down. I restarted and it was fine.

    I think it probably wears out faster to leave it on. The hard drive and the fans would probably go out the fastest. Probably the difference is negligible. After a few years of leaving it on for long periods of time, or shutting it down every night, you still need a new computer, simply because technology changes.
     
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  3. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Hummm, let's see.
    Linux pwns ^_^
     
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  5. §outh§tar is feeling caustic Registered Senior Member

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    Leaving it on is a waste of electricity
    More expense
     
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  7. gormo Registered Member

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    Theres several sides to this. Electronic components "like" to be left on, they are under less stress that way, things like capacitors etc are less likely to leak if they arent power cycled, turning things on and off stresses them more. But on the other hand mechanical things will wear out when being left on, although they too are stressed more on starting and stopping. Modern hard drives arent really arsed, they supposedly have a lifespan of 100,000 hours (which is about 12 years), can you really see yourself using the same drive for that long? Even oldish hard drives have a similar life, some 386's had to be replaced at my dads work because they were getting unreliable after about 12 years.

    With modern hardware it doesnt matter either way. I tend to leave mine on as i am fannying around on the net, or downloading stuff. The whitish noise from the fan makes me sleepy too.
     
  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    At our company we all leave ours on all the time. That's on the order of magnitude of ten thousand PCs nationwide, running Windows 2000, upgrading one at a time to XP as the leases expire. Our leases are for three years so that's all the longer we keep the suckers running. But hardware failures are extremely rare, when one happens we all crowd around like a road accident.
     
  9. TomWelling Registered Member

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    PC should be only turned off once a day if you want it more strong and power!
     
  10. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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    Thank You Tom Welling!!!111
     
  11. kazakhan Registered Abuser Registered Senior Member

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    I thought that I had replied to this obviously forgot

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    Well of course but how would you know wether or not I'm maxing it out by running seti@home, folding@home & the like?

    That would be for a very short time indeed.

    I spent 3 years or so studying electronics at TAFE. I'm guessing you mean measuring the average power loads of the towers. That's gotten me thinking with the sensors we have on motherboards now is there software that can give an idea of a computers power load?
     
  12. Jaster Mereel Hostis Humani Generis Registered Senior Member

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    I horribly abuse my machine. I leave it running at full-power day and night. I don't remember the last time I turned it off. Maybe it was a month ago? Maybe more... I have no clue.
     
  13. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    a computer will last longer if it has had a minimum of cold starts.
    the reason being that a discharged power supply will generate voltage spikes when turned on, these over-voltage spikes will take their toll on your computer.
    windows should be restarted every day, this is called a warm boot.

    your crt monitor on the other hand is exactly opposite, it should be turned off or powered down when not in use. the reason is that the crt actually 'burns off' electrons to operate. screen burn is NOT a reason to power down your monitor although at one time it was a real concern, a lcd monitor doesn't have either of those problems
     
  14. John99 Banned Banned

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    Shut down your PC. My system got shut down restarted every day and sometimes more than that, with XP sometimes i would just shut down by pressing the button if i was in a rush and it rebooted fine everytime. This PC was retired after 7 years, mostly because it was too slow for XP.

    Leave it on and that adds to wear and dust from the fans blowing not to mention the electricity being used. Heat is the real killer and with hd's it is the constant spinning....jmo

    Trust me, leaving it running is an old wives tale.
     
  15. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    I got a letter from one of your government officials. He said he had a few million dollars and just needed my bank account number to get the money out of Nigeria. For this service, I would get ten percent!

    I decided against the scheme, but perhaps he could use his millions in Nigeria to fix the power?

    PS I really did get a letter, about ten years ago. Nowadays, it's usually an email.
     
  16. draqon Banned Banned

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    that is a nice reply....
     
  17. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    One other thing I forgot to mention sooo many months ago is that when you bootup/shutdown in XP your computer does do some of the maintainence jobs necessary keep things in working order. On some installations perhaps updates will be installed at shutdown.

    So it's necessary for an XP system to be shutdown to continue it's functionality, however the same can't be said for Linux/Unix systems.
     
  18. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    this is a good point. Of course, you don't get much folding done when the machine is off, do you?

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    Given your training i'll have to defer to you on this topic, then. As far as MB Watt sensors, I'm not sure. I know you can pull temps off the MB, but can you get power draw?
    My logic equation was specifically (average wattage while in standby*# of hours) VS. Wattage needed for cold-boot, with some rough adjustments for impact on overall machine life from cold-booting regularly. I estimated that with sleep mode pulling <20Watts (is this still acurate?), it made more sense to sleep the machines overnight than it did to reboot them every morning.

    Why do people keep mentioning Fans and hard-drive wear from leaving the machines on? Does anyone's machine not stop both when the machine goes to sleep? Unless you're running SETI or Folding@Home, whose machine *doesn't* go to sleep(standby) after a period of inactivity???

    edit:
    http://standby.lbl.gov/Data/SummaryChart.html
    this suggests that computers average ~2 Watts in sleep/standby mode. so 12 hours*2watts vs roughly 45 seconds at near full draw...
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2006
  19. kazakhan Registered Abuser Registered Senior Member

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    It's been over 10 years since I last studied and I never really used what I learnt so I'm very rusty and a soon to be baker so my interest has waned.
    Yes & no, currently most motherboards support monitoring RAM & CPU voltage and I'm not sure how many show other voltages like the various buses. I'm guessing there are power supplies that can report to the BIOS but I don't know if that is really the case. A quick google turned up this so monitoring of a computers power load will probably be part of a future spec if there isn't one already.
    I haven't tried putting a machine into sleep or standby mode for years, it always seemed to cause problems for me even with laptops. The fans and HDDs should power down.
    But how much power is consumed coming out of sleep mode?
     
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