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Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
Reviews:
·Champion Broadba..

Leave it running or turn it off and on! Computers!

I know that the topic, "Is it best to keep your computer running all the time or is it better to turn it off when not in use and turn it off and on as needed on a daily basis" has been kicked around before.

But just FYI:

I have made the individual choice to leave it running all the time. I know there are meritorious arguments for each method. Recently I turned it off for a move. No damage was inflicted upon the computer in the move.

Now one of the the main argument for leaving it running all the time is that the greatest electrical or electronic stress placed on an electronic item is when the initial surge or flow of power begins on start up.

When I plugged the computer back in that baby's power module blew up like the Shuttle Challenger. BIG bang and BIG spark! That smell of electrical "fire." I was only surprised the box didn't lift off or launch!

Ordered via online a new power supply module and installed it. Took me five days to get it. Man what a burden, having to live off line!

Strictly a personal choice but I ain't turning that puppy off again except when leaving for more than a day.



csiemers

join:2000-09-16
Portland, OR
Reviews:
·Comcast

I've always turned off my desktops when done using them for the last 20+ years. The server I keep on 24/7. I do it more for ecological reasons than anything. Though my electric bill would probably be a few bucks more every month if I didn't.

The only time a power supply failed was after I was cleaning the inside of the computer and I accidentally blew dust into the PSU which caused it to go up in a puff of smoke when I turned it back on.

I've never had a piece of hardware fail in all that time that was related to power on/off.

Of course that's just my experience. Everyone's different.
--
»www.caryontech.com



EvilByDesire
I Am My Own God
Premium
join:2002-09-03
Grotto
reply to Blogger

edit, double post, posting error popped up
--
Sometimes "The Majority" only means all the fools are on the same side.



EvilByDesire
I Am My Own God
Premium
join:2002-09-03
Grotto
reply to Blogger

Desktop stays on 24/7, have a vnc and file and media server setup, laptops get turned on and off through the day. Havent have any catastrophic hardware failures yet, just a grfx card and a powersupply shortage from a thunder storm, all easy fixs tho...
--
Sometimes "The Majority" only means all the fools are on the same side.



Fir_Na_Tine
Giggity Giggity
Premium
join:2001-01-03
Sout Joisy
reply to Blogger

I leave mine running 24/7. I run a media server on it and just like having it ready for whatever without waiting for it to boot up, maybe a quick game or check something online. My wife has a laptop thats only on when in use. We plan to each get a tablet soon as well so the PC will be more of a server than anything.

Only cons to having it on 24/7 would be power use and heat output (not bad in the winter) and it would get dusty more faster than a PC thats turned off regularly. I was always curious how much my PC adds to the monthly power bill but never tried to figure it out.
--
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
-Jimi Hendrix



nonameyet
I Make Them Ring..Ring
Premium
join:2000-12-19
Sellersville, PA
reply to Blogger

24/7 Both of them. Always.



dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
reply to Blogger

I am in the habit of leaving mine on 24/7 since I had an ME...when turned off half the time it didn't like to come back on without big problems. I have an XP now.. planning on a windows 7 soon and probably will STILL leave it on all the time.



NickD
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Princeton Junction, NJ
reply to Blogger

I tend to leave apps open on my laptop for days or weeks if I'm working on a big project, so it stays on 24/7 except in standby mode when being transported. The server stays on 24/7, and it's been up without a reboot since Hurricane Sandy.


tcope
Premium
join:2003-05-07
Sandy, UT
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to Blogger

For wear/tear its better to leave it on if you are going to use it again in a short amount of time. Electronics usually fail from a sudden change in temp. This is why a light usually fails right when it on. It goes from cold to hot in an instant as electricity shoots through it. Same thing with chips in the computer.

However, when a computer goes into sleep mode, I'm guessing things like the monitor and HD's turn off.



whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9

3 edits

3 recommendations

reply to Blogger

Oh, Jesus. Not again.

said by Blogger:

Now one of the the main argument for leaving it running all the time is that the greatest electrical or electronic stress placed on an electronic item is when the initial surge or flow of power begins on start up.

This is a great argument from people who know very little about electricity or electronics. Usually it comes from people who have seen an incandescent light bulb burn out when they turn the switch on. Loads draw the power they require, including at start up - its not the power supply 'forcing a surge' onto things.

Electronics, especially PCs, have integrated circuits placed on ceramic substrates (i.e. the CPU). When ceramics heat up and cool down repeatedly over time, what happens? They crack. The most minute of cracks in a chip, renders it destroyed. That's a good argument. (The heat & cool is also the issue the bulb burns out on power up.)

24/7 for me.


Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
Reviews:
·Champion Broadba..

said by whizkid3:

Oh, Jesus. Not again.

Actually it was and is a first and one time for me. Plus my experience involved more than theories or opinions it included real world physical facts--explosion, fire, smoke--a real show.


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to Blogger

My computer adds $15/month to my bill roughly. Never ran the heat in college in the winter when I had 10 computers cranking out SETI or the other projects. I got my money's worth in terms of the electric bill since it was included in the rent. I'm guessing those PSU's and computers in general back then weren't as efficient as today, so that could have easily been $200 a month, just for the computers.



psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
reply to Blogger

I always hate when clients ask this question. I don't hate them for asking, it's a valid question. I just hate the question because it has no correct answer. I provide both schools of thought and ultimately leave it up to them.

My tower system is only turned on when needed. I am typically on one of the laptops and the cost of running it 24/7 outweighs the cost of a new PSU. I typically have a PSU on hand so if it does fail no big deal.



Crash Gordon
Drive It Like You Stole It

join:2004-06-08
Smyrna, GA
reply to Blogger

I leave the 3 main machines on 24/7 (mine,wifes, and HTPC). Most of the time they're doing something (even if nobody is at them and it's a PITA to go upstairs to boot the HTPC go back down and send something to it.) Laptop is on/off as needed.



KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
reply to Blogger

Let's not forget that power supplies are often cheaply made with lowest bidder components.

After sitting unmoving and on for a long time, you moved it. It's not inconceivable that vibration or shocks from the move (or even the simple process of it getting cold after being hot for a long time) caused a problem to manifest itself (cracked solder joints, defective capacitor or W/E) so that on power up the next time, you had a failure.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini



Bach
Premium
join:2002-02-16
Flint, MI
reply to Blogger

My NAS box is left on 24/7, on a UPS.

My "work" desktop is brought up in the morning and on for the day as long as I have need for it.

My "surf and game" computer in the TV room is brought up after dinner and is on about 4 hours each evening.



Blogger
Jedi Poster
Premium
join:2012-10-18
Reviews:
·Champion Broadba..
reply to KrK

Whatever the cause I should have added a lesson learned that I did by chance that saved my bacon.

To wit: I took the power cord unconnected at either end and first plugged it into the computer. I then crawled under the table and plugged the other end into the power strip. There would have been more to my story had I reversed the order of operation.



KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

If the power strip is turned off, the order wouldn't matter. The action would occur when you hit the switch on the surge protector.

Either way, it does seem better to connect the cable to the equipment first before plugging in the power cord to the wall (or strip.)
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini



MagMan
Life is simpler when you tell the truth.
Premium
join:2003-10-01
Westlake, OH
reply to Blogger

24/7 for me.
Laptop with windows 7.



signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
Premium
join:2001-11-22
NanoParticle
kudos:5
reply to Blogger

Amazing, not one comment about the affect on the environment wasting electricity. CO2 and emissions. It's a big deal. I used to live less than 1/4 mile from a coal fired utility plant. Watching the smoke flow 24 hours really put in perspective what wasting electricity means.

Thankfully, I no longer live near that carcinogen plant.

Processors are made of Silicon, I never heard Silicon called a ceramic. It is a mineral, a crystal made by lowering a seed crystal in a vat of molten, spinning sand, and lifting it back out creating a boule, which is then sliced up and polished, doped, and lithography and etch done to it. I used to make the litho machines.

»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boule_%28crystal%29

Is silicon a ceramic?

If you're not folding, crunching, or trading, turn it off!
--
Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.



sivran
Opera ex-pat
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Irving, TX
kudos:1
reply to Blogger

I leave mine on. Two of them crunch, and one runs various housekeeping tasks through the night (and also sometimes crunches). The NAS also stays on.
--
Think Outside the Fox.



NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06
reply to Blogger

Generally,

  • a. leave it running if you're coming back to it in a short while
  • b. turn it off if you're not coming back to it for a long while
  • c. put it to sleep if it's going to be somewhere in between

(Of course, you have to decide what "short" (a few hours?) and "long" (a few days?) mean to you. Being in sleep mode allows it to perform scheduled tasks as needed, and then it can go back to sleep.)
--
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"


Cabal
Premium
join:2007-01-21
Reviews:
·Suddenlink
reply to signmeuptoo

said by signmeuptoo:

Amazing, not one comment about the affect on the environment wasting electricity. CO2 and emissions. It's a big deal. I used to live less than 1/4 mile from a coal fired utility plant. Watching the smoke flow 24 hours really put in perspective what wasting electricity means.

Almost none of which comes from personal PC use. Consider using a $17 Kill-A-Watt on the appliances around your home, you'll be surprised at what you find when comparing just about anything to an idle PC.
--
If you can't open it, you don't own it.


chrisretusn
Retired
Premium
join:2007-08-13
Philippines
kudos:1
Reviews:
·PLDT
·Comcast
reply to Blogger

24/7 or Off/On for me depends on solely on needs. While power consumption is a concern, it's my aircons that drive up electric bill, not my computers. I don't have an aircon in my computer room. Being a greenie (I am not one) and/or wear and tear do not factor in at all.

I have two desktops, two laptops and a netbook. The laptops are always shutdown or hibernated after each session. One exception is a laptop I frequently leave on because I prefer to work from this desktop (bigger screen) over my network. This desktop also initiates daily backups, syncs with two remote mirror sites on a daily basis, acts as my LAN DHCP server, my print server and my time server. This desktop is left on 24/7, with the exception of regular maintenance or power failures. When the power fails a UPS allows me to shutdown in a timely manner or, if not around initiates an unattended shutdown. My second desktop is normally shutdown after each session.

I am a folder, currently on hiatus; when folding both desktops are on 24/7.
--
Chris
Living in Paradise!!



marti
Color outside the lines
Premium,MVM
join:2001-12-14
Houston, TX
kudos:5
reply to Blogger

Keep all of mine running 24/7, as they are crunching. Also have battery backups (UPS) attached to all of them. I don't shut down computers if I am gone for a day or two.
--
Team Discovery


Damon85
Premium
join:2004-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to Blogger

I used to leave my desktop on and shut it down at night, but when I got this new system a few months ago I decided to suck it up and do the work necessary to let it go to sleep when it's idle and stop fussing with shut downs and power ons. So far, it's worked out fine, all I had to do was:

- Configure whatever housekeeping tasks like backup sync, etc. to wake the system when they run if it's asleep, and...

- Configure the portable copy of an SSH client I use to run the WOL command when I connect to my router to wake the PC up if I need to access it remotely (RDP tunneled via SSH). The router of course is always on, as is the cable modem.

Works like a charm, and I get to save power in the meantime. Only issue I had was with the SSD waking up from sleep and disappearing, but some tweaks got rid of that at a small expense of power -- nothing I'm going to lose sleep over. I think I'm saving a small bit of money every month, but I'm not sure if I can attribute it to the better power management or just the higher efficiency of this system in general.

Now the only time my desktop gets shut down is when I accidentally click 'Shut Down' instead of 'Log off'



cosmicvoid
Infinity Or Bust

join:2001-01-02
Kingston, WA
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
reply to signmeuptoo

said by signmeuptoo:

... Processors are made of Silicon, I never heard Silicon called a ceramic. ...snip... Is silicon a ceramic?

If you investigate the way cpus are constructed nowdays, you'll find that the silicon chip is mounted to a metal and ceramic carrier. So, no, silicon is not a ceramic; yes, cpus have ceramic parts.


lordpuffer
RIP lil
Premium
join:2004-09-19
Rio Rancho, NM
kudos:2
Reviews:
·CableOne
reply to Blogger

They run 24/7....All 3 of mine. Never had an issue due to that. I do turn mine completely off and then on again about every 3-4 days, or if I'm having an issue.

The only thing that is off is the Display which is set to turn off after 15 minutes of non use.


ds7

join:2012-11-07
Montpelier, VT

1 edit
reply to Blogger

Don't PSUs for PCs have something that prevents any unusual surge going thru to the electronics when they start getting power?

I know the volts/amps are closely regulated by the components in the power supply (within a small percentage of the 5 or 12V, etc.). And so, when it is first turned on, if the power delivered to the mainboard and peripherals is only the normal amounts the devices require, well they're not necessarily doing a lot at startup - surely CPU load is slight for a bootup, and the HD just needs to read a series of sectors for stuff to be put in RAM.

There must be a temperature increase associated with this, but you're not going from cold to full heat right away.

(I often leave mine on while i'm away on workdays to avoid the inconvenience of restarting things, but I think it might be better to turn it off if not running a backup or torrent or distributed computing project or whaterver.)


ctggzg
Premium
join:2005-02-11
USA
kudos:2
reply to Blogger

Computers aren't a new invention. Whatever arguments you can think of for leaving it on, the engineers who design the hardware know. Some say a quick transition from cold to hot is a problem, but the hardware is already designed to handle it. Do whatever is convenient.