Is it better to Leave a PC Running OR Shut it Off ??

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Is it better to Leave a PC Running OR Shut it Off ??

  •  If a PC is not going to be used for (8) hours or more, is it better (for parts/HDD longevity) to just leave it running or Shut if Off ??

     

     

  • If you're not using it, it's best to shut it off. It'll also lengthen the life of the components such as the hard drive. Generally hard drives fail due to wear and tear resulting in mechanical failure from constantly spinning at revolutions such as 7200rpm all the time.
    Message Edited by mfinnan101 on 05-23-2008 10:02 AM

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit

     

     

  • I generally leave my PC running and reboot once a week to clear things out and release regain resources that may be hung up.  i am sure you will find more people that not that leave it running.  That way, your defrag, scans, etc can run in the middile of the night.
  • If you are running Vista, you could put it in the sleep mode.
          

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  • Running constantly, a computer burns through about $10 of electricity a month.  Leaving it on gains nothing.  Dust builds up faster.  Windows needs to be shut down.  It's a very poor housekeeper, and over time it clutters itself up to where it won't run anymore.
  • Another vote for turning it off.  The classic argument is that powering on is more stressful than keeping it running.  If you power cycle it every 5 minutes, well, yeah.  Every 12-24 hours - come on.

     

    Here's a classic article on the subject from 1993 (!).  Even way back then hard drives were rated for about 20,000 power cycles and 25,000 hours of continuous operation - powering off every day was just fine.  Today hard drives are easily 2-3 times more reliable than that.

     

    http://www.umich.edu/~archive/mac/misc/documentation/tooffornottooff.txt

     

    Of course that's hard to believe when you're unlucky enough to have one die on you after 6 months.  I've been extremely lucky and had 2 PC's with drives that lasted 5 and 7 years with daily power-downs.

     


    'Tis a poor carpenter that blames his tools.

  • I set mine to power down hard drives after 1 hour.  So, no stress on the hard drives in my case.
  • Startup stresses are negligible. Power supplies do not 'lurch' on, they startup under a programmed ramp, the designers recognizing that at cold start, capacitors briefly appear to be a dead short. They turn off the same way. So it's not like slamming the doors on your car.

     

    Certain old drives actually landed the heads on the disc surface at shutdown. They also were prone to bearing changes with temperature from long runtimes. Those two reliablility factors cancelled each other out. Starting/stopping it was bad, leaving it running was bad. Those issues have largely been overcome in recent designs.

     

    When you hear/read about people having trouble turning their computer on after it's been off, that is a circumstance specific to that unit, and the root cause is the current generation of marginally-defective capacitors being used in all computers. When that starts happening, you might get another month's use out of it by leaving it on. But as the capacitors continue to deteriorate, the system will still fail outright.

     

    Technically, this should not be happening.  Capacitors in computers are under much less stress than they are in say, a CRT television.  But vendors have cost-reduced the parts to the extent their reliability is heavily compromised. 

    Message Edited by x_lab rat on 05-23-2008 02:41 PM
  • I leave mine on 24/7.  When you turn a cold computer on there is a "electronic shock" to the system.

    after a while this "shock" can blow a component on startup. if you leave it on then everything is at optimal

    running temp.

     

    just my opinion 


  • drprinter wrote:

    I leave mine on 24/7.  When you turn a cold computer on there is a "electronic shock" to the system.

    after a while this "shock" can blow a component on startup.


    Not true any more. 

    The only thing that would cause a "shock" as you put it on startup is if there is an electrical inductance present. The inductance that is on all integrated circuits inside your typical computer today is completely negligible and is of no concern whatsoever.

     

    The only component that is susceptible to this would be the power supply, however in recent years the parasitic inductances and capcitances has be ironed out. So this shock is no longer present.

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit

     

     

  • The 'turnon shock' has been relegated to an urban legend.  Computers regulate their turnons.  Not so much to give you more reliability--though it does--but to let them use cheaper parts--which they do.

     

    Mine's 10 years old, and I power-cycle it 1-3 times a day, and think nothing of it.  BTW, my job at Dell was reliability engineer, before they decided to slough that off onto vendors. 


  • x_lab rat wrote:

    The 'turnon shock' has been relegated to an urban legend.  Computers regulate their turnons.  Not so much to give you more reliability--though it does--but to let them use cheaper parts--which they do.


    100% correct.


    x_lab rat wrote:

    Mine's 10 years old, and I power-cycle it 1-3 times a day, and think nothing of it.  BTW, my job at Dell was reliability engineer, before they decided to slough that off onto vendors. 


    I'm sorry, but I have to ask to satisfy my interest. What are the specs of your 10 year old system?

     

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit

     

     

  • Funk 49

    The great on/off debate still continues, here are two versions of it here and here of it.

    Turning on the hard drive a few times per day, is considered normal usage and should not pose any problems.

    If a drive is turned on and off excessively on a daily basis, then this could affect its longevity.

    Personally, I shut the system/systems down at night, when I'm away from the home office or when a computer is not being used for any lenght of time. Hate to waste energy!

    Bev.


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    Forum Member since 2001
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  • Dell XPS R-400, Maxtor 8G. Survived Texas thunderstorms and the onslaught of viruses in the early 00s, with the factory image still intact and working like new.  It's obsolete, but it does what I need done and it is trouble free.

     

    I am a very satisfied Dell customer, though I'm not certain I would be if I bought one today.

     

    Landing-zone drives had a reliability deficit, but virtually all drives today are ramp-load.  Starting and stopping them extracts no penalty.  What mainly impacts drive reliability today, is the fact that manufacturing assemblers are rushed and handle them roughly.  A raw drive is about as fragile as an egg.  Plopping it onto a hard worksurface can doom it to internal destruction within months. 

  • I also have a Dell XPS R-400 that I ordered with Win98 (orig) and had to wait after they had built it because they could not ship Win98 yet. Still use it once every few days and it still has the factory image as well.

    With Vista I just about always use sleep instead of shutting it down.