PDA

View Full Version : Do you/can you leave your PC on all the time?


!<blocparty>!
Dec 22nd, 2004, 10:41 PM
My computer has suddenly become retarded and won't turn on sometimes, and its a pain in the ass especially when I need to do work. And with my addiction to WTAworld and MSN, no computer = Hell :lol:

Is it healthy to leave PC's on all the time or not? Different people have told me opposite views :shrug: So I'm a but :confused:

Adivce please :wavey:

Barrie_Dude
Dec 22nd, 2004, 10:45 PM
I turn it off at nite when I am off to bed...

SK Fluffy
Dec 22nd, 2004, 11:15 PM
It's actually best for a PC to be on all the time because the hardware is not put through the stresses of heating up and cooling down ;)

Barrie_Dude
Dec 22nd, 2004, 11:16 PM
It's actually best for a PC to be on all the time because the hardware is not put through the stresses of heating up and cooling down ;)Yeah... but I have roomates as well and I do not want them on my puter

SK Fluffy
Dec 22nd, 2004, 11:19 PM
I wasn't telling you to do so! :p Just answering Tim's question! ;)

Martian Willow
Dec 22nd, 2004, 11:32 PM
It's better for Windows to reboot occasionally, like once a day maybe. :)

CondiLicious
Dec 23rd, 2004, 02:24 AM
I turn mine off every night but it's on most of the day. My gf keeps her computer on for days and days on end and then just restarts it cause she says it's not good for a computer to be turned on and off all the time. But I don't like wasting electricity :lol:

LostGlory
Dec 23rd, 2004, 06:16 AM
It is healthy to put it off through the night once a day.....if you keep it on all the time you reduce the life of the fan and power supply by 1/2.....if you are on cable or DDSL you are also vulnerable to hackers and spyware....electricity is not such a big issue because these machines work on such a low wattages that it is not such a big deal....overdoing anything is not so good...

bw2082
Dec 23rd, 2004, 06:18 AM
I keep my computer on ALL the time unless I'm going out of town

Emptiness
Dec 23rd, 2004, 06:23 AM
All the time, restarting occasionally of course. I use it as a heater for my room. :)

Cuckoo
Dec 23rd, 2004, 07:21 AM
My personal Computer is not, The computers we use up in the flat has, and has been on for ages,

!<blocparty>!
Dec 23rd, 2004, 04:34 PM
It is healthy to put it off through the night once a day.....if you keep it on all the time you reduce the life of the fan and power supply by 1/2.....if you are on cable or DDSL you are also vulnerable to hackers and spyware....electricity is not such a big issue because these machines work on such a low wattages that it is not such a big deal....overdoing anything is not so good...


It's actually best for a PC to be on all the time because the hardware is not put through the stresses of heating up and cooling down


:shrug: Still confused :lol:

griffin
Dec 23rd, 2004, 04:54 PM
Ask the same question to 2 techies, on average you come back with 3 anwers. My own experience is that computer running Windows of any generation function better if they are rebooted frequently, and I've heard that advice given by most reputable techies I know. I also think you're better off not leaving your machine open to the internet 24/7 unless you've got one hell of a firewall.

Not to say that it's really better to turn the beasts off, but we've had computers in the office that get shut down at the end of every day that have been working (well) since 1998. So at least "wear and tear" would seem not to be an issue.

Other advice on the subject:



http://www.worldstart.com/tips/tips.php/749
Q:
Should I leave my computer on all the time, or turn it off?

A:
This debate comes up often. Sparks continue to fly on both sides of the issue (especially if you don't have a surge protector;-)

I guess I'll give you the thoughts from both camps and let you decide.

Leave it on:

The electronic components within the computer tend to last longer if they aren't constantly cooling off and warming back up. Additionally, you don't get any kind of initial "spike" in power when your machine is first turned on (not a big problem if you have an ATX type motherboard—most newer computers do). Finally, it's much more convenient to just plop down in front of your computer and start working than to sit through a lengthy boot-up.

Turn it off:

Your hard drive may last longer, especially if your computer doesn't put the drive on "standby" after a certain amount of idle time. The constant spinning of your hard drive motor can wear out the internal bearings. I personally don't think this a big deal. Newer hard drives will probably be in good service longer than the computer they live in.

Another "turn it off" argument is that you'll save on your electric bill. Depending on your machine, it uses the same power as one or more 100 watt light bulbs.

Finally, you're going to pull more dust into your computer if it's running all the time. More dust = more heat. More heat = short lived computers, unless you clean it out regularly.

Those are the main reasons both ways. My opinion? I let it run during the day when I'm using it and shut it off at night.

I don't think it's good for the computer to have someone poking at the power switch constantly. If you're going to use it in the morning and then again in the afternoon, leave it run till you're finished for the day.

I used to leave mine run 24/7, but a few things have changed my mind.

For one, any chip faster than 133Mhz needs a cooling fan to keep it from burning itself into a silicon cinder. These fans are not totally reliable.

If I'm using the computer and am getting signs that I have a CPU that's overheating (your computer will act *really* strange, some will play a little tune through the internal speaker), I can shut things down and get it fixed. If it happens in the middle of the night, I'll have a roasted CPU in the morning.

Another reason is that I've seen power supplies go bad and try to catch themselves (and anything nearby) on fire. Again, not something I want to have happen at 2:00 AM when I'm asleep dreaming about program code.

Finally, anyone who uses Windows knows that it should be re-booted on a daily basis. So, by shutting it off at night and turning it back on it the morning, I automatically get my re-boot (that's not to say you won't have to do the occasional re-boot during the day though with win 9.x type machines or ME).

So, my advice is to run it when you need it, and when you're done for the day, shut it down.

~ Steve



http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mturnoff.html
Dear Straight Dope:

Two computer experts I know have given me conflicting advice regarding when I should turn my computer off. The first said that I should never turn it off--it should just run all night and day. According to him, leaving the computer on saves the machine components from wear and tear and the amount of energy used to turn it on and off is more than the amount used to keep it running continuously. The second said that I should turn it off if I'm away the machine more than a couple of hours because the amount of electricity is greater than the amount used to keep it running during this time. Also, by running your computer continually, he claims, the components will wear out faster due to the heat generated by the machine. Who's right? --wjcarbon

SDSTAFF WildBabe replies:

Nobody, really. The reason you're getting conflicting advice from you computer expert buddies is that there are two schools of thought on the matter, the energy conservationists vs. the equipment conservationists. To a large extent it comes down to personal preference and/or usage. F'rinstance, when I work out of my home and am on my computer between 15 and 18 hours aday, I just leave it on. If I'm going to be at the office most of the day and only use my computer for an hour or two after work, then I go ahead and shut it off. I know people who leave their computers on all the time no matter what, and I know others who turn theirs off if they're going to be away from the keyboard for more than 15 minutes.

Does the equipment wear out sooner if you turn it on and off frequently? Perhaps, but you'll probably replace the computer before most components fail. The one exception is the hard drive. Moving parts are the weak link in any system and the most likely to fail prematurely. The question is what causes a hard drive to wear out fastest: continuous operation or frequent warm up/cool down cycles due to being turned on and off. A lot of people think warm up/cool down places the most stress on the HD, but again it depends on personal usage: it's silly to run the computer all the time if you use it only occasionally. As for the other arguments your buddies used, it doesn't take a whole lot of power to operate a computer, particularly if you enable the power saving features available on most modern PCs, and the heat generated should be taken care of by your fans. If it's not, you should take it to your local repair shop and get your fan replaced.

--SDSTAFF WildBabe
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

!<blocparty>!
Dec 23rd, 2004, 05:00 PM
Thanks Griffin. I don't intend leaving my internet on all the time. I turn it off when im not in here normally (it only takes 2 seconds to re-connect anyway)

!<blocparty>!
Dec 23rd, 2004, 05:09 PM
And another thing....since ive had windows xp pro, the standby button isnt available when i press "start" and "turn off computer" :confused:

SK Fluffy
Dec 23rd, 2004, 09:01 PM
My old comp did that. Just had to use the start menu to standby it.

Edward.
Dec 23rd, 2004, 09:16 PM
I generally leave it on during the day, then put it on standby during the night.

Barrie_Dude
Dec 24th, 2004, 12:08 AM
I wasn't telling you to do so! :p Just answering Tim's question! ;):bs: :bs: