Shutting of computer, what do you think?

  • beings
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i want to hear what everyone thinks about shutting their computers off at night. Personaly i turn my on in the morning and turn it off before i go to bed. I know that people say turning off the computer is bad because it lowers the computers life span because of heat scorching.... but i cant beleive that. what do you do and why?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • rtm223
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Post 3+ Months Ago

tis true. Any electronic component will get damaged by heating and cooling cycles.

Think about it, how often does an electronic thing die in mid-use. Rarely. Normally it will go a bit funky for a while and then one day just won't switch on.

You will also get better performance out of IC chips if they are warmed up (NOT processors - they work differently and like to be cool). You can actually hear the difference between a hifi that is cold and a hifi that has been running for half an hour (with a quality separates system)

For most components, like TV's dvd players etc, standby is good enough as it keeps the circuits warm. Plus no-one can tell you that you are "wasting energy" because stuff on standby runs at 1 or 2 watts normally.

It's not going to make your PC die tomorrow if you switch it off tonight and if you are regularly (annually) upgrading then you should be able to switch it on or off as often as you want.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

interesting question, ive often wondered the same having asked people and received a different response every time ;)
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

In addition to what rtm223 said, it is argued that it is harder on your hard drive to stop it and start it on a daily basis. I have no proof that leaving it on continuously adds to the life of it other than my own experience.

I've had my original computer on 24x7 for almost 7 years. I did have to replace one hard drive once, but that was due to bad sectors in the FAT table. I did get 3 years out of it before hand. The current drive I've had for 4 years with no noticeable problems. The slave drive in the machine is 7 years old and still works fine.
  • ShEDeViL
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I never shut my computers off, and try to reboot them as little as possible. All 3 of them run 24x7. The only down side that I see is that it heats up my room.
  • beings
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Post 3+ Months Ago

so at night i should put it into standby? what happens in startby anyway? i know it shuts off the internet and logs off and i think it shuts the hard drive down but what else? i know the fans stay on but my temperature in standby and idle is always the same. I gotta buy AC if im gunna leave my computer on at night cause the heat wave has hit and its bloody hot already.

ive always shut down my computers before nighttime and ive never had anything break down in my computers my 8 year old computer and my 1 year old computer have never had any breaks yet and i turn them off every night. i have had 1 cd rom drive crap out on my 1 year old computer but it was probably because it was 56X and it was realy cheap no name brand

I also think leaving it on gives it more time for things to go wrong. cause there was a huge power surge on our street a while back and i was realy realy lucky to have my computers shut down and powered off because dvd players and my parents computer downstairs got fried even with their expensive surge protectors. Sure they got the insurance money but they lost all their data.
  • rtm223
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Post 3+ Months Ago

beings wrote:
so at night i should put it into standby?

Don't know, I know that is how it works with tv's and the like, not so sure about computers

Quote:
ive always shut down my computers before nighttime and ive never had anything break down in my computers my 8 year old computer and my 1 year old computer have never had any breaks yet and i turn them off every night.

Well, I doubt it makes a <b>huge</b> amount of difference, but on/off cycles do damage delicate integrated circuits - I checked with my brother, and thats what they teach in Electronic engineering degrees whilst they are learning to build the things lol.

Quote:
I also think leaving it on gives it more time for things to go wrong. cause there was a huge power surge on our street a while back and i was realy realy lucky to have my computers shut down and powered off

Very true. I always make sure I switch mine off in thunder storms, but I really shoud get some surge protection :roll:

TBH, I don't think it will make that much difference. It <i>does</i> damage the circuits, but how much is probably negligable. I leave my computer on for the sake of conveinience (all the files I was working on are still all open the next day) as much as anything. I leave my hi-fi equipment on because it sounds better when I first start playing a CD (and I really can't afford to do <i>any</i> damage to it - the cost of replacement is far too high!)

IMHO do whatever is most convenient for you. Leaving it on all hours will not kill it, and neither will turning it off every night.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thunderstorms are a questionmark for any electronic device. 2 nights ago was the first time I can ever recall shutting off all my computers, but it was exceptionally bad.

In regards to hard drives here's a few odds and ends:

In the old days it was necessary to "park" your hard drives to prevent damage to them. Normally turning off the computer accomplished this as most drives were "parked" when the power was shut off. From http://www.helpwithpcs.com/courses/hard ... hanics.htm

Quote:
Actuator (D in fig 1.1)
This refers to the device that physically moves the actuator arms, years ago they used to use stepper motors for controlling the actuator arms, but the problem with stepper motors in applications such as this is that over time with a lot of use they lose their integrity and can cause data corruption.

Another problem with stepper motors is that when they get hot (which hard drives do) they lose their precision, for example data that is saved with a cool drive can sometimes be unavailable when the motor gets hot due to this displacement effect.

Stepper motors also required the read/write heads to be parked (moved to a data-free area of the drive) manually, if the read/write heads were not parked and the drive suffered any shock (such as transportation) the data could be corrupted.

Nowadays most (if not all) hard drives use a voice coil instead of a stepper motor, unlike stepper motors, voice coils are linear and don't suffer from the same integrity problems.

Because voice coils are magnetically driven by electrical currents there is no mechanical wear and tear, voice coils also negate the need for parking the heads before shutting off the power as when they lose power the heads return to the parked position automatically.


Here is another article from PCGuide that gives a clearer understanding about head parking - http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/actParking-c.html

Another issue is the power consumption when the drives "spin up" when you turn on the power: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/op/spinPower-c.html

I also find this very interresting from a MAC perspective:

Quote:
SBBOD spins for 30-35 seconds. You may hear your hard drives spinning up.
Cause

Hard Drive Sleep.

Modern hard disk drives are designed to spin-down after a certain period of inactivity. This is to conserve energy and is also considered by some to increase the useful life of the drive by reducing wear. This is usually referred to as "hard drive sleep" but the technical term is Standby mode. In Standby mode, the hard drive is in a state of low energy consumption and its platters have ceased to spin. It is awaiting a read or write instruction, at which time the hard drive will spin-up its platters to perform the operation. It can generally take 30-35 seconds for a hard drive to spin up once in Standby mode.

(source - http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/sbbod.html)

There's more out there to be discovered, but my experience is that I've seen less hard drive failures from computers that remain on than those that don't. In addition, I've never had to replace a CPU fan or power supply in any computer that's remained on constantly.

More to the question so here's a few thoughts about it from others:

http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000390.htm
http://www.nepasolutions.com/articles/articles.php?ID=7
http://www.eastland.net/tech/tips/tips15.htm
http://www.pccomputernotes.com/newslett ... 13101b.htm
http://www.bcentral.com/articles/enbysk/158.asp

(The links go on and on if you want to keep reading:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=& ... tnG=Search

I think the bottom line is that there is no clear answer to this question. I found a method that works for me, and that is to leave them on.

I will note that the monitors will most definitely "live" longer if you turn them off after use.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have made the decision to leave my computer on. Its also for convience and well, if its not going to make my computer crap itself then why not.

I suppose the only other argument is electricity use if it would use a lot more in leaving it on.

My computer screen has had it anyway, hopefully I will get a new one soon.

Great links ATNO, thanks for taking the time to post those.

:thumbsup:
  • beings
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Interesting stuff ATNO thanks for the post but im not too concered about my harddrive because every thing is backed up. Does anyone have info on CPU or motherboard damage from shutting the computer down?

the power surge that I had happen wasnt from a storm, it was from the hydro guys working with the power outside my house. They plugged a live wire into the wrong spot and BOOOM! all the lights flashed maddly and the downstairs computer went boom and flames shot out the back (probably the dust catching fire)

also is it more harmful to have the power suddenly shut off like in a power outage then turning off the computer manualy?
  • ShEDeViL
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have a UPS, so if the power goes out, after 5 minutes it shuts down my computer automatically.

To answer your question, it would be better to turn off your computer yourself than to have it turn off because the power went out.
  • dyefade
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ShEDeViL wrote:
I never shut my computers off, and try to reboot them as little as possible. All 3 of them run 24x7. The only down side that I see is that it heats up my room.


I shut my computer off at night because it makes a reasonable noise, and if I want to go to sleep...
I guess this isn't a problem if you don't sleep in the same room. I've also looked at getting a less noisy case, but have put it off as I want to start from scratch with building sometime.
  • SSH-Raj
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Post 3+ Months Ago

musik wrote:
I suppose the only other argument is electricity use if it would use a lot more in leaving it on.


well it takes around 600-900 watts to power up a pc so it would depend on how often you turn it on and off.
  • rtm223
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SSH-Raj wrote:
musik wrote:
I suppose the only other argument is electricity use if it would use a lot more in leaving it on.


well it takes around 600-900 watts to power up a pc so it would depend on how often you turn it on and off.


Gotta disagree with you there, watts is a unit of <b>power</b>, not energy. Watts only makes sense in this context if you put a time with it as well.
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Time is implicate when referring to watts (joules/second). Basically his statement is saying that a computer coverts 600 - 900 Joules of energy per second during power up. Not necessarily incorrect in itself. However, I'm not sure if the actual value given is correct.

However, I agree that a unit of energy would have been more appropriate when considering the amount of electricity being used.
  • rtm223
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Post 3+ Months Ago

JrzyCrim wrote:
600 - 900 Joules of energy per second during power up.


Which as it is, kinda makes sense, but is pretty useless unless you put a time with it to convert back to energy. TBH, I'm not sure that my el-cheapo 300W PSU could handle 600-900W lol (although maybe I'm confusing the way the power os a PSU is calculated - god knows that take enough liberties with speaker powers!)
  • JrzyCrim
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Post 3+ Months Ago

:) I agree. 600-900 watts does seem a little high. It might peak to that level or higher initially. Honestly, I don't know. But it does make more sense to use energy in this instance. The amount of power * the amount of time it takes the computer to power on. Of course, power isn't going to be constant during that time.

Generally, the rating on a power supply refers to the continuous power comsumption. They will be able to handle peaks exceeding that value for small amounts of time.
  • Truce
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I leave my comp on 24/7 and haven't had problems. 1 downside to it, is that your RAM gets full of garbage and your computer slows down. Hopefully windows longhorn will have better memory managing tools built in so I don't have to restart once a week or so to keep by beast running at top speed.

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