Leave Computer ON 24/7 ???? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Glocker74
07-10-2005, 07:54
Hi. I was told that a computer will last longer if you leave it running 24/7. Electricity use is minimal, assuming the monitor is off. True or false? The guy said it's the start up that wears on the system the most...

I use Zone Alarms internet block when not on the keyboard- supposed to stop all incoming/outgoing traffic.

Thanks for any knowledgeable replies...:)

Angel Of Death
07-10-2005, 08:56
I once heard it just keeps your on/off button from wearing out.

I have had my computer on for the last 9 months, since the day I built it with only 3 weeks off when I moved to Turkey. No problems whatsoever besdies a noisey fany once in a great while.

MLM
07-10-2005, 08:58
Originally posted by Angel Of Death
No problems whatsoever besdies a noisey fany once in a great while. Beans will do that to you. You ever try Beano?

Glocker74
07-10-2005, 09:28
;z ;z You guys....;e I think I'd get that fany checked by a competent professional, deathman, or at least a significant other. :)

Hauptmann6
07-10-2005, 15:26
Previous to this rebuild I left my computer on for close to 5 years. Other than the occational shutdown for a move or to clean it it was ALWAYS on. Never had a problem with it.

Alpha752
07-10-2005, 16:49
Mines on 24/7 (usually, its in storage right now). It had been on for 2 years before I had to put it away. With the occasional reboot, it was just fine.

bobby_w
07-10-2005, 17:37
I have 8 PC's/Servers running 24/7.

My room glows in the dark and does not need heating in the winter. ;f

Glocker74
07-10-2005, 17:55
OK. I was kind of looking to see if I should shut it down every night to save on electricity. Sounds like a popular thing to do, though, so I will just keep the sucker running. Thanks! :)

jack19512
07-11-2005, 05:11
I guess I am just the opposite. I have a Gateway 450 that is always turned off after use and is used just about everyday. Still going strong. Only thing I have had to replace is the hard drive and just the other day the original CD ROM went out. If start up's are bad you wouldn't know it from using this computer.

grantglock
07-11-2005, 07:42
Originally posted by jack19512
I guess I am just the opposite. I have a Gateway 450 that is always turned off after use and is used just about everyday. Still going strong. Only thing I have had to replace is the hard drive and just the other day the original CD ROM went out. If start up's are bad you wouldn't know it from using this computer.

If you had left it on your hard drive and cd-rom would never have worn out. :)

HerrGlock
07-11-2005, 08:21
I consider a computer a useful tool and I want use of that tool at my want/need/desire, not on its terms. When I want to use it, I know it's running and ready to use. No waiting for booting, no waiting to log in, everything's already there, up on the screen waiting for me.

If you turn your computer off, housekeeping chores (disk maintenance, file compression, scans, updates, fast find updater, etc) cannot happen automagically and you have to wait for them to complete next time you turn your computer on.

Electricity saved from turning a daily use computer off is almost nill as booting takes more power than running, it's about a wash.

DanH

stooxie
07-11-2005, 10:11
This is a question that has many answers, some historical and some current.

First, the easy part: it will definitely use plenty of electricity. If you have a 300W power supply, and many
have way more than that, imagine leaving a 300W lightbulb
on all the time. Sure, computers consume slightly less
power when not in use, but it will still be using plenty.

Now, as for it being better or worse for the components, that's where it gets a little more interesting. It USED to be true for large drives that you wanted to keep them spinning. This sort of goes by the theory that electronic components are FAR more likely to die between on-off transitions than if they just stayed running. Interestingly enough, that has been my experience with almost every electronic failure. Something (computer, tape player, whatever) could work for years. One time, you turn it off and the thing never turns on again.

I think if you're turning your computer on and off many times a day it might be better to just leave it on. If it only get a few hours of use and then it's off until the next day, might be better to save the electricity.

Since I subscribe to the "electronics, like car engines, need to keep moving to stay alive" theory, I tend to keep mine on. (No, I don't leave all the lights in my house on due to the same thinking ;) )

-Stooxie

Bronson7
07-11-2005, 10:12
Gang, I'm no guru, but I read a long article on a test (can't remember where) that showed no appreciative difference in longevity concerning always on vs. shutdowns/start-ups. Besides, doesn't a pc sort itself out on boot-up? From what I read, the main concern was thermal cycling of electronic components which didn't matter.
Bronson7

Glocker74
07-11-2005, 10:18
OK, right there with the 300 watt thing- my info was that a computer uses very little power. 300 watts is more than I figured.

I use mine extensively. If I turned it off once a day it would be off for about 9 hours a day.

stooxie
07-11-2005, 10:38
Originally posted by Bronson7
Gang, I'm no guru, but I read a long article on a test (can't remember where) that showed no appreciative difference in longevity concerning always on vs. shutdowns/start-ups. Besides, doesn't a pc sort itself out on boot-up? From what I read, the main concern was thermal cycling of electronic components which didn't matter.
Bronson7


Totally possible. I think this is one of those things that just depends on what camp you're in.

-Stooxie

Daynja
07-11-2005, 11:53
I leave mine on for conveinence and I don't have to pay for electricity. As far as affecting the life of the electronics, I doubt it. As long as the computer is properly cooled it should be fine for many years. Hard drives will probably die sooner, but they are regular maintenance the way I see it. Keep things backed up or use raid (I use both) and hard drive failure is not a problem.

Fans and hard drives do get louder over time. So if your goal is to keep it silent forever, turn it off. Or just replace them more often.

For most things, we're really talking about the difference between them lasting 10 years and lasting 15 years. I don't know many people that keep using their computers for that long.

07-11-2005, 14:19
I used to leave mine on all the time but i dont run the AC much in the summer and the heat in my room / house worries me.

With my room reaching the mid to upper 90's in the summer i think its a BAD idea to leave the computer on. So unless your a rich mo fo who runs the AC all the time to keep the room at a cool temp i think its bad for the computer. Even having 6 fans on the case is just circulating hot air and "cooling" is not very effective. If i lived in a cooler climate i would leave it on for a few days.

Andy

Daynja
07-11-2005, 16:53
Originally posted by USCG1988
I used to leave mine on all the time but i dont run the AC much in the summer and the heat in my room / house worries me.

With my room reaching the mid to upper 90's in the summer i think its a BAD idea to leave the computer on. So unless your a rich mo fo who runs the AC all the time to keep the room at a cool temp i think its bad for the computer. Even having 6 fans on the case is just circulating hot air and "cooling" is not very effective. If i lived in a cooler climate i would leave it on for a few days.

Andy

I agree with you here. Temps like those will hurt computer parts (especially hard drives) in a hurry.

I run my AC 24/7 and I live in minnesota. hehehehehe

nhglocker
07-11-2005, 17:42
You got me curious so I stuck the ampprobe on my old box (500MHz running Windows2000) and found it draws just over half an amp doing nothing. That comes to 60W roughly. That's 1.44KWH per day, 525.6 annually. I pay a little over $0.13 per KWH so let's say fifteen cents. That means I'm paying $78.84 a year to keep my computer powered up.

Granted newer systems draw more current than that but this gives you a rough idea. There are other considerations for 24/7 on time though. For instance I run Linux on my main box which should be kept on as certain maintenance tasks are performed in the middle of the night. If you have a full time internet conn. (DSL, Cable, Sattelite) this increases the possibility of someone cracking your box. If a fan dies when you are not there you are more likely to fry something on your motherboard. Others can add to the long list of things to consider I'm sure.

As far as longevity goes without any hard evidence I would venture a guess that repeated power cycling might reduce the life of mechanical compenents (drives & fans) slightly. Certainly not as much as it may once have been.

That being said I keep my main computer on almost 24/7 and have never had a drive go bad. I wish they would I'm too cheap to just throw them out and I'm running out of room.

nhglocker
07-11-2005, 17:48
Originally posted by USCG1988
I used to leave mine on all the time but i dont run the AC much in the summer and the heat in my room / house worries me.

With my room reaching the mid to upper 90's in the summer i think its a BAD idea to leave the computer on. So unless your a rich mo fo who runs the AC all the time to keep the room at a cool temp i think its bad for the computer. Even having 6 fans on the case is just circulating hot air and "cooling" is not very effective. If i lived in a cooler climate i would leave it on for a few days.

Andy

At my work I maintain computers located on a manufacturing floor where temperatures can exceed 100 and even though the cabinets have AC the temperature reading on the hard drives hover in the mid 90s. The spec sheet on these drives have an upper operating temp rated at 140 Farenheit. These systems are on 24/7/365 and some have been running almost seven years now.

Daynja
07-11-2005, 20:56
Originally posted by nhglocker
If a fan dies when you are not there you are more likely to fry something on your motherboard. Others can add to the long list of things to consider I'm sure.

That being said I keep my main computer on almost 24/7 and have never had a drive go bad. I wish they would I'm too cheap to just throw them out and I'm running out of room.

If the CPU fan dies, the computer will shut off with most motherboards. But if you're relying on only 1 or 2 case fans and one dies, then you could be in trouble.

I've had 3-4 hard drives die on me over the last 7 years. It happens. They get old. Some are bad from the factory. Just remember that your hard drive will fail on you when you happen to need it most.

jack19512
07-12-2005, 06:52
Posted by grantglock

"If you had left it on your hard drive and cd-rom would never have worn out."






I assume you are joking. Considering how old this computer is and the only things that have been replaced have been the hard drive and CD Rom drive I think it has held up very well.

Going back to my original point, if turning a computer on and off is suppose to be bad for them you wouldn't know it from using this computer.

fastvfr
07-14-2005, 16:12
Here it is:

TURNING IT OFF

Pros: Slightly cheaper in the long run due to less wear on fans and lower power usage.

Cons: More thermal stress from heating and cooling of components.


LEAVING IT ON

Pros: Convenient and handy, not much more expensive than turning it off assuming the CRT goes into Power Saving (off) mode when the PC is not in use.

Cons: More power consumption and a slightly higher probability of Trojan infection if Broadband is also active 24/7.


So, basically, pick yer poison, pardner. Whichever sounds best to you, go for it.

Many people agree that the benefits and downsides pretty much cancel each other out regardless of which way you go, anyway...

Glocker74
07-14-2005, 18:52
Thanks for putting it in a nutshell, Fast. I left it off today when I was out, about 8 hours; my office was considerably cooler when I opened up. It was 100 degrees out today, so it really helped not to have the computer running.

Since I don't plan on using it more than 3 years at most, I think I will shut down whenever practical.

Broadband/Trojans? I use Zone Alarms internet shut off when I'm away. Doesn't allow any traffic in or out. Hopefully that will keep out the bugs... Thanks for the tips, guys, I appreciate it!:)