View Full Version : leave it on?

20-12-2002, 04:56 PM
your PC that is :)

I'm far more knowledgeable about consumer audio gear than PCs and with stereo amps etc it is best to leave them on stand by (also CD players).

now what about computers?

is shutting down totally and restarting 5/6 times per day unnecessary and harmful to circuits etc...is there any advantage of yr. PC warming up as power amplifiers etc sound better when warm...(both valve & transistor although of course valve it is more critical)

would it be better to just close down all programmes and leave the puter "idling"

also how much $$$ in power does the average desktop computer use...?

any comments much appreciated

20-12-2002, 05:07 PM
I think Godfather posted what a computer would cost per da/year to keep running.

There are two arguements for and against leaving computers on.

Personally we leave ours running 24/7 and just turn off the monitor but then ours is work related as well as personal use.

I would be inclined to leave a computer running at least all day rather than turning them on and off several times.

Of course there will be others here that will argue something different, I think it comes down to personal choice.

20-12-2002, 05:26 PM
If it wasn't for the fact my new motherboard doesn't like my computer going into standby, I'd put it into that as opposed to shutting down. If your BIOS has the option, and your computer won't overheat too much from this, tell the CPU fan to stop in standby mode, so your PC consumes even less power and is almost dead silent.
Plenty of businesses leave their computers on permanently, but this is partly due to security: my dad's work leaves the computers on, but locked (Win2K/XP users should know what this is), because they have the regular update system scheduled to run overnight.
I have heard that leaving your computer on permanently is better for it, but I personally don't do this.
Perhaps if you got energy efficient processors (and other components if they are available), used a power-supply regulator/UPS, and added in some nice solar panels on your roof that were wired directly to the UPS (though it would also be plugged into the mains), you could save some power and have your computer on permanently.

20-12-2002, 05:37 PM
You can leave it on 24/7 if you like, I tend to but that is because of downloading and crunching at night usually.

If you don't want the 24/7 I recommend switching it on when you use it first in the day, then switch it off when you stop using it at the end of the day. There is not much point in starting up and shutting down the 3+ times per day.

Remember to turn the monitor off as that drains a lot of power.

20-12-2002, 05:46 PM
i have 2 that run 24/7 usualy.
I do find that i have to reboot the '98 box but only do so when i've confused the poor wee thing with all that computing stuff. The Linux box is 24/7, and always will be.

Basicly, so long as you turn your monitor off, an idle computer wont be using much power. I think my time, the added wear caused by drives spinning up and all the rest of it is worth more than the 2 cents or whatever i might save by shutting the computers down when i am out/sleeping


Greg S
20-12-2002, 07:15 PM
Your computer has moving parts such as the fan, so naturally you get wear while it's running. However start-ups cause a bit of extra stress on things like the drives. Also there's always the heat/fire risk of leaving it on unattended or at night.

My routine is to run it non-stop during the day, and switch off only at night or if we go out.

Remember of course that Windows is a resource hog, and many applications that you close don't necessarily release the resource power that they were using, so a re-start once a day is a good thing. This anomaly is less noticeable on the NT/2000/XP systems however.

20-12-2002, 07:46 PM
We've had this debate before, Cant remember the outcome.
At work, I leave it on 24/7 (Except over christmas hols ;)) but lock it before leaving, and the monitor turns itself off or onto standby after 3 minutes.

At home, monitor goes into standby after 3 mins (immediately on shutdown), and I hibernate it each evening!

20-12-2002, 08:16 PM
I book I have recommends turning the PC off if it is going to be left for more than an hour. He gave some figures for the power consumption on a large scale and they were quite an eye opener. His theory is that the power consumption and wear and tear outweigh the effect of heating and cooling on startup/shutdown after the hour.

20-12-2002, 08:40 PM
Well I've got mine crunching 24/7. After all you've got to be in to win.

20-12-2002, 11:03 PM
Mine's on 24/7....

No hardware problems.

Normal day is for me to check E-mail around 6:00 a.m. Go to work at 6:30 a.m. Wife uses computer to play various card games during the day while I work. When I get home I check E-mail, Forums etc for a while. Use the computer to download things when I'm in the sack.

I go to work simply to pay for the power charges. :-) :-) :-)

I can't say that there is an issue regarding hardware if the computer is powered on and off frequently as I don't do it!

21-12-2002, 01:24 AM
Hi all
I used to leave mine on 24/7, then the power bill went up bit (could have been the fact that I was up late playing and a lot of the power was being chewed up by the lights being on that usually weren't). Now I turn mine off when I've finished and won't be back again for more than 4 or 5 hours. Can't see that doing that will do too much harm.


21-12-2002, 08:35 AM
the figures
180w x 24 =4.32 units, 12c a unit = 51c a day
51 x 365 = $189

ofcourse if you use standby then the power consumption reduces even less than the averaged figure i use of 180w

THe monitor uses half of youur pc power, so if you stick that into standby. That will be where you make your savings.

YOu can argue whether its good to have it on or off. But it is personal choice. People can argue about arching etc caused by the expansion and contraction of solder joints caused by continuously turning it on and off. But a pc on average lasts 3 - 5 years. and its not long enough to really cause some damage in that respect

21-12-2002, 09:21 AM
It used to be said that a computer should be left on permanantly because the greatest strain on the hardware was caused by booting it. How ever that was a very long time ago and componants are a lot more stable now. But I guess there must still be some strain on the metal parts because of heat, surely this would be negligable.

My PC is on or in standby all the time I'm home, but I switch the monitor off when I'm not in front of it. I guess this is shortening it's life bu using the mechanical life. I think I saw a link to freeware that put the monitoer into standby when run, but I can't remember where. On account of turning 44 yesterday perhaps?

21-12-2002, 09:30 AM
I suppose I could leave my computers on 24/7, but the noise would keep everyone awake, myself mostly as my computer is, obviously, in my room, and refuses to go into standby.

About that 3-5 year life expectancy, isn't that a little short? I guess I'm not affected by that figure because my computer has different components in it at least once a year - that's the thing with custom built computers, they'll probably outlast you.

21-12-2002, 10:36 AM
Many TV's recommend that you don't leave them on standby longer than 6 hours. I loaned a TV to a neighbor who left it on standby and then complained that it did'nt work. After some fiddling to retune I got it to work and banned the use of the standby setting, plus being wary of loaning any electronic gear without ensuring that the receiver knew how it could or could not be used.My routine is to switch off everything if it is not going to be used in the next couple of hours. This time of the year there is the possibility of overheating if air circulation around the computer is not very good. My computer is in a roof space room, although I had an extra fan fitted in the unit the room can get very warm with the heat from 2 computers. A domestic fan is run to push the blue smoke and hot air out of the window.

21-12-2002, 01:55 PM
sorry didn't mean a PC will last 3-5 yrs, rather that thats how long people have them before upgrading

21-12-2002, 05:52 PM
> On account of turning 44
> yesterday perhaps?

You turned 44?! Happy Birthday!