Skip to comments.Turn off an idle computer, or leave it running?
Posted on 11/28/2008 2:22:46 AM PST by CE2949BB
Q. Sometimes a day or two can pass without anyone using our desktop computer. Should we leave it on or turn it off? Do we extend the life of the hard drive when the PC is turned off?
A. There are two issues involved: power consumption and component wear. On both counts, I think it's better to leave your computer on.
Computers don't require much energy, particularly when they're inactive. On a PC, you can set your screen to darken and your disk drive to stop spinning when the computer has been idle a certain number of minutes. You can find these settings under Power Options in the Control Panel.
Computers also tend to suffer less wear and tear if you leave them on. Turning a computer on and off creates tiny power surges which eventually can damage electronic components. You can also reduce wear by using the automatic disk drive power-saving option mentioned above.
Another benefit to leaving your PC on is that programs that run automatically, such as antivirus scanning software, aren't interrupted. For more about whether to leave the PC on, see http://www.5starsupport.com/tutorial/on-off.htm.
(Excerpt) Read more at physorg.com ...
Not terribly true any more. In fact, you're probably more susceptible to power surges if you leave it on, especially if you don't have decent power surge protection.
Really, whatever you want to do is fine.
If it works,,,,,don’t fix it.
Turning a computer off allows the board to cool. Turning it on heats it up. The shrinking and growth causes the connections to loosen and crack.
Plus, it angers Binatonka, the Aztec God of Digital Equipment.
I thought that God’s name is Vista!
Some of the stereophiles I knew on the 70’s and early 80’s said NEVER TURN OFF a high output solid state amp. (tubes are different).
On and off, heating and cooling, destroys semiconductors.
I have been turning my computer off for years and have never had a problem with it. In fact turning the PC off will reset some problems you might have.
leave it running... The RNC has a computer project in which they are polling residents (larger group than citizens) looking for the LAST CONSERVATIVE.
At the time I was able to find parts at an electronic store, (first in Dallas), an installed switches as required, memory upgrades and gulp a floppy drive!
My computer is on all the time and whenever an update arrives it will restart. Make sure your PC has a condom, (Norton) and surge protector. They do work despite what OBummer says!
This is a valid point- although "surge protection" is not an adequate phrase. Brown conditions can do as much damage as surges. One must have an Uninterruptable Power Source (UPS)- a battery which acts as a power dampener of sorts, and supplies clean power to the machine all the time. Especially for always-on machines, surge protectors are not enough.
On an unrelated matter, there is a person out in California who has had Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" playing on a CD player constantly since 1985. He simply has the CD player in repeat mode and it has been spinning Pink Floyd ever since. I assume that he puts it on mute from time to time to keep his sanity.
Hey, start your own theology thread.
Mine goes all day. Many of the newer items automatically go in to ‘sleep’ mode for inaction.
If I am going out for a while, I do turn off the monitor.
At night, occasionally, I will do a full shutdown (WinXP). Most nights, I just do a standby/hibernate, as it turns off the ‘mechanical’ parts.
I have had three PC’s and turned them all off at night. I have never had a problem with any of the three, They have all been Dell’s. I don’t want any updates running on my machine unless I know what it is. I spent 30 years in DP and that is a little habit I picked up from that time. If an update is going to cause problems I want to know about the update. I keep my PC’s 3-4 years before getting new ones.
It doesn’t really matter anymore. Computers last approx 4 years at the most. Keep it on 24/7 is no big deal.
This would beg the question of why check the general populace?
Answer: After polling the RNC ranks they couldn’t find anyone who was conservative.....
4 computers here that see use daily, one is a linux box. None of them get turned off because they are always in use (We run a business from home)
Other than upgrades or vacations (when we will be away for more than a few hours.. they never get turned off. Been working like this for years and never had a problem.
I found I had MORE problems with components breaking when I turned them on and off all the time.. but that might be just me.
Turn off an idle computer, or leave it running?
Thanks, I needed that!!! I had just been wondering!
So, we should leave an idol computer on?
If you chooses to leave a PC running, then I suggest keeping the CPU working.
Visit the Folding@Home Project and download one of the applications.
The application will work at the lowest priority. This means should any other application need CPU resources, the folding process will yield to what you are doing. The default is 100%, meaning when other activities don't have demands on the CPU, Folding will do its thing at the rate you decide.
Hold down Cont-ALT-Delete and bring up the TaskManager, Click on the Performance Tab and observe if your computer is really working. Go back to the processes tab, look for the CPU column and see what is working now. My experience is allowing Folding@home to work at 100% keeps the PC working to capacity. Another question is whether you want Folding@Home to work as a service. Electing this will automatically, load and run the app each time your PC comes on. You also want to join a team, so enter 36120
The following is a portion of a post from Texas Booster
"Folding@Home FAQ for new users: "What is Folding@Home? A Stanford University project to find out how proteins fold. "Why it's important: Proteins folding wrong causes all kinds of diseases, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and forms of cancer. Folding@Home uses novel computational methods and large scale distributed computing, to simulate timescales thousands to millions of times longer than previously achieved.
Through Folding@home, scientists now have the horsepower to study the mechanics of protein folding. With its ability to share the workload among hundred of thousands of computers economically, Folding@home can help scientists understand how proteins snap, or don't, into their predestined shapes - and may help to explain the origins of diseases such as Alzheimer's and apparently unrelated diseases. We're fueling research that could end all that. "How does it work?: You download a safe, tested program (see link below) that is certified by Stanford University. It gets work from Stanford, runs calculations using your spare computer power, and sends the results back to the University. "Is it safe? Yes! Folding@Home rarely effects computer performance in any way and won't compromise your privacy in any way. It only uses the computing power you aren't using so it doesn't slow down other programs. "How do I get started folding for Team FreeRepublic?:
1.) Download the folding program from Stanford University's folding download page (Folding@home Client Download). Type in your desired user-name.
2.) Type in 36120 for the team number. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT - if you get the number wrong, you won't be folding for team FreeRepublic!
3.) The third question asks, "Launch automatically at machine startup, installing this as a service?" - We recommend you answer YES. Otherwise you will have to manually start the program after every reboot. "How can my computer help? Even if they were given exclusive access to all of the world's supercomputers, Stanford still wouldn't have as much processing power as they get from the supercluster of people's desktop systems Folding@home relies on. Modern supercomputers are essentially a cluster of hundreds of processors linked by fast networking. But Stanford needed the power of hundreds of thousands of processors, not just hundreds. "There's no reason to not get involved! It's free, easy, and you can know you're helping every minute without lifting a finger."
So if you decide to leave your computer on, now you have extra justification for your choice.
That's assuming that someone who plays a CD continually for 23+ years has any sanity to keep..... :^)
Must be the same guy that figured out that you could sync "Dark Side" with "The Wizard of Oz"... maybe he has that on an endless loop, too?
Computers last approx 4 years at the most.????
This one was built in 1997, still going strong. I turn it off anytime I am not using it. And, I use it several times a day every day of the year.
If your computers are only lasting 4 years, you need to quit buying junk.
If your computers are only lasting 4 years, you need to quit buying junk.
Or at least treating it better. lol. I am on the computer all the time especially Free Republic.
Same here. In fact, they are all in running order to this day. The only reason I replaced them was because of changing technology. Why run a Pentium III when a Core-Duo is sooo much faster?
From my standpoint, turning off the PC at night does it no harm. Besides, I'm a cheap bastid. I don't want to pay for the electricity.
Here are a few of my Disciples in the usual church garb:
They're called vestments, Brother Laz. Laz knows his own and they know him, in the biblical sense, one hopes.
Yeah pretty normal and sound tech advice.
Powering it on and off a lot is pointless, it can wear a pc out the way a car would be with its starter.
I have my monitor turn off automatically after 5mins of inactivity and am all set..It’s actually hard to sleep if i can’t hear the pc fan on but thats a nerd thing i guess.
OK technogeeks, what is the probability (possibility) of a machine left on 24/7 being compromised by a hacker for spam, spyware, viruses, etc.?
Is he still doing updates?
Have you taken over the F@H list from texasbooster?
Idle computer? Anyone have any idea what they’re talking about?
On your knees disciples!
The laser hasn’t burn through yet? LOL
I have an old ASUS board (P2L97) that has dual slots for two processors.
I fitted it up with matching Celerons (the ones with the Klamath core) and overclocked it up to about 500MHZ.
It has about 500 meg of memory, and about 100 meg of hard drive.
I only use it for certain types of testing and turn it on once in a blue moon, but it still runs.
Not bad at all for a board that came out in like 1997.
I consider these girls in vestments.
My religion, Lazamatology, has a few rules:
- Lazamataz is a jealous god. He will tolerate no idles before him.
I once kept up to 10 machines running 24/7 on United Devices cancer research wich I ran for a few years before it finished up.
There was no wear or adverse effect to the processors themselves and the only ‘problems’ I encountered were the cooling fans breaking and excess power consumption.
Once the project ended, my electric bill went down a lot.
The micro processors do enter a lower power state automatically when they idle and they do cool down if not active. Once a load is placed on them, they do heat up a lot.
A side effect of keeping the computers running 24/7 is the heat that they generate. In colder climates up north, that usually isn’t a negative, especially during the winter, but down here in Florida, it does effect the electric bill a lot.
I run ALL my machines through a router which is connected to the internet. Hiding a machine behind a router greatly reduces the chances of getting hit by ‘drive by’ villians.
Once, I took one of my machines off the router and exposed it directly to the internet and within 30 seconds, I got hit with a virus.
Since I’ve been running behind the router, I’ve never had any virus at all. I even had my anti-virus, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit uninstalled for several monthe with no ill effect.
I don’t recommend running without the anti-virus etc protection, but the router absolutely stops most attempts to even get in.
The only way can possibly get a virus would be to download some ‘freeware’ or visit a contaminated site, or possibly through email. If I am dumb enough to visit contaminated web sites, then I deserve what I would get hit with.
I'd hit her.
What about laptops?
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