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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:13 AM   #1
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Do You Leave Computer on 24/7

I am curious as to what everybody's thoughts are regarding whether or not to keep an editing computer on 24/7 or to turn it off at night if not rendering.

From a few years ago the conventional wisdom seemed to be that the cycle of heating then cooling that occurs when a system is turned off each night and cranked back up in the morning was bad and shortened the life of a system more than leaving it on all the time.

Over the years I have opted for pretty much keeping my sys on 24/7. The current sys is 3 years old and so far no issues with anything wearing out.

I have a new system that will be here in about a week so I thought I would see what the current thinking is on this.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #2
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My online machine (desktop) stays on 24/7 but I restart it 1 time a week. My laptop is on from the time I get up til I go to bed. My edit machine is only on when I need it. No reason to leave it on if I'm not using it.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #3
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D.J. -- I don't turn mine off at night. I use the low-power sleep mode (Mac Pro desktop). I do a full power down once a week or so, same as Don. Also have surge protection on it of course, but no voltage regulation.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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I went through this conversation with a guy that built computers. He swore it was better to leave them on. I built 2 computers side by side using same hardware. My neighbors had 3 failures in 8 years and mine 0. In fact my mom still uses it. The failures were video card, hard drive and I think a monitor. The makers of the motherboards claim that todays components do not suffer from cycles if you use clean power. They cycle their boards 140,000 times. You will get many answers, Although I turn mine on and off 4 to 5 times a day, I have never suffered a failure in the last 11 years of computers. 8 years D865PERL and 2 years P5QPRO. I choose to save on electricity, which in today's computers can be accomplished by sleep. The D865PERL left the fans and lights running, the P5QPRO goes quite dead in sleep mode, though I still shut mine completely off.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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With seven to pick from in the house I tend to power-off when not in use.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 10:19 PM   #6
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Never switch off - haven't for years, but it's a good thing to restart/switch-off-and-on once in a while to clear data from RAM etc. Monitors need to be switched off because they die out soon otherwise. The sleep mode is handy too.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:07 AM   #7
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Sleep mode is probably the worst thing you can do at least for the power supply because power is still being fed but the power supply's fan is not active so its components actually get hotter than normal. I read this from an executive at OCZ (who also owns PC Power & Cooling - one of the most reliable PSUs).

I leave my work PC on in addition to its 14 drives and my home PC with its 15 drives. For me, having the computers on 99.9% of the time is required because I constantly login remotely to one from the other.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:07 AM   #8
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I shut my monitors off at night. Other than than, my primary machines are on 24/7. Never an issue. In fact, our entire workforce of about 850 PCs is on 24/7 as well as a our nearly 200 servers.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:33 AM   #9
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My computer is actually doing something when I'm about to leave it to idle for leaving it on 24/7: Distributed Computing.

I run SETI @ Home and Folding @ Home on my GPU and CPU while I just shut off the monitors and let it crunch the numbers. It's an excellent replacement for a space heater if you live somewhere cold. Overclocking helps more to heat up a room.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #10
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The answer can only come from you. Is it a fire hazard ? I would think not much but possible. Do you need to save on electricity ? Are you worried about security, hackers , someone getting to the keyboard, stored passwords etc. ? Does it need to stay on for remote purposes, customers ?

Do you have hibernate enabled, monitor, hard drive etc? Do you have a back up power supply and a motherboard capable of shutting itself down ? I have seen the power come on and go off several times from storms and would hate to see my computer browned out then back on then browned out repeatedly.

I don't think component wise there is an answer true enough to lean either way, but I save not only on the computer electricity but also the cable modem and APC.

So I think the answer would be personal needs and setup rather than component longevity.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #11
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I really don't see the reason to leave my home PC on if i am not working on it. I only switch it on when i arrive home and switch it off when I go to bed. My office laptop switches on when I get to work and off at 5.

Stelios

P.S. Editing is done on my home PC ( I am a part time videographer)
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Old January 9th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #12
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I shut down at the end of the day.

Because the AC needs to run when the machines are running (considerable amount of heat), shutting down the system saves a lot of power. Makes a significant difference in my electrical bill each month. And I haven't had any problems develop over the past few years.
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Old January 9th, 2011, 06:52 PM   #13
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Seems silly to me to leave any electronics on that waste a lot of power. I always turn off my computer when not using it and use my laptop instead of my workstation when possible. I only turn on my server when needed, and I also make sure proper cpu power saving is configured and make sure to use as little power as possible when idling, undervolting when possible especially if it does not affect performance. Electricity is expensive and all the pollution from producing it is best avoided when possible.

I have never experienced significant problems with any systems from powering them down and up. I would tend to think if anything that the greatest deterioration in computer hardware is likely to be from heat, which is only produced while the system is powered on. It is possible that cold/hot cycles are also bad for hardware, but I havent seen any evidence of it. Even if it was a bit worse for your hardware to turn it on and off, its unlikely that it would affect the working life of the hardware. Besides hard drives and maybe power supplies, 99% of the time pretty much all hardware I've been accustomed to becomes obsolete long before mechanical or electrical failures that come from use.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Parrish View Post
I built 2 computers side by side using same hardware. My neighbors had 3 failures in 8 years and mine 0. In fact my mom still uses it. The failures were video card, hard drive and I think a monitor.
Well, can you prove it was the switching on and off? I mean 8 years are a looooong time for a computer, I wouldn't trust any hard drive for that long, a video card usually dies because people never clean the fan and it overheats, and you can't leave a monitor on 24/7 because then you can throw it away after 2 years anyways.

My computer uses around 170W idle without the monitor, and when I leave it on 24/7, my electrical bill will be so much higher over the course of a few years that it absolutely equals the cost of a new computer - so I always switch it off and save the energy.

By the way I never have a computer longer than 3-4 years anyways, and so I never experienced any hardware failures once the machine was running smoothly in the beginning (I did experience getting faulty hardware from the shop, but of course returned it immediately)
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Old January 15th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #15
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After reading all of the posts on this thread my immediate action was a compromise. I am now turning the monitor off at night but still leaving the computer on. I still have a few days before my new computer arrives to decide what I will do with it.
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