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  1. #1
    A. Body
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    Leave Computer on or Shut down/Hibernate?

    A question that has vexed me for a long time was if it is better to leave your PC on when you aren't active on it (or if it isn't doing anything) or to shut it down/hibernate.

    At first glance, it seems better to shut it down to let it rest--

    --until someone told me how machines like to be active instead of shut down then turned on again. He usually leaves his PC on the entire time and has yet to have his HD fail or any component of his PC while I have gone through 2 HDs already in the past 2 years (both were Western Digital I believe).

    Currently, I turn on my PC in the morning and turn it off at night before bed. On occasion, I may turn it off if I am going to be out of the house for a long period of time (like 2 hours or so).

  2. #2
    Nidhogg
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    Some say keeping it on is technically better than turning it on/off multiple times/day due to surge in power when you turn the computer on but...to be honest this shouldn't show a negative effect on your computer at least for a good 10+ years.

    I Personally keep it on/hibernate mode it all the time and reboot once a week so that I won't waste time booting it every time I use.

    To answer your question...will turning it off at nights damage your computer? No, it will not. Either way, make sure you close your monitor when you are away from your computer.

  3. #3
    Not Killing Ganon
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    turning it on and off can cause bigger problems (hard drives especially heads can hit platters, and cause death) as coming up from a cold boot causes everythign to become active from a cold dead point... leave it on, its all good in the end

  4. #4

    I did some research on this a few years ago and the general concensus was that it's better to leave your computer on unless it's going to be inactive for loooong period of time. Something about starting up/rebooting stress on circuits and such??
    I usually leave my computer on all day, and shutdown @ bedtime.

  5. #5
    Old Merits
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    Personally, I turn it on during the day and turn it off at night. Plus, your electricity bill is (somewhat..) lower.

  6. #6
    Hayleystrator
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    I don't remember the last time my PC was off when I wasn't on vacation. Seriously, as long as I'm in the county I live in, it's on. I was gone for 2 weeks in March/April and I turned it off then, but other than that it's always on. I reboot every so often to reset memory leaks and random little glitches here and there, but other than that, yeah...

    I plan on replacing the CPU (E6600 -> E8500), upgrading the RAM (2GB -> 3GB), changing the heatsink (Scythe Ninja -> something by Zalman), and upgrading the video card (X1950XT -> HD 4870) in the next few months which should increase my in-case temps by a good bit, possibly requiring me to shut down every so often. =(

  7. #7
    Pandemonium
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    I don't see any harm in turning off when you go to sleep. There is a small power surge when you turn on the computer and it goes through its self-tests and boots up the system, but it's nothing that will damage your components. Leaving your computer on 24/7 does, as should be no surprise, shortens the life of the components in the system. The worst you can do is to constantly standby/hibernate the system instead of just leaving it on or turning it off completely. IMHO, you should leave it on or turn it off.

  8. #8
    I Am, Who I Am.
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    I turn my PCs of at night, never had any problems, saves money too.

  9. #9
    YOU ARE SEARED
    Dungeon Master of the House of Weave

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    I leave it on most times, and end up rebooting every few weeks. I'll turn it off if I'm leaving for an extended vacation or w/e.

    Using this policy I've maintained the same parts for a good 4-5 years with no issues, and by that point it's time to upgrade again anyway so there's no real risk of excessive wear and tear becoming an issue. Leaving it on allows it to do maintenance at night where it won't disturb my online habits.

  10. #10
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    I always have mine on... Sometimes even when I take weekend trips I leave it on. I don't like wasting time by shutting it off. Haha

  11. #11

    Turn that shit off, think of the planet.

    For example, an article in the latest CBR suggested that if corporate America switched off their computers for just 30% of the time, it'd be an energy saving of $1.7bn, or 14.5 million tonnes of carbon-emissions per year.

  12. #12
    The 69th Donor
    Pens win! Pens Win!!! PENS WIN!!!!!

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    I'll generally leave my PC on, but turn my laptop off overnight. My laptop likes to get too hot, so turning it off at night gives it the chance to cool itself a little bit.

  13. #13
    Pandemonium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuemue View Post
    Turn that shit off, think of the planet.

    For example, an article in the latest CBR suggested that if corporate America switched off their computers for just 30% of the time, it'd be an energy saving of $1.7bn, or 14.5 million tonnes of carbon-emissions per year.
    That takes into account data centers though, which suck up a whopping 1% of the earth's power consumption (1% is a lot if you think about it) on a daily basis. I highly doubt turning off everyone's personal computer (which suck up no more power than a common refrigerator) would have that drastic of an effect.

  14. #14

    Nah the article specifically says corporate PCs, they're talking to the CEO of the company who make NightWatchman etc, windows based apps only. They go on later to talk about trying to do similar stuff for data centers.

  15. #15
    Relic Weapons
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    Shuemue and others are right, you'll see the savings on your electricity bill too (if you pay your own...).

    If computers were designed to stay on 100% of the time, they wouldn't have power buttons on the front and your OS wouldn't have a shutdown option. It's fine to leave it on some days to run updates, antivirus, etc. But turning it off is a good idea for all the reasons people have listed.

    No matter what protection you have, the best way to protect your PC is to turn it off when you're not around anyway. More exposure to an "always on" connection, more of a threat.

  16. #16
    An Efficient Consumption Bundle
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    I turn mine off whenever it's not in use, with the only unattended exception being download torrents while I sleep or overnight. I can't think of any issues I've had deriving from this kind of behavior.

    Given our rising energy prices and increased knowledge of climate change problems it still amazes me that people leave their computers on all the time instead of shutting them down or at least putting them in low-power standby mode. For you American readers, there's a very good chance you get your electricity from either a coal or natural gas fired power plant which means that your electricity usage comes directly from heavy CO2 and other GHG-emission creating sources. (Yes, there is hydro, wind, and nuclear in the US but it's not that prevelant around the major population centres of the midwest and northeast.) You wouldn't leave your TV or your lights on when you're out of the house, why wouldn't you do the same with your pc?

  17. #17
    You wouldn't know that though because you've demonstrably never picked up a book nor educated yourself on the matter. Let me guess, overweight housewife?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elesirdur View Post
    Given our rising energy prices and increased knowledge of climate change problems it still amazes me that people leave their computers on all the time instead of shutting them down or at least putting them in low-power standby mode.
    ^ this. If I'm not using it, it's not on. The benefits of leaving it on are so tiny, that leaving it on just sounds like a huge was imo.

    Save your parents /your money and turn that shit off.

  18. #18

    IF its electronic it gets not only turned off but also disconnected from the source of power. I have 3 kill switches that I installed in a secure place in my bedroom that disconnect the Hot, Neutral, and ground wires for three outlets in my living room. One outlet is for my entertainment center and the other 2 are for the 2 desktop computers. Yeah its overboard but I was bored one weekend and decided to waste my time. I also don't trust surge protectors since being an electrician I have seen way to many blown up computers/tvs that had surge protectors on them. Also having a 2 year old running around that loves to push buttons it saves my computers from getting turned on and off all day long.

  19. #19
    An Efficient Consumption Bundle
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    Good call BIGSTIC on the kill switches. Electrical devices still draw power when plugged in, even if they're not on. It definitely is a hassle to unplug them, but if you really want to get crazy about your energy conservation it's the way to go. Personally, I do this with a number of my appliacnes (toaster oven, hotplate, microwave, etc - stupid kitchenette with no range ><) but I don't do it with my computer devices. However, a kill switch is a pretty nifty idea - I may just have to look into that.

  20. #20
    PRINCESS NEWMUMMY
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    The combination of an older house with older wiring in some places and the generally stormy weather the midwest gets, I've always believed in turning off things when I'm not using them. Especially expensive electronics and things I don't care to replace at the drop of a hat. Even though I have all my computer equipment on a UPS with more than adequate surge suppression, the idea of just letting something suck electricity while I sleep or while I'm at work makes me I don't even leave my cable modem or router on if I'm going to be gone for more than a day.

    Oh and THINK OF THE EARTH!!

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