Should I switch my computer off or always leave it on??

Avatar

Please consider registering
Guest

Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_topic_old
Should I switch my computer off or always leave it on??
Avatar
Jim Hillier
Admin
Forum Posts: 2492
Member Since:
August 9, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
1
June 28, 2011 - 7:35 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

This has to be one of the most often asked questions by the general PC user population. Arguments have been made for and against over the years and in the end I guess it comes down to how an individual utilises the computer and personal choice.

One of the most common arguments for leaving a machine turned on is that the constant heating/cooling cycle will eventually cause solder joints to crack and subsequently, poor or zero connections. I doubt that would actually be the cause of too many breakdowns.

One of the main arguments for switching off is because leaving it on will consume a lot more electricity. Seriously????? Have these people never heard of "Power Plans"; sleep mode and hibernation?

Me, I leave my computers switched on all the time. The only times I ever switch them off is: 1) If I am going away for an extended period and 2) If there are thunderstorms about.

That said, I do spend a lot of time on the machines and so it is mainly for convenience.

I'm sure both Dave and Ziggie will have some cogent input here and I'm looking forward to reading their responses.

What do you think.....is it best to leave the computer always on or switch it off when you have finished?

Which do you do??

Avatar
Chad Johnson
Mod
Forum Posts: 867
Member Since:
August 11, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
June 28, 2011 - 10:38 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Oooo...controversy.

In my home I have a server, my son's gaming computer, and 4-5 laptops.
The server I leave turned on 24/7 - it is always available and occasionally recording television, so it's good to keep it on.
The gaming computer stays on all the time too. This is more of a convenience issue. It has a slow boot up.
One laptop stays on all the time and serves as a print server -- it was a handy way to make my printer wireless.
One laptop is in my son's room and has replaced his stereo. It stays on all the time.
The two primary laptops (mine and my wife's) get shut down every night. They're not used and don't serve much purpose being on all night.

The controversy between always on or off and on has been around for a while. With the complexities of hardware these days, and the robustness of it, i honestly don't think that that either option hurts the hardware. It's a matter of convenience versus power consumption. Where is that line? Where does one sacrifice convenience for a few dollars electricity saving? Those are all personal choices and decisions that have to be made individually.

The one thing to avoid -- is the rapid cycling that can come during thunderstorms. Shut everything down, unplug it, and ride it out.

Avatar
Mindblower
Montreal, Canada
Member
Forum Posts: 411
Member Since:
September 17, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
June 29, 2011 - 6:43 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

You summed things up quite nicely Ziggie. To avoid this inconvenience of unplugging during electrical, I prefer to use the power of having the units safely switched off via UPS units. Been using these items for many years now, and have great trust with the APC brand. Besides the battery backup they offer, their surge protection is excellent.

While on the electrical storm issue, most people are aware of the spikes (this is when the voltage goes up) and might use surge protectors. Voltage can also go down (Brown spots - as when the lights dim), and the best protection for sensitive electronic stuff, is an UPS, which then also can kick in, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Avatar
David Hartsock
Admin
Forum Posts: 1105
Member Since:
August 7, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
July 5, 2011 - 6:59 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

While on the electrical storm issue, most people are aware of the spikes (this is when the voltage goes up) and might use surge protectors. Voltage can also go down (Brown spots - as when the lights dim), and the best protection for sensitive electronic stuff, is an UPS, which then also can kick in, Mindblower![/quote:2bh05x21]
That's an excellent point, Mindblower. In fact, I have a separate UPS on my modem and router also. A side benefit is I can get several hours of internet/wireless when the power is out.

As to leaving a computer on/hibernate/off. I leave them all on for convenience, except when I leave. If I'm traveling a short distance (say to work) I'll hibernate my laptop. If I'm flying or driving any real distance I turn it off. Any other time it is on.

Avatar
Mindblower
Montreal, Canada
Member
Forum Posts: 411
Member Since:
September 17, 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
July 5, 2011 - 9:20 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I never gave much thought to leaving a laptop on, since it's battery driven, so when not in use, why not turn it off? Not sure of the safety issue of having the power cord plugged in, charging the battery constantly. Heard too many horror stories of the battery causing a fire. Anyone care to comment, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

Avatar
Jim Hillier
Admin
Forum Posts: 2492
Member Since:
August 9, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
July 5, 2011 - 10:17 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Hey MB - Don't laptops usually include a safety switch which automatically stops the charging once full capacity has been reached? Pretty sure my Asus laptop does anyway....the battery charging light certainly goes out.

Maybe the "horror stories" you have heard might be where the cut-out switch has failed.....dunno.

Actually, I forgot to mention in the original post that this was referring mainly to desktop computers. I always leave them switched on, but always turn the laptop off. I don't use the lappy much anyway, mainly when travelling......which is not that often.

I do pull the power cord too. Never really thought too much about it, it's just a habit I got into from day one.

Cheers.....Jim

Avatar
GerryHatrick
Member
Forum Posts: 8
Member Since:
September 1, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
October 29, 2011 - 5:54 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print

Hi folks,

Just a wee thought, I worked in an office with 4 other employees and we shared the same desktop. Consequently the box was switched on and off continuously all day long with no ill effects. Now I'm retired and have built my own desktops and I [out of force of habit] still turn them off when I leave them. Its probably an age thing, I never leave an appliance on or on standby when unattended.

Gerryhatrick

Avatar
PewterTA
Member
Forum Posts: 7
Member Since:
December 1, 2011
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
December 27, 2011 - 1:42 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I've got 2 servers, 3 laptops, and 2 desktops in the house.... Basically if they aren't being used, they aren't on.  The laptops might be on a little bit more (or left on) more than anything else due to the fact that they don't take up the power consumption.  Roughly 40w consuption is much better than the 300w - 400w of one of the servers or desktops...

 

Figuring that out, it's about a savings of $20 every month per machine (vs leaving them on 24/7).

 

For me the longest bootup time for any of my machines is 2 minutes (that's for the servers, Client machines are all about 30 seconds to a minute)...so I can wait a minute for a machine to boot up to use it... not a big deal.  Though I will admit once or twice a month I think how nice it'd be to just be able to jump on line and look something up (course that's what my Andriod phone is used for).

 

Along with that, it's not much fun to hack into someone's network where there doesn't appear to be any computers running.  So I hardly ever have any malware or antivirus issues with any of my machines... and I got to places definitely known for this stuff..

 

 I think it all depends on how you're using your machines as to whether it's worth the cost.  My server has a tendency to stay on more (just becuase I forget to turn it off) due to the fact it hosts movies, videos, music, pictures, applications and whatever else I can figure out for it to do.  But even then, if I'm not using it (or know I won't be aroung to use it) I shut it off.

 

20 2TB drives definitely draw a strong 350w of power!  Laugh

Avatar
Marc Thomas
Argentina
Admin
Forum Posts: 249
Member Since:
November 6, 2013
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
November 6, 2013 - 6:09 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print

I know this thread is rather old, so forgive me the indulgence.
With regard to storms, I can only concur. Since I've been living in Buenos Aires, we've lost two phones, a fax machine (which I don't miss), a couple of wireless routers and damaged motherboards.
There are only three PC's in the house, but I've made sure that each has a surge protector, but I still unplug if a bad storm is on the way.
I'm going to look at UPS devices too after reading this thread.
Under normal circumstances I leave my home PC in sleep mode, but do that less and less now due to the amount of power cuts we get.

Forum Timezone: America/Indiana/Indianapolis

Most Users Ever Online: 188

Currently Online:
14 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 10

Members: 1272

Moderators: 3

Admins: 4

Forum Stats:

Groups: 8

Forums: 19

Topics: 1538

Posts: 11824

Administrators: Jim Hillier, Richard Pedersen, David Hartsock, Marc Thomas

Moderators: Judy Novotny, Jason Shuffield, Mail Poet