Debate on constant PC power.

By Kalminfyn
Apr 12, 2007
  1. Hello everyone. My father and I are currently at arms with this debate. He was complaining to me about how much electricity my computer pulls, saying that it is costing way too much to leave it on as much as I do. I say that's fine and I am thinking about paying him for the cost, if need be, assuming what I think is true. Now, may you all know that I am relatively new to knowing useful things about computers. What I do know, I have heard from people, or my brother has taught me. So please add what you know about this so that I may learn more for future benefit and reference.

    Now, the debate is over whether it is better for your PC to leave it on constantly and reboot or shut down every once in a while so it can boot up and be refreshed; or if it is better to shut down every time it is not in use so that it boots up and is refreshed more often and to save money on electricity.

    Please reply if you know anything about this so that I may show my father the results so as to apoligize if I am wrong, as is usual, or if I am for once correct.

    Thank you for your replies,
  2. sine184

    sine184 TS Enthusiast Posts: 35

    In my opinion it is better to leave the computer running, and just restart it only when needed.
    I think that this way you do not do so much damage to your HD and ither components.
    I had a problem once, and a servis guy told me that my HD, because it was reebooted to many times, and it just died.
  3. jwinathome

    jwinathome TS Rookie

    I believe its personal preference....

    I have rebooted (nearly) every night for the past 4 years and not had a single problem with a failing hard drive on my desktop PCs.

    As for the amount of money....Its relatively nonexistent for 1 PC.
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Do as is the most convenient for you. Yes, there is some theoretical increased wear on the hard drives when powering on and off and there is more wear to the PSU and other components while keeping the machine on.. It makes no real difference. It is a good idea to configure the monitor so that it powers off though.

    Instead of shutting down the PC completely, you may want to consider the hibernation or "suspend to ram" features that give you much faster startup times and leave all the programs open.
  5. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    I have always left mine on as well with the monitor to shut off after a certain amount of time. Main reason being that I have heard many people say that the heating up and cooling down of components in the computer over time may cause premature failure. I have also read, somewhere years ago in a hi-fi stereo magazine. That the initial surge of electricity through power amps is one of the most damaging things to circuitry other than over driving the amp. So I guess I relate that to computer circuitry as well. And besides, your computer sitting powered up and idle at night. Do you really think you would see a decrease in your power bill if you turned it off everynight?
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I leave my computers on if I plan on using them again within 24 hours. I have the power saver set to only turn off the monitor after a certain time, and never let the system sleep or hibernate or the hds shut down. If you let your hard drives shut down you might as well turn the system off. The argument being the stresses thermal expansion places on components cycling from cold to hot and back.

    So to summarize - I leave everything on unless I plan on not using it for more than a day or two.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,466   +1,760

    Astray...Far Afield....Massive Deviation....

    This is sort of off topic but worth mentioning. Audio Amplifiers have MASSIVE capacitors in the PSU. They do provoke a massive influx of current when first powered up. However, the audio power output transistors are sheltered from this by the "speaker protection relays" (misnomer) since they are not engaged until the caps have charged. That's the delay you get when you power up a high power amp or receiver.

    Part of what confuses me about the computer phenomenon is this; why consider a computer an entertainment device such as a DVD player, when the DVD player will play your DVD using maybe 15 watts of power. I makes so much more sense (not) to fire up a 400 watt computer to do the same thing.

    I cast my vote with the suspend to RAM (s-3) crowd.
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