How long is it safe to let your computer run?

By master_mood
Jul 20, 2006
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  1. i plan to leave my computer on for a couple of days.... how long is it safe to let your computer run? are there any side effects for prolonged usage of the pc without switching it off?
  2. fastco

    fastco Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,511

    There are good and bad to both. If you leave it on it gets very hot especially in the summer and needs to be in a cool location. It burns about as much electricity as a 100 watt bulb. If you turn it on and off you are wearing out (slowly) the on/off button and when it's cold stressing the hard drive which has to spin up and warm up every time you turn it on. Personal preference really. Unless you are concerned about the possibility of starting a fire.
  3. Peddant

    Peddant Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,644

    Leave it on Stand-by or Hibernate if your not going to be using it for a while.

    Turn it off if your going away for a few days.

    Will it wear out quicker if you leave it on,rather than off ?

    Half the experts say yes.Half say no.
  4. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 Newcomer, in training Posts: 546

    i would choose the hibernate option, b/c this process writes all you open data to hard disk, then shuts down ther PC, if there is a power outage, then all you data is safe, b/c its already on the HD. Be sure to turn off the monitor though, as they consume ALOT of energy, especially id its a CRT.

    ...AMD
  5. master_mood

    master_mood Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 26

    so it's safe to use your pc the whole day and when i'm gonna sleep i leave it to hibernate/standby(around 7 hours)? if i do it this for a week is it all right?
  6. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    Thats pretty much what i've been doing with my pc for the past 7 months.. Hadn't had a cold boot/soft reboot untill a few days ago to do some maintanance.

    Even less so (hibernate) since it got a new cpu cooler and i cant hear it much, therefore i forget to press the hibernate button.. :D

    Like mentioned above, your most likely consern is your temps if you plan to run it all day, especialy cpu and your active HDD temps.. use speedfan and monitor it to see how hot it goes then if you need to mod your pc or clean out the dust as necesary. And also your PSU, if its capable of handling such prolonged hours of use..
  7. master_mood

    master_mood Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 26

    oh ok t hanks.. btw whats PSU?
  8. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 Newcomer, in training Posts: 546

    what i would suggest, is to take a vacuum, well first shut the PC down and unplug everything from the computer. then put the hose attachment on the vacuum, then suck the dust from the PUS fan, and the air intake fan ( if its a BTX chassis) then suck dust from the air output fan on the reaer, and also clean off all the dust from the vents on the side. do this every few months, and this will dramtically cut down on heat issues.

    ...AMD

    BTW, forgot to metion, that after the computers all unplugged, from the power source, press the power button to drain any residual power.
  9. #Curtis

    #Curtis Newcomer, in training Posts: 81

    My computers on almost all day, if im not at it, or in bed then its on standby. I restart every couple of days because i play a lot of games and run out of Virtual Memory, ive had mine nearly 2years, still runs great. If there are problems to leaving it on a lot i dont know it.

    I have an old computer i use as a file server, as a backup mostly, thats on all the time (small PSU, lower Power consumption than most)

    My computers on almost all day, if im not at it, or in bed then its on standby. I restart every couple of days because i play a lot of games and run out of Virtual Memory, ive had mine nearly 2years, still runs great. If there are problems to leaving it on a lot i dont know it.

    I have an old computer i use as a file server/http, as a backup mostly, thats on all the time (small PSU, lower Power consumption than most), i havent used it properly in a few months, but it seems fine too, thats abotu 5years old but ive only been leaving it on for around 6months
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,264   +215

    PSU is Power Supply Unit

    Leave it on all the time, hibernate/standby is only marginally better than just turning off your PC, its actually worse than just turning it off if you dont' care about boot up times. Hot and cold temperature changes and the stress of spinning up and down the hard drives time and time again are worse than leaving it running continually.

    Also hibernate/standby screws up pretty often with some pcs, windows refuses to wake up. If you don't believe me you haven't been around these boards too long.

    Energy savings is really the only reason for turning a PC off, and it may not be worth that energy savings if you have to buy a new hard drive more often because yours died from excessive wear caused by startup/shutdown hot/cold cycles.
  11. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 Newcomer, in training Posts: 546

    yea that happened to me once, windows refused to come out of hibernate. finally i just started pressing keys on the keyboard, and only the up arrow key is what bought it out of sleep.

    ...AMD
  12. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    The new PCs consume more, even when idling.

    Unless they go to sleep, of course.

    Compensate leaving the computer on by replacing light bulbs with energy-efficient ones and you might not see a difference in your electric bill.
  13. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    I leave on for days at a time
    left a 1ghz intel running for a yr on reboot I lost the cheap maxtor drive
    my last reboot on 2 machines was 9 days now
     
  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    mine's been running for two years straight. I run BOINC in the background and donate my unused clock cycles. I have all non-essential equipment, hard drives, monitor shut down after a certain amount of time.
  15. fwen

    fwen Newcomer, in training

    that is not neceessary,perhaps you are too care about your hardware and waste of electicity.
    no a perfect suggestion could be fit for this condition, I think.
  16. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    so if you turn off drives in given time period turn off monitor
    the only side effect left is your electric bill
    I make a coupla bucks with mine so its a % small tax deduction
  17. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    the amount of electricity my CPU, ram, and fans use is negligable.

    turning off/on a computer all the time is not healthy as you're going from one state to another. Heat expansion is a big cause of failure.
  18. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    Yeh true. So is overheating and/or unstable/under-powering...
  19. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,067   +13

    You get no heat expansion when you let it run all the time. It is already in a warm state - so I don't see your point.
  20. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    Maybe i should've expanded on it before...

    i ment if you're pc/components are running at high temps for too prolonged periods.. there is a difference between letting it run constantly on 25-35`C and running it constantly at +50`C. The latter is obviously no good for your system.
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