TechSpot

On or Off?

By pcgamer808
May 26, 2007
  1. Hello all. I'm not sure which section this belongs in, but I've heard that it may be healthier for your computer to stay on instead of turning it off when you're done with it? Not 24/7 powered on, but have it on all day, then turn it off before you go to bed or something? The reasoning this person gave was because constant on/offing causes a lot of temperature adjustments, especially if you game for a few hours then shut down, which this person claimed is really bad for your PC components.

    Is there any truth to this? Should I just leave my computer on all day instead of shutting it down every few hours when I take breaks from playing?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    A desktop computer should be allowed to heat up, say at least an hour before it is shut down. For many this is not practical. So I say turn the computer on when you normally do. Leave it on until you go to bed, then shut it off over night. Make sure you set the screen saver power settings to allow the computer to "sleep" after at least 30 minutes of inactivity.

    My computer is turned on around 8AM and shut down around 11PM. The computer is 4 years old and the motherboard/CPU/HSF has been upgraded 3 times. 1 80MM intake fan has been replaced. The Antec Smartpower 350W power supply and the 80 and 60GB Seagate drives are original
     
  3. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    I think the computer gets the highest wear and tear from turning it on, and shutting it off. This is so because these are the times where the computer goes through huge temperature changes, which cause "micro-cracks" or something like that. Can't remember whats the term the EE people use...

    Either way, this would be true for most people, but for those with heatpipe cooling such as the Zalman 9500/9700, Tt BT, Thermalright Ultra-120, and heatsinks of those nature, you'd notice that when suddenly put on load, the CPU temp may jump 20C instantaneously. And the difference between idle and shut off probably is 5-10C only. So I guess, with those heatsinks, shutting off the computer wouldn't be anywhere near as bad as putting the CPU on load...

    So far, I've got one comp thats been on 24/7 since I got it, with a few shut-down moments (holidays, upgrades, etc). Its been running for 5 years, with the last 2 years its been overclocked 25%. Its still going strong, I've handed it down to my sis, as I've got an upgrade recently.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    "I think the computer gets the highest wear and tear from turning it on, and shutting it off. This is so because these are the times where the computer goes through huge temperature changes, which cause "micro-cracks" or something like that. Can't remember whats the term the EE people use..."

    This is where the 1 hour warm up time comes in... The warm up keeps the cracks to a minimum. The term for the micro cracks could be a "dry" solder joint. When these cracks develop they cause more current to be drawn though that circuit, eventually damaging or destroying components
     
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,573   +9

    Hmm... I didn't know that there are ways of reducing the wear and tear.... I definitely haven't heard of the 1 hour warm up thing....

    But I agree that it isn't very practical to have the PC running an extra hour, and having to purposely go out of your way to turn it off....
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,934   +167

    The one-hour warm up is just a guide... for those that only turn on a desktop computer to check email and turn it off. This one-hour warm up has been used in electronics repair for a long time.

    Laptop/notebook computers are different. Heat is much more of an issue with laptops than with desktops. Use the battery to discharge it completely once a month or so. The battery will last longer. Don't place the laptop on carpeted surfaces, and use it for long periods
     
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