How often do you shutdown your computer?


How often do you shutdown your computer?

  1. Everyday

    29 vote(s)
  2. At least twice within a week

    2 vote(s)
  3. Once a week

    5 vote(s)
  4. A few times a month

    9 vote(s)
  5. What is shutdown? (Never)

    19 vote(s)
By SharkFiNbowL · 51 replies
Apr 26, 2003
Post New Reply
  1. BuNgHoLe69

    BuNgHoLe69 TS Rookie

    If it was up to me, I would probably leave my PC on 24/7(can't seem to convince my folks that a PC in idle doesn't take much juice). I agree that turning a PC on/off all the time isn't good for it. The expansion and contraction of a PC's hardware by constantly powering up and shutting down might affect the lifespan of these components(especially HDDs). The PC On/Off debate will always be subject for discussion... I guess I will stick to my opinion and say "always On" is better.
  2. spun_1

    spun_1 TS Rookie Posts: 41

    Wow!! Im shocked! I cant believe that many people leave PCs on 24/7.I start up in morning and shutdown at night,never had bootup prob or hardware prob.I would be scared about a Fan blowout and 3-2-1 there goes the cpu! Why do you guys shut off your cars?(he,he) Peace.
  3. filthy_mcnasty

    filthy_mcnasty TS Rookie Posts: 78

    mine is pretty much always on but i reboot daily.

    leaving it on isn't harmful but i feel a restart is good to keep memory tidy. as a programmer i know the perils of memory leaks in applications. no operating system is perfect at cleaning up the mess a program leaves. these are generally very minimal but after awhile you could start getting overflows (pretty rare i know)
  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Think of your cpu (and other electronic components) as if it were a light bulb. Leaving it constantly ON will shorten its life, but likewise switching it ON and OFF constantly won't do it much good either.

    However, these components will still last much longer than you can imagine (before becoming obsolete), how many cpu's has anyone had fail due to wear and tear? None is my guess and most purely electronics devices (no moving parts to wear out) will easily last 20 yrs or more.

    Its good to save power (think 'green' - every little helps) so at the very least you should power down at nights or whenever your PC isn't going to be used for long periods. Alternatively, activate the power saving features and then feel free to leave your PC on 24/7.
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Just be careful you don't use that hibernation crap. I have had nothing but bad luck with that, and disable it on EVERY computer I use, even if it isn't mine. It minimizes the chance of problems if they actually do use it.
  6. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    1) Untrue on the first part. A lightbulb will last much longer if it is left on all the time then a lightbulb that is turned on and off, in general, period. The longest lasting lightbulb in history burned for nearly a hundred years in a new york fire department basement.

    A device that is kept on 24/7 at a constant temperature, within range, will typically last longer then a device that is switched off. Heat does not destroy the component, expansion and contraction due to heat fluctuations do.

    And this:

    "Its good to save power (think 'green' - every little helps) so at the very least you should power down at nights or whenever your PC isn't going to be used for long periods. Alternatively, activate the power saving features and then feel free to leave your PC on 24/7."

    That defeats the entire purpose. If you use the power saving features such as CPU power off, HDD power off, CPU fan power off, et cetera, you will be damaging them nearly as much as actually shutting them on/off, probably MORE so since you are more likely to be away for 20 minutes to an hour (enabling those features to enable themselves) then to be away for days at a time.

    To me, if a machine is used at least once a day, I would leave it on, unless electricity usage/price is a concern for you.
  7. Petz

    Petz TS Rookie

    Hey, if you paid the elecric bill in CA, you'd turn off your computer twice a day like me.

    And I turn off my kids PCs if they're asleep or gone to school.
  8. SharkFiNbowL

    SharkFiNbowL TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 41


    Wow! Never knew that my poll became a news topic in the Techspot, as well as that many posts. Thanks :) felt great when there are lots of replies, feel I'm part of the ... family?! heh! Anyways, ya.. nothing much to say, I shutdown my computer once a week or so because I burnt my Power supplies before when i had my old computer because I left it on too long. Heh :blush:
  9. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    1) Nice one SH, I wouldn't have believed a light bulb could burn for so long so I did a quick search on google, and here's the link ...

    A 96-year-old light bulb: It's still going

    Something to note is that its not a very bright light bulb (I'll come back to that later), and it bears no resemblence to how bulbs are manufactured today. Here's a quote from the story ...

    "They can make it very dim to last for a very long period of time, or they can make it bright, like you the consumer want it, and last for 750 or a thousand hours,".

    Note that most 'standard' light bulbs today are quoted with a lifespan of around 3000 hrs (yes, thats a life expectancy quoted in *hours*, and not ON/OFF cycles).

    *I only used a lightbulb as an analogy, so if you take the analogy too seriously, then it will fall apart.

    2) A lightbulb has a finite lifespan, and while it is true that switching it ON/OFF will reduce its life, so will keeping it ON. Its a balance really and if its not going to be used for long periods, then it IS better to switch it OFF (see point 1). Just think about it this way ... what will last longer, a lightbulb that is permanently ON, or one that is permanently OFF (but has been switched ON/OFF a dozen times first)? Well, the answer lies somewhere in between, and as aleady stated, it is best to switch your computer OFF if you are not using it for *long* periods, such as overnight (to save energy).

    3) Without doubt, expansion and contraction can destroy components, eventually. However, the main cause of failure for semiconductor devices (assuming that they are operating within range while in use) is electron migration (much as for lightbulbs that are kept ON). Electron migration is effected by current flowing through a device, and will happen more quickly when the current is high. I know this to be a fact, as I used to carry out defect investigation of electronic components when I worked in the defence industry. I examined hundreds of components, and each time it was components that carried most current that failed first, even if they were not operating anywhere near their limit.

    All things wear out, even electronic components, but it takes a very long time for these to fail due to wear. Also, you might wish to consider how CPUs and even Computer PSUs work. By their very nature these devices are constantly being switched ON/OFF (transistors) billions of times each second (in some cases) and yet they don't fail. Ok so they aren't being heated and cooled constantly, but really, semiconductors are not lightbulbs and they expire mainly due to usage (electron migration), and operation at high temperatures (cpu - an increase of 10 deg C will cut component life in half - approximation, it varies) rather than hot/cold cycles.

    One last point to note is that hot/cold cycling failures are mechanical by nature (expansion/contraction - lightbulb filament) and electronics devices such as transistors/cpus/etc. rarely, if ever fail due to mechanical failure. The speed of heating/cooling plays a part with lightbulbs, and due to the small mass of the filament, this will be rapid, which is why this contributes to wear. Components that are subjected to hot/cold cycling in a slow manner are not nearly as affected as lightbulbs, if at all.
  10. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Actually the lightbulb is in Livermore, CA. It's 102 years old.

    It's only 4 watts in a globe that would dissipate the heat of a 100W lamp. It's a very fat carbon filament, unlike the tungsten filaments used today.
  11. ßas']['arD

    ßas']['arD TS Rookie

    I never shutdown unless I'll be away more than a week, or fiddling around inside the case. More wear and tear is created by shutdown/startup than 24/7/365 running. This goes for anything with moving parts....HDD, fans, etc. With proper cooling, temperature is not an issue...although my systems are set to shutdown in case of overheating, and will sound an alarm when a fan fails. I warm boot every couple of weeks just for $hits and giggles, but I really don't need to. (currently running XP on 3 of 5 machines).
    As far as power consumption...who cares? Not me. Spin meter spin!
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Tarkus, thats the SAME bulb that was in my link, but the article I posted was dated 1997. :)

    Bas']['ard, as regards the comment about more wear and tear from shuting down/starting up, this is misleading. PC's are not car engines and don't require oil to circulate for lubrication. Sure, shutting down/starting up leads to stressing of components, but these components are designed with that in mind, and will wear out due to usage, before failing due to stress (e.g. hard drive stop/start cycles rated at 50,000 - thats about 150 years of stop/start @ once per day - hard drives wear out after around 5 years due to general wear).

    As to not caring about power consumption, well it's no wonder the environment is in such a bad state, as most users don't care much either. Everyone has a part to play in reducing consumption, and every little helps. Its no good becoming more responsible after its too late, and man is already threatening the planet's environment with an attitude of 'if it doesn't affect me directly, then I don't care'. This is no way to go. Peace man.
  13. Spliffmeister

    Spliffmeister TechSpot Paladin Posts: 508

    I shut down my PC regularly. Not because I pay for the electricity bill or because my fans produce too much noise, but because it every individual's responsibility to use as little electricity as possible. Until all my electricity is produced using renewable sources of energy - I will continue to use electicity sparingly.

    It's a sad indication of the people on techspot that it has taken until now for anyone to mention the environmental impact of leaving your PC on unnecessarily.

    I remember from university a study I read.... If everyone in the UK turned off their televisions instead of leaving them on standby overnight - we would require 1 less major power station....

    just my 2p
  14. eddy05

    eddy05 TS Rookie Posts: 152

    I can't sleep without the roaring of my CPU fan... Insecure :)
  15. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    This thread is becoming....well, I'll leave that a blank you can fill in with your imagination. There are too many "opinions" and not enough truths floating in this thread. Many people have touched on some things that while they might be partially true, they do not have bearing on this discussion, such as the thing about the cpu heating up after it is cut off. The core does not get any hotter, but because the component can no longer dissapate heat as well with the cooling off, the component as a whole will rise in temp as the outside cannot get rid of the heat that is coming from the core. This only happens for a short time and has no affect in this particular context.

    Soul made a very good point(he and I recently discussed this very thing in the IRC channel<shameless plug>) that some don't seem to grasp. Almost any electrical component will last longer running all the time, if it is cooled properly. Industrial machines that run all the time tend to have less problems than those that are shut down on a regular basis. This I know from experience. I have a light in the shop out back of my house that burns 24/7 it uses the same 60W bulb that most other lights in my house use. I replace the bulb in my shop about twice a year, the rest are replaced several times a year and are frequently switched off and on.

    This whole discussion is getting into a realm of understanding that very few of us here even have, and it seems that even we can not agree on all the facts.
  16. Quote

    Quote TS Rookie

    How often do you shutdown your computer?

    Shut down my computer are you mad!!! i can't even get the damn thing on!!! :mad:

    Amstrad CPC464
    4MHz Zilog Z80 processor
    64K RAM
    32K ROM
    built-in cassette drive
    graphics 320x200 max 16 colours
    UKP400 colour screen
    3 channel pcm stereo sound
  17. MooktaKiNG

    MooktaKiNG TS Rookie

    I turn it off when ver i don't use it. But my computer is used most of the day, so its on long times. I've built a server and when thats ready i'll have a nice PC to keep on 24/7. :D:D
  18. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Nic, I didn't see your post until after I saw the comment about the NY light and had to jump in with the correct info, as I used to live in Livermore. Didn't mean to try and steal any of your glory. :D Thought the actual lightbulb website would be interesting for everyone.
  19. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Apart from the concerns over switching on and off often and system life, I also leave the computer on constantly because:

    1) I have downloads going all the time, and

    2) I want to be able to remotely access my desktop on my server from work.
  20. DigitAlex

    DigitAlex TechSpot Paladin Posts: 536

    great joke, but WTF ????
  21. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    Everyday..theres no chance that i m leaving my pc on when the rainy season is on its way to WA! Pretty scared of the lightning, don't want to risk me hardware/
  22. hondas2k

    hondas2k TS Rookie

    I shut down both my home and work PC's each day when I am done using them. It sure keeps my bedroom cooler with my PC at home turned off. Not sure which makes more heat, the PC or my 21" monitor but I do notice a difference in the room temp leaving it on versus turning it off.
  23. altyfc

    altyfc TS Rookie

    I re-boot mine about once or twice a day at least usually...

  24. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Any particular reason for that?
  25. Nick

    Nick TS Rookie Posts: 185

    i rarely shut down, even during a thunder storm haha. I reboot maybe once a week at the most though.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...