To shut down/off or no?

By Larsenex ยท 13 replies
Sep 25, 2013
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  1. Greetings folks! I have my new ram in my computer and it runs GREAT!

    So I was thinking, here at work we leave our computers on ALL the time in fact the only time I ever shut it down is when I go on Vacation. I dont even bother for weekends. Today at work the IT folks gave me two sticks of ram and said your welcome. I looked and it was two 4 gig ones! So my computer at work went from 2gigs of ram to 8!

    But my real question is do you all shut down your (HOME) computer? I do simply because I feel its a waste of energy. I will leave it on if I am back up to the cloud or downloading a large file.

    If you leave it on all the time is there a good reason to do so (like less wear on HDD) or personal preference?

    As an addendum to this question, is there a benefit to leaving it on or only in 'hibernate'?

    Thanks much!
  2. learninmypc

    learninmypc TS Evangelist Posts: 7,670   +413

    Personally, I leave mine on all the time. The only time its off is when MS updates shut it down. Its basically up to the user. :)
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    I hibernate my laptop every night, but usually shutdown at least weekly - - eg Friday night for a care free weekend.

    POSTing (power on selft test) is good and it allows the filesystem to be validated (ie look for absence of a clean shutdown upon any failure).
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I only use my computer for a couple of hours during the weekday so I always switch it off. Would be a humungous waste of energy otherwise.
  5. Larsenex

    Larsenex TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 74

    OK so there is no real reason to shut down other than occasional POST for file system.

    I have read that today's hard drives have a very long shelf life. I see my OZC 60 gig SSD has a life of 2 (MILLION!) hours. Uh, that is well past (my) life expectancy.

    I back up with Carbonite and it literally takes FOREVER to back up stuff so I will leave it on..
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    That's what hibernate is used for - - halt the system to save power and make restart very quickly :)
  7. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    I put mine into Sleep mode if I know I'll be using it later. Shut down usually for longer periods.

    The only bad thing about shutting down is that you're putting a bigger load on the caps etc via the surge of power through the system. Although, it's hard to quantify this...
  8. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Takes about the same time to hibernate as to switch off with an SSD...
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    This was a thought and lots of conjecture back in '89, but historically it just has not proven true - - at least for off the self systems w/o overclocking and SLI - GPU setups. The stock system is well engineered and while I've seen video cards, NICs and ram fail, personally I have yet to see a stock system PSU fail.
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  10. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Should also be caps on mobo and related attached devices, since they get the power surge on boot as well? :O
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    not really. The primary 'shock' of the transition from off-to-on is on the a/c line in (from 0 to 110v or 240v), not the power supply outputs (0 to 12v).
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,972   +2,527

    Windows likes to be shut down, for a little self repair on reboot. And yes, even Win 7 needs this from time to time.

    The PSU caps are on the low voltage side of the PSU, and they actually somewhat mitigate the inrush of electricity, by their very nature..

    Current flow is high though, and that's why your home A/V receiver has a speaker protection relay. It doesn't connect the speakers until the current inrush has subsided. Thereby avoiding an overdose of amperage, (concomitant with excess heat), being applied to the output transistor junctions.

    With ACPI, I'm not certain if the PSU caps even fully discharge in true off mode. If you flip the PSU mechanical switch to off, there's always a little juice left in the tank if you hold in the off button on the desktop.

    What DOES damage capacitors, (other than being cheaply made in China), is leaving them discharged for long periods of time. (By "long", I mean months to years).

    Folk wisdom here sort of mandates replacing computer PSUs after about 3 years anyway, out of deference to possible capacitor failures, and/or loss of capacity. (Loss of capacity would induce more AC ripple into the PSU output, as well as reducing the transient maximum output).
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    oops - - you are absolutely correct. Guess I spent too many years with high voltage vacuum tubes :sigh:
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,972   +2,527

    Ah, those were the days my friend.... When men were men, and a TV's high voltage cage had a bite like a pit bull.

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