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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    My power management strategy on my XP machines has always been to keep everything but the monitor powered up during working hours and turn the systems completely off at night. Those two Dell desktops have lasted 6 years plus without a hardware fault using that procedure. The only real problem with that strategy was the necessity of doing some of the time consuming activities, like backups, during the day. I am now integrating two new Dell desktops into the home network and have decided to go with using the SLEEP, instead of OFF, strategy because of improvements to the reliability of the power management processes in Win 7 (Pro 64-bit in my case), and the benefits of doing disk management functions, e.g., backups, during the night. My question is this:

    Does anyone know of any definitive studies which show the optimum cycle times for a PC's components? That is, I am seeking a balance between saving energy by putting the hard drives, monitor, and CPU to sleep, versus the degradation to MTBF experienced by electronic components when they are power cycled. Saving a few pennies on my electric bill is far less important to me than providing maximum life span to the components.

    No doubt everyone has their own favorite power management scheme, but does anyone know of any actual studies which have determined the optimum balance between energy savings and component stress from power cycles? For example, the control board of a hard drive and the motor are stressed a bit each time the drive is started, but there is also mechanical wear-and-tear to bearings if the drive is left on constantly. I'm trying to find that "sweet spot" for each component.

    FYI, my current, fairly arbitrary, scheme is:

    Monitor sleep after 1 hour inactivity (a relatively power hungry Dell U2410)
    Hard drive off after 45 minutes inactivity
    CPU sleep after 3 hours inactivity

  2. #2
    Lounger
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    Afraid I don't have an answer; I need similar help in fact.
    I upgraded the PC recently and found my hard drive was dying; only 3 years old. I wondered if this might be due to my habit of hibernating it, rather than closing it at night. I've been uneasy about hibernation for some time.
    So, in addition to BK Howard's query, can anyone give an opinion on this?

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carolyn Janson View Post
    Afraid I don't have an answer; I need similar help in fact.
    I upgraded the PC recently and found my hard drive was dying; only 3 years old. I wondered if this might be due to my habit of hibernating it, rather than closing it at night. I've been uneasy about hibernation for some time.
    So, in addition to BK Howard's query, can anyone give an opinion on this?
    Opinions here are FREE.
    I do not believe that hibernation is at fault, a typical hard drive's life expectancy is 3-5 years, any more is pure luck. If your data is important, to be safe one should plan to replace your HDDs every 2 years.
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  4. #4
    Lounger
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    OK, that's worth knowing - thanks!

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Hi,

    although I don't have any verifiable data on this, I would assume 3-5 years for any average HDD's lifespan as well. Hibernation (with the appropriate settings) should shut down the HDDs, it does so on my Win 7 machine.

    And hibernation is what I use each night, out of the same reasons you mention: Energy saving. I don't have the option of fully shutting down everything, since I need to run the backups during the night.

    Only problem I experience: My Acronis TIH 2010 sometimes ends with an error. I'm looking into this just now, awaiting an answer from support. My suspicion is, that Acronis doesn't/can't wake up the PC in order to start any tasks.

    > " ... the control board of a hard drive and the motor are stressed a bit each time the drive is started, "
    It's my firm believe that you can safely ignore the stress the control board chips undergo (no moving parts). My estimate is that the continuous aging of a drive (through high temperatures) while running weighs considerably more than the stress caused by repeated start cycles.

    So, I can't offer exact answers to your questions, sorry. Personally though, I wouldn't bother with finding the 'sweet spots' you're searching for. I guess it isn't worth it ...

    Tilman
    (an electronics engineer back then ...)

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I don't know of any definative studies on the matter, but I've always been under the asumption that excess heat is your
    components worst enemy. The power management features in Windows 7 are undoubtedly more sophisticated than any previous
    operating system. Newer hardware tends to be far more energy efficient than previous generation, like your processors.

    My most impressive moment with the Windows 7 hibernation was the time I was doing an unattended 2 1/2 hr virtual dubmod.
    When I got back to it I found the computer was seemingly off, I turned the computer back on and virtual dubmod started where it left
    off and completed an hour later with no errors. Windows XP would have destroyed it.

    I still have the old XP habit of turning the computer off when not in use overnight and only hibernating when away for just a few hrs.
    I think the hibernation function of Windows 7 is nearly as energy efficient as having the system powered off, at least for everything
    but the some aspects of the mainboard. I don't know how this would be affected by a power failure, but I suspect the system
    would reboot then eventually go back in hybernation, depending upon what timeframe settings were configured.

    There was an old saying at one time, but I doubt this has any truth to it, that turning your compuer on from a cold state often, would
    heat stress some of the soldering parts on circuit boards causing failures. Like I said I don't know if there is any truth to it.

    I've never owned a hard drive for more than four years, and the one I did own that needed replacing was brand new. I've been lucky
    with hard drives, only one failure in ten years.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger petesmst's Avatar
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    @Clint Rossmere: "I don't know how this would be affected by a power failure, but I suspect the system
    would reboot then eventually go back in hybernation, depending upon what timeframe settings were configured"

    In my BIOS, I have the option of choosing whether or not the PC will "stay off" in the event of a powr failure, or "re-boot".
    (My Setup: Custom built: 4.00GHz Intel Core i7-6700K CPU; MSI Z170A Gaming Carbon Motherboard (Military Class III); Win 10 Pro (64 bit)-(UEFI-booted); 16GB RAM; 512GB SAMSUNG SD850 PRO SSD; 120GB SAMSUNG 840 SSD; Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA6G HDD; 2 X GeForceGTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card (SLI); Office 2013 Prof (32-bit); MS Project 2013 (32-bit); Acronis TI 2017 Premium, Norton Internet Security, VMWare Workstation12 Pro). WD My Book 3 1TB USB External Backup Drive). Samsung 24" Curved HD Monitor.

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger
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    Carolyn, hello.

    I upgraded the PC recently and found my hard drive was dying; only 3 years old. I wondered if this might be due to my habit of hibernating it, rather than closing it at night. I've been uneasy about hibernation for some time. So, in addition to BK Howard's query, can anyone give an opinion on this?

    Well, not my opinion. A most learned one here:

    SAMSUNG's MTBF for HDDs is 500,000 hours. That means that if you use your PC for 9 hours every day, your HDD should operate for 152 years. In imperfect, non-test conditions, however, please note that the real life span of an HDD varies because of fluctuating operating environments.

    So I am good for another 150 years on this laptop. And you ? Have a great day. JP.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean Parrot View Post
    Carolyn, hello.

    I upgraded the PC recently and found my hard drive was dying; only 3 years old. I wondered if this might be due to my habit of hibernating it, rather than closing it at night. I've been uneasy about hibernation for some time. So, in addition to BK Howard's query, can anyone give an opinion on this?

    Well, not my opinion. A most learned one here:

    SAMSUNG's MTBF for HDDs is 500,000 hours. That means that if you use your PC for 9 hours every day, your HDD should operate for 152 years. In imperfect, non-test conditions, however, please note that the real life span of an HDD varies because of fluctuating operating environments.

    So I am good for another 150 years on this laptop. And you ? Have a great day. JP.

    LOL, Jean,

    If your house is as clean as a clean room, and you don't use your PC for anything so that the drive heads don't have to search very often, I suppose a theoretical life could be that long. Obviously there is no real life data to coroberate that statement. I think Samsung is just guessing, and rather high at that.
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