View Poll Results: Fact or Myth - does switching the computer On and Off daily cause Thermal Fatigue of Motherboard ?

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  1. #61
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    I turn off the power to the computer with a switched surge suppressor.
    Back in the old days I had a power block that had a remote on off switch with a power relay in it that could be turned off and on by a switch on the desk.
    It had the advantage if the power dropped it had to be manually be turned back on, haven't seen one of those in years.

  2. #62
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    Thanks for the info...BigBad......for my use though...I have all my desktop PCs, server etc plugged in through UPSs which are under the desks...not too convenient for "turning off". I sleep them for the convenience for me (as I (and the wife) are on and off the PCs for large parts of the day). I generally run a desktop for 9-10 years without issues like you quote. I suspect that laptops and tablets are much the way that you describe though.

    I've been doing things "my way" since the late 80s or so. The only real PC problem that I had was prior to the late 80s and before I started using UPS. I suspect (but can't prove) that vagaries of the 110V power supply coming into a PC cause more issues with PCs than most everything else. A good UPS at least keeps the voltage consistent.

    I have often said that if you have an issue with one component on a PC, then replace the component (dependent on the cost). If you have a problem with two components then it is worth looking at a replacement PC and if three components are involved then definitely buy a new PC.

    K

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbadsteve View Post
    Here's why.

    I fix all my own electronic/electrical equipment, as well as family and friends' desktop computers. My experience, as well as the widespread experience of professional service people. is that the electronic components to wear out the most quickly are almost always electrolytic capacitors. (This applies to computers, home audiovisual, and other electronic devices).

    Electrolytic capacitors are cheap themselves (around 50c-$2 each), but if you're paying for service work, can be so expensive to replace, that for a device a few years old you'd be better off just buying a new device. Circuit boards with tracks on each side can be a son-of-a-bitch to solder, and just removing a cap from a crowded board can be a pain. Laptops can take dozens of hours to carefully assemble and disassemble for those new to it, with the risk of breaking them higher (and with tablets, generally held together with tape and glue, about one in two pysically break during servicing!). 'Brick' type power supplies can also be a bastard to service, and are not always easily replaceable. Super-thin devices using surface-mount electronics such as new skool monitors might not be worth repairing at all.

    Electrolytic capacitors have a limited running life, I've seen it estimated at around 5 years. By 'running life' I mean the total time the device has had power connected to it. Leave your computer on all the time, and you wear out its electrolytic capacitors quicker. So turn it off at the mains when there's no good reason for it to be on. Hibernating or in Sleep Mode is not 'off.' Start->Shut Down is not fully 'off' unless you turn off mains power afterwards. Turn off all peripherals at the mains, too.

    For similar reasons, laptop and any other (e.g. monitor, printer) powerpacks should be turned off at the mains when not in use.

    As observed by others here, powering completely down when not in use is also better for the environment (less energy consumption), and easier on hard drives, whose estimated useful life is based not just on reading/writing amount but on total time powered up since manufacture (you'll see this figure in SMART stats).

    I've seen it stated that leaving devices powered on permanently is easier on semiconductors, but since semis are unlikely to be the first components to die, that isn't an issue.

    So turn all your computers/devices off when they don't need to be on. For my desktop computer I plug the desktop and all peripherals into a single powerboard, and switch off the power to it when it's not needed.

  3. #63
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    My two cents

    Anytime you turn the computer on from a powered down state it causes a surge of electricity to flow through the circuits. This always has a minute amount of damage to those circuits primarily at the weakest point (usually an impurity in the copper, a partial break or other restriction in the flow of electrons).

    That said remember a plugged in PC is always partially powered up when turned "off." The PSU or AC/DC converter takes wall power and coverts it to 12V and 3.3V and 5V DC for use by the computer. So the brunt of electrical surges should be borne by the PSU---and the better the PSU the better the handling of such current.

    The wear and tear on electrical components while accumulative are pretty slight in simply turning it on from off over time. Plus this wear would equally exist in many phases waking up from a sleep state.

    I just would not worry about it for the lifetime of the device: figuring most owners probably ride that horse for seven to twelve years, and their computers should be replaced by then having gotten the value out of their purchase. Well, that is my opinion on the matter.

    If you have lousy power (like in a rural area) then further precautions might be warranted for all electrical equipment--frequent lightening storms--too but in this case disconnecting from the wall when not is use is the best solution and plugging back in somewhat harsh.

    I have surge suppressors on most of my electrical equipment, UPS' on PCs and generally turn my computers "off" at the end of the day putting them into sleep mode throughout the day when getting up. But this is due to my feeling that I like a complete memory wipe to start the day though one can safely get fast boots by multiple daily sleeping their PC for weeks until at some point an anomalous behavior is noted that usually gets cleared up by a reboot. For me the power up in the morning is no big deal as I am getting my coffee, etc. while the PC boots up.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2014-08-10 at 17:04.

  4. #64
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    FN...I agree with most of what you say especially the 7 to 12 year life on PCs etc. By the time that you reach that point, most people want a faster PC anyway. I still believe that if you have to replace more than one component (say, motherboard and hard drive...it is worth a serious look at replacing the PC (especially with laptops). Personally, I use UPSs on all of the desktop PCs and even two sets of big screen TV and receivers etc and have done so for many years.

    I figure that rebooting is covered by the odd BSOD <g>.

    K

  5. #65
    4 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Electrolytic capacitors have a limited running life, I've seen it estimated at around 5 years. By 'running life' I mean the total time the device has had power connected to it.
    bigbadsteve
    I am already in your 'camp' but you have given me another arrow for my quiver. I must admit I had never given the capacitor aging angle even a quick thought.
    Last edited by wavy; 2014-08-12 at 17:58. Reason: sp
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  6. #66
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    Well, this site gives some data (I'm sure there are other sites also about elcaps):

    http://jianghai-america.com/uploads/...mation_AAL.pdf.

    I don't pretend to understand the data in this study, but on page 8 it talks about 7K to 20K hours for caps. So, for people that run, say, 8 hours per day on a PC this equates to 875 days to 2500 days (2.39 to 6.84 years).

    I have had multiple PCs over the years that run longer than that. I'm not sure that I have tried to work out how many hours that I have a PC running for on any given day...I suspect that on many days I approach that 8 hour figure.

    Anyways, for most people they will get a useful life out of a PC and then just buy another one. They are pretty much a commodity nowadays.

    K

    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post

    bigbadsteve
    I am already in your 'camp' but you have given me another arrow for my quill. I must admit I had never given the capacitor aging angle even a quick thought.

  7. #67
    4 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    I turn off the power to the computer with a switched surge suppressor.
    Back in the old days I had a power block that had a remote on off switch with a power relay in it that could be turned off and on by a switch on the desk.
    It had the advantage if the power dropped it had to be manually be turned back on, haven't seen one of those in years.
    I had one like that for many years, it gave up the ghost a couple of months ago. I put in a new Bridge Rectifier but something else was screwy. Too much unidentified stuff for me to figure out. Now I have a isobar w/ a 'remote' switch, which seams to be line voltage. Hoping I don't spill my bear on it.

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  8. #68
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    Hoping I don't spill my bear on it.
    That might cause a "bruin-out."

    Zig

  9. #69
    4 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    That might cause a "bruin-out."

    Zig

    Oh Ouch I've been punsed.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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