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  1. #1
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    Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

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    Keep Power On or Off?

    People debate a lot on this topic. Lets take a look what is good for turning system off everyday. First, that saves electricity and saves the environment; Secondly, it reduces the wear on the fans, hard disk and other moving parts, reduces the electronics components aging. What is good about keep computer on all the time, then? It can save time, it is on whenever you like to use it.

    If your computer stays in a home or an office that maintaining close to constant temperature, preferably under 80 degrees, there is no harm done to turn it off whenever you finish using it. However, if the computer stays in a place that temperature varies a lot, like in a warehouse that could go up to 110 degree during the day and goes down to 60 degree in the night, it is better to keep the computer up and running. In that kind of situation, the temperature creates a lot of tension on the electronics components in the power supply or motherboard, having the computer on all the time helps maintaining the components not being broken apart by the mechanical force(heat expansion and cold contraction).

    If you decide to keep your computer on all the time, make sure check all the fans every 3 to six months. Fans tend to wear out quickly in that kind of situation. If fan locked up and not replaced, the power supply or motherboard will overheat and quit working shortly after. It is better to replace the fan before it worn out completely. Choosing ball bearing fans and industrial chassis will also help the system last longer.

    ZDNet's Discussion relating to Windows 98

    PlanetIT's Take...

    There are the facts Jack! But hey, for Earth's Sake, only leave the box on if you've got [img]/w3timages/icons/doze.gif[/img] mode on your computer. [img]/w3timages/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Hope that clears the mud a tad... [img]/w3timages/icons/dizzy.gif[/img]

    Drk.
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  3. #2
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    How do you like it?! [img]/w3timages/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    <FORM METHOD=POST ACTION="http://www.wopr.com/cgi-bin/w3t/dopoll.pl"><INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME="pollname" VALUE="981763027DrkRealm">Leave your PC On or Off?
    <INPUT TYPE=RADIO NAME=option VALUE="1"> On!
    <INPUT TYPE=RADIO NAME=option VALUE="2"> Off!
    <INPUT TYPE=RADIO NAME=option VALUE="3"> Hey! That's Personal!!!
    <INPUT TYPE=SUBMIT NAME="PollSubmit" VALUE="Submit vote"></FORM>
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    I've spawned a pretty heated discussion here,Check it out!

    Drk.
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    I have only two things since I'm more into software than hardware... (that's Mike's department)

    1. I've seen the whole electric bill discussions and I have to tell you, I have eight computers running in my house right now, 24/7. Three desktops and five laptops. My electric bill was $25 last month. To me, it's a non-issue especially when compared to the unbelievable gas bill I got [img]/w3timages/icons/doh.gif[/img].

    2. I have never been in a company that had me turn my computer off when I leave, even for the weekend. I just log off the network and that's it. We have monthly power downs but other than that my computer is running all the time. Same goes for my computer at home, every once in a while she needs a good swift kick in the butt with a shut down, but for the most part, she's been running fine for the last (wow) four years.

    Also, from all the links you've pointed out Drk, it looks like there IS no right answer... only a topic to breed controversy.

    And that's my [img]/w3timages/icons/2cents.gif[/img].
    have fun
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    It seems to me there has to be an answer somewhere, and I have a feeling it goes something like this..(from what i've seen):

    If your system is purchased from a reputable re-seller, or manufacturer, there is nothing wrong with leaving it on, (most likely in this case, the bearings in your components are metal, not plastic, and will last longer.) There are things to consider if you decide to let it run.
    If you leave it on, you are using electricity, be it a little, or be it alot, you're still using it without (having) to. Your operating system retains temporary files for longer periods of time, in the case of windows, changes are being made to your registry from time to time, and you are requiring moving components in your computer to do extra work. (Say, motors spinning for the 8+hrs you're at work.)
    The consensus appears to be, that yes, you will wear out your moving parts more quickly, but no, in real life, it doesn't effect the outcome, because those parts will most likely be replaced (due to being obsolete) before they have a chance to fail.
    On the flipside, if you turn off your system each time you're done using it, you've got the internal temperature factor, which puts "enormous" (I don't think this is a proper word, but it's what i'm hearing) amounts of stress on internal components. These stresses too decrease the life expectancy of your computer, but not enough to matter, as these parts will also become obsolete, and be upgraded.
    So it comes down to preference, and conservation. Yes, your heater, refrigerator, and clock radio will use more electricity than a computer in sleep mode, but you're still USING that electricity. True, you may not notice a huge difference in the Dollar amount on your bill, but the fact that it's being used uneccesarily says enough.

    Another piont, *Some* of us are using VERY old machines, 286's, 386's, 486's, etc. and most likely are turning them off after each use. The fact that we're still using these machines attests to the fact that minimal damage is done by "Clicking" and "UnClicking" between uses.

    Given all this, my take is, don't be an electricity [img]/w3timages/icons/oink.gif[/img] (as little as you may be using,) and just turn it off!

    Drk.
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    ok, you turn your computer off every night to save wear and tear on parts. The only wear and tear is the fan and the hardrive. When the computer is on, the HD is ALWAYS spinning. When you shut is down, it stops. Spin up, spin down, spin up, spin down or spin. You turning your 'puter on and off is more wear on the HD then keeping it on. I've been in IT for almost 7 years, worked all over Manhatten, and only saw a fan blow up once, and nothing was wrong with the MB. And the heat up and cool down is also a big factor. Take a piece of chicken, freeze it and thaw it, over and over. I know its a raw (hehe) comparison but still applies. Beside the occasion memory fart, why bother shutting down. Here's a great example, I work for the 2nd largest Ad agency in the world. Our New York Office's DHCP server is a linux box. That machine has not been shut down or restarted in 3 years. And its not a top of the line box, it's and Acer. If there is such wear and tear on leaving a computer on, explain that.
    Mike Wolfman
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    I can explain it simply.

    The bearings in your fans and hard disk are made to turn x number of times before they fail. It doesn't matter if it's maintaining a specified velocity, or starting and stopping, there is ALWAYS wear and tear if an object is moving over another.

    The point however, is null and void, because by the time the parts do wear out, they'll be so obsolete, there won't be a productive reason to use them. (Average computer life is what, 3 years at the most?!?)

    Servers are different, but for your home machine, save some energy, turn it off.
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    How do you figure that bearings are made to spin x number of times. Whats the number? No way, your only valid point to this discussion is the energy part of it. the HD's and fans in a server are no different than ones in a home machine. If you think there's a difference other than IDE or scsi, I'd like to hear it.
    Mike Wolfman
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    [img]/w3timages/icons/doh.gif[/img] it's called friction, and no matter what the material is, it will cause degredation of internal parts. So, the fan/hd/whatever will degrade over time. That is a given.

    and it's not the server's components, it's the SOFTWARE, I can assure you, any IT department in the nation would save the ca$h it takes to keep a computer room online by shutting down every night if the software was more friendly to it...

    My point is, and has been, and IS valid, it doesn't matter what components you have, because in 5 years, no one will care, most likely, you'll have replaced them with whatever is latest and greatest, (or a close semblance thereof.)
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    well, bottom line, it is better, for the computer to just leave the computer on.
    Mike Wolfman
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    The fact is, it doesn't matter. Both have pro's and Con's that are void because by the time something bad happens, you'll have replaced the whole thing anyways.

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  13. #12
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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    Mike:
    I am solidly in your camp. Things fail when they change state. Inertia is more of an enemy than friction. And the MTBF on devices is rated for CONTINUOUS operations. I wonder why?

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    Re: Debate: Keep Power On or Off?

    Dont companies rate things in the worst possible light in general? --it makes thier product look better... [img]/w3timages/icons/doh.gif[/img]

    Drk.
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    From the Horses Mouth.

    Problem Description:

    Not so much a technical question regarding my hard-drive, but
    more of a general question on hard-disk drives in general.

    My question is, in your opinion, being a prominent hard-disk
    manufacturer, which is better for hard-drives in general,
    leaving your computer running 24/7, or turning it on/off with
    each use?

    The question has spawned from a newsgroup I frequent, and I
    figure a "straight from the horses mouth" answer would be GREAT!

    The debate lies in the inertial difference which occurs when a
    hard disk begins spinning vs. a hard disk in continual
    operation. My stance is that it doesn't matter, as before
    mechanical failure would take it's toll, (assuming we're not
    literally juggling our hard-disks or playing softball with them)
    the amount of time it would take for equipment failure would
    exceed the efficiency mark as far as upgrades are concerned. Is
    there any information on your site which can answer this
    question?

    Sincerely,

    DrkRealm

    ************************************************** ****

    Thank you for sending your MAXTOR E-mail inquiry.

    Dear Maxtor Customer:

    This is an issue that really doesn't have a definitive answer. However,
    most of the engineers I've spoken too tend to believe in the "leave it
    spinning" theory. It's like highway driving versus city driving; starts and
    stops are harder on your car than continuously going 75mph. Most drive
    failures occur at spin-up.



    Thank you,
    Maxtor Technical Assistance
    1-800-2-MAXTOR (1-800-262-9867) (voice)
    353 1 204 1111 (International)
    http://www.maxtor.com (web)


    ************************************************** *****
    So there you have it!

    Drk.

    Edit: Another thing on this, if your HD has sleep mode, you might as well be turning it off anyway... I beleive most hd's turn themselves off after some non-use. Drk.
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    Re: From the Horses Mouth.

    Well, we told you so...
    Have you got a [nyah] smilie? [img]/w3timages/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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