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    Hardware life & function

    The age old question came up at - our facility of 50 workstations - is it best to power off the PC at night or leave them all on and just power off the monitors. Is there any credible empirical data out there anywhere?

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    Re: Hardware life & function

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> srakoz

    Wow this is the age-old question, and the answer is also age-old if you ask me. OK here are my two cents <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>:

    1) I turn off the PC (PC=computer and Monitor) when I leave the office. This is to conserve electric energy, cuts down on the heat the next day, and preserves the PC for a longer life.

    2)When I come in the morning, I turn the PC on, and leave it on until #1 happens, that is I go home. The screen saver takes care of the monitor for short times, and if I am going to be gone for a long period, 4 or more hours I turn it off, to conserve electric energy, and cut down on the heat.

    <font color=red>BUT!!!!!! </font color=red> <img src=/S/fanfare.gif border=0 alt=fanfare width=31 height=23>

    If you allow the users to work and save the work on their local hard drives, then if you turn the computer off, you won't be able to back them up at night. You won't be able to do any maintenance such as virus scanning, or defragging. The computer needs to be on for such things.

    So did I answer your question? I don't think so, because it
    <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20> in the <img src=/S/bagged.gif border=0 alt=bagged width=22 height=22>

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    I think Wassim hit the nail on the head when he said:
    ------------------------------------
    The main reasons for keeping the PC on, is to prevent the shock of turning it on. More current, less current and things like that, but with modern power supplies, I think this is not an issue any more
    ----------------------------------
    Power surge was the big problem ONCE, but not now.

    With 50 stations turned off, you may see SOME savings, but it would be a small amount when compared to the wasted power in lighting. Have you ever noticed a photo of a big city at night, where most every floor of every skyscraper is lit up like a Christmas Tree, all night, every night? THAT'S wasted power!!!!!!!!!! You can't tell me that it's for the cleaning people to get around! BTW, I'm the type that turns off my room lights when no one is in the room. <img src=/S/cranky.gif border=0 alt=cranky width=18 height=25> Needless to say, I turn off my computer when I'm done for the night.

    The other point Wassim brings out is system maintenance. It would seem that if that is necessary, PM could be scheduled for only a certain night ( or nights ). Other times.......turn them OFF. <img src=/S/electric.gif border=0 alt=electric width=15 height=15>

    Bob
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    I followed a discussion a while back and the only conclusion I could come to is flip a coin. There are pros and cons. Stress and the fear of power surge isn't the only consideration for not powering up and down. Heating and cooling of the traces on circuit boards and other solder points can arguably cause failure over time. personally, I never power down my system, Windows bsod will tell me when it's time. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Hardware life & function

    Some other things to consider. Stuff for both sides of the coin.

    If you leave the PCs on over night you expose them to the risk of power surges and spikes from lightning strikes. You also leave them vulnerable to hacking. The hacking may come from someone sitting down at the workstation and getting access that way, or from across the network.

    If you turn them off at night and on in the morning, then you subject the components to thermal cycles of expansion and contraction which could cause broken electrical connections eventually.

    I work for a broadcaster and in out studio control rooms there are walls of monitors that are left on 24/7 because of the thermal cycling. The environment that they are in is so warm that if they are powered off, they cool off to such a degree that they cannot be powered on again unless components are replaced. And these are high end broadcast quality monitors.

    So, which is better Leave them on or turn them off. 6 of one, half dozen of the other.

    I personally recommend powering off at night. My PC at home gets powered off. My PC at work stays on so I can access it from home.
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    Brian,

    You STILL get bsod? Are you running XP? Haven't seen them since getting rid of 98. <img src=/S/brainwash.gif border=0 alt=brainwash width=15 height=15>

    Heating and cooling of CB traces are also a thing of the past. ( as long as you have properly designed boards )

    Bob
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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    Hi Carb~
    ---------------------------
    The environment that they are in is so warm that if they are powered off, they cool off to such a degree that they cannot be powered on again unless components are replaced.
    ----------------------------

    I think that's a problem with environmental control of the room they are in, rather than the monitors themselves having design problems. I wonder what the operating temperature of those monitors are and just how much their life span is shortened by all that heat?
    I would also think a broadcast studio would NEED them on all of the time, unless you shut down for the night?

    A lot of circumstances require 247 operation, of course.

    Bob
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    <img src=/S/thinks.gif border=0 alt=thinks width=15 height=15> now that you mention it .... I haven't turned off my system since XP. I'm not so sure about your circuit board trace and component contention particularly considering the increase in processor temperature but then, I'm not an engineer. I wonder also whether the increase in power required to boot a powered down system is less, equal or greater than cycling it on or off? I once had a heated (forgive the pun) discussion with my father in law about the efficacy of turning off the furnace at night in the middle of winter then back on in the frosty morning. I did some research at that time and found there was extraordinary cost involved in bringing the house back up to ambient temperature particularly effected by the amount metal and chrome in the house. Ok, I'm finished my ramble.

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    Brian,

    --------------------------------------------
    wonder also whether the increase in power required to boot a powered down system is less, equal or greater than cycling it on or off?
    -------------------------------------------
    The only INCREASE in power on boot is in the surge current and would MORE than be made up for in the savings of powering down at night.

    I agree with the reheating the house bit. Then you could argue the old saw of:
    Is it better to shut down your car engine, just to run in for a take out coffeetea, OR just leave it running? This assumes you aren't in a high risk car theft area. <img src=/S/burga.gif border=0 alt=burga width=40 height=15>

    Bob
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    <hr>The only INCREASE in power on boot is in the surge current and would MORE than be made up for in the savings of powering down at night.<hr>
    I suspect that the biggest INCREASE in power on boot is all the power to the motors for all that extra disk activity. But I really don't think it is likely to be significant.

    StuartR
    Who leaves his PCs on at night so they can do the scheduled defrags and backups

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    Right Stuart.
    Total surge current would include the additional power to start up drive motors, fans, power supplies, etc. All added up still would not be an extraordinary amount. <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

    Bob
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    <hr>I think that's a problem with environmental control of the room they are in, rather than the monitors themselves having design problems<hr>
    I don't think it's either. It happens to all of our monitor walls and they have cold air forced across them through specially designed racks. I also don't think its a design flaw either, since it only happens to monitors in these monitor walls, and they contain different styles of monitors.

    It's just the heat build up that causes the bits and pieces to expand.

    The studios I was talking about are production studios, where they may not be used for days or weeks at a time, and not on-air studios.
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    Why not do both... leave it on for system maintenance and have the last part of that routine put the system in hibernation? User comes in the next morning, hits the power button to resume and begins work where he left off. This is what I do at home. 50 PCs should probably have this managed by Group Policies, assuming you are on a Win2k or Win2k3 domain.

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Hardware life & function

    Bryan,

    I don't want to beat a dead horse to death here, but if the problem only happens to the monitors in the "specially designed" walls, not others, doesn't that say that there is a problem with the design of the monitor walls themselves? ( environmental control )
    Have they actually tested the heat build up INSIDE the monitors?
    Maybe that cold air forced across them isn't getting INSIDE to cool them?

    Bob
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