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Leave it on or turn it off ? - Go green: Shut down idle PCs

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posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 06:37 PM
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(AP) -- Q. I've heard that frequently turning my computer on and off can hurt the performance of internal parts. But I don't want to leave it on all the time either and waste power. What's the best course?

A. While it once might have been true that computer hard drives or power-supply systems could be degraded over time by turning the machines on and off, there's little reason now not to go the green (and money-saving) route: Shut things completely down if you're not going to be using your PC for many hours.

www.cnn.com...
Recent tests at Canada's University of Waterloo found that computers with Pentium 4 processors running at 1.7 gigahertz drew 110 watts of electricity while booting up and 60 watts when they were on but idle. A 17-inch cathode-ray tube (CRT) monitor added an additional 75 watts. Newer, flat-screen LCD monitors use about half as much juice as CRTs.

In a sense, then, the PC isn't a big juice hog. A microwave oven devours electricity at a rate of 750 to 1,100 watts, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

PCs in power-saving standby or sleep mode have even less of a presence. In the Waterloo tests, they were draining 35 watts. That's roughly equivalent to three clock radios.

But add up hours of standby time, and multiply that by the millions of computers in the world, and it is some serious electricity.

I've talked to many people, experts (computers) and others and always gotten mixed answers.

I think I'll start shutting this one down. We usually leave it on, as a matter of fact, as of this moment, I'll bet it's been on for over 7 days now... probably more...

How about you guys ?




posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 06:50 PM
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If I am going to be gone for over an hour, such as escorting my wife home from work, donating blood/plasma, or leaving for work myself, the computer is turned off completely, speakers, ext. modem, monitor, cpu, everything.

If I am going to be gone for about 10 to 20 minutes(going to the 711 down the street) then I will leave everything on, except for the monitor.

If I am going to be gone for 5 to 10 minutes(sucking down a cig, getting a pop) I will leave everything as is.

That's how I have handled it. I would never leave it on for hours, only for it to be idle. The exceptions to that would be, downloading a massive file(>25 Megabytes),low level formating/partitioning/high level formating HD, sometimes compiling enormous binary files(like a huge Half-Life map using nothing but custom textures, making an AVI file of a movie I own, final building a large application(rarely takes that long), batch processing of some kind. I don't war dial stuff anymore so that is out.



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 07:04 PM
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Turn those things off the degradation effects of powering the PC's on and off really became noexsistent with the Pentium II Era.



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 07:04 PM
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[edit on 28-7-2004 by BlackJackal]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 07:25 PM
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I never have my pc off. I sometimes leave it up for reasons like downloading or rendering 3D art or something, but even if it's just idle I never worry about it. The actual computer itself, as mentioned above, uses very little power at all. Even less if it has some power saving features. Shutting off or Sleep Mode on the monitor however is usually a good idea and can be easily automated.

Then again I use my computer for many hours every day so I suppose my situation is a bit different than a lot of people who may only use their computer every few days or something like that.



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 07:35 PM
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Wait a second, the degradation argument still holds because everytime you power up a regulated surge of electricity courses through the computer internals. Since the power up part is more erratic than the interim On period, wouldn't less powering up be less harmful?

[edit on 28-7-2004 by ktprktpr]



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 08:06 PM
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It should make no difference at all. Most computers are replaced by the time any sign of degredation would occur. I still have a computer from 92-93 that's been turned on and off everyday up until a few months ago and it never showed signs of degradation.



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 08:13 PM
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I manage a network of approx 400 PCs and 100 Macs.
MOST of our users power off at night, and on the next day.
Some of them WISH that was harder on the systems, because
some of those machines are on the order of 7 years old.


Some of the workstations are on 24 hours per day, because they are
providing a service of some sort.

Of course MY servers are on 24/7, they are also on a buildingwide UPS.

There isn't a noticeable difference in failure rates.


I say TURN IT OFF!!


Save yourself a few bucks in KW/HRs!!



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 09:12 PM
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i normally get up in the morning and turn the pc on at like 7am then not turn it off till like 10pm that night. i may leave it on overnight once a fortnight if im downloading bigger files.



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 09:54 PM
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i used to leave mine on all the time, but i turn it off now. why? several reasons-

1- i dont care if it degrades parts in the computer because i replace my computer before they wear out. they make nice presents for close relatives when im done with them

2-i dont want it on for people around the globe trying to haxor it when im not using it.

3-i like it quiet when im not using it so i dont want to hear the fan



posted on Jul, 28 2004 @ 11:37 PM
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Originally posted by Arek
It should make no difference at all. Most computers are replaced by the time any sign of degredation would occur. I still have a computer from 92-93 that's been turned on and off everyday up until a few months ago and it never showed signs of degradation.



Your using a 12 year old computer, man that would suck!

ok, now as for me I leave mine one 24/7 the only time I will turn it off is when I install a program then I have to restart, but actual off time, would be only when I'm gone for more then 3 days.
it comes
and I don't care about the noise cause my computer in not in my bedroom, but every night I do turn the LCD monitor off (not for power saving reasons but so it last longer), and I also turn the fans and lights off or down.

I keep mine on because I am a very very impatiant person. So when I want to use my pc it better be ready. I won't change my ways until PC's are like TV's where it a simple on and off none of that loading or booting up BS. So thankfully, soon my wish will be granted with the introduction of MRAM basically will replace your current RAM so that when you turn your pc off the information stays there so when you turn it back on it comes on imediatly. (just like a tv)



posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 07:23 AM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
I manage a network of approx 400 PCs and 100 Macs.
MOST of our users power off at night, and on the next day.
.......
Of course MY servers are on 24/7, they are also on a buildingwide UPS.

There isn't a noticeable difference in failure rates.


No difference in the failure rates of workstations and servers? I manage 6000 workstations and 212 servers. My servers are much more stable than the workstations..... Better management needed? ha ha ha
Just joshing ya... ha ha But, there should be a noticeable difference in servers & workstations with failure rates.....


This argument of turning off and on can go in either direction. Personally, I leave mine on. I do reboot once a week just before bed to clear out the systems memory and to correct any errors that may have developed throughout the week.

My idea: When you start up a hard drive, it spins up and on shutdown, it spins down. A hard drive is more likely to fail on a cold start after being left off that being constantly left on. All electronics are better left on generally as powering on and off will cause more stress to the device than leaving it on. The major power drain is not from the CPU, but the Monitor. Also, power usage of personal computers now getting much lower.

Basically..... Personal choice

[edit on 29-7-2004 by JCMinJapan]



posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 07:37 AM
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Not that I store vital secrets on my PC, but I always power down if im going to be away for more than an hour. Why?

My parents drilled energy conservation into me from day one.
My son is less than 2 but we want him to learn early on as well
Im paranoid that a trojan horse or spyware will use the broadband connection in my absence. It may be crazy, but you never know.



posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by JCMinJapan
No difference in the failure rates of workstations and servers? I manage 6000 workstations and 212 servers. My servers are much more stable than the workstations.....
[edit on 29-7-2004 by JCMinJapan]


I'd hope your servers are much more stable or i'd be worrying for your company. We have a massive RAID Xeon server with 8, 200 GB hard drives. This thing is a tank and has never even flinched once. It's never ever shutdown and still works at top notch.



posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 09:13 AM
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I always leave my machine's on except my laptop. At work I have under my desk my PC, a test machine, another test machine, a Unix server (49 day and counting) and a file server. The reason why I always leave these machines on is because whether I am at home or at work or at the coffee shop down the street, I can access anything I need. I VPN into our network and I can access all my machines with Remote Desktop or SSH.



posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 09:20 AM
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I have a PC that I tend to leave on 24hours every day. I thought that it really doesn't use much power in Sleep mode anyway, and I have not seen any noticeable difference in my electric bill because of it either.


E_T

posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by spangbr
2-i dont want it on for people around the globe trying to haxor it when im not using it.

Use firewall, and ADSL modem in routing mode. (NAPT) It blocks every traffic from WAN(Wide area network)/internet which isn't reply to request from LAN/home network.

Especially if you have broadband connection you should always use firewall in any case... it doesn't matter do you keep your PC powered and online ten minutes or ten hours... without firewall (or routing/NAPT) you might get MSBlaster to your machine in ten seconds!



Originally posted by Murcielago
So when I want to use my pc it better be ready. I won't change my ways until PC's are like TV's where it a simple on and off none of that loading or booting up BS. So thankfully, soon my wish will be granted with the introduction of MRAM basically will replace your current RAM so that when you turn your pc off the information stays there so when you turn it back on it comes on imediatly.

Actually that's already possible.
Laptops have sleep mode in which they write contents of RAM to file in HD, and when powered they just load that file to memory and are ready to use in little over 5 seconds. (and you can literally continue from where you was)



posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by JCMinJapan

Better management needed? ha ha ha
Just joshing ya... ha ha But, there should be a noticeable difference in servers & workstations with failure rates.....

Basically..... Personal choice

[edit on 29-7-2004 by JCMinJapan]


LOL, yeah, but do you replace your Chair/keyboard interface every 6 month?
THAT interface is sometimes the cause of MANY problems!

Seriously, We've never done an official study. I would think that just due to being locked up in a controlled environment a server would have an advantage as well..Constant temp, less dust etc.. Oh, and no cleaning crews bumping into them with a vacuum cleaner!

Personal choice is good.. Especially if you are on the SETI@Home team here..!



posted on Jul, 29 2004 @ 01:50 PM
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Actually that's already possible.
Laptops have sleep mode in which they write contents of RAM to file in HD, and when powered they just load that file to memory and are ready to use in little over 5 seconds. (and you can literally continue from where you was)


Yeah but your talking about sleepmode only, having your pc completely off not just in a power saving mode.



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