So basically title says it all. Does having a 2hr idle S3 sleeping state lower the life of my computer? The computer going into S3 state is pretty much turning the computer on and off. I know how electronics work and know power cycles degrade equipment (take a light bulb). It would last longer full-on 24/7 than only full-on for 2hrs/day.
If it does, the reduced lifespan is probably far beyond the life of a PC component when you consider upgrades etc. Not heard of it being a problem myself.
Only reason it got me thinking is because very solemnly do I hear a server motherboard or CPU dieing. I've witnessed myself one or two Socket 7 boards dieing but mind you doubtfully these boards were in-use up to the point until I purchased them. Now that I think if it however it might actually expand the life of the components.
Back to the example of the light bulb... if you put in an eco-bulb rated at the same UV rays (not watts) it outlives a standard bulb in normal on/off operations. In fact a normal bulb use to last me about 6 months... these eco-bulbs I still haven't replaced one of them yet and it's been roughly a year and half. So in short a computer going into S3 mode will indeed lower its lifespan but it being in off state will also slow down it's life expectancy giving it more time than expected. Let's just hope -- on/off s3 state =/= continually on -- and balance out to be the same to make it worth the $12/yr power savings.. woot!
Bear in mind that server components are much more rugged than consumer components.
Also bear in mind that S3 keeps the RAM powered, but the rest of the system is powered down. So with the exception of the RAM, there is no difference between shutting a system down and cold-starting it or waking from S3.
Lastly, you can't compare eco-bulbs to standard bulbs. Eco-bulbs use a gas and standard bulbs use a filament, so the mechanics are completely different.
A light bulb is a very different example, there is an initial inrush current to bring it up to temperature and the filament changes size because of the change in temperature. Computer components change size a little bit but there is no sudden large change in size. Turning off the system rather than having it in sleep mode will extend its life a tiny bit, but having the system in sleep mode is much better for it than running at full power 24/7 with nothing to do, and its much better for your power bill. In any of those cases, the CPU and the motherboard will likely long outlive their usefulness.