Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

QOTD: Do You Shut Off Your PC At Night?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 218 comments

Because of mechanical wear and tear in traditional hard drives and fans, I've never really liked turning off my computing devices. A steady on state is better for the hard drive in the long run.

Just like constant highway drive, stop and go traffic is bad for your hardware. However, all the concern these days for being green and conserving resources have caused me to slightly change my computing habits. Now, I make sure my displays are off before bed, but I still leave my desktop and laptop on almost all the time. The desktop is even protected by two massive UPSes from APC, just in case there's a blackout.

Still thought, I like my equipment instantly accessible at all times.

The question of the day is: Do you turn off your PC at night?

Discuss
Display all 218 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    zerapio , April 11, 2009 12:55 AM
    I hate to break it to people here but mechanical wear and tear is negligible unless you're turning the system on/off every few minutes. Maybe a cheap motherboard fails with less stress but from the articles I've seen here motherboard manufacturers take stress and fatigue into consideration when testing.
  • 24 Hide
    deltatux , April 11, 2009 1:21 AM
    I've had yet have a hardware that can't last me 8 years and I shut off my systems daily. So to me, leaving the PC is better is a myth and is costing me way too much money than to shut it off. Heck, even if I do leave it on, the cost will be greater to run the systems than to buy a replacement.

    Thus, the "advantages" of turning your PC on constantly has been nullified. Plus, for most PC enthusiasts, they replace their core parts or build an entirely new machine every 2 or 3 years. So, if wear and tear is an issue for them leaving them to turn on the machine, they'll never see the "wear and tear" since they're going to replace it well before their deaths.

    So instead of hurting the environment and your pocket books, turn off your systems at night or if you're not using it for more than 3 hours. Even if you have to leave it on, at least let it do something than sit there idling.
  • 11 Hide
    superhighperf , April 11, 2009 1:40 AM
    i leave it on 24/7. i have an old crt monitor that is on it's last leg and if it turns off i need to hit it with a pipe so that it works again. no joke.
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    tayb , April 11, 2009 12:47 AM
    I don't have a desktop PC at the moment but I put my laptop to sleep every night and unplug it from the wall (as well as the charger from the wall.) I turn it off maybe one or two times a week just to clear up anything but not very often. I can't see a reason for not putting the computer to sleep or standby, it just doesn't make sense not to.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , April 11, 2009 12:52 AM
    Most time time my PC is on because I use Windows Media Center. But when I'm done watching TV at night I sometimes put it in sleep mode. It's setup to wakeup when it needs to record.
  • 34 Hide
    zerapio , April 11, 2009 12:55 AM
    I hate to break it to people here but mechanical wear and tear is negligible unless you're turning the system on/off every few minutes. Maybe a cheap motherboard fails with less stress but from the articles I've seen here motherboard manufacturers take stress and fatigue into consideration when testing.
  • 3 Hide
    mlg779 , April 11, 2009 12:56 AM
    put my computer to sleep every time I step away from it more than 10, 15 minutes; The laptop stays on from the time I come home to the time I go to sleep because I have the Skype on, and because of Skype I'm looking forward for something small between 7"-10"-12" with web cam to take less power
  • 2 Hide
    haze4peace , April 11, 2009 12:56 AM
    Most of the times I leave it on, unless my computer is doing absolutely nothing. It's also in the room I sleep in so sometimes i don't want to hear the sound of the fans spinning.
  • 6 Hide
    anonymous x , April 11, 2009 12:57 AM
    I always turn my PC off unless I'm downloading/uploading something HUGE or running a virus scan (not that I ever get viruses, just for peace of mind)
  • 2 Hide
    jn77 , April 11, 2009 12:59 AM
    My computer is a heater in the winter months :-), but it gets unplugged from the network when not using the connection for anything.
  • 8 Hide
    persianwhite , April 11, 2009 1:04 AM
    Folding @ home 24/7
    thus my system is on 24/7 (most of the time..)
    1.5kVA UPS makes it easier to keep the system on while I am not around.
  • -6 Hide
    magicandy , April 11, 2009 1:10 AM
    zerapioI hate to break it to people here but mechanical wear and tear is negligible unless you're turning the system on/off every few minutes. Maybe a cheap motherboard fails with less stress but from the articles I've seen here motherboard manufacturers take stress and fatigue into consideration when testing.


    A quick reading of the article would have shown you that Tuan was referring to hard drive wear and tear, which is definitely a factor for people that turn their computer on/off every day, especially since those are often the types of people that not only turn it off at the end of the day, but also turn it off any time they're not using it.
  • 4 Hide
    magicandy , April 11, 2009 1:13 AM
    To that I will add that I've never had a 24/7-on hard drive fail on me. I have, however, encountered the dreaded clank of death in many mainstream-use hard drives.
  • 24 Hide
    deltatux , April 11, 2009 1:21 AM
    I've had yet have a hardware that can't last me 8 years and I shut off my systems daily. So to me, leaving the PC is better is a myth and is costing me way too much money than to shut it off. Heck, even if I do leave it on, the cost will be greater to run the systems than to buy a replacement.

    Thus, the "advantages" of turning your PC on constantly has been nullified. Plus, for most PC enthusiasts, they replace their core parts or build an entirely new machine every 2 or 3 years. So, if wear and tear is an issue for them leaving them to turn on the machine, they'll never see the "wear and tear" since they're going to replace it well before their deaths.

    So instead of hurting the environment and your pocket books, turn off your systems at night or if you're not using it for more than 3 hours. Even if you have to leave it on, at least let it do something than sit there idling.
  • 11 Hide
    superhighperf , April 11, 2009 1:40 AM
    i leave it on 24/7. i have an old crt monitor that is on it's last leg and if it turns off i need to hit it with a pipe so that it works again. no joke.
  • 2 Hide
    ph3412b07 , April 11, 2009 1:42 AM
    My habit is to put my computer/laptop in sleep mode, which gives me full access within seconds of hitting a key. This is primarily to stop the fans from spinning, because otherwise they amass a ridiculous amount of dust, and its a pain to clean every week. Also generates noise, heat, racks up electricity costs.

    I'm somewhat concerned with hard disk integrity, seeing as I've had a logic board go up in smoke, and a couple disks become corrupted. However, I'm also convinced that the nature of a spin up/down cycle isn't going to do anything to a HDD (you don't keep your car's engine running overnight, do you? ok bad example....kind of). I put my faith in the engineers of WD, Seagate, Hitachi...etc to design their spindles with an infinite fatigue cycle life.

    still not happy with mechanical components? time to go solid state.
  • -2 Hide
    formin , April 11, 2009 1:42 AM
    nope
    its all about consumption
  • 1 Hide
    taiso , April 11, 2009 1:47 AM
    well since bit torrent is throttled heavily by bell canada i HAVE to leave it on if i ever want to get anything downloaded. not that i'm downloading massive torrents everyday. buts its just that i get such horrible speeds, the same torrent i started to download last month is still going. and like others here have said: to leave it running a virus scan every once in a while. but to be honest the fan noise doesn't bother me and since i use it a good portion of the night sometimes i just fall sleep without turning it off. and it really doesn't impact the power bill either.
  • -2 Hide
    rambo117 , April 11, 2009 1:54 AM
    nope! i dont shutdown my comp. i use speedfan which turns down all my fans super quiet so i can sleep at night with my computer in my room without having to listen to a vacuum cleaner xD
  • -1 Hide
    mamw93 , April 11, 2009 1:55 AM
    No. I know the Earth is warming but there is also a lot of natural heating going on. Did you know there was a mini ice age during the late 1800's and early 1900's? If we were around during the mega ice age and everyone was leaving there freezer and fridge doors open for 5 minutes a day we would be viewed as the cause of it. Grant it we aren't helping we are the %100 cause of it. I turn off my LCD at nights just because it comes out to be 5 bucks a month cheaper on my electric bill when I do so, (I have eight LCD's not including HDTV's.) But I also completely unplug them instead of just turning them off since they are all at chest level and easily unplugged. In addition all my motherboards are ASUS and take advantage of the EPU that comes with the ASUS boards. I'm doing my part in a small way but it's because it saves me a little money.
  • 1 Hide
    smartel7070 , April 11, 2009 1:58 AM
    yes
Display more comments