Leave PC on 24/7 or turn on/off each day better for components?

corinthos

Golden Member
Mar 22, 2000
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With my old box, it didn't matter, but would like to know now since I'm looking to get a new box put together and want to take good care of it.
 

HannibalX

Diamond Member
May 12, 2000
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Hard drives do better when they don't spin up/down constantly. Most mechanical things are this way.
 

crimson117

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Aug 25, 2001
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If you leave it on 24/7 (heck even if you turn it off when you're not using it) be sure to have a UPS battery backup to cover brown-outs and short power outages. Sudden power loss can be very damaging to hard drives, from a data integrity point of view.
 

IdaGno

Senior member
Sep 2, 2004
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Not sure about this, but I think they (PC's) are less inclined to catch fire when OFF, which makes me hesitate to leave it/them on in my absence. Any component failure, even a complete system failure, is a whole lot easier to deal w/than being burned out of home or business.

(Just today replaced the PWR SWITCH cable on this box. A minor PITA & was out of service for 5 days, but not enough so to make me leave it on 24/7.)
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
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Mar 4, 2000
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Anyone ever hear of PC catching fire?

I leave mine on 24/7 unless I am away on a trip. Then it is off 24/7.
 

murphyslabrat

Senior member
Jan 9, 2007
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Heya, What about from a power consumption point of view? What does it cost to leave it on vs turn it on then off when you're done.
 

Ruptga

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Aug 3, 2006
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If you run F@H or something with a high end system, maybe sixty bucks per month, if it's idle, maybe twenty dollars.
 

Thegonagle

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Jun 8, 2000
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Originally posted by: corkyg
Anyone ever hear of PC catching fire?

There was that one guy here, anyone remember, who somehow caused his OC'd AMD setup to catch fire. I remember that he poured a glass of Coke on the system board, which either caused the fire, or just complicated the matter. Either way, it was hilarious.

PCs on fire can be funny.
 

Thegonagle

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2000
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It's not like it's that bad to turn it on and off, although I do think it's good to limit the total number of on-off cycles.

If you're done using it, but you might use it again in the next 6-8 hours, leave it running. If you know that you won't use it for more than 6-8 hours, for example, while you're sleeping or at work, shut it down. The extra wear and tear of a fresh bootup is probably inconsequential next to the fact that when the PC is off, the bearings in your moving parts (HDs and fans) won't be subjected to needless wear (your hard drives and fans will actually last longer), the fans won't be drawing in heatsink-clogging dust (less frequent maintenance), and, with most P4-era and newer systems drawing an average of 100 to 200 watts from the wall, you can probably lower your electric bill $3-5 per month per system that you don't leave running 24/7.
 

oynaz

Platinum Member
May 14, 2003
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The money saved on power is easily worth it compared to the minuscule extra wear from turning the computer on and off. Always turn your computer off when you do not use it. It's common sense, really.
 

AlucardX

Senior member
May 20, 2000
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if its sitting idle while you're at work just turn it off.. on the other hand, i always have bit torrent running, and like to leave AIM up with my away msg on so i can receive messages.
 

corkyg

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Mar 4, 2000
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For me, "at work" is right here at home on my computer. I use it all day on and off from about 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. I always turn off the monitor when I am away from the desk.

I leave it on at night when I go to bed - that amounts to about 8 hours on average, and that is when the system maintains itself and updates itself (Windows, AV, Firewall, etc.)

And, for those who are using VOIP telephone service, it has to stay on or you have no phone.
 

locutus12

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Oct 13, 2005
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systems prefer to be left on, each time you turn a pc off all the components are just as susceptible to temperature contraction (and expansion upon startup) as any other material is at the right temperature. However the cost of running the system can be mitigated by using power saving features via your control panels power options.
 

StopSign

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Dec 15, 2006
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I turn it off at night because it's loud. When I'm gone during the day it's usually off as well unless I'm torrenting something.
 

Roguestar

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Aug 29, 2006
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Depends if I'm downloading or if I care about getting messages while AFK or not. More often than not it'll be on 24/7, but the monitor is off if I'm not using it.
 

Jersey Joe

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Mar 31, 2005
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HTPC's usually are 24/7 by nature if you record shows and such.

If you have a watercooled setup that catches fire it will put itself out...maybe :)
 

locutus12

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Oct 13, 2005
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Originally posted by: corkyg
Anyone ever hear of PC catching fire?

several, its fairly common, usually caused by cheap generic power supplies. I always possition a smoke alarm above my pc as i leave it on 24/7

 

corkyg

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Mar 4, 2000
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Please provide specific instances that are verifiable. I have never known of or read of any except the laptop battery fires.

Smoke detectors are really important- I worry more about my hot water heater and gas furnace than my computer. Don't forget the refrigerator freezer, and the TV set that is on standby. :)
 

lobbyone

Golden Member
Sep 4, 2003
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I leave my laptop on 24/7, does that count? I occasionally leave my desktop on 24/7 but not all the time.
 

Clinth

Senior member
Dec 11, 1999
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Originally posted by: ADDAvenger
If you run F@H or something with a high end system, maybe sixty bucks per month, if it's idle, maybe twenty dollars.

I would hate to see your electric bill if a pc cost 60 to run a month, damn my truck when it plug in(oil, battery, trany heating pads) don't hit me that hard..LOL

24/7 less heat cycling of componets this way, longer HD lifes ect...

Clinth
 

Vaktathi

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Feb 4, 2006
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Originally posted by: corkyg
Anyone ever hear of PC catching fire?

I leave mine on 24/7 unless I am away on a trip. Then it is off 24/7.

I've had a power supply catch fire on me before, and seen a friends motherboard melt the connection from the board to the power cable.

=(

Anyway, I also leave my rig on 24/7, and only really turn it off when I'm not gonna be around for a couple days or longer
 

Matthias99

Diamond Member
Oct 7, 2003
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Originally posted by: Vaktathi
Originally posted by: corkyg
Anyone ever hear of PC catching fire?

I leave mine on 24/7 unless I am away on a trip. Then it is off 24/7.

I've had a power supply catch fire on me before, and seen a friends motherboard melt the connection from the board to the power cable.

=(

Anyway, I also leave my rig on 24/7, and only really turn it off when I'm not gonna be around for a couple days or longer

I have never (personally) seen a desktop PC catch on fire, but I have seen power supplies on servers that blew out and were, at the very least, putting out a lot of smoke and left the insides awfully charred. I've heard (secondhand) stories of SAN/NAS arrays that had fan failures and the power supplies/UPS batteries actually caught fire. Those are not good, since you're talking multi-kilowatt power supplies and sizable batteries.

A PC power supply that shorts out could be putting several hundred watts through capacitors or circuit boards that are not really made to handle that. High power + electronic components = fire.

As for 'leave your PC on or turn it on/off' -- from a power usage standpoint, you should turn it off. At the VERY least, turn off the monitor and have the hard drives spin down (and, if possible, use dynamic clocking to lower your CPU speed and/or voltage while idle.)

IMO, the only other thing you should really worry about failing is the hard drive. The motor in your hard drive is working whenever the drive is spinning; to minimize wear, you should have it spin down whenever you will not be using a drive for a while. Of course, spinning it up also strains the motor, so you wouldn't want to be doing that 20 times a day. I usually set my system so that after something like 30 minutes with no disk activity, it spins the drives down. But I keep my system on 24/7 unless I plan on being away for several days.
 

imported_Imp

Diamond Member
Dec 20, 2005
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In the end, it doesn't matter. Corporations have millions of dollars in information invested in the servers they leave on every second of the day. You have zero to a couple grand. I 'do' roughly the same thing whenever I spend money on new stuff; I regularly dusted and covered up my new LCD 2 years ago, then I got tired after 3 months and treat it like my 10 year old TV. It's still working. My old system ran for 5 years flawlessly with daily on/off cycles(why didn't it die...), and I still do it with my new system. Just leave it off for the sake of power conservation. By the time it actually it dies from cycling (if at all), you'll be happy since it'd be so outdated.
 

Solema

Golden Member
Jul 30, 2002
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I also work from home, and leave my PC on 24/7, even when I am away. Since I used XP Pro and now Vista Ultimate I leave it on so I can Remote Desktop into it, which I do frequently when I am away from home. I also use VOIP (Cisco 7940) but it doesn't need my PC to run, just my router.