Question When should I power off my computer?

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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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The only reason I can think of for any fans still running while in sleep mode is that you haven't got S3 sleep mode enabled in the BIOS. I can't remember the last time in my line of work that I encountered any PC running any fans during sleep mode (probably because S3 is the default sleep mode setting in the BIOS these days).
At least for laptops, as per a recent LTT WAN Show video, producers have switched to "modern standby", which uses s0 sleep state. It was informative to learn that modern systems no longer use s3.
 

Markfw

CPU Moderator, VC&G Moderator, Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 16, 2002
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The lifetime of the PC (useability, before upgrade) is 10 years maximum, more like 5-7 in reality. Mine are on 24/5/365 for my DC work. They all make the 7 year before they die. So staying on is a possibility, technically.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,799
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At least for laptops, as per a recent LTT WAN Show video, producers have switched to "modern standby", which uses s0 sleep state. It was informative to learn that modern systems no longer use s3.
Yup, I started a thread about that a while ago. I'd be curious to find out whether mid/lower range laptops are getting that 'feature' or it's just a selectively applied curse. The Lenovo V15 and V15 G2 still do normal standby, for example.
 

Leeea

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2020
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There isn't a general computing forum so posting this here. I've read that powering a computer on and off causes more wear than leaving it on. Is this true and if I have a computer that is idle for days at a time should I power that off?
Never.

But you should enable sleep for both your monitor and computer.

Perhaps turn off hibernate though.
 

alcoholbob

Diamond Member
May 24, 2005
6,241
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When you power cycle a PC there's a surge of power to the components. Eventually this will wear out things over time but, it's not going to kill your PC in a short period of time. If you think about a business with 100's of PC's and they get powered down nightly they don't stop working in a short period of time. Generally it's up to a decade before seeing a failure at this point. The most wear/tear is usually the HDD / spinner because of the moving parts. Maybe fans.

In an idle state though it shouldn't be pulling much power from the wall if all the apps are closed. I run my server 24/7 and most of the time it's close to idle and it doesn't use much power in that state. It has an 850W PSU in it but, at max it's not using 50% of that. When I stress the CPU that's only 125W + other stuff inside the case might add another 75W to the calculation. So, max it might pull 200W +/- whatever the misc parts might pull.

Now, if it's a laptop that's a different story. My laptop pulls ~60W while on and doing typical stuff. When I launch a game or something that triggers the GPU to engage then it can ramp up to 180W This matters when traveling though because I can power it off USB with a trigger cable using a power bank or CLA in the car.
So I guess overclockers are doubling killing their components, not only are they pushing extra voltage, but the process of tweaking RAM and CPU voltages these days means making hundreds or even thousands of power cycles in the first few weeks you put a computer together to tweak and max out silicon performance is putting years of mileage on your system.
 

Khanan

Member
Aug 27, 2017
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So I guess overclockers are doubling killing their components, not only are they pushing extra voltage, but the process of tweaking RAM and CPU voltages these days means making hundreds or even thousands of power cycles in the first few weeks you put a computer together to tweak and max out silicon performance is putting years of mileage on your system.
Yes and they don’t care either. It’s like throw away components for them they abuse and then move on to the next.
 

crashtech

Lifer
Jan 4, 2013
10,269
1,955
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So I guess overclockers are doubling killing their components, not only are they pushing extra voltage, but the process of tweaking RAM and CPU voltages these days means making hundreds or even thousands of power cycles in the first few weeks you put a computer together to tweak and max out silicon performance is putting years of mileage on your system.
If so, it might not be as horrible as it sounds, since most failures occur either early or late in the life of components, so beating on them early encourages them to fail inside the warranty period, if any of them would be prone to do so. This is one of the classic justifications for a burn-in period, afair.
 
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BorisTheBlade82

Senior member
May 1, 2020
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There isn't a general computing forum so posting this here. I've read that powering a computer on and off causes more wear than leaving it on. Is this true and if I have a computer that is idle for days at a time should I power that off?
Don't listen to people here that use their PCs in a server- or numberchrunching-like fashion. These are totally different stories.

If you don't need your PC, turn it off. Period. Of course you can use Sleep/Standby(suspend to RAM) and Hibernate (Suspend to disk). The latter one is from a consumption perspective the same as shutting down, while Sleep is only a bit worse. But the convenience is well worth both.

The problem you describe is a non-issue. Everything in a PC is designed to be powered on and off frequently. The wear and tear of certain components is much worse when running 24/7 - especially Fans.

As to the costs: An average PC uses around 80w or more in idle. Where I live this is 350€ per year, which I consider a lot.
 
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Chaotic42

Lifer
Jun 15, 2001
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Don't listen to people here that use their PCs in a server- or numberchrunching-like fashion. These are totally different stories.

If you don't need your PC, turn it off. Period. Of course you can use Sleep/Standby(suspend to RAM) and Hibernate (Suspend to disk). The latter one is from a consumption perspective the same as shutting down, while Sleep is only a bit worse. But the convenience is well worth both.

The problem you describe is a non-issue. Everything in a PC is designed to be powered on and off frequently. The wear and tear of certain components is much worse when running 24/7 - especially Fans.

As to the costs: An average PC uses around 80w or more in idle. Where I live this is 350€ per year, which I consider a lot.
80W * 365 days is about 701kWh. You pay 50 Euro cents per kWh? That's way too much. I pay $0.13/kWh in the summer and in the winter it's $0.0881/kWh up to 750kWh then $0.0591/kWh after. I thought our prices were high.
 

positivedoppler

Golden Member
Apr 30, 2012
1,071
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since i dont have a ups, i power down my computer. too many power outages corrupted my windows and killed my vms a few times.
 
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BorisTheBlade82

Senior member
May 1, 2020
380
538
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80W * 365 days is about 701kWh. You pay 50 Euro cents per kWh? That's way too much. I pay $0.13/kWh in the summer and in the winter it's $0.0881/kWh up to 750kWh then $0.0591/kWh after. I thought our prices were high.
To be precise, I pay 56 Euro cents per kWh, as all the energy suppliers more or less doubled prices in the last months. This is because the price over here is coupled to the most expensive way of generating electricity - which ATM are natural gas based methods.

Our Government is funding consumers in a big way: For 80% of last year's consumption we only have to pay 40 Euro cent per kWh.

@jamesdsimone
Aside from costs:
Even if your supplier provides you with regenerative energy, using lots of energy for no good reason is just not the right thing to do in these times (has never been, we just didn't know until the 70's).
 
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guidryp

Platinum Member
Apr 3, 2006
2,925
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There isn't a general computing forum so posting this here. I've read that powering a computer on and off causes more wear than leaving it on. Is this true and if I have a computer that is idle for days at a time should I power that off?
IMO, don't let worry about component life be a deciding factor. Modern components are robust enough to handle a great many power cycles.

My home PC is 14 years old, still on the original MB, PSU, CPU and GPU, and RAM. HDDs have been replaced over the years.

I leave it on when convenient, I shut it off when convenient. It spent long periods running 24/7 and long periods shut down every night. Though what I do lately is hibernate it (IMO, this is effectively powered down), and I have a 1 hour timeout to auto-hibernate.

I use hibernate, over sleep because you can unplug (or have power failure) while hibernating, and it won't lose data, and you can start right where you left off.
 

q52

Member
Jan 18, 2023
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I just lock the screen on my PC and leave it running forever until a reboot is required

Leave my laptop the same way

Never had an issue
 
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