Off vs On for Computer
Name: William H.
Constantly booting and closing my system down will in
time be no good for many of my components as you know. Will I be better
simply leaving my system running constantly. If not would you please
explain why. I have a friend who rarely switches his systems off. I have
four systems networked at home.
There are two schools of thought with regards to this. First are the
frugal people. They feel that by leaving the system off, they are saving
electricity, and in turn saving money. They also think that turning it off
will minimize the chance of it getting hit with a surge. Not so,since I
have seen surges pass through phone wires while the computer was off
(lightning strike). The second group of people are the 'propeller heads'
as dubbed by friends of mine. We know that the system board on a computer
is full of solder points. Given that, when a solder point is heated up and
cooled down over and over again (such as turning on and off the computer)
the solder becomes brittle and has more of a chance of breaking.
Therefore, we leave the computer powered on all the time. Do not get me
wrong, all computers need to be rebooted on a regular basis so as to avoid
problems. I have a one month maintenance reboot on all of my servers at
work. It all breaks down to what type of person you are. ;-)
I hope this helps!
You are correct, I am in the same situation. I not only leave my work
computers on but my personal system as well. One advantage is when the
system is running it is at a constant temperature. If you shut your
computer off, it is no longer generating heat, thus allowing components to
cool and contract. When you turn your computer on it then generates heat
and causes the metal components to expand. All of this expanding and
contracting over time can cause pieces to fail, such as components that are
soldered to the motherboard thus ending up with a system that has reached
its end of life quicker than expected.
There really are not any hard rules here. Each time you turn your system on
and off, it places a great deal of stress on the parts. Just like a light
bulb rarely burns out except when you turn it on, if a component is going to
destroy itself, it will often do it when you turn the computer on.
Leaving your system on will tend to save the expensive components like your
processor, memory, video card and things.
But, moving components, like the fans, will tend to wear out the more they are
left on. Additionally, you will use more power and run up your electricity
bill by leaving your computer on.
I have worked with computers for several years. I have had power and CPU fans
fail more often than any other parts. They seem to always fail on the systems I
leave running constantly. On systems that I turn off when I am done using them,
I generally have not had much trouble with parts failing, even though they
are under increased stress.
In some cases there are other considerations. If you have a cable modem or DSL
connection, you may be vulnerable to hacker attacks whenever your system is on.
If you use a single server to connect to the Internet, then you may need to leave
that system on so everyone can use the Internet.
So, I generally follow a simple compromise. My server is always on, but has
firewall software installed to help reduce the risk from hackers. My other
machines are turned off whenever they are not going to be used for a while.
I hope this helps. As I said, everyone has to make their own judgements
about what is best in this case.
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Update: June 2012