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Old 03-07-2004, 01:51 PM   #1
Registered: Jul 2003
Distribution: Libranet 2.8.1, the best Debian-based distro out there.
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Leave it on or leave it off?

Which is better for a computer, powering it off when I go to sleep every night, or leaving it on? I have to restart it for Windows anyways, so I'm not going to be going for any amazing uptime records, . But which, overall, is better?

Also, is there any power management I should be looking at? To spin down the hard disks or something? I can turn the monitor off myself, .

For the record, I'm using Libranet, a Debian-based distro.
Old 03-07-2004, 01:56 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: England
Distribution: Debian Jessie, FreeBSD 10.1 anything *nix to get my fix
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Hi - the only reason i power off my system when im not using it is the noise factor! My pc is right next to my bed , hooked up to a firewall box. it makes the room sound like a lab!!

If there is little or no humming noise that bothers you - i cant see any harm in having it always on. But like you say, you should look at power management if you do this...
Old 03-07-2004, 02:30 PM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Iowa
Distribution: LFS 5.0, building 6.3, win98se, multiboot
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There is a common misconception that turning electrical/electronic equipment on and off shortens the life of the equipment. This is wrong. It is the total on time that leads to failure. It is true that the failure is more likely to occur during the act of turning on and off due to surges that happen at that time. But what gets you to the point where the failure happens is total on time.
Old 03-07-2004, 09:32 PM   #4
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On/off; heating/cooling; expansion/contraction - delicate machinery/breakage.

You could say it's a combination of things but that the same thing that happens before that critical on time that causes it to break is happening *every* time it powers on and off - and shortens the ultimate on time.

I power mine on and off as little as possible. My 11 year old box started dying recently, my 9 year old box is fine (*knocks plastic*), and my newer ones are too, except for a damn hard drive that did indeed croak in midrun, rather than during a power change. But also right after I switched the boxes it was in (for which I did obviously power down - and maybe I banged it trying to wedge it into the damn micro-ATX). So who knows.
Old 03-08-2004, 01:49 PM   #5
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This question is asked as often as "Is it better to turn off fluorescent lights or leave them on?", with the implication that powering things up will shorten the life of the lamp.

Bottom line: there are an equal number of 'experts' on both sides who will insist that their answer is correct. As far as I'm concerned, the only meaningful issue is whether or not you want to pay for the electricity that the PC will use while you are not using it. Over the course of many years in the biz, I've powered off some PC's every night, and left others running, and there have been no unexpected "early demises" either way. Along these lines of course if you power down, then you will need to wait momentarily while your PC boots up each time. But I really wouldn't worry about your PC dying earlier because of whether you leave it on or off. From a *practical* basis as opposed to theoretical basis, this is just a non-issue, except for the electricity costs. -- J.W.


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