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View Full Version : Do you keep your PC on 24/7 ?



linuxyogi
August 23rd, 2012, 09:40 PM
Do you keep your PC on 24/7 ?

What do you think are the pros & cons of running a PC 24/7 ?

synaptix
August 23rd, 2012, 09:42 PM
Do you keep your PC on 24/7 ?

What do you think are the pros & cons of running a PC 24/7 ?

No.

Electricity bill.

Bachstelze
August 23rd, 2012, 09:44 PM
No, I have no need for it now that I have a dedicated server.

CompyTheInsane
August 23rd, 2012, 09:53 PM
I never keep my laptop on 24/7, but I usually reboot it only once a month, unless I come to a point of where I absolutely have to reboot it, if ever.

Suspend/Hibernate FTW :D

linuxyogi
August 23rd, 2012, 10:13 PM
How much load (watts) does a PC consume ? My specs are on my sig.

GeoffreyBernardo
August 23rd, 2012, 11:46 PM
I only reboot it if updates require a reboot orif something goes wrong.

KiwiNZ
August 23rd, 2012, 11:50 PM
No.

Electricity bill.

I am beginning to think that way to, our last monthly energy bill was $793.00.

I currently keep my iMac on until it needs a reboot, my test PC's I tend to put to sleep, my portables I turn off. The server stays on.

Annorax
August 24th, 2012, 02:02 AM
In college I did but now that I live on my own and pay my own bills, I turn it off overnight and for most of the day while I'm at work.

IWantFroyo
August 24th, 2012, 02:14 AM
I turn on my computers to use them. I turn them off when I'm done.

I do it simply because I have no reason to keep them on, and when I do, the electricity bill is a nuisance.

tjeremiah
August 24th, 2012, 02:22 AM
my computer sleeps after 10mins of no use. I completely shutdown the PC every night before I go to bed.

arsenic23
August 24th, 2012, 02:55 AM
I turn it off when I go to sleep or leave the house, unless I'm downloading something.

Although my new computer turns on and boots faster then my last one posted, so I may start turning it off more often.

Paqman
August 24th, 2012, 09:56 AM
How much load (watts) does a PC consume ? My specs are on my sig.

Depends.

A desktop probably consumes around 75-150W constantly, a laptop about 25-40W and a netbook about 20W. If you want to do a proper power audit at home you can get a plug in power meter pretty cheap and find out what everything actually uses. It's a really interesting exercise, especially if you're a bit of a data geek.

Bottom line though, anything running when it's not being used is 100% wastage, so just have it sleep when it's not required. Most machines consume about the same whether they're asleep or turned off. Go to System Settings > Power to set the behaviour of your machine.

To try and get my computing power use down I've bought a KVM and actually use my netbook at my desk for anything that doesn't actually need the desktop on, and it all (desktop, speakers, monitor, etc) gets turned off at the wall when not in use. Just leaving it all plugged in but turned off was using about 130kWh a year, so that's an easy conservation win.

Atitudes
August 24th, 2012, 12:00 PM
Used to restart when needed or once a week...Crisis...big bills...now it gets unplugged when I don't need it. Someday I'll give a try at a solar power computer eheh

Grenage
August 24th, 2012, 12:04 PM
Hell no, it's a total waste of power; when a PC takes 6 seconds to hit the desktop (thank you SSDs), it's not an inconvenience to turn it on.

Our monthly electric bill is probably around 30 maximum.

Lightstar
August 24th, 2012, 12:24 PM
I don't see the use of having it run 24 hours when I'm on it for 3 hours a day (or less).

I shut it down at night when I go sleep.
Turn it on in the morning to check my emails.
Turn it off again when I leave for work.

kostkon
August 24th, 2012, 01:16 PM
Yes, on 24/7; and my electricity bill is ~40.

sffvba[e0rt
August 24th, 2012, 01:17 PM
On 24/7, but screen etc. goes on power saving...


404

Paqman
August 24th, 2012, 02:00 PM
Someday I'll give a try at a solar power computer eheh

Actually pretty doable.

In-car PCs run off 12V (ie: battery voltage). A cheap panel, a battery charge controller, some deep cycle batteries and you're done. Could all be picked up second hand for tinkering. Probably unlikely to save any money due to the cost of the batts and wouldn't actually be that green, but it would be totally off-grid.

Grenage
August 24th, 2012, 02:03 PM
Yup, it's the storage. Our panels kick out about 2.2kw on a good day, so it's all about holding it somewhere.

ratcheer
August 24th, 2012, 02:13 PM
No. My PC is in a bedroom and it is better turned off at night. Also, saves electricity.

Tim

Linuxratty
August 24th, 2012, 02:22 PM
I completely shutdown the PC every night before I go to bed,but it's on all day..I have two PC's and mainly use the Revo,which uses about 12 searing watts of power.;)

vexorian
August 24th, 2012, 02:59 PM
I just make it go to sleep. I cannot find any good data comparing sleeping desktop PC vs. turned off PC. But I bet it is the same mostly. Only difference is that sleeping PC needs to feed the RAM.

When I have to download things overnight, I use my netbook for that. Downloading really does not need all the power of a desktop, so a netbook really saves up money in that case.

There is no point leaving a PC turned on all time unless you are using it as a server. Waking up from a sleep takes less time than typing your password to unlock.

I wish there was a way to make ubuntu detect whether some application is downloading something or there is any app with a persistent connection and in case that condition is false, sleep automatically after 5 minutes of no use. It would save a lot of energy when I forget to sleep sometimes :/

Paqman
August 24th, 2012, 03:41 PM
I cannot find any good data comparing sleeping desktop PC vs. turned off PC.

Here you go then, have a data point:

My PC (550W PSU) uses 8W asleep and 7W when turned off.

Random_Dude
August 24th, 2012, 04:33 PM
If you don't use it as a server, why would you need it on 24/7?

If I'm going to be away for more than 1h, I turn it off.

jonathonblake
August 24th, 2012, 05:34 PM
I leave my desktop on 7/24.
That is the only way that retrieving my email is "managable".

When I turn off my system, it gets unplugged.

jonathon

vexorian
August 24th, 2012, 07:25 PM
Here you go then, have a data point:

My PC (550W PSU) uses 8W asleep and 7W when turned off.
My conclusion is then that sleep is good enough.

If the 1W was very important, then the whole 7W would be 7 times more important and thus would be better to unplug the computer.

An issue that comes when you make leaving a computer unplugged a habit is that computers have a lithium battery to keep the clock going and for it to remember the CMOS settings when power is gone. When the Lithium battery dies, you end up having to replace the battery or you will have to configure your computer every time you plug it back.

KiwiNZ
August 24th, 2012, 07:45 PM
I have never replaced a CMOS battery.

vexorian
August 25th, 2012, 01:12 AM
I have never replaced a CMOS battery.
Probably because you previously replied about how you leave the Mac turned on and the PC sleeping. What I mentioned is what happens when you leave it unplugged too frequently.

It is not so common anyway, around 3 years. I haven't replaced any CMOS battery in my PCs either, probably because I never unplug them intentionally... But I have caught cases of computers that needed them to be replaced, poor user is clueless as to why his PC is unable to boot suddenly sometimes and others it works.

user1397
August 25th, 2012, 06:29 AM
I pretty much have my laptop always on, since anytime I don't plan on using it for a while I just put it on standby. I rarely do restarts, except after certain updates/maintenance.

Paqman
August 25th, 2012, 03:45 PM
An issue that comes when you make leaving a computer unplugged a habit is that computers have a lithium battery to keep the clock going and for it to remember the CMOS settings when power is gone. When the Lithium battery dies, you end up having to replace the battery or you will have to configure your computer every time you plug it back.

Replacing a CMOS battery takes about two minutes, and they're cheap as chips

mamamia88
August 25th, 2012, 04:16 PM
My computer runs pretty much nonstop because I like to have gpodder download podcasts for me.

vexorian
August 25th, 2012, 04:21 PM
Replacing a CMOS battery takes about two minutes, and they're cheap as chips
Or I could leave my PC plugged and not go through stupid issues.

mamamia88
August 25th, 2012, 07:37 PM
Or I could leave my PC plugged and not go through stupid issues.

on your desktop? you can get a cmos battery at the store for less than $5 and replace it yourself in about 30 seconds. seems like not replacing it is the more difficult option.

vexorian
August 25th, 2012, 11:43 PM
Or I could leave my PC plugged and not go through stupid issues.

Recent studies have given the shocking result that even a value as small as "little effort" is worth more effort than zero effort.

Paqman
August 26th, 2012, 07:14 AM
Or I could leave my PC plugged and not go through stupid issues.

Recent studies have given the shocking result that even a value as small as "little effort" is worth more effort than zero effort.

Sure, no one is trying to twist your arm here. We're just making the point that the CMOS battery issue you raised isn't really a big deal. Remember there are lots of other people reading this forum who might not ever have heard of a CMOS battery before, so it's worth giving them the right info.

mrgotea
August 26th, 2012, 07:44 AM
I'm almost always online - mobile.

The desktop (this machine, running 12.04)) is usually off. I use it for data storage and transfer and might only turn it on a couple times a week.

Laptop gets restarted once a week or so. It's got a solid state drive, so sleep is is very low power.

Additionally I have two power strips - one for chargers and the printer and one for monitors - that are off when I'm not using those items.

Buntu Bunny
August 26th, 2012, 09:44 AM
I agree about the electricity and all those little things that suck it up and pump up the bill. However, I'm wired (ethernet) and learned that it takes my modem a week to 10 days to get to top speed (or so says the manufacturer). Now I turn the computer off when I'm done at night, but leave the modem on.

Hylas de Niall
August 26th, 2012, 11:18 AM
I restart my desktop machine at least a couple of times every day.
I never leave it running (or even connected to the mains) when i'm not actually using it.

So i cant vote in the poll as there is no relevant option.

Kreaninw
August 27th, 2012, 08:24 AM
I have no need to keep them on 24/7. I usually turn them off over night. :D

Paqman
August 27th, 2012, 08:45 AM
So i cant vote in the poll as there is no relevant option.

You would be "once a day". Just think of it as "once a day or more".

MadmanRB
August 27th, 2012, 12:08 PM
For my build I say keeping it on makes little to no difference to turning it off, my desktop honestly doesnt chew up that much energy.
On average we spend $200 or so USD on electric bills and in all honesty thats not too shabby.
Even now with the air conditioners on its still about that average and my computer does not seem to contribute that much to the bill.
When we have the air off the bill is roughly $150 or so and this is energy being chewed up by three people here so it does make sense.
If we were spending over $500 or so then I say I may consider what is costing us so much.
But my computer is very energy star compliant as is my monitor so there you go.

Paqman
August 27th, 2012, 12:38 PM
For my build I say keeping it on makes little to no difference to turning it off

Only because you've got such a high electrical baseload. What are you actual consumption figures in kWh? Should be on your bill.

Running a normal desktop PC (c. 100W average) 24/7 will use about 900kWh annually. Here in the UK the average household uses 3,300kWh, so the PC would increase the household's overall comsumption by 27%.

Obviously with aircon you're using heaps more power than that, which is why the computer being on might not stick out like the proverbials.

MadmanRB
August 27th, 2012, 01:15 PM
Only because you've got such a high electrical baseload. What are you actual consumption figures in kWh? Should be on your bill.

Running a normal desktop PC (c. 100W average) 24/7 will use about 900kWh annually. Here in the UK the average household uses 3,300kWh, so the PC would increase the household's overall comsumption by 27%.

Obviously with aircon you're using heaps more power than that, which is why the computer being on might not stick out like the proverbials.

I have a 600W PSU in her, I am running a AMD Phenom II hex core, 4 GB of RAM running both linux and windows respectively.
I am never overloading my hardware, on both ends I open 1 maybe 2 applications at the same time so very little is actually chewed up.
With the way the PSU is supposed to handle things is that it will only give more power when it is needed.
Here is my PSU by the way:
http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=4199

As you can see its got very good averages and has 80 plus bronze status, pretty good all things considered.

heck even with my older computer power consumption was minimal as it too had energy star hardware in her.
My mom is the one who mainly pays the bill and she only announces high bills when we get them which is rare and is more caused by my air conditioner then my computer.

Paqman
August 27th, 2012, 01:32 PM
Your hardware is comparable to mine MadmanRB, I've got a 550W 80-plus PSU (Scythe Kamariki 4) and a CPU with probably similar TDP. Mine uses about 80W baseline, I would expect yours to be similar.

cecilpierce
August 27th, 2012, 01:50 PM
I wonder if it has more life to run all the time or off and on 365 days a year and if you leave it on all the time do you ever clean the heat sinks, mine are cloged solid when I check them about once a year, if I left it on all the time it would probably over heat and die -:lolflag:

Ceiber Boy
August 28th, 2012, 10:34 PM
My office PC is always on 24/7 365 days.
Days I work from home, the desktop is on dawn to dusk.
General web stuff is done on my phone.

So no, I don't leave MY computer on 24/7.

1clue
August 28th, 2012, 10:51 PM
Once a month or more often.

I used to be an uptime junkie. I've had several systems which had been up for over a year, with my longest ever being just over 2 years on an actively, frequently used server for a business.

Doing this is the same as setting your system up for reinstallation if you let it wait long enough. Eventually you will have accumulated enough software updates that your important services will no longer have the same configuration. They are running with the config you had a year or two ago, and that is NOT reflected by the config file on the disk and possibly you might have a new version of the server sitting on the disk, with a cached copy in memory.

I just found (a week or so ago) a remote server that had been up for a year and a half. I rebooted it, and sure enough nothing worked anymore. Took me a day to fix it.

I'm inclined to leave my system running, but I find that any more than a month of uptime you risk a broken system when you do shut it down, and the longer you wait the more severe the problems will be. If you wait over a year, it will NOT be just one thing broken.

bjeff2010
August 28th, 2012, 10:57 PM
I turn mine off when not in use for an hour or more. Mostly out of habit.

MadmanRB
August 28th, 2012, 11:27 PM
Your hardware is comparable to mine MadmanRB, I've got a 550W 80-plus PSU (Scythe Kamariki 4) and a CPU with probably similar TDP. Mine uses about 80W baseline, I would expect yours to be similar.

Yeah she doesnt seem to chew up too much on my end, I got some decent specs here

Jacob72
August 28th, 2012, 11:41 PM
I turn it off when I am finished with it and try and turn everything off at the wall every night when I remember, except the fridge he he, but then it is my in my nature not to be wasteful.

Is it bad for the computer to turn off ever time you finished on it?

odiseo77
August 29th, 2012, 12:09 AM
I turn it off before going to bed at night or whenever I am away for more than one hour. Not only does it cheapen the electricity bill, but it's also more ecological.

oldsoundguy
August 29th, 2012, 12:17 AM
I process for Boinc .. so the boxes are on 24/7

Old_Grey_Wolf
August 29th, 2012, 01:05 AM
I really can't answer the poll; because, I have laptops, a netbook, some desktop PCs, and servers. The poll does not allow multiple choices.

For everything except servers, they are turned off when not in use. When the servers are needed; such as, when I am doing expermients with cloud computing, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, or running a multimedia server, they may be on 24/7. When I don't need the servers they are turned off.

Where I live, we normally have 3 months or more where the temperature is above 90 deg F and a month or more when the tempuratue is above 100 deg F. Our electric bill during the summer months is considerably more than what some areas north of us in cooler climates experience in in entire year.

The cost for electricity to run a computer that uses the same power as a 100W light bulb is trivial compared to running a 2 ton airconditioning unit 24/7 for 3 or 4 months.

cbennett926
August 29th, 2012, 01:18 AM
Desktop, always on.

Laptop, never turned off, only suspended.

Uncle Spellbinder
August 29th, 2012, 02:35 AM
Nope. I turn it off when I go to bed or leave the house. Just as I turn a light off when I leave a room, or turn the stereo off when I'm done listening to music. I don't care how much (or little) electricity is being used if it is left on. If any electrical item is not in use, it's off.

1clue
August 29th, 2012, 04:06 AM
Is it bad for the computer to turn off ever time you finished on it?

There has been a big debate about that for as long as I've been in computers.

My personal answer is, "no."

At one point some argued that the shock on the electronics during power-up and -down took a little life off the system each time. That might technically be true, but FWIW I think you're more likely to have an "infant mortality" failure on a part than you are to see any difference because you push the power button twice a day.

Paqman
August 31st, 2012, 02:01 PM
At one point some argued that the shock on the electronics during power-up and -down took a little life off the system each time. That might technically be true, but FWIW I think you're more likely to have an "infant mortality" failure on a part than you are to see any difference because you push the power button twice a day.

As a reliability engineer, I'd agree with that. Thermal shock is a real thing, and the components of a PC are operating at a high percentage of their homologous temperature, but there are failure modes associated with numbers of hours running as well as number of thermal cycles, especially for components with moving parts.

Bottom line is extremes of either will probably bite you.

2XL
August 31st, 2012, 02:48 PM
My PC is kept on 24 hours day, every single day of the year. It's also kept on absolute maximum performance state - CPU on 100% clock performance all the time, GPU set to maximum performance, no hard disk spin down, no suspend or hibernate etc.

I build my machines for maximum performance and expect as such. Also, my PC is in use pretty much all day every single day, either by me personally or I'll have it doing a task. And when it's not in use, I like it at the ready all the time because I'm very ad-hoc with my usage. With no sleep pattern or time commitments I use my system at literally any time of the day or night.

Furthermore, with no download limits, I'll leave it to download stuff 24 hours a day, or simply stream HD vidocasts / podcasts etc.

Moreover, my PC uses hardly any power compared to the big screen TV, electric hot water, cooking etc. So it really is a non issue.

And lastly, the amount of times I have lost hardware due to turning on and off a PC is ridiculous. My last system went through fans and other hardware every 6 months (or less) due to this. When I started leaving it on 24 hours day, the hardware failures stopped. This system has had no failures in almost 5 years of being on 24 hours a day.

1clue
August 31st, 2012, 04:18 PM
As a reliability engineer, I'd agree with that. Thermal shock is a real thing, and the components of a PC are operating at a high percentage of their homologous temperature, but there are failure modes associated with numbers of hours running as well as number of thermal cycles, especially for components with moving parts.

Bottom line is extremes of either will probably bite you.

OK serious question to the first person I've come into contact with who can probably give a reliable answer:

What is an expected time line here? If I shut down every night and wake it up every day, 365 days a year, how many years before I have a significant risk of hardware failure? I'm guessing that the lifespan we're talking about is larger than my desire to have the computer.

And is it different for a laptop or desktop?

Roasted
August 31st, 2012, 05:03 PM
No. I have a server running 247 which I need to run 247 for different services... file, print, backup, video surveillance, web, etc... I have no need to keep my desktop running 247 as that's only more money burned on my electricity bill.

It's easy to forget things like that when you're living with your parents. It's much harder to ignore when the bill has your name on it.

Paqman
September 3rd, 2012, 07:31 AM
OK serious question to the first person I've come into contact with who can probably give a reliable answer:

What is an expected time line here? If I shut down every night and wake it up every day, 365 days a year, how many years before I have a significant risk of hardware failure? I'm guessing that the lifespan we're talking about is larger than my desire to have the computer.

And is it different for a laptop or desktop?

Lots of variables there, so there's no definitive answer. You're talking about a lot of different components, all with different failure modes. Sorry if that sounds like a vague answer, but it really isn't straightforward. The failure of one type of component will be largely independent of the other components.

If you're really keen, you'll need to check out studies of large samples of the various components. I know Google published some interesting stuff about hard drive failures in their data centres a while back, it's public domain but if you've got access to academic libraries they'll be the best places to get data.

You can get a (very) rough idea of how long something will last from things like MTBF (mean time between failure) numbers. Use these with a LARGE pinch of salt. An MTBF will the amount of time at which 50% of a sample will have been expected to fail, and often will be the manufacturer's predicted figure rather than the observed one. Also, in the real world it's not a linear scale, things in general follow what's called a bathtub curve:
http://www.weibull.com/hotwire/issue21/ht21_1.gif

Every component will have it's own particular curve. As you can see taking a mean of this curve doesn't give a particularly useful number. You'll normally have a high rate of failure for new stuff (which is why you get a warranty), but then after things bed in reliability improves (which is why buying refurbished or ex-warranty gear is a fantastic idea, you get more reliable kit for half the price!). Then once stuff gets totally thrashed out the failure rate goes up again. I'd expect to see mechanical devices with moving parts follow a more predictable pattern, so that means optical and hard drives. Fans are reasonably reliable these days, because the bearings have got a lot better. But in general it'll be hard drives, optical drives and PSUs that go first. You may also see electronic bits like RAM go within a couple of years if you don't follow proper ESD procedure installing and handling them.

Whether it's better for reliability to shut down or leave on? Hard to say, because the two things effect different stuff in different ways. Some components are going to fail due to number of hours running, some are more likely to fail to to thermal cycles or start/stop cycles. Extremes of either behaviour will probably hurt reliability. Shutting down once a day is well within expected use patterns though, so don't worry about that. It's been designed to give you a good couple of years under those use conditions, minimum.

As for laptop vs desktop, I would expect a desktop to be hugely more reliable. They're better cooled and not bashed around as much. I work in an engineering environment and our laptops are knackered within about a year tops, while our desktops keep on trucking.

viperdvman
September 3rd, 2012, 07:38 AM
In my own house, paying an electric bill and such, I usually put it in Suspend at bedtime unless I'm doing one of the following:


Defragmenting my NTFS volumes in Windows
Going through a really slow download
Anything else that could take a couple hours without needing my attention


The only reason I did that was to keep my electric bill down. Big desktop power supplies do eat up electricity.

Now, in a college dorm room (where I'm at now), or in a house where the electric bill is part if my rent and thus have same rate no matter how much electricity I use, I leave it on all the time unless I'm switching OS's. My computer has an excellent air-cooled cooling system, and it never runs hot, no matter how much I'm pushing the system :D

vexorian
September 3rd, 2012, 09:03 PM
I build my machines for maximum performance and expect as such. Also, my PC is in use pretty much all day every single day, either by me personally or I'll have it doing a task. And when it's not in use, I like it at the ready all the time because I'm very ad-hoc with my usage. With no sleep pattern or time commitments I use my system at literally any time of the day or night.
Still does not explain why you wouldn't use suspend. It comes fast rather quickly. I take more time typing password to unblock the screen than in returning from sleeping. I mean, there is always the claims about thermal shock reducing expected life, but this is the first time it is as extreme as reducing the life to 6 months.


And lastly, the amount of times I have lost hardware due to turning on and off a PC is ridiculous.

No disagreement there.

My parents' PC has lasted about a decade and it is turned off and on without much issue. My old PC is currently a decade old and still in use by a cousin of mine. My current PC is newer. To be honest this is the first time I hear of PCs having failures after 6 months of getting turned on and off.

1clue
September 3rd, 2012, 10:05 PM
@Paqman,

Thanks for the explanation. I know just enough about it to realize your explanation is probably about as simple as it will get. What you basically said is that both sides of that argument are right, as long as you're sane about it and don't get too extreme with either uptime or frequent reboots.

VinDSL
September 3rd, 2012, 10:22 PM
I turn on my computers to use them. I turn them off when I'm done.

I do it simply because I have no reason to keep them on, and when I do, the electricity bill is a nuisance.
Dittos!

The same applies to my Bunn coffee maker. It's designed to run 24/7. but...

Phrea
September 3rd, 2012, 10:32 PM
I tend to update my pc's once a month and thusly reboot them once a month [so I never actually shut them down].

My Android phone I reboot once a week tho, because it tends to hang up on things that you can't fix with just a reboot. [it being awake for instance]

Bandit
September 4th, 2012, 02:15 AM
Poll answer didnt really fit the poll question. IMHO

I tend to keep mine on all weekend and while I am at home during the week. Reason being all my maintance is scheduled for around 3am throughout the week. However since I do lower my AC (raise temp up) to cut cooling cost while we are at work 9 hours a day. I now find myself shutting my PC down during those times unless I am downloading something huge. So basicly if I am home, its on. If I am not, its not. I dont like shutting down and restarting the PC alot. I always been told the power surge on startup damamges the circuts over time. I dont know how true or false that is, but it made since to me. So I try to avoid needless boots and reboots. But if booting one up 5 or 6 times a week damamges one then there are other issues involved IMHO..

-Joe

Paqman
September 4th, 2012, 07:30 AM
I always been told the power surge on startup damamges the circuts over time.

Not so much a "power surge", but the thermal strain caused by going from cold to hot (or hot to cold) does mechanically stress all the solder joints. However, normal operating temperature for solder is a sizeable percentage of melting temperature, which means it degrades by being left running too. Semiconductors also rely on some quite oddball structural features at a microscoping level, and these will break down over time. Nature is cruel like that.

So some failure modes are dependent on on/off cycles, and some on number of run-hours.

Bottom line: you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. I would say don't sweat too much about number of start/stop cycles from a reliability point of view. Other factors like the temperature you run it at will make much more difference IMO. Electronics hate being hot.

arclance
September 4th, 2012, 05:42 PM
Spinning up is one of the more damaging things for rotating parts because they are undergoing rotational acceleration.
Magnetic hard drives are the most susceptible to this type of damage because the drive plates are heavy and fragile.
Motors are also under the highest electrical load during spin up which can damage their electrical components.

Bandit
September 5th, 2012, 02:03 AM
Not so much a "power surge", but the thermal strain caused by going from cold to hot (or hot to cold) does mechanically stress all the solder joints. However, normal operating temperature for solder is a sizeable percentage of melting temperature, which means it degrades by being left running too. Semiconductors also rely on some quite oddball structural features at a microscoping level, and these will break down over time. Nature is cruel like that.

So some failure modes are dependent on on/off cycles, and some on number of run-hours.

Bottom line: you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. I would say don't sweat too much about number of start/stop cycles from a reliability point of view. Other factors like the temperature you run it at will make much more difference IMO. Electronics hate being hot.

Good Info..

I got my system nice and chilly.. Strangley the CPU is at 30c and the mobo is 32c? :-?

Artemis3
September 5th, 2012, 07:36 AM
Actually pretty doable.

In-car PCs run off 12V (ie: battery voltage). A cheap panel, a battery charge controller, some deep cycle batteries and you're done. Could all be picked up second hand for tinkering. Probably unlikely to save any money due to the cost of the batts and wouldn't actually be that green, but it would be totally off-grid.

Grid tie inverter and panels do the trick, no need to bother with batteries if you are connected to the grid anyway.

Artemis3
September 5th, 2012, 07:44 AM
I have never replaced a CMOS battery.

The battery serves only 1 purpose: keep the clock running. If you are syncing your clock (using ntp) you might never even notice the battery is dead :P

There was a time in the past (386 days), where they used NiCd soldered batteries, these also often kept the config data. Unfortunately, they would eventually leak and had to the removed or risk damaging the motherboard, so storing those machines is bad if you don't rip the thing first...

Paqman
September 5th, 2012, 07:32 PM
Grid tie inverter and panels do the trick, no need to bother with batteries if you are connected to the grid anyway.

Inverters are expensive, and require an electrician to install. Getting a 12V machine and running straight off DC is a simpler and cheaper way of doing it if you're just trying to run a single PC off solar power. I know a guy (http://www.earth.org.uk/towards-a-LZC-office.html) who's converted part of his home office to run off a system like this (he's put in DC lighting), the rest of his place still runs off the grid power.

I've got a 2kW PV array with a grid tied inverter myself, but they aren't cheap.

snoo eisen
September 5th, 2012, 08:46 PM
I usually put it to sleep; I restart about once a week or only for maintenance, or for switching to Windows to play minecraft. :KS

vexorian
September 5th, 2012, 08:50 PM
The battery serves only 1 purpose: keep the clock running. If you are syncing your clock (using ntp) you might never even notice the battery is dead :P
Just came home from "repairing" a computer that did not boot. Guess which component was not working correctly...?

Paqman
September 5th, 2012, 08:53 PM
or for switching to Windows to play minecraft. :KS

Minecraft runs fine on Ubuntu snoo, it's Java.

Artemis3
September 5th, 2012, 09:24 PM
I've got a 2kW PV array with a grid tied inverter myself, but they aren't cheap.

The small (500W) ones cost around 200$ according to amazon, that and a single (or 2~4) 100w panel is a good starting choice imo. Even if you only put 100W or 200W in the opposite direction, thats net savings; and the install is a one time issue; your panel(s) could last a decade easily and the small savings will help your bills; inverter+100w panel would cost around 400$, you could add another panel, for 200$ more, etc. Batteries add unnecessary overhead for those starting to explore this saving method.

If everyone added small grid tie inverters + panels to their homes; the global net savings would be huge. And now led lighting is becoming reality, i have a couple of 10w led lamps that could blind me if looked directly at (I'm bouncing the light).

Grid tie is excellent because you don't have to bother with maintaining those heavy, few year lasting batteries. If you produce 100w in the day, and consume 300w in the night, your would be actually consuming 200w (this would be better measured with kW/h but i hope you get it).

Its also much more friendlier to get people introduced to solar panels, just hire someone to install it once, and enjoy savings for the next decade...

Why would anyone leave a naked roof if they knew how simple and inexpensive this really is?

Artemis3
September 5th, 2012, 09:31 PM
Just came home from "repairing" a computer that did not boot. Guess which component was not working correctly...?

I believe there are some bios with a setting to panic about it, quite silly imo. Take it out and only the clock stops to move, this is not worth bothering the user, even windows syncs to ntp servers nowdays.

vexorian
September 5th, 2012, 09:36 PM
No, CMOS settings got lost after a black out due to battery not functioning. And plug and play is not bullet proof. So it was trying to boot from the wrong hard drive.

Paqman
September 5th, 2012, 09:54 PM
Grid tie is excellent because you don't have to bother with maintaining those heavy, few year lasting batteries

Sure, batteries are definitely the weak link in an off-grid system. We really need better technology for electricity storage, that would help on-grid systems too. We've got storage systems for renewable domestic heat, we need it for electricity too.

I do wonder how long your $200 inverter would last though, who makes it? I'll be happy with mine if it lasts 10 years, and that's for a decent-brand 2kW one. They're generally the most flaky component of a PV system, and first to go bung.

I wouldn't necessarily wax lyrical about how cheap PV systems are, because they aren't particularly. Here in the UK the reward you get for the energy you export to the grid is very generous, so they're good value financially, but you do have to stump up a non-trivial amount of cash initially. Payback on my system should be about 8 years, but I'll be laughing for the remaining 17 years I'm owed Feed-In Tariff payments.

RDWalker
September 9th, 2012, 05:27 AM
I leave our main desktop on 24/7. Reboot only when needed due to update, an external device detection or a rare lock-up. Often I have it doing something overnight that would take too much time during the day. Given the monthly cost of of my electric, shutting it down would not matter.

mikeyxote
September 9th, 2012, 08:44 AM
Our media/file server running XUBUNTU is always on. We only restart when it crashes or updates require it. For my personal computer, I turn it off every night. It's more secure and electricity bills in Germany can really add up.

DougieFresh4U
September 9th, 2012, 03:34 PM
Do you keep your PC on 24/7 ?


Yes.
I have for the last 5 or 6 years.
Restart when prompted by updates.

afulldeck
September 9th, 2012, 05:52 PM
Yes I leave it on 24/7 just in case I'm sleep walking and need a quick internet fix.

spaceshipguy
September 9th, 2012, 09:56 PM
No need to leave it on with Ubuntu booting so fast. I switch it off, even when I go to the shops for more chocolate.

Vinton90
September 12th, 2012, 05:19 PM
My laptop (running Ubuntu 12.04 stays on almost all day long, all month long unless I need to reboot for an update or something goes wrong. My desktop running XP ( I know, shame on me) gets turned off when I'm not using it; though I'm contemplating turning it into a server.

Ubun2to
September 12th, 2012, 08:55 PM
I shut my stuff down every night unless I need something to run through the night when it will not bother me (like downloading games on Steam under Wine really saps my internet speed unless I run it at night).
I prefer the savings and thunder storms are becoming increasingly common where I live, and have lost several hundred dollars in networking equipment because of it-I don't want a repeat of that for more expensive computers.

Paqman
September 12th, 2012, 09:54 PM
I'm surprised to see quite a few people saying they don't think the savings on their electricity bill would be worth it. I assume that's because of one of two reasons:

They don't really know how much a computer consumes, so can't really assess the value of either leaving it on or shutting it off
Their bill is so large due to something like aircon that they don't feel the savings are worth it


If it's 1 then the answer is about 876kWh per year for a desktop. If it's 2 then surely if your consumption is huge you'd be looking for any simple painless way to reduce it?

arclance
September 12th, 2012, 10:44 PM
I don't turn my computers off unless I am going to be out of town, need to restart due to a update, changed a setting that requires a restart, or have a crash/lockup.

I do have my monitors set to turn off if I am idle for more than a half hour to save power and extend their useful lifetime.
The monitors use more power than my computers so I made sure they are not left on by accident.

litiform
October 12th, 2012, 09:40 PM
usually I shutdown for security reasons.

DogMatix
October 13th, 2012, 01:15 AM
My Ubuntu desktop is on pretty much permanently but would/will hibernate if/when a fix is released. Crunchbang Netbook is left on but hibernates. My Mac is almost always on but hibernates when I black out at my desk. (I hate my Mac, all work and no play).

Reboots happen as necessary, probably monthly on average.

NewYorkLaw
November 15th, 2012, 09:14 AM
I tend to put my laptop to sleep for A) I always have lots of stuff open which I rarely have time to save and close
B) It takes eternity to load after restart. Always in a rush, always no time for this.

My server machine is on constantly, because you know it's a SERVER. I use it for video surveillance system and need it to be stably on

Electricity bill is not that high for me.

StuFranks
November 15th, 2012, 12:17 PM
I've always hibernated my laptop unless I need to update it or something is going wrong.
My new computer I shut down whenever I'm not using it (unless something is downloading). It takes almost no time to boot so why waste the money on leaving it on?
On an unrelated note I never turn off my phone, keep it on 24/7, but that gets problems about every month and needs a reboot -__-

VooDooSyxx
November 16th, 2012, 12:24 AM
I only reboot for kernel updates. My latest desktop/workstation is a ZBox Nano and uses almost no power at all. I do have it set to suspend if inactive for over 3 hours, but that's more or less because I'm paranoid about heat, rather than power.

mamamia88
November 16th, 2012, 02:05 AM
I recently installed arch on my netbook and also installed an ssd. With updates coming quickly if i see an update to say my video driver i reboot just to make sure everything went smoothly. with the ssd reboot isn't a big deal at all

weasel fierce
November 16th, 2012, 02:29 PM
Our computer area upstairs has multiple machines, so the noise and heat get's a bit much. But I've had it running for weeks without fuss.

friTTe81
November 16th, 2012, 02:39 PM
depends, but it usually gets rebooted couple of times a week

Erik1984
November 16th, 2012, 02:53 PM
I leave them on only if I leave the house for a short period of time. Even my Ubuntu server I rather shutdown when I leave (it's just for backup and seeding linux iso's plus I don't access it from outside the LAN). Switched off computer still have the lowest power consumption ;)