Will shutting your computer extend/shorten components?

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Will shutting your computer extend/shorten components?

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:41 pm

Simple question; Will shutting your computer off regularly extend or shorten your computer components life?

I never turn mine off and I recently had to replace a video card (well, it was three years old and I need a newer one for some of the online games I play)

But as a result someone said leaving it on for almost three years contributed to the demise of the card.

What do you think?
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Postby Shapley » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:13 pm

I had a video card die after less than two years on a computer that I shut off every night. I don't think it makes much difference.

On a different note, my sons computer's power supply burned up with the computer off, as it had been for nearly a week. He was in the room and smelled smoke, looked over at the desk and saw smoke rising from the back of the computer. He unplugged it and the smoke stopped. We were fortunate, I suppose, that he was there to see it, as it could have caused a fire. Therefore I would recommend that, when you do shut your computer off, you shut off the power at the surge protector. That will cut power to such things as the transformers and other items that remain powered if you just turn off the power switch.

Saves electricity, too.

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Postby OperaTenor » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:23 pm

I'm surprised you didn't fry a power supply first.

IMO, shutting it down not only allows it to cool down once in awhile, but cold-booting is good for the system settings, etc.
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Postby dai bread » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:40 pm

I'm inclined to agree with O.T. I shut mine down when I've stopped using it, which means it may be re-started 3 or 4 times a day depending on who wants to do what. At night I turn it off at the wall, after Windows has shut down of course.

This machine has been running for nearly 5 years without a hiccup, though the same can't be said for the monitor, which only lasted about 4 years. I bought an LCD screen to replace it. That gets turned off too.
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Postby analog » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:57 pm

I chime in with OT and Dai, if only for life of mechanical bearings in fans and dust bunny buildup.

Some of you engineers pipe up here........

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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:11 am

Many of the semiconductors would rather be left on all the time. The power supplies and the fans and components that get hot would rather be shut down and allowed to cool off. I've heard arguments both ways about the hard drives.

Since there are advantages and drawbacks to both leaving on and shutting off, I usually shut off the computer when it's not in use. I figure the only sure thing is the power bill, and I'd rather minimize mine.
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Postby Giant Communist Robot » Mon Nov 20, 2006 10:01 am

Semiconductors expand when hot and shrink when cool; they can do this only so many times before they fail. This used to be called thermally induced failure or thermal failure and was the rationale for leaving them running.

Mechanical components like drives and fans will fail sooner if left running due to wear; electronic components have electricity running through them--its all those electrons running around and bumping into things that make the heat--and will eventually fail, too.
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Postby GreatCarouser » Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:01 am

:shock: So what you're saying is we're doomed to failure?....... :( :kickcan: :badputer:
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Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:03 pm

GreatCarouser wrote::shock: So what you're saying is we're doomed to failure?....... :( :kickcan: :badputer:

Face it, dude. Entropy always wins. :sigh:
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Postby barfle » Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:26 pm

analog wrote:Some of you engineers pipe up here........

Toot, toot! :mrgreen:

There is little difference according to the damn lies (er, STATISTICS) regarding the stresses that are put on a computer by turning it on and off vs. leaving it running. As far as I can tell, you are far more likely to replace something that has become obsolete before you have to replace something that has become busted due to use.

I recently replaced a video card on my PC. I picked up the card used, thinking it was one of the better cards (and it was) in 1999. It showed its weaknesses when I tried to play a DVD through my computer. Now I can edit some of those old tapes I made of the Indy 500.
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