How long can I keep my PC on?

GavNation

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Apr 7, 2014
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Hello,

I was wondering how long I will be able to keep my desktop PC on. It usually stays at around 30 celsius and the hottest it has ever been is 50c while playing Battlefield 4. I was wondering how long can I safely leave my PC on without having to worry about any hardware problems or slowdowns? (Days,weeks,months).
 

fudoka711

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Apr 2, 2012
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Theoretically, as long as your critical components aren't constantly running at a high temperature, you can keep your desktop running 24/7. If your PC normally idles at 30C, you have nothing to worry about. You shouldn't have any hardware problems or slowdowns.

However, unless you're downloading something, it would be better to put it in sleep/standby mode overnight and/or when you're not home. You're constantly spinning the fans and decreasing their lifespans. Depending on how your hard drive is set up, it might be spinning a lot too, which decreases its lifespan. Usually a HDD will stop spinning after not being used for a while though.

Basically, leaving the computer on decreases the lifespan of all components.
 

coastie65

Splendid


There are some that never turn them off. You can just put it in Standby mode for the night, then you have instant acess in the morning.
 

nukemaster

Titan
Moderator
You should be able to leave it on for months without issues(my day to day/media center is always on). By this time OS updates will be bugging you anyway and you may wish to clean it out(dust builds up more in a 24/7 system) as well.

Sleep is a good option, but Hibernate is only a bit slower and uses no power when off and is power out proof while sleep is not.

If you have Windows 8, its shut down is actually a form of hibernate and its sleep does both(low power, fast startup and still power out proof).

I had my old XP media center on for 80-90 days at a time, but did not use it for much else other than recording and folding. My current one is about the same(unless I need a restart for software), but gets much more use.
 

fudoka711

Distinguished
Apr 2, 2012
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Theoretically, as long as your critical components aren't constantly running at a high temperature, you can keep your desktop running 24/7. If your PC normally idles at 30C, you have nothing to worry about. You shouldn't have any hardware problems or slowdowns.

However, unless you're downloading something, it would be better to put it in sleep/standby mode overnight and/or when you're not home. You're constantly spinning the fans and decreasing their lifespans. Depending on how your hard drive is set up, it might be spinning a lot too, which decreases its lifespan. Usually a HDD will stop spinning after not being used for a while though.

Basically, leaving the computer on decreases the lifespan of all components.
 
The normal warranty model for PC's and their component is based off the 'Workspace' environment. Which is to say if a computer was constantly used 40 hours a week, every component would "work as advertised' for Three Years. So while you may be 'leaving it on' if your still having it 'work' (being a torrent server, running burn tests, etc.) while you were asleep, at work/school, etc. then it still would be 'constantly used' and thus 'decrease the life expectancy' guarantee (( as noted too would be sucking more cooler 'dust/hair' filled air and thus quicker to build up those dust bunnies that kill systems )).

So this doesn't mean the video card itself will suddenly burn out, or Windows will suddenly crash unexpectantly; but it increases the odds of any of the components (PSU to power every part, CPU, RAM, Hard Drives, GPU, motherboard, LCD screen, every fan, ANY plugged in peripherals, etc.) "life expectancy" shortening that one or may may go 'suddenly' and make it hard to diagnose the issue later on (see the numerous forum threads here where "Windows doesn't work' turns into PSU failing or RAM went, HDD Errors indicating failure, etc.).

Just weight the RISK ratio and know the expected outcomes, then plan appropriately to ensure your not 'screwed' because it happened at the worst possible time.
 

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