Question Shutting down PC every night.. Bad idea?

Rhaemond

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Apr 25, 2019
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I've seen posts that a PCs lifespan actually deteriorates due to shutting it down overnight and turning it on in the morning... Is it really advisable to just leave it running 24/7 compared to turning it off when not in use?

Another, would temperature actually affect the PCs lifespan? I've read that if you shut down your PC, it cools the parts and then when you turn it on it heats em up again making the parts wear down... Is this true? I have an air conditioned room...

Thanks for any replies. I've been leaving my PC overnight to download games via Steam and Amazon and have seem to be experiencing no problems from it. But I'm hoping for an expert/experienced response. Thank you again!
 
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Rhaemond

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Apr 25, 2019
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One of the never ending discussions - Shut it down, or leave it on.

There is no specific determinant either way, and pros/cons either way.


My systems? Mostly ON 24/7.
Yes that's the thing, there's no actual proof to back up those claims that shutting down is good/bad or leaving it on is better/worse...

How long has your system been running?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
I do not run my computers 24/7.

Turn on in the morning and off at night. During operation they are configured for sleep mode/power saving etc.

Yes heating and cooling can be damaging but generally with respect to extremes.

Normal fluctuations cause expansions and contractions that slowly, in turn, cause card seatings, cable connections etc. to creep loose. Generally avoided by occasionally powering down, unplugging, opening the case, and reseating everything. Good opportunity to clean as well using canned air - follow the instructions.

That said, this sentence caught my eye:

"I've been leaving my PC overnight to download games via Steam and Amazon and have seem to be experiencing to problems from it."

What were/are those problems? May well be related to the downloads and accompanying installations and configurations.

Not whether the PC is on or off at night.
 

Rhaemond

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Apr 25, 2019
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I do not run my computers 24/7.

Turn on in the morning and off at night. During operation they are configured for sleep mode/power saving etc.

Yes heating and cooling can be damaging but generally with respect to extremes.

Normal fluctuations cause expansions and contractions that slowly, in turn, cause card seatings, cable connections etc. to creep loose. Generally avoided by occasionally powering down, unplugging, opening the case, and reseating everything. Good opportunity to clean as well using canned air - follow the instructions.

That said, this sentence caught my eye:

"I've been leaving my PC overnight to download games via Steam and Amazon and have seem to be experiencing to problems from it."

What were/are those problems? May well be related to the downloads and accompanying installations and configurations.

Not whether the PC is on or off at night.
My bad, it's a typo. Although my parts are fairly new so I can't say much if I there will going to be problems I had to retire an old i3 4th gen though due to overheating problems, might be due to it staying overnight downloading games and my play sessions...

Agreed with all above really.

I do not run my system 24/7. I power down every night.
But have equally have never had issues when running systems 24/7 for good periods of time.
Understood looks like some people are just fueled by paranoia.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Yes that's the thing, there's no actual proof to back up those claims that shutting down is good/bad or leaving it on is better/worse...

How long has your system been running?
Parts of this (a couple of the SSD's) have been ON since 2014.
Looking through my order history:
GPU - Nov 2017
PSU - July 2015
CPU - Nov 2017

Most of my HTPC has been ON 24/7 since 2012.
 
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Gam3r01

Titan
Moderator
I turn mine off a night because I sleep in the same room as it (currently), and it can get loud/bright when all else is quiet.
Back home it goes off to save power and heat.
During the day I leave it on because I like having my wallpaper slideshow on the monitors

By the time powering off/leaving on will have an impact, youll have upgraded the PC anyway.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Just checking...the boot drive in my HTPC (formerly home server), Sandisk 120GB SSD.
Power ON = 2398.6 days. 6.5 years running time.
Seeing as it was purchased in July 2012...the whole system pretty much ON 24/7 since then.
 

nicholas70

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May 15, 2016
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I shut my system down and even unplug it sometimes. Now I will say I've had stuff get fried before by power surge, lightning strikes and transformers failing so my opinion is probably bias having been through those things. I will tell you know if you plan to leave your system on 24/7 make sure you have a very good psu and a really good surge protector, and even then I'd still say there are times you should shut down and unplug for good measure.
 
Reactions: Flouro Flibboflasm
Jul 21, 2018
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I let mine sleep after 3 hours of inactivity; fans, motors, and components get a fair voltage spike when being switched on to get up to speed and it will help my components last longer.
 
Jul 21, 2018
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Just checking...the boot drive in my HTPC (formerly home server), Sandisk 120GB SSD.
Power ON = 2398.6 days. 6.5 years running time.
Seeing as it was purchased in July 2012...the whole system pretty much ON 24/7 since then.
Ditto, my PC from 2012 (i3 2100) has been on almost continuously up until January this year, when I gave it to my brother, who shuts it down.
 

Flouro Flibboflasm

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Feb 23, 2017
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I advocate turning the PC off and yes, it can extend it's life to probably beyond it's normal useful lifespan. Of course the silicon lottery is a hidden factor that can give very misleading results.

The debate over that is endless. The externalities meanwhile get completely overlooked.

The real factor to consider now is Summer is at hand. Depending on how much heat that sucker is casting off(unless you took the unusual step of piping the heat outside) it could be massacring your air conditioning and consequently your electric bill. In the Winter having inadvertent space heaters is a bonus. In the Summer it sucks!

EDIT: I am editing this to reflect that I just measured the UPS and monitors and they all are warm to the touch. Add in the LED lights in the room, if the TV was on... and it adds up fast!

Now, especially if the computer is in a bedroom light and noise pollution are hidden issues. If one has sleep issues these could be causing all kinds of disruption.

So, what probably matters more than the debate over extending the life of the hardware are the externalities.
 
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Another thing to consider is power use. If you have a gaming system that draws around 90 watts from the wall at idle, at the average price of electricity in the US, that could cost around $100 per year if left idling 24/7, or around $4 for each hour of the day that the system is left turned on over the course of a year. So, turning that system off for 8 hours each night might save you around $33 over the course of a year, or $100 after 3 years. And if that system were only being actively used for 4 hours a day on average, but left idling the other 20 hours, it might be wasting over $80 a year in electricity.

Of course, that's just an example, and depending on where you live, you might pay significantly more or less for electricity, and your system might draw more or less power at idle. A closer estimate could be found by checking the cost per kilowatt hour on your electricity bill, along with the power used by your system at idle via something like a Kill-A-Watt meter, and using that to calculate the actual cost of leaving the system turned on when not in use. Of course, as Flouro mentioned, there could be hidden variables like the impact on heating and cooling costs as well.

The potential benefits to component lifespan from leaving a system turned on all the time are really difficult to ascertain, and some components may even last longer when not left running all the time. While it is hard to determine that to any degree of accuracy, it is easier to estimate how much money can be saved by powering the system down. And that may very well outweigh the cost of replacing a failed component after a few years.
 
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AllanGH

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Mar 10, 2019
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I've seen posts that a PCs lifespan actually deteriorates due to shutting it down overnight and turning it on in the morning.
Total BS.
Is it really advisable to just leave it running 24/7 compared to turning it off when not in use?
If you are running a server, it makes sense. If you are running a desktop for personal or work use, and it is not located in a corporate setting where it will receive updates and roll-outs over night, shut the thing down.

I will refrain from dishing-out the rant that this misinformation deserves. ;)
 
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Flouro Flibboflasm

Commendable
Feb 23, 2017
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Another thing to consider is power use. If you have a gaming system that draws around 90 watts from the wall at idle, at the average price of electricity in the US, that could cost around $100 per year if left idling 24/7, or around $4 for each hour of the day that the system is left turned on over the course of a year. So, turning that system off for 8 hours each night might save you around $33 over the course of a year, or $100 after 3 years. And if that system were only being actively used for 4 hours a day on average, but left idling the other 20 hours, it might be wasting over $80 a year in electricity.
A sad thing is many people aren't paying their own power bills- so what do they care?
 
Parts of this (a couple of the SSD's) have been ON since 2014.
Looking through my order history:
GPU - Nov 2017
PSU - July 2015
CPU - Nov 2017

Most of my HTPC has been ON 24/7 since 2012.

I have one i5 machine that has been running 24-7-365 since April 2013....

Just changed the PSU and swapped out the case, other than that it's been on all the time. Added an SSD as the main boot drive also.

I have 3 PC's, 2 run 24/7 and the other I turn on only when I use it.
 
Last edited:
Jun 10, 2019
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I've seen posts that a PCs lifespan actually deteriorates due to shutting it down overnight and turning it on in the morning... Is it really advisable to just leave it running 24/7 compared to turning it off when not in use?

Another, would temperature actually affect the PCs lifespan? I've read that if you shut down your PC, it cools the parts and then when you turn it on it heats em up again making the parts wear down... Is this true? I have an air conditioned room...

Thanks for any replies. I've been leaving my PC overnight to download games via Steam and Amazon and have seem to be experiencing no problems from it. But I'm hoping for an expert/experienced response. Thank you again!
computer's need rest and last twice as long when not on, all the time. all my computers I turn off when not using it. My computers last for at least 12 years, my windows xp machine 12 years old and still use it.i build all my own computers, except laptops.
 
Total BS.
No, it's not really BS, it came from the old days of PC's and electronics in general when the worst thing one could do is turn them on. ;)

That was a long time before LCD monitors and TVs and SSD's that we see today.

Is it as relevant today as it was 25+ years ago? That's anyone's guess.

I remember changing the tubes out in the TV's when they would burn out, had to go down to the store and get new ones. They had a tube tester at the store, you would plug them in to test them. That's back when the TV took a few mins to warm up...

That's before color TV. ;)

So no it's not BS, it's just a lot of people aren't old enough to remember when it was very true and very relevant.
 
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DMAN999

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Apr 17, 2019
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I had my last PC on 24/7 from 2010 until November 2018 when I upgraded it to my current setup.
And it was still working fine at that time.
And this rig has been on 24/7 since I built it and it still has 4 HDDs that I kept from my old rig.
I have never had an issue caused leaving my PC running 24/7.
 
My PC turns on when I go to use it, turns off when I'm not. I just do it to save power and lower the noise in my living room.
I had a laptop that ended up being really slow, so in order to save time from waiting for it to boot, I had it running for about a year 24/7. The HDD died
 
In reality no well used pc is ever on 24/7.
Whether its for system updates or program installation, a restart once in a while is necessary.

I dont think turning on and off a pc is bad, but running it 24/7 wont hurt it either.

I could see keeping the pc on 24/7 could hurt if you had malware thag could wear a hdd.
 

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