Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

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Ykcor
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Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Ykcor » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:41 pm

I usually turn mine off and and reboot each time, though I know people who never turn theirs off. However, I only use it for less than an hour in evening after work.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by LazyNihilist » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:46 pm

I had my desktop on for more than 10 months one time until a power surge caused it to reboot. But was using Debian Linux though.
Depends on how often you tend to use the computer and what operating system is in place. Processors and components are quite efficient at power usage and go into sleep mode when not being used. Nothing wrong with either. Just whatever is convenient.
If you are using windows and feel it slows down if not restarted daily, it is worth turning it off.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by phantom0308 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:47 pm

I sometimes leave it on for a long time if I think I'll be using it again soon, but don't. It's not a big deal as long as your computer is set to go to sleep after a certain amount of time. In sleep mode, a computer uses an incredibly low amount of power. It's only a few Watts which is around $10 a year (approx order of magnitude).

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by phantom0308 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:49 pm

If your computer is taking so long to startup that it's becoming a problem look into an SSD if you don't have one. Also look into what programs load on startup if using Windows. This is never really an issue with Ubuntu Linux.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by student » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:50 pm

I leave it on.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:53 pm

I used to work in a TV station. We had a ton of complex equipment in our control room. The vast majority of failures happened either from power line surges, or quite often simply when we turned the gear off and then later back on.

My home PC stays on 24/7/365 with a UPS on it to protect it from errant power issues. This machine also serves as a Plex server feeding our den Roku box (for DW's edification), so it generally sees more usage as a server than it does as my desktop, which demands more uptime. That being said, we do turn off both our computer's (mine and DW's) when we leave for an extended time (visits to family out of town, travelling on vacation, etc) in case of severe thunderstorms etc which might cause more power line cruft than the UPS can filter out. But generally we don't turn our computers off.

Like some other respondents here, I'm running Linux (in my case, Mint 18.3), and it rarely if ever requires a reboot.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by ByThePond » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:04 pm

It's left on except when we're out of town or during thunderstorms. I had one fried once by a nearby lightning strike.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by 123 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:06 pm

We leave it on but if we won't be using it for awhile, like going to work, leaving the house, or at bedtime, we put it to "sleep".
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:07 pm

Leave it on but it's configured to go to sleep mode after a half hour of inactivity.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by fsrph » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:10 pm

I leave it on. But it goes into sleep mode after an hour or so and turns itself off in 24 hours.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Cheyenne » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:15 pm

I use an iMac and a PC in my home office. I turn my iMac off if I don't plan to use it for an hour or two because it boots up in 20 seconds. The PC I leave on all the time.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by 123 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:18 pm

Cheyenne wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:15 pm
... I turn my iMac off if I don't plan to use it for an hour or two because it boots up in 20 seconds. The PC I leave on all the time.
You're making us Windows only guys start to cry.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Blueskies123 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:19 pm

I turn it off at night.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by stimulacra » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:20 pm

Set to sleep mode when not in use.

Depends on the machine though, some workstations and/or gaming systems canl draw a significant amount of wattage when idling on standby mode (100w - 200w). I definitely would not leave those systems on 24/7.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by tibbitts » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:21 pm

123 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:18 pm
Cheyenne wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:15 pm
... I turn my iMac off if I don't plan to use it for an hour or two because it boots up in 20 seconds. The PC I leave on all the time.
You're making us Windows only guys start to cry.
I don't understand - Windows computers don't take that long to start up unless something is wrong or they are running too many services.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by stan1 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:25 pm

I have Win 10 with an SSD. I just let it go into sleep mode after about 10 mins of non-use. Startup is very fast when awaking from sleep mode. Longest part of the startup process is typing in my password.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by wander » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:33 pm

My computer switches to hibernate mode after an hour of not using. Save time and electricity.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by bob60014 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:47 pm

On 24/7, no issues.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by nguy44 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:48 pm

I leave it on unless I will be away from home for more than 1 night. I use it sporadically during the day as the need arises, no real pattern, so it is easier to just leave it on (with major components such as the display going to sleep/hibernate mode after a period of time).

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:51 pm

The only time I shut my ThinkPad X230 off is those rare times (tax software, MS Money) when I need to leave the Linux environment and boot into windows. It's been running for three or four years at this point.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by squirm » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:54 pm

I just leave it i on, it goes to sleep.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Jeep4Life » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:35 pm

Turn my Windows machine on in the morning, intermittent use during the day doing email, pictures, searches, Boglehead type stuff, turn it off at night.

Like another post, where I used to work we left many machines on 24/7/365 due to the problems encountered after power outages for mission critical systems, but modern PCs are much more robust than some of the older ones.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by JoMoney » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:55 pm

I turn off my laptop when I'm done. In the 1990's I used to leave desktop computer on 24x7.
Way way back in the day, this used to be a big debate with regard to what was best for the computer.
On one hand you people that said leaving it on would wear out moving parts such as the ball bearings on CPU fans, power supply fans, and hard disk drives. In the other camp (and I believe the consensus at that time) you had people that pointed out that the worst friction was from starting from a dead stop, and the heating/cooling from turning it on/off caused electrical components to expand/contract and create micro-fractures and exasperate slight manufacturing flaws causing premature failure of solid-state electrical components (capacitors in the power supply being a frequent one).
I believe the consensus now, is that all consumer grade computers should be turned off to conserve power as the low cost and useful lifespan of a computer today will far exceed whatever damage is done from the repeated heating-cooling unless you have a flawed component that will likely fail earlier than expected anyway.

The fact that I use a Chromebook that has no moving parts, cost less than $200, and boots up in seconds, also might be a factor.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:57 pm

We turn it off every week or so.

JT

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Nicolas » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:20 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:57 pm
We turn it off every week or so.

JT
Ditto. Our iMac goes to sleep by itself after fifteen minutes or so. It’s absolutely silent so we never notice it. But once a week I’ll turn it off overnight to give it rest, as much for the software as for the hardware as it should be completely rebooted once in a while. It’s not healthy for your software to never be rebooted. Of course if we go away for an extended period it’s off for the duration.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:27 pm

Turn it off when leaving the house or going to bed.

Turn it on in the morning if I am going to be using it. Windows 10 w/SSD boots up in the time it takes to put my socks and shoes on.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by telemark » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:33 pm

My desktop is a fanless mini PC that draws 18 watts running flat out, maybe 5 or 6 when idle. I used to leave it on all the time, now I have it set to sleep after two hours idle.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by spitty » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:11 am

Leave my MBPro on unless rebooting for an update or taking it on vacation. I do use the "hot corners" function, so when moving the pointer to a chosen screen corner it goes to sleep mode. It's also set so just taping the fn key sends brings up the desktop.

system preferences-->mission control-->hot corners (lower left)

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by mmcmonster » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:03 am

As with many others on this thread, I run Linux (Linux Mint Cinnamon) on my desktop. It's a file server for the rest of the house (media I've ripped and created over the years), so it's on 24x7.

I haven't turned it off in years. There's always a slight concern that issues will develop from a cold start. I think this is truer with older hardware (early 2000s and earlier) but not so much an issue now.

I'm thinking of replacing the server function of the desktop with a raspberry pi and an external hard drive. (I already have the backup server configured as such and it's been running ~6 months without me touching it.) Certainly my next desktop is going to be much more power efficient. Probably a nettop configuration from system76: https://system76.com/desktops/meerkat

For all the Linux users on the thread: It's entirely fine to keep your computers on for months on end. But please reboot it every month or so. The reboot will force out old modules that have been replaced during system updates. Doing a system update will put the newer modules in place but may still run the older modules until they are no longer needed. This is particularly true with kernel updates.

(For Windows and Mac users: on most Linux systems you can update the system and not reboot for months after. The system won't even prompt for a reboot!)

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by AstroJohn » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:36 am

Both my iMac and my wife's PC are shut off at night. I feel that the less time they are on the internet the less time there is for bad actors to get into them.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by mancich » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:39 am

Leave the desktop on, but put it to sleep when done with it. We only turn it off when we're going to be gone for a few days or more, or when a thunderstorm is expected.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Toons » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:43 am

The desktop in my workshop has been on for about 6 months.
It goes to "sleep"after 4 hours.
The chromebooks are always "on".
The desktop in the office stays on.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by JPH » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:52 am

I leave mine on but am wondering if this is true. It can be hacked if it is on but not if it is off. Is that a reason to leave it off except when in use?
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by theplayer11 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:05 am

off every night

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:07 am

Answers all over the spectrum. There is no right answer.

Leaving it on leaves it vulnerable to voltage spikes unless you have a good surge protector.

Turning it off could also.

And uses some electricity.

If it is sleeping, then no internet vulnerability exists.

We turn all computers off at night except our media pc.

Reboot or turn off a computer to clean things out now and then.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:15 am

I go back (just barely) to the age of vacuum-tube computers. However, I never personally used one. MIT had already upgraded their IBM 709 for a 7090; it might have even been a 7094 by the time I took my first computer course. And the PDP-1, which was the real formative experience for me, was "transistorized."

I believe the idea that computers should be left on continuously is literally a relic of the vacuum-tube era. Vacuum tubes have a tendency to fail on turn-on, just like incandescent lamps, because of inrush currents. That was a perfectly clear and well understood phenomenon. Also, depending on how critical the situation was, it took five minutes to an hour for vacuum tube temperatures to stabilize perfectly. In home TV sets, you wanted to turn on your TV five or ten minutes before the program, both because it took a couple of minutes before you would even get sound and picture, but also because as the tubes warmed up, the tuning frequency would "drift," and if you tuned in the picture as soon as you got one, you'd have to get up and adjust the fine tuning again five minutes later. TV manufacturers began to do something fairly evil: they put in a regulating device so that the TV set was apparently off but actually running at reduced power, keeping the tubes partially warmed up for what was called "instant-on" operation.

In computers, all the critical operating parameters like those that made core memory work would drift, and it was good practice not to use the computer for a long time after it was turned on.

Now, in the early days of personal computers, computers were "designed" by hobbyists who... weren't electrical engineers, and there was a lot of unreliability and high failure rates. There was and is a good deal of "blaming the victim." If someone complained that their computer failed, a good stalling or deflection technique was to criticize their power cycle management.

The behavioral psychologist B. F. Skinner showed that random reinforcement leads to superstitious behavior, and I think that is the main explanation of why many people are so certain that it is better to leave computers on 24x7 and others are so certain that it is better to shut them off when not in use. There may also be a "phase versus frequency" issue, i.e. if failures occur randomly distributed in time whether the computer is on or off, you can't observe them when the computer is off, and therefore are most likely to notice them when you turn the computer on.

Even if you accept the idea, which I think is correct, that there is extra stress on electronic components at turn on, that doesn't mean you can extend life perceptibly by leaving them on. This stress should be far below the component's ability to tolerate it, far inside the "elastic limit" as it were. In the early days of pressurized airliners, there was some crashes due to metal fatigue from repeated pressurization and depressurization, but I don't remember anyone suggesting that airliners should be kept constantly pressurized 24x7 in order to avoid it.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:18 am

mmcmonster wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:03 am
As with many others on this thread, I run Linux (Linux Mint Cinnamon) on my desktop. It's a file server for the rest of the house (media I've ripped and created over the years), so it's on 24x7.

I haven't turned it off in years. There's always a slight concern that issues will develop from a cold start. I think this is truer with older hardware (early 2000s and earlier) but not so much an issue now.

I'm thinking of replacing the server function of the desktop with a raspberry pi and an external hard drive. (I already have the backup server configured as such and it's been running ~6 months without me touching it.) Certainly my next desktop is going to be much more power efficient. Probably a nettop configuration from system76: https://system76.com/desktops/meerkat

For all the Linux users on the thread: It's entirely fine to keep your computers on for months on end. But please reboot it every month or so. The reboot will force out old modules that have been replaced during system updates. Doing a system update will put the newer modules in place but may still run the older modules until they are no longer needed. This is particularly true with kernel updates.

(For Windows and Mac users: on most Linux systems you can update the system and not reboot for months after. The system won't even prompt for a reboot!)
Sometimes after Ubuntu updates it tells me I have to reboot but most times it doesn't

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by nisiprius » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:22 am

Compare and contrast the situation with thermostat setbacks. It used to be a very common belief--and I think some people still believe it today*--that you should not set back your house temperature at night "because bringing it back up to 68° will use more energy than the setback saves." This defies high-school physics unless you make some very extreme and remarkable assumptions about home furnace efficiencies.

*Yes, I see this listed as a "common myth" in a number of articles as recent as 2016.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Turbo29 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:23 am

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:15 am
In the early days of pressurized airliners, there was some crashes due to metal fatigue from repeated pressurization and depressurization, but I don't remember anyone suggesting that airliners should be kept constantly pressurized 24x7 in order to avoid it.
Aloha Air 243. Because of the short distances of the inter-island flights their planes were subject to many pressurization/depressurization cycles.

Image

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Dottie57 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:26 am

student wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:50 pm
I leave it on.
Me too.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Bacchus01 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:28 am

I think mines been on for like 4 years.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by finite_difference » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:34 am

fsrph wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:10 pm
I leave it on. But it goes into sleep mode after an hour or so and turns itself off in 24 hours.

Francis
I like this option.

With laptops, you can just always let them sleep since they have a battery. But unless you have a UPS, it’s not a good idea to let your computer crash at the whim of your power company.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Youngblood » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:39 am

123 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:18 pm
Cheyenne wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:15 pm
... I turn my iMac off if I don't plan to use it for an hour or two because it boots up in 20 seconds. The PC I leave on all the time.
You're making us Windows only guys start to cry.
Why? My Windows PC boots in sixteen seconds ever since I added a SSD.
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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by dbc47 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:48 am

I leave my Dell desktop on all day and put to sleep at night. I believe my computer has a button battery installed which maintains bios or something when the unit is turned off? I worry that the battery will die and the computer won't boot up when I turn it on. Sounds silly, but many years ago I ran into that problem a lot so I kinda got scared. I suppose I could just take things apart and put in a new battery but haven't yet. The battery is 4 years old so I'm probably on borrowed time?

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by Kenkat » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:28 am

Youngblood wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:39 am
123 wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:18 pm
Cheyenne wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:15 pm
... I turn my iMac off if I don't plan to use it for an hour or two because it boots up in 20 seconds. The PC I leave on all the time.
You're making us Windows only guys start to cry.
Why? My Windows PC boots in sixteen seconds ever since I added a SSD.
Yes, an SSD turned my older sluggish Windows 10 PC into a fast booting machine. It’s probably the single biggest performance improvement you can make short of replacing.

I leave my computer on 24/7.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by squirm » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:37 am

Why would you want to turn it off, Windows has very good power management.

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Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by mountainsoft » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:45 am

My computer is always on with a UPS in case the power goes out.

If I wasn't using the computer at night I would probably turn it off, but after I go to bed my computer is still running backups, recording TV shows, and controlling lights and pumps around our house. It probably works harder during the night than when I'm using it during the day. :)

I do turn my monitor off every night and my computer uses about 60 watts when idle (as reported by my UPS). That's like leaving a light bulb on all night.

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CWRadio
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Location: In the Michigan ionosphere

Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by CWRadio » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:47 am

Does proferance of the operating system improve if you power off and reboot system? Just curious.
Paul

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DanMahowny
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:25 pm

Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by DanMahowny » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:56 am

ON. Always. But it does go into sleep mode after a period of inactivity.

Reboot around once per week.
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squirm
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Desktop Computer (home): Do you leave it "On" or turn "off" after using?

Post by squirm » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:00 pm

CWRadio wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:47 am
Does proferance of the operating system improve if you power off and reboot system? Just curious.
Paul
The standard answer in IT when something goes wrong with the computer is "did you try rebooting it?"

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