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View Full Version : Which is best ???


Sdiver
08-18-2008, 19:29
Was wondering which is best, when it comes to your home PC, in either leaving the CPU running or turning it off when you're not using it.

I leave it running pretty much all the time. I've got my Updates and Virus scans set for 0300 to 0500, when I know I'm not using the computer. I'm usually asleep.

I've heard different variations on whether to keep it running or not. Someone told me, the constant turning "On and Off", actually hurts the CPU, and that it doesn't draw that much energy, about as much as say, your clock radio next to your bed.

Others have said, keeping it on does hurt it, keeping the fan always on, and that it DOES draw a lot of energy.

Now I have my monitor set on a "Power setting", turning off when the mouse hasn't moved for 10 minutes, so I know I'm saving energy there. But I've always wondered about the CPU itself.


Also......Mouse pad or not?

Right now I use one. One with a nice wrist pad on it. But again I've heard that pads aren't good for the mouse.

Too many questions........:( :munchin

ETH22
08-18-2008, 19:58
Sdiver

I think it comes down to personal preference and frequency of use. If you will be

using it multiple times during the day leave it on. If you are only using it once

right after work then I would shut it down after you’re done. Look at it like your

car. The hardest part on your engine is the start up but that doesn’t mean you

leave it run all day.

As far as the mouse pad that is entirely personal preference. Although some

mouse pads do not work well with optical mice.

wamcdonald
08-18-2008, 21:44
When CRT monitors were the norm, they were the item that was draining the most energy out of a computer setup. With the flat screens being as ubiquitous and energy efficient as they are, I don't think this is really an issue anymore. They take less time to power up, and I am sure they use less energy. As long as you have it on a sleeper, as you indicated, to keep it from burning out, I don't think you will have an issue.

As for the CPU, ETH22 is spot on. And I think it might be the fan that draws more energy in sleep mode than the CPU.

The old school mouse pads that look like they are made out of wet suit material are easily cleaned. Throw them in the washer machine. I see a lot of public computers all day, I'm still in college, and they all have the dirtiest mouse pads that I have seen. The white from the Gateway mouse pad has turned brown, and the black is now gray. There is nothing on a mouse pad, even these, that will "hurt" the mouse. Optical or ball. If you use the older ball ones, you just need to take it apart, clean the dust and crud, and put it back together when you have an issue. With the ball, it just needs a good coefficient of friction between the ball and the surface to make it roll. With the optical, it just needs to pick up a good image.

I personally run Ubuntu 8.04 (Linux) and have an optical and ball mouse on and off mouse pads, and never turn off my comps, but then again, I set stuff to download when I am not in.

Gypsy
08-19-2008, 18:40
Hmmm...someone once told me to restart my computer daily as some of the updates (I have mine done automatically as well) require restart.

JJ_BPK
08-19-2008, 19:48
Hmmm...someone once told me to restart my computer daily as some of the updates (I have mine done automatically as well) require restart.


If you use auto update. the MS app will tell you that you need to restart for SOME updates. It normally happens as soon as you allow the update to start and will wait until you either allow the IPL or tell it to wait until you restart.


The question of leaving the system running or not has a couple of non-PC related side-bars..

1)is you home air-conditioned all the time. This generally keeps the humidity and temp constant

2)how is your power grid, some areas of the country use off hours to cut back on power,, ie: they may interrupt or brow outs.

3)how is you weather, in South FLorida during the summer lighting is not only daily but at times hourly..

4)do you condition your power.. I have a 750 watt UPS system on my PC and a 500 watt on my plasma TV & stereo,, plus I have additional in line serge protectors.

So do I run my 24/7???

I use to belong to SETI, it was a distributed processing effort to scan radio freqs for ET.. No I'm not a big believer,, just thought I'd contribute.. I accumulated a little over 8 years or 7000 hours worth of computations,, running my system no-stop, 24/7, only stopped for vacations,, IPL'd for updates,, no errors or hardware failures in 8 years..

I also have the house air on 24/7, besides the power conditioning..

My system costs about the same as a 100 watt light bulb,, maybe 10-12 bucks a month..

I stopped the SETI effort 8 or 9 years ago.

So, now I crank up the system every morning around 5AM and shut it down around 11PM.

Humidity causes corrosion,, which kills small electronic pomponents..

Power spikes and/or drops burn up sensitive bit-n-pieces like hard-files, cd burners, memory,,,

To much heat will smoke the PC processor in less than 30 seconds..

Net Net: If you have conditioned power and AIR,, and clean the filth out of your PC's fans and vents,, do what ever you like..

SPECIAL CASE: Is your power drop correct?

My neighbor on the next street had two new homes built next to her. The power company did not get out to balance the power & put a new transformer in.. In less than a week she lost two TV's and her PC, thinking it was a lightning strike. Fortunately a friend was by and measured the power at the pole,, because of the add load from the two new houses,, she was getting something like 100 volts on each leg,, way under her requirement.. We helped her bitch to the power company, they fixed the transformer and paid for the two TV's and PC.. I think they paid for a couple more TV also..

MVS2
08-19-2008, 20:34
Was wondering which is best, when it comes to your home PC, in either leaving the CPU running or turning it off when you're not using it.

I leave it running pretty much all the time. I've got my Updates and Virus scans set for 0300 to 0500, when I know I'm not using the computer. I'm usually asleep.

I've heard different variations on whether to keep it running or not. Someone told me, the constant turning "On and Off", actually hurts the CPU, and that it doesn't draw that much energy, about as much as say, your clock radio next to your bed.

Others have said, keeping it on does hurt it, keeping the fan always on, and that it DOES draw a lot of energy.

Now I have my monitor set on a "Power setting", turning off when the mouse hasn't moved for 10 minutes, so I know I'm saving energy there. But I've always wondered about the CPU itself.


Also......Mouse pad or not?

Right now I use one. One with a nice wrist pad on it. But again I've heard that pads aren't good for the mouse.

Too many questions........:( :munchin

1.) Shut down when you're done using it. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes after booting it up to get it to run more smoothly, and occasionally run a utitlity program occasionally to get it to perform well.

2.) Mouse pad - laser mice (those that don't use wheels) can burn small holes in wooden desks I have learned, and a the mouse tends to be more responsive on a mouse pad.

Gypsy
08-19-2008, 20:37
If you use auto update. the MS app will tell you that you need to restart for SOME updates. It normally happens as soon as you allow the update to start and will wait until you either allow the IPL or tell it to wait until you restart.

.

That's what I generally see, some require the restart... Thanks!

Sdiver
08-19-2008, 22:04
Thanks all, for the replys.

To address a few of the other questions posed,

1)is you home air-conditioned all the time. This generally keeps the humidity and temp constant

2)how is your power grid, some areas of the country use off hours to cut back on power,, ie: they may interrupt or brow outs.

3)how is you weather, in South Florida during the summer lighting is not only daily but at times hourly..

4)do you condition your power.. I have a 750 watt UPS system on my PC and a 500 watt on my plasma TV & stereo,, plus I have additional in line serge protectors.



1) No it's not. I have my PC set up in a central room, that usually stays cool.

2) Don't really have an issue with the Power Grid here, and have to worry about "Brown Outs" or "Rolling Black Outs"

3) Colorado, semi arid. Not a lot of Humidity to worry about here. :D

4) "Condition your Power". I'm in the dark on that one (no pun intended :D). I have my PC, Monitor, and Modem plugged into a surge protector. We occasionally get some good lightning storms here, like in Florida, and the lights will, dim then brighten, when there's a nearby strike occasionally. But very rarely.


Mouse pad - laser mice (those that don't use wheels) can burn small holes in wooden desks I have learned, and a the mouse tends to be more responsive on a mouse pad.

I use the old "ball" type mouse. I do clean it and the pad, usually once a month.


Again, thanks all, for the advice.

JJ_BPK
08-20-2008, 05:37
4) "Condition your Power". I'm in the dark on that one (no pun intended :D). I have my PC, Monitor, and Modem plugged into a surge protector. We occasionally get some good lightning storms here, like in Florida, and the lights will, dim then brighten, when there's a nearby strike occasionally. But very rarely.




Conditioning power in simple terms means making sure you don't get to much or little power. There are products that give a lot of protection and less expensive ones that give a little..

I'm not an electrical engineer,, but at one time I was responsible for several hundred PC that interconnected into a system of inventory control, warehousing, manufacturing, & shipping. When we 1st started using PC we found all sort of thing that "hurt" them..

One of the early problems was static electricity,, from employees clothes, rubber wheels on fork trucks, long hair hippies.. We ended up putting ground straps on each persons wrist,, kinda like chaining them to the bench,, didn't go over well, but stooped the static arch..

One GEEK engineer wanted us to ban nylons & nylon underware... We didn't go there...

Another problem we found was the "HOUSE" ground loop in one part of the complex had a higher potential than the ground loop in another part, this caused humming on the interface cables, This problem is common to home theater systems and cable TV providers.. If you hear about friends using LINE FILTERS on their system??

Older homes are where you find ground potential problems or large apartment/condo complexes. Also anyone that has had a lightning rod system installed on their home,, with multiple ground rods, could also run into ground potential problems.

If you have questions about house grounding you need to contact a good electrician,, not your borther-in-law..

ENOUGH GEEK,, If you are not losing gear annually,, if your not losing data on your hard files,, if your system is running fine,, you probably don't need to much conditioning..

It not so much the PC as the environment that supports the PC...

JCasp
08-20-2008, 18:09
2.) Mouse pad - laser mice (those that don't use wheels) can burn small holes in wooden desks I have learned, and a the mouse tends to be more responsive on a mouse pad.

Laser or Optical mice? My understanding is they are completely different. Lasers are the newer technology, and what I use. Most mice the laser turns off when it hasnt been moved for a few seconds until it detects movement again, so I don't see this as a huge problem?

Sdiver
08-20-2008, 20:53
Laser or Optical mice? My understanding is they are completely different. Lasers are the newer technology, and what I use. Most mice the laser turns off when it hasnt been moved for a few seconds until it detects movement again, so I don't see this as a huge problem?

Wait....wait....wait....wait....MICE WITH LASERS !!!! :eek:

I thought Sharks were the only ones allowed to have Lasers attached to them ??? :confused: :D

nmap
08-20-2008, 22:03
My understanding is that continuous operation does not harm the CPU, ram, or other solid state components. This subject to the provisions mentioned by JJ_BPK.

Your power may be dirtier than you know. You may experience brief power outages and not be aware of it. Do you ever come home to find your VCR clock blinking? (Yes, I know - VCRs are old school). During periods of high demand, you might see times when the voltage supply deviates a lot from the norm.

My solution is to leave the machine on 24/7, and use a small UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

Software reboots can be useful. First, it activates any updates. Second, some software isn't well written and leaks. No, really. Some of the old C programs would allocate memory, but not release it. I'm not aware of a way to detect that....Newer languages, such as Java, automate the task, if I remember correctly. Anyway, over time, some of those old programs would fill up your RAM and cause the system to use virtual memory (in other words, access the hard drive), thus reducing performance.

Hardware might be an issue. Again, JJ_BPK makes some great points about temperature. In addition, your hard drive experiences some of the worst wear during start-up and shut-down (at least, that used to be the case.). So running the machine is easier on the HDD than frequent starts and stops.

Of course, if you want to be paranoid....

Some years ago...5, as I recall...a certain university that will remain nameless started up a machine with a basic installation of Red hat Linux. Within less than a day, the machine had been compromised two times by people using root kits. Root kits let someone else use your machine, along with your internet bandwidth, without your knowledge. They can be quite difficult to detect.

Yes, there are Windows root kits.

Keeping a machine on 24/7 can make such a person's efforts easier, and more productive. So I keep a couple low-end (in other words, cheap) firewalls between the machine and the internet. There is no guarantee those are sufficient.

To detect which operating system a remote system uses, you can use a little program named.....nmap. :cool:

Hope that helps.

Electron
09-12-2008, 11:23
I attended the Information Assurance / Computer Network Defense course a couple years back. There is no better protection than a gap of air. If you are going to leave your machine on, unplug the LAN/Phone cord from your computer to avoid hackers using your computer as a zombie. A zombie is when someone takes control of your machine and uses it to hack someone else, thus placing the trace back to you...there are a lot of evil doers out there. If you're computer savvy, you can clean up your registry using a program called, "hijack this." Be careful with this program, if you don't know what you're doing, you could do irreversible damage to your computer.