Leave it on or turn it off?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by bellgamin, May 17, 2011.

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  1. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    BACKGROUND- I have my computer & monitor hooked up to a Cyberpower UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). The UPS is a small one -- in case of power outage it keeps the computer operational for ~30 minutes so that I can save my work & make a controlled shut-down.

    QUESTION- After I shut down my computer *normally* (NOT because of a power outage but just because I am done for the day), should I leave the UPS "On" or should I turn it "Off"?
     
  2. Boost

    Boost Registered Member

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    I've got a Cyberpower AVR-UPS for 4-5years now-love it! I leave mine on all the time. I also leave the PC on all the time. Never an issue.
     
  3. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Interesting topic with no set answer.

    I shut everything down at night including UPS, mainly because of the lights etc.
    I've been doing this with these systems for over 3 years with no issues.

    There is also a school of thought that says leave it on, as thermal stability increases hardware life. With old, or cheap hardware, maybe, but with newer well made equipment I don't know if it matters.

    I would never leave a CRT monitor on at night, as I have seen them catch fire.

    Pete
     
  4. SweX

    SweX Registered Member

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    :eek: Perhaps I should buy a LCD based monitor ASAP then ;)
    Though I do turn mine off whenever I leave the Computer, even if it's not for this reason.

    Sorry for OT.
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I've had a few UPS units that were upper end and a few that were budget home versions. I have always left them on 24/7. Results have been that lets say 10-20% of them have the batteries bulge and puke out after say 2-3 years, and it did not matter whether the unit was $$$$ or $$, it depends on whether it was made on a tuesday or a friday IMO ;)

    Sul.
     
  6. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    @ bellgamin

    If you use your comp for hours a day, then your UPS battery should be fully charged. In which case you could turn it off with your comp & mon, both to save $ & in case of faults/fire when your not around.

    That's what i'd do if i had a UPS, & i always turn off my comp & mon & the mains after shutdown, for the reasons stated ;) **** happens sometimes :(
     
  7. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I read somewhere that a computer which is plugged into an "always on" electric power source will always draw a trickle of power even when the computer is turned OFF.

    Correct?

    If so, then WHY does a turned-off computer always draw a trickle of power? Is it for some good reason? Or is it "just because"?
     
  8. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Anything plugged into an outlet pulls energy. Regardless of it being a computer or not. It's physics.

    And I only ever turn my computer off if I'm leaving for days at a time. Otherwise I sleep it.
     
  9. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I think it's like most appliances today. It's called instant on. If you turn off your TV it isn't really off, so when you turn it on it starts immediately. If you remember the old days of tube TV's, it would take forever for it to warm up. Instant on fixes that.
     
  10. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    If the motherboard supports things like Wake-On-LAN or starting the system with keyboard or mouse clicks, then there has to be a certain amount of power there, e.g., if the NIC is dead it can't receive the magic packet for WOL. You have probably seen computers where an optical mouse is still illuminated even after you shut down. Supposedly you can restart the system from standby or hibernation or whatever by just clicking the mouse.

    I also have an old Dell desktop with a dead mobo battery. As long as it's plugged in everything's OK. If I pull the mains plug, then CMOS gets reset to default and I have to reset the date and time.
     
  11. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Why not get and install a new CMOS battery (they can be had for under $3)?
     
  12. Johnny123

    Johnny123 Registered Member

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    Because I'm not using it at the moment and haven't gotten around to getting a new one. I am aware that they aren't expensive.
     
  13. Acadia

    Acadia Registered Member

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    True or not, this is what I once heard: When you keep your pc plugged in, the battery that keeps the bios from losing the settings is not needed therefore no power is being drained from the battery; the battery lasts longer. The battery is only used when ever you unplug your pc so you do not lose all of the bios settings.

    Acadia
     
  14. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

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    The newer ones do, yes, but only a tiny amount.

    But i was suggesting, turning off both the comp & mon at the the mains after the comp shutdown. Meaning physically switching off the power/mains at the wall sockets. Therefore NO power drain ;)
     
  15. noone_particular

    noone_particular Registered Member

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    I leave my main PCs running 24/7, not including power outages. When I do get an uninterruptable power supply, it will run 24/7 as well.
    I subscribe to that school of thought. I'm also not convinced that older=cheap or that newer=well made. Looking at a lot of other consumer goods, I'd be inclined to think the opposite might be true. Except for floppy and CD drives wearing out, I have never had a hardware failure of any kind since 2003, excpet for one 500MB hard drive in an old P5-133. That drive was replaced with a 2GB from a Win95 unit. That old P5 still runs 24/7, serving as a hardware firewall. Cost, 3 network cards. My old HP with 98FE ran almost continously here for 6 years, being shut down only for hardware upgrades. Still works fine with the original hard drive, motherboard, and power supply.

    Like so many other things, this is a tradeoff situation. I tend to keep a PC for a long time, well past the time support for the OS ends. I'll trade the slightly higher power costs for the longer hardware life. Even if you're not comfortable with using an older OS or hardware on the web, an older PC can serve other purposes, like being converted to a hardware firewall, lightweight file server, phone center, etc. Put linux on it and run a Tor relay.

    There are other issues involved besides the hardware lifespan and your power costs. There's the power and material costs that went into making that hardware. There's the disposal problem. PCs are for all purposes toxic waste, containing lead and arsenic among other things. Most end up in landfills. IMO, companies with planned obsolescense policies are directly responsible for the creation of this waste and should bear the costs of recycling it.
     
  16. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    I have heard the same thing. But. . . is it true, I wonder? Does anyone here know for sure?

    By the way, my relatively inexpensive smoke alarms begin to periodically chirp whenever their batteries get weak. Why can't a computer give an alert when its CMOS battery is about to die?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hmmm -- I wonder how many computers have gone to the repair shop because the CMOS battery went dead? I bet it costs a lot more when a repair shop replaces that $3 battery. :shifty:
     
  17. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I read that that when that bios battery needs replacement there is a chirping noise. o_O
     
  18. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    I've been working with PCs for 17 years and have never heard one do that.

    I leave my UPS on. It never even occurred to me to turn it off. As for the power a PC draws while plugged in and turned off, it is likely in the single digit watts, like 5 or less. You are probably using more to turn off the UPS as the battery will discharge a bit and will require more power to recharge the battery when you turn it back on. But it's probably all too small to worry about.
     
  19. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

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    I read it somewhere in a thread or two here at Wilders. I haven't heard it myself. :p
     
  20. Zorak

    Zorak Registered Member

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    My CyberPower UPS still charges the battery even when switched off, as long as it is plugged in and the power at the wall is still on.

    I turn my UPS power switch off overnight (but keep it powered at the wall so battery is always full), mainly because I don't like leaving my router on 24/7.
     
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