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By winger ·
A friend and myself have had a nagging question (below) for some
time. It is contended that by powering up your PC every weekday, you would
be causing it more harm (due to voltage spikes) than you would by leaving it
run unattended for 16 hours. On the other side, it is contended that the
extended running of the PC causes more wear on the components, power supply,
monitor and the like.

Should we leave our PCs powered on 24x7 or is it better to power off
when they are not in used for16 of the 24 hours?

Follow-ons:
a) How does the power-up cycle affect the hardware vs the extended
power consumption and wear on the parts??

b) How does this change the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures)??

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by SyscoKid In reply to Keep Powered Up or Down

I think it's a "whatever floats your boat' situation. I've heard it argued from both sides for years.

All I can say is we have a WAN with over 60,000 workstations and we're on 24/7. (By way of full disclosure, we have to be on 24/7 because whenwe get software upgrades, they're downloaded centrally servers and workstations, and the downloads are always on nights and weekends).

I myself have one sight with 31 workstations and three servers.. For what it's worth, in 2.5 years we've replace 8 hard drives,1 NIC, 2 keyboards, two monitors and a power supply.

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by winger In reply to Keep Powered Up or Down
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by mightyduk In reply to Keep Powered Up or Down

I would agree with acysco that it's probably a debate that will never be fully resolved. Some issues I would suggest considering:

1. If the pc's run windows, they need to reboot periodically anyway, so powering them down at night might reduce this requirement.

2. Monitors and harddrives are the most vulnerable to wear and tear, so steps should be taken to ensure that they are powered down during long (>1 hour or so) periods of inactivity, this is not difficult to configure.

3. Softpower down is available on newer pc's and will likely cause less harm relative to manual power down, however the power up could still cause spikes.

MTBF is measured in hours of use, so they probably don't take into account the effect of power cycles, so I suspect that these cycles will lower the MTBF somewhat, the question I can't answer is whether that would over come the lower usage time from powering down...

Not sure if this helps much...

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by winger In reply to Keep Powered Up or Down
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by fofa In reply to Keep Powered Up or Down

Here we have data on 15 workstations that are basically all the same, all 3 years old, and about half are left on 24X7 and the other half powered down at night and weekends (non business hours). (Not a test, just real life users and their preferances). We have had twice as many hard drives (4 vs 2) for the 24x7 and 2 power supplies in the 24x7 vs non in the others, but we had 2 memory modules (1 each) in 2 different powered off machines go out and none in the 24x7. 3 nic cards replaced in the 24x7 and 2 in the others. keyboards and mice seems about the same, and 2 monitors but those were in the first 2 weeks and we don't count them.

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by winger In reply to Keep Powered Up or Down
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