Basic computer question

dickey

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I use my computer for surfing the web,forums, listening to YouTube, & that's about it. I don't "do" anything on the computer, like shop,bank, or pay bills. I am on it about 4 or 5 times a day.
Is it better to shut it down & start up every time, or put it in sleep mode? I am getting conflicting answers from my friends.
 

Dismalhead

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I always shut down when I'm done. Been doing it out of habit since the '90s. Not sure if it's necessary anymore or not. My girlfriend just lets hers go into sleep mode. She's never run a virus scan, computer only gets rebooted if the power is shut off. Couldn't tell you who's right and who's wrong.
 

TC6969

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I was always of the opinion that other than the daily expansion and contraction of the components, one way was as good as the other.
 

41144

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Sleep in the day but shut it down when you go to sleep ;)

btw .... unless you're disabling internet access before going into Sleep Mode - be sure to close all browsers and email clients first.
 

VWAmTele

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Modern PCs are built to sleep, much less traumatic than a shutdown/startup and the components that would typically wear are for the most part inactive.

I've been dealing with computers for 40+ years, from mainframes to minis to PCs and all kinds of networks. 90% of the issues I've encountered happened during startup.
 

radiocaster

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I used to keep it in sleep mode continuously, but the OS would start bugging. I don't think it was a virus, just the heat and the need to reboot so the data is loaded correctly.

Although no need to shut it down more than once a day.
 

ieatlions

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Anything that’s on is ultimately going to wear out faster. Work computers tend to be left on all day, its practical in that setting as they’re generally replaced more frequently than a home/personal use computer.

I have a 9 year old iMac, if I know I’m not going to be using it within an hour or so I power down. Touch wood the thing is superb. Still fast and is capable of running GarageBand and performing light video editing.

I’ll keep powering down.
 

Chikubi

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I work in IT. There’s no reason to shut a comp down unless it’s to perform maintenance or upgrades, or if the OS needs a restart for whatever reason. Power cycling can actually cause damage over the longterm from the repeated thermal expansion and contraction of components, so best to avoid it.

Think about it, all of the network hardware you’re using while on the internet and such is running 24/7/365. Your cable modem/router are also on permanently as well. Even cellphones stay on constantly. Also, a lot of software and services assume devices are going to be left on for updates and so on.

Both my current Mac and PC at home have been running problem free since I purchased them for 6 years straight right now, apart from the occasional restart or upgrade. All their predecessors as well have been the same. 20+ years now and I’ve only ever had to replace one power supply and a fan, plus a dead hard drive here and there. That’s it.

You’ll be fine if you leave them running.
 
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schmee

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If I don't shut down it goes off on it's own eventually, but the morning start up is quick.
If I do shut down the morning start is quite slow.
 

Pasta Player

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I don’t work in IT either (per se) but I do have a little bit o’ experience. (Probably well over 30 computers here at home currently… I’m a hardware guy and I don’t keep a running count.)

Anyway, this 2009 iMac is on constantly, as it serves as my dedicated internet portal. It does get shut down completely on rare occasions for software upgrades, installations, etc. but for the most part it’s on 24/7 or sleeping… and it hasn’t skipped a beat yet. (Yes all data is backed-up.) About the only scheduled complete shut down it ever endures is when it’s taken into the garage to be blown-out carefully with the air compressor… about every other year or so. (They do suck a lot of dust which can build up heat, which can and does lead to failures.)

As for the other computers present… when they’re going to be used for recording or graphics, or other projects… they’re normally left on for days - until those projects are completed.

Leave ‘em on and just let ‘em sleep accordingly.
But DO shut down internet connection when not being used.

And nope, not gunna get into any firewall discussion here.:rolleyes:
 

DesmoDog

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Anything that’s on is ultimately going to wear out faster. Work computers tend to be left on all day, its practical in that setting as they’re generally replaced more frequently than a home/personal use computer.

I have a 9 year old iMac, if I know I’m not going to be using it within an hour or so I power down. Touch wood the thing is superb. Still fast and is capable of running GarageBand and performing light video editing.

I’ll keep powering down.


Well for another anecdotal data point... I was looking in to putting a larger hard drive in my iMac and when I looked in to what it actually was, I was surprised to find it's an early 2008 model. Aside from a rare restart to fix some software issue, the only time it gets shut down is when the power goes out. Basically it's been turned on for about 12 years and hasn't seemed to suffer from it.

I'm of the opinion heat cycles wear things out faster than constant temps. I don't think that applies in this case though as when it's sleeping it's not running at the same temp as when it's actually doing something, but as far as the electronics go I don't think letting it run is hurting anything. Seems to me I typically have issues with hard drives before electronics - mechanical parts fail first.

So to the OP, I doubt it really matters. I don't like waiting for it to start up so I let it sleep.

As for my work computer, I shut that down most Fridays but otherwise let it sleep. Part of that is it gets updates forced on it during non-working hours sometimes.

EDIT: The iMac does get shut off if I'm going on vacation or before major storms.

EDIT 2: I've got a Macbook downstairs in my home "shop" that's so old it doesn't even run current software. It's stuffed under a workbench and is always on, in fact I just noticed the indicator light doing it's fade in/fade out routine when I was down there an hour ago. I can't see that without hearing breathing.. but anyway, it's been turned on for years too in a not kind environment and is still chugging away.
 
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