7/24 computer power on, is it bad for the hardware's lifespan?


  1. Posts : 272
    win10
       #1

    7/24 computer power on, is it bad for the hardware's lifespan?


    regardless of the carbon production and electricity cost, is it bad for the hardware's lifespan for the PC turned on for 7/24, only the screen is switched off
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  2. FreeBooter's Avatar
    Posts : 4,086
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #2

    As long as computer have good cooling system keeping computer power on will not cause any issues with hardware.
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  3. CountMike's Avatar
    Posts : 18,870
    W10+Developer Insider + Linux
       #3

    That's age old question but opinions are still divided 50/50. My main computer is on 24/7 some times doing some heavy work and have seen no ill effects.
    For keeping them on:
    CPU/GPU/chipset and RAM are engaged very little while at idle and doesn't do much work staying as cool as possible.
    HDDs are mostly wore down by constant starts and stops as well as changing temperatures so it's better to have them turning all the time.
    Against:
    There is some electron loss in electronic parts, particularly small transistors but degradation may take many, many years.
    Motors, HDD, fans and pumps, also wear down although if set up properly and all is cool they will run at slowest speeds prolonging their life expectancy.
    Electrolytic capacitors also have finite life expectancy and may dry out after a while but modern systems have very small number of them if any, being replaced by solid state capacitors. Only leftovers are large ones in the final stage of PSU but even those are much sturdier now in good make and model PSUs.
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  4. Posts : 1,229
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    My computers run 24/7 and have done so for a long time. At this time thay are quite old, obsolete by the standards of many on this forum. But they serve my purposes. Failures have been minimal, a few hard drives and DVD drives due to old age that had lived well past what may would consider the lifetime of a drive, and a few CMOS batteries. I also have a 6 GB Fujitsu drive that had it's 20th birthday last year with no SMART warnings. It has been in several different computers and contained a variety of operating systems. It isn't in regular use anymore but in it's day run mostly 24/7 and at times quite heavy use.

    Unless the computer has been abused I believe the lifetime of as computer is determined more by quality of construction and luck than anything else. How long it is turned on is a relatively minor factor. At least that has been my experience, and I have been using computers for more than 40 years.

    Edit: My experience is with older computers. It may be different with newer computers but I have very virtually no experience with them.
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  5. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,818
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #5

    Hi there

    I run 2 X NAS systems 24/7 -- Energy costs in Iceland are essentially negligable -- we don't have the best weather but absolutely plentiful environmentally friendly Geothermal and hydro electric systems and heating (where possible). What though is the worst for wear on any moving parts is when constant start stop is done -- especially things like fans in bearings and HDD bearings- at start oil could be cold and thicker etc etc.

    For electronic parts - it's less obvious but especially in typical domestic places you might find initial start up has slight surges for the electronic bits etc so leaving on minimizing start up and shutdown seems quite OK.

    I doubt whether a typical computer these days consumes (in "idle mode") enough power to even make a few cents difference to your electricity bill compared with other devices used in homes -- e.g air conditioning, electric heating, power tools etc.

    As far as laptops are concerned - these are built to be portable and are designed for being powered off and on regularly so I wouldn't recommend laptops being run 24/7. These aren't designed to really be run 24/7 - especially these days where more components are crammed into a smaller and smaller space.

    Desktops and home servers are another matter - especially home servers / small office servers - are designed for continuous running anyway. I use HP Pro liant Gen 8 / Gen 10 microservers as my NAS boxes -- small footprint, 4 HDD bays and run without any problem whatsoever 24/7.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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