To shut down or not?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by SideShowBob, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. I normally shut down my trading PC every night (and over the weekend) as it's only used for trading during market hours. This morning one of the two hard drives failed (they were set up in RAID 1 configuration) and it was able to boot from the other drive and run all day.

    A replacement drive will arrive tomorrow (thanks Newegg!) but I'm not sure if it's safer to leave it on overnight or shut it down and start it up again in the morning. Which is more likely to cause a drive failure?

  2. It is my understanding that it is better to keep computers on.

    Rationale behind it is that heat, as when you turn on and off, makes parts expand and contract, which is not good in the long run...

  3. shut it off. if everybody left their computer on all night think of the power it wastes. other reasons:

    1. less chance of a hack.
    2. less chance of fire. i know of a business that burned down because a monitor shorted out and started a fire.
    3. i like to start every day with a fresh boot.
    4. there is no proof that it is bad for it to restart every day.

    here is a study a major university did:
    A Few Simple Calculations:
    The average desktop computer uses about 120 Watts (the monitor uses 75 Watts, and the CPU uses 45 Watts.) Laptops use considerably less, around 30 Watts total.

    4,300 Tufts-owned computers X 0.12 kW X 250 workdays X 8 hours = The university uses 1,032,000 kWh per year to run all of Tufts computers just during business hours.

    This amounts to: 1,032,000 kWh X 11 cents =
    $113,500 per year in electricity costs.

    Greenhouse gas emissions for this electricity amount to: 1,032,000 kWh X 1.45 lbs of CO2 per kWh / 2,000 =
    748 tons of CO2 per year.

    100,000 - 500,000 trees are needed to offset these yearly emissions of CO2! (A tree absorbs between 3-15 lbs of CO2 per year.) More on Sequestration.

    If 500 of these computers (which is only one in nine) are left on all the time this adds:

    500 computers X 120 Watts X 365 days X 16 additional hours = 350,400 kWh
    $38,544 in electricity costs
    254 tons of CO2

    It would take 34,000 - 169,000 trees to offset the same amount of CO2!
  4. it is generally not healthy for the computer to be turned on and off. it is best for your hardware to stay on 24/7.

    > 1. less chance of a hack.

    true, that's why you should disable your internet connection when you're done working for the day. (although chances are you're sharing/downloading something anyway and would like it to stay on).

    > 2. less chance of fire.

    well can't argue with that.

    > 3. i like to start every day with a fresh boot.

    true and wise - that's why you should simply restart Windows when you start working in the morning.

    as for energy saving, do turn off your monitors when you're done working. other than that well yeah you'll save more electricity if you turn it all off but then again it's a you'll save air if you won't breathe sort of thing.

    it's up 2u.. :)

  5. Pekelo


    People argue on this forever. If you can't decide, put the computer into sleep mode (Stand by) and turn off the monitor.
  6. I am nothing if not for conserving energy and saving the environment, but that Tufts "study" is ivory tower nonsense. Have they ever heard about Energy Star compliant hardware? Most monitors made today will go into a sleep mode and consume as little as 8 Watts, when not in use. You can configure your laptops and desktops for maximum energy savings unattended and/or overnight as well, as your active apps allow.

    Even the US Dept. of Energy tells it straight up:

    "For cost effectiveness, you also need to consider how much your time is worth. If it takes a long time to shut down the computer and then restart it later, the value of your time will probably be much greater than the value of the amount of electricity you will save by turning off the computer."

    And yes, the power on/off cycle does put significant wear and tear on hard drive components, among other things. Hard to see why this whole debate seems to have been dragging on for ages.

    Luckily, if you are a currency trader, you don't have a choice. ;)
  7. tef8


    Shut it off unless you own a real server.
    Servers are made with hardware that is designed to run 24/7, home pcs are not! There is a much shorter life expectancy on the hardrives in a personal pc for example (as opposed to a server).
    I have shut mine off whenever done with it for the last 9 years and get incredible life out of hardware compared to my buddies.
    Price out a server hard drive as opposed to the garden variety you find at best buys and you'll see that - they are designed for longer uptime & reliability.
  8. If you do shut the computer off for the night, make sure to boot it up first thing when you wake up in the morning.

    That way, if the computer fails, you will have time to formulate a plan before the market opens.
  9. Just a FWIW, I haven't shut down my Vaio desktop since I got it.

    More than 4 years now.

    No problems.
  10. Pekelo


    What incredible lifespan? You should probably buy new hardware every 2-3 years and no matter you leave it on or shut down, computers survive 5 years easily...

    Again, Stand by is the best middleground...
    #10     Jan 18, 2007