Why not turn off G5 everyday?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Wilson, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2004
    I always hear from numerous people saying that it's not good to turn on and off your computer everyday but not really sure why not to though. Does it ruin the motherboard or something?

    I got my G5 up and running on Friday and I haven't turned it off since. I'm planning to turn it off once a week. I put the computer to sleep at night to save energy.

    I would just like to know what other people do and what their setup is. What are your settings for "Energy Saver"? and how often do you turn your computer off.

  2. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    It actually puts a load on the hardware if you startup and shutdown all the time. New computers, epsecially new macs have deep sleep which will shut everything off including the fans. But doing this puts less of a load on the hardware when you need to use the computer again.

    Im not sure about shutting down the fans and stuff in the g5, but i know on the emacs it does.
  3. macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    From what I read going into deep sleep mod is going to put the same strain on most of the hardware that going ot break as shutting down (hard drives and fans and it general a good idea to have those turn off any how) Same strain on the processor but the diffence in it life is really pretty minimal and you going ot replace the computer long before it breaks (CPU have over a 10 year life span)

    Really shutting down you computer makes your wallet like you a little more by not having to pay the power bill. Personly I say use sleep mod makes booting up a lot faster. Stress on the hardware is the same either way bettween sleep and shut down
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2004
    So do people generally shut down their computers everyday? So the only difference between deep sleep mode and shutting down the computer is that when in sleep mode, the computer starts up faster? Since both sleep mode and shut down put a strain on the hardware, what do people normally do?

    Sleep mode = hardware strain, faster startup

    Shutdown = hardware strain, save energy
  5. macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    I've had my PB running for 52 days straight. Check out the Uptime topic going on. I don't see the necessity to turn it off.
  6. macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    sleep mode and shutting off your computer are nearly the same, except that sleep uses a tiny bit of energy. This is probably better for your electric bill than shutting it off and on because when you turn your computer on is draws more power than it would when waking from sleep.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 3, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    My machines are always on. I know for a fact that spooling up and spinning down components puts undue stress on them, that's why my hard drives are always set to not spool down.
  8. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I shut down my computer every night. For a long time, I would just put it to sleep, but about every seven days I'd get a random glitch and have to restart--now I never have random glitches, though I do have to start the computer up every morning.

    Frankly, I'm a big fan of shutting the computer down every night, but a lot of people on these boards have made fun of me in the past for doing so... so take my advice at your own risk! :D
  9. macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004

    To tell you the truth yeah there is a lot of strain on the HD spooling up but there is more damge done on them by keeping the spool up 24/7. Letting them spin down for a few hours saves them some life. There is a lot of ware and tare done when something spinning at 7200 RPMs. General letting them spin down if you been gone for a hour or 2 is prouble a good idea to just let them do it
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2004
    52 days straight?? WOW :eek:

    Given the advice from all of you, I think I'll shutdown about once a week.

    Thanks for all your replies.
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2004
    I checked out the uptime topic going on and I have a question. Why does leaving your computer on longer seem to be better? It's like it's a competition to see who can leave their computer on longer. I find that odd.
  12. macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    It's a way of showing off how stable your OS is. It's a really geek sort of "mine's bigger" ;)
  13. macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2004
    I shut my windows box off so while I'm off to work nobody can hack into it. Plus I save a (admittedly little) bit on current.

    I'm looking into buying a small and SILENT server that I can install linux on and can have running all the time to collect email, use for port forwarding and such on.... the box I know have has very loud fans and sucks up a lot of juice.
  14. Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    ive got a NT 4.0 Server box at work that has been going 382.27 days up to now....

    Thats running on a Compaq Dual Pentium Pro 200mhz with 512mb Ram :)

    My Dual 1.8ghz G5 is upto 28 days with no reboots and no sleep, thats running two seti's in terminals.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2002
    Its not jsut a mine's bigger thing. Mac OS X runs routine maintenance scripts in the middle of the night, if you shut it off these won't run and you need to do them yourself manually.
  16. macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    sleep is designed to not put strain on the computer, and after testing on my ibook if i leave my ibook on sleep through the night i loose 2% of my battery and if i do a cold boot from a full charge it looses 4% charge.
  17. macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004

    Ummm that because you speed more time booting up. take into acount the processor runs closer to 100% during boot up and then the time it runs durning boot up to get to the OS. Now lets wake from sleep mob. Boom you are up and running. You dont have to access stuff off the hard drive but everything still has to spool up. Sleep mod you ram is running at min power so when you turn it on everything up and running already. You processor does not have to turn them on.

    Really take inacount for you Proscessor not having to run at 100% (also remeber that power % does not fall in a stright line patter. It falls off faster at the top and slows down the closer you get to running out. *mainly in the first 5-10% is a huge diffences and the then the last 10% goes a lot slower
  18. macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Turning off your computer and turning it back on is akin to using your car, the components will get hot and slightly expand and then when you turn it off the components will slightly contract. Doing this repeatedly will put stress on your computer and your car engine. Keeping it running all the time is much better for the computer (and the car) because the components will stay expanded. But there are electrical and petrol bills to pay. ;)

    Older motherboards have been known to break apart due to constant expansion and contraction.

    One reason why server hardware lasts so long, they are always running.

    In the 3 months i've had my iBook, i've never turned it off, reboot yeah, but not a full power down.

    Anyway, just leave it running
  19. macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    8hrs sleep = 2% battery usage.
    2-3min cold boot = 4% battery usage.

    That's considerable energy efficiency.

    Try thinking through these two scenarios again, you're post makes absolutely no sense.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2003
    RI -> CA -> ME
    Becuase you should be folding!!!

    Seriously, you can maybe help find a cure for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Mad Cow, etc.
    Check out the FAQs
    Thanks for playing!
  21. macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004

    Um I dont care what it is energy wise since they are really close enough. the guy was saying hardware strain was less. it not it exactly the same on the hardware that going to fail (hard drives opitcal drives ect). Power wise sleep mod is very efficience close enough to a full shut down that the diffence is so minanmal it does not matter since a computer still draws power when it is in full shut down. I stated earily I say use sleep mode just for the faster boot up. Power diffence bettween a computer in sleep mode for a month and a computer in shutdown for a month (plug into a wall) are really about the same.
  22. macrumors 68000

    baby duck monge

    Feb 16, 2003
    Memphis, TN
    except that's a bit misleading. when i boot up on my ibook, the battery drops significantly, but then a minute or so after the whole boot process is over, the meter goes back up. it doesn't really take 4% of the battery, the computer just thinks it does for a little while.
  23. macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    personly on my home PC I put it to sleep (I would do the same on a mac) at night when I sleep. For those little nice little unitlys that need to run I have it run in segraul task and they can wake the computer from sleep mode to run them (I just run them like a 5-6AM when I going sleeping any how) A little later the computer runs my "alarm clock" (a winamp playlist) and that general gets me out of bed.

    I use full shut down when I going to be gone for a few days or a weekend because it just a little safer for me personaly because incase there is power surge my computer not going to get fried from it since it going to be fully shutdown.

    Standby/sleep using more power than full shutdown depending on how long you are gone since it does take some power to boot. The bat metter drops due to the biger draw on the bat at first but after it booted up it will go back up. (my laptop works that way. 3-4% drop during boot up and it will go right back up after everything is booted)
  24. macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    A lot of interesting comments in here, but a few misconceptions that I noticed.

    First, power when off is not necessarily zero, nor is power when asleep anywhere near the same as power when running.

    I've checked myself using a Wattmeter, and older generation G4s use almost exactly the same amount of power when off as when asleep (4-10W, depending), so unless you turn off the power strip when it's shut down, there's no real advantage other than the fresh start to shutdown versus sleep.

    The G5s on the other hand are better--they draw a few watts when asleep, but nearly zero when off, so they actually do benefit from being shut down.

    In either case, startup is slower than wake from sleep, but restarts do tend to clear up funkyness (and clear the swapfiles) that happens after a while. I tend to shut my G5 down at least a couple times a week, particularly if I'll be away from it for a while. On the other hand, my G4 at work has been on (sleeping at night) for 4 months straight now, and it's running smoothly, so it's not necessary if your computer runs stably and is well maintained.

    As for harddware wear and tear, cold-starting your computer and cold-starting your car are not really the same thing; the majority of wear on a car being started doesn't come from thermal expansion, it comes from the fact that the oil isn't where it's supposed to be or at its ideal temperature when the car first starts after being off for a long time.

    Computers, obviously, have no oil, and the only moving parts are the fans and the hard drive platters. The wear on the motors of these parts at startup is probably greater than them just sitting there, but they're not lubricated the same way as a car engine and I wouldn't be so sure that starting them up once causes less wear than leaving the same thing on for a few hours--after all, startup just wears the motor (in theory) while being on wears the bearings and the motor, as well as any other components.

    Shutting down solid-state chips involves ZERO perceptable wear--some chips, for example, can cycle themselves on and off rapidly to save power, and cutting power to a chip has no real effect on it--if anything, the longer the chip is hot (on, that is) the shorter it's lifespan, if you want to be technical.

    Thermal expansion-contraction cycles could make a difference, but I'd say long term heat is probably more of a danger to most electronics.

    It is true, in either case, that sleep and shutdown cause a similar amount of wear on the computer--the only real difference is that sleep keeps the RAM and a couple of subsystems that wait for wake (not including the processors) energized.
  25. macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    mine dosen't do that

    maby i'll do my experiment again with the kernal command to get the real battery level

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