a debate on wear

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by asoundhound, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. asoundhound macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2004

    I was having a debate with someone who's purchasing a MacBook. This person is concerned that leaving the macbook on overnight and downloading files from the internet will cause the hard drive to fail sooner. I'm convinced its no more wearing than using it during the day, and these things are tested to do far more than any average user could push them to, so it's fine to downoad as much as you want, and it won't make your computer break any faster. Anyone know what the prevailing wisdom is on this?
  2. reh macrumors 6502a

    Oct 24, 2003
    Sure, if a computer is never used, it'll probably last longer. But that would just be silly. If you need to download something, then download it. Otherwise you just bought an expensive paperweight because it's too precious to use.
  3. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    i agree here as well. just use it
  4. quruli macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2006
    I am just going to say that you would lose this bet.

    Simply because if he did do it, ONE DAY the hard drive would fail and he would blame it on excessive night time downloads.

    If you are going to use the computer, use it. I mean it is going to die one day. Worrying about that is foolish. Just tell him that if he is going to download, download.

    Tell him to buy an external firewire HD and download the files to that if he is so worried.

    For comparison his logic is akin to this: "I love my new car, but I think I'm only going to drive it once a week. I don't want to put to much wear on it. I will just walk to work" :D
  5. Super Macho Man macrumors 6502a

    Super Macho Man

    Jul 24, 2006
    Hollywood, CA
    Yeah, the drive might fail within 59 months and 25 days instead of 60 months. Just make regular backups (you should be doing that regardless) and don't worry about it.
  6. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    Technically, your friend is right -- but you are too.

    Yes, if you use the drive all day long and all night, it will fail sooner. The same as if you drove a car all day, and then your wife drove it all night. You're putting twice as many miles on it. Obviously its going to fail sooner.

    But you're right at the same time: if a drive lasts for an average of 10,000 hours use, then using it a night and during the day isn't going to change that number. I could see your friend having a point if you were stressing the drive, but downloading at 200k/s isn't maxing out the drive by any means.
  7. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Apr 2, 2006

    I have a friend that insists on shutting down his MB every ten minutes, "otherwise it might overheat":rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  8. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    But think of how much healthier you'd be ;)

    Savar is right. If the drive will fail after 10,000 hours, using it all the time will cause it to fail faster, but it still got the 10,000 hours usage.
  9. Mr. Mister macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2006
    The hard drive has, say, 60 days of straight-up read/write, those night downloads are gonna "use up" maybe minutes of that because most downloading programs save the stuff in the RAM and then write it to the HD every few megs or so, because you don't hear your HD constantly crackling when you're downloading stuff.

    Overall, it's stupid to worry.
  10. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    It's an easy thing to do, especially with something so aesthetically pleasing and expensive. I find you sometimes have to force yourself to start actually USING your laptop properly, rather than babying it all the time. It struck me when I sold my Powerbook and it was as new as the day I bought it. What use had I got from it? A lot less than I could have if I had used it without worrying about scratches etc.
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    It's a tool. Use it. Besides, replacement hard drives aren't exactly bank-breakingly expensive. It's not like frying a motherboard.

    That said, I will add something here: Some P2P programs (BitTorrent at the very least) originally used very heavy random-access data read/writes, since they didn't do any caching. This DID cause relatively early failures of some desktop drives, because you were basically running a low-end consumer drive like a full-time server drive, with the actuator going all over the place 24X7, even though the actual data throughput was fairly low. Laptop drives are, or at least were, a little more succeptable to this--probably less so now that so many manufacturers are moving into the space and they're even getting used in blade servers and the like.

    However, most modern BT apps (Azureus, at the very least) take this into account in the design, and not only can they pre-allocate an entire file to reduce drive fragmentation and the distance of seeks, but they do RAM caching so your drive isn't constantly grinding away to maintain a couple hundred K/s throughput.

    Since they started doing this, I have heard of no issues with this sort of premature failure.

    So, even if it WERE an issue, it isn't anymore, and even if it were, what's the point of having a computer if you're not going to use it?
  12. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    I prefer to download by hand. I pipe the stream right into my visual cortex and I can see the ones and zeros. I just jot them down on paper as I go, code it up, and pretty soon (you know...weeks later...) I have some pretty sweet pirated bit torrent crap. AND my hard drive hasn't crashed yet!!! Sweet!

    Oh, and if you believe *that* then you should definitely not leave your computer on over night.
  13. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    If he's so worried why not use some bum old computer? Let that be your downloading workhorse? Wear the crap out of that. When the download is finished just transfer the files on your LAN or whatever.
  14. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US

    wow, are you serious? literally every 10 minutes? that's crazy!
  15. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Turning your computer on and off every ten minutes will seriously damage it in the long run.
  16. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    not to mention making you nearly completely unproductive!

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