Is it actually important to "give your computer a break" ?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Yumid, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Yumid macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    #1
    So whenever I am done at my computer(laptop actually, late 2013 15' RetinaMacbook) for an hour or so I instantly feel this need to turn my computer off and power everything down to 'give it a break'.

    Is this actually necessary? Or is it actually bad having to power up my hard drives and stuff more than I need to. Meaning it would be better to have it continuously running as much as possible?

    Only reason I gravitate towards doing this is because I have a vivid memory when I was younger of my parents saying "get off the computer for a bit to give it a break" haha..so I've always had this idea in my head that computers need 'breaks' to pro long life.

    True or untrue?
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    The computer is designed to be used. Its not human and does not need a break.
     
  3. Yumid thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    #3
    If you want me to be more literal about it I will.

    Which laptop and hard drives lasts longer.

    A laptop+external drive that is on consistently for 15+ hours a day?

    Or one that is still being used that much but powered down every now and then?

    Is the one that powers down actually being worn out FASTER? Or is it the same either way. Or vice versa.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    It is absolutely unnecessary to shut down and accomplishes nothing. You can leave your Mac running for months at a time, as many do, without ever shutting down or restarting. When you're not using it, you can simply close the lid and let it sleep. Then, when you return, open the lid, log in and you'll be right back to where you left it.
    The difference in lifespan between those two scenarios is so small that you won't notice it during the lifespan of your Mac.
     
  5. Yumid thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    #5
    k thanks guys.

    One more small thing, not worth making a new thread.

    How do i delete tabs from my favourites list? I favourited/bookmarked a bunch of videos that i dont need anymore. want to get em out of there so my old
    'featured icons' are on the browser rather than needing to access the favourites drop down to get to them.

    All the used ones are in the way now.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    In Safari, click Bookmarks > Show Bookmarks. Then in the left column where the bookmarks appear, right-click on ones you don't want and select "Delete"
     
  7. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Location:
    Far away from liberals
    #7
    I always sleep my computers when I'm not using them. I almost never shut them down unless I need to do maintenance like cleaning the cooling fans and blowing out dust buildup. That being said, I haven't had a hard drive, or any other failure in years. I think powering computers on puts the most stress on the electronics..
     
  8. Yumid thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2014
    #8
    I heard its bad to sleep your computer when your using Cpu intensive programs? I run Pro Tools 11 95% of the time I'm using my system.
     
  9. adamhenry macrumors 65816

    adamhenry

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Location:
    On the Beach
    #9
    Thermal cycles (heating and cooling) stresses electronics due to the related expansion and contraction. Maintaining a constant temperature will minimize the stress.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #10
    When your computer sleeps, no apps are running.
     
  11. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #11
    But I see no ill effects from shutting down almost every night. My current Mac has been performing well for 8 years.
     
  12. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    #12
    If anything, it's you who the break is intended for, not the computer.
     
  13. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    I have had a mac running on, non stop for years, I don't see giving it a rest helping, conversely I don't have any personal experience on keeping my Macs on 24x7 decreasing the life span.
     
  14. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #14

    I feel qualified to answer this question. :)

    If you leave your computer running and on, the fan(s) will still gather dust and the bearing will still wear down.

    If you leave your computer sleeping, the battery will still get wear - but batteries are chemical reactions and will deplete with time anyway.

    If you have a computer without a battery and you leave it plugged in, the power supply is still going to see a tiny amount of wear, especially if your house's power isn't well conditioned. Capacitors will still wear out, although that only starts to become a problem if you plan on keeping your computer a long time, and they have gotten better. :) I wouldn't even worry about this.

    Because fans and storage media have a finite life, I'd suggest sleeping the computer when you're not going to be using it, unless you have a reason that makes it worth it to leave it running. :) On towers, swapping an old worn out hard drive or replacing a $10 fan was never a big deal, but on a laptop it's kind of a pain in the butt.

    Most laptop power supplies, including the ones Apple makes, are also poorly ventilated (they're not at all)! so you will wear that out faster.

    @ maflynn: Running a mac 24/7 won't decrease the lifespan at all if you take care of your fans! I had my G4 running 24/7 for 6 years, and the only thing it ever needed was a set of new fans.

    Capacitors going bad is an age thing more than a usage thing - although constant cycling might do it too. I'm actually not sure on that one. *ponders* I'd guess heat causes more issues than charging and depleting a cap.

    Thermal expansion/contraction will not be a problem unless you go from one extreme to the other very quickly. If you pull your laptop out of the trunk of your car when it's below freezing, bring it inside, and immediately run it at full blast, you might run into some issues (like condensation!) but for the most part .. naaah. The only thermal issue I've ever seen rear it's ugly head around here is cold solder on a BGA needing a reflow. Practically every defective GPU ever hahaha.
     

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