Leave the Mac on?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by dontwalkhand, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    it has been well over a month since I have last shut down my Mac. I know the Mac OS does its automated maintenance scripts at the times you aren't using it, so is it actually better to leave the Mac on so it can complete the maintenance scripts, or is it ok to shut down the mac when I am not using it? Thanks in advance!
  2. iBookG4user macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    You can shut it off when your not using it if you want, although you don't have to. Mac OS X can run for weeks without needing to be restarted. The only time I restart is when a program or software update requires it.
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    dont forget for gaming aswell :p

    gah i had 15days going and then i took it to school for the 1st time... hit the power button (deep sleep mode) and it came up....and froze. wouldnt move. had to restart.

    my mac hates school as much as me :)
  4. povman macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2006
    WEEKS?? surely you mean years.
  5. JasonMac macrumors regular


    Jun 6, 2007
    just put it to sleep and use onyx to run your scripts manually
  6. acslater017 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 25, 2006
    San Francisco Bay Area
    i have left my iBook (and, now, MacBook) on for weeks at a time. I restart it to refresh the OS (whatever that actually means) and to give the circuitry a break (whatever that actually means).

    It's more out of wanting to give my computer a break than it is for any noticeable improvements...
  7. Cavemate K macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2007
    What about saving electricity? Wouldn't shutting it down as often as possible help keep your bill down? Also, those who opt to leave it running, do you ever put it in sleep mode?
  8. Penryn macrumors member


    Jul 31, 2007
    I think that the power usage in Sleep is pretty miniscule. You'll probably save more pennies by turning of the desk lamp next to you.
  9. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    According to the watt meter on my UPS, my Mac Pro uses around 3-5 watts while sleeping. It isn't a lot, but multiple that by every Mac Pro user that puts their machine to sleep instead turning it off and it adds up to quite a bit worldwide.

    I've never bothered with Onyx myself, I just run the maintenance scripts manually every once and a while by doing the following:

    1. Open Terminal
    2. Run the following command:
    sudo periodic daily; sudo periodic weekly; sudo periodic monthly
    3. You're done!
  10. Halcyon macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2006
    Which raises an interrogant...

    Will those automatic maintenance scripts run while your CPU is in sleep mode?

    All this time I've left my iMac on 24/7 assuming that while it's not being used those scripts are doing their maintenance job. I gather from this thread that once my screen goes black, off to sleep goes my iMac and so do the scripts...bummer.

    What's the solution besides running them manually? I really doubt anybody out there leaves his/hers computer on over night, without it going to sleep, just to have these scripts do their job...waste of energy and shorter life for your hardware.

    Something is not right here...
  11. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Definitely not.

    The correct behavior would be to have the scripts run when the computer is woken up or powered on if they didn't run at the set time. I can't remember if Apple has fixed this behavior now or not. If Tiger doesn't do it right, I rather hope Leopard does.

    Either way, though, the scripts really aren't that important to the average user--what they do will have minimal if any noticeable effect. Really, I wouldn't worry about it, and it's DEFINITELY not worth leaving your computer powered up and running overnight--that's a huge waste of energy (and potential reduction in life of the hard drives and fans) a very minor benefit.
  12. Celeron macrumors 6502a

    Mar 11, 2004
    Indeed, I've never noticed these scripts doing anything substantial. There's a bunch of output in the log, but I've never regained any large amount of disk space by running them.

    I don't run them very often.
  13. Frosty1 macrumors member

    May 8, 2007
    i leave my macbook on 24/7, it does not put anymore wear or tear on the harddrives or anything for that matter, then turning on/off or waking it from sleep does. Computers are meant to be stayed on, and have no efect if u leave them on 24/7 it wont shorten the life on the computer.
  14. GuillaumeB macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2007
    Just behind you
    Just so you know I asked the same exact question over here. Quite interesting discussion

    As for me, here is what I said:

    I believe that will continue turning my machine off at night just for the sake of the battery that I only use twice a month - forcing myself to use it on a regular basis. I do not want to over charge it or something you know. Most of the time it remains in the machine but i can't help thinking that I should stop to "continuously charge it". Should I get an iMac then i would probably put it in stand by mode but laptops are more fragile in my opinion . Some will tell me that the I cannot over charge it anyway and that the macbook is smart enough, I certainly believe you, but I just cannot believe you "enough", it sounds too risky.
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    The battery definitely doesn't get charged any further once it is charged. This is not just a matter of the MacBook being "smart enough". These batteries are quite complicated, and they have their own processor with its own firmware inside the battery that controls the charging process. Leaving it plugged in will definitely not hurt.
  16. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Me neither, though I type the following in terminal as it's marginally quicker to type ;)
    sudo periodic daily weekly monthly
  17. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    That's fine if you want, but I don't believe it is correct.

    If the hard drives are being spun down while the computer is running (that is, the box is checked in Energy Saver) then leaving it on is no different from sleep--either way, the drive isn't spinning, and you're just wasting electricity on everything else. Powered off entirely is the same, except then the drive's circuitry isn't "warmed up" either.

    Hard drives and fans are physical things that spin. If it involves physical motion, eventually it WILL break. May be in a day, may be in 50 years, but it WILL break some day.

    The only real question when it comes to longevity is whether the thermal cycling of off-on and the physical wear involved in having the moving part stop and start again are "worse" than leaving it in a constantly moving and roughly temperature-stable state.

    A car's engine, for example, probably would not like being stopped and started every 30 seconds, because of oil flow and such. But obviously it extends the life of the car to turn it off when you're not driving it--I'd be willing to bet money that if you let your car idle all day instead of turning it off, it wouldn't last anywhere NEAR as long.

    Hard drives, based on the fact that they now sleep and wake constantly, are obviously designed to take a lot of power cycles without issue. I'll also point to the fact that recently several drive manufacturers switched the warranty on their consumer drives to assume 8 hours of use per day, rather than 24.

    Whether this was just CYA or something real, I don't know, but I'd take it to imply that power-on hours are, after some point, worse than a power cycle.

    For fans, definitely so--the bearings wear faster if the fan is moving faster so far as I know, although the general lifespan is long.

    The bottom line is you are probably not doing yourself any favors by leaving a computer--especially a laptop--on all the time. Add to that that "heat is the enemy", and the tight quarters of a laptop, and you're probably baking the drive faster than it would be if you just turned the thing off or slept it when you weren't using it.

    On an unrelated note, if you use your computer 12 hours a day, turning off a laptop when not in use would save US$15-20 per year depending on how much you pay for electricity. A desktop could easily hit $100 per year, more if you do folding or something on it.

    Basically, sleeping my G5 tower when not in use nets me enough to buy a new hard drive once a year.
  18. Gav macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2007
    Yes it will.

    The hard drives motor will eventually die. Or (much like a Re-Writable DVD/CD) the hard drive will become unwritable.

    The fans will eventually fail. Then your Macbook will melt and the rest of it will be destroyed.

    It will shorten the life of the computer.

    Personally, I think its stupid. It takes, what, 60 seconds max to boot a Mac. So whats the big deal!?! Impatient people :p

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