Putting your Mac to Sleep/Switching it off?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Keniff, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. Keniff macrumors 6502a

    Keniff

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    United Kingdom
    #1
    When I got my 1st Mac (about 10 years ago) I was advised by some IBM geek, that I should NEVER switch my computer off!

    If I recall he said something along the lines of -
    "Never switch it off, unless you have too, as the amount of power/strain that it has to go through to turn back on, and read the whole structure again is usually the reason that causes it to crash/burn out"
    etc, etc...

    I'm sure we've heard it all before, right?

    But, surely these days, Computers/Macs are powerful enough to be turned on and off, without imploding?

    For sure, I just put mine to sleep over night, maybe even if I'm away for a weekend, but I'll definitely switch it off if I go on vacation...

    But is this practice still relevant today?
    Will I get more life out of it, if I just keep doing what I've been doing, or can I switch it off every night when I go to bed?

    Is there a tried and tested real life test/rule?
     
  2. Bob70011 macrumors newbie

    Bob70011

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    #2
    Well, for my previous PC, I would never turn it off unless I was away for more than a day or needed to restart. Nothing negative resulted from it, and I got the benefit of not needing to wait for startup. The only thing I noticed was that the thermal paste on the CPU's dried up a bit faster than usual. Nothing a bit of extra paste could fix! ;)
     
  3. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

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    #3
    I don't think it's something to worry too much about. Given enough time all machines will fail. Does doing daily boot ups hasten the demise of your Mac? Maybe. Although keeping it in sleep 24/7 (which some people swear by – even taking pride in how long there uptime is) will cost you pennies which will add up over the years.
     
  4. grue macrumors 65816

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    #4
    My machine sleeps after fifteen minutes, but that's because it draws a heinous amount of power (8x3.0 Clovertown, 8 FB-DIMMs, 4 HDDs, 2 SuperDrives, 3 PCIe cards)… I don't turn it off though, I demand super fast response once I go to do something on it.
     
  5. inigel macrumors regular

    inigel

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    Australia
    #5
    Waiting 40 seconds for it to start up is an inconvenience?:D

    My 08 Mac Pro, 2.8 Octo with 10GB RAM takes 40 secs to load. From pressing the button to OS X fully loaded so I can open the application from the Dock or through a Spotlight search.
     
  6. grue macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Mine takes a bit less than that courtesy of the Raptor it boots from and the stripped down OS, but honestly… yes, it's too much waiting when I just want to check movie times or something in the evening.

    That and the fact that I often leave a bunch of crap open (FireFox tabs, iChat conversations, etc etc… )that I don't want to have to deal with just so I can shut down.
     
  7. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

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    #7
    The idea that computers of any kind "strain" to start up is a myth. It takes as much energy to start up as it does to open a few applications (give or take) so there is nothing to worry about here.

    I think a possible cause for the myth is that old machines, like servers that have been running for years, can develop a hardware fault while they are running but often you only discovered this when you restarted the machine.
     
  8. grue macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Um… no. I'm not qualified to comment on strain, but startup draws a lot of power.

    Plug a Kill A Watt into your machine, and track it during startup. Then launch a few applications.

    My machine goes over 500 watts during startup, and idles around 350 or so. Launching a few small applications simultaneously (e.g., FireFox & iChat & Mail) kicks it up to about 400.
     
  9. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

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  10. grue macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Like I said, I'm not qualified to say.

    But you said that launching a few applications takes about as much power as starting up, which is demonstrably untrue unless we're talking about seriously heavy applications.

    Within 5% or even 10%, I wouldn't have bothered disputing it, but it's a pretty substantial difference.
     
  11. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

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    #11
    I never said power though. Perhaps I should have used the word effort instead of energy seeing as we are talking about strain here.
     
  12. belvdr macrumors 603

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    Aug 15, 2005
    #12
    You're contradicting yourself, as your example is very true. It's not a restart really that is worrisome; it's a power down.

    Old disk drives that have been spinning for some time are a concern when powered off. The reason is that the motor has weakened, and while it has enough power to keep the platter spinning, it may not have enough power to start the platter spinning.

    Thus, it takes more energy to start the platters spinning than it does to keep them spinning. That's basic physics.

    EDIT: Just saw your reply above (must have been posted while I was typing). Power = effort required in my example. The motors will pull more current when starting up versus after they get the platters spinning.
     
  13. steveza macrumors 68000

    steveza

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    #13
    Yeah sorry for the confusion - the English language is a wonderful thing :)
     
  14. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #14
    Yeah, I grew up here, and it still confuses me. :)
     
  15. Keniff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Keniff

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    #15


    Thanks for posting that Link, it's a very interesting article on the subject...
     
  16. grue macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I have nothing but respect for anyone who learns English as a second language… it's ridiculous.
     
  17. More macrumors regular

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    #17
    Ahh. One of those urban myths finally dispelled. I've been thinking about this recently as I always switch off my mac pro every night at the wall socket - after shutting it down obviously. Good to know I can continue to do it with no adverse affects :D
     
  18. grue macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Ok, I have to admit I have no idea, so I'm going to ask:

    What's the point of switching stuff off at the wall socket when it's already powered down? Yes, it probably draws 1-5 watts doing nothing, but really, what's the difference?
     
  19. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
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    #19
    Is it because it good practice for reducing these kind of costs?

    [​IMG]


    Plus if you don't have a surge protector you can safe guard your stuff this way.
     
  20. pwn247 macrumors 6502

    pwn247

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    #20
    I only turn my Mac Pro off when I know I'm not going to be using it for 5+ days.

    5 days is where I draw the line between sleep or off. I'll put her to sleep 99% of the time!

    And as for the machine "burning out", I think that's just a big myth. The only thing that I could see being hurt by an on/off type of procedure would be the hard drives spinning up and down. While this does decrease the life of the hard drive, it's not necessarily something to be too concerned about.
     
  21. grue macrumors 65816

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    #21
     
  22. More macrumors regular

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    Dec 27, 2008
    #22
    I switch it off at the wall because my 30" ACD white block power adaptor makes an annoying high pitched whine and since my system is in the bedroom it drives me nuts ;)
     
  23. grue macrumors 65816

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    #23
    OOf. That I can understand, then.
     
  24. fatespawn macrumors member

    fatespawn

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    Feb 22, 2009
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    #24
    I have 3 surge protectors in my home office.

    One for each of our 2 computers, and a common surge protector that I use for things that ~should~ always be on.

    The 2 protectors on each computer get turned off at night (they are mounted under my desk with the switches easily accesable. Also attached to these protectors are items like speakers, external HD's, powered USB hubs, etc - things solely associated with each computer.

    On the 3rd protector is my Cable Modem, Router, Printer, and cordless phone. These things are always ON.

    OCD? No. It makes my wife happy when she reads articles on VAMPIRE energy :).

    -fate
     
  25. dusanv macrumors 6502

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    Mar 1, 2006
    #25
    I think it's almost a complete waste of time to shut it down. I borrowed a 'Kill-a-Watt' from a friend at one point in the past. My Mac Pro consumes 14 W when off (!!!) and 20 W when put to sleep. Startup is intensive, power draw is 400 W for two minutes. My monitor draws 6 W, regardless whether it's off or asleep.
     

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