So the answer to turning off your computer is……..there is no real answer. For this as it may not suit everybody’s personal circumstances, In other words, it depends on how you use your computer.

There are at least three situations that may force you to leave your computer on all day throughout a 24hr period

  1. You are on a network, and the network administrators back up files and the vendor’s software upgrades over the network at night. If that is the case, and you want your machine backed up or upgraded, then you need to leave it on all the time.
  2. You are using your machine as a server of some description. If your machine acts as a file server, print server, Web server, etc., on a LAN (local area network) or the Internet, then you need to leave it on all the time.

If you do not fall into any of these two categories, then you have a choice about whether or not to leave your machine on.

One main reason why you might want to turn it off is that is more economical as a typical PC consumes something like 300 watts. Let’s assume that you use your PC for four hours every day, so the other 20 hours it is on would be wasted energy. It’s possible to use the energy-saving features build into modern machines and cut that figure in half. For example, you can have the monitor and hard disk power down automatically when not in use.

The argument for leaving your computer on all the time is that turning it on and off somehow stresses the computer’s components such as when the CPU chip is running, it can get quite hot, and when you turn the machine off it cools back down. The expansion and contraction from the heat probably has some effect on the solder joints holding the chip in place and on the micro-fine details on the chip itself. But here are three ways to look at that:

If it were a significant problem, then machines would be failing all the time. In fact, hardware is very reliable unlike software which is booted up several times in a 24hr period.

I don’t know a single person who leaves the TV on 24 hours a day so why leave your computer on for the same length of time? TVs contain many of the same components that computers do. TVs certainly have no problems being cycled on and off.

Most retailers will sell you a three-year full-replacement guarantee for about £14.99 per month and if you are worried about it, spend some of the money you are saving by turning your machine off and buy a service contract.