Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Besides the cost of electricity, is it detrimental if a computer never goes into sleep mode? Obviously, servers are running 24/7, but is it different for a personal computer?

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Diogo, Tom Wijsman, slhck, Andrew Lambert, studiohack Mar 23 '12 at 18:44

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Relevant: Does the computer need rest? –  Oliver Salzburg Mar 23 '12 at 17:12
1  
By leaving your computer idling, you are damaging it and our environment... –  Tom Wijsman Mar 23 '12 at 17:12
2  
Tom, you don't damage a computer by leaving it running. The harm of turning it on or off is greater. As far as the environment goes, I suppose that depends on your source of electricity. The computer itself has no harmful emissions. –  Kyle Smith Mar 23 '12 at 17:30
2  
Kyle Smith: Leaving a computer running and power-cycling it both incur wear and tear. So there's a balance to be struck. I'd say if you're not going to be using it for more than, say, 2-3 hours, then go ahead and put it to sleep. Modern hard disks (in particular) are designed to be spun down with some frequency -- I believe the default Windows power settings for laptops spin down the disks after 30 minutes. –  jjlin Mar 23 '12 at 17:44
add comment

1 Answer

The only kind of damage to a computer from leaving it on continuously is that fans on desktop computers tend to stop after X hours of continuous operation (due to dust contamination).

If your computer doesn't need to be on all the time, you will save money on your electrical bill, and if you think about your 'carbon footprint' you should be aware of what is being used to make the electricity that you're using; Are you causing more coal to be burned, or are you running on hydro-electric power, or nuclear?

Powering down your computer completely, and sleeping your hard drive will actually be harder on it, most sources I've read say that hard drive spin up is its most important wear and tear for rotating hard disks. A solid state drive machine of course will not be similarly affected.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.