Is it Better to Shut Down or Leave Your Computer On?
Many people do not shut their computer down at the end of the day. Of those people, some believe that the more you turn your computer on/off, the more wear you’ll put on the device. On the other hand, there are many people who believe you must properly shut it off and turn it on in order to maintain the battery life. What is best though?
Sleep, Hibernate, and Shut Down Defined
Your computer can be put in three different states, Sleep Mode, Hibernate, and Shut Down. Each of these states has its own benefits and disadvantages.
Sleeping is the default state for a computer. All you need to do to activate Sleep Mode is to close the lid or press the power button (if your computer has one). In this state, the hardware inside your machine completely turns off, but the data on the RAM is kept for 15-30 seconds. The computer will wake in a very short time and you can resume from where you left off, as if it were never asleep.
Sleep mode continues to provide power to the machine, but not at the same rate as a fully active computer. The power supply will draw only a fraction of what the machine will draw when fully active.
Hibernation is the next step up in power consumption reduction, but it also takes a longer amount of time to resume. In this state, the data on the RAM is kept for up to three days. This can be useful if you need to shut down quickly but don't want to lose the information you were working on.
Shutting down completely turns off the hardware inside your computer. This prevents any kind of ambient current from being consumed by your machine, but it also takes the longest time to resume. You will lose all the data on the RAM and all the files on your hard drive unless you use an auxiliary power source. It is important to save all your files before shutting down, even if you are using a UPS.
How These Modes Affect Your Computer
The use of these three modes affects your computer differently. Sleep mode is the default state for every machine, but not many people use it. Hibernation mode is not widely implemented, but if you're going to use it, you should know what these two states do for your computer.
In terms of wear and tear, the sleep and hibernate modes will not have a big impact on the interior components of your computer. It has been proven that there are no changes in the life of those components.
The problem with shutting down a computer is that it takes much longer than sleep or hibernate to resume. The motherboard, the RAM, and the hard drives will all be affected by a long period of no usage.
The RAM will clear out all the open data and turn off the circuits. The hard drive will also turn off. This will reduce the total amount of power consumed by your computer, but it will also take a long time to resume.
The motherboard and the hard drives will be restored to their original state, but the RAM will take longer to load all the data.
As you can see, there are two factors to consider when deciding if it's a good idea to let your computer run 24/7. The first one is the wear and tear of your computer, the other one is the power consumption. The choice to sleep, hibernate, or shut down is yours!
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