power management settings

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Old 10-29-04, 04:00 AM
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power management settings

Back again to glom off the expertise found here!

Recently, I entered into the modern computing and internet age with a new computer and a broadband connection.

The always on aspect of Broadband has incredibly altered my internet experience. I need some info, send an email, I just walk over, jiggle the mouse and I'm there...Amazing to me, likely yawn inspiring to y'all by now.

My concern here is whether my computer should be always on. After twenty minutes of inactivity my monitor is scheduled to cut out, but aside from that everything remains active. Should I schedule my hard drive to do the same? Should I utilize the standby option? What are the benefits of hibernation? There's alot of info out there about this tearing me in different directions. I have heard that one can even shorten the life of the computer by shutting it down and rebooting even once a day!? Also, does always on, create memory problems?

Can anyone offer a concise, no nonsense, uncontoversial perspective on this?

any response will be gratefully recieved!

E Green
 
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Old 10-29-04, 05:00 AM
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hi
i have dsl and my computer is always on
i would recommend you getting a firewall to protect from hackers
there a good one and it free it's sygate personnal firewall.
url http://www.sygate.com url
as for power setting i set all mine to never
cheers

pg
 
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Old 10-29-04, 05:05 AM
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Well, there has always been a lot of debate over shutting down every night or running 24/7. There are SOME things that will without a doubt have their life shortened, for instance the power supply and specifically the cooling fan IN the power supply since it runs at all times that the computer is on. One argument for & against deals with the effect of the mother board and its soldered connections being heated and cooled every time the computer is shutdown overnight (causing some expansion and retraction) versus having it stay at a relative constant temperature. I personally have been keeping mine on all the time with no ill effects for years. I reboot from time to time due to a hangup or error (I'm a dinosaur running 98SE still and often a reboot cleans things up). Think I have my power options set for powering off after one hour.

Hopefully you are using a good firewall with your braodband?
 
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Old 10-29-04, 05:07 AM
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I'm not sure that there is a non controversial answer.

When your computer is turned on it uses power. Whether it's in standby, hibernation, or whatever else it may be called, power is still consumed. The only way to use no power is to turn the computer off.

As you have discovered, you can reduce the amount of power used. Allowing the monitor to go dark reduces power. Allowing the hard drives to shut down reduces power. Standby reduces power use. However, all of these reductions in power are only reductions, they are not eliminations.

You need to analyze your usage and decide what you can live with. If you want to be able to go in and jiggle the mouse and be up and running in seconds then you cannot shut the computer off. If however you can afford to wait several minutes to use the computer and if you want to use as little power as possible then you need to shut your computer off.

Another thing to consider is security. I hope that with your broadband connection you also have a firewall. A computer that is turned on and connected to the Internet needs a firewall. A computer that is turned on can be hijacked, and used for any number of shady purposes. A computer that is turned off can't be. Alternately, you can disconnect from the Internet and leave the computer on.

The hardware itself also plays a roll. For example, newer monitors use less power and have automatic energy saving modes. When the signal disappears they automatically switch to using less power. Older monitors don't do this.

Nobody but you can decide what is right for you.

My personal strategy is to turn my computer on when I come home from work and turn it of before going to bed. On the weekends it runs all day and all night, performing various scheduled chores in the middle of the night(backup, complete virus scan, defrag, etc.). The video and monitor do shut down automatically when there is no user activity.
 
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Old 10-29-04, 05:52 AM
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Thanks all! All these good thoughts and free? Common, what's the catch? (HA!) I appreciate the input. I do have good, up to date firewall protection. I suppose I'll just go with leaving it on, perhaps utilizing the standby mode, with the knowedge that there are pro's and con's. I am at least confident that I am not commiting a grave error by doing so.

Thanks again!

E Green
 
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Old 10-29-04, 06:01 AM
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One final comment that was mentioned in passing. It is a good idea to reboot your PC periodically. With certain versions of Windows (95, 98, MyEnemy) this should be daily, with other versions of Windows (NT, 2000, XP) it does not need to be daily, but should be at least weekly.
 
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Old 10-29-04, 09:46 AM
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When I go to shut off my computer, I have mine setup to suspend (or I guess it could also be called hibernate - I never know which is correct) as opposed to standby. Everything powers down, and the computer is essentially off except for the small amount of power used to monitor the mouse port for activity. Then, when I'm ready to use it again, a quick double click brings everything back to life, and I'm back to the desktop within 3 or 4 seconds (no booting).

Most motherboards let you change the way your computer behaves when you shut it down.

I'm not so concerned about thermal contraction and expansion damaging my coimponents, as most people tend to upgrade their computers well before this kind of thing becomes an issue.

Aside from hard disks and other mechanical devices, I've only once had a componet go bad on me - a power supply, but I attribute that more to the fact that it was a cheap POS unit.
 
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