How often do you shut down and turn on a desktop mac?

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So, I've owned a mac mini 2014 (1.4 ghz) for a month now, and as I usually did for my old PC, I generally start up my machine in the morning, do some stuff, shut down when I head off to work, come back 10 hours later and boot up again, do some work, and shut off when going to bed.

Is this okay? Ought one to leave it running, reboot once a week or something? I know some people might do that for start-up speed reasons (my wife, for example, as a PC, and turns it on once in the morning and leave it on all day, until she goes to bed; it takes forever to boot up). But the start up is SO fast on my mac that I don't feel that's an issue.

However, I would like to use the equipment properly, or at least, well. For example, I never shut off the iPad and iPhone; once a month or so, maybe, or has updates and such demand. Otherwise, I don't bother, and I don't see a drop in performance. But for a desktop mac...yeah, what's the deal? Or with the mac mini specifically?
 

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My reasons for shutting down a computer - any computer:

Some update requires a restart to complete the installation.

It could benefit from a restart to clear the memory - this is rare. (I have to power down my iPhone more often than my computers for this reason.)

It is not going to be used for 2-3 or more days. (I really only do this at the office. I also shut down the office computers the day the cleaning crew comes in. I don't bother going around and shutting down all the computers in the house unless I plan on being gone for a week.)


edit:
The whole question of how often to shut down came from the early computing days (think 20 - 30+ years ago) when there was a much bigger concern about the expansion & contraction due to heating and cooling of the parts that occurs from shutting down and restarting the equipment. I don't believe this to be as big a concern with todays machines as it was then and probably wasn't as big a concern as it was made out to be even back then.

Today, I don't really make recommendations one way or the other. If someone is turning a machine on and off 3-4-5 times a day - I would probably say stop doing that. You want to turn it off and are willing to wait for it to reboot every time you sit down at it once or twice a day, likely that is not an issue.

I'm ready for my computers to turn on "now" when I sit down at them. At the office, I need to go in, turn it on and then have time to go grab a cup of coffee while I'm waiting for the thing to start up. That's just not happening at home and as old as a few of my computers are, that have been running 24/7 for years, I see no reason to change. I have one overclocked rig that's been running 24/7 for 12+ years now with only a GPU and a hard drive upgrade.
 
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pigoo3

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So, I've owned a mac mini 2014 (1.4 ghz) for a month now, and as I usually did for my old PC, I generally start up my machine in the morning, do some stuff, shut down when I head off to work, come back 10 hours later and boot up again, do some work, and shut off when going to bed.

Is this okay? Ought one to leave it running, reboot once a week or something?

Put it to sleep when not using it.

- Nick
 

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I leave my machines running for months on end unless there's an update that has to happen or if I'm going away for an extended period of time.

Either let the computer sleep on its own or put into sleep before going away.

The thing you'll find with OS X, generally, is that it doesn't seem to get slow with extended usage as Windows can easily do.

Now there is nothing wrong is turning off the machine and turning it back on when you need it, either. Just know that you don't have to do that..
 
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Just another 'thumbs up' for leaving your computer on - have owned an iMac & MBPro for two years now, and they are on 24/7 and simply go into sleep mode - as already mentioned, a re-boot may be required for certain updates/upgrades.

However, when we are away (take a lot of 2-5 day trips in retirement) from the house, I will shut down both computers. Dave :)
 

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However, when we are away (take a lot of 2-5 day trips in retirement) from the house, I will shut down both computers.

This is what I do as well. In fact…I unplug them just in case of electrical problems (especially during "thunderstorm season").

- Nick
 

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The short consensus from the four of you chimes with my practice. Just out of sheer curiosity, when you leave your Macs running 24/7, what time interval do you choose for putting the Mac to sleep?

In my case (iMac), I choose 10 minutes for the screen and 45 minutes for the computer. This is not based on science! It just sort of seems right given the frequency of usage during the day. What's your stratagem?

Ian
 
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On my iMac, reboot when necessary with a software update or when thunderstorms are rampant living in the sub-tropics. Manually sleep by pressing the power button when not in use. Keyboard and trackpad sleep automatically to save battery power.
 
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I used to leave my imac on all the time. But since i installed an ssd I now turn it off at night as it only takes approx 7 secs to boot. Figured might as well save the electricity
 
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The short consensus from the four of you chimes with my practice. Just out of sheer curiosity, when you leave your Macs running 24/7, what time interval do you choose for putting the Mac to sleep?

In my case (iMac), I choose 10 minutes for the screen and 45 minutes for the computer. This is not based on science! It just sort of seems right given the frequency of usage during the day. What's your stratagem?

Hi Ian - I have my MBPro & iMac set to 10 minutes for screen & 15 minutes for sleep - I have enabled 'Power Nap' on my laptop but not on the iMac - assume that slight variations in these time choices really make little difference - and don't know how much advantage 'Power Nap' would have on an iMac plugged into AC? Dave :)
 
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I used to leave my imac on all the time. But since i installed an ssd I now turn it off at night as it only takes approx 7 secs to boot. Figured might as well save the electricity

Well, probably just a moot point - the amount of electricity used by a modern 'sleeping' computer is now pretty minuscule vs. whether powering up & down a SSD daily would cause damage and early failure? - I still like the convenience of 24/7 when at home - :) Dave
 

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Just for the heck of it I thought that I would do the math for the amount of energy used by a 27" iMac sleeping for a year.:)

From this 2013 document (below) it states that a 27" iMac while sleeping consumes roughly 1 watt (actually 0.96-0.98 of a watt)...while sleeping.

https://www.apple.com/environment/reports/docs/27inch_iMac_product_environmental_report_sept2013.pdf

Doing the math...a 27" iMac sleeping for a year would consume (at 1 watt/hour) 8760 watts...or 8.760 kilowatts. FYI...there are 8760 hours in 1 year.:)

At my particular electricity rate here in the United States...I pay roughly 5.5 cents/kilowatt hour.

Thus 5.5 cents/kilowatt hour x 8.760 kilowatt hours = 48.18 cents/year

So at my electricity rate...it would cost me 48.18 cents/year to let a 27" iMac sleep for 365 days straight. Not too bad.:)

- Nick

p.s. Of course this cost will vary depending on each individuals electricity rate.:)
 

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For my MBP on AC power, display sleep after 1 Hr and computer sleep after 2 Hrs. On battery, display sleep after 30 min and computer sleep after 1 Hr. Wake for network access is ON because CCC is set to wake for backups.
Screen Saver kicks in after 15 min or I start it with hot corner if I'm leaving the office for any reason.
Other than updates that require it, or to transport it I never turn it off. 2.5 years old now, did the same with my old MBP sold it fully functional at 5 years old.:D
 
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mine only gets shut down when leaving it for a long time (holidays) or when it needs a restart to implement a software update
 
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Just for the heck of it I thought that I would do the math for the amount of energy used by a 27" iMac sleeping for a year.:)

...................................

Thus 5.5 cents/kilowatt hour x 8.760 kilowatt hours = 48.18 cents/year

Hi Nick - thanks for the calculations - I was going to compare the cost to running a light bulb for a year, so looked up a chart which is shown below - we are pretty much converted to CFL and now adding some LEDs - for a 65W CFL equivalent about $4/year & nearly $2/year for a LED light - my wife leaves lights on all of the time, so keeping her iMac on 24/7 is the least of my electrical dilemmas - ;) Dave

.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 12.31.37 PM.png
 
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So, I've owned a mac mini 2014 (1.4 ghz) for a month now, and as I usually did for my old PC, I generally start up my machine in the morning, do some stuff, shut down when I head off to work, come back 10 hours later and boot up again, do some work, and shut off when going to bed.

Is this okay?

Yeah, it's fine. I've been doing much the same thing with my Mini which is 7 years older than yours. Still running, though Firefox is a bit balky, Safari won't run at all (OS 10.6.8) - not that this is relevant to the topic.

I do usually leave it on for 28 hours or so once a week. I don't force it to go to sleep, I just get up and walk away.
 

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Just for the heck of it I thought that I would do the math for the amount of energy used by a 27" iMac sleeping for a year.:)

From this 2013 document (below) it states that a 27" iMac while sleeping consumes roughly 1 watt (actually 0.96-0.98 of a watt)...while sleeping.

https://www.apple.com/environment/reports/docs/27inch_iMac_product_environmental_report_sept2013.pdf

Doing the math...a 27" iMac sleeping for a year would consume (at 1 watt/hour) 8760 watts...or 8.760 kilowatts. FYI...there are 8760 hours in 1 year.:)

At my particular electricity rate here in the United States...I pay roughly 5.5 cents/kilowatt hour.

Thus 5.5 cents/kilowatt hour x 8.760 kilowatt hours = 48.18 cents/year

So at my electricity rate...it would cost me 48.18 cents/year to let a 27" iMac sleep for 365 days straight. Not too bad.:)

- Nick

p.s. Of course this cost will vary depending on each individuals electricity rate.:)
Don't forget vampire power in there as well which means that powered off devices, in still using energy, make the cost of leaving them asleep relatively cheaper than 48 cents a year. (Or I could be way off - electricity is still magic to me).
 

pigoo3

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Don't forget vampire power in there as well which means that powered off devices, in still using energy, make the cost of leaving them asleep relatively cheaper than 48 cents a year. (Or I could be way off - electricity is still magic to me).

You are not way off at all.:)

In the Apple document linked in my earlier post which provided the approx. 1 watt/hour of energy use while a 27" iMac was sleeping. It also mentioned that when turned completely off (but still plugged in)…the "Vampire Power" was approx. 0.25 watts/hour.

This roughly means that the vampire power is about 25% of the "sleep power" consumption. Using the 48 cents/year value…48 cents x .25 = 12 cents.

So the vampire power is 12 cents per year (the cost of leaving a 27" iMac plugged in for one year and never actually powering it on).

- Nick

p.s. Again…the energy cost calculations are based on my electric rate of 5.5 cents/kilowatt-hour.
 

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That number's actually much higher than I would have imagined relative to sleep usage. I'm surprised that it's as high as 25%.
 

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