Can, should, iMac stay on 24/7 ?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
I'm curious if there would be any negatives to leaving an iMac on for days at a time. I've done a day or two so far, it doesn't seem to get much warmer than usual. Has anyone had any long term experiences with this?



Thanks.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    debenmdebenm Posts: 99member
    I use to keep my old G5 on for weeks at a time with no problem ~ I would just put it to sleep... always worked great!
  • Reply 2 of 12
    bobertoqbobertoq Posts: 172member
    I never turn off my MacBook or my desktops. (My desktops are, sadly, PC's) and they work fine. I probably should turn my MacBook off, but I'm never turning my PC's off... they take at least 5 minutes to boot but my Macbook takes less then 40 seconds.



    Not sure how it would work out for an iMac. The iMac is made of laptop parts (right?) so I don't see what could go wrong, but since it's an all-in-one machine, i think it would get rather warm.
  • Reply 3 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,782moderator
    When a computer isn't used, it goes into low power mode so it won't heat up unless an application is left running and uses a lot of CPU or the hard drive is constantly reading/writing.



    Modern computers and especially OS X are designed to be left on - OS X performs cleanup tasks at 3am by default, such as cleaning out your temp folders and rotating log files. If your computer isn't on, it can't do these things. This includes being asleep.



    So you can even leave the computer on and not have the drive spin down at all if you like. The big problem with the iMac here is that you can't manually turn off the display. I don't know why Apple couldn't put a software feature in to do this or an extra button somewhere.
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The big problem with the iMac here is that you can't manually turn off the display. I don't know why Apple couldn't put a software feature in to do this or an extra button somewhere.



    Display sleep?... It's in system prefs, you can set the delay as you see fit.
  • Reply 5 of 12
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,782moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    Display sleep?... It's in system prefs, you can set the delay as you see fit.



    Yeah but say you want your display off quickly, you have to set it to a low value to sleep. But this makes your display go off quickly when you don't want it to, so you have to go and increase it again. Then when you want it off, you have to go back and put it down. Apple should have made a menu item in the apple menu that says put the display to sleep now. That way you can have your display sleep prefs how you like all the time.



    Even with the slider, you still have to wait a minute until it goes off and it's so annoying when you accidentally hit the mouse button and have to wait on it again.
  • Reply 6 of 12
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Yeah but say you want your display off quickly, you have to set it to a low value to sleep. But this makes your display go off quickly when you don't want it to, so you have to go and increase it again. Then when you want it off, you have to go back and put it down. Apple should have made a menu item in the apple menu that says put the display to sleep now. That way you can have your display sleep prefs how you like all the time.



    Yep, this is a problem. The only way I have found to do this in OS X without extra utilities is to assign Sleep Display into a hot corner in Expose preferences.



    I'd also like a screensaver that shuts off the screen. Any graphic screensaver makes the integrated graphics chip scream, and using a screensaver instead of just sleeping the display allows for password protection.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    bclapperbclapper Posts: 237member
    Yeah, the "Sleep Display" Hot Corner is a good option.

    I use it quite a bit when I'm out of the room and encoding video but want to check up now and again
  • Reply 8 of 12
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    I don't know any hard numbers, but I'd imagine letting your Mac sleep when you're not using it would lower your power bill each month. My wife and I sleep our PM G5 during the day while at work and overnight while we're asleep.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    You'll save a quarter of a lightbulb's worth of power, maybe. The only things that are running in the idle iMac compared to a sleeping iMac are the chipset and the processor. Both engage automatic power saving, underclocking, etc. automatically and are mobile parts to begin with.



    Sleeping the PM G5 is worth a lot more.



    Then again, no "wasted power" is wasted at times when you are heating the house (using a thermostat).
  • Reply 10 of 12
    polvadispolvadis Posts: 87member
    Thank you all for the info. I've been rendering some 3D landscape movies and doing some AVI conversions for the past 6 days and so far no problems. It's also why "sleeping it" is not an option, most of the time it's working on something. But it's not always cranking either; once it's done it waits for me to change one thing and starts all over again, but the computer stays on and that's why I asked.



    I have to admit that I am using the Windows boot to run Natural Scene Designer, but I am impressed that it works smoother on the Windows iMac than on my AMD machine.



    Thanks again.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    My work computers I leave on all the time and I have no issues, I do have the monitor turn off after an 30 minutes however, we also set that as the standard for all of our school computers as well and have no issues with them as well.
  • Reply 12 of 12
    zinfellazinfella Posts: 877member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    When a computer isn't used, it goes into low power mode so it won't heat up unless an application is left running and uses a lot of CPU or the hard drive is constantly reading/writing.



    Modern computers and especially OS X are designed to be left on - OS X performs cleanup tasks at 3am by default, such as cleaning out your temp folders and rotating log files. If your computer isn't on, it can't do these things. This includes being asleep.




    Not exactly. It is true that modern OSen are designed to do some maintenance in the wee hours. But, if the computer is not on at that time, then the OS will do those same maintenance tasks at the first opportunity once it is turned on. Alternatively, one can use programs like MacJanitor, or Leopard Cache Cleaner. Those programs let you run maintenance jobs at will, and LCC has other features well.
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