Should I turn off my computer when it's not in use?

There is a lot of discussion about this question. Our opinion is that, unless there is some pressing need not to, it is usually best to turn off your computer if you are not using it. There are several reasons for this:

1) Computers are cooled by moving parts, namely the cooling fans in the computer case and the fan inside the power supply. Running a computer constantly makes these fans run constantly, which will wear them out faster, usually by 20%-30%.

2) Cooling fans tend to pull in dust from the surrounding air, most of which accumulates inside the computer case. Running these fans all the time increases the amount of dust that accumulates inside the computer.

3) Memory leakage. Applications and programs running under Windows use memory. After the programs are shut down, they SHOULD release this memory back to the computer to be used by other programs. The problem occurs when these programs do not release all of the memory, which is called memory leakage. The result is that your computer, if left on for extended periods of time, can run slower and slower, eventually crashing and requiring a reboot.

If you do need to run your computer all the time, it is recommended that you have sufficient cooling fans in your system to keep it cool. This may require installing a larger cooling fan in your computer case, or simply adding additional cooling fans (most cases have space for several fans.)