The only thing that makes me not say off right away is that the computer takes some level of wear and tear on start-ups in particular. Though energy consumption is way better off, even better if you can switch the surge protector that most things are plugged into off. So all things considered, I would have to say off – I use to hibernate, but now I feel better about it. Also, use the laptop if you can instead.
This depends on your use and convenience. The absolute best way to stop energy consumption or vampiric leakage is to turn off your computer and then shut off the power strip it is attached to. Hibernation should only be used in the short term if you need access to the computer again within an hour or so. This is because it still uses up electricity, albiet a lot less than when on full throttle or in standby mode.
Note: I am speaking about desktop computers. Notebooks use a lot less energy and can handle hibernation.
Generally, it’s better to turn off your computer completely after you’re finished using it. Some people like to keep their computers on because they believe that turning it on and off somehow stresses the components of the computer. For example, while my computer is running the CPU chip can get very hot, and when I turn off the computer it cools down. This rapid heating and cooling could have an effect on the chip and the solder joints holding it together. However, if computers were significantly stressed by being powered on and off, machines would be failing all over the place, not to mention that a computer that is designed to not be able to handle that is a pretty weak machine. For long periods of time during which you won’t be using your computer, I say go ahead and shut it down.
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