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Old 2005-08-21, 13:25   #4
Peter Nelson
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Oct 2004

21116 Posts

Your computer lifetime is shortened simply by switching it on (or repeatedly switching it off and on). eg your hard drive is only specified for a finite number of starts and restarts.

If your friend is concerned about the severe stress Prime95 will give the cpu, he could configure it using the throttle function which will cause LESS stress than full on. Also you can configure it to write to disk less often.

They should also be aware that their electricity bill will increase (the computer will likely consume about double the power as sitting idle - this can be measured), although their heating bill should correspondingly decrease (during winter months).

As Paul says, the reduced lifetime of a CPU is not likely to overlap with the "normal" retirement end-of-life timescale when the machine is obsolete anyway.

If they were to also overclock their machine, then they would be in danger of moving that into the region of the usable lifetime of the computer.

Fans and psus and hard drives often fail anyway, so such failure should not necessarily be attributed to the fact the prime95 was running.
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