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Old 2005-08-21, 00:44   #1
Zeta-Flux's Avatar
May 2003

7·13·17 Posts
Default Does running GIMPS hurt your computer?

I'm trying to convince my friend that he should run GIMPS on his computer. He is worried that it will wear out his computer. How much wear and tear will running GIMPS do to his computer?

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Old 2005-08-21, 09:19   #2
xilman's Avatar
May 2003
Down not across

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Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux
I'm trying to convince my friend that he should run GIMPS on his computer. He is worried that it will wear out his computer. How much wear and tear will running GIMPS do to his computer?

The extra heat dissipation will probably make it wear out more quickly, though not by very much.

I'm in the habit of running machines continually for years on end. The lifetime is probably reduced but not by so much that I notice, by and large. The biggest losers seem to be motherboard fans (cpu & chipset) which tend to die after three or four years. As for the cpu, my overclocked PentiumPro-233 is still going strong, even though it is about 10 years old and has needed two replacement cpu fans in that time. If running it continually has reduced the machine's lifespan from, say, 25 years to 15 years I can't honestly say I'm worried.

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Old 2005-08-21, 12:01   #3
Jun 2005

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Indeed the biggest problem is replacing fans, but if your running the machine 24/7 then you probably need to replace just as often anyway. Personally I go through a power supply every 2 years and one other fan (CPU, GPU, Northbridge) every two.
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Old 2005-08-21, 13:25   #4
Peter Nelson
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Oct 2004

232 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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Old 2005-08-22, 15:25   #5
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May 2003

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Thanks for the responses.
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