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docta13

Uninterruptible Power Supply

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I don't know much about using a UPS on a computer, but I do know that is good for protecting your PC from power surges and whatnot. Does anyone here have any experience with using a UPS and is worth buying? Thanks!

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It is worth buying, and it is worth paying more for a better one. Buy one at the $100 (USD) pricepoint and you can't go wrong. Good brands: APC, Tripp-lite. I'd stay away from anything that costs $50 (USD) or less, unless it was some blowout sale at newegg.com or something. The higher the "VA" rating/number you can get, the better.

 

Not only do they protect you against brown and black-outs, but they are also power conditioners, and will clean noise and other abberations from the power you are currently receiving.

 

UPSes should be used for more than computers: any place where you have expensive equipment you want to protect, or places where there is a lot of power consumption (like an entertainment center, where the TV, VCR, Playstation, stereo, etc are all plugged in) you should use a UPS.

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Yea definitely a good idea in suggesting to use a UPS for all major home electronics....but I'm most concerned about my PC. And for the money reason, I am looking to only get one for my PC at the moment.

 

I was looking at newegg and found some decent prices. But what I really need to know is what is the minimum VA rating I should be looking at for using a UPS on a modern PC? Basically I just want the best bang for the buck sort of thing, because I honestly really do care about maintaining my computer.....otherwise I wouldn't even be inquiring about a UPS :D

 

 

oh and I had one other question about using a UPS. I know that a UPS saves your computer from a burning up its internals in a power outage, and it only keeps your computer on for a matter of minutes. But if you aren't there during the power outtage, what if the UPS runs out of power? what will it do then? Will it safely shut of your computer and prevent any damage? Because I want to make sure the whole point of a UPS is to prevent any power surge damage EVER....

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You can get UPSs that do hook up to your computer through ethernet (mine does). I got a Blackout Bluster (bought it from Tiger Direct a few years ago). I paid $99 for it.

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As has been already said, definitely get an UPS. I have an APC Smartups1000I I purchased about 1 1/2 years ago, and it has 8 inputs which I hook my Mac, My PC, soundcard, and some synths on to and she cooks with gas. Heaps of headroom.(About 20 minutes uptime) Heres some more points you might want to consider.

 

- if you are in a rural area, and/or live in an area prone to electrical storms, I would make this a matter of urgency.

- Make sure you "size" your components that you want to protect. I found websites that had a feature where they would help you to size your gear according to things like, How much grunt your CPU has, Number of HDDS etc.

- Do your homework on these things, and learn what they do and how they operate. Learn how to best avoid deep draining the battery which can cost an arm and a leg and a years wages!!!! :blink: (well not really but theyre NOT cheap)....

 

"But if you aren't there during the power outtage, what if the UPS runs out of power? what will it do then? Will it safely shut of your computer and prevent any damage? Because I want to make sure the whole point of a UPS is to prevent any power surge damage EVER...."

 

Some UPS' have shutdown software that come with them. You might wanna look carefully at this to ensure compatibility with your system too. To me its not that big of a deal as Im never far from my computer when its on. As such, I havent bothered installing the SW. Your needs look to be different from what you say. An UPS is not gonna do any good at all if, say, youve got 7-10 minutes of uptime, but youre not there to manually shut it down, and with no software to "gracefully" shutdown your computer for you. Thats the main purpose of an UPS, to gracefully shut down your system. Its either done manually OR by software.

 

- I know as technology gets better and better, things may have considerably improved since I got my UPS. They didnt all have features that may be counted as standard nowadays, so just in case, I would highly recommend one that gives off an audible alarm.

 

-As was mentioned earlier, a decent UPS can clean up your power from "line noise" and harmonics and such, and these are VERY destructive to the delicate componentry inside our 'puters and the like. Ironically computers themselves are said to exacerbate the problem of the above, so, its worth while getting a decent UPS, but OTH dont oversize either. These things can range greatly in price too. By and large though, you'll get what you pay for.

 

Just as a matter of interest, as I understand it, its not the actual " hard cycling off" that hurts the computer, its when the power comes back on, that does the damage, as you are more likely to have things like power surges, and these are BAD especially when the power alternates quickly between being on and off, as can sometimes happen.

 

HTHs and all the best in your decision.

Musical.

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I know nobody with UPS, I dont think many home-users do use it, I think it is more corporate uses who use it such as for servers and things.

 

Also, I guess it depends where you live too, example if you live in an own house then it might be needed but if you live in an appartment in a big house complex then probably not very needed.

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I have one just in case the power ever goes out, that way I can save whatever I'm working on and look at the weather if need be.

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if you live in an own house then it might be needed but if you live in an apartment in a big house complex then probably not very needed.
This is not a good rule of thumb at all. Apartments that share electrical lines between tenants are less prone to lightning strikes and brownouts than homeowners?

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This is not a good rule of thumb at all.  Apartments that share electrical lines between tenants are less prone to lightning strikes and brownouts than homeowners?

 

 

 

 

I think that people who live in a house that they own themself are more likely to get power problems.

 

When you live in an appartment in a big house, (I live in a 13 floor building) it most likely have something that leads the thunder to the ground and protects the house from electrical problems.

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Yea definitely a good idea in suggesting to use a UPS for all major home electronics....but I'm most concerned about my PC.  And for the money reason, I am looking to only get one for my PC at the moment. 

 

I was looking at newegg and found some decent prices.  But what I really need to know is what is the minimum VA rating I should be looking at for using a UPS on a modern PC?  Basically I just want the best bang for the buck sort of thing, because I honestly really do care about maintaining my computer.....otherwise I wouldn't even be inquiring about a UPS  :D

oh and I had one other question about using a UPS.  I know that a UPS saves your computer from a burning up its internals in a power outage, and it only keeps your computer on for a matter of minutes.  But if you aren't there during the power outtage, what if the UPS runs out of power?  what will it do then?  Will it safely shut of your computer and prevent any damage?  Because I want to make sure the whole point of a UPS is to prevent any power surge damage EVER....

I have a APC ups and it works great. It has a USB cord that connects to my tower that lets the computer monitor the battery charge. If you are running XP, there is no need to load the software that comes with the ups as XP has Power Options in the Control Panel that will let you set the computer to shut down after the ups has kicked in.

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Sorry for bringing this old thread back to life, but there are a few issues I want to iron out before I go about purchasing my UPS. I need this UPS mainly just for a PC (2.66 ghz CPU, 1 gb RAM) and a 17" LCD. I've tried using APC's UPS selector online but it gives me varying options as far as what strength UPS I need to buy. I hear I need at least one with a 500VA rating.....would this be sufficient for my needs? And how long would the battery generally last? I don't want to buy something where I'll just need to replace the battery in a year.

 

I also heard that instead of buying a UPS and having to replace the batteries at some point....to just go ahead and buy a more powerful surge protector, since all I am really trying to do with this equipment is prevent a power surge that will hurt the insides of my computer. What route do you think I should go?

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UPS systems also protect against power sags/brownouts/blackouts, which are more likely to happen to you [and more likely to damage your computer] than any surge. Most modern electrical systems come with GFI, but they don't protect you against sudden drops, which kill power supplies, modems, etc. A UPS [which also CLEANSES dirty power signals] will protect you from sags, spikes, and dirty power.

 

500VA sounds okay, but the higher the VA, the better.

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Hey doc,

DjLizard is right. The higher the VA the better. On the average computer, 500VA should give you around 20-25 minutes of power.

My local power grid sucks, MY lights dim when someone on the next block turns on their electric toothbrush. That's the main reason I got a UPS, to filter the power. If cash is a problem just get what you can afford. Any UPS is better than a surge protector alone. I'm running a 2.7Gig HP with a 17" monitor on a APC 350VA and have it set to do a controlled shutdown 1 minute after the UPS kicks in. I had a CyberPower 300VA that lasted 4 years. The electronics gave out from repeated surges, voltage drops, etc. but the battery was still good.

Here's a tip for you. Reserve one outlet on the battery side for a cordless phone. Then if the power goes out during a electrical storm, you can still use the cordless and not worry about a lightning strike knocking your shorts off.

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Hey doc,

If cash is a problem just get what you can afford. Any UPS is better than a surge protector alone.

 

 

 

Sniper,

 

I agree with you 100%!

 

I am old enough to remember a Fram oil filter commercial that the guy said " you can pay me now or pay me later", he said that in reference to not getting a filter with the oil change in order to save a little money. In the long run if you end up burning up your computer, it would have been much wiser to have gotten the UPS.

 

So as you said a cheaper one is better than none, but is important is to get one. The question is do you want to spend the money for a UPS now or a computer later?

 

Have a good day,

Normandie

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