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How do I decide what kind of UPS to get?

RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
I need to get a UPS but do not know how to decide on what is right for me. What criteria should I consider?

RoyceSraphim on

Posts

  • BgrngodBgrngod Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    It all depends on what kind of hardware you are planning on juicing.

    If you have to ask your question, then I am guessing you aren't running some monster tri-SLI rig with a RAID array or anythig. Most likely you would be fine just getting something with the same Wattage rating your current PSU has, unless you just did some upgrades that are prompting your desire to get a new one.

    Do you want a PSU that you can use in the future when you upgrade to a new mobo or something?

    EDIT: Ah wait... you said UPS. I'm totally useless. Eh, for a UPS, since I've never bought one, I'd guess that you just need to consider how long you need to maintain power after an outage. How long does it take to safely shutdown what you have running on it? And how much hardware are you going to have it keep powered up? Don't go using a 300W UPS to keep 3 computers running or something.

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  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I have a 750 corsair power supply and I will probably get a midrange card in february, probably a 8800gt or 4850. The only other thing I forsee keeping plugged in that UPS would be a printer and a router that would later be replaced by a wireless routerer.

    So I should base my purchase on the power supply of whatever PC I have and a combination of whatever else i plug into that UPS? My main concern is providing better protection than a surge protector to prevent whatever power spikes that killed my motherboard and the other computer from killing this new one.

    RoyceSraphim on
  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I don't know if it's possible, but see if the UPS that you get will have an option to filter the power first instead of just switching to battery when needed.

    archonwarp on
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  • FaceballMcDougalFaceballMcDougal Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    http://www.apcc.com/sizing/

    Great tool - actually used it to determine our requirements for a 10k VA system at our new location

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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I noticed you were talking about printers!

    You should not hook up a laser printer to a UPS! Also, I don't know why you would want to plug a printer in - the purpose of the UPS is to give you enough juice to shut down your computer, not to keep messing around with stuff.

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  • archonwarparchonwarp Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    I noticed you were talking about printers!

    You should not hook up a laser printer to a UPS! Also, I don't know why you would want to plug a printer in - the purpose of the UPS is to give you enough juice to shut down your computer, not to keep messing around with stuff.

    I think he wants the power filtered because of dirty power in his computer area. I had a similar problem (in spoilers).
    My power was dirty and it kept blowing the power adapter on my cable modem. My provider wouldn't believe me that the signal was dropping because it would lose just enough power to stop sending a receiving for 30 seconds on my end, but would hold a signal with them. I figured out that the outlet had shitty wiring after I got to talk to a guy at the company who was a gamer that had seen similar frustrations in the past.
    I don't know if they make consumer-grade UPS systems that will filter the power first then run it back out to you. If they do, get one of those. Also, why not hook up a laser printer to a UPS?

    archonwarp on
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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Laser printers use a shit-ton of power, and everything I've read about UPS's says that you shouldn't hook one up to a UPS.

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  • steeefsteeef Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Laser printers use a shit-ton of power, and everything I've read about UPS's says that you shouldn't hook one up to a UPS.
    This. All APC UPS units we have at work specifically state not to hook up a laser printer to it. We've done this accidently in the past, and the UPS will beep as the printer warms up.

    steeef on
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  • That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I picked up the 1200VA APS UPS a while ago on sale for $130. I had a shitty little 450VA UPS before that and and it just wasn't cutting it. I have 2 computers, my router and my cable modem running on the battery ports and the rest of my stuff daisy chained off of the non-battery ports. I went with it because the breaker all of the outlets in my place are hooked up to really can't take all my electronics at once and gets tripped all the time. I am able to go a solid 20 minutes with just the 2 PCs hooked up. Having LCDs makes all the difference in the world there.

    That_Guy on
  • darkgruedarkgrue Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    steeef wrote: »
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Laser printers use a shit-ton of power, and everything I've read about UPS's says that you shouldn't hook one up to a UPS.
    This. All APC UPS units we have at work specifically state not to hook up a laser printer to it. We've done this accidently in the past, and the UPS will beep as the printer warms up.

    You will eventually seriously damage your UPS if you run a laser printer through it (to the point where it is a fire hazard). The fuser takes a LOT of juice, the UPS can't handle it. My laser trips UPSes on the same circuit to switch to battery, in fact.

    You should be able to run it through the surge-only outlets that most UPSes have (the surge-only outlets don't run through the battery), but I think most UPS manuals are pretty specific about just not plugging it into them at all, and don't distinguish. If you make a warranty claim, it may make all the difference.

    If you have poor power quality (surges and dips), what you want is a line conditioner, which is basically built around (usually) a big iron-core transformer. Which is big and bulky and heavy. These are also the sorts of things that aren't sold at your typical big-box store. Line conditioners can handle laser printers, but you must choose one with the appropriate Watt capacity. You will need a pretty grunty one to handle the laser's warmup, and they're not inexpensive devices. Expect to pay around $180 for a 1200 Watt model (be careful about shipping costs because of the weight, a shop that offers free shipping could be an important purchasing factor). Tripp-Lite is a good brand.

    As for selecting a UPS, choose one that can handle the wattage of equipment you're hooking up to it. After a certain point, extra VA rating is only going to get you a small amount of additional runtime, and is probably not worth it to you. You're looking for time to do an orderly shutdown, not continue to play Crysis for an hour. The only feature you want to look for is Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR), which basically means the load is always running off the battery. It's harder on the battery, but it means that over- and under-voltage conditions are all taken out. Even cheap UPSes seem to have this feature now, so pretty much anything you choose ought to meet that. Other than that, make sure it comes with software for your OS. The Cyperpower UPSes are cheap (I think both Best Buy and Staples carry these), but appear to work just fine. APC is pretty well-known, but they have a huge premium on their name. Costco has a pretty nice Tripp-Lite unit that they almost always have in stock that runs around $99, I think.

    Keep in mind that batteries do go bad, and must be replaced periodically (figure 3 years-ish). They almost always use standard sealed lead-acid batteries. I've found that it's pure insanity to buy the batteries from the manufacturer. I replaced all my APC batteries off of eBay from US-based vendors and saved a TON of money.

    darkgrue on
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Gigabyte GA-M61P-s3

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ Brisbane 2.5GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor

    CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX 520W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

    COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower

    This is my build and my monitor is an emachine 786n scavenged off another machine I will repair in the future. There is no video card but I will get a 4850 when that supposed price drop comes in February. That being said, with just the monitor and the hard drive plugged into the UPS, would 600V be enough?

    edit: I tried using the sizing link from earlier but it first gave me a $140 model and now it gave me one that cost twice what it took to build this rig.

    RoyceSraphim on
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