Could TR do a UPS review?

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Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:07 pm

given that computers in general are made up of MANY sensitive electronic parts, most people should have their computer hooked up to some kind of UPS.

that said, it's often overlooked/forgotten by most people. they just stick it on a surge protector, and that's it. it should be an invaluable part of any setup.

there's a couple things i'd like to see out of this review:
- the effect of step wave vs simulated sine vs true sine wave UPSes on a PSU's output, ripple, and efficiency. hopefully TR can do it with more than 1 PSU (preferably from different OEMs) to see if different brands handle it better or worse.
- actual time you have to shut down an "average" build (probably the sweet spot build from TR's guide)
- a recommendation!

does anyone else think that this is worth doing/reading?
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:18 pm

I don't, then again my area isn't really known for brownouts. They're not really useful for blackouts, most software keeps a current draft of what you're working on on the HDD, and systems recover from power outages fairly well. Frequent, short brownouts are where you need them.You just keep going like nothing ever happened.

It really bugs me that you can use them serially.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:20 pm

It's a bit far away from TR's current focus, but the TR method would certainly produce one of the most reliable and informative reviews on the subject. I personally live in New York City where we probably have the most stable power grid in the country, and therefore do not use a UPS. I'd still read the review, though, out of curiosity.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:24 pm

I'd read the review. But how expensive and complicated is the equipment that's needed to analyze the step/sine waves? Does DamageLabs have that equipment?
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:32 pm

willyolio wrote:that said, it's often overlooked/forgotten by most people. they just stick it on a surge protector, and that's it. it should be an invaluable part of any setup.
Worse yet, they buy crappy surge protector which is more like a nicer-packed powerbar. :-?

FireGryphon wrote:I personally live in New York City where we probably have the most stable power grid in the country, and therefore do not use a UPS.
Except when you were on August 14th, 2003. :P :lol:
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:34 pm

I think this is very important, and data loss isn't the only reason you don't want your computer suddenly powering off, especially if you're using windows.

good, clean power has got to increase the life of electronic components, particularly if you're overclocking and increasing the voltage. what good is an expensive PSU if the power going into it isn't consistent?
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:38 pm

wibeasley wrote:I'd read the review. But how expensive and complicated is the equipment that's needed to analyze the step/sine waves? Does DamageLabs have that equipment?

If they're measuring the ripple current in the PSU reviews, I'd think that they already have an oscilloscope handy. Besides, The Beast would just love to load down a UPS to check battery lifetime.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:18 am

I haven't used a UPS since I bought my 2nd computer back in 2004. *shrug*
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:54 am

FWIW, I like this idea. :D
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:21 pm

It sounds very interesting to me. Perhaps of great value would be a nice little "mini guide" section to the thing - things you need to know type of stuff.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:03 pm

It all sounds interesting, but I really can't see TR doing UPS reviews. It's not that I believe that they can't, but that I feel their resources could be better used on reviewing other products within their core competence, or dealing with other issues more directly related to computer hardware (i.e. where's that mythical gap between when you should upgrade your GPU vs. upgrading your CPU).

I also feel the need to point out that doing a quick google search, I can't seem to find and technical reviews / comparisons of UPS units. All the reviews I see are basically feature and / management software comparisons. No electrical performance measures. Maybe it's a way for TR to stand out. Alternatively, it's just too difficult to do it.

Just my $0.02
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:39 pm

emorgoch wrote:It all sounds interesting, but I really can't see TR doing UPS reviews. It's not that I believe that they can't, but that I feel their resources could be better used on reviewing other products within their core competence, or dealing with other issues more directly related to computer hardware (i.e. where's that mythical gap between when you should upgrade your GPU vs. upgrading your CPU).


And why wouldn't UPS's be in their "core competence"? How much competence do you need to review a UPS? It's like any other electrical device. And to answer the second part of the paragraph, if you read TR's reviews, they answer that mythical question in pretty much every CPU/GPU review.

I think it's a great idea TR! Go go go!
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:05 pm

I am most definately for a review in this topic. I am very interested in purchasing one and would like to come here for an answer (comparison of brands and what to look for). I can then make a knowledgable recommendation to my family members in the Bahamas, where blackouts are a multi-weekly occurance.

I knwo there are other sites out there that may deal with stuff like this, but they have their regulars, like I am a regular of TR and value their conclusions when making a decision with other people's money, including my own.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:09 pm

I don't have a broad range of UPSes to refer to, but I can tell you that my APC 1500VA unit has done wonders for PC stability.

I recently set up a new(er) media center on an unfiltered outlet upstairs and it BSODs quite regularly. No single recurring cause, and I'm almost certain it's lousy power/bad grounding. My APC kills both those issues dead.

I think I'll order another + newer APC this summer. It's probably the best 250$ I've ever spent, and it's more than 5 years old, probably closer to 10 than not.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:03 pm

If I were going to need a PSU, I'd probably go DIY. Big lead-acid batteries are very cheap. There are a lot of resources online about how to make them or upgrade a smaller PSU with big honking car batteries. Sure they're not really deep-cycle, but the cost is so much less than the ones designated in UPS units , which go bad just as fast!
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:27 pm

UPS. PSU is the other thing.

As for batteries going dead: Only in the cheap units do you see the clockwork failures every 2-3 years, 1-366 days outside of warranty. I'm pretty sure the smaller units just constantly dump current onto the batteries, whereas my big UPS only charges when the battery is below 90% (configurable cutoff, too). I have around 80% of original capacity, and I have no idea how old this unit is. I know it's pre-2003.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:18 pm

lex-ington wrote:I am most definately for a review in this topic. I am very interested in purchasing one and would like to come here for an answer (comparison of brands and what to look for). I can then make a knowledgable recommendation to my family members in the Bahamas, where blackouts are a multi-weekly occurance.

I knwo there are other sites out there that may deal with stuff like this, but they have their regulars, like I am a regular of TR and value their conclusions when making a decision with other people's money, including my own.

If you can folk over Canadian $200+tax, wait for Dell to have another sale of those SmartUPS 1500VA units. Their lowest price was that amount, free shipping for such a heavy thing too! ;)
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:40 pm

I won't even do tech support for someone if they don't at least have one of those cheap UPS systems anymore.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:42 pm

Flying Fox wrote:If you can folk over Canadian $200+tax, wait for Dell to have another sale of those SmartUPS 1500VA units. Their lowest price was that amount, free shipping for such a heavy thing too! ;)

i bought a 1700VA/900W unit from NCIX for around $150 on sale. it was made by Opti-UPS. a lesser known company, but most users seem to rate the products highly.
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Re: Could TR do a UPS review?

Postposted on Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:50 pm

leor wrote:I won't even do tech support for someone if they don't at least have one of those cheap UPS systems anymore.

Unless the power in New York is really bad, that seems slightly overly-stringent.
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