Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

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Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:19 pm

Alright so I'm thinking of getting a new UPS, mine is a few years old, and made by belkin who doesn't even make them anymore so its not even supported on Win7 or even Vista...

Anyways I don't know much at all about these things, I found one with really good reviews then I hear its not compatible with some Active PFC PSU's? I don't even know what the difference between an active one and a passive one, then I see they made a line of them that work well with ones that would have an issue with the normal ones... I've spend about an hour and a half researching this stuff and am done, pretty much just want to buy one...

This one I'm thinking I would probably get:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... llFullInfo

But then there's this one, which is pretty much the same except works with some sinewave something or other?(personally I think this one works better):
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... llFullInfo


So I'm guessing I will just be told to buy the first one, unless anyone has any better suggestions, specifically I would like one with an LCD display and the shape of those(small computer tower style) is good for my setup. So if anyone suggests a different brand or just a different one let me know.

I have a Corsair tx750w PSU (think Pro edition)
Doubt anything else will matter but rest of system is:
Intel Core i7 -860
OCZ 8GB
XFX 5850
Caviar Black 640GB
Caviar Black 2TB
Samsung SH-S223B
Xonar DX
Antec P183
Will also have a 23" LCD plugged into Battery Backup

p.s. - If anyone could estimate how long the battery would last that would help me figure out how big a UPS I'll get

p.s.s. - I just noticed the outlets are on the back of it, I would prefer them to be on the top, so maybe disregard those first two that I linked lol :-?
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:37 pm

MrBerg wrote: I hear its not compatible with some Active PFC PSU's?

I have used PSUs with Active PFC for the last few years together with all kinds of cheap UPS units (with a "stepped approximation to sinewave" outputs) with 0 problems. A properly designed PSU will not "care" about silly stuff like "pure sinewave/stepped approximation to sinewave" UPS outputs.


MrBerg wrote:p.s. - If anyone could estimate how long the battery would last that would help me figure out how big a UPS I'll get

Buy a cheap power meter, like "Kill-a-watt", and measure yourself exactly how much power your system consumes. I'd say that it won't consume more than 500-550w at full load, so you don't really need those huge UPS units with 1000+ VA ratings. As long as the UPS can power up your system for at least 1 minute - you're good. If the power is out for more than 1 minute - set your UPS power management software to shut your system down, it's not worth it to "abuse" the batteries in UPS if the power outage will last for a long time.
Last edited by JohnC on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:41 pm

Are you *sure* the existing one isn't supported on Vista/Win7? UPS protocols don't tend to change much; all that may be needed is a driver download. And even if there isn't a driver update available, all you lose is the monitoring and automatic shutdown -- i.e., it'll still allow you to ride out brief outages, if that's your goal. (If it is a few years old you probably do need to replace the battery though...)

The PFC issue is due to a potential bad interaction between "stepped sinewave approximation" UPSes (the majority of inexpensive ones are of this type) and the active PFC circuitry in some better PSUs. The UPS can, under certain circumstances, see an active PFC PSU as an overload, causing the UPS to shut down. If you have an active PFC PSU you should probably get a UPS that claims compatibility with active PFC just to be on the safe side. Some people have claimed that just over-specing the UPS (i.e. getting one that is a size or two bigger than you really need) should also prevent this issue from occurring, but I have not personally verified this.

If your PSU has active PFC it'll probably say so on its label; another way to tell is that active PFC PSUs don't have a voltage selector switch on the back panel (the active PFC circuitry automatically compensates for 120V/230V operation).
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:55 pm

JohnC wrote:
MrBerg wrote: I hear its not compatible with some Active PFC PSU's?

I have used PSUs with Active PFC for the last few years together with all kinds of cheap UPS units (with a "stepped approximation to sinewave" outputs) with 0 problems. A properly designed PSU will not "care" about silly stuff like "pure sinewave/stepped approximation to sinewave" UPS outputs.


Alright so as I assumed I shouldn't have any problems, figured the bad reviews I saw were just isolated accounts, compared to the amount of good reviews.

JohnC wrote:
MrBerg wrote:p.s. - If anyone could estimate how long the battery would last that would help me figure out how big a UPS I'll get

Buy a cheap power meter, like "Kill-a-watt", and measure yourself exactly how much power your system consumes. I'd say that it won't consume more than 500-550w at full load, so you don't really need those huge UPS units with 1000+ VA ratings. As long as the UPS can power up your system for at least 1 minute - you're good. If the power is out for more than 1 minute - set your UPS power management software to shut your system down, it's not worth it to "abuse" the batteries in UPS if the power outage will last for a long time.


Yeah I knew I was going overkill a bit.

just brew it! wrote:Are you *sure* the existing one isn't supported on Vista/Win7?


Pretty much... I've spend more time then I wanted looking for drivers and software versions and even 3rd party bits, can't seem to find anything that will read any info (wattage or powertime or whatever), and yes, it does still work for short power outages(does its basic job of being a backup batt/surge protector), which is the most often thing that happens like a flicker, but one time last year we had a longer one while I was at work and when I came home computer and UPS were both off, I'd like to avoid my computer shutting off like that ever... Another reason I'm looking for a new one is because I had just bought my gf a computer for this past Christmas, so I would give her my old one to protect that investment as well.
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:21 pm

My conclusion is that when it comes to UPS, APC is the best bet. Few component downright doesn't work with anything else. Prime example, Seagate Blackarmor NAS.

But concerning wattage requirements, I'm puzzled as well. Normal gaming PC can easily drain 350W, all average UPSes seem to be rated at 250W.
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:26 pm

Madman wrote:My conclusion is that when it comes to UPS, APC is the best bet. Few component downright doesn't work with anything else. Prime example, Seagate Blackarmor NAS.

But concerning wattage requirements, I'm puzzled as well. Normal gaming PC can easily drain 350W, all average UPSes seem to be rated at 250W.

Cheap UPSes are only designed to have basic desktops (web/e-mail/office type stuff) plugged into them.
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:29 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Madman wrote:My conclusion is that when it comes to UPS, APC is the best bet. Few component downright doesn't work with anything else. Prime example, Seagate Blackarmor NAS.

But concerning wattage requirements, I'm puzzled as well. Normal gaming PC can easily drain 350W, all average UPSes seem to be rated at 250W.

Cheap UPSes are only designed to have basic desktops (web/e-mail/office type stuff) plugged into them.


But UPSes capable of handling 350W+ PCs seem to run around 500$ minimum. Not to mention server grade stuff that's necessary for SLI configs.

At least that's the impression I have.
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:32 pm

MrBerg wrote:p.s.s. - I just noticed the outlets are on the back of it, I would prefer them to be on the top, so maybe disregard those first two that I linked lol :-?

Unfortunately you don't really have a choice - almost all of high-powered UPS units have the outlets on the back of the unit. It's not a big deal, really - just place it backwards, with outlets facing you, you don't really need a fancy built-in LCD if you'll be using the power management software that comes with UPS unit :wink:
Last edited by JohnC on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:39 pm

Madman wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Madman wrote:My conclusion is that when it comes to UPS, APC is the best bet. Few component downright doesn't work with anything else. Prime example, Seagate Blackarmor NAS.

But concerning wattage requirements, I'm puzzled as well. Normal gaming PC can easily drain 350W, all average UPSes seem to be rated at 250W.

Cheap UPSes are only designed to have basic desktops (web/e-mail/office type stuff) plugged into them.


But UPSes capable of handling 350W+ PCs seem to run around 500$ minimum. Not to mention server grade stuff that's necessary for SLI configs.

At least that's the impression I have.

:lol:
My current PC consumes about 400w on average (much less when not playing any games), it is currently being powered by APC BE750G which I got for $100 - I have NEVER caused an "overload" condition and there was ALWAYS enough time for APC's software to gracefully shut my PC down during all blackout events. :wink:
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:19 pm

JohnC wrote:
MrBerg wrote:p.s.s. - I just noticed the outlets are on the back of it, I would prefer them to be on the top, so maybe disregard those first two that I linked lol :-?

Unfortunately you don't really have a choice - almost all of high-powered UPS units have the outlets on the back of the unit. It's not a big deal, really - just place it backwards, with outlets facing you, you don't really need a fancy built-in LCD if you'll be using the power management software that comes with UPS unit :wink:


Yeah, looks like they don't really make them on the top how my old one is, guess it's just rare. Yes, you are right, it's not a big deal, I just assumed I could find one like the one I have now. I'm torn between what to get, I know I don't need an LCD at all, but I like being fancy sometimes lol :D
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:59 pm

Hiya-
I have an older CyberPower 1000AVR (this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102082 which is currently showing as sold out). My computer, all plugged into it:

Gigabyte LGA775 mobo
Intel E8400 CPU, overclocked to 3.6GHz
4 gigs DDR2 RAM
1 64GB SSD (boot)
four 7200 RPM 1TB HDDs
Corsair 750 watt PSU
seven case fans, some of which are on an Aerocool Touch-2000 fan controller (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811999198) (<-love it)
All in a CoolerMaster ATCS840 case
Also, a Samsung Syncmaster 2333, a 23" monitor.

At idle (surfing the net), the 1000AVR's LCD panel shows that I'm drawing about 180 watts, with 18 minutes of battery time available. Plenty of time to shut down gracefully. Under moderate load (GPU 100%, CPU ~50%), it shows 9 minutes of battery time.

I use CyberPower UPSes at home and at work, never had any problems. While I was researching what UPSes to get at the shop, I found CyberPower's customer support to be very good and very prompt. Highly recommended.

Good luck,
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:03 pm

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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:11 pm

MrBerg wrote:I like being fancy sometimes lol :D

There's nothing wrong with being... fancy from time to time :o :wink: Anywhoo, I'd suggest starting with something like this:
http://www.amazon.ca/CyberPower-CP850PF ... 36&sr=1-78
It should provide plenty of power for your current system (unless you'll go SLI/CrossFire) to stay up a few minutes during short blackout and to shut down your PC during long blackout, it still has a "fancy" LCD and it is pretty small in size so you shouldn't have any problems figuring out how to place it so the display would be visible. If you want a slightly more powerful unit - there's this:
http://www.amazon.ca/Cyberpower-Canada- ... 018&sr=1-6
It's not currently available from Newegg or Amazon, though, so you might wanna find another store that carries them.
CyberPower's new units like these are pretty inexpensive but pretty reliable (I've used a few of them), with a very user-friendly power management software (at least for Windows).
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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:11 pm

Go to APC's web page. Pick a unit. It comes up with a nice table that lets you select your power consumption and gives you the run time for each size unit in that family. The APC back-up series still has outlets on top. I run my main desktop off a 725VA unit. It pulls under 200W at normal desktop loads, including a 24" monitor. Good for about 13.5 min runtime.

The VA rating has very little to do with the runtime under load. All the VA rating says is that the UPS can provide that amount of current (VA=AC Volts x AC Amps) without overloading. The size (capacity) of the batteries determine how long it can run. The battery in mine is a 12V 7Ah battery. This equates to 84Wh. To convert VA to Watts, you need to know the power factor, but in general .7 is used so W=.7VA or about 500W for my BackUPS 725. Past that, it overloads. Figuring out runtime is mathematically easy, but practically hard. At best, you can get 87Wh out of the battery. Assume you are pulling 175W for your system. In an hour, you system would pull 176Wh, but the battery can only provide 87Wh or 0.497h. This works out to 29.8 minutes. Except that your UPS isn't 100% efficient. This is where it gets hard. It is almost impossible to know what the efficiency is, but up to a point it will be related to price. If you assume 50% efficiency, which would be good, the that 29 minutes becomes 14.9 minutes. Not too far off from the 13.5 minutes I get off mine.

So, what JohnC said. Go spend $20 on a Kill-A-Watt and plug your system into it. Figure on buying a 700-1500VA UPS, not necessarily based on the load of your system, but by how long you want to run without power. You need at least five minutes to get stuff saved and get back to a state ready to shutdown. After that, anything is extra.

As far as brands go, I buy either APC or Cyberpower. My big UPS is a Cyberpower AVR1500 with four 12V 7Ah batteries in it. At current loading, it is good for about 30 minutes. It has by 16TB storage array, general purpose server, and the house network plugged into it. It was under $500 new.

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Re: Uninterrupted Power Supply Noob

Postposted on Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:56 pm

JohnC wrote:http://www.amazon.ca/Cyberpower-Canada- ... 018&sr=1-6
It's not currently available from Newegg or Amazon, though, so you might wanna find another store that carries them.
CyberPower's new units like these are pretty inexpensive but pretty reliable (I've used a few of them), with a very user-friendly power management software (at least for Windows).


I was looking at this one, and I see it on NCIX for $160, and I just noticed they have the CP1350PFCLCD on sale until tomorrow with $35 off making it the exact same price at the 1000 :) I believe I will get this right now... seems quite a bit overkill, but if its a free upgrade why not.
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