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What UPS backup battery should I buy?

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  • Backup
  • Power
  • Components
Last response: in Components
June 27, 2014 5:45:36 PM

I live in a rural area and my power goes out frequently so I need a UPS to protect my system
I'm currently using a Cyber power 425VA I got from Best buy a couple of years ago. and its always done its job But Now I've upgraded my PSU to a EVGA G2 750w and now get an annoying overload tone when my PC is under load and I worry that it may be bad for my PC too.,
I assume there are some powerful enough that do not cost an arm and a leg but I really have no Idea what i'm looking at., some are like a $1000 and others $20
I just need one that can keep my Computer on long enough to shut it down if the power goes out I don't want to play games off of a battery or anything.
I turn off My PC when I sleep so an auto Shutdown feature is not necessary.
Mostly The power will just flicker off for about 15 seconds or so and i'd like one that could just keep me running so i don't lose my work or fry any of my hardware when the power fluctuates., I have about $100 max to spend but I'd really like to spend less if possible.,
thanks in advance for any guidance,
~Nik

More about : ups backup battery buy

June 27, 2014 5:56:49 PM

the most reliable UPSs are those made by APC; they all have a 3 year complete warranty, and generally should be good for around 5 years.

you should be able to get one that can handle your system for less then $500... here is a good option... for a great price
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 27, 2014 5:59:27 PM

looks good but is almost 2x my budget lol
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June 27, 2014 6:09:57 PM

In the past, APC has had the best reputation. I'm not convinced they still deserve that or not. For example, Cyberpower has made strides in the market. APC is still a good product, but now they are most known for being by far the most expensive UPS.

I would suggest you look at the Cyberpower units in the 1000 - 1500 VA range. Here is a great example.

CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD - PFC Sinewave UPS Systems – Pure Sine Wave | 100% Active PFC compatible--- $199.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 27, 2014 6:10:19 PM

Nikkelah Ghaz said:
looks good but is almost 2x my budget lol


:\ hate to tell you but to get a "quality" unit that can support a 750W psu... (and system that draws that type of power) you'll probably have to spend more then $100.

Its a good investment. My IT company uses APC exclusively for all our clients... never had a system go down to a power surge, their monitoring software is top notch, and their customer service and warranty are worth the cost IMHO. (they guarantee up to $75,000 of equipment)

Its that type of warranty protection that makes it a dead lock for a business user. It also makes them a lock for my home computer (not that i have 75k of eq... but if it's good enough to protect an aerospace defense contractor's servers, it's good enough for my pc)
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June 27, 2014 6:22:17 PM

I understand what you are saying and if I had the money I'd go for the best of the best too., but an "ok" one would be good enough for me for now
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June 27, 2014 6:40:01 PM

I really only need a battery to keep my pc up if the power were to go out., a couple of minuets would be plenty I read about an AVR (automatic voltage regulation) sounds like it works as a surge protector that switches over to a battery if there is a power outage maybe Im wrong ., but that sounds good. do you know anything about this? or maybe this is the same thing as an ups lol
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June 27, 2014 7:04:08 PM

It is more of a sales pitch than anything. Virtually all UPS include at least some surge protection. If you want surge protection, I would suggest purchasing a separate suppressor.
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June 27, 2014 7:21:29 PM

I'm not sure. Maybe it is a misprint. Or maybe it is a used part up for bid.
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June 27, 2014 7:24:10 PM

It is mislabeled. It is a battery that goes in a UPS.
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June 27, 2014 7:25:47 PM

what specs should I look for when browsing?
I see this 750VA would that be enough or should I go for a 1000VA?
are there any other numbers I should look for?
sorry for so many questions google search is just confusing me on this
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June 27, 2014 7:34:04 PM

terry4536 said:
It is mislabeled. It is a battery that goes in a UPS.


ah, that makes since lol
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Best solution

June 27, 2014 7:53:36 PM

I would recommend searching for the correct capacity of UPS for your system. Then I search for the best value/performance unit at that VA or watts.
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June 28, 2014 12:17:32 AM

Buy an APC Smart-UPS off CraigsList used. If necessary, replace the batteries in it. I would buy a Smart-UPS 1500 for $50-$75, and then save $65 for a pair of new 12V 17AH SLA batteries.

The UPS will last a lifetime. The batteries will need to be replaced every 2-3 years.
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June 28, 2014 2:02:19 AM

It's worth a look maybe I could get lucky and find someone who just leaped watt tiers like me lol
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June 28, 2014 12:12:28 PM

You can sometimes find a working APC SmartUPS, but they have to run with a real load for a few hours before they will flash "Replace Battery" so be careful. Just because it looks OK when turned on, does not mean it will stay OK.

People who clean out abandoned storage units get those all the time. Someone's boss will override the IT department, and toss out a perfectly good APC Smart UPS just because it looks like a big block of cast iron. They will replace it with something cute that is made of plastic. When that happens, I want the cast iron thing.
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June 28, 2014 10:20:11 PM

I considered the APC Smart UPS 1500 VA myself. They are overpriced (around $400-450). They are even overpriced on Ebay without functioning batteries.

You could literally buy two of the linked Cyberpower units for that price. And as far as I can tell they are just as highly rated as the APC by reviewers.
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June 29, 2014 5:03:47 AM

Nikkelah Ghaz said:
I really only need a battery to keep my pc up if the power were to go out., a couple of minuets would be plenty I read about an AVR (automatic voltage regulation) sounds like it works as a surge protector that switches over to a battery if there is a power outage maybe Im wrong .,

Numerous myths exists due to much education only from advertising. For example, AVR. Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. That is potentially harmful voltage to a refrigerator and furnace. And ideal good voltage for any computer. Due to superior AVR already inside all electronics that make wide voltage variations (ie bulb at 50% intensity) irrelevant.

Note here and in following paragraphs, answers are tempered with numbers. Any recommendation that ignores numbers may only be hearsay.

Cleanest power is from AC mains. A UPS in battery backup mode can be 'dirtiest' power in a building. So 'dirty' at to be potentially harmful to motorized appliances. But electronics are routinely so robust as to make 'dirty' UPS power irrelevant. For example, output from this 120 volt UPS is 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts. Perfectly good power for electronics.

Many will hype sine wave power as necessary. Therefore a UPS can cost $1000+. But a $100 UPS is more than sufficient since electronics make acceptable 'dirty' UPS power. Manufacturers play advertising games with the expression 'pure sine wave'. Since that 200 volts square wave output with 270 volt spikes is only a sum of pure sine waves (as was taught in high school math).

Many hype 750 watts due to what we tell them. Most have little if any knowledge of how electricity and power supplies work. Most computers consume 200 watts or less most of the time. In rare cases, it might demand a burst of 300+ watts. So we tell computer assemblers to install a 600+ watt supply. Then many computer assemblers assume their computers are consuming as much electricity as a bread toaster. Is you computer that hot? Does your computer immediately heat the room? Of course not. Most a computer typically needs is 300+ watts since computers do not consume 750 watts preached by advertising myths.

But a UPS is made as cheap as possible. Its batteries will quickly degrade in 2 or 3 years. To provide sufficient power years later, a 300 watt computer would need a 500 watt UPS. So that degraded batteries can still provide sufficient power. And for a few other reasons.

The UPS has one function. To provide temporary and 'dirty' power during a blackout. Other anomalies require different solutions. A basic UPS should be sufficient. Test it by simply unplugging its power cord from the wall to put a UPS in battery backup mode. A computer should continue working fine for many minutes.
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June 29, 2014 9:30:41 AM

westom said:
Nikkelah Ghaz said:
I really only need a battery to keep my pc up if the power were to go out., a couple of minuets would be plenty I read about an AVR (automatic voltage regulation) sounds like it works as a surge protector that switches over to a battery if there is a power outage maybe Im wrong .,

Numerous myths exists due to much education only from advertising. For example, AVR. Voltage can drop so low that incandescent bulbs dim to 50% intensity. That is potentially harmful voltage to a refrigerator and furnace. And ideal good voltage for any computer. Due to superior AVR already inside all electronics that make wide voltage variations (ie bulb at 50% intensity) irrelevant.

Note here and in following paragraphs, answers are tempered with numbers. Any recommendation that ignores numbers may only be hearsay.

Cleanest power is from AC mains. A UPS in battery backup mode can be 'dirtiest' power in a building. So 'dirty' at to be potentially harmful to motorized appliances. But electronics are routinely so robust as to make 'dirty' UPS power irrelevant. For example, output from this 120 volt UPS is 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts. Perfectly good power for electronics.

Many will hype sine wave power as necessary. Therefore a UPS can cost $1000+. But a $100 UPS is more than sufficient since electronics make acceptable 'dirty' UPS power. Manufacturers play advertising games with the expression 'pure sine wave'. Since that 200 volts square wave output with 270 volt spikes is only a sum of pure sine waves (as was taught in high school math).

Many hype 750 watts due to what we tell them. Most have little if any knowledge of how electricity and power supplies work. Most computers consume 200 watts or less most of the time. In rare cases, it might demand a burst of 300+ watts. So we tell computer assemblers to install a 600+ watt supply. Then many computer assemblers assume their computers are consuming as much electricity as a bread toaster. Is you computer that hot? Does your computer immediately heat the room? Of course not. Most a computer typically needs is 300+ watts since computers do not consume 750 watts preached by advertising myths.

But a UPS is made as cheap as possible. Its batteries will quickly degrade in 2 or 3 years. To provide sufficient power years later, a 300 watt computer would need a 500 watt UPS. So that degraded batteries can still provide sufficient power. And for a few other reasons.

The UPS has one function. To provide temporary and 'dirty' power during a blackout. Other anomalies require different solutions. A basic UPS should be sufficient. Test it by simply unplugging its power cord from the wall to put a UPS in battery backup mode. A computer should continue working fine for many minutes.


Don't take this as criticism. I don't mean to denigrate you. However i think a counterpoint is needed, as while you're very right about some things... i think you are missing the mark on others.

YES you're right, there is zero use for "pure sine wave" UPS. i've never seen it needed. If you plugged a pc directly into a wall it would work just fine, and believe me when i say, that power is far "dirtier" then any power coming out of a non-sine wave ups. Pure-sine wave is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. and you're right, it's 100% marketing.

Yes, the batteries degrade, but then batteries degrade in any type of electronics... it's the nature of the beast, it does not mean they use "cheap" batteries. if anything they use some pretty good ones to last as long as they do... remember, companies like APC are throwing around $75,000 warranties on their UPS... they need parts that will work for a specified time period (3 years).

No... the power coming out of the UPS is not "dirtier" then your wall socket... if the computer was plugged directly into the battery then this would be true. however the UPS has very high quality voltage regulation equipment. This equipment filters ALL power coming into the pc, whether its on battery or wall power (in fact how they work is they draw some power from the battery ALL the time. They use the battery in an active mode to "even" out the power drawn from the wall... at any one time your UPS will be drawing 20W-100W from the battery, even though power is on.

Your ups serves 2 functions, not 1. It is meant to keep the power on, like you said... particularly for short term power outages. Depending on the unit the definition of short term can change... in some cases they can work for hours... (in fact if you have a server plugged into one, you probably want as robust a UPS as you can get, in the event of a prolonged power outage. As anyone who has worked with servers can attest, they don't like being shut down or reset... and a crash due to lack of power sometimes can make for hours of work by your IT department to bring it back up... days if you're unlucky). the second purpose is to function as a surge protector. And they do that job very well. In fact that function alone makes them worth whatever you pay for one.



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June 29, 2014 1:34:59 PM

Reviewers will always rate a CyberPower as high or higher than an APC Smart-UPS. This is because reviewers take a new unit out of the box. In that evaluation (of new units) there is no valuation of real quality.

Ask someone who refurbishes UPSes, and You will get a very different story. A Smart-UPS' metal case will always be serviceable. An APC Smart-UPS makes it easy to replace the batteries, even when the unit is on-line. I typically see CyberPower units with smashed-in LCD screens so that I never get to replacing the batteries.

I've said this before: An APC Smart-UPS will last a lifetime, but replace the batteries every 2-3 years.
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June 29, 2014 1:43:31 PM

Of course someone selling refurbished UPS is going to promote what he sells. APC also sells units with displays on the front.
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June 29, 2014 1:46:05 PM

What is your budget for the UPS?
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June 29, 2014 10:17:21 PM

ingtar33 said:
Yes, the batteries degrade, but then batteries degrade in any type of electronics... it's the nature of the beast, it does not mean they use "cheap" batteries. if anything they use some pretty good ones to last as long as they do... remember, companies like APC are throwing around $75,000 warranties on their UPS... they need parts that will work for a specified time period (3 years).


1) GM offers best warranties for cars. That proves GM cars are superior to Honda and Toyota? Of course not. Big buck warranties are a first indication of inferior products. Numerous warranty victims learn big buck warranties are full of fine print exemptions. For example, one APC warranty said any equipment from any of their competitors anywhere in a building voided their warranty. Numerous other fine print exemptions made honoring that warranty virtually impossible. WD Loughman describes his APC experience:
? said:
Described in this newsgroup late last year, their UPS failure caused me to spend c. $1200 on replacement equipment. After their own investigation of the damagING unit, they did not dispute the UPS failure. However, they reimbursed me only $200, no arguments accepted, with a required waiver = "Sign this now", or get nothing. They use a sort of "Blue Book" for computers, and paid only the values listed therein. NOT replacement cost. Cover your financial losses some other way, 'cause they sure won't. Buyer beware!

Well, his APC warranty was only for $25,000.

2) Even batteries in my car, exposed to harsh weather and discharged every day, lasts at least five years. One lasted eight years. Batteries in telco facilities typically last just under 20 years. However one was recently complaining his latest batteries failed prematurely; only lasted a decade. Two to three years on a battery that is almost never used is terrible. But they are not making a high quality UPS. They are only advertising quality with subjective claims, without spec numbers to back up those clams, and a bogus warranty.

3) 'Dirtiest' power is typically from a UPS in battery backup mode. An AC utility demonstrates this UPS output.in a Tech Tip. Clearn AC (on left) is from AC mains. Dirtier power (to the right) occurs when a UPS switches to batteries:
http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-business/products/po...

Now stay in perspective. Does not matter that the rare and over $1000 UPS has cleaner power. Since most UPSes (including one the OP wants) is some of the dirtiest power in the house. Perfectly fine for electronics. And since electronincs convert that power (clean or dirty) into something far 'dirtier'. Normal is to convert cleanest AC power into 300+ volt radio frequency spikes. Filters and regulators far superior to those in a UPS then convert 300+ volts spikes into rock solid 3, 5, or 12 volts DC voltages. No matter how clean that UPS, the power is still made much dirtier. Then superior AVR, filters, and galvanic isolation convert that into 'cleanest' power. Meaning an expensive sine wave UPS accomplishes nothing. Perspective - clean UPS power is to increase profits and to sell expensisve strawmen to naive consumers.

4) As for surge protection, good luck finding any manufacturer specification that makes that claim. If production exists, then stated was how, at the circuit level, that protection is accomplished. Good luck. I have yet to find anyone, making UPS protection claims, know how a UPS really works. Let alone describe the protection circuit.

a) A UPS when not in battery backup mode connects AC mains (and a surge) directly into adjacent electronics. UPS spec numbers claim near zero protection. b) Effective protection means one can always say where hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate. c) APC may claim hundreds of joules. Near zero joules. But just enough above zero so that advertising can subjectively claim 100% protection. Lies using subjective claims are quite legal. d) Meanwhile, electronics are so robust as to convert surges (hundreds of joules) into rock solid DC voltages to power semiconductors. Using supieror 'cleaning', filters, AVR, and galvanic isolation standard in electronics.

IOW an APC UPS has one function - temporary and 'dirty' power during a blackout so that unsaved data can be saved. Hardware protection from other anomlies is done by other solutions. Not by an APC UPS that does not even claim that hardware protection - except in advertising. Legal is to lie when making subjective claims. Once we add perspective (ie numbers), then a UPS is only temporary and 'dirty' power. Even its battery backup system is so cheap as to need battery replacement every three years.
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June 30, 2014 8:04:31 PM

terry4563, I'm not selling anything here. I refurbish UPSes on the job, for my employer, who uses them and does not sell them.
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July 1, 2014 2:56:03 AM

terry4536 said:
What is your budget for the UPS?


about $100 I really can't spend more, Here is the one I'm thinking of getting http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
still haven't worked out if my pc will cause the annoying overload tone on this one when I'm working under load but I think its sufficient.,
I know its not quite as fancy and probably won't last as long as the ones you guys suggest but I really am pinching pennies right now
I really appreciate the time you guys have taken to answer my questions, don't think that I take it for granted I've definitely learned here,
Thanks
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July 1, 2014 1:07:26 PM

Good luck. Just limit what you plug int it, and hopefully it will work for you.

Once you get it charged up, unplug it and time the battery time . That will give you a reference battery time.
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July 1, 2014 3:24:55 PM

thanks it about 2x the VA rating of the one I'm using now so i think it should work for me., the one i have now actually works most of the time the only problem with it is the loud tone that plays when i'm running some games or benchmarks or rendering that sort of thing I probably wouldn't have even noticed If I hadn't been testing my system its kind of weird since this is not even when the powers out or anything it would just beep out of nowhere I guess it must have like a max draw or something and the new GPU causes my pc to just use more power when doing those things, I don't know but I hate that sound lol
should be easy enough to reproduce the conditions once I have the new one installed to test for the tone
the battery itself has actually never been drained because I just save my work and shutdown asap. it would be interesting to see how long it lasts., but I'd have to survive its loud beeping lol
this is the only UPS I've ever owned and its been good to me even if it hates my ears which is one of the reasons i'm comfortable sticking with the brand
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July 1, 2014 4:18:57 PM

We used them extensively at work. There were six or eight in just my area. So, we had plenty of notice every time the power blinked (alarms were going off everywhere). We used APC only by the way.
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