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Is UPS really needed

Is an UPS really needed from the wall to plug your computer in to or can I just keep using this....

specs. 2500k @4.5, SLI gtx 580 (soon as I get my AX1200 PSU in the mail), 8GB RAM
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More about needed
  1. Surge protectors are good, but UPSs are better. I wouldn't call them a necessity, but they're certainly good for peace of mind. Surge protectors do a decent job against surges and spikes, but UPSs are still better. A UPS has the advantage of letting you shut down your computer during a power outage, which is nice. However the real benefit of a UPS, in my opinion, is protection against brown out. Surge protectors are useless against low voltage situations and those can seriously damage your PC.
  2. Best answer
    A UPS is only really needed in areas with unreliable or very dirty power, some more rural regions dont have good power so they can help, but if you are in a region with reasonably good power then its not really needed, a good power strip with surge supression is generally sufficient. One important thing to note, all items connected to the system should pass through the same surge protector before touching the wiring in the wall, that means computer, monitor, speakers, printer, and ideally the router too.
  3. What about joule rating?....i just found a high one with a review of a guy with 8 things plugged in to it...and got it
  4. Is an UPS "required" or absolutely needed? No.

    Does a UPS offer better protection than a surge suppressor in the event of a power failure? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The OP has a nice rig. If it were me, I would have on an UPS....period. I have all my systems on UPS connections and I have never had a power related failure since using them. Small price to pay for peace of mind.
  5. jeremy1183 said:
    What about joule rating?....i just found a high one with a review of a guy with 8 things plugged in to it...

    Many others made recommendations by even ignoring manufacturer spec numbers. For example, spec numbers for a UPS are typically smaller than those for strip protectors. A UPS typically has near zero protection numbers. And just enough above zero that the most easily manipulated will recommend it as 100% protection.

    Eventually a consumer learns that recommendations using subjective reasoning are best called a scam. No replacement exists for manufacturer numeric specs. Those spec numbers say that UPS does near zero surge protection. Your joules numbers probably describe grossly undersized protection.

    You are asking about protection from hundreds of thousands of joules. Smaller surges are only noise. Are made irrelevant by protection already inside every appliance. To promote a scam, advertising and hearsay will forget to mention that existing protection. And ignore all numbers.

    A UPS leaves appliances connected directly to AC mains when not in battery backup mode. Myths say a UPS will disconnect to protect from a surge. More numbers. Surges are done in microseconds. A UPS takes milliseconds to disconnect. Will that millimeter gap in a UPS stop what three miles of sky cannot stop? Numbers not found in a *subjective* UPS recommendation.

    View those Belkin specs. 3780 joules means only 1260 joules and never more than 2520 absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules. Damning numbers.

    No way around over 100 years of well proven science. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Any recommendation that does not discuss hundreds of thousands of joules is, at best, very suspect. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground – where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate harmlessly. Any recommendation that ignores earth ground would be promoting a scam. An honest answer has been well understood and observed for over 100 years. Is found in products from more responsible companies. Costs tens or 100 times less money.

    Best protection does not have obscene profit margins. Instead, it does what always exists in every facility that can never suffer damage. Is sold by more responsible companies including Intermatic, General Electric, Square D, Siemens, Keison, Leviton, or ABB. An effective Cutler-Hammer solution is sold in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. That means direct lightning strikes are absorbed harmlessly outside the building. That means all appliances are protected including bathroom GFCIs, dishwasher, and the air conditioner.

    If you need protection, then everything must be protected. What most need protection during a surge? Smoke detectors. Only the 'whole house' solution (and 100 years of well proven science) protects that.
  6. Someone is angry at UPSs...

    Many of them have a surge suppressor built inline with the primary AC in to surge suppress everything connected to it, and a surge suppressors job is NOT to dissipate the energy, that is a suicide mission for anything, its job is to redirect the surge to ground and avoid dissipating any energy if at all possible.

    Im going to refer you back to the jonnyguru thread from 2 years ago where you went on a similar rant against surge suppressors.
  7. Surge protector, or UPS is not going to protect from a Direct hit, BUT most come with a Policy you can cliam against.
    O and don't forget any other outside lines that connect to your Compute. My Aunt lost her computer, not from the AC but from the phone line going into computer.

    As to an UPS, I live in a fairly area, but I still get WAY to many power outages in the course of a year, many only a couple of sec duration. Normally these do not damage the computer, That is MB/PSU - what it will often take out is them Dag burn mechanical HDDs that just happent to be writting to (Good old murphy's law) the fat allocation table. So Yess I recommend them.

    Just have my two computers on them, lost power, got beeps so had to shut the computer that was on down - would have been nice had I had the monitor on it. But Win 7 easy, right Hit Windows key, hit right arrow key, then hit enter. Computer didn't shut down, but luckly dawned on me, hit "Y" then Enter - Yup it was asking if I wanted to terminate some program.
  8. Here is what I know. 2 weeks ago, we had severe weather in my area. What systems I had up and running when the power failure occured all executed a nice orderly shutdown. As a result, I had no data failures, corrupted hard drives, etc.

    All was good to go when the power came back on. The cost of the UPS is way less than the cost to replace the guts of my rigs. Just something to think about...
  9. First, She live in a rural area in Florida Trailer park, and was a good 10-> 15 years ago - Does not matter what should/was not inplace - Period.

    2nd, I'm somewhat knowelable about Fat/fat32 ect. Might whant to prefix that with "SHOULD", not Will as I've lost som ntft drives do to interupped writes.

    Don't forget the EM pulse can take a system out by inducing a voltage on the line
  10. On the subject of a UPS in this application, be aware that Active PFC PSUs tend to be picky about their input waveforms. The step wave used by cheap UPS units often looks like bad power to such a PSU and it will shut off, even if the lamp on your desk remains at full brightness. True sine-wave UPS units tend to be expensive, but that is probably what you need here. I have read that the "truncated triangle" waveform used by the newer Cyperpower APFC UPS units will also work, although I have yet to personally try one.
  11. We have UPS's on all of out hardware here at home and i remember i was playing my Xbox 360 listening to music on my PC and talking to some friends and all of a sudden myu light goes out and as it turns out we had a power outage in the area well my UPS powered my 32 in LCD TV, Xbox 360, 22in LCDand my Core i7 920 build with a 600Watt PS and did it for about 20 Min then i turned off the 360 and my TV and used my computer for another 40 min till the power came back on

    To answer your question No but i would recommend one for sure
  12. does the UPS size have to match the PSU size?.I'll be using the AX1200 Corsair PSU.
  13. The UPS doesn't have to match the PSU size, per se, but it does need to match the load you expect it to carry. If your 1200W PSU will actually be pulling close to 1200W from the wall, then yes you'll need a UPS at least that big (don't forget 75W-100W for your monitor). If your PSU will only need 300W from the wall (hah, not with GTX580 SLI!), then you could size the UPS accordingly. You're going to need a big one for your rig.
  14. Link me to a good one please?
  15. I use APC XS1300. APC = American Power Conversion. Their site has a good sizing calculator.

    Saved me thru several brownouts and a couple outages (and I live in a city). Peace of mind that makes it worth it. When a bad storm comes my way I shut it all down anyways, the UPS is for the day to day line fluctuations.
  16. I don't see the calculator anywhere on the site.
  17. That would normally be refered to as a square wave, and the 270V jump seems excessive, as does 200V considering 120V AC power is a sine wave between 170 V and -170 V so effective voltage from that square wave would greatly exceed 120V.

    You seem to have awful specific numbers you are pulling from, do you have any site or documents you suggest for those of us who wish to learn a bit more about UPSs these days? Im an electrical engineering major so i can make it through the marketing BS and find the useful stuff normally. Where did you learn most of your stuff about UPSs and surge suppressors?
  18. OK OK OK...this %&*$ is confusing do I need a 500 watts ups or a equal 1200 watts for my Good info from both of you but my head is starting to hurt!
  19. I've seen some scope shots of UPS outputs; that's why I generally don't buy TrippLite any more. I've seen a waveform allegedly from one of the Cyberpower APFC units. Like they say, it is a truncated triangle, but it crosses the "0" line much like a sine wave does, rather than lingering there like some square waves. I doubt that waveform was a lie, BUT, nothing was said of the load conditions, which is why I didn't trust it until someone with an Active PFC PSU said it worked. That still doesn't tell me what the waveform really becomes under load, but at least the way it crosses zero isn't going to flake out an Active PFC PSU.
    And, in the middle of a game, a system with an OC'ed 2500K and a pair of GTX580 GPUs could well be pulling 700W or more.

    Edit: Toss in the monitor, speakers, and maybe a CFL desk light, and you're probably over 800W. Multiple monitors; 900W. And, 3-4 minutes of run time in the midst of a frag fest isn't very much, so yes I think the UPS should be at least 900W, probably more like 1500W if you want reasonable run time.
  20. jeremy1183 said:
    OK OK OK...this %&*$ is confusing do I need a 500 watts ups or a equal 1200 watts for my Good info from both of you but my head is starting to hurt!

    Not to throw stones, but westom is just ranting about how much he hates UPSs and marketing strategies.

    A UPS gives a voltamp rating and a wattage rating - the wattage rating is what you want to pay attention to. Westom is right that your computer often uses far less than the PSU rating, but if your PC is under load and the power goes out you're going to want a UPS that can support the draw. If you really want to be accurate, buy a wattage meter (, put your computer under heavy graphical load, and measure the draw. I would not advise a 500W UPS even though your computer usually draws less than 500W. You've got a pretty intense system and if the power goes out in the middle of a game you're going to want the UPS to keep up with it until you can shut down.

    I don't have an oscilloscope, but that's my opinion.
  21. Ok I understand that...this whole PC business is getting expensive but that doesn't really matter
  22. What makes you think his system would only need 350W at peak? A GTX 580 is about 300W by itself, add in the CPU load and the rest of the system he will hit 500W under load with just one GTX 580 in it, when he adds the second one for SLI i would expect the DC load on the power supply to be around 600-700W.

    If you honestly believe that a machine with 2 gaming video cards only needs about 250W then you need to catch up on tech.
  23. *cricket* ummmmmmm.......
  24. Read the System Builder Marathon articles for the high end builds, where they DO measure power consumption. The most insane one I seem to recall pulled something like 983W from the wall, and I believe there were three GPUs in it.
    Don't get me wrong, I think using that kind of power to play games is somewhat wasteful. My own PC, running flat out, might use 400W (no, I haven't measured it), but most likely even when I'm playing a game it's probably only around 300W-350W. At idle, I did measure it at around 84W not including the monitor.
    A UPS can't be sized for the average load, but for the maximum. The OP's rig, when completed, under heavy load, will likely combine with other plugged-in devices to warrant a UPS of at least 900W, even if it only pulls 100W while just surfing.
  25. @ westom - read his specs, then Look at reviews.

    560 SLI Idle approx 250W, On load over 600W (probably closet to 650/700) (Can provide ref if need!!)
    Please remove foot before speaking.

    What you are saying "Peak demand - 300 or 350 watts. These are worst cased numbers." would be closer to my system i5-2500 with a single 6870 gpu which is around 125 W idle and around 260 Watts running furmark MEASURED.

    And yes I have my own digital dual trace scope and watt meters and Yes I measure inrush currents on Power supplies.

    jeremy1183, If at idle a 500 W would be great, about 8 Min run time (Varies depending on batteries amp/hr ratings used. But Murphy says you could be gaming and the 500 watt may simply power off due to overcurrent. Use 600/700W, add 50% (ideally double) so 900 Watt is Min size. That is just the Computer, so make that 1KW to include monitor.

    Bottom line: Follow jjt286's advice.
  26. rgr
  27. Google "APC calculator" and follow the links.

    I intentionally oversized to avoid overloading the UPS but mainly for the longer run time when no mains electricity.
  28. lets get down to selection then...

    would this work or higher? does the monitor HAVE to be plugged in to it or is it just recommended and why?
  29. Quote:
    As jtt283 noted, a 1200 watt supply will only draw what the computer needs. Average - 200 watts. Peak demand - 300 or 350 watts. These are worst cased numbers.

    The following is data from people who physically measured the draw of their machines:

    GTX 580 SLI - 719W

    8800GTS SLI - 433W (in 2006)

    GTX 480 SLI - 624W (using FurMark so it's a little higher than in-game draw)

    GTX 480 SLI - 787W (also with FurMark)

    Again, FurMark adds maybe an extra 8% or so, but still way above 350W. Not a great sample size, but it is absurd to say that a machine won't peak over 350W.

    jeremy1183, if you ever do measure your system draw, please post it for us.
  30. You don't need to have a monitor on UPS for any reason except that if you lose power and want to shut down you'll probably need to see the screen. Monitors can be damaged by surges, but won't be damaged by power failure or brownout.

    900W is probably enough for your system but It won't give you very long on battery power, at peak.
  31. that 719 for 580's is the whole system correct? not just the cards...
  32. jeremy1183 said:
    that 719 for 580's is the whole system correct? not just the cards...

    Yes. They estimate the draw of the cards at 522W at peak.
  33. so is 900 UPS good enough or to high to low? monitor is alienware 23" 3d
  34. how is that 50% bigger than is required...take 50% away and it would be 45o watts...but the review says it pulls 719. what happens if im in a game and its pulling over 450 at the time if I went with that size? would it still stay on just long enough to exit and shut off?

    does it need to be pfc compatible?
  35. LOL...not to be a PITA but instead of telling me im looking at double what I actually need how about go ahead and link me to an UPS on newegg that would work with the tower and monitor......
  36. just long enough to shut it more than 3-5 mins im guessing....i hate beeping noises....just my computer and 23in 3d monitor connected...this is for the sli 580's...not the 560's i have
  37. jeremy1183 said:
    lets get down to selection then...

    would this work or higher? does the monitor HAVE to be plugged in to it or is it just recommended and why?


    That will be fine for your needs after seeing your frustration through this thread, I ran some power actual use for you.

    I'm running an overclocked 2500K presently at 4500mhz, running a single 580GTX, on a 28" LCD Monitor plus a 2nd computer tower only running an i3-2100 not overclocked which is my video surveillance machine, when I ran these usage tests all of the above was included.

    Desktop Idles at 284w
    3DM06 Maxxed Graphics Load 524w

    that 719 for 580's is the whole system correct? not just the cards...

    That's affirmative seconding danraies confirmation.

    Your linked Newegg choice will be most excellent for your needs, you do need more coverage than you'll actually be using, so you will be well within the zone of safety.

    I'm running a 1500 myself. Ryan
  38. No, the one he linked is not one of the APFC models. It's the same size (900W), but the wrong output waveform. Use the first one I linked: . You'll note it has "PFC" in the model number.
  39. Onus said:
    No, the one he linked is not one of the APFC models. It's the same size (900W), but the wrong output waveform. Use the first one I linked: . You'll note it has "PFC" in the model number.

    That's not a deal breaker, mine doesn't have that and I've never had any problems in over a years use, if he wants to spend the extra money that's up to him, but the one he linked will work just fine.
  40. This topic has been closed by 4ryan6
  41. Best answer selected by jeremy1183.
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