Should i be using a UPS and if so which one?

I have recently been told that i should have a UPS for my computers. I read the FAQ and some other info about UPSs but im still not sure which UPS i should get, and how much power i will be using so i can pick the right one.

My Question:
Should i be looking for something super high end for all my electronics, and possibly 2 different or identical UPSs? Or should i just have a UPS for my outlet with 2 desktops, and a cheaper or smaller one for my other desktop, and then keep all my other stuff plugged in through the monster power filter?


The Details:
When it comes to electricity i dont know as much as id like. As long as i have the power cord/power box plug that came with any of my products then im good. When it comes to picking a PSU for a desktop im at a loss unless i ask what i should use.

Im running 2 desktops on one wall and another desktop on another wall. On the wall with the two computers i also have a full 7.1 speaker home theater system with all my consoles and DVR hooked up.

I was told i need something to filter the power going from my outlet to all my home theater related electronics. I purchased a monster power strip that looks identical to this only with more outlets.
http://www.amazon.com/Monster-MKIII-8-Outlet-Power-Center/dp/B000PCVF3E/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1330197646&sr=8-5

I have power outages quite often in my area and were a little overdue for one. Ive never had a power outage ruin any electronics of mine but i have lost data because of power outages.

Should i be looking for something super high end for all my electronics, and possibly 2 different or identical UPSs? Or should i just have a UPS for my outlet with 2 desktops, and a cheaper or smaller one for my other desktop, and then keep all my other stuff plugged in through the monster power filter plugged into the other plug on my wall outlet?

Ive heard hooking up too many power strips together can be a problem and i dont know enough about this to know what i should and shouldnt do. I have like 4 power strips hooked up to the monster power strip/filter i have. Most of these just have power running to stuff like my video game controller chargers and external hard drives or powered usb hubs. Most of the power strips arent all completely used and one is used pretty much as an extension cord for my cd organizers.
5 answers Last reply
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  1. first you have to be careful of overloading you house's wiring
    usually a modern house will have two circuits running in a room
    each circuit goes to your fusebox
    one circuit can handle either 15 amps or 20 amps
    if you ever had a circuit "blow" and have to reset your circuit breaker than
    you are overloading that circuit
    three computers and home theater equipment plus a tv would be a heavy load for one circuit so be careful

    with that said I would go with a larger UPS for the two desktops and smaller one for the single

    this is nice for a smaller one
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102042

    this is nice for a larger one
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102070


    if possible connect sensitive expensive home theater equipment to the larger one
    specifically your surround sound receiver
    also your external HDs need to be hooked up to UPS

    the USB hubs really dont matter

    also expensive printers should be connected to UPS

    I went with CyberPower but there is also other good brands
    just thought those looked good for the money

    not sure of your budget and also if Newegg USA is available
    if Newegg is not available
    then link your online shopping sites
    :)
  2. king smp said:
    also expensive printers should be connected to UPS

    Not necessarily. Inkjet printers are not a problem but plugging a laser printer into a UPS is a terrible idea. The fuser is essentially a heating element that will use at least several hundred watts. Most laser printers will easily overload a smaller UPS instantly causing it to shut down.
    As far as UPS sizing goes, I prefer to use several smaller units for home applications. The best way to know what size to get is to use a power usage meter (Kill A Watt is the best known brand of these) and check the load plugged into each wall outlet. Buy a UPS that will handle the critical appliances you want to protect (usually just the PC and monitor for your computer and your TV, audio amp, and cable box for your home theater system) Most UPS have several sockets so you can easily plug in multiple devices and many have a mix of battery-protected and surge-protected-only outlets so you can only back up critical items and leave those that don't matter (like speakers and printers) on the non-battery outlets giving your PC more run time on batteries.

    Remember that the purpose of a UPS is to give you time to shut down your PC safely when the power goes out, not operate it for hours during an extended blackout. If you want many hours or even days of operation, you should be looking at a generator.
  3. You need to list the specs of each rig.
    Is a UPS a good investment ? yes absolutely.
    You may only require one unit for your main rig.
    The others would/might be fine on a decent quality surge suppressor.
  4. davcon said:
    You need to list the specs of each rig.
    Better to use a Kill-A-Watt than guess as to the UPS capacity needed to power a PC.
    davcon said:
    The others would/might be fine on a decent quality surge suppressor.
    Since the OP mentions that he has frequent power problems where he lives, a UPS is recommended for each PC in order to avoid lost data and drive corruption.
    As far as overloading the premise wiring in the house, properly sized UPS units will use little more current that the devices they are protecting. That is why sizing them properly can be very important. Measure the actual wattage consumed by each set of devices and use a UPS that will deliver about 15 minutes of runtime at that power level. Use smart units that communicate with the PC they are protecting and set up your OS power management to begin a shutdown soon after going onto battery power.
  5. Thanks for all the info guys, got a few more questions just to try and compare the two links to other UPS's.

    Whats the easiest way to tell how much electricity im using vs how much i have? Are there any tools? Is there a way to measure how much im using on my surge protector or how much a socket can produce without flipping the fuse?

    What companies do you guys like the most, are there any suggestions that you can show me to compare to the first 2 links from newegg, i really have no idea what im doing here : ( electricity makes my brain hurt XD

    Ive had power fluctuations for my lights and other products, but mostly my 2 desktops and everything plugged into my main desks wall including the home theatre system never have problems unless the power goes out. As for the other desktop i haved it hooked up and wired under a floor board to reach an outlet in my other room.

    Theres a doorway that was made between the rooms as they were originally separate rooms. Each rooms seems to only have one fuse or what have you since when the power goes out or when i test which fuses do what, it seems like there are only 2 fuses that do anything to my rooms.

    I need more rule of thumb ideas or guides when it comes to plugging a surge protector into a surge protector into another, and how extension cables might affect what im doing.

    Heres what ive got goin on, on one wall/outlet:
    Currently i have my main monster power filter/surge protector plugged in under my main desk. Then i have a surge protector attached to that going under my tv to power some game consoles, that surge protector has another coming off it to power my 2nd computer. My home theatre stuff and my main desktops power cords are all plugged into the monster surge protector mentioned. I then have another 3 separate surge protectors plugged into the the main monster one, and 1 of those 3 has another coming off of that. Im trying to get rid of 1 of the 3 since it sucks and doesnt work all the time, then i have the 2nd one which powers all my external HDDs, then the 3rd powers my usb accessories and chargers for different things. The 3rd connects to another surge protector for more plugs for other accessories and what not.

    Everything else was being powered by the other room on a separate circuit which seems to be faulty or just iffy. Powering quite a bit but the only important thing is the other desktop. I should note that powering an air filter, space heater, box fan, and fridge from that room has caused problems when i had all my vacuums charging at once.

    - Thanks for your time
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