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A UPS... key to real stability!

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September 18, 2002 12:16:59 PM

Its been damn windy here recently. 3 times in the past 2 weeks we have had winds exceeding 100kmh (65mph). nasty stuff. trees down allover the place.
just a few hours ago, one on our neighbours trees fell over... bouncing off our roof!!

the mains power regularity has taken a beating too... yet thanks to a small 500VA powerboard like UPS my computer remains on and stable as a superglued brick... at least 4 times today ive heard it go *click...bzzzzz* a sign that something bad has happened to the mains power.

even when the power remains off for a long period of time there is no stress, as the UPS gives me ample time to save what i was doing and put the wee beastie into hibernate mode.

not a cheap investment at $230 australian dollars, but it has more than paid for its keep with crashes avoided. :smile:

if you want true stability, a UPS is a good investment.

<b><font color=green>A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing! :lol:  </b></font color=green>

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September 18, 2002 1:10:34 PM

Good advice! In fact, that's very good advice especially for people living outside the city where power outages are common. I live in a big city, but I've still experienced a couple of power outages in the last 6 months.

Intelligence is not merely the wealth of knowledge but the sum of perception, wisdom, and knowledge.
September 18, 2002 3:27:47 PM

Too true! They're lifesavers. And after all, why invest a grand or two into a new PC and then <i>not</i> protect it with at <i>least</i> a high quality and insured power strip, if not a whole UPS? :) 

<pre><A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/comic/186.htm" target="_new"><font color=red>It's all relative...</font color=red></A></pre><p>
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September 18, 2002 4:04:48 PM

Does anyone have any recommendations for high-quality surge protectors or UPSes? I'm currently running of a normal power strip which offers little protection.

-zigzag
September 18, 2002 4:56:40 PM

APC is usually considered the best in the UPS field. They are pricey, though. I have a CyberPower UPS/AVR that I got for a good deal from work, and it hasn't failed me yet. Belkin, a maker of good quality surge protectors, also makes some UPS systems, but I've not heard one thing or the other as far as their quality.

Also, be sure to get a UPS that is also an Automatic Voltage Regulator. (AVR) Not only will it give you power if your electricity goes out, but it will also keep the power to your system steady in the result of near-brownout-level dips in power.

--S.
September 18, 2002 5:23:55 PM

APC is the most known, but not the best imo.
Because they are the most popular, thus much more expensive.
We have them at work here (lots of them).
We have units from $250 to the one in the server room ~$50,000.
Personally I would not buy one, your cyber power or belkin is a much cheaper choice (if not better).
September 18, 2002 5:30:33 PM

Quote:
APC is the most known, but not the best imo.
Because they are the most popular, thus much more expensive.

Have you had a bad experience with APC? Price generally correlates directly with quality in a free market.

Ritesh
September 18, 2002 5:42:03 PM

4 months ago we had a center outage. The $50,000 apc kicked in (actually 2 of them) and powered like 20 servers in the server room.

All was going good- the display stated $104 minutes remaning.

All was good up untill 91 minutes, when that thing, and everything else with it crashed.

I understand that this is the higher end unit.

I had bad experience with the consumer units as well.
When your apc goes into the battery load test mode, it places all the load (without the ac backup) on the battery. If the battery is bad, your system goes down. Other units perform this battery test with an ac backup, therefore if your battery is bad, it will tell you its bad -and will continue using the ac power.
September 18, 2002 7:53:00 PM

i got my sister one from frys, its an apc rated at 5 min with a computer and 17inch monitor. i had to get that for her cause her computer kept crapping out. after much headache i traced the problem to a faulty outlet. it would drop power on that outlet to the point the computer would shut off. the ups fixed that. she never paid me for it either so now that they have moved im going to take it back : ) it was only 60 bucks on sale.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
September 18, 2002 8:20:54 PM

I couldn't agree more!
Here in Hull QC in my crappy neighborhood, I get these days a lot of outages for city electricity, and it is VERY annoying (lousy neighborhood). I got sick of how often the electricity would go out for a split second, enough to reset the comp! It did that several times in 3 seconds, and that is worrying because the amount of resets might cause data loss. We also get outages more often and because of that, in the past I lost a RAM module, and this time had one of my drives get bad sectors which, given the age of the drive, could not be fixed.
So I went with what most Canadians would not think of considering due to the trust we put into electricity (especially in Quebec where ALL out of city and city electricity is powered by the supposedly best Hydroelectrical company in the world, Hydro Quebec), got a UPS!
Indeed I was tired of all the BS instability that this house's electricity provides, I got an APC Back UPS 650VA, 400W. Under load or normal usage it can go up to 14 minutes at the most, enough for me to shut it down. In fact I set it to shut down by software demand, when it gets to 8 minutes in the event I was away from home and WinXP might take time shutting 2 users down. Ever since then, there were many outages, once during foul weather there were 6, yes count em, 6 split second outages in 20 minutes! Perfect stress test for the UPS!
It cost me 250$ CDN but to me, protection of my valued PC, that lasts for years, and only once every 5 years will I need battery replacement, is more than enough to warrant the price and stability and quality APC offers.

Yes people, you may have an ultra stable neighborhood electricity, but the minute it happens, don't cry foul that your equipment may be damaged. GET a UPS and be secure, at least you can also shut off any apps you may be typing text in, or playing.

--
Where did your THGC username come from and why did you choose it? <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/community/modules.php?na..." target="_new">Tell here!</A>
September 18, 2002 11:33:54 PM

*SQUEEEEEEEEAK*
mine is an APC. its good.
i havnt drained it till its flat yet, but it gives me at least 2 minutes with my beige beast running flat chat... enough time for an unhurried shutdown. looks good too.

*squeak squeak squeak*
300VA for mid level pc, 500VA for high end XP or P4 beast.

<b>Small.Cute.Fluffy.Evil. And Creator Of Perminant Hearing Loss If Ever Used As A Qtip!</b>
September 20, 2002 12:18:19 AM

Tripp Lite also make very good UPSs and surge suppressors.
September 20, 2002 6:58:18 AM

APC is the most popular but far from being the best UPS.

Look for a model with true synwave output,a power conditioner(voltage regulator)& a built in battery management system.

You will need at least 500VA for the newer CPUs.

Powerware makes a good UPS but they are hard to find in the market and a little bit more pricey than APC. Powerware units even come with software to shutdown your system in case power fail while you are away from your computer.

If you look at the label of UPSs from Compaq,IBM,Lucent,Dell & Graybar the OEM manufacturer is Powerware.

FYI ... Powerware is also in the market labeled as Exide,Invensys or Deltec
September 20, 2002 11:36:29 AM

Windows 2000/XP have build in support for automatic shut down or hibernate when the computer is running on UPS. You can access it in the Power Options in Control Panel.
September 21, 2002 7:52:20 AM

you're 2 hours from me, Montreal here

HQ was not so great during the ice storm last time, but it was fun to be with family for a while again. :D  At my mom's we had power and the phone lines were good too, used it to get on-line (just had to drag my system over), had to leave my house because we got these huge power towers behind the house and the city was scared that they might go down like the rest.


ohh yeah btw I want to buy one of those UPS things too, flickering lights are way too common here

<font color=red>Got a silent setup, now I can hear myself thinking.... great silence</font color=red>
October 11, 2002 4:06:48 PM

i can't say i have a UPS... too pricy for my equipment (3 400watt boxes and 2 17" monitors <g>
and the power around her is stable enough (save for the occasional high wind/rain combo in the summer (east coast of Florida).

I needed a surge supressor awhile back, as my computer setup had gotten further and further away from the nearest outlet, i had daisy chained 3 old SS units together, the last 2 were used fully (9 plugs in use (damn AC/DC adapters take up 2 slots), needed a new strip with lotsa outlets and a long cord, skipped the office supply stores (6 outlet, short cord 240-260 joule protectors... not much.

Went to Home Depot, got a 10 OUTLET 340 joule (!) "industrial strength" i.e. for power tools for about $30 with a 15 foot master cord (most i've seen is 6, and that's pushing it) and to top that all off, they are spaced like 5 dual plug outlets (no more AC/DC's blocking my outlets.) if you want a real SS unit, check the hardware stores, not super stores... the thing's a Belkin too... nice metal housing.
!