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UPS question

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March 23, 2003 8:50:12 AM

I was thinking of buying a new surge protector for my new system, since my belkin is getting a little old, although I've never had problems. Happened to be at Compusa and saw they had the APC 350va/200 watt battery backup FREE with mail in rebates. I bought it figuring it's free (except the sales tax) and it should be as good as a surge protector even if I don't really need the battery backup. Unless I'm in front of the computer all the time, which I'm not, the 4-5 minutes shouldn't help me much.

Anyways, my question is the; the description shows it outputs 200w. I'm thinking of getting a 350-400w power supply. So, would my case have problems running through this battery backup? Or am I better off just using a decent surge protector.

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March 23, 2003 12:07:13 PM

The kind or total wattage of the PSU that is installed in your system really has very little to do with a UPS.

It is better to have a UPS than just a standard surge protector, simply because of two things, basically:

1.) The ability to shut down the system smoothly in case of a power outage.

2.) Line conditioning that prevents damage to the system components (<i>including</i> the PSU) due to brown-outs and sudden surges.

What you should do is use the <A HREF="http://www.apc.com/template/size/apc/" target="_new">on-line UPS selector</A> to determine what UPS is best for your system. Fill in the information, and decide just how much run time you want if there is a power failure. Then determine if the free backup at CompUSA is the best solution. Don't just buy one sight unseen without checking out your options first.

Toey

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March 23, 2003 1:24:50 PM

Line conditioning is only availible with more expensive Online USP. An online UPS converts AC power from the outlet and charges the battery . The battery in turn proves power for the computer. The AC power is filtered through the battery, thus giving the computer's PSU a very smooth AC current.
The cheap one is usually a Stand-by UPS which removes the battery from the AC circuit until the AC power drops below 80-90 Watt. Since it removes the battery from the regular AC power it does not prove line conditioning.
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March 23, 2003 2:04:06 PM

I got myself one of those <A HREF="http://www.apc.com/products/family/index.cfm?id=22" target="_new">APC LS 500</A> back-ups. My system use 170Watts, 103Watts when monitor not running (17") according to the software you get with the back-ups.

It got all the goodies and since I have it I didn't have one reboot do to brownouts and it switched over to battery many times. Can say that I'm pretty darn happy with it.

APC Back-UPS LS, 500VA/315W, Input 120V/ Output 120V, Interface Port USB
Automatic Voltage Regulation (AVR) (line voltage drop protection aka brownouts (lights flicker), it's bad in my area)
7 power outlets (4 battery+surge and 3 surge only)
fax/modem protection

starting to sound like a sales guy :D 

the price difference is minor so go for the big ones with all the goodies. :) 

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March 24, 2003 12:44:50 AM

I have a 500VA APC UPS... and the rating of the ups has nothing to do with the PSU.
Its how much power the computer really draws that determines the run time of the UPS in the advent of a blackout.

and regarding if your away from your computer: My APC has a USB monitoring line... and ive set up the power management feature so windows 2000 will automatically enter hibernate mode should the battery charge fall below 50%.
THis way i wont loose anything in the event of a power failure and me not being around.


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March 24, 2003 10:08:54 AM

Thanks guys for your replies. Yeah..I assumed that the stated 200 watts had nothing to do with the psu watts. I just wanted to make sure. Looks like for 3 bucks I spent on sales tax, I got a pretty good deal. I was thinking of just buying a new surge protector for the new system I'm building anyways. After using it for a while, if I like it, maybe I'll spend some money and buy a decent one later.
March 25, 2003 1:29:04 AM

I've got the same UPS, picked-it up for about $40 (canadian) a few months ago on some nice mail in rebate offer, have it set just about the same you do but wanted to know somethin - how long can you pull from it if you go into "power saving mode".. I mean, I've got an ahlon xp 1600, 40 gig hd and 2.5 gig hd, dvd, 2 fans, dual fan psu (350w enermax), geforce4 mx440, my DSL modem and hub/switch plugged in as well, and I can get about 10 minutes of battery power... you?

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March 25, 2003 1:42:31 AM

no idea. I actually havnt fully tested the UPS of mine... though i know its greater than 3 minutes, which is all i need really.

I imagine it would be less than 10 though as i run the 17" monitor, PC with overclocked XP1700 and ADSL modem power converter from it.
Once i put it to hibernate mode the only things drawing power are the monitor in standby low power mode <5W and the modem power converter... so it should last ages.

<b>Damn War! I'm too young to watch other people die!</b>
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