Tom's Hardware's 2009 Gift Guide: Part 2, System Add-Ons

Battery Backup: PC Power and Cooling Pro-Source 1500

www.pcpower.com
$299
By: William Van Winkle

PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ) is likely the most respected name in PC power supplies. I’ve interviewed the company's founder Doug Dodson twice and walked away both times stunned by his deep knowledge and devotion to product quality. I know that sounds like I’m pumping the product, but it’s true. He’s an old hand in the field and the real deal, plus PC Power & Cooling is the only American power supply manufacturer.

Pro-Source is PCP&C’s line of uninterruptible power supplies (UPSes). The most notable feature in this series is its use of sine wave rather than step wave output. Most consumer UPSes use a step pattern, which looks on an oscilloscope just how the name implies—like a series of rising and falling stacked blocks instead of a smooth curve. Fortunately, your PC only has to run for a few seconds to minutes on battery power, but even in this brief time, running on step wave power can be very rough on your system’s electronics.

Have you ever gone to UPS power and heard a buzzing from your power supply? This is usually because it’s being forced to run on step power. It’s not lethal, but it’s not good. More importantly, some power supplies that use active PFC are averse to step sine. As one example, Antec publicly stated last summer that all of its active PFC power supplies except the BP-350 require pure sine wave input. Step wave input will not work and will result in the PC shutting down. Whoops.

The bad news is that true sine UPSes cost more. The good news is that not only will true sine UPSes actually work with your system in the event of power loss, but the output power is gentler on your electronics and will help reduce wear on your system if you’re in a bad power area and experience occasional to frequent outages.

This particular model is a 1,500VA unit (1,440VA with a standard plug) capable of delivering 900 watts, which should be more than enough for an enthusiast system not running under an insane load. At 900W, expect three minutes of runtime; at half-load expect 12 minutes. The three 12V, 7Ah rechargeable batteries are fairly simple to replace, and the UPS runs at 97% efficiency while on AC power. I also like that PCP&C bundles remote management software so you can use the Pro-Source’s USB port to check on battery levels or respond to emailed outage alerts.

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  • tortnotes
    And here I was hoping we could all be mature enough to act normally if--gasp!--there are photos of a woman.

    ..sigh.
    14
  • Other Comments
  • DjEaZy
    ... interesting... it is very hard to read the descriptions or look on the products... i wonder why... [?]
    -3
  • shubham1401
    That dress is cute!
    7
  • presidenteody
    i need a napkin
    -5
  • tacoslave
    presidenteodyi need a napkin


    o.k...
    6
  • tortnotes
    And here I was hoping we could all be mature enough to act normally if--gasp!--there are photos of a woman.

    ..sigh.
    14
  • tacoslave
    ok some troll went through all of our comments and by the way @presidentteody come on this is toms not fapfest 09 holiday edition! Leave the immaturity to the Apple fanboys!
    1
  • jebusv20
    tomshardware, a forum for men.

    with heads below the belt
    2
  • The Lady Slayer
    "PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ) is likely the most respected name in PC power supplies."

    Only if you've never heard of Corsair.
    1
  • xaira
    was she really the best they could do?
    -17
  • nlcbryan
    oh my..i think i've been living in a hole or something. When i saw how they described the ZuneHD functionality, im horror struck! All in the small thing? even 10hrs ?? wow im amazed..
    1
  • Gedoe_
    +1 for using the same cute girl as last year (apparently your still together)
    0
  • cangelini
    gedoe_+1 for using the same cute girl as last year (apparently your still together)


    Hehe, last year Alicia, my wife, was in the gift guide. This year it's Sarah, who has done these since, I think, like 2005?
    6
  • Harby
    The Lady Slayer"PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ) is likely the most respected name in PC power supplies."Only if you've never heard of Corsair.


    Actually, Corsair is better only if you've never heard of PCP&C. Unless you need modular bling crap that shoot lasers and whatnot.
    0
  • JohnnyLucky
    Does the Dell U2410 monitor have an IPS panel?
    0
  • cknobman
    maybe im in the minority here but the girl just dosnt do that much for me. Dont get me wrong shes not ugly or anything but just not my cup of tea.

    As for the zune description....very impressive :)
    -10
  • Anonymous
    Or you could get a 27 inch LG for 200 bucks cheaper.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824005127
    Tpk=W2753V%20PF
    -2
  • bill gates is your daddy
    I was going to add $0.02 and make some lurid comment about wanting Sarah to pose with my USB stick so I could take pictures and post on the interwebs but then I noticed something.

    How many pictures did this poor girl have to pose for? By the end of the photoshoot did you at least get her drunk for her troubles?
    0
  • tamalero
    The Lady Slayer"PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ) is likely the most respected name in PC power supplies."Only if you've never heard of Corsair.



    you're clearly a sad individual and dont know about real quality if you claim that Corsair is better than PC Power & cooling.
    -5
  • Anonymous
    Actually, in the "low end" up to 850W Silencer series, Corsair and PC Power&Cooling uses the same parts look on reviews when they disassemble the PSUs both using Seasonic and Corsair is always cheaper so it is the way to go,I got a 850w 70amp/12v for the price of a 750 PC P&C and both offers 5 year of warranty. BUT if you want a 860w+ like the 1.2Kw PC Power&Cooling is the way to go(Better quality than the HX1000 from corsair) if you have the money. And the turbo cool series from PC P&C offers 7 years warranty.
    0
  • Anonymous
    I forgot to add the fan on the Corsairs vs PC P&C Silencer series, the corsairs 140mm which is much quieter than the Silencer series.The Turbo cool from pc p&c is 860w+
    0