UPS Questions

totmachen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
177
I just moved in with a close family and have noticed some wierd things. Whenever you have the family PC on downstairs, the TV's upstairs will be snowy. Shut it down, TV's are fine. Also, whenever the AC kicks or, I can see the lights flicker just a bit. I am thinking the house has a weak electrical system.

I always run 2 PC's, my gaming rig and my file/study server. Since Im thinking the power in this house is bad, I was looking at getting a UPS. I know that I should get one with AVR since that will help clean the fluctuating power. What I dont know is how much power I will actually need.

I have 1 PC w/ a 430w PSU, 1 PC w/ a 400w PSU, my Via Aqua Pump, and a Samsung 19" CRT monitor. My budget is 50-100.

Any suggestions?
 

TekieB

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 27, 2003
Messages
1,228
I would get the highest "VA' rating one that you can afford.

...belkin makes some good stuff cheaply.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
42
With a 100 dollar budget that cuts off most of the better power supplies. You probably have to go with Belkin or Tripp Lite. I got a UPS 2 months ago for the same reason with the bad power and a need to keep a file server up during small outages. My 650 VA runs at 70% load with both comps on and one monitor so for your setup you'll need at least 700 VA.

Check out this web page for a little overview on UPS's and what to look for if you haven't researched already.

http://www.arstechnica.com/guide/ups/ups.html
 

mabegman

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 10, 2004
Messages
108
Definitely get a UPS. Don't skimp, get the AVR. Wait another payday if you have to. I don't think you'll get AVR in an APC for anything less than $120. I couldn't. But depending on where you live and shop you may. CyberPower has AVR cheaper than APC with a decent VA rating. Batteries aren't user swappable in the CyberPower I don't think. But even if they aren't it was still @$40 cheaper.

Don't let the TV thing fool you. That can be cable line related. Too many splitters or a screwed cable can do that fuzzy thing. It's signal degredation. The AC and vacuums starting and what not draw a lot of current to get the motors started. It's not out of the ordinary to see the lights drop out a bit. It does in my house but my UPS with AVR has yet to intervene because of anything like that.

You need the AVR when its 105 outside and everyone has their AC blasting and the power grid is on the verge of meltdown, or when some squirrel pisses in the transformer up the street and takes your block out of service. If you get AVR and it DOES intervene frequently, then yeah the power in the house is less than adequate.
 

totmachen

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
177
Thanks for your replies, I'll look into that link. I will also see if I can scrape together another 50-75 dollars over another week and see what I can get then.
 

burningrave101

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
11,825
Both UPS's have "AVR", or "Automatic Voltage Regulation". Specifically, they support both "boost" and "buck". What does this all mean? Well, initially, most AC electronics in North America were meant to run off of a clean 120 Volts. With power demands the way they are these days, that ideal has faded away. Now we have electronics rated for 110-115V to make up for the permanent mini-brownout, but even so we still have sags where the voltage drops below 110V. Undervolted and overvolted electronics are unhappy electronics... anyone with an under-powered powersupply in their computer can attest to this. Basic UPS's will just go to battery if the voltage is outside of a certain range, which does the job, but shortens the lifespan of the battery. Slightly more expensive UPS's will have basic "boost" AVR, which uses a transformer to boost the voltage back up to spec in the event of a sag... as long as the voltage is within the transformer's input range (hint: 0 Volts is outside of the input range... thus it will go to battery in a blackout). Even fancier UPS's use "boost and buck" AVR, where the "buck" means the UPS clips off the excess voltage (again, if the voltage is outside of a certain range, the UPS will still use the battery). Put into layman's terms, AVR technology prevents the UPS from hitting the battery as often as it would without AVR, which will lengthen the lifespan of the battery.

You need a UPS that has "boost" and "buck" AVR so that the UPS isn't using its battery very much.

Belkin 1200VA vs APC 1000VA

I tested runtimes on the system listed at the top of this section. I started a infinite loop of 3dmark2001se, and then immediately afterward unplugged the UPS and started a timer. The Belkin kept the system running for 21:44, with the "near empty" rapid beeps coming in around the 19 minute mark. The APC kept the system running for 19:58, with the "near empty" rapid beeps coming in around 18 and a quarter.

Scores:
Belkin 79%
APC 77%

http://www.gamingin3d.com/reviews/ups/

EDIT: Something most people dont notice with the Warranty on UPS's.

1.) all cables coming from the wall to your equipment MUST be surge protected
2.) all the aforementioned equipment must be protected with APC units, NOT competing units

Otherwise they are not going to pay off if your hardware blows up.
 
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