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Surge protector or UPS???

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am usually very paranoid about things happening to my equipment and since I have so much money into my computer I am always concerned of what might happen.

Right now I have a cheap belkin surge protector (LINK) But I am worried that it is not enough to protect my equipment. I am in Washington state so we dont have a whole lot of issues with power (that we notice anyways). We do have our power go out on rare occasions.. usually when a drunk hits a telephone pole or something. I dont think I have ever had a power surge since my surge protectors have never had anything happen to them.

I am curious if I should spend the money and get a UPS to protect my computer. I was looking at this one: Cyberpower
From what I have read little surge protectors like what I have will only help if their is a small surge of power, but if lightning were to ever strike nearby I can pretty much say goodbye to my computer. We do have storms here once and awhile.

What do you guys think? I have over 2k invested into this computer and I really dont want to see it crash and burn for any reason. Would a UPS help against a lightning strike as where a surge protector would not?


The UPS listed above, would it be enough to power my sig rig? even if I go 580s in sli?
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post #2 of 14
UPS if you can afford it.

Surge protectors just break circuit if they "feel" something bad.

If I'm not mistaken, high-end power supplies come with surge protectors built-in.
Edited by DiNet - 12/13/11 at 3:54am
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post #3 of 14
Surge protector only protects against power surge, nothing else.

That UPS can power your rig, but it is not pure sine wave model. I'd say maybe this unit will do better,
http://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP1350PFCLCD-1350VA-810W-Compatible/dp/B00429N19M/ref=sr_1_11?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1323784131&sr=1-11

Some PSUs and Monitors do no play nice with regular UPS. I have used regular UPS before and it does not give me any hick-up. The decision is yours though.
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post #4 of 14
A regular consumer UPS does nothing more than a surge protector in terms of power "protection". They do of course do something else, which is to provide battery power in the event of a blackout or a bad-enough brownout. But all that prevents is data loss rather than hardware damage. So a UPS is only useful if whatever data you may lose if your computer loses power is important. Those are just battery backup units, a.k.a. standby units.

If you want the good stuff, you need to look at pure sine wave UPS such as the APC SmartUPS line. For all intents and purposes, whatever equipment you connect to those is separated from the power grid. The power grid powers the UPS, then the UPS regulates what it's getting from the grid and delivers it to your equipment. And in addition to that, you get a battery backup.

The Cyberpower unit mentioned above is a popular choice, but due to its price I've always been skeptical of its claim that it's not just a standby unit.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shub View Post

A regular consumer UPS does nothing more than a surge protector in terms of power "protection". They do of course do something else, which is to provide battery power in the event of a blackout or a bad-enough brownout. But all that prevents is data loss rather than hardware damage. So a UPS is only useful if whatever data you may lose if your computer loses power is important. Those are just battery backup units, a.k.a. standby units.
If you want the good stuff, you need to look at pure sine wave UPS such as the APC SmartUPS line. For all intents and purposes, whatever equipment you connect to those is separated from the power grid. The power grid powers the UPS, then the UPS regulates what it's getting from the grid and delivers it to your equipment. And in addition to that, you get a battery backup.
The Cyberpower unit mentioned above is a popular choice, but due to its price I've always been skeptical of its claim that it's not just a standby unit.

To be honest all pure sine wave UPSs out there, including APC and Cyberpower, are simply stepped sine wave with steps being so small that it acts like a pure sine wave (low harmonic distortion). It does help protect against hardware though. I have an external HDD died horribly in blackout without UPS (not just data loss, hardware actually died).
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
what is pure sine wave?
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratjack View Post

what is pure sine wave?

The electricity we get from utility company is in the form of sine wave. Like this,

285

Here we call it "pure" sine wave because it is a smooth wave. They exhibit this behavior because they are alternating current (AC). AC means electricity constantly reverses its direction (back and forward). AC makes it possible for electricity to travel for a long distance.

Now regular UPS has a battery inside. Battery operates in direct current (DC). DC flows in one direction only. Therefore it must convert DC into AC (PSU/Monitors) for the computer to use it. Problem is many UPS will convert it to something like this,

319

As you can see, the wave is not smooth at all. Rather it looks like stairways (steps). Many PC components are cool with it, because the stepping is within tolerance, but some PSUs and monitors do not like it at all. Now consumer based pure sine wave UPS simply makes this stepping even smaller. So that the wave is very close to being smooth.

I'd say go for pure sine wave UPS if you can, to ensure maximum compatibilities.
Edited by trumpet-205 - 12/13/11 at 2:42pm
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
wow, thank you very much for all that information! +REP

So would it be something that I should do is get a UPS? I live out in the middle of nowhere and the only issues that we have ever had is the power going out if someone hits a telephone pole. I would rather not spend the money if i dont need to but I would really hate to see everything in my computer crash and burn for some reason.

So from what I understand here is a surge protector will only protect against small surges or if lightning strikes in the area causing a surge. A UPS does everything a Surge protector does but it also protects in the instance of a brownout or a blackout.

So what damage can a brown out or a black out do to a system?
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post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratjack View Post

wow, thank you very much for all that information! +REP
So would it be something that I should do is get a UPS? I live out in the middle of nowhere and the only issues that we have ever had is the power going out if someone hits a telephone pole. I would rather not spend the money if i dont need to but I would really hate to see everything in my computer crash and burn for some reason.
So from what I understand here is a surge protector will only protect against small surges or if lightning strikes in the area causing a surge. A UPS does everything a Surge protector does but it also protects in the instance of a brownout or a blackout.
So what damage can a brown out or a black out do to a system?

With blackout or brownout,

* Data loss
* Computer downtime
* Drive damages (this is rare, it did happen to me with my external hard drive. I suppose if you burn DVD and blackout happens it can damage your disc drive as well).

High constant voltage (not voltage spike) is also be something that surge protector does not protect.

Keep in mind with UPS itself has a lifespan as well. Depending on how well you take care of it can varies, but usually it can last 8+ years. After that you either replace the battery inside and buy another UPS unit (if you cannot replace the battery).
Edited by trumpet-205 - 12/13/11 at 2:50pm
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post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpet-205 View Post

With blackout or brownout,
* Data loss
* Computer downtime
* Drive damages (this is rare, it did happened to me with my external hard drive. I suppose if you burn DVD and blackout happens it can damage your disc drive as well).
High constant voltage (not voltage spike) is also be something that surge protector does not protect.
Keep in mind with UPS itself has a lifespan as well. Depending on how well you take care of it can varies, but usually it can last 8+ years. After that you either replace the battery inside and buy another UPS unit (if you cannot replace the battery).

I think my biggest concern is my GPU and CPU getting damaged since those are the most expensive things in my computer, But I do also worry about the PSU and mobo. Are these things at risk if there is High constant Voltage or a brown/blackout?

The UPS that you posted, would that be sufficient for my system? Even if I go SLI in the future with the 580s? Are there any other UPS that you would recommend over the one you posted?

I really appreciate you taking your time trying to help me out and educate me on what a UPS does. I never even heard of them until the other day when I saw someones post about one.
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