Are UPS more practical than AVR?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by sweater, Jan 29, 2014.

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  1. sweater

    sweater Registered Member

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    Power failures comes unexpectedly in our city, without warning but it is not that annoying (maybe...once a week..sometimes change power like a flash). Just wondering if its more better to have a UPS than just an ordinary AVR for pc.

    And do you think, UPS has a more advanced "protective" features than AVR coz it has a battery in there.

    Do you think sudden pc shutdown cause by power failure could corrupt the hard drives? and what other problems may arise with frequent sudden pc shutdown?
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    The answer is yes to all questions except the last one.
    To that, what could happen, anything from nothing to total hardware failure.
    Mrk
     
  3. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Ime it's vital to have a UPS when power outages, lightening, spikes etc.

    I used to live in 1 of the top 3 places for lightening strikes in the US. Before I got a dependable UPS lightening I fried a couple hard drives. Get a UPS that will last long enough for a normal shutdown. Test it by unplugging from the wall you'd be surprised how UPCs you think will handle your system are too weak.
     
  4. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    This is essentially the same as a blue screen. Let me tell you, when you're in the process of overclocking and go through dozens of blue screens, weird things happen. I'm thinking about getting a UPS to isolate my pc and speakers from the rest of my apartment. I can hear in my speakers when the furnace turns on.
     
  5. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    UPS won't help if you get hit by a lightning.
    But it will work for the rest.
    Mrk
     
  6. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Understand, we are [or should be] talking about a "good" UPS with AVR. And that we are comparing a "good" UPS with AVR to just a "line regulator" - as found on some high-end home theater audio systems.

    With that established, now to your questions,

    1 and 2. Line regulators don't really offer protection. They do help with some surges and spikes, but they are not really to be used as surge and spike protection. Their goal is the provide a perfect sinewave for the absolute best audio reproduction. But even if surge and spike protection is included, that only addresses half the problem.

    A "good" UPS with AVR not only offers "protection" from excessive high voltage "events" (surges and spikes), but also low voltage events like sags (opposite of surges) and dips (opposite of spikes), brownouts (long duration sags), and of course, total power outages. That said, power during a power outage is ONLY the icing on the cake. The AVR is the bread and butter. Backup power is there JUST to give users (or the UPS software) time to properly save all open files, close all open programs, exit Windows "gracefully", then properly power off the computer.

    A surge and spike protector is little more than a fancy and expensive extension cord. Again, they do absolutely NOTHING for low-voltage anomalies. And for high-voltage anomalies, they simply chop off ("clamp") the excessive tops of the sine waves, leaving a dirty mess for the connected devices' power supplies and internal voltage regulators to deal with.

    A "good" UPS with AVR will "reshape" the incoming power waveform "reducing" (vs chopping off) the excessive voltage, and using the batteries to "boost" voltage during low voltage events. This boosting is something no surge and spike protector can do. Line Regulators can provide some very limited boost, but not efficiently (a lot of energy is wasted in the form of heat) as a UPS can do with batteries. Batteries, BTW, are very robust devices capable of taking a lot of abuse.

    3. Absolutely a sudden power outage can corrupt a hard drive. This is why you should NEVER (if possible) just kill the power, but should always "gracefully" shutdown Windows and then power down the computer. This is because MANY files are open when Windows and your programs are running. A sudden power outage can result in these files left in "open" status on the drive, potentially making the drive unbootable, and the data inaccessible. It is this protection of data that many feel is the only justification needed to buy a UPS. That is, to many it is all about protecting the data on the disks as the data (or access to it) may be worth much more than the hardware itself.

    It should be noted that NOTHING will stop or protect you from a "direct" lightning strike except (and not always) unplugging from the wall during a storm. But a strike nearby your home sending excessive anomalies through "the grid" to you home can be "handled" by a "good" UPS with AVR.

    Finally, note I keep saying "good" UPS with AVR. This is because, like power supplies, there are cheap UPS you need to avoid. You don't have to get the most expensive, but you should get a "good" one.

    Today's better active PFC power supplies used on most PCs are easily supported by a "good" UPS with AVR that has at least a "approximation sinewave" output waveform. The best UPSs have a "pure" sinewave output and IMO, if budget allows, these should be your choice and fortunately, the costs of pure sinewave UPS with AVR are coming down.

    FTR, I have a decent APC Back-UPS XS 1500 which is rated at 1500VA/865 Watts. It protects my i7, 16Gb PC, all my network gear, and two 22" monitors. Plus it will provide nearly 30 minutes of backup power, longer if I kill one of my monitors.

    I like the models that have a LCD information panel - great for seeing how much power your system (or individual devices) is pulling without having to call up the UPS software program. For example, I can see right now, just typing and listening to Pandora, this system is drawing just 185 watts. When I turn off Monitor #2, it drops to ~140 telling me my monitors draw about 45W each.

    Bottom line, EVERY computer, big screen TV, and decent (read: expensive) home theater system should be on a "good" UPS with AVR.
     
  7. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    You are right. When I was living in that location. I forgot to mention I had a TrippLite surge protector & power filter/cleaner in the loop. Oops.
     
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