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I recently moved into a new house, and it seems that every time there's an electrical storm, the power will blink on and off quite frequently. I was thinking of getting a UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) for my home computer. I don't need anything that will last for hours. Just something that can ride out the blips during electrical storms. How do I find a unit that can supply enough power for my PC, while not going overboard and spending more money than I need to.

My current setup has a 450 Watt power supply. I have a 19 inch non-widescreen monitor, a router, and a cable modem that I would like to attach to the unit. My computer consists of an AMD 4200, 2 hard disks, 2 Gigs of RAM, a DVD Writer, and a TV Tuner. I also have speakers on my computer, but I think it's not so important if those cut out a little during a power outage.

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Nice thing about most UPS is that they provide battery backup outlets and surge protection outlets, so be sure to only plug the mission critical things into the batter, and the others into surge protection only. –  jmsmcfrlnd Jul 29 '09 at 18:23
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

APC has a calculator to help you ballpark your requirements.

A few things to know before getting a UPS:

  • They add a little redundancy to your system; not a lot
  • The battery will need to be replaced every few years in order to get any meaningful use out of it. I have an old battery than doesn't last 0.1 seconds on a full charge, it got me ~3 minutes of usage when it was new
  • Some components can damage UPS's (laser printers for sure) so definately review the UPS manual
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+1 for APC - I use them at my office, where I care for about 15 machines. I find them reliable. I also have used their calculator, and as you might guess, they will point you to something a little larger than you really need, but if you prefer peace-of-mind - go with their guidance. Lastly, shop around, if you can time your purchase, the APC units are often on sale at Staples or Costco, etc. - keep an eye out for a sale. –  jmsmcfrlnd Jul 29 '09 at 18:26
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TrippLite makes nice UPS models for the home. Follow the link below to something that is probably appropriate for your needs.

http://www.tripplite.com/en/products/product-series.cfm?txtSeriesID=669&EID=13721

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