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Thread: UPS: Are Online, Pure Sine Wave and Surge Protection Needed in 2019? (And Other Qns)

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    Default UPS: Are Online, Pure Sine Wave and Surge Protection Needed in 2019? (And Other Qns)

    Hi, I have been shopping around for UPSes and am unsure how to solve the following dillemma before I can make a firmer decision. Not helping that most of information I see are not up to date.

    Specs
    AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
    ASUS X470 Strix-F Gaming
    Palit Jetstream GTX 2070 SUPER
    2 * 8 GB DDR4 Sniper X RAM
    Seasonic M12II EVO 620W PSU

    Infomation I Have Currently Seen
    To give you all some context, here's what I have seen so far:

    This GamersNexus video with commentary from Jon (thanks again!)


    I have also read threads from here and other websites such as:
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/show...085#post159085
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/show...ter-CyberPower
    https://digilander.libero.it/hibone/...est_Report.pdf
    https://www.hardwareinsights.com/dat...put-waveforms/

    Current models I can find in the local market:
    https://www.apc.com/shop/sg/en/produ...230V/P-BR900GI
    https://www.apc.com/shop/sg/en/produ...s/P-BX625CI-MS
    https://www.apc.com/shop/sg/en/produ...EAN/P-BK650-AS
    https://www.apc.com/shop/sg/en/produ.../P-BX1100LI-MS

    Online vs Line Interactive
    I understand that most UPSes are of either category (with the really cheap ones being merely offline backups, which I do not want). Based on what I can see here, online UPSes are better as they seem to give clean (or to be exact, power that is regulated even during brownouts e.t.c) power at all times and also there is virtually no delay in switching between battery power and AC power as battery power is always used. Line interactive UPSes have a small delay when switching and there is no info to confirm if they can give similarly clean power. This video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5DyzSUsNC4) helped me to see the difference between these two types of UPSes clearly but I can't find any such demonstrations when it comes to PC hardware.

    While it may seem a no-brainer to just go for online models, over in Singapore, they cost at least 4 to even 10 times of the cost of a line interactive model. Also, it seems to me that I will have to specially order them as compared to just going to any IT hardware store and buying them off the shelves as these are considered to be enterprise grade equipment.

    So, I want to know:
    1. Will this small delay cause any problem with current PC hardware?
    2. Is the quality of power similar in both types of UPSes?

    Pure Sine Wave v.s. Stepped/Approximated Sine Wave
    I also know that UPSes give out two kinds of sine wave, pure v.s. stepped/approximated sine wave. I am seeing advice to get sine wave UPSes due to how approximated sine wave messes up Active PFC PSUs, just that the advice was given during 2010 to 2014. It is also strange too seeing how APC still advertises their UPSes (whether pure sine wave or not) to be compatible with PC hardware, especially when in 2019 pretty much all PSUs are Active PFC.

    So, I want to know:
    3. How relevant is the advice as of 2019?
    4. Which use cases in 2019 still require pure sine wave?
    5. If I am to use either kinds of UPS, are "power conditioners" or "automatic voltage regulator" (especially those from the audiophile industry) still needed?

    Surge Protection
    I notice that some UPSes do provide surge protection but on paper it does not seem much compared to dedicated surge protection strips like the Belkin ones that I have right now. At the same time, I understand that you are not supposed to daisy chain the UPS to these surge protection strips and vice versa (and by extension, you cannot daisy chain surge protection devices together).

    So, I want to know:
    6. Is there a specific reason why such daisy-chaining isn't allowed?
    7. How should I get the same level of protection should I move up to a UPS?

    Using/Importing (Used/Refurbished) UPSes
    It seems to me that Cyberpower UPSes have better prices and features compared to APC models, but it seems to me that I will need to order them from overseas online shops like Amazon and maybe B&H. At the same time, it appears to me that I can go try to order used/refurbished UPSes from certain online stores (not sure if I should post links here) or even from the 2nd hand market over here. The only challenges I can see is that the batteries UPSes use will be harder to ship into Singapore due to air travel restrictions and that this is my first time using UPSes so I am unsure if used/refurbished UPSes are the way to go.

    So, I want to know:
    8. Are my concerns legitimate?

    Budget Balancing and other Concerns
    With all of these, I am unsure what to exactly prioritise. To be exact:
    9. Is getting the most VA a priority over getting a more advanced UPS model?
    10. Is having no UPS better than an "under-specced" UPS?
    11. Have I missed out on any details? (If the UPS's cable is detached, USB interface, LCD are what comes to my mind but I think I missed out something to check for)

    I think this is all for now, thanks for reading!

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkarn View Post
    While it may seem a no-brainer to just go for online models

    Don't forget that an online UPS is working the whole time so will use more electricity and that can result in a lower lifetime.
    Last edited by ashiekh; 09-23-2019 at 10:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkarn View Post
    1. Will this small delay cause any problem with current PC hardware?
    2. Is the quality of power similar in both types of UPSes?
    3. How relevant is the advice as of 2019?
    4. Which use cases in 2019 still require pure sine wave?
    5. If I am to use either kinds of UPS, are "power conditioners" or "automatic voltage regulator" (especially those from the audiophile industry) still needed?
    6. Is there a specific reason why such daisy-chaining isn't allowed?
    7. How should I get the same level of protection should I move up to a UPS?
    8. Are my concerns legitimate?
    9. Is getting the most VA a priority over getting a more advanced UPS model?
    10. Is having no UPS better than an "under-specced" UPS?
    11. Have I missed out on any details? (If the UPS's cable is detached, USB interface, LCD are what comes to my mind but I think I missed out something to check for)
    1. Not if you have adequate hold up time (you should).
    2. Line Interactive and Online do not define the output wave. Only the UPS topology. That said, online UPSs tend to have a pure sine output, line interactive can have pure side or square wave output.
    3. Cheaper PSUs with higher mains voltage may not like the square wave because of the higher peak voltages (peak of the waveform).
    4. Any?
    5. No, because a line interactive or online UPS has AVR already.
    6. Risk of overloading the UPS?
    7. The UPS should have surge suppression built in.
    8. No.
    9, No.
    10. An under-spec'd UPS is useless because it will just shut off when you lose power.
    11. I hope not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Gerow View Post
    3. Cheaper PSUs with higher mains voltage may not like the square wave because of the higher peak voltages (peak of the waveform).

    Correct me if I am wrong

    I thought it was normally a rectangular wave such that the peak voltage matched that of the sine-wave and the width such that the power through a resistor would match the sine-wave; however I can see such a sharp wave having distortions that go above the desired peak voltage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong

    I thought it was normally a rectangular wave such that the peak voltage matched that of the sine-wave and the width such that the power through a resistor would match the sine-wave; however I can see such a sharp wave having distortions that go above the desired peak voltage.
    Yeah. I mis-spoke because it's hard to explain. The peaks are the same. But it's the square wave at that peak that can cause problems.

    Visuals work best.

    http://www.ti.com/lit/an/slaa602a/slaa602a.pdf

    There's got to be a name for that square corner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Gerow View Post
    There's got to be a name for that square corner.

    I'd try for elbow
    Last edited by ashiekh; 09-23-2019 at 03:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    Don't forget that an online UPS is working the whole time so will use more electricity and that can result in a lower lifetime.
    This is a good point that I haven't realised, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Gerow View Post
    1. Not if you have adequate hold up time (you should).
    2. Line Interactive and Online do not define the output wave. Only the UPS topology. That said, online UPSs tend to have a pure sine output, line interactive can have pure side or square wave output.
    3. Cheaper PSUs with higher mains voltage may not like the square wave because of the higher peak voltages (peak of the waveform).
    4. Any?
    5. No, because a line interactive or online UPS has AVR already.
    6. Risk of overloading the UPS?
    7. The UPS should have surge suppression built in.
    8. No.
    9, No.
    10. An under-spec'd UPS is useless because it will just shut off when you lose power.
    11. I hope not.
    Thanks! Just some follow-up:
    2. I think I misphrased that question; I was trying to ask was whether both kind of UPSes are at least helping with voltage sagging and/or brownouts e.t.c and whether an online UPS will do better in this regard

    3. How should I check if my PSU is one of those cheap PSUs mentioned here?

    7. Why would it be ok to use just the UPS in this case? Or rather, how does the UPS do better in surge protection compared to a surge protector?

    Also, based on budget and needed power, it sounds like I will have to make do with a line-interactive approximated sine wave model. Rough plan is to get that, save up a lot (we are talking about about 800 USD here) then get an online model that does pure sine wave. If I can somehow find and ship in a 220V Cyberpower model I will do just that, but that doesn't seem hopeful

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    How good is power out there?

    I have stopped using a UPS as power is good where I moved to, but I still have a lot of surge protection; replacement UPS batteries were getting too expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashiekh View Post
    How good is power out there?

    I have stopped using a UPS as power is good where I moved to, but I still have a lot of surge protection.
    For Singapore, power is generally good but some houses may have bad power. To illustrate my point, my friend has some equipment die on him without good explanation other than his house's wiring looking very old. For me, I had some blackouts caused by other appliances before and therefore wanted to prevent future damage.

    Surge protection is another concern, especially with the high amount of thunderstorms we get here

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkarn View Post
    2. I think I misphrased that question; I was trying to ask was whether both kind of UPSes are at least helping with voltage sagging and/or brownouts e.t.c and whether an online UPS will do better in this regard

    3. How should I check if my PSU is one of those cheap PSUs mentioned here?

    7. Why would it be ok to use just the UPS in this case? Or rather, how does the UPS do better in surge protection compared to a surge protector?
    2. That's the same as your AVR question. Both topologies will buck and boost.

    3. You listed it as a Seasonic M12II EVO, so I don't think you'll have an issue.

    7. Why would it or would it? It would. Better or worse? Depends on if you're comparing apples to apples.

    Example: This UPS has 680 Joules surge suppression: https://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/produ...ect/P-SMT1000C

    This surge strip is 790 Joules: https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-.../dp/B00TP1C1UC

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