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  #11  
Old 03-06-2013
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bobnova bobnova is offline
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Sure it is, if you never need it it's wasted money, that's a mistake in my book. If you bought a solid Intel rig three years ago you'd have a 95-130w CPU and a >200w GPU.
If you upgraded now you'd have a 77w (65w, really) CPU and 200w gets you a GTX680.

The only time it makes sense to me is if you are planning on buying a second GPU.
Otherwise, just sell the PSU (if you bought a good one, it'll have a resale value) and move up. Just like you'd be doing with the rest of the computer.

Fan noise wise, the only time the PSU is going to be stressed enough to crank the fan up is with a serious CPU+GPU load and guess what: It's a rare GPU that has a quieter fan than a good PSU.
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2013
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Originally Posted by allikat View Post
Actually, while 50% is the peak efficiency, it's a waste of money to buy a unit that is at 50% when the machine is at maximum load. You're far better off buying one only 50-100w over what you need. The 80+ designations require full load to be no worse than 3% less efficient at full load than the peak at 50%. And besides, if you buy a PSU that closely fits your needs, it'll still be spending the majority of its' time at 50% load or less.
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Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
With only 50 - 100W headroom, that leaves very little wiggle room down the road should the user decide to add more drive space, more RAM or perhaps an upgraded, or 2nd power hungry graphics card.

10 - 15% is not unreasonable for quality supplies from reputable makers, and 30% degradation can be expected with some no-name, budget power supplies. That's significant.

Also, most of the better PSUs have incorporated fan speed controls to toggle down or up the speed of the PSU's fan, depending on temperature. Loud fan noise is not good.

And so if they buy a PSU today with little headroom, it may not support future demands and that will end up costing the consumer more in the long run.
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Originally Posted by bobnova View Post
How much headroom you leave also depends on the PSU size, if you buy a 550w for a 450w system you have almost 25% extra. If you buy a 1500w for a 1400w system that's a rather different story.
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Skimping on the power supply can be a costly rookie mistake. It is not a mistake to buy more than you think you will ever need - within reason, of course.
I appreciate all of your knowledgeable comments.

Well, I understand my hardware wonít be running at 100% capacity, 24/7, only when itís required.

Like I said, during my PSU research I considered specs like Peak and sustained load, efficiency, capacitors aging, PFC, modular and Noise levels (Yes, my family greatly appreciated a silent PC, especially during those late-night work or gaming sessions). In brief, I chose and bought the CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200i due to its high built quality, reliability, higher efficiency, low noise (its operation is fanless until it reaches 30% load) and room to spare for adding new hardware, future upgrades and overclocking. If it proves its worth, I could even use this same PSU for another build. I would rather go cheap on a PC chassis or Mouse than on mission critical hardware like the PSU and the UPS.

The Power Supply unit topic is very important. But I think we have gone a bit off topic here. I have specific purposes and many ideas for that Performance build that weíll have the opportunity to share and discuss in a near future thread. For the time being, my efforts are focused on selecting the UPS to protect my Hardware.

Regarding surge protection, the only area I didn't like related to APC is that they always seem to skimp on surge protection in their UPS units. For example, the APC BR1500G and SMC1500 models only provide 354 joules and 455 joules of surge protection, respectively. The Cyberpower 1500AVR has 1500 joules of surge protection. But now, how much surge protection would one really need?

Any thoughts, comments and suggestions are welcome.
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2013
Beto Garcia Beto Garcia is offline
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Any thoughts regarding surge protection?
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2013
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Surge protection is useful, but you do need to cover all the possible avenues for it to affect your machine to be anywhere near safe.
In an ideal world, you'd run your machine, displays, accessories, and router on one protected strip which you replace regularly (as MOVs degrade every time they stop a surge). You would also have another MOV to protect the phone line and prevent surges coming down the phone cables into the router and killing your machine that way.
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  #15  
Old 03-08-2013
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Originally Posted by Beto Garcia View Post
Any thoughts regarding surge protection?
Better than no protection, but not by much, and they don't provide protection from all anomalies.

A surge and spike protector is little more than a fancy and expensive extension cord as they do absolutely nothing for abnormal low voltage events like dips (opposite of spikes) and sags (opposite of surges), or long duration sags (brownouts) - any of which can cause your electronics to suddenly stop, resulting in possible corruption.

For abnormal high voltage events, they merely chop off ("clamp") the tops off the sine waves, leaving a not-so pretty voltage for your power supplies to compensate for.

A "good" UPS with AVR will help shape (regulate) the sine wave into something more easily used by the devices plugged into it. In low voltage events, it will use the batteries to boost the voltage up to normal levels, and in extreme high voltage events, it will use the batteries to dump the excess voltage (which batteries can absorb with ease), and/or dump the excess to ground (Earth).

Note I keep saying "good" UPS with AVR. Like power supplies, there are cheap, good, and best. The best are very expensive at $400 or more, and no needed for most users. The ATX Form Factor standard requires all PSUs to "hold" voltages for 19ms (milliseconds) during abnormal power events. A "good" UPS can react easily within that time frame.

One more word about surge and spike protectors. They work primarily by using MOV devices which are excellent at absorbing excess current. BUT, they do that by converting the excess to heat. As noted in my sig, heat is the bane of all electronics, even MOV devices. So over time, the constant banging wears down the MOVs so they become less effective, or even useless.

And if you have a severe event, in that case, S&S protectors are like motorcycle helmets. If it saved your life when banging into the concrete curb, it did its job and it is time to throw it away and get a new one because surely it is now much weaker and less capable.

Power during a total power outage is just the icing on the cake. The automatic voltage regulation (AVR) for both high and low voltage anomalies is the key thing.

Whole-house surge arrestors protect your equipment from surges coming off the "grid" - such as lightning hitting the transformer on the pole down the street. That is where most destructive surges will come from - most, but not all. Whole-house arrestors do not protect you from surges and spikes that are generated by other high-wattage devices inside your home or office. Any major appliance in your home can produce destructive anomalies. Refrigerators, water coolers, microwave ovens, toasters all send surges, spikes, dips and sags EVERY TIME they cycle on and off.

Advanced, more expensive high-wattage appliances may attempt to suppress dumping such anomalies on the circuit - if working properly. But low-tech cheap appliances will not. A cheap, $15, 1500W hair dryer made in some obscure factory in the backwoods of China, using parts from a similar factory upriver, comes to mind.

So my advice is to use a "good" UPS with AVR and don't waste your money on a surge and spike protector. If you need more protected outlets than provided by the UPS, plug a standard extension cord into the UPS.



****

In ANY case the best protection from power anomalies, whether using a UPS or a surge and spike protector, comes when the UPS or protector is plugged into a properly wired and grounded wall outlet. So EVERY home should have a AC Outlet Tester. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Walmart.
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  #16  
Old 03-11-2013
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Thank you for your comments and your suggestions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
So my advice is to use a "good" UPS with AVR and don't waste your money on a surge and spike protector. If you need more protected outlets than provided by the UPS, plug a standard extension cord into the UPS.

****

In ANY case the best protection from power anomalies, whether using a UPS or a surge and spike protector, comes when the UPS or protector is plugged into a properly wired and grounded wall outlet. So EVERY home should have a AC Outlet Tester. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Walmart.
Iíve noticed the area I live in has brownouts now and then but certainly not anything catastrophic. My goal is to protect against those overvoltage and undervoltage conditions whilst having enough run time (3 to 5 minutes) to finish any activity and gracefully shutdown my system. If Iím not present at the time of the occurrence, itís very handy that the UPS issues a system shutdown or sleep.

Talking about prices, here are the UPS prices found @ N3w3*g (March 11th, 2013):

1. APC BR1500G BACK-UPS Pro 1500 -> $189.99 USD;
2. APC SMC1500 Smart-UPS -> $339.99 USD;

3. CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD -> $194.99 USD.

Taking all of the above useful information you and others have kindly provided and the unit cost into consideration, which of the listed UPS would you recommend as the best UPS to protect my build?

NOTE: Remember, Max Budget: approximately $400 USD; CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD is not available for purchase in my region.
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  #17  
Old 03-12-2013
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The APC SMC 1500 would be the better UPS primarily because the output waveform is a true sinewave. And if money were no object, that is what I would opt for.

But you really don't need that advanced technology to protect your systems and data. This is because all computer equipment power supplies are designed to function well when powered through a surge and spike protector, which works by chopping off the tops of the sinewaves anyway. So if you buy a "good" UPS with a quick cut-over, you can buy an UPS that provides a "stepped approximation to a sinewave" for your computer system with no worries. Quality, properly functioning, consumer electronics power supplies can handle those not-so-pretty chopped off sinewaves, if not extreme, with no problems.

But again, I said a "good" UPS, not a cheap one.

So your biggest concern is cut-over times, stability, and runtime. A cheap UPS may not have a fast enough cut-over to prevent disruption, and then may not be the most stable.

I am not rich, so I did not opt for a $400 UPS. Instead, I have a APC Back-UPS XS 1500 protecting my main system and note it provides at least 15 minutes of backup power for my i7, 8Gb computer, all my network hardware, and both of my 22" LCD monitors with aplomb. And the cutover time is so fast, I have never had a power disruption - even after squirrels forget to let go of one line before grabbing the other, sending themselves to crispy critter land, blowing the transformer fuse in the process (a too common occurrence in my old neighborhood).

That said, I note that Cyberpower claims it provides a pure sinewave output at basically the same price as the less expensive APC UPS. APC has the more established reputation as a quality UPS maker, but you pay a bundle for the name too.

Quote:
NOTE: Remember...CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD is not available for purchase in my region.
Ummm, then why list it, or have it under consideration?
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  #18  
Old 03-12-2013
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Of course, it does depend on the native voltage of the place he's going to use the machine. A 240v power grid is far more resilient than 120v against low voltage events. And a computer with an APFC PSU running on a 240v input will be pretty well immune to low voltage events that don't completely cut the power off (unless they drop below 100v for a sustained period).
On 120v supplies, I see a real need for low voltage protection, as even a cycling refridgerator can cause minor brownouts inside the house.

Dear USA,
Please move to a real household voltage.
Many thanks
The rest of the world.
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  #19  
Old 03-12-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allikat View Post
Of course, it does depend on the native voltage of the place he's going to use the machine. A 240v power grid is far more resilient than 120v against low voltage events.
That depends on the sophistication of the grid and that varies country by country, regardless the voltage used.

Do note that 220 - 240VAC is what's delivered to all US homes. Our HVAC systems, stovetops and ovens, and electric clothes dryers all run on 220VAC.
Quote:
On 120v supplies, I see a real need for low voltage protection, as even a cycling refridgerator can cause minor brownouts inside the house.
Ummm, no it won't. Not if it's working properly and that's what UPS are all about - protecting our expensive hardware and invaluable data when things don't work properly - as during the rare catastrophic refrigerator failure, or when lightning hits nearby.

Also, PFC PSUs power the computer only. Granted, the main priority, but an UPS can simultaneously protect your network, monitors, and more.

Quote:
Dear USA,
Please move to a real household voltage.
Many thanks
The rest of the world.
Not hardly the rest of the world. Note our cousins to the North, all of Latin America, most of South America and Brazil, and more use 110 - 120VAC.

It would be great for consumers around the world if there was a standard household voltage. But with billions of humans on each side, that's not going to happen.

Quote:
And a computer with an APFC PSU running on a 240v input will be pretty well immune to low voltage events that don't completely cut the power off (unless they drop below 100v for a sustained period).
Oh? Are you saying a 240VAC PSU will sustain output if fed 107VAC? It's been a long time since I lived in England and worked with 240VAC systems, but that seems a stretch. And certainly PFC has its advantages but it is not a cure-all for power issues (nor is it unique to 240VAC countries).

This really is all about how much you value your system and data versus how much you are willing to spend to insure it remains safe.

It is like car insurance. The hope is you will never need it. But when that time comes when you do need it, and it will, you will want the best your money can afford.
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  #20  
Old 03-12-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
But you really don't need that advanced technology to protect your systems and data. This is because all computer equipment power supplies are designed to function well when powered through a surge and spike protector, which works by chopping off the tops of the sinewaves anyway. So if you buy a "good" UPS with a quick cut-over, you can buy an UPS that provides a "stepped approximation to a sinewave" for your computer system with no worries. Quality, properly functioning, consumer electronics power supplies can handle those not-so-pretty chopped off sinewaves, if not extreme, with no problems.
Thatís great news! Compatibility with my system and protecting my build is important but it is also very important and wise to save money in these times of difficult economy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
I am not rich, so I did not opt for a $400 UPS. Instead, I have a APC Back-UPS XS 1500 protecting my main system and note it provides at least 15 minutes of backup power for my i7, 8Gb computer, all my network hardware, and both of my 22" LCD monitors with aplomb. And the cutover time is so fast, I have never had a power disruption
I checked the APC Back-UPS XS 1500 and itís very similar to the APC BR1500G BACK-UPS Pro 1500. Can anyone tell me the differences and / or pro-cons between the two? Is its operation silent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Digerati View Post
even after squirrels forget to let go of one line before grabbing the other, sending themselves to crispy critter land, blowing the transformer fuse in the process (a too common occurrence in my old neighborhood).


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Ummm, then why list it, or have it under consideration?
Just for price comparison purposes.
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