UPS worth the cost?


Active Member
I work at best buy (part-time) and have a hard time recommending people get 125.00 UPS with a 5-6 hundred dollar computer. Of couse they give the customer a scare by telling them they'll lose all there data by flucuations in power. ANyways I've heard big problems with battery's last 1 to 1 1/2 and find that pretty costy. I don't run any ups on any of my computers at home total of 6. I argued the biggest factor in computer failures is Heat.

Anyways I ask you wise men for your opionion. I understand ups for a server but find it hard to reccommend for the "average" consumer. Almost any software has routine backups anymore, for instance word. Do you recommend everyone get them?

I did pickup that 80 gig harddrive for 29.99 after rebates, eventhough I don't really need it. :huh:


I lost 2 motherboards last year to brownouts, this is where the lights dim etc, which is much more dangerous to your equipment than blackouts (which might cause data loss, but at least it isn't hardware). I ended up installing a 250VA UPS wherever there was a workstation (my servers were already on an ups), to avoid this issue in the future. While I don't agree that you should be recommending $125 UPS units (judging by the price it sounds like you are talking about 1000VA units?) to the average consumer, recommending a $30 250VA unit is not a bad idea at all, it will only provide enough juice for just a few minutes, but all you want to do is be ready for those brownouts, which will occur more frequently as more and more people are buying electronics and computers, which will be plugged into the electrical grid.
I wonder if thats what happend to my motherboard a few months ago. Guess i better get me one. I hate hardware issues with my PC. I dont know if you all remember but i spent almost a month replacing parts trying to troubleshoot a hardware issue and ended up rebuilding my entire pc. Not that im complaining but my bank acount was looking pretty sad.
I don't remember, but I am sure we could have helped you troubleshoot that one. Every few weeks, Officemax/Staples will run a good deal on these units, I just got a 500VA for 30 bucks (and another $30 in rebates, but forgot to send them in) from Officemax. CompUSA has some good deals once in a while too.
I've got a UPS on my server but mostly just because I'm running software RAID (booo) and if the computer shuts down without going through the shutdown procedure it goes through what seems like a 5+ hour rebuild.

That being said I think they're handy to have if for no other reason than to give you time to save what you're working on before your computer completely dies. I'm going to be picking up another UPS for my htpc and possibly a 3rd for my desktop at some point in the not too distant future.
I still have the motherboard if anyone want to try and troubleshoot it. Basically the AGP slot went bad as far as i know. It would turn on but i wouldnt get any visual output. I tried the same video card on a differnt PC and the video card worked fine.

Its was a good excuse for a new PC so i got a new motherboard and a new graphics card. I reused the case, power supply and drives. I was able to reuse the USB ports and eathernet card also. The only thing that i really replaced was the Motherboard the CPU and the video card.

Im happy with the new board now. Not sure if its even worth my time or money to try and get the old board back up and running. Its a Asus A7A266 1.33ghz with an ATI all in wonder video card. Im keeping it just in case i ever find a need for it.
No but i did consider that. And i would do it but that would mean i would have to go buy another Powersupply and case and Drives and all that crap along with a PCI because im not willing to mess arround with the PC that is now working.

Thats why i say that one day i will probably have a need for another desktop and then i will go buy all the parts i need to troubleshoot the old board. I doubt that will ever happen tho because i think i have had enough of building my own PC's. The only reason i built my own was so i could have a AGP Capture card with video output. Im sure i can find an easier solution next time.

BTW: Im like the pumpkin and Bat header. The pumpkins are a little big but the idea is nice.
I'm all for having a UPS on every computer. Aside from the surge protection, it also protects you from brownouts and blackouts. The first time you work all night on a proposal, and then lose it to a momentary blip in the power, you will realize the worth of a UPS.

As for lifespans of the UPS batteries, I have a combination of APC and Compaq units. At this point, all 6 of them are over 4 years old, with the longest at 10 years. Only two battery changes in the bunch, and that was after several years of use.
Look at it a few ways:

If you don't have a UPS and the power just blinks, and you lose the document you've worked on for an hour or a database with all of last year's financial data (think Quicken) because it's still open, then you've lost time. My time is worth at least $50/hr because that's what I'm paid professionally. Is it worth it to have 10 minutes to shut down the application and system correctly and save your data? I think so. Most average users I know don't back up their data at all, and that includes several of my neighbors who call me when they lose stuff!

Second, a completely usable UPS that gets you over 80-90% of the small glitches and brownouts is less than $100. That's cheap insurance. I have 8 UPS' of different sizes in the house on various gear, including all but one computer.

And finally, I'll second the hardware protection. Here in FL we get many lightning strikes yearly. Any one of them could take out your entire office full of gear. A decent UPS can also protect most, if not all that gear, and if you buy an APC UPS, it comes with automatic insurance if lightning kills your gear and the UPS didn't work properly. That's REAL INSURANCE cheap!
I picked up a 700va apc ups for $50 because I saw the deal and I just grabbed it. That's my suggestion if someone doesn't want to spend a lot, but has a hard time justifying it.