Should I buy a UPS?

Currently I have my rig plugged into a surge protector. Is that enough?

Depends what you do with the system. If you frequently do important work, etc (for example I do taxes, so I use a ups for the server). If you’re just browsing/playing games you don’t need one. And depending on your power you may want one just for the built in line conditioner to make your PSU happy.

Typically a surge protector is enough, but if you have shoddy electricity running through the walls or you want to be able to save your spot and safely shut down then a UPS is required. That being said, a UPS never hurts so long as you plug the right stuff into it (like a pc, monitor, etc. Just don’t ever plug a printer into a battery-backed port on the UPS… that would be bad).


It depends on your uses and computing habits. If you live in an area with lots of unstable power delivery, if you do work that you don’t want interrupted, if you want to avoid software corruption and/or hardware failure due to an unexpected shutdowns, etc.
I generally always have one for my main machines. I just hate having my PC shutdown in the middle of something, regardless of what it is. I have also had bad experiences with damaged hardware and software (OS corruption, HDD/SDD data loss, etc.) due to unexpected shutdowns, so I always assign part of my budget to an UPS unit.
Now, how big a unit you need depends greatly on what you expect from it. If you only want it to be able to properly shutdown in case of a power outage, then you can get by with a smallish unit. If, however, you want it to give you several minutes of runtime with a fully loaded PC running, then you will need a beefy unit.

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Yes. Until the power goes out. Then it isn’t anymore.
So you want a UPS on everything generally.
Question is: Do you want to pay for it?

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A UPS is useful. Some UPS’s even have usb ports so devices without power bricks can be charged in the event of an outage.

You always want a UPS if you value your investment of time and money into your computing device.

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I agree with @Mastic_Warrior,@Melcar, and @ThatBootsGuy the only thing I have to add is I will cut my budget somewhere else ( like downgrade GPU or storage) to make room in my budget before I will do without a good UPS. I learned a hard lesson, if I had gotten a UPS with my desktop I wouldn’t be thinking of upgrading now. I figured the decision not to purchase a UPS has cost me $4,000 USD. That is the cost of the new system I am considering purchasing at the end of the first quater.

Unexpected power loss can cause hard drive corruption which can result in you having to reinstall your OS. So if you don’t have a ups then be prepared for that.

A surge protector will protect the system from surges (obviously) but not from brownouts and other power issues that can cause damage. If you have good reliable power and you don’t really care about data loss from unexpected power outages then you don’t need one, other wise it’s a good idea to have one. Keep on mind the batteries don’t last forever in these things so you will need to replace the ups or the batteries if you get one which is serviceable every four years or so.

Nah you don’t need one. I’m using one, not because I need it for important work but to keep my 9 year old Seasonic happy, though we’ve got real good power anyhow. If you’re doing lots of important work then yeah you might want one, but otherwise you don’t need one, and that’s more of a thing for you to decide than anyone on here.

UPS has been one of the most important and valuable peripherals I’ve ever purchased. I consider them critical and absolutely necessary. I’ve always left my computers on 24/7, and I used to occasionally find them ‘rebooted’ when I was away. Once I put a UPS on them, that stopped happening. I can get 100 days of uptime whenever I want (provided there aren’t massive patches I need to apply).

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There are pros and cons.

Cons are mostly expense and upkeep (the batteries have a limited life time and must be replaced).

Pros are mostly up-time, better for always on disk arrays where a sudden loss of power might lead to data loss and cleaner power delivery which may translate to longer lifespan of your components and possibly more performance if running overclocks near the edge.

If you are running a modern OS like Windows 10, I’ve found it is very graceful recovering from a power loss, especially if the machine went to sleep prior. Turning the computer back on is almost like nothing happened. Most modern file systems are fairly tolerant of sudden power outages.

Because of this, I don’t really use a UPS in most of my house, but for my always on file/media server I do have one.

For most users this should be enough. Ideally you would want a UPS on all systems but in practice it can be costly and might not be worth it. I only use a UPS on my NAS since I want it to shut down gracefully.

Unless the UPS generates its own sine wave the “conditioning” prospect is dubious at best. Most cheaper UPS’ dont really do anything to condition the power. Some of them might even have the ability to boost voltage for brown out situations but even this shouldnt be considered conditioning.

Normal ink jet printers are fine to plug in, its the toner based systems that are a nono. The heating element has a high current draw when it first starts warming. They do also make some designed around those kinds of printers as well but are usually expensive.

Good point on the printer thing. I mentioned this another thread somewhere.

In general I have two APC SmartUPS 1500s. One is in the living room and has my Computer, TV, Consoles, Router, modem, and other things in the living room that I want to be protected from power outages, brown outs.

In my bedroom I have another USP for the TV, consoles, htpc, and etc. Again, stuff that I would like to be protected.

I just replaced both batteries within the last year. and they lasted almost 5 years. They were about 70USD to replace. I see that there are now Li-Ion replacement batteries for these things now. And they are cheaper. With a good BSM, these could be a good replacement.

We use 4 of these at work for various systems. They are pretty decent.

That is news to me. I wonder how that works. I would think the charging system would have to change to accomodate lithium cells but maybe theres more than meets the eye with that pack. I would also think they would have to charge to only 80% of their total capacity otherwise they wouldnt last any longer than their lead counterparts. Do you have a link for them?

it depends, it depends, it depends.

it doesn’t depend.


you should buy a UPS.

Fixed that for you.

Here is the white paper on the subject from Schneider (Parent Company)

I don’t have a link. If you go to

There was a post by a guy last week trying to to make a DIY Li-Ion battery himself. One of the resident Li-Ion told him to not do this for all that is holy and pointed him to some batteries with onboard BSM for charging and discharging for that application. I cannot remember the post and I am at work right now. Reddit is not allowed here.

I meant to look into this myself.

You’re the only one that can answer this question, it really depends…

Using an UPS will enable you to always gracefully shutdown your computer in case of a power outage where as without a UPS it will just shutdown in the middle of whatever you/it was doing.
Will this cause problems? Most of the time it won’t but it is a bit like rolling a dice, it can be both good or bad.

If you live somewhere with frequent power outages it may be worth considering getting a UPS as you’ll encounter a lot more dice rolls that has the potential to be a bad roll.

I might experience a power outage like twice in an entire decade. Is it worth for me buying a UPS? Not really, I’m willing to let the dice roll if it happens since it isn’t more frequent than it is.

So it depends… are you doing something extremely critical where any sort of interruption can be catastrophic? Get a UPS no matter how often power outages happen. If you’re not, well, skip it.

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I’m living in an RV and don’t know where I’m staying a lot of the time. I bought an old used APC Smart-UPS 1000 for $20.00 with no batteries. I bought two smallish batteries for $65.00. Works for me. Eventually I plan on hooking it to the RV batteries.

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