I was in a store earlier today looking at Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPSs) but before I buy I have a few questions I was hoping some of you could help me with.
I saw several brands in the store, APC (American Power Conversion),CyberPower CyberPower, and Energizer. Now I know APC makes good UPSs because I have had one in the past and they come highly recommended. But does anyone know how the other two brands compare to APC? Are the quality and reliability comparable? Energizer seems to be new to the UPS scene because I’ve never seen one by them before. Mostly what I’m concerned about is if they will do what they say they will do. I’ve seen brands that claim much higher VA and on-battery run time than APC at a mere fraction of the cost, so I am a little suspicious. I’m not sure exactly what to look for, but if any of you electrical engineer types want to look through the specs and let me know what you think I would appreciate it.
My second question is about UPS power ratings. UPSs are rated in VA, but can I relate VA to anything I am familiar with? Watts or kW/h, maybe? Just trying to understand the rating.
Lastly, does anyone have any recommendations on what the minimum VA rating on the UPS I buy should be? I want my computer and 19" monitor to be on battery backup. The computer is an Athlon XP 2700+, 1 GB RAM, soundcard, Geforce Ti 4800, 1 7200 RPM HD, 2 Optical Drives, and 5 80mm case fans all on a 400W power supply. I imagine that battery run times can vary greatly depending on what you’re doing and I can’t help wondering if the run times posted on the box aren’t a little bit on the generous side. Besides, it doesn’t say what kind of activity a computer would have to be doing to get that kind of run time. I don’t need a rating for an idle computer because if I’m at the computer its probably not going to be idle.