Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) units are often found around computers. That’s why store shelves are full of different options for UPS models designed for use with desktop PCs. But with so many options available, how do you choose the best one for you?
Choosing a UPS battery backup for a desktop PC is straightforward. First, identify which of the PC devices you want the UPS to protect. Then, measure their volt-amps (VA) rating, i.e. their power needs during a blackout. That’ll allow you to see which UPS models can provide you with enough backup power. Lastly, choose the UPS with the best value-added features and warranty coverage.
UPS devices are straightforward, but they’re not all made the same. This guide will walk you through a step-by-step process to choose the best one to use with your desktop PC.
How Do I Choose A UPS For My Desktop PC?
Choosing the correct UPS battery backup for your desktop PC can be pretty overwhelming at first.
But don’t worry.
Here are steps you can follow to find the best UPS for your needs:
Step #1 Identify Which Components Need Protection
What it is: The first step in choosing a UPS battery backup for your desktop PC is identifying the components that require backup power protection. The idea here is to separate the PC components that you will or won’t connect to a UPS.
In other words, you should figure out which parts of your PC are critical and would suffer from damage during a blackout.
Why it matters: UPS battery backups have limited resources. For example, all UPS units have limited backup battery power and a limited number of power outlets you can use.
Those limited resources should only be reserved for your most crucial PC components, such as your CPU, monitor, and external hard drives.
When you connect too many power-hungry devices to a UPS, its backup power will drain quicker. That will affect all the other devices sharing the same UPS.
What to do: First, list all devices and accessories related to your PC. That would include the CPU, monitor, speakers, and more.
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Then, figure out which ones you want to keep running during a blackout. The CPU is probably the first item on everyone’s list. Besides that, you’ll also want to protect external hard drives, as a sudden power shutoff can damage the data inside.
Once you know how many devices need UPS protection, choosing the suitable model becomes much more manageable.
Step #2 Consider UPS Volt-Amps Rating
What it is: The most crucial specification you need to know about UPS battery backups is the volt-amps (VA) rating. The VA number calculates how much backup power your desktop PC and its devices require.
You can then compare that with the VA rating of different UPS models to see which one suits your needs.
Why it matters: The VA rating of your chosen UPS is crucial for two reasons. Firstly, the VA rating must be high enough to power all your desktop PC’s most critical devices during a power supply disruption.
Secondly, the VA rating must also be high enough that the UPS can power those devices for long enough to shut them down safely. The UPS backup battery will drain too quickly if the VA rating isn’t high enough.
What to do: The VA ratings of individual UPS models are clearly stated on the box. However, you’ll only know if the VA rating is high enough once you know how much backup power you need.
To calculate your VA needs, list your desktop PC and its devices. Then, calculate each device’s VA by multiplying its wattage with its amperage. Next, add the VA of those devices to get your subtotal.
Lastly, you’ll want to multiply that subtotal by 1.2x. Doing so adds a 20% buffer on top of your VA needs. You can purchase a UPS with a matching or higher VA rating with that number.
Step #3 Check For Value-Added Features
What it is: When you buy a UPS battery backup for your desktop PC, you make a significant financial investment. So, you should choose the model that gives you the most value for the money you’re paying.
UPS manufacturers compete by including value-added features into their products. That includes different displays, warning lights and sounds, and also different UPS management software.
You should consider these features carefully when choosing between UPS models.
Why it matters: Choosing a UPS model with value-added features is important to get the most out of your money. Besides that, those features are also crucial for you to have a positive experience with your UPS.
For example, a UPS with an LCD screen will make it much easier for you to monitor its condition and troubleshoot any problems.
Besides that, UPS models that come with software also allow you to monitor the unit from your desktop PC.
What to do: Firstly, shortlist the UPS models that fit your backup power needs and your budget. Then, compare them closely for value-added features like displays, software, and more.
Taking the time to do that carefully will benefit you throughout the UPS’s useful lifespan.
Step #4 Compare Warranty Coverage
What it is: As mentioned above, a UPS battery backup is a costly investment. On top of that, a UPS is also critical in protecting your sensitive devices from electrical faults and blackouts.
With that in mind, you should also choose a UPS model with another type of protection: warranty coverage. Some manufacturers will provide a better warranty than others, so it’s worth considering carefully.
Why it matters: UPS battery backups and their components are pretty expensive to fix and replace. The same applies to your desktop PC and its devices if the UPS fails to protect them.
So, before choosing a UPS battery backup model, you must ensure that you are protected financially if the UPS doesn’t work as it should. That protection comes in the form of a warranty from the manufacturer.
What to do: Once you’ve shortlisted the best UPS battery backups for your desktop PC, the final comparison will be for their warranty coverages. A better warranty lasts longer, covers faulty UPS parts, and provides some kind of coverage for the devices you plug into it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more questions and answers you’ll find helpful when buying a UPS for your desktop PC:
Can A UPS Be Used For A PC?
Yes, an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can be used with desktop PCs and other kinds of computers. A UPS protects PCs by keeping them running briefly during a power outage so you can shut the PC down safely.
Is A UPS Worth It For A PC?
Yes, a UPS is worth it for a PC. Desktop PCs and other computers can suffer data loss and damage during a sudden power outage. A UPS supplies the PC with enough backup power so you can shut the computer off safely and prevent that damage from happening.
What Should Be Plugged Into A UPS?
You should only plug the most critical PC devices and components into a UPS. The first and most obvious one is the CPU. Then, consider plugging the monitor as well, as you’ll need that to access the menu to shut down the PC. Lastly, any other device that can suffer damage during a blackout, like external hard drives, should also be included.
What Are The Five Uses Of UPS?
A UPS functions by providing your critical devices with backup power for a short period. That serves five purposes which include preventing damage to those devices, preventing data loss, saving time, and maintaining connectivity (e.g. with servers). Overall, the fifth purpose of a UPS is to give you peace of mind.
How Does A UPS Charge Its Battery?
A UPS should be plugged into a wall socket at all times. When there’s a steady power supply, the UPS will charge its internal batteries and continually keep them that way. Only when there’s no incoming power supply does the UPS discharge its battery.