New to PC (UPS) uninterruptible power supply's need assistance?


So i dont have power outages very often.. Maybe twice a year but just had one tonight and had some trouble getting my system up and running again.

First id like to mention i realize a UPS is only meant to give you enough time to power down your gear in a black out situation and NOT as a means to keep gaming or whatever.

Now a few questions and concerns i have.

And i wont start with the obvious newbie question "What the best one" I know that will differ on a system by system bases.

Now i was looking into this about a year ago but was deterred based on some reviews i had read (Very few) but still had me concerned enough to steer me away.

Some stating there units were smoking, PC wont turn on, And one even said his caught fire.

Maybe these are just flukes or maybe they did something to there UPS that caused these accidents... IDK, But it was enough to scare me away.

But based off what had happened tonight i am reconsidering and would like to ask anyone that currently uses a UPS for there feedback.

One question i have in particulate is what does VA stand for?

I see the name and model number then a number like 1500VA then the wattage, I get the wattage but dont understand what VA means.

I have a 850W power supply so i assume a 900W UPS would be fine but without knowing what VA stand for i have know idea if i may be potently killing my pc..

Any advice for someone new looking into getting a UPS would be much appreciated.

2 Answers

  • A.J.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Your power supply stated wattage is neither it's maximum power draw nor the power used by your PC. It's a fairly worthless number in this. 

    There are two issues in a power outage. One is damage to PC if caused by a lightning strike and you get a power surge. The second is the instant off that can mess with the registry re-run as programs are all stopped in an instant.

    A good power supply has some protections built-in. A surge protector outlet would be helpful to protect an expensive system. The instant power off was more of an issue in earlier versions of Windows. If you described the details of your system, the wattage in gaming can be determined, and your power supply by brand and model will estimate its efficiency in wall power to PC power.VA rating is its maximum Volts times amps. Watts is real power and VA rating is something called apparent power. There is a ratio called power factor in converting VA to watts. The detailed specifications of a power supply may show its output watts and time it outputs them for.If you provided more details that the stated wattage maximum of a power supply it would help. Modern PCs don't use nearly as much power as old ones.What is your graphics card and CPU and brand and model of power supply?That is probably enough to estimate UPS need generally, and some UPS are overrated to their actual capability.As a rough number, Your 850W PSU typically supports PCs that draw 600Watts and at 0.88 efficiency pull 682 watts from the wall and a 1000VA with a low 0.7 power factor will work enough to shut down your pc. 

  • 1 month ago


    It explains the difference between wattage (the power you pay for) and volt-amperes (a rating used for determining the wire sizing and circuit breakers you need)

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