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Do I need a UPS to prevent damage to my home PC?

FlaminFrostbyte
FlaminFrostbyte asked
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Hi,
I live in home with Brown outs and need to know what damage if any the broen out will cause to my computer.
It has a 1200watt psu. If brown outs will damage my psu what do I need to protect it, minimum?
Also if brown out might damage psu will it damage other hardware as well?

ps. Aren't modern PSU's built to withstand variable current?

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Commented:
brown outs shorten the life of power supplies and motors DRASTICALLY.
I highly recommend a UPS to protect against this.
If you are only talking about a brownout and not a total power loss, then a 950 or 1100 unit will probably be more than enough since all you want to do is "regulate" the power, not have the ability to continue working with a complete loss of power.

Commented:
I agree with jerrypd, you definitely want to invest in a quality UPS to protect against damage that could be caused by a power spike, voltage fluctuation or simply a power outage.  They generally aren't very expensive, but the protection they provide is extremely valuable.  

Fluctuations in voltage *will* eventually permanently damage your PCs power supply and potentially cause damage to your PCs internal components.  

I use an APC model at home that cost less than $100, but it was well worth the price.

http://www.apc.com/tools/ups_selector/index.cfm
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Top Expert 2009
Commented:
I consider a UPS a mandatory accessory for every PC  ==>  not only for protection against brown-outs and power surges (a good UPS is a superb surge protector);  but also for protection against "unplanned power outages", which are one of the major causes of both hardware failures and of data corruption on disks.    With a UPS, your system will never lose power during a critical disk write.

However .. be sure you get a unit with automatic voltage regulation (AVR).    The less expensive units often don't have AVR, which will result in switching to battery power much more often than necessary.    AVR circuits can compensate for voltage fluctuations such as brownouts and over voltage situations without the need to switch to battery power.    This is important both for the life of the UPS's inverter;  but also provides a much "cleaner" waveform for your protected equipment  [the electrical waveform provided by the inverter is closer to a square wave than a sine wave unless you buy a sine wave UPS, which is FAR more expensive than most people buy].

If your power is really reliable, and you don't want the expense of replacing your UPS batteries every 2-3 years, you can get excellent protection against brown-outs with a good line voltage regulator, which is essentially a good UPS without the battery backup feature.   APC makes an excellent unit for this -- the Line-R  [http://www.buy.com/prod/apc-le1200-1200va-voltage-regulator/q/loc/101/10346309.html ].

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Commented:
Garycase,
Thanks.
I've done some research on this subject and was a little confused about what exactly was necesary.
I do agree the ideal choice is a psu backup so you just shut down in event of blackout!
They also have evry other electrical issue brown out included covered...
But,
In my case the psu required to be 1200watt is far more expensive than I can purchase at this time so.
You've given a great example of what is no more than necesary.
This device will control all electrical current except backup for a blackout, which isn't much a concern anyway as they do not often occcur round me.
If rain is in the forcast ill shut down take break...
Thank you garycase for finding this voltage regulator forme..
To anybody elso looking to protect thier pc or anything from electrical problems I suggest this theres another 600wat unit available too.
the price difference is astoundinuhg.
Thanks again,
Michael.

PS. How often does a power outage, completely out, really happen? i shouldnt hav esay that.