In need of UPS/surge experts. Need to find the most energy efficient UPS for my unique setup


Nov 6, 2013
So I have a lot of expensive toys on my desk and they draw a good amount of power. I'm lucky enough to rarely lose power where I live, but I'd still like to keep my things safe. I'm also looking for something that is going to help save as much electricity as possible so here's my requirements:

-10 or more outlets
-Lots of power (my PC has a 750W power supply)
-Very low idle draw
-Power saving outlets that shutoff when main (master) device is not in use (preferably 2 masters)
-I don't need a UPS per se, I just want the surge protection (couldn't care about the extra time for file backups)

So right now it seems like the Cyberpower BRG1500AVRLCD has the lowest idle draw and basic power savings, but it has no power saving outlets from what I can tell.
The APC BR1500G has those power saving outlets, but I'm not sure how the idle draw is compared to the cyberpower.

ALSO, what I really need is to have a UPS or surge protector with support for 2 master devices with their own respective power saving outlets. One master being my PC and the other one for my guitar rig.

So, I'm not sure what to do here. I can't find a UPS that completely suits my needs or even another UPS that offers the power save outlets with the output I need. I could use a surge protector that has those outlets, but it looks like the best one (APC P11GTV) has too many of those outlets, which would mean I would need my computer to have everything else work. I could buy 2 of these, which would solve all of my problems, but that seems dumb since I will only be needing half the outlets and I'd be spending $100 on a surge protector solution when I could get a UPS for a bit more.

Thanks guys, if you need me to clarify anything please let me know.
I recently went thru what you're going thru right now and finally deciding on the CyberPower Smart App Sinewave PR1500LCD 1500VA Pure Sine Wave Mini-Tower LCD UPS . It was significantly better than the comparably priced APC Sine Wave Unit with better specs and less power consumption. The Eco mode results in much less energy consumption ... UPSs can consume large amounts of power even under idle (50 watts).... can cost almost as much in energy over 3 years than the cost of the unit.

Whe Pure Sine Wave ?

This brings the cost up to $300 and given your needs, UPS might not be the way to go.

I don't need the time for file saving as much as I am concerned about a) power conditioning and b) data / OS corruption due to power loss

Comparing it with your selection

1. I wouldn't use anything but a pure sinewave unit for a PC
2. It has a wide allowable frequency range (47 - 63)
3. It has a wide allowable input voltage range (75Vac – 154Vac)
4. It has 4 times the run time at full load
5. It handles 1050 watts compared to 900

However it only has 8 outlets and costs twice as much

Since APC was taken over by Schneider Electric, I found quality has gone down substantially.



first things first... the power supply size has nothing to do with draw, only the maximum draw that it supports. for instance, i have a 1000w power supply but a draw which at most hits 440w under normal circumstances. size the battery backup based on actual loading if at all possible.

i use an apc xs1300 myself. under a typical load of 400-450w i get about 7 minutes of runtime. not much but any larger of a backup and costs increase immensely. the time is fine for shutting down in case of loss of power, any less and it would be inadequate. 780w/1300va fits my own needs. it has a master + 3 power saving outlets (though i dont use this feature myself) with 10 total outlets.

now, what size works for you depends on your actual draw at any one time. for a load of 400-500w at any one time this is sufficient although if you have a greater actual load moving up to a 1500 or 1700va unit may work better. if you have a multimeter it is easy to measure the amp draw (you can figure out wattages using a formula when you know amps and voltage)
Before you buy anything, go to your local Wallmart/HomeDepot/Fry's/BestBuy, and get $20 Kill-a-Watt. Connect everything you want to be connected, and see how much power you really consume, then add 20% to that (you may now return the Kill-A-Watt ;)). Base your UPS on that reading.

I would not care as much for SineWave. It kicks in only when main power is down, and I suppose you are not Jimmy Hendrix recording next hit with your guitar amp when there's not power.
Check w/ your PSU / UPS manufacturer first and make sure you can return it w/o paying 1/3 the purchase cost in shipping if it don't work. ... quote below from above link. I also learned the hard way with a Seasonic unit.

turns out that most PC power supply units with active power factor correction (PFC) do not work well with lower-cost uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), e.g. battery back-ups. This I learned the hard way, as my Antec EarthWatts EA 500 PSU, which I adore, will go dead the second the battery on my APC Back-UPS BX1300LCD kicks in.

That’s because APC’s Back-UPS units output power, when on battery, as a modified sine wave, rather than a true sine wave.

In short, if you send a high-end PSU the current created by a lower-end UPS, the PSU’s built-in power factor correction hates it, and cuts power to the PC immediately. As in, the exact thing you bought the UPS to prevent in the first place is exactly what happens.
They also generally have 2 to 4 times the run time (which won't matter to the OP) and much wider voltage and frequency allowable ranges on the input side..... this is a **key** consideration. I ran a small electric utility for 6+ years and we rec'd more calls of toasted PCs from loss of phase and during brownouts rather than outages.

I have a APC non sine wave UPS plugged into all my peripherals (Modem, router, monitor etc) right now..... if I plug my Seasonic X-Series PSU into it, the UPS immediately emits a loud beeping alarm.


Nov 6, 2013
First off, thanks everyone for the replies!

So considering I don't care about the time I have after an outage, do I need to have a certain amount of watts? Say for instance my total draw is 700. Do I need at least a 700 watt UPS or will a lower wattage work just fine for my circumstances?

As far as the sine wave issues with good PSUs, that seems like just one more thing to make a UPS seem like a bad idea for my purposes (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm simply just trying to power everything, save as much electricity as possible, and save myself from having anything killed by a rare power issue.
Maybe I could get a UPS, take out the battery (removing the ability to mess up the PSU) and use it as a very expensive surge protector. I'm not sure though that this would offer me any benefits over just getting the APC P11GTV, especially since I really almost need 2 UPS's (for two different master outlets) to complete what I'm trying to accomplish


Nov 6, 2013

Dang, is there any better surge protector that would meet what I need? I just want the best protection and energy savings possible given this sort of setup:

Master - PC
-Controlled: Printer
-Controlled: Monitor
-Controlled: 1 or 2 extra outlets

Master - Amp
-Controlled: Left studio monitor
-Controlled: Right studio monitor
-Controlled: 1 or 2 extra outlets

4 Always on outlets
-wireless tv router
-cable box
-1 extra


Mar 30, 2009

1) UPS is typically made as cheap as possible. Its battery typically dies in three years.

Most computers consume less than 200 watts most of the time and not more than 350 watts. So that computer needs a 500 watt UPS. Then it has sufficient power when its battery has degraded and other factors.

Selectring a power supply is usually well beyond the abilities of most computer techs. So we make it simple. We recommend a supply double its needed wattage. Then each DC voltage has sufficient amperage. And tech help lines are not clogged teachng electricity to computer techs. IOW what your supply is rated may be as least twice as much as the maximum it actually consumes.

2) This 120 volt UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts. Even that 'dirty' power is ideal to electronics. Because electronics are so robutst.

That UPS is called a pure sine wave output. They did not lie. Square waves and spikes are nothing more than a sum of pure sine waves - as demonstrated by what was taught in high school math.

Most PSUs do not have active power factor circuitry so efficient as to need a pure sine wave UPS. Besides, a UPS that gets anywhere near to a so called 'pure sine wave' costs $500 or almost $1000.

3) A UPS has one purpose. It provides temporary and 'dirtier' power during a blackout. So that unsaved data can be saved. Again, computer hardware is so robust as to even make 'diriter' UPS power irrelevant. A UPS does nothing to 'clean' power. In fact, most UPSes connect that computer directly to AC mains when not in battery backup mode. Then power is 'cleanest'.

Battery does nothing for 'cleaning' or conditioning power. Again, some of the 'dirtiest' power exists when power is coming from that battery. If that is not obvious, deception from many UPS myths exist.

4) Surge protection means answering this simple question. Where are hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly absorbed? View a joules number for some of the most expensive protectors and UPSes. It might absorb hundreds or even a thousand joules. Near zero protection. They are not marketing to informed consumers. The naive consumer is quickly identifies as one who ignores numbers. Any answer without numbers is best disposed of as hearsay. Those numbers should cause concern.

Two completely different devices exist. Both are called surge protectors. One located adjacent to a computer does not even claim to protect from a typically destructive type of surge. Many are so undersized as to fail on a surge too tiny to overwhelm robust protection already inside every computer.

Undersizing and the resulting failure gets a naive consumer to recommend it. They say, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my computer." Total bull. If that surge current was incoming to the protector, then at the same time, that same current was also outgoing into the computer. Electricity must always have both an incoming and outgoing path. Protectors are sacrificial because a thermal fuse (the emergency protection component) had to trip to avert a house fire. Disconnects protector parts while leaving a surge connected to your computer. Where is the protection? Manufacturer does not even claim to protect from a typically destructive type of surge.

Second device, unfortunately also called a surge protector, is completely different. It does not try to block or absorb hundreds of thousands of joules. In fact, better protection is a hardwire from the incoming utlity wire to single point earth ground. Phone lines cannot connect directly to earth. So your telco might install a 'whole house' protector at the master socket to make that same earth connection. This protector only does what a hardwire does even better. And both DO protect from that other and destrutive type surge.

Only you are responsible for doing same to AC electric. A 'whole house' protector in the main switchbox or meter must connects low impedance (ie 'less than 3 meters') to single point earth ground.

Where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate? In single point earth ground. Once a destructive transient is permitted (all but invited) inside, then nothing can protect from it. Either you connect a destructive transient to earth BEFORE it can enter. Or you have the mythical protection popular among naive consumers who also ignore numbers.