As I may have mentioned, I got a new UPS (uninterruptible power supply) for my home office. The power goes out enough here, where I’ve taken some measures to make it not too much of a big deal, like have flashlights in various places in the house, emergency lighting in certain places up and down stairs, and now UPS. I got a small UPS for my workstation also because I wasn’t sure how to gauge a UPS. How “big” of a UPS do I need, and for how much stuff?
Well, I want to give you some of the statistics for here, in case you’re wondering – this might help as a reference. First, I got a CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD for like $164 from Amazon (900watts capacity). I re-cabled my office this weekend, and now have power set up the way I want. I have two power strips plugged into this, and connected to the power strips are:
- Workstation – Dell Studio 15 (Core2 quad-core @ 2.4GHz with 8GB of RAM, not typically running other services or VM’s. Also has a junky ATI Radeon 256MB card.
- 1 x 24” widescreen monitor
- 2 x Mimo 7” USB monitors (one is a touch-screen)
- 2 x D-Link 7-port USB hubs
- 1 x Macally desktop 7-port USB hub
- My Zune 80GB (charges via docking station)
- My HTC touch pro 2 phone (charges via docking station)
- Logitech back-lit keyboard
- Logitech wireless laser mouse
- LaCie 500GB USB drive
So (drumroll, please) – how much electricity does all of this use, and how long with that 900W UPS last me, in the event of a power outage?
All of that uses ~135 watts under regular use, and will last around 37 minutes. So with everything turned on, this is equivalent of a a little more than leaving a 100 watt lightbulb running all of the time. Do you know what the most interesting part is (for me)? When I turn off my 24” monitor, wait a second, then take another screenshot:
So to leave my monitor on, that makes up for about 35 watts!! Anyhow, I don’t know how this may help if you are trying to size a UPS for a bigger system, but if nothing else, $164 for a UPS for your workstation, is pretty worthwhile to me. By the way, to be clear – one of the things you can do, is automatically shut down your computer if the power doesn’t come back in time. This will save you some lost data or a disk drive, at one point or another.
This particular unit has some pretty cool options. I have mine set to:
So when it gets down to 5 minutes, it gently shuts down my computer so I don’t lose any data. I particularly wrote this post because when I was looking for some basic information about UPS’, I didn’t find much. I wasn’t even sure I was in the ballpark. I thought “OK, my computer has a 400W power supply, but does that mean is uses all of that, or is that just the capacity?” – and things like that. I wasn’t really sure how much power I was using. So, hopefully this helps explain a bit about how much power a computer uses and how you might size a UPS for your home office.