Pros: Proven reliability in blackouts; APC quality
Cons: Large - but this is required for the capacity!
I decided to look into a UPS unit following what seems to be more power outages (and this also ties in with a recent generator purchase). My PC is very valuable to me and hiccups have proven to be problematic and very time consuming. Uncontrolled shutdowns, coupled with the potential for lost information / data and watching the weather for fear of a heightened risk for power failures prompted some research into a UPS.
I really did not want to have the system run my PC for an extended time.... just long enough to save my work and to allow for a controlled shutdown. I've grown to trust APC and looked at their product line. They have smaller 350VA and 500VA units but this 1000VA unit could do so much more. The system is shipped with APC software which integrates with Windows XP to monitor the system, set voltage limits for activation of the unit (over/under) as well as overall sensitivity to electrical noise. The software is easy to install and very user friendly. It also allows options for shutdown times, based upon either time on the UPS or as a percentage of battery strength. The UPS communicates with the PC via a USB connection.
Another interesting feature is that the software monitors total load on the UPS. My PC, a Pentium IV 2.4GHz, (2) hard drives, (2) DVD drives, extra internal cooling fan, cable modem, router, camera, TV tuner card, AGP video card, etc draws approximately 192Watts of power per the software. The unit estimates that it can operate for 28 minutes. This fits my requirements.
I was drawn to the BX1000 partially due to the competitive price at our local Costco warehouse outlet.
Two days after installation, we lost power. I could not immediately understand why my monitor was so bright and the room was suddenly so dark. The UPS immediately switched on blackout. We were lucky that the blackout only lasted for 20 minutes but the UPS proved itself. Since then, I've pulled the plug from the wall and there have been no problems.
During a recent snow storm, I heard the UPS switch momentarily to battery. Our other electronics (stereo, etc) did not recognize the outage but the UPS recorded the interruption as a blackout. The PC might have made it through this momentary interruption but the UPS once again did it's job.
I am satisfied with the system and would recommend it to any computer user. I will not be concerned on windy / snowy days that I should really power down the PC for fear of losing valuable data or possibly corrupting the system!