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The best UPS battery backup for PC gaming in 2023

Author: Marina

Dec. 06, 2023

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Whether that's a blackout, brownout, or power surge, the best UPS battery backup will give you the time to save what you're doing and turn off your machine safely. Power surges and interruptions can be bad news for PC components, so what you're buying is peace of mind more than anything else. 

If you have a high-end gaming PC, pairing it with an uninterrupted power supply as a backup is wise. This protects your precious system from fluctuations in outlet power and acts as a surge protector. A UPS utilizes internal batteries to deliver a steady flow of energy, and a good one will give you plenty of time to save your work or get to a safe point before shutting down your PC safely. Our current favorite is the CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD. It's a bit pricey, but it'll provide plenty of juice for even the most power-hungry gaming PCs going for about 10-20 minutes after you lose power. 

The time a UPS gives you to save your game or work will vary, depending on its power draw, and there are other things to consider, too. These aren't personal generators, so you're looking at up to 10-15 minutes max battery runtimes on average. The more devices plugged in, the shorter the runtime. Again it's meant to give you enough time to save your work and shut down your PC safely. 

We tested and found each UPS below to deliver precisely what we needed out of what should be an otherwise unremarkable-looking black box. So you can get a better read on which is best for you and your budget.

The best UPS for gaming PCs

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(Image credit: Cyberpower)

(Image credit: Cyberpower)

(Image credit: Cyberpower)

1. CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD

The best UPS for most gamers

Our expert review:

Average Amazon review:

Specifications

Capacity:

900W | 1500VA

Voltage range:

160–265Vac

Surge protection:

Yes

Dimensions:

265 x 100 x 370mm

Weight:

10.9kg

View at AmazonView at NeweggView at Walmart

Reasons to buy

+

True sine-wave UPS

+

900 watts sustained power delivery

+

Useful LCD screen for monitoring

Reasons to avoid

-

Premium pricing

The CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD 1500VA is one of the best UPS on the market. Several factors contribute to it being our top pick for most gamers. First, it has enough juice to handle most gaming machines, even if you're running the beefiest of GPUs and an overclocked CPU.

Unless you've got systems with ten hard drives, quad-way GPUs, and other accessories, the CP1500PFCLCD should have enough juice to last 10–20 minutes (longer if you have a more moderate rig) if a power failure occurs.

One of the most critical features of the CP1500PFCLCD is its true sine-wave output. Most UPS backups in their price range only provide sine-wave simulated production, a stepped sine-wave that approximates what you get out of your wall outlet.

Some electronics are sensitive to simulated sine waves and will behave abnormally. At $214, having true sine-wave output is unheard of, so kudos to CyberPower for delivering such a quality output.

(Image credit: Cyberpower)

(Image credit: Cyberpower)

(Image credit: Cyberpower)

2. CyberPower EC650LCD

The best UPS for your network and accessories

Our expert review:

Average Amazon review:

Specifications

Capacity:

390W | 650VA

Voltage range:

96–140Vac

Surge protection:

Yes

Dimensions:

150 x 79 x 269mm

Weight:

2.9kg

View at AmazonView at NeweggView at Walmart

Reasons to buy

+

Good power reserves for its size

+

LCD screen for load monitoring

+

ECO mode for outlet management

Reasons to avoid

-

Won't power high-end systems

For smaller accessories and network equipment, the CyberPower EC650LCD is the best pick for most. Coming in at $88 for 390W/650VA, the EC650LCD has enough power reserves to keep the average home network alive for well over 15 minutes, which is enough time to exit your game/applications, save all your work through the network, and shut everything off gracefully during a power outage.

The EC650LCD is small enough to hide away, taking up very little desktop room for a 390W unit. One of my favorite features of the EC650LCD is its array of ECO ports. Depending on your schedule or use case, these ports can be managed and timed to turn on or off. The ECO ports will also power down accessories like speakers and display if your PC is asleep or powered down.

Best gaming PC | Best gaming laptop| Best gaming motherboards | Best SSD for gaming | Best DDR4 RAM | Best PC cases 

(Image credit: APC)

(Image credit: APC)

(Image credit: APC)

3. APC BE600M1

The best UPS for small accessories

Our expert review:

Average Amazon review:

Specifications

Capacity:

330W | 600VA

Voltage range:

92–139Vac

Surge protection:

Yes

Dimensions:

139 x 105 x 274mm

Weight:

3.49kg

View at AmazonView at WalmartView at Newegg

Reasons to buy

+

Enough power for accessories and routers

+

Can power game consoles

+

Small and convenient size

Reasons to avoid

-

For your network, not your PC

The name APC is synonymous with high-quality UPS. I use three of the company's Smart-UPS professional-level units at home: two 1000VA units for my network and NAS gear and one 1500VA unit for my PC and displays.

APC's BE600M1 is excellent at providing battery and surge protection for the devices you use almost daily. That is your phone and possibly a tablet. However, it has enough power reserves to plug in a router and a single display. If you only plan to use the BE600M1 to power a Wi-Fi router, the unit will have enough juice to let you browse the internet in peace for several hours, even if the electricity in the rest of your house is gone. Priorities.

The best part of the BE600M1 is its size. Most UPS are large and belong on the floor, but APC encourages you to put the BE600M1 on a desk. The unit provides a single 1.5A USB port for charging a phone or tablet, so you don't have to use your device's power adapter, which is inevitably a wall wart that potentially overlaps another socket or two, so you free up sockets for other devices.

The best UPS for PC gaming FAQ

How long will a UPS last?

An uninterruptible power supply that rates 1500VA should run your computer for under an hour. But if you're trying to run your PC and your monitor from it, you're probably looking at more like ten minutes of up-time. A 650VA, at peak load, will maybe net you something in the range of seven minutes, though that is obviously with a far lower peak wattage.

What type of UPS should I buy?

There are two types of uninterruptible power supply to look out for when shopping around for your gaming PC: sine-wave and simulated sine-wave.

Sine-wave UPS backups deliver a smooth, consistent oscillation of AC power directly to your PSU. Due to their efficiency and clean power delivery, these are often the only type of UPS recommended for gaming PCs.

What's the difference between sine-wave and simulated sine-wave UPS?

A pure sine-wave signal will be a match for the AC mains power your PSU is expected from your mains. Essentially, your PC shouldn't know the difference between your UPS battery power and the power coming from the wall.

Simulated sine-wave UPS delivers a stepped, approximated waveform using pulse-width modulation (PWM). That's the same concept used to control PC case fan RPM. These are often far less expensive than pure sine-wave UPS and can be useful for peripherals, small devices, and monitors. However, since the waveform is not always exact, these may not function as intended with PSUs that demand a stable and consistent input.

When your UPS detects a power surge or cut, it will switch to battery power. How it delivers that battery power to your PC or accessories is when sine-wave versus simulated sine-wave matters most. That's because some PSUs will actually recognize a simulated sine-wave frequency and shut down suddenly to protect themselves from the unexpected oddity in power. Thus, your UPS won't be saving your PC from losing power.

If you need a UPS, buy the APC Back-UPS Pro 1500VA . It has a big enough battery to save your work and safely shut down without panicking.

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is a big battery that kicks in when the power goes out. We will focus on testing smaller desktop models that give you enough power for a desktop PC and leave the whole-house models to other experts.

So, the EC850LCD is a pretty modest unit, but it will allow you to save your work and safely shut down.

This CyberPower EC850LCD is a UPS like the others on this list, but it has a trick up its sleeve. Three outlets (of the 12) shut down their output when the CyberPower unit detects the device that’s plugged in is in standby or vampire mode . That can end up saving you real money.

Keep in mind: If you decide to go this route, the Trip Lite lays on the floor horizontally, so it takes up more space than you might be used to.

The Tripp Lite AVR750U is an affordable unit for very modest uses. Despite its smaller battery, the Tripp Lite will still give you enough time to save your work and shut down safely.

While this APC model has ten outlets, only five are connected to the battery (the other five have surge protection, though). We feel five outlets should cover most setups adequately. This unit is vertically oriented, so while it doesn't have a large footprint, it will resemble a computer tower.

This device can also deliver over 800 watts of power, so you can safely charge any device at the speed you typically experience by plugging the same charger directly into a wall outlet. It's a bit expensive but a great battery backup for medium applications.

The APC Back-UPS Pro 1500 is a utilitarian device, but it has a little LCD screen showing vital information like input voltage, battery status, and the current load, which is a nice touch. While simulating a power outage by flipping a circuit breaker in the house, the UPS immediately kept our test computer running with plenty of time to save my work and shut it down.

Or Maybe These?

  • Show me the cheapest. The APC Back-UPS 425VA is the best cheap option and is designed to keep some low-power devices online when the power goes out.
  • I'm a gamer. Nothing says "gamer" like a UPS with built-in RGB lighting and 900W power. The APC Gaming UPS brings precisely that. It also has ten total outlets: five with battery backup and five with only surge protection.
  • I have limited space. If you're working at home, in a dorm, or someplace where space is at a premium, a compact UPS like the APC BE600M1 is just what the doctor ordered.
  • I run a small business. There is very little chance that a regular home computer user needs the big, beefy APC UPS 2200VA Smart-UPS with SmartConnect, but buy this if you run a small office or a small server.

Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

What to Look For in an Uninterrupted Power Supply 

Compatibility

When buying a UPS, the most important factor to consider is its compatibility with the power supply. Before hooking anything up, check what your devices require and make sure there’s a match.

On-Battery Runtime

Generally, you don’t need a UPS to last too long but it should be sufficient to start a standby power source or properly shut down the protected equipment. Some run for just a few minutes, while others will provide power all night long. Depending on your needs, make sure the on-battery runtime is ample.

Device Support

How many devices will you need to connect to your UPS? Some can accommodate as many as 12 devices, while others top out at just two. Some also provide USB ports, but not all. 

Lifewire / Jeremy Laukkonen

Portability

Some UPS devices are made for home or business use, while others are built for travel and the outdoors. If you need to take your device with you, you’ll want something with a more portable design that can fit in a handbag easily. You might even want a solar charging port so that you aren’t entirely dependent on electricity. 

FAQ

  • How big of a UPS do you need?

    This answer depends on what devices your UPS will support and for how long. If you're hooking up a couple of desktop computers or a home entertainment system, you can get away with a 750 VA battery backup. It gives you ample time to save your work and shut down your devices properly without incident. However, you'll need something larger for commercial setups like server farms. Something closer to a 2200 VA backup can provide ample insurance to even the most power-hungry tech.

  • Can you replace the battery on your UPS and how long will it last?

    Not all UPS have replaceable or "hot-swappable" batteries. But unless you need to have your UPS remain on battery power for an extended period, having "hot-swappable" batteries isn't entirely necessary, and the lifespan for a typical battery can be anywhere from 3 to 5 years, meaning you shouldn't have to replace your battery very often.

  • What will benefit the most from a UPS?

    Any appliance can benefit from being connected to a UPS, but items that one should tether to a UPS are sensitive electronics like TVs, home theater receivers, or computer desktops. While a UPS can effectively act as a power strip for any appliance, prioritizing anything that could get damaged by abruptly losing power will let you get the most out of your UPS. Some other use cases for a UPS include electronics that should not lose power for any reason, like fish tanks and home security systems.

  • What's the difference between pure sine wave or stepped sine wave battery?

    Anything you plug into the wall with a plug runs on alternating current or AC. For a battery to power a device designed for alternating current, it must provide power in a sine wave. A pure sine wave, which has a much cleaner output, is suitable for sensitive electronics like newer TVs, servers, computers, audio equipment, and appliances that use an AC motor, like refrigerators or microwaves. Older TVs, water pumps, and motors with brushes can use modified sine wave output because they're not as sensitive. Devices will run hotter and less efficiently with modified or stepped sine wave output.

The best UPS battery backup for PC gaming in 2023

The Best UPS Battery Backups of 2023

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