AVR vs UPS: which one should you buy? Or should you buy one at all?

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Avatar for daedalus-
2 years ago
Topics: PC, Gaming, Electricity

Thinking of buying/building a new PC but conflicted about whether to buy a UPS or an AVR? Not sure what are the key differences between the two, and how it can save your PC in a time of crisis like power outages or power surges? Well here is the TL;DR of the two.


An Automatic Voltage Regulator(AVR) is an electronic device that automatically regulates/maintains the output voltage at a set value, hence the name.

Now, why is it important? Well, there are appliances that only accept 220v-240v or 110v-120v output. So if you bought an appliance that only accepts a 220v output, went home then realize your sockets are all 110v or vice versa, that's where an AVR will come in and save you. Most AVRs have both 110v and 220v sockets so you can put whatever appliance on whichever socket you need.

But technology is ever-evolving, nowadays there are appliances that accept dual voltage. Meaning it accepts both 110v and 240v. So does that mean AVRs aren't viable anymore? Not necessarily, AVRs are still good for battling power surges to protect your PC, as power surges may damage your PC's power supply unit or PSU.


On the other hand, the Uninterruptible Power Supply is basically an AVR but can also act as an emergency battery for your PC and other appliances. A UPS is an electronic device that provides emergency power when the main power source fails.

Ever experienced something like this before?

You're working on your 15-page reaction paper, single-space. You're on your 13th page, then suddenly, the power goes out. You realized you haven't saved anything on your work other than the title page and that you have to start over again.

That is the type of situation that a UPS can prevent. Whenever the power goes out, the UPS will continually provide power to your PC and give you some time to save every progress you've made.

You might be thinking, "Well that settles it, a UPS is way better than an AVR, why even bother looking at AVRs?" Well, it's true that UPS has more features and can give you more but it is also a fact that they can cost way more than an AVR, especially decent ones, like upwards of 10,000php or around 200 USD. Another downside of the UPS is, how long will it be able to provide power for your appliances. Sure there are some estimates which range from 5 minutes to 30 minutes to even an hour, but no one is really certain because it always depends on your own power consumption.


So what do you really need? AVR or UPS? That depends on what you're doing. Do you work from home and work with sensitive stuff? Go with a UPS to save your progress in time of a power outage. If not, you often experience power surges in your place? Go with an AVR.

But alas, there are some cost-saving measures you can do to avoid losing progress on your work. Whenever you're working on a PowerPoint presentation, or a word document, or the likes of that, the sanest and safest thing to do is to press CTRL+S on your keyboard every little progress you make. That way, you won't ever lose any progress.
And for the power surge, another alternative for AVRs are power strips with surge protection. They cost the same if not cheaper, and have more sockets than the average AVR, that way you can protect more appliances from damages.

Another alternative for an AVR is to buy a really good PSU for your PC. The higher the rating of your PSU, the better the quality. The better the quality, the higher the chances of it surviving a power surge. But of course, there's still a chance that it can be damaged. So what I recommend is, get a decent PSU, and a decent power strip with surge protection.

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2 years ago
Topics: PC, Gaming, Electricity