The Tripp Lite SmartPro SMC1000T packs all the best features needed for high-performance and gaming PCs into one heavy, well-designed uninterruptible power supply (UPS). With the ability to support up to 650 watts of attached gear, that should suffice for nearly the most tricked-out system. If your system adds up to a more modest 325W, the battery-backup and power-conditioning system can run for nearly 15 minutes; even at full load, it can keep devices energized for a whopping five minutes.

Tripp Lite offers management software only for Windows (and it requires Java), but the hardware supports macOS’s built-in UPS tools. Plug in the SMC1000T via USB, and with either the Windows software or using macOS’s Energy Saver preference pane, you can configure under what terms you want your device to shift into automatic shutdown: run for a certain amount of time or until the battery depletes to a certain level, and then kick in.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best uninterruptible power supplies, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

For an average computer system that draws 200 to 400W in an area with frequent brief outages lasting up to minutes, the SMC1000T can keep you in full operation across that time. (Look up the specs on devices or at manufacturers’ sites for all the equipment you want to connect to the battery-backed outlets and add their wattage together to get a maximum load factor.)

While this model isn’t aimed at low-power-consumption network gear and the price tag might dissuade you, it could power a Wi-Fi base station and broadband modem for two to four hours, depending on the devices’ specs, which might be worth the price in avoiding lost work.

Glenn Fleishman / IDG

Tripp Lite offers only Windows software, but its SMC1000T UPS will gracefully shut down a Mac based on settings in the macOS Energy Saver preference pane.

This Tripp Lite unit has two features that modern PCs users will find somewhere between very useful and almost mandatory. It’s a line-interactive UPS with pure sine wave output. While those options may sound jargony, they have a direct impact on the life of the UPS and potentially on the longevity of your computer’s power supply.

A line-interactive UPS conditions all the power that passes through it on route to devices plugged into its outlets. (The SMC1000T has two surge-protector outlets; the other six outlets have both surge protection and power backup.) Internal circuitry lets the UPS perform a number of power adjustments for power sags and overages, among other glitches, without tapping into the battery at all, which increases the battery’s lifetime. Surge-protection components shed transient high voltages. The battery gets used only when power dips too low or rises too high for adjustment or stops flowing altogether.

Because the UPS is always managing power flow, the switchover in an outage is rated at 4 milliseconds by Tripp Lite, typically well within tolerances required to keep computer gear running without a hiccup. Standby UPSes take longer, from 5 to 25ms depending on the model and the particular kind of outage factors, which might not keep a device operating while the battery kicks in.

The pure sine wave output lets the UPS exactly simulate the clean up and down cyclical waveform of normal electrical system alternating current (AC) power. Some UPS models produce a simulated sine wave, instead. The simulation is chunky, moving from voltage range to voltage range in big steps, and costs less than pure sine wave technology, so it’s often found in cheaper models.



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