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The best UPS battery backup for PC gaming in 2022

The best UPS battery backup for PC gaming in 2022
The best uninterruptible power supply will safeguard your PC from unexpected power surges. (Image credit: CyberPower)

The best UPS backup might never see any action, and that's probably a good thing. Uninterruptible power supplies offer a backup when things get hairy, like when a storm knocks out your power. In the event of a blackout or power surge, a UPS protects your invaluable PC components from getting fried. In areas prone to extreme weather, the likelihood of you losing your power becomes more and more common; having a reliable UPS is a lifesaver. 

If you've got a high-end gaming PC, it is a great idea to pair it with an uninterrupted power supply battery as a backup. This protects your system from fluctuations in outlet power and acts as a surge protector to boot. A UPS utilizes its internal batteries to deliver a steady flow of power for a limited time when the power goes out, like during a black out. It gives you a grace period to save your work or get to a save point before shutting down your PC safely.

The time a UPS gives you to save your game or work will vary, and there are other things to consider, too. Each UPS below we've tested and found to deliver exactly what we needed out of what should be an otherwise fairly 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)
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(Image credit: Cyberpower)
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CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS with dimensions noted

(Image credit: Cyberpower)

1. CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD

The best UPS for most gamers

Specifications

Capacity: 900 W | 1500 VA
Voltage range: 160–265 Vac
Surge protection: Yes
Dimensions: 265 x 100 x 370 mm
Weight: 10.9 kg

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 on the market, even if you're running dual GPUs. 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.

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(Image credit: Cyberpower)
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(Image credit: Cyberpower)
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yberPower EC650LCD UPS with dimensions listed

(Image credit: Cyberpower)

2. CyberPower EC650LCD

The best UPS for your network and accessories

Specifications

Capacity: 390 W | 650 VA
Voltage range: 96–140 Vac
Surge protection: Yes
Dimensions: 150 x 79 x 269 mm
Weight: 2.9 kg

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 just over $70 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. These ports can be managed and timed to turn on or off, depending on your schedule or use case. The ECO ports will also power down accessories like your 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 

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(Image credit: APC)
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(Image credit: APC)
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(Image credit: APC)

3. APC BE600M1

The best UPS for small accessories

Specifications

Capacity: 330 W | 600 VA
Voltage range: 92–139 Vac
Surge protection: Yes
Dimensions: 139 x 105 x 274 mm
Weight: 3.49 kg

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 products. 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 both battery and surge protection for the devices you use most every day. That is your phone and possibly a tablet. However, it has enough power reserves for you to plug in at least 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 in it 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 at 1500VA should run your computer for a little under an hour. But if you're trying to run your PC and your monitor from it, then 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. These are often the only type of UPS you'll find recommended for gaming PCs due to their efficiency and clean power delivery.

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 deliver 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 recognise a simulated sine-wave frequency and shut down suddenly to protect themselves from the unexpected oddity in power. Thus, your UPS won't actually be saving your PC from a loss of power.

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.