It’s better to be Safe than Sorry when it comes to computer hardware.
If you live in a country where power failures are a common thing, you surely need a backup to avoid failure of computer hardware that’s why inverter is must have things. As a desktop computer user, I keep my computer turned on for almost 24 hours. Most of the time I’m doing video editing, Rendering images and animations. Furthermore, power failures reduce productive time as I’ve to start from the beginning. In addition, rendering takes several hours so it is better to do it in one go.
There are several questions in mind while looking for an Inverter to use it with computer;
- How much capacity is required to run computer with 650W Power Supply (Mostly used in High End or Gaming Computers)?
- Is it pure sine wave inverter or not?
- Is it Safe to run computer on Inverter?
- Should I get dry battery or wet battery?
- How long will be the backup time?
- Can I use my computer on common home inverter?
- Should I use a dedicated Inverter for my computer?
- Is it possible to run computer on Solar Power?
How much capacity is required to run computer with 650W Power Supply (Mostly used in High End or Gaming Computers)?
The first factor to decide the power requirements for your computer is the Power supply of your computer. There are variety of Power supplies available in the market. Moreover, power supply rating depends on the components in your Computer.e.g. main power consuming component in a Gaming or High-end system is the Graphic Card so you can buy power supply based on the requirements of your 3D Card. Other components combined consume as low as 100W on idle*. Even if you have the latest Graphic Card in your computer that is Nvidia’s top of the line GTX 1080 Ti, you should get a power supply rated around 600W. In addition, Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti consumes 250W power and most probably the mentioned power requirement is measured at full load. I’m using older GTX 970 in my computer. Here are the Load Outputs from inverter at various conditions;
- Idle on Desktop: 60W
- Google Chrome: 80W (110W while watching Videos)
- Rendering with CPU Only: 144W
- Gaming: 280W (Rise of the Tomb Raider), 240W (DOTA 2), 277W (Sniper Elite 4)
- Rendering + Gaming: 276W (DOTA 2), 312W (Sniper Elite 4)
Is it pure sine wave inverter or not?
There are lot of quality factors that should be present in the inverter. Pure sine wave is one of these factors. As you know inverter converters DC of battery to AC for home appliances. Early inverters used to make the voltage go straight up and down, creating a blocky signal. This is called modified sine wave. A modified sine wave inverter can be used for simple systems that don’t have any delicate electronics or audio equipment that may pick up the choppy wave and produce a hum. Old tube TVs and motors with brushes are usually ok with modified sine wave.
Pure sine wave is needed for newer LED TVs, CFL light bulbs, and inductive loads like brushless motors. Moreover, Clocks and Music equipment behave much better on a pure sine wave. As the advent of newer electronics, inverters are also evolved and are offering pure sine wave features. So your first priority should be to get a pure sine wave inverter.
Is it Safe to run computer on Power Inverter?
Yes, it is safe to run computer on power inverter as long as you’re proving enough voltages and current. Moreover, your inverter should be capable of supporting the load produced by computer. Low Power rated inverter will shut down or trip if the output load requirements are more that the rated capacity. For a computer using 650W power supply, 650W or more rated inverter is recommended (Check previous section for discussion on power requirements). Battery based inverters have a lot of options to choose from. Not all of the inverters have all of the features, so you need to decide which features are required or desired, and select the inverter based on which has them.
Should I get dry battery or wet battery for inverter?
There are multiple type of batteries available in the market. Most common type is Led-Acid Battery used in automobile starting, lighting and ignition. There are certain drawbacks of having Led-Acid batteries that it requires timely maintenance and handling precautions. Led-Acid batteries and inverters should be kept outside of your home like in porch as there is chance of acid spillage. On the other hand, Dry batteries do not have acid or liquid electrolyte in it. They have electrolyte in the form of GEL or Powder. Therefore, they can’t cause spillage and are maintenance free.
Therefore battery selection depends totally on the consumer, Dry batteries cost more as compared to Wet batteries but are environmentally safe and maintenance free. Dry batteries also have longer lifespan, better charging and discharging capabilities.
How long will be the backup time?
When we talk about the backup time Battery capacity should be our first concern. There are wide range of batteries available in the market. In addition, Battery capacity is mentioned as “Ah” Ampere Hour. Consequently, More “Ah” will result in longer backup times. Same is the case with cost. Hence you have to pay more for a battery with larger capacity.
I’m using a wet battery with 48Ah capacity. On Idle I was able to get 3 hours backup time. Since, On Idle computer power requirement is 50-60W which is very low. In conclusion, backup time reduces significantly while performing CPU and GPU intensive tasks e.g. Rendering and Gaming as Power requirements are increased.
Can I use my computer on common home inverter (Home UPS)?
Yes, you can use your computer on home inverter if the power capacity of the inverter is enough to support all the load combined. Therefore, Low end computer can be connected to home inverter instead of getting a dedicated for computer.
Should I use a dedicated Inverter for my computer?
If you have a high-end computer with more power-hungry components then dedicated inverter should be your first priority.
Is it possible to run computer on Solar Power?
Solar energy is abundant in Pakistan. So, if you get an inverter which have built-in Solar charge controller, you can run your computer on Solar power. Some inverters also feature dual power options e.g. you can shift load to solar power and if solar is not capable to handle load then it will use some energy from battery. Moreover, AC source will remain disconnected unless there is no solar energy present. Some inverter come with additional Solar power rating so you should check the solar power rating according to your requirements. I’m using inverter which have 1000 W capacity on batteries and 600W solar capacity, tested under different conditions it was able to run several things on solar power only. Therefore, 600W is more than enough for a computer. All you need are high quality solar panels to pair with the inverter.
*System Specifications under consideration for this article.
- Processor: Core i7 4790K 4.4Ghz
- Motherboard: MSI Krait Z97S SLI Edition
- Cooler: Corsair H80i GT
- Ram: 16GB DDR3 Corsair and Kingston
- Graphic Card: Gigabyte GTX 970 Windforce
- HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB and 1TB
- SSD: Intel SSD 128GB and Transcend SSD370 256GB
- System Fans: 3 x Corsair 140mm Non-LED Fans
- Accessories: Razer Deathadder Elite Chroma, Razer Kraken Chroma 7.1, Razer Firefly Mousepad, Logitech G810 RGB Keyboard
- Monitor: Benq Zowie RL2755
*Inverter: Homage Tron DUO HTD-1211SCC
- 1000W Inverter with Solar Charge Controller (Solar Capacity 600W)