Subject: General Tech | December 6, 2011 - 01:37 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: battery, ups, eaton, 3s, just delivered
Just Delivered is a new section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
Sometimes computer technology isn't sexy - but you need it anyway. Just look at items like optical drives (debatable), floppy discs and ZIP drives? Amiright? An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is just one of those items. You might not want to think about it, but you should have one, even for gamers and general PC users.
Ever been working on a school document or maybe even a really detailed rage post on your favorite forum and had the power flicker and your PC reset, losing hours and hours of work you put into telling that moron why your GPU was better? If so, or if you can imagine the frustration, then you know why having even just a few minutes of battery time on a desktop computer can be critical.
We recently picked up the Eaton 3S battery backup which you can find online for as little as $70 - quite a steal for the peace of mind you'll get for having it. Yes, if you are gaming on a PC using more than 450 watts when the power outage occurs, you are probably screwed. If you are doing basically anything else, almost any desktop configuration should be good to go.
The Eaton 3S 750VA model includes 5 outlets for battery backup and 5 more that are surge protection only. The power button light changes colors depending on the units status and is a very basic indicator of your current power situation.
The 3S has network surge protection as well as a USB port to connect tor your PC should you wish to use the Eaton Intelligent Power Protector software that enables features like graceful shutdown (if you are away from your PC when the power outage occurs). You don't have to use that software though, and the unit will operate on a completely plug-and-play fashion using Windows, Mac or Linux integrated power management software.
The unit can be wall mounted which is nice if you have limited floor space.
The battery in the unit is user replaceable which is a nice change of pace and could lower your maintenance costs down the road for this UPS. Eaton actually offers a 3-year warranty on both the unit AND THE BATTERY; something that other companies like APC do not (as I have first had experience with).
The amount of runtime you will get with a UPS like this will obviously vary based on your hardware setup and while Eaton estimates "between 10 and 30 minutes" I would wager it would be slightly less than that for our readers. Still, a few minutes is better than NO minutes so consider this Just Delivered to double as a PC Perspective PSA.
Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2011 - 01:49 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: linux, ASPM, battery
The recent release of the 2.6.38 Linux kernel has lead to many complaints from mobile users who find their battery life noticably reduced. Phoronix noticed the issue a while back but until now had not completed enough investigation to be able to pinpoint the cause. With the arrival of a power monitor they are now willing to point a finger at Active-State Power Management for PCI Express and BIOS compatibility as the cause. While the desktop users enjoy an increase in speed in certain applications that require their PCIe lanes to be going full out, mobile users notice the drain on the battery as the PCIe lanes take as much power as they can whether they need it or not. For mobile users whose top priority is power savings, it is recommended that you stick with a pre-2.6.35 kernel as there are also power issues related to that build. Phoronix does offer a possible solution for some users in their article if you do need to use the latest build.
"Mobile users are urged to seriously consider these results, and possibly even avoid the Natty Narwhal...I hate to say it, especially in an Ubuntu review, but the mobile edge goes to Windows for now...There are also compelling reasons for folks to avoid [Ubuntu 11.04] at all costs. Linux gamers should see substantial improvements, while mobile users suffer a dramatic loss in battery life," were among the critical comments that Tom's Hardware had in their Ubuntu 11.04 review as they were referencing the power regressions I discovered nearly two months ago within the mainline Linux kernel. As I mentioned on Sunday, the Phoronix Test Suite stack and I have now nailed this major power regression in the Linux 2.6.38 kernel that is affecting a significant number of mobile Linux users. Here is what is happening and a way that you should be able to workaround the serious regression should it affect your computer system(s)."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- An In-Depth Look at Fedora 15 @ Techgage
- The TR Podcast 90: Retro gaming and future Fusion
- Win a Blackberry Curve 9300 [RED] @ t-break