The CyberPower PFC Sinewave CP1000PFCLCD has many of the features necessary for acting as a stable uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for modern PCs and Macs, including gaming systems and those used by creative professionals. This 600-watt capacity unit can keep a fairly high-end computer system with external drives and monitor running for the few minutes necessary for safe shutdown when maxed out. A more modest setup that draws just 300 watts could chug along for nearly 10 minutes, letting you bridge a short, but sustained outage.
It’s a surprisingly compact unit, at 4 x 10.4 x 9 inches (WxDxH) and weighing just under 16 pounds, and is sleekly designed and styled without looking too fancy for a UPS’s quotidian function. Its front-panel LCD display contains a fair amount of information by default, and a Display button to cycle through more of it.
Some features can be programmed through the front panel, though it requires a long panel in a large folded instruction manual to explain the indicators and a separate letter-sized sheet with programming instructions if you want to change settings. This unit has a USB connection and CyberPower provides Windows, macOS, and Linux software for handling most settings more easily, as well as monitoring. (There’s even a serial port for older computers.) This model also works with UPS features built into some operating systems.
Via the OS or using CyberPower’s PowerPanel Personal, you can set parameters for how long before attempting an automatic shutdown when the UPS switches to battery power, among other settings, including scheduling power off and on times.
This CP1000PFCLCD produces enough power for the price that it could be useful and affordable to provide a power backup for home or small-office network hardware that totals 50 to 100 watts, with a runtime of more than an hour on the lowest end, if you have frequent or longer outages, and want to keep your network online while using laptops and mobile devices that have their own batteries to keep them going.
This model, however—and the UPS tower series of which it’s part—has features specifically designed for modern computers, attempting to ensure that the power it outputs is as clean as possible no matter the power variation and outages that occur. Modern PC power supplies are sophisticated, working over a variety of different power systems in different countries. With that flexibility comes fragility, as they rely on cleaner power.
Most computers of the last several years feature power supplies with active power factor correction (PFC), which requires a fairly pure sine wave, or the visualization of the speed of change of power in alternating current as it cycles back and forth, reversing direction like pivoting a small basin left to right to left.
Power lines produce a pure sine wave that’s extremely smooth. UPSes can produce either a pure one or a simulated sine wave, which is rough and chunky, but works fine with older power supplies and solid-state hardware.
The CP1000PFCLCD has a pure sine-wave feature, and that lets it not damage or impose wear on an active PFC power supply when it’s feeding power from its internal battery, as well as avoiding making the power supply buzz or hum, which it can if running off a chunky sine wave.
This UPS model is also line interactive, which means that it is always conditioning power, raising sags (down to 90 volts) and reformatting higher voltages (up to 140 volt), as well as correcting any irregularities in the AC cycle—those are rarer, but can damage devices, too. These corrections happen using internal circuitry that don’t draw on the battery at all, as long as sufficient power is present to smooth out the problems. That keeps the battery from being used unnecessarily, extending its life.
When the battery does need to kick in, CyberPower says it takes just 4 milliseconds (ms), well within what’s needed to avoid a computer or other device losing the continuous pulse of electricity that keeps it processing and not stumbling. The cheaper standby kind of UPS takes from 5 to 25ms to provide power, depending on the model, which might be too long.
CyberPower equipped the CP1000PFCLCD with 10 outlets, spaced a little tightly together; I wouldn’t try to get many wall warts to fit in there. Five of the outlets are connected to the battery and power conditioning, while the other five receive protection against surges, or high-voltage transients, as on a standalone surge protector.
The front display provides quite a lot of information and the unit also produces beeps and alarm sounds based on what’s happening internally with its battery and externally with incoming power. You can mute the sounds thankfully, and one indicator counts the number of power outages if you want to check after the fact.
The CP1000PFCLCD has a wiring fault light on the unit’s back, which you should check when first plugging it in.