Laptop or Desktop+UPS ?

    I need to purchase a computer that needs to left on permanently (i.e. 24h a day every day) but ideally needs to have 8h+ (emergency) operation in the event of a power-cut. Is it worth considering a laptop that is left on permanently, or will the battery become useless with continuous charging?
    An alternative may be a desktop PC and Uninterrupted Power Supply, but I believe that a UPS will only offer an hour or so of power?
    Any advice would be appreciated!


    if you leave a laptop permanently plugged in with the battery, the battery will lose its charge over time and the heat will not do it any favours.
    I'd go the desktop route it it were me.

    why not rent a virtual server from the likes of memset?


    a ups large enough to run a desktop for 9 hours will be absolutely huge and expensive, a couple of thousand?, they are usually only rated around 20 minutes or so

    the best bet would be a netbook, some of them have 9 hours battery life, and with the screen off, and wifi turned off and plugged into the internet, you will certainly then get those 9 hours, all for about 250

    the batteries, if you keep them cool while the system is in use, dont degrade all that much, my 3 year old laptop still runs close it its original 4 hours, and it has spent its life plugged in

    certainly if you want to run a server, this is madness, the electricity costs alone outweigh the cost of decent hosting by a long way

    Original Poster

    Thanks for the comments :thumbsup: - the computer needs to be on permanently as it runs software for an alarm system associated with some other equipment. Looking into it I agree that a UPS would have to be massive (and expensive) to run a desktop, so a laptop may be the only thing to try. I suppose (apart from the risk of overheating) I may just have to replace the battery relatively frequently.

    I wonder how long 400 'C' batteries would work for...

    The 'C' batteries probably wouldn't work at all I'm afraid, internal resistance would be too great to provide the current needed.

    A laptop with extended battery, connected to a sizeable UPS, is probably the best bet.

    if your going down the UPS route and its going to be connected to the internet might be worthwhile looking into an APC. Just have a search on ebay, You can remotely web browse to the APC and switch power on/off/restart to individual devices.

    Overheating shouldn't be a problem. Both my laptops get left on for weeks on end, and neither have yet melted. Depending on how much CPU power you need, it might be best to get a netbook. There are various ones on sale for under £200 with minimal power consumption, and with batteries (be it stock or aftermarket) that can last for a good 8 hours with the screen up and wireless enabled. They might be your best option.

    Original Poster

    I will look into it further, but it certainly sounds like a laptop or netbook may be a possible option (albeit with a UPS). Thanks again for all the comments/advice.
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