I have a rack that contains my A/V equipment (big screen TV, A/V receiver, cable box) and my network equipment (server, modem, router). I want clean power supply for the A/V equipment for whenever I have main power and pure sine wave AC for the network equipment for whenever I lose main power.

I am trying to understand if I can effectively accomplish both needs with the CyberPower (A/V equipment on the surge only outlets and network equipment on the battery outlets). However I wonder why the Panamax (power conditioner only) is more expensive than the CyberPower (battery plus some power conditioning?).

I feel that in spite of the added functionality and lower price of the CybePower, the Panamax is still good for something. However, is it good for my own limited application needs or is it overkill? I am in an area that experiences power interruptions due to rain and snow storms. In addition, I don't trust the way the electrician redistributed the circuits when the home was upgraded from 100A to 200A (this was long before I bought the home). So I am happy to spend money on power conditioners/line regulators if that means they are effectively protecting my more expensive A/V and network equipment.

Can someone please explain the differences between the CyberPower and the Panamax for when there is main power (i.e. do not take into account the battery function on the CyberPower). Feel free to indulge me with the detailed technical characteristics as most of the discussions I have read so far appear to be more out of personal preference or cost-conscious, and less subjective.

Also, what are your thoughts on combining both (i.e. the CyberPower is powered by the Panamax and so is essentially acting as battery backup only) like I saw suggested on another thread.

3 Answers 3


It seems unlikely that you need EITHER of those gadgets, but if you MUST choose one of them, the CyberPower gadget seems like more value for the $$$. The Panamix gadget seems like a vastly over-priced "surge protector" which is fundamentally questionable.

My best advice would be to spend the money on an electrician to come and correct whatever wiring faults you think the house has. There isn't one house in 100 (or perhaps in 1000) in the developed world that would really benefit from a UPS or even a proper "surge protector".

You have already concluded (properly) that you don't need UPS on your entertainment gear. Why do you think you need UPS on your network or computing gear? Is your utility mains power really that flaky? Seems quite unlikely.

  • I live in a property owned by a total slumlord in an old, congested urban building. It's full of line noise. The above answer is absolutely oversimplifying the situation. Not everyone has the luxury of hiring an electrician to revamp a property built in the mid 1800s.
    – Evangeline
    Nov 1, 2017 at 14:31
  • My entire unit's circuitry exploded before my eyes. In response, the slumlord brought in handymen (not electricians) to temporize the situation. Crowley makes a lot of assumptions, and in all honesty you should protect your equipment. I have a lot of sensitive A/V equipment that picks up line noise because it is analog. Analog devices will respond to power fluctuations and interference.
    – Evangeline
    Nov 1, 2017 at 14:31

You will be better served with the UPS. The power conditioners do not provide sine-wave output unless you are paying $600+, when they kick in extra transistors to closely regulate output. The UPS is definitely a better device. Neither is cheap, but the UPS worked for me whereas a $200 Furman power conditioner was nothing more than a fancy surge strip.

  • There are two possible issues with the UPS listed. First, it isn't truly inline, so it's not going to be true sine wave power when running normally, it will just have a transformer that kicks in to try to compensate for variations. The "sine wave" only applies to when running on battery so it won't condition as well as it implies. The other issue is that it isn't clear that the voltage regulator is inline with the surge protected circuits, so it is possible that those circuits won't actually benefit at all. The manual is unclear on the wiring of the surge only outlets.
    – AJ Henderson
    Nov 1, 2017 at 15:19

If you truly want the best possible power quality, neither of the devices you are looking at really provide an ideal solution. Both the conditioner and the AVR in the UPS are still dependent on responding to changes in power while working directly off the line power.

For the best possible isolation, you need to use an inverter off a battery inline. This is done on in-line UPS units. On cheaper UPS units, such as the one you linked, the main line power provides power all the time and a circuit sits on that line to attempt to regulate the voltage, but it's limited by how fast it can respond to changes in power, so fluctuations still make it through.

With an in-line UPS, the line power goes to a battery charger and then an inverter pulls from the battery for all power generation. With the battery acting as a large buffer, the inverter can produce extremely regular power completely isolated from mainline power fluctuations. These units aren't cheap though and they have to be sized to support the max draw of everything you plug into it.

Make no mistake, this kind of power conditioning is not cheap. You can fix the problem via an in-line UPS, but if you have options to fix it by fixing the electrical systems themselves, that is often going to be a cheaper and safer fix. Another advantage to fixing your wiring is that as long as your house itself isn't causing fluctuation problems, it opens up the possibility for a whole house conditioning/UPS solution if you really want one. I'm personally looking at eventually putting in a Tesla Powerwall which works as a whole house battery backup and inverter, so it provides very smooth power and will provide stop-gap protection on the 8 seconds between mains shutoff and generator startup for my generator. Those units are about 7-8k though, so again, not cheap.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.