Here's my story.
A couple PC builds (and a few years) ago I was running an Athlon XP 1300+ on a Soyo Dragon Plus mobo and a lot of other nice bits and pieces.
It was running a cheapo "350W" power supply and a regular power bar.
I had planned to replace the cheapo with a nice PC Power & Cooling model in a few months, was still broke from the PC upgrade.
Then one day we had a nice bit o' weather where a bolt of lightning hit a hydro pole a couple blocks away.
Sent a nice bit of a spike that blew out 3 light bulbs, screwed up an old TV, and smoked the PC.
Not only did it cook the cheapo (I love the smell of burning electronics), it took the mobo, cpu, ram and video card with it.
Suffice to say, I believe in overkill now.
My current HTPC rig includes the PC, my VS 32" LCD, Dreamcast and PS2.
My power system is built in layers.
First the APC Performance SurgeArrest (PF11VT3)
This provides my first tier of surge supression as well as signifigant noise dampning.
All my Peripherals are plugged (router, speakers, etc) in here as well as the two game systems, my cable (coax) line and my Stage 2 protection. I don't have a landline phone and my internet comes in though th cable so EVERYTHING is isolated.
A Pair of APC Back-UPS Pro 280's
These provide a second tier of surge supression as well as vastly superior noise filtering. They also add power back up, although they only run my pc for about 4 mins and my screen for about 10 mins.
I have my PC hoocked up to one and the screen hooked into the other.
It's nice to know that NOTHING can penetrate this layer short of a direct lightning strike to my living room.
But as added insurace,
PC Power & Cooling ATX 300
This adds a third tier of Surge Protection, protecting my PC.
The PC P&C is essential for the PC to have reliable clean power, and also adds a third layer of surge supression and noise reduction.
APC has always been my brand of choice. The two UPS' have served me well since I bought them (a few weeks after the lightning strike), and I've had no problems since.
When I got the 32" LCD, I added the Surge Arrest, which replaced a cheaper Belkin standard power bar with coax protection (which now safeguards my daughters DVD player and TV).
Although I never had a problem with the Belkin, I had always wanted a little more protection.
As for Monster...
It's not a bad brand. I have a pair of Monster S/PDIF cables (one coax/rca and one Toslink/Optical). I purchased them years ago before I knew better. They're excellent cables although they are overpriced. I have to admit, the THX certified logo is what got me.
I'm actually buying a Monster PS2 Component cable to replace my current S-Video Cable for the simple reason that it's cheaper than genuine Sony
If you want even better quality, go with AR (Acoustic Research) I have several cables from them, and they're hands down the best made cables I own. And they're priced in the same range as Monster!
Now, for RocketFish...
Suprising high quality actually!
I'd put them at LEAST as good as Monster, if not better.
I have a set of components, a longer S-Video, and a nice DVI-D to HDMI.
Again, overpriced in stores, BUT I have a secret.
If you live in the GTA there are GREAT deals to be had on eBay. I've paid well under $10 per cable.
I still prefer the AR cables overall, but the RocketFish are decent enough and cheap!
Last edited by smnc; 2007-04-02 at 02:28 AM.