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Old Jan 9, 2012, 04:39 PM   #1
duffer42
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Best UPS for MAC Pro Tower

I have a Mac Pro Tower (mid 2010) 5,1, running Lion 10.7.2. It has one 240 gb SSD, and three 1tb HD's internally. 16 gig of Ram and a 24" monitor. I am interested in what I would need to protect this computer and monitor for a 10-20 minute period of time in the event of power failure. If you can suggest manufacturers also, that would be appreciated.
Thank you
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Old Jan 9, 2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Depends on your budget. Why do you feel you need 10-20 minutes of battery time? 10-20 minutes is actually a LOT of time when you are taking about a UPS, models with this much battery time, usually cost several hundred dollars at the very least. However it does depend on what you have plugged into it, this is referred to as 'load' and affects battery run time, the more you have plugged in the less batter time you have.

Check out models from APC, they make a wide variety of models.
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Old Jan 9, 2012, 06:27 PM   #3
wonderspark
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I have two. Better one is an APC SUA1500, cheaper one is an APC Back-UPS RS 1500. 2009/2010 Mac Pro, 8-member RAID tower and four external drives (at most) all plug into the beefier SUA1500, with speakers and two monitors (Dell 22" and 30" ACD) plugged into the smaller RS 1500. I pulled the plug on both of them, and it was 40 minutes before the indicators showed one bar of battery remaining, at which point I was satisfied and plugged them back in to keep from anything shutting down. I wanted to make sure the loads were balanced out nicely, and they seem to be just that!

I got the SUA1500 for $25 off Craigslist from a company going out of business. The RS 1500 I paid maybe $150 or so at Microcenter. I recommend the APC based on personal use, but there are other nice ones to be had as well. You want to be sure it's big enough to handle spikes during power up and such, especially if you ever want to run a decent RAID.
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Old Jan 9, 2012, 06:39 PM   #4
ashman70
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The other thing to consider, well two things really, the size and weight of these units, some of them are very heavy. The other thing is battery life, at lest when buying used. An APC SmartUPS 1500 battery will generally last 3-5 years, it has an indicator on it when the battery needs to be replaced and you can order replacements from UPS, they ship a pre paid shipping label so you can ship the old one back. Cheaper models may not have a battery indicator, so you have no idea when the battery is dead until a power failure at which point everything plugged into the UPS goes off. A good UPS is worth the money, but don't go overboard and used ones can be had at a good price as long as the batteries aren't too old.
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Old Jan 9, 2012, 07:03 PM   #5
wonderspark
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Originally Posted by ashman70 View Post
The other thing to consider, well two things really, the size and weight of these units, some of them are very heavy. The other thing is battery life, at lest when buying used. An APC SmartUPS 1500 battery will generally last 3-5 years, it has an indicator on it when the battery needs to be replaced and you can order replacements from UPS, they ship a pre paid shipping label so you can ship the old one back. Cheaper models may not have a battery indicator, so you have no idea when the battery is dead until a power failure at which point everything plugged into the UPS goes off. A good UPS is worth the money, but don't go overboard and used ones can be had at a good price as long as the batteries aren't too old.
Good point. My used one was good at first, but then 18 months later, I tested it again and watched the battery bars drop from full to holy !!! in about fifteen seconds. I knew it was time to replace the battery, and did just as mentioned above... ordered replacement from APC for $125-150(?) and sent old one back in same box. Now I test them more often.
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Old Jan 9, 2012, 07:10 PM   #6
duffer42
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Thank you for all the suggestions.
I am going to replace the batteries in the original unit, they're almost 6 years old, and will keep my fingers crossed.
Thank you again.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 02:09 AM   #7
DanielCoffey
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Remember that Apple advise a Pure Sine Wave UPS so the APC Back-UPS range is NOT recommended for the Mac Pro. You need their Smart-UPS range.

I have been using the SMT1000I for a year now.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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For those that need a suitable UPS for their MP:

FWIW, a less expensive, and suitable alternative for Active Power Factor based PSU's (what's in the MP), would be the CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD (1500VA model), or it's smaller siblings. I prefer APC's SUA1500 or SMT1500, but even in the refurbished market, they're more expensive.

I've given the 1500VA and 1300VA units a go (HDTV and other equipment), and so far, so good.
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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I was going to make a recommendation, but nanofrog already did it. I would echo what he said. I have that CyberPower unit, and so far it has been really great. It has handled brownouts and blackouts really well, and it also runs just about silently. Far quieter than the two APC Back-UPS units I used to have (they're old, and while they worked for my G5, they are not suitable for the current Mac Pro line anyway for the same reasons nanofrog mentioned).

I'm not suggesting that the CyberPower unit is necessarily the superior performer. But I do feel like it's a much more affordable solution that still very much gets the job done- so it may be a superior value.

Here's the product on the CyberPower site:
CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD

Good luck.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 01:36 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DanielCoffey View Post
Remember that Apple advise a Pure Sine Wave UPS so the APC Back-UPS range is NOT recommended for the Mac Pro. You need their Smart-UPS range.

I have been using the SMT1000I for a year now.
Sorry to drag up an old thread, but do you have a source for that? Want to make sure it's not just some internet rumour..
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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You will find a lot of user anecdotes I agree, but the one thing they have in common is the statement that Active PFC power supplies (such as the ones used in recent Apple machines) prefer (or often require) a pure sine wave output when on battery.

The symptoms of a Stepped Sine Wave UPS supplying an Active PFC power supply are apparently either a clicking from the power supply or in some cases, an immediate shut-down from the power supply immediately followed by a shutdown from the UPS because it detects no load.

Apple state that they use Active PFC for its efficiency but I admit I cannot find a statement from Apple on the subject of which UPS type to buy.

When I spoke to APC when trading my old Back-UPS 800 for my current Smart-UPS SMT1000I, I was advised over the phone that they sometimes get new Back-UPS UPS boxes returned as "faulty" when in fact they have been connected to an Active PFC power supply.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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I've been using the Cyperpower unit nanofrog mentioned for about a year, with a Mac Pro with all drive bays filled, and a Dell U2711.

A silent workplace is important to me, and the Cyperpower is silent.

I will say that the first Cyberpower Amazon shipped to me was defective. The replacement arrived quickly and the swap was painless, but indeed I got a cockroach the first time through. The second unit has been flawless.

Back in the days I was doing event work -- real time processing, must-not-fail environment, sometimes outside, often with weird power (for example, somebody else's generator), I used an earlier version of this line:

http://www.clary.com/products_dt_features.html

It was seriously noisy, heavy, and utterly reliable.

I'm not recommending this line to anybody. I use a consumer unit now and my bet is that 99% of all MacRumors readers do the same.

I'm just thinking it might amuse people to see another level of UPS.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 02:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laserbeam273 View Post
Sorry to drag up an old thread, but do you have a source for that? Want to make sure it's not just some internet rumour..
APC has a White Paper on running Active Power Factor Controlled PSU's with UPS's somewhere, which you'll be able to find if you search.

But the very short version is that Active PFC based PSU's do require a pure Sine wave (has to do with the max voltage coming off of the inverter).

PWM is one way to reduce the max voltages so they aren't so high off of the inverter that it damages the Active PFC. Think steps and averaging; the more steps you have, the max value per step is reduced vs. fewer steps.

As per the CyberPower unit, I now have 2x (1300VA and 1500VA models) running along side APC SUA1500's. No problems with any of the equipment attached.
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 11:20 AM   #14
ActionableMango
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laserbeam273 View Post
Sorry to drag up an old thread, but do you have a source for that? Want to make sure it's not just some internet rumour..
From personal experience I know when we used simulated sine wave UPS units on Dell machines with APF power supplies, the Dell computers would turn off immediately when the UPS switched from mains to battery. Everything else connected to the UPS, such as the monitors, would stay on.

Some in this forum have reported that their MP works fine with simulated sine wave UPS, while others have reported a loud squealing noise from their power supply.

I do not have a source, so take it or leave it, as you like.
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 11:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by duffer42 View Post
I have a Mac Pro Tower (mid 2010) 5,1, running Lion 10.7.2. It has one 240 gb SSD, and three 1tb HD's internally. 16 gig of Ram and a 24" monitor. I am interested in what I would need to protect this computer and monitor for a 10-20 minute period of time in the event of power failure. If you can suggest manufacturers also, that would be appreciated.
Thank you
Yeah that is a lot of time. I work in a Post production Commercial Company and our UPS for 6 Bays and 1 Unity is rated at 15 minutes. And I don't what to know how much it cost the company.
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 12:26 PM   #16
blinkin357
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Don't need more than one monitor on UPS

My MacPro with six internal drives is on one APC 750 UPS along with one of my two 23" monitors. I don't need more than one monitor to shut down from battery power. My wife called me to ask why one monitor shut down. She didn't know she was running on UPS.

I also had 10 external drives connected but switched to an 8-bay Drobo. The UPS is overloaded now so I need to get another UPS to balance the load.
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 01:39 PM   #17
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I've been using an APC BR1500 for the past 10 years without issues. Changed the battery once a few years back. I don't think it's a sine wave one but it's worked great. First with my G5 and on my MacPro since 2006.

http://www.apc.com/resource/include/...500&tab=models
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 03:50 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JesterJJZ View Post
I've been using an APC BR1500 for the past 10 years without issues. Changed the battery once a few years back. I don't think it's a sine wave one but it's worked great. First with my G5 and on my MacPro since 2006.

http://www.apc.com/resource/include/...500&tab=models
It's a stepped unit. Please understand, that the damage caused by stepped inverters on Active PFC based PSU's adds up over time, so failures aren't sudden (seen this before the knowledge on the A-PFC PSU's was published - and figured it was just a faulty PSU and replaced it).

Technically speaking, the solution was correct, but had that same UPS been left, the replacement PSU would eventually die as well (same model, but brand new unit from a different batch). No changes to the PSU's circuits were made AFIAK.

So there is some risk, and it would be higher if your power is unstable (brownouts are the biggest causes of damage vs. black outs, as brownouts occur far more often).
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 02:10 PM   #19
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I had a Belkin 1200VA unit on my G5 and then my Mac Pro (2009). This seems to have now given up the ghost so I'm looking for a suitable replacement.

The APC models seem a lot more expensive over here than I recall the Belkin being so I was also looking at the CyberPower Intelligent LCD 1350VA and CyberPower Value 1200VA but apart from affordability I'm looking for near silence when the mains is available as it will be in a bedroom. The belkin was OK in this regard but reports of noise on the APC models which all seem to have fans vary.

The Belkin was also unusual it seems as it had UK Plug sockets on the back. The other UPS models I have looked at today all have IEC sockets so I would need to change all my power cables. I'm also not sure how I would even connect the small PSUs that use a figure of eight to three pin UK plug?
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 02:17 PM   #20
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The only time my SUA1500 makes any noise is when the power drops out, and thus the system is running off it. I've heard it kick on for a few seconds a few times (three or four times in two years) for no apparent reason, but it only lasted maybe ten seconds or so each time. I would consider this APC unit to be 100% silent, 99% of the time.
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 02:48 PM   #21
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I used to run three RS-1500s with my Mac Pro. I also had a Cinema display power supply that squealed sometimes.

I switched to a sine wave 2200va unit. It's ridiculous but it's much tidier and no more squealing. I should have bought it years ago. I wouldn't use anything but a sine wave unit knowing what I know now.
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 02:56 PM   #22
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I am using APC SmartUPS 1500 - totally satisfied.
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Old Mar 1, 2012, 06:08 PM   #23
nanofrog
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Originally Posted by Mattww View Post
...I'm looking for near silence when the mains is available as it will be in a bedroom.
Any switched UPS will be quiet when running off of the mains (no need for the fan to kick in).

It's when the batteries + inverter are running that the fan must also be activated (or the inverter will overheat and fail), which is the source of the noise complaints.

Better to deal with some noise for a short period of time rather than loose data IMO though.

IF your outlets are UK type (what's installed in the house/office walls) and the new UPS uses an IEC socket, why not just get the correct IEC - UK cord? Much easier and far cheaper than rewiring the building, as there's no need to hire a licensed electrician (licensed electrician = required by law in the UK as I understand it).
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 02:54 PM   #24
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Any switched UPS will be quiet when running off of the mains (no need for the fan to kick in). It's when the batteries + inverter are running that the fan must also be activated (or the inverter will overheat and fail), which is the source of the noise complaints.
Better to deal with some noise for a short period of time rather than loose data IMO though.
IF your outlets are UK type (what's installed in the house/office walls) and the new UPS uses an IEC socket, why not just get the correct IEC - UK cord? Much easier and far cheaper than rewiring the building, as there's no need to hire a licensed electrician (licensed electrician = required by law in the UK as I understand it).
Noise when on battery is fine - like you say you don't mind if it is saving your Mac & data from damage. I just want it silent when the mains power is there so I can sleep.

My concern with the plugs is not so much the Mac and display - it is items like external hard disks which have a figure of 8 to mains plug cable as it makes it hard to connect these to the UPS.
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Old Mar 2, 2012, 11:06 PM   #25
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Noise when on battery is fine - like you say you don't mind if it is saving your Mac & data from damage. I just want it silent when the mains power is there so I can sleep.
I'll say it again: SWITCHED TYPE of UPS Inverter = ZERO NOISE when running from the mains. Absolutely none. You'll only hear the thing when the power drops below it's minimum rated voltage (changes taps on the transformer to pick up the output voltage on the UPS), or the power goes out completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattww View Post
My concern with the plugs is not so much the Mac and display - it is items like external hard disks which have a figure of 8 to mains plug cable as it makes it hard to connect these to the UPS.
The "figure of 8" statement means absolutely nothing to me.

The closest thing I can think of, is you've a mix of UK and EU plugs, and I've no idea as to which (wall, UPS's built-in plugs, and devices that will be plugged into the UPS).

But I read the previous post as the power plug of the UPS was the issue (EU rather than UK), which would be EASILY solved by getting the correct IEC power cable.

Where I can see a challenge, is if the UPS has EU plugs rather than UK plugs. It should be possible to swap out the plugs, but you'd need to know what you're doing. Much easier to get a bunch of EU - UK adapters for each device in such a situation IMO.
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