Did I choose wrong UPS?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by comatory, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. comatory, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

    macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    So I have experienced two blackouts for past month in my apartment, we've been getting them often thanks to the idiots living next door (we share the same fusebox unfortunately).

    I have purchased UPS, this type: http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=BE400-FR

    It has failed me on both occasions. It can power Mac Pro (Quad, 2009, 4x HDDs, HD5870)+24" Display in sleep mode, but when I power it up so I can shut it down, it turns off after 3 seconds or so.

    It's probably my own fault that I didn't check requirements for Mac Pro before purchasing but maybe I could have faulty unit? All I really want to do is to power off the computer, which can take around 30-40 secs so I guess I'm not asking too much? Seems like power draw in the idle state is a lot for that UPS to handle.

    Can someone tell me what specs should I be looking at when getting a new UPS?
  2. macrumors 603


    For a Laptop that would be OK, for a Mac Pro I would choose a minimum 1000VA but 1500VA would be better.

    Not to be nitpicky but Title and part of your post you say PSU instead of UPS, a PSU is inside your Mac Pro.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Oh yeah, sorry bout that.

    Damn, 1000VA? Those are a bit expensive... but yeah, I should get it. I will re-use this one for my Mac mini server + Time Capsule... that should be enough I guess.

    I saw a good deal on this one: http://www.sweex.com/en/assortiment/power-security/power-protection/PP220/print/

    Or what brands should I choose?
  4. justperry, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

    macrumors 603


    From that link
    Compatible operating systems
    Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows Vista®, Windows® 7 or Windows® 8
    Sweex, hm, not my favorite.

    I agree, a good UPS is expensive, especially online ones or the ones which are sinus perfect, with this I mean that the sine wave is almost the same as the one from your power outlet.

    APC I think is a good brand but also expensive.

    Note, just wait for more users to give their opinion here before buying one.
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    I'm not trusting Sweex either, to me they're manufacturers of cheap and not so good components. APC is what I have now. For OS compatibility, I guess that's a requirement for auto-shutdown feature?
    It's a nice thing to have but not a must, my computer sleeps or is shutdown when I'm not around.

    Would be great to hear more opinions. I was looking at some 1200 VA but I'm still not sure if that's enough - don't want to make the same mistake again. I have three things connected to battery backup: Mac Pro, Fujitsu-Siemens P-24 1W display and one external USB drive that requires power adapter.

    In case of blackout I need surge protection and 2 minutes of time to safely turn off the computer, that's it.
  6. macrumors 603



    You could probably do with a lower VA set but with UPS it is much safer to go higher than you should, like double what the need is, in your case lets say 400-500 Watt, at least double that so minimum 1000VA.

    I found a link on Apple discussion forum, have a look, I'll add more links if I find them.

  7. effgee, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    I can't recommend CyberPower's PFC SineWave Series highly enough. Having owned the CP1500PFCLCD for what, two years, it hasn't failed me once. Due to rotting, 3rd-world infrastructure we have frequent power failures where I live in the southeastern US - about half a dozen times per year.

    Currently it provides backup power for my Mac Pro (2010/2.8 quad/SSD/4 3TB HDs/formerly ATI 5770 & 5870), my two displays (27" Panasonic MultiSync), 2 ext. USB HDs along with my Apple Airport Extreme.

    Once the power goes out I have an average of 12-15 minutes of backup power, plenty to shut everything down safely. Also quite important: the UPS is 100% OS X compatible, so I can make use of all of the OS's power management functions:



    As of this morning the CP1500PFCLCD sells for $158.99 on Amazon's US site (link). I'm sure you're already aware of this but for completion's sake - the Mac Pro's PSU requires a UPS that puts out a pure sine wave, so a "regular" old UPS won't do.

    Edit: here's a quick 'n dirty photo so you can get a better idea of the UPS's size:

  8. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Looks great but I am not from US and I am having difficulties locating that particular model.

    Any other capable UPS, maybe from APC, they have good distribution around here.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    Where is "round here" so we can recommend vendors?

    My APC SMT1000I gives my 2010 hex and 27" ACD around 45-50 minutes of runtime on battery. At idle it reports about 27% load.

    Remember that APC have their Trade-UPS programme where they give you a trade-in discount on your old UPS in any condition (whether it is APC or not). They gave me 25% off my SMT1000I because I traded in a Back-UPS 800 with an ageing battery.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007
    Try to find a UPS backup that's at least 1,000 VA minimum and a Pure sine wave output as well. Good luck.

  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Haven't found any info on exchange programs in my country.
    What do you think of APC Power Saving Back-UPS Pro 1500 ?

    Would this work? Does it have Pure Sine Wave? It's more affordable for me than SMT1000I but if I might still go with it.
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Czech Republic, European Union... we have most of the vendors but not CyberPower (for example OWC has no distribution here).
  13. macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    The APC Back-UPS range does not have pure sine wave so no, you cannot use it with your mac pro. You would need the APC Smart-UPS range.

    If you need to save money, you should look at the CyberPower model you have already been pointed to.
  14. macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2009
    You don't really need pure sine-wave for a computer.

    What you do need is reliable switchover with good regulation and adequate VA capacity.

    I have a 10-year-old MinuteMan E2300 and external EBP2 battery pack. It will run two fairly-packed generic PCs and 4 monitors for several hours. It's a bit of a beast, rack-mounted, but very reasonably priced for what you get, reliable as heck, and so I wouldn't hesitate to buy one used. It's never failed to do exactly what it should in an outage. Never had a computer go down or glitch.

    I've had to replace the battries once.

    I got this because I was involved in the beginning of high-frequency trading, and couldn't afford to shut down during trading if the power went out. Never actually needed it for that purpose, but did use it during the big S. California blackout a couple years ago, and ran an extension to my refrigerator (not really recommended) and it worked just fine. (Though it dropped-out during motor starts!) This was, of course, after I'd shut down the comptuers.

    My partner (who normally oversaw the automated trading from a different state) went with a cheap APC unit and Honda generator. He used it during a scheduled outage in his new housing development (they were finishing-up some work on the electrical lines) until his neighbor knocked on the door and asked if he could use the generator to mix paint.

    A few seconds later... I closed out the positions (I was the programmer, not trader) and we called it a wrap for that day... and my partner was off to Home Depot for a new Honda generator.
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    Thanks for pinpointing the differences. As I said before, I'm having troubles finding Cyberpower distributor.

    Why exactly Mac Pro requires pure sine-wave UPS?


    Wow sounds crazy! High-frequency trading? You mean like day trading/currency trades?
    I wish I could go this way but there's no way my GF is letting me have rack-mounted beast. We live in a tiny apartment, she barely tolerates my proudly displayed Mac Pro on the desk :)
  16. macrumors 68030


    Jun 12, 2009
    San Clemente, CA USA
    I have the following UPS, and it's been working great since March 2011. I just had an outage last night as a matter of fact.

    CyberPower CP1350AVRLCD
  17. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    I've been searching and I think I found it. I know it's in foreign language but do you think it's the same model as you have?
    It says there "Adaptive Sine Wave".. dont know what that means.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    It looks *exactly* like the one I have. But honestly, if you don't live in the Czech Republic, don't order the Cyberpower from there. Imagine the shipping cost if you have to return it because it is the wrong model and/or it arrives damaged - the damn thing weighs almost 25 lbs (> 11 kg), What happens in case of a failure, will they handle the warranty, does Cyberpower have an office in your country, where would you have to ship a defective unit? Those points alone would be sufficient for me stay away from it, no matter how good the unit is.

    My recommendation: stick with what's available in your country and what you can get serviced there in case you ever have a warranty claim. UPSs from APC have a great reputation, the only reason why I ended up going with Cyberpower was the good old "bang for my buck" equation.

    Unfortunately, I've got no idea know which APC model you should choose but I am sure someone else will be able to chime in here.

    (I did most of my research back then via Google and came across the "pure sine wave" issue in a discussion on Apple's forums where a user had trouble with a regular UPS not providing power to his Mac Pro despite the UPS working with a different PC and sufficient specs.)
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    I am from Czech Republic :) So it is no problem shipping wise etc.

    I re-read the description and it's right there in the english description "Pure Sine Wave output". Little thing I'm unsure of is the part number is CP1500EPFCLCD - it has extra "E" in there which I don't know what it means. Maybe European version?

    EDIT: I just went to the official site and they have this part number listed under PFC series which has the same specs. I will try and go for it probably.
  20. macrumors 603


    First don't listen to this poster, he has clearly no idea, just look at the text in bold, manages to compare a 10 year old UPS and generic PC a time (2012) which is different.

    I would go buy a good one, yes you pay a bit more but it is worth it, the good thing about the better ones is those have sine wave, you can even use your fridge with it if you wanted, you can't do that with cheaper ones.
    As the other posters said the CyberPower seem to be very good and if you can get them I would recommend you to do so.
  21. macrumors 6502

    Apr 22, 2010

    That UPS only puts out 240 watts! I'm pretty sure you exceed that. :( That being the case, the UPS will not supply enough power during normal operation. You will probably want at least the Pro 700. Even then it will only give you about 6 minutes new, less maybe as it ages. You will want to be sure to use the USB console and set your MP to shut down at 50% with sure a small unit. (it will show up as a battery, no software needed) Also consider setting the unit sensitivity to high.

    I tried moving an old UPS 350 to my daughters 21" iMac and had much the same issue. I think that I have her on a 550 now. It gives the system enough time to ride out a very short outage and brown outs.

    The unit that you really want is this:


    That will give you about 15 minutes. The great things about it are:

    1) You can see you load on the display and see how much time that you have.
    2) You can change setting easy without the windows software.
    3) You can daisy chain another external battery unit that about triples your total time!

  22. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    That UPS has been mentioned here already but I was told that I should get pure sine wave UPS, that one does not have it (although I like it as well).
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    So I sent email to mail representative and got a reply today:

    Thank you for interesting Cyber Power CP1500EPFCLCD.
    CP1500EPFCLCD is EU version with Schuko outlet. CP1500PFCLCD is USA version which not suitable in EU. Major functionality is identical for both two models.

    Looks like I have a winner. I can get this Cyber Power unit for very reasonable money after seeing how much pure sine wave UPSs cost (probably for 60-70 percent of what APC manufactures with similar specs).
  24. macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    That was the result of my research when I was looking for a UPS - I definitely did not mean to imply I was an expert in electrical engineering. :)

    But seeing as
    1. The (non-pure-sine-wave) APC model Penn Jennings mentioned upthread costs the same or more as the Cyberpower model I have sitting under my desk
    2. Both UPSs have nearly identical specs (1500VA, ~900W, same number of outlets)
    3. My personal (thusly anecdotal) experience with the Cyberport model is excellent
    ...and you're ok with potentially having to ship the big 'ole lump all over the place, I'd say go for it.

    Btw, I'm making the assumption that you know what a "Schuko" (= "Schutzkontakt") plug/outlet is and that those are the ones used in your country of residence as well. As usual, Wikipedia knows everything you could possibly want to know on the subject. And loads more, in my case.
  25. effgee, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    WTH? Tried to post a reply, but got a(n extremely brief) interstitial stating something to the extent that my post had to be approved by a moderator before it would become visible.


    No idea what could have triggered that. (For a change) I was neither uttering obscenities nor did I attempt to link to shady online pharmacies. Just plain odd.

    Edit: let's see if I can (ever so sneakily) insert it here:
    Edit-edit: There we go. That wasn't so hard.

    Edit-edit-edit: Duh, I missed the part where you said you were from the Czech Republic! That's what I get for posting in online forums at 4 o'clock in the morning. In that case, definitely go for the Cyberpower, if for no other reason than that it is so much cheaper than its APC counterparts!

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