Purchasing an APC UPS for my future 20" iMac. What is needed?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by milky23, Oct 25, 2005.

  1. milky23 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    #1
    Hi there.

    I'm looking to purchase an APC battery backup to protect my loverly 20 inch iMac G5. I'm looking for the right model. APC has a nifty tool to find the correct model, and they say,
    The question is, what is the power draw of the iMac, and what would be a safe model of APC to get (in terms of VA) Here's their product listing.

    http://apc.com/products/category.cfm?id=13&subid=5


    Thanks!
     
  2. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    Jan 22, 2003
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    In your head.
    #2
    I manage way to many UPS(s), all APC, and many different models. A UPS is not a line conditioner

    According to the spec. sheet the iMac (current) peeks at 180W (start up).
    Using APCs handy Selection Tool.

    Any of the 350 line should be fine for your iMac, at the low end, for a few munits of uptime, but the recommendation below is what I would go with.

    I would go with the BE750BB The replacement battery with hazmat fee and return UPS currently runs ~$50.

    I generated this result by setting up-time to 15 minutes, after selecting and iMac with 20" screen, no external monitor, Power PC G5 processor, and no peripherals on the battery, with 25% expendability. Though expensive, I would go with their recommendation. Remember that you will likely have to purchace a new battery in 2-3 years, and you might want to use the USB feature to get information or to shut down your computer.

    Post script: the first one listed
     
  3. milky23 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2005
    #3
    Thank you, you are most helpful!

    What, by the way, is a line conditioner? (and do I need one?)
     
  4. Bear macrumors G3

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    #4
    The APC UPS does line conditioning as well. You do not need (and shouldn't use) a filtered powerstrip with the APC UPS.
     
  5. kbonnel macrumors 6502

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    In a nice place..
    #5
    I think what Eniregnat was trying to say about the line conditioner is that most UPS's don't output a true sine wave (which is really clean power).

    Or correct me if I am wrong. :)

    Kimo
     
  6. Macabron macrumors member

    Macabron

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    Durango, México.
    #6
    I have bee using the APC ES500U and have been very happy with it, it gave me about 12 minutes of power on my iMac before complete discharge, and it gives me about 4 min. with my power Mac and 2 monitors. Not much, but enough to save my work in case of power outage.
     
  7. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    #7
    True. APC words it Power Conditioning. I have a few network routers that are super touchy about their powerfeeds. I have no idea why they are touchy, I just wish we had gone optical instead of copper.
     
  8. automator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    #8
    This is exactly the thread i've been looking for! I just ordered an iMac G5 20" w/ built-in iSight and i'm looking for a good UPS system. I emailed APC tech support and here's the information i've received:

    1. Not all APC UPS systems supply backup power at a sine wave and using a UPS that does NOT, can potentially damage the iMac's "sensitive" power supply, and...
    2. The iMac G5 has a startup power consumption of 400-500watts

    I've been trying to find information to verify or refute these claims. So could the tech support guy be misinformed? He was recommending the SmartUPS 750VA, atleast, but it's too expensive for my budget! I'm thinking of just getting the SmartUPS SC 420VA because all I need is about 5 minutes of backup time so I can shut down in the event of a power failure (I will not be plugging anything else to the back up battery outlet). But the tech support guy tells me that I should get atleast a 620VA because according to him, you have to atleast "double" the indicated power consumption for your computer system. In the iMac G5 case, it's 180wattsX2. So in effect, he's telling me to consider atleast 360watts when I make my UPS purchasing decision for my iMac G5. Otherwise, he says I would just be overloading the UPS with a lower VA everytime I turn the computer on. And if "power conditioning" means that the back up battery supplies sine wave power output, than that means that I can just purchase any of the other lower end APC UPS models and they will work fine with my iMac. According to the website, even the ES line has power conditioning features. The SmartUPs line is just a bit too pricey for my budget. Please help me!
     
  9. kbonnel macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Always take advice with a grain of salt when it comes from somebody looking to sell you their product. Will a true sine wave output help you, sure it would. It sure won't hurt :) Do you need to have it? How is the power are your house? Do you normally have blackouts, burn out a lot of light bulbs, or does your current computers seem to have issues (dead power supplies). If you have clean power, than a regular UPS should do you fine. If apple's power supplies were so sensitive, apple would have indicated that you need a certain type of UPS, or ship them with their computers.

    Kimo
     
  10. iEdd macrumors 68000

    iEdd

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    Australia
    #10
    A UPS has a mains converter(voltage down) and batter charger, than an inverter(voltage up) for mains power from a battery. The inverter is what makes the output from the battery Square wave, or Genuine Sine wave, similar to straight mains power.
    Like if you buy an inverter to run off your car battery, some small tvs and a few things don't mind square-wave, but sometimes you have to pay more for sine wave.
    So yeah, get the line filtering or whatever they call it...
     
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #11
    I would suggest buying another brand but certainly 750 VA and up would be good. I had better luck with Belkin than APC but either should be acceptable.

    I wouldn't bother with anything under 500 VA for anything with fans, hard drives, or anything else mechanical that rotates. They take a lot of energy and UPSes tend to be almost over-rated at the consumer level.

    Also, you can get USB-capable versions that will work with your computer to shut it down on a power failure. I'm not sure about Apple's software but I haven't found much good otherwise. I ended up removing the USB cable connecting my PowerMac and Belkin UPS because it was shutting things down hard before I could shut them down the proper way.
     
  12. Bear macrumors G3

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    #12
    I've had no issues with the APC UPS's that have USB connections. If I'm not there, the OS triggers a shutdown and it's shutdown before the UPS runs out of battery power.
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    That's good! I don't have that issue with my APC UPS (it has a serial port)--it just decided to start powering off, though, during recent hurricane activity when the supply of power coming from other parts of Floriduh was not so consistent. Had I spent $75,000 for a proper Liebert UPS, I wouldn't have that problem, now would I?

    Actually, we had a similar problem at once place because the idiots who configured out generator + UPS didn't configure a voltage regulator and filter that would bring the power within the tolerances expected by the UPS. Once the batteries were exhausted, the generator would start. The power was noisy and the UPS wouldn't accept it and the hospital's main computer system crashed.
     

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