UPS for 27" 2012 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by virginblue4, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Can anyone recommend a UPS that I can use with my 27" 2012 iMac on order.

    It doesn't need to be able to power the iMac for a particularly long time. I want one that is compatible with OS X so that my iMac will automatically power itself down if power is lost and it needs to be sine wave.

    Any good suggestions? Nothing overly expensive.
     
  2. large farva, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #2
    Well you need a Pure Sine Wave model. I currently have the CyberPower CP1350PFCLCD model waiting for my iMac. It's a 1350VA 810W unit. I had a CyberPower CP1000PFCLCD unit for my Mid-2011 27" iMac and I had a 34 minute runtime on the battery. Either way, you absolutely must get a Pure Sine Wave or PFC Compatible Back-UPS unit, because your iMac has a PFC Power Supply. (Power Factor Corrected), and they will not work with the standard back UPS units you find at Staples or Office Depot. During an outage the computer will just act as if there is no battery back up with the standard units. Also, the CyberPower units are a decent price. Only $161 for the one I have now the 810W unit, the CP1000PFCLCD which is a 600W unit one costs $130. You can find them on Amazon.

    ----------

    Also, the best part is, those units will work with the Energy Saver function that comes with you iMac. Just go under System Preferences, select Energy Saver, and then click on the UPS tab, and you can set the parameters, like when your iMac will save all opened documents or files, then perform a regular shut down. You can set it to different settings like "Once UPS battery % reaches a certain level" or "Once the computer has been running on the UPS for a certain amount of time".. They are really good units. I can't tell you what your power needs are. But my iMac is a fairly upgraded model, so I got the 1350VA / 810W model, so I'll have at least a half hour runtime on the battery. If all you want is enough time for the computer to do an automatic shut down, you could probably go with the CyberPower CP850PFCLCD, which is an 850VA 510W model. Here's a link to all of them, you can select the different models and see the different prices and specs...

    EDIT> Oops. The links seem to be messing up for me. Just go to amazon.com, and then type CP1000PFCLCD into the search field and click on the top product.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    PhillyAnt

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Location:
    Philly
    #3
    I purchased the same unit Large Farva is using (CyberPower CP1350PFCLCD). It seems to be a pretty solid unit.

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    By the way, I started a thread regarding this topic a few weeks ago. Have a look here. Might have all the info you need.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1528005
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #4
    I got the cyberpower CP1500AVR from CostCo for $118 and OS X recognizes it just by plugin the usb cable to a port you get ups tab on energy saver window, I know it's not the advertised pure sine wave but the box does say it converts dirty power to sine wave. You can never be sure if it's a real pure sine wave without the proper equipment so I just went with that one because of the sale.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #5
    What the unit you're talking about does, is create a "stepped approximation to a sine wave". Which is the same thing that the APC Back-UPS units do (the ones you find at Staples, Wal-Mart, Office Depot and such. The problem with the Stepped Approximation units is that computers with PFC (Power Factor Corrected) Power Supplies will not run on the battery power they supply during an outage. They will still benefit from the AVR, because that's not using the batteries power to slightly raise of lower the voltage. If you get a Stepped Approximation unit, your iMac will either just not run during an outage, in other words, it will just do a hard shut down, as if the unit isn't even there, because the power supply can not run on that type of power. OR, it could possibly run, but you will hear a humming or electrical type hum sound from the power supply, because it's being stressed so badly. Bottom line is, if you have an iMac, or another computer with a PFC Power Supply, then you absolutely MUST run a Pure Sine Wave unit if you care about your computer at all. There's really no excuse not to, I mean, the 600W unit is only $130, which is very very comparable to what you'll find the Stepped Approximation APC units selling for in Staples. If you want to save even more money, go with the 510W CyberPower model, it's only $112. That's cheaper than you can find tower UPS units for in Staples. The $112 price tag what you would find on something like those cheap-o non-tower stepped approximation units. I saw the 450W non-tower non-display units selling at Best Buy for $115...
     
  6. macrumors 603

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle
    #6
  7. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for this info, guess ill take it back and get a PFC one just to be safe.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #8
    Yeah no kidding. Confused me a bit when I first ever heard of Active PFC power supplies and such, because a couple years ago, I never knew of them and what they require, and most people dont. Now, whenever I buy a new desktop type computer, I make sure I have a Back-UPS unit ready when it arrives. My CP1350PFCLCD is sitting in the packaging right now, waiting until the day before my iMac is set to arrive, at that time I'll plug it in so it charges for 8+ hours without the possibility of it having to run off battery power for that 8+ hours.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #9
    I just go the same model yesterday. I tested it, and it works quite well. It estimates 87 minutes of runtime with my specced out 27 inch at idle (or just browsing the web, rather). I've also got an external hard drive and a USB hub plugged into it.

    Also, you mentioned needing to charge it first, but mine came fully charged...At least I think that it did.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    #10
    Another vote for the CP1350PFCLCD. Mine's been solid as a rock on my 27" iMac for over a year and it also backs up my network gear. It's saved me a few times already during various power outages. I'm running CyberPower now on my wife's PC and also on the home theatre system. Cheers!
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #11
    Thank you all for your answers, especially your larga farge. Does anyone have a UK link for it? I've found it, however it's around £120 plus £40 delivery!!!!
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Lancer

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
  13. large farva, Feb 3, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #13
    Yes, mine came fully charged also. That's normal. But it's recommended that you plug it in 8 hours before "using" the unit to allow the battery to condition/charge. I would imagine it's not that important, just a precaution. Also, you're pretty much doing the same thing (charging it for 8 hours), as long as there's not an event that causes the battery to kick in within that first 8 hours of you using it. So you should be fine. Do you have the supplied USB cable connecting the unit to your iMac? If not, then go ahead and plug it in, then go into System Preferences, then Energy Saver. Once there, click on the UPS tab at the top of the window, and you'll find you can set different automatic shut-down parameters. For example, your iMac will automatically save all open files and perform a normal shut down after, either running on battery power for a certain amount of time, or when the battery level reaches a certain percentage, or if it's been running on battery for a specificied number of minutes. Pretty cool stuff... Have fun with your iMac.

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    I'm not sure about Amazon UK. I know that here in the states, those units are all sold/shipped by Amazon, rather than being through a vendor on Amazon. So after like $25, your order qualifies for free shipping. Also, here in the states mind you, you can sign up for the 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime, which gives you either Free Two-Day Shipping, or $3.99 per item Overnight Shipping. Maybe they offer something similar on Amazon UK? Give it a good look around. Also, be sure that you are finding a unit that is Sold and Shipped by Amazon themselves.

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    Just be sure that it's a Pure Sine Wave unit. If it's not, then your local reseller might just not be familiar with the Active PFC Power Supply concept. I never heard of it until a couple years ago and a lot of people still don't know that new computers need Pure Sine Wave. Also, be careful, because some people or companies like to just make a sale. So even though they know a product isn't compatible, they know that chances are, you aren't going to have an incident which requires your UPS to kick into battery power until after the standard time limit for returns. Be careful.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #14


    I'm currently signed up for amazon prime, only problem is, it's not actually on Amazon UK :(
     
  15. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #15
    Oh, gotcha... Are you able to purchase from Ebay over there? I noticed there were some being sold on ebay here in the states,
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 68000

    virginblue4

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    I've looked on eBay and they all ship from the US adding a ridiculous postage cost.

    I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to get one at this rate. The cheapest I can find is around £160 ($250!!!).
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #17
    How is shipping usually to ship from the states to where you are? Could you find someone to purchase one for you from Amazon over here for $112-$130 and then have them ship it to you? I would assume then you would need a plug converter. Wait, I'm not familiar with UK power, what voltage are yall running over there?
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Gizmotoy

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    #18
    I'm not sure how true that is. I've had my 27" since December connected to an APC Back-UPS XS 1500 (which is of the stepped-approximation sin wave, offline power variety) and have had no problems. It's run the power-off test twice with no issues, and I lost power once while I was home and OS X recognized the fault and shut down cleanly.

    Indeed, it is possible to design a PFC supply that can run perfectly well on a stepped-approximation UPS, and there are many of these on the market. iMacs have used PFC supplies since at least 2009, as far as I can tell. This has come up on the forum before, and Apple Care confirmed repeatedly that the iMac line supports stepped-approximation UPSes. My previous iMac, a 2009 with a PFC, has worked for 3 years with a stepped-approximation UPS.

    Also, FYI, you've used Back-UPS as a generic name for a UPS in several places in this thread and the other linked thread. Back-UPS is APC's model name for their consumer line of stepped-approximated UPSes, and using it generally to mean all UPSes may be confusing to people. Smart-UPS are their true sin wave models.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #19
    I searched around and there seems to be no clear answer as to will it run or not run on a stepped approximation wave that the standard units output, the poster above me seems to have tested it and it works, anyway aside from that right now I have a 1500VA UPS the question is does anyone know how to calculate how much I need to run the 27" iMac for 20 minutes only browsing and with minimal brightness of course it would have to run the modem too. I was already going to buy another UPS for the TV, cable box and ps3 so ill move the one I have right now over to the TV and get one with pure sine wave for the iMac but just which one to buy to get decent run time, I can live with only 5 minutes of run time on the battery but if I can pay $30 more and get 5-10 minutes more of run time I will. I know it depends on load but how can I find out how much load i'll be using and how long the battery will last?
     
  20. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #20
    It's mostly untrue and way overblown as a concern. I'm aware of only one Active PFC PSU that actually had a problem with stepped sine wave UPSes, and that was the Antec EarthWatts series several years ago. I myself have owned 3 different Antec PSU models over the last 10 years, plus a Seasonic, all Active PFC, and none have had any problem with any of the APC UPSes I've owned, which include 500, 650, 750, and two 1500 VA models. My current main UPS, the APC XS1500, is a great UPS. The included software will even wake my PC from sleep to hibernate it in the event of a prolonged outage.

    Ironically, the only problem I've had with a UPS was with a CyberPower true sine wave UPS. Merely turning it on with or without anything connected would consistently cause the AFCI breakers present in some rooms in my house to trip. The APC stepped-sine wave UPSes have no such problem. I'm not saying all true sine wave UPSes behave like the CyberPower, just relating my "reward" for finally spending twice as much to get the "right" kind of UPS for once in my life, never mind that the "wrong" kind had always worked perfectly for me.

    ETA: I forget this is a Mac forum sometimes. I'm talking about my experience with PCs. So, take it with the appropriate sized grain of salt.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #21
    I've still to read anything concrete about NEEDING a Pure Sine Wave. Surely if that were a major concern, Apple would publish something on the matter? I've never, ever used one. Not really sure exactly what I'm missing, but I'm quite willing to be edu-ma-cated. :)
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #22
    I've personally used simulated (stepped) and true sine wave UPS units with my Macs with active PFC and both types worked without issue. With that said, I think it's more certain that a true sine wave unit will work with modern Macs. The best solution, however, is to simply get what others have already used with success. My current UPS is a CyberPower 1500 AVR, powering my 27" iMac and 3 Firewire drives, one of which is an OWC SSD used as the boot drive.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    #23
    Well, like I said, some Active PFC computers may run on a stepped approximation to a sine wave unit, but I've heard of many of them, while doing so, creating a humming/buzzing sound coming from the power supply. I know for a fact that the HP Pavilion H8 (model with the AMD Six-Core) will not run on a Stepped Approximation unit, as I had an APC Back-UPS (yes, I know that's a model by APC, I've just gotten into the habit of using it as a general term because the APC units were the first units I've become familiar with) that I purchased from Staples, I had the HP connected to it for a while and everything seemed fine, until one time I got an outage, and the computer just did a hard shut down, as if there was no UPS unit there.. I realize that this is only one computer, and one UPS unit, but personally I would rather not risk it. Especially when this CyberPower units can be had for so cheap.

    I'm not sure whether Apple would publish anything on the matter or not. Also, not a lot of people even know of Stepped Approximation versus Pure Sine Wave. Hell, I didn't until 1-2 years ago until I had the issue with my HP Pavilion H8. I mean, if you have Apple Care, and you don't think that it will harm your computer, then by all means used a Stepped Approximation unit. Apple might try and say "you did something to damage the power supply", but then as you pointed out, they haven't published anything about using a Pure Sine Wave unit, there for you could throw that in their face. I'm just posting what I know. And from what I've heard, is that a awful lot of Active PFC computers either will not run, or do not run well, on a Stepped Approximation unit once the battery power kicks in during an outage. Also, it's pretty much generally known, whether it be through marketing to try and get people to buy a certain unit versus another, or just good intentions, that there could be issues with the PFC computers and the S.A. units. That's all I'm saying. Also, it does make sense that if it WAS a huge issue, that Apple would publish something on the matter, or that they would at least include a warning in the product's manual, which I haven't seen. But at the same time, from my experience, and from what I've heard, I'll be sticking with the units I use. People on here are of course free to do their own research, and make decisions for themselves, I'm just relaying what I know to the best of my knowledge, in a attempt to possibly help some people.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    The Real Northern California
    #24
    Uh, how about the Apple Store?
     
  25. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #25
    Large farva what issue did you have with your HP to lead you to blame the UPS? This to me still sounds like a solution looking for a problem...
     

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