UPS Question

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by hugemullens, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Howdy all,

    Power has begun to become fairly unreliable around my neck of the woods and i am looking to buy a ups. I went to best buy and the guy there had no idea what ones would be os X compitable. Anybody know of one? ideally around a 100 bucks is all. Also he talked about passive and active UPS's, any idea what that means?? this guy about drove me nuts. Thanks for any replies
  2. macrumors 68000


    Each preceding level contains elements of the previous one. A Power Conditioner is basically a surge protector with a big capacitor or a small battery. A UPS is a battery, and your computer runs off a complex circuit that feeds power from and to the battery. Very expensive, usually build in systems, may contain fly wheels, generators, or other power storing/generating devices. Most consumer level models use batteries, and they will need replacing from time to time.

    APC is a good company. I like them. We have well over a dozen different APCs and we love them. Apple lists the Pro500 Clear . I use an older version of this on my work computer. Our grid is poor, and our building is poorly wired. The APCs get a good work out, and havn't faild yet.

    You don’t need to have connectivity to the UPS for it to work. When the power fails, is not clean, or is below tolerance, it kick in. They should work seamlessly. If your running a server and it is unattended, or the system you are using is processing wile your gone, then it would be prudent to get an UPS with compatible software. In this latter case, make sure that the UPS connects via USB cable to your computer (for data).
    If the power in your area is very unstable, or large power spikes are common, get the best unit you can afford (the one with the longest up time). A good UPS will also warrant their device and “insure” you against damage to your systems. Limitation apply, and they give you hoops to jump though, so read the fine print.

    I wouldn’t concern myself with the automatic shutdown and power monitoring software. A good UPS will have these functions, but its general operation will be automatic. Beyond you attaching the battery, it’s first full and unloaded charge, and you plugging in your equipment, it should be require no user intervention.
  3. TEG
    macrumors 604


    They will list their OS compatibility on the box. Also, You'll be lucky to find one under $150 US. So Good luck.

  4. macrumors 6502a


    UPS noise...

    I noticed that some of these UPS's have a dB rating of 40 or so. Is this an 'always on' rating? Or is it silent for it's day to day operation and noisey when it's performing it's intended task (when the power goes out).

    I've recently spent a lot of time making my macs quieter, I'd hate to ruin the current peace I'm experiencing...but if not, it'd be better than a totally silent (dead) mac!
  5. macrumors 6502

    Re: UPS noise...

    while I don't know how loud they are,

    you can find some for < $50 but they will last only around 5 minutes

    They aren't OS sepcific, thats only if you have the USB remote shutdown function.
  6. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Spend the extra money on getting the line conditioning UPS, they're more expensive that a cheap UPS -- but worth it, when they lop off surges and fill in the brownouts.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    I need a little more...

    I need a little more that the 'basic' UPS. I'd like to have coax or ethernet protection (in case the cable line gets spiked for some reason---the power lines and cable are on the same poles in my neighborhood).

    I've initially checked on APC as well as Belkin boxes....Belkin seems to be much less expensive, but APC offers one that's close to what I need ($80 for a Back-UPS VS 500 Broadband---even has USB connection + OS X compatible), but also has "Audible noise at 1 meter from surface of unit 45 dBA" ... that's the last thing I need...but it would solve my MDD drowning it out!
  8. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    APCs are quite silent until the fans kick in and/or they are running.

    Usually you'll hear them every now and then when they run through a test cycle.
  9. macrumors 6502a



    Thank you!!! If that's the case, I may spend a few extra bucks and get one with more run time.
  10. Moderator emeritus

    I've been using a Belkin 650VA Gold USB model for over a year and it seems more than adequate. Considering that the power in Florida goes off quite frequently, the 650 is just enough to get past these outages. My G3/400 on the next desk is not so happy. It has no net. The 650 was expensive when I bought it--$175 but you may find deals on them. They were at one time including a 7-port USB hub which had a $79 retail price most places...$59 lately.

    APC certainly has cheaper deals at Sam's Club and BJ's Warehouse Club around Orlando. They actually have a 1.1KVA (woohoo!) for little more than $100. It sounds funny to me because I used to have to configure 500 KVA, not 500 VA or 1.1 KVA <lol>.
  11. macrumors 68020

    I've used APC UPSs for years and they do very well for me. I bought 3 Back-UPS 300's on a special a year ago for about $80 each, to replace older ones whose batteries eventually died. Some points:

    (a) Don't worry about software or OS compatibility.

    (b) The UPS will only keep the computer up for a few minutes, so you can save your work and shut down. It will protect you against the "minute blackouts" which seem to happen quite frequently around the DC area, especially in summer.

    (c) The batteries don't last forever. They are Gel-cell lead-acid batteries. You can replace them if you have a good source for them. Generally they will last 5 years or so. Test the UPS from time to time with a load such as a lamp.

    (d) As long as the power stays on, the UPS is dead-silent. When the power goes off, the main sound is the shrill beeping.

    (e) Line conditioners are wonderful things too, but extremely large and heavy, and they make a buzzing sound, and you still need an UPS besides. Where this might make sense is if you want to protect the power for your whole house. You will need a fairly big UPS with one or more large batteries. You may wish to consider a natural-gas-powered generator which could automatically start if the outage lasts more than five minutes. The complete setup will cost two to three thousand dollars or more.

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