2017 iMac and UPS

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Lykos1986, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Lykos1986 macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2010
    Hello! I want to use a UPS together with my 27" 2017 iMac just to be 100% safe!

    Is it possible to suggest one? It seems that most of those don't have a sine wave output. Is this a good output for a iMac or it will create problems?
  2. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    Pure-sine enthusiasts will tell you that you have to have pure sine wave output or bad things will happen, ranging from noise from the power supply, all the way to causing the end of the known universe. All I can say is that I've run an early 2009 iMac on an APC UPS that has some sort of stepped-sine output when on batteries, and aside from a little bit of a buzz, nothing bad happened for 20+ minutes of runtime.

    Get a UPS from a reputable maker (APC, Cyberpower, Tripp Lite are the usual suspects), and make sure it's properly sized for your load. I'm not sure what a 2017 iMac will draw, but I would imagine that it's somewhere around 300 watts, and if so, you'd want a UPS rated at about 1000 VA. If you have other loads like routers, printers, etc then up the rating. If you like the idea of pure sine output at all times, feel free to pay a little extra for it, but I don't think it's necessary.
  3. Smoothie macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    I once had a Dell computer that didn't tolerate a stepped sine wave output. The computer would shut down as if it wasn't receiving power. I had to buy an APC UPS that produced a pure sine wave. That was the only device I've had a problem with over many years of using a UPS backup.

    For my new iMac, I decided to buy a CyberPower UPS that generates a pure sine wave. It's less expensive than an APC UPS, and so far it's been great. I bought it at Best Buy, but here's a link for Amazon:

  4. Lykos1986, Aug 17, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017

    Lykos1986 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 4, 2010
    Basicaly I was between the CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD and the APC BR1500G.
    It seems that after a google search the APC is a far superior brand with amazing UPS's but the CyberPower has a pure sine wave output....

    I'm confused!

    PS: If a UPS is not a pure sine wave output and let's say it has an X output... the X output is only active when it powers the system from battery or its always on?
  5. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    I've heard other anecdotal evidence of some computers not tolerating the output of some UPS's. Not all stepped sines are the same (some earlier UPS's output square waves!) and not all computers use the same power supply design, even across brands. All I can say is that I've never had trouble running any of my Mac's from an APC Back-UPS.

    You can get an APC UPS with pure sine output, take a look at the SmartUPS line. You'll pay more.

    To be honest I wouldn't fuss over it. Both brands have been around for a while. APC has traditionally had excellent customer service and guarantees, but I think Cyberpower is OK as well. You'll end up replacing batteries (or the whole unit) in a few years, no matter which one you buy. Flip a coin, buy one, and be happy.
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    You'd only get the non-sine output when running on battery.
  7. tgara macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    You mean he isn't talking about United Parcel Service? :D
  8. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia


    I use an Easton 700 for the iMac, phone and router. Being in rural Australia still connected to the 'net via old copper wire telephone cables which can carry surges from power strikes 50 miles away. Never had a problem.
  9. cynics, Aug 18, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017

    cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    I use an APC NS 1080. I believe it has some sort of stepped sine wave. I haven't had a problem and in a pinch I had to use it on battery power for about 60 minutes. Aside from the buzz from the UPS (not the iMac) which is normal there was no problems. I have it set in the power setting to safely shut the iMac off when the UPS has 10% battery life or 10 minutes left of battery life (whichever happens first).

    Without experience with other UPS's I can't "recommend" it however I would have no problem with buying another one.
  10. b06tmm macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2009
    South Louisiana
    I have 3 of the CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS's and have been happy with them so far.
  11. Greg-Lausanne macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2017
    Silly question maybe, but how important would a UPS be for someone lucky like me to only experience power outage once a year, with a very stable, reliable and well grounded power source ?
    That more knowing I got a SSD (so no moving parts suddenly stopped), that no working crucial data may be lost with my usage and habits...
    My 2011 HD Imac went through a dozen power outage without ever any trouble, so I don't think I'll care much, anyone see any reason for me to add an UPS ?

    Thanks in advance.
  12. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    You've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"


    Because that's really what it is, luck or lack thereof. You will get a power outage at some point, and if it hits just wrong you may get corrupted data no matter what kind of storage you have. I personally think it's crazy to run any sort of serious computing without a UPS, or at the very least a high quality surge suppressor. On the other hand, if you back up religiously (and occasionally verify those backups!), and don't do anything that's crucial to your lifestyle, I suppose you could get along just fine even if the computer is hosed by an errant power flux.
  13. Greg-Lausanne macrumors newbie

    Aug 23, 2017
    So let me ask it differently...
    If corrupted data isn't a problem, are there any risks for the hardware itself ?
    I think there used to be a risk with a spinning drive, since this is out of the equation now,
    what else ?
  14. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Dec 9, 2014
    I guess it depends on how the power supply in the computer is designed. If a sudden interruption causes a nice clean shutdown, then it would seem that the damage risk is minimal. When I got into computing, pulling the power cord out of the wall (or the mainframe equivalent, a red panic button) was a good way to make sure that the CPU would be down with glitches for hours if not days. I guess those days are over, at least in personal computing, but I'm not sure I can make myself believe it. Perhaps someone with more recent hardware design or maintenance experience can contribute.
  15. b06tmm macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2009
    South Louisiana
    As I mentioned above, I have 3 of the CyberPower UPS's and a few smaller APC units around the house. I live in south Louisiana where most of the power lines are above ground and are prone to hurricanes, high winds, and trees falling on them. The CyberPower units are all on my A/V equipment throughout the house and my smaller ones are on ancillary items.

    You may be fine without one.

    I like the fact that I can still have internet, TV and a couple of lamps, if for just a little bit, while all of my neighbors are dark. Ha ha, I'll usually open up my window blinds so they can "bask in television's warm glowing, warming glow" and wonder why the F he still has power.
  16. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Greg asked:
    "Silly question maybe, but how important would a UPS be for someone lucky like me to only experience power outage once a year, with a very stable, reliable and well grounded power source?"

    In my opinion, not worth the bother nor the money.
    But that's only my opinion...
  17. iemcj macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015
    I've used this guy for 3 year with 2 different imacs and it's worked perfectly.


    With a UPS, always get bigger than what you think you need. You're likely to want to plug your router in or one or two other light use devices. Yes it's kinda clunky but totally worth it. I had power out for 12 hours once and my imac went though just fine (still on standby/rest mode) without me needing to actually shut it down. Highly suggest!

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