CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS: Good for 27" iMac & can OS X recognize it?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by doxavita, May 9, 2011.

  1. doxavita, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    doxavita macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    After much research, I discovered this UPS:
    http://www.amazon.com/CyberPower-CP...N19W/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1304974208&sr=8-4

    http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/pr...D.html?selectedTabId=overview&imageI=#tab-box

    It looks really good to me:

    -Enough watts/VA for a 27" iMac (2011) (1500VA/900W)
    -Compatible Pure Sine Wave
    -Cheap


    So all I want to know is if OS X will recognize it? (by plugging it to the USB port), Will the Mac Energy Saver know what's being plugged? (and let me customize when to have it automatically shut down my iMac?)

    Thanks
     
  2. kfscoll macrumors 65816

    kfscoll

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    #2
    I have a CyberPower CP1000AVRLCD that I use with my late '09 27" Core i7 iMac and the OS recognizes it without any problems -- I didn't even have to install any software. I don't see why the UPS you're looking to buy would be any different.

    Here's the one I have:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    If I plug that UPS CP1500PFCLD (battery-backup) via the USB port to my iMac, and the power goes down.
    Does OS X gracefully shut down the system? (once a certain criteria is met: minutes in battery backup mode, battery capacity remaining, etc...)In other words are all programs/documents properly closed before the system shuts itself down? or is the shut-down sudden and OS X does not take the precaution of properly closing all files/programs in use?

    Do iMacs benefit from Pure Sine Wave UPS's? Is that safe for external hard drives too? Is it better?

    Do iMacs have an Active PFC power supply?
     
  4. kfscoll macrumors 65816

    kfscoll

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    #4
    OS X will shut down the computer based on several criteria, but I don't think it does so "gracefully." In other words, once one of the criterion is met, the iMac will simply shut down the computer and won't (AFAIK) automatically save data and quit open apps.

    I think whether Macs will really benefit from a pure sine wave UPS depends on how you expect to use the UPS. I don't expect to run my computer (other than to gracefully shut it down) while it's on battery backup, so a stepped-sine wave UPS is sufficient. If your computer is mission-critical and needs to constantly run whether on wall or battery power, then you could probably benefit from a pure sine wave UPS.

    My external hard drive seems to work fine with my UPS.

    I think that iMacs do have active PFC PSUs, but I couldn't absolutely verify this. Still, depending on your anticipated usage case, a stepped sine wave UPS might be fine. I honestly never even thought about getting a pure sine wave UPS for my iMac -- mainly because I'd had good luck with CyberPower UPS's in the past and they didn't offer a pure sine wave UPS at the time.

    Here's the OS X UPS preference pane from my iMac -- should give you an idea of the options you'll have.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. doxavita, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Hmm, now you got me thinking, and I might still switch my UPS choice: From that CP1500PFCLCD to perhaps an APC one: APC BR1500G http://www.amazon.com/APC-BR1500G-B...4DEU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304972915&sr=8-1

    Is APC a better brand? That one is not 'pure sine wave', does OS X detect the USB connection on that APC one? No, my computer would not be "mission-critical". So I guess sine-wave is not critical, but then again I could change my mind. :) Having enough time to save documents close apps and shut-down would be enough. But it would be nice if that took place automatically while I'm away.

    I plan on leaving my iMac on day and night. If the power went down at night, while asleep, it would be nice if it had the feature of closing open docs and apps and automatically shut down itself..

    Pure Sine Wave is perfectly fine for my external hard drives too, right?
     
  6. kfscoll macrumors 65816

    kfscoll

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    #6
    I'm not sure about the APC's features. I also doubt you really need a 1500VA UPS if all you want to do shut your computer down in an orderly fashion. Even with my iMac's brightness at 100% and the CPU usage at 100%, my UPS reports that it's only at 46% capacity. This is also with an iPhone 4, iPad 2, two iPod nanos, powered speakers, a powered subwoofer, and two bus-powered FW800 drives connected. Of course, more capacity doesn't hurt, but my UPS was only a hair over $100. I also leave my iMac on all the time...and I plan on using this same UPS with the 2011 iMac I've ordered (27" 3.4GHz i7, 4x2GB RAM, 256SSD+2TB HDD). Remember, the max continuous power draw of the new iMacs is only 310W.

    In order to have a feature of closing open docs and apps and automatically shutting down, you'll need third-party software (i.e. can't use the built-in OS X features). APC might provide the software you need; I know that CyberPower doesn't.
     
  7. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    I was told that having a bigger capacity means the battery's lifetime could be longer (extended).

    I know for a fact CyberPower ones work with OS X, (at least in the Energy Saver pane, like you pointed out). But no fancy software like in Windows. And I think the APC ones are the same.

    I don't think it would hurt to buy the pure sine wave one then. It's a nice bonus feature to have, and it would aid the iMacs built in PSU. (plus an external hard drive, and perhaps a LED cinema further on).
     
  8. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #8
    I started an extensive thread on these new units last year:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1024208&highlight=

    I own a 8500PFCLCD and its more than enough for a 27" i5 model. In fact, i only use a quarter to a half of the UPS load on the 8500. Also, my unit has been working wonderously so far and I have no issues at all. They are super small, super quiet, and run super cool. A perfect match for an iMac.

    Unless you want to share the battery with additional monitors and powered speakers, you won't need the 1500 model unless you want maximum battery time.

    And also yes, it is recognized by OSX energy pane, but CyberPower does not ship with their software utility for Mac OS. But that's not a big deal at all because OSX handles it just fine.
     
  9. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Tell me more, tell me more :D Finally someone with the same one. I see there are 850VA / 1000VA / 1350VA and the 1500VA I'm looking at. Plenty of extra power wouldn't hurt, would it? Does OS X close open apps and documents before shutting itself down?
     
  10. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #10
    Yea I was a really big supporter of these new units because I just didn't see the point in spending 3x as much for the pure sine wave units. As far as I'm concerned, I haven't had an issue yet and I've had my unit for 6 months. I've also read majority great reviews so thats why I went with this new technology.

    Anyway, yea, if you want loads of battery of time, definitely get the 1500 unit. I was just saying that the 850 is enough for even a quad core 27" but running time is maybe around 15 minutes? But now, extra power definitely doesn't hurt :) It all depends on the user's needs. I just wanted a solution for gracefully shutting down my machine at the event of a blackout. I also wanted the benefit of clean energy, maintaing a constant 120V flow.

    By the way, just so you know, the unit gets a smaller design starting at the 1000VA unit.
     
  11. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Overall size is not an issue. Do you know if OS X closes all apps and documents BEFORE it shuts itself down?
     
  12. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #12
    It's been a while since I've had a shut down but last I remember it did.

    I'm also not at my Mac at the moment to a test but I'll definitely do it later tonight and update this thread by tomorrow with my result.
     
  13. doxavita, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    OK, thanks.
    It would be nice if they made software for OS X, (they have for Windows and Linux).

    I was comparing the CP1500PFCLCD to the APC BR1500G http://www.amazon.com/APC-BR1500G-B...4DEU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304997449&sr=8-1 ( or the relevant 1000VA version), not sure about APC software for Mac OS X. But I think the CyberPower one is still better because of the pure sine wave feature. And I know for a fact now CP1500PFCLCD is recognized in the Energy Saver Pane...

    Is the CP1500PFCLCD's surge protection good too?
    So iMacs do use an Active PFC PSU then, right?
     
  14. Icaras, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #14
    I was deciding between the BR850G/1500G too but utlimately went with the CyberPower one because of that adaptive sine wave technology.

    I tried to find as much information on the PSU and from what I've learned, Energy Star 5.0 rated computers use an Active Based PSU, so *i think* its safe to assume that every desktop Mac uses these types of PSUs. Still waiting for anyone to confirm me on this. I also called Apple tech and tried to confirm to see if my previous Mac Pro had that Active based PSU, but the tech rep couldn't even tell me that. He just looked at the online PDF manual lol.
     
  15. doxavita, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Thanks for trying to figure that out. Yes I read too, that Energy Star 5 would mean an Active PFC Power supply. But confirmation might be nice.

    The CP1500PFCLCD's surge protection is good too, right? The function would kick in in just about 4ms I think.
     
  16. Icaras, May 9, 2011
    Last edited: May 9, 2011

    Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #16
    Yea, this is where I start to generally get confused. General consensus is the higher joule rating would mean better surge protection but APC claims that joule ratings aren't everything and that they measure the protection by another number (I forget what this is called). And also other things, like you mention, transfer time, add to the mix.

    But the 1500VA unit says to have a joule rating of 1030. I got the general recommendation in the Mac Pro forums that a joule rating of around 3000-4000 is very ideal. But its pretty common to see UPS units with built in surge protection to have fairly lower surge protection rating. I guess it's just a good thing that it has surge protection at all, rather than nothing.

    You could use it or just get a separate, more dedicated, higher rated surge protection but I don't know...I myself have a couple of powered monitor speakers and a compact 5.1 home theater sound system plugged in to my UPS' surge protection though. I guess I don't really feel worried since I hardly get lighting storms out in my area. If a lighting storm ever comes, I'd probably just unplug them anyway.
     
  17. Xybr macrumors member

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    #17
    I'm currently powering my iMac 27" (3.4 GHz i7 , 6790M), 4-bay Drobo, 1TB Western Digital, 2TB Western Digital, D-Link DGL-4500, and Uverse RG on an APC XS-1500 that I bought a couple years ago. OS X recognizes it and tells me whenever the UPS was engaged.

    http://www.amazon.com/POWER-SAVING-...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1305005810&sr=1-1

    I've been happy with it, even bought one to save my Home Theatre equipment, I used to get a lot of brown outs.
     
  18. robzr macrumors member

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    May 4, 2006
    #18

    Keep in mind that the closer the power draw is to the rated power draw of a UPS, the more efficiently it runs, which is somewhat counter-intuitive. Tripplite has nice graphs of this on their website. So getting a 900w UPS when your typical power draw is going to be closer to 150w is going to make it run inefficiently, which means energy is wasted as heat.

    I think a high end double conversion UPS would always see this inefficiency, but cheap UPSs will not, only when they are on the battery (which is when it is important for battery duration). Anyways you might want to look closer to the 300-500w range depending on how many peripherals you are running.

    I have a new 27" i7 iMac, a 2 channel class A/B amplifier, a voip phone, PoE switch and router all running and my typical power draw is about 180w via a Kill-a-watt. Running Portal full blast for a while and I could only get it up to 310w. I'm running on a Tripplite OMNISMART500 which is rated at 300w/500va (power factor of .6, just like the APC & Cyber), and it works like a champ, it's silent, doesn't give off too much heat, has a user changeable battery (the real cheap UPS's do not), and has HID USB so the USB works just fine with OS X.

    There's a guy selling the OMNISMART500 on eBay brand new for $57 shipped,
    they are quality UPSs, very basic but well made, they sell for closer to $150 normally.

    The LCD feature is gimmicky, on the low end UPSs I've seen they only show you volts which is pretty useless, watts or amps would be far more useful. Get a kill-a-watt for $20 and you'll get far more useful information and you can use it all around the house. After the first 5 minutes of having your UPS, you'll never look at that LCD panel again :)

    I think Cyber Powers "Adaptive Sine Wave" is a more marketing crap, the power factor on that UPS is lower than on the APC or the Tripplite, although pretty close (.58 vs .6). Higher quality UPSs like the Tripplite SmartOnline series or the higher end APC Smart-UPS will have a power factor closer to .8.

    If you get a single battery UPS it will cost half as much to replace the battery in a few years as a double battery UPS. Most small UPSs use the same batteries, which are 12v 7-8 amp/hour, 5.94" x 2.56" x 3.74", very common form factor, they are used in emergency lights, and are relatively inexpensive. But some, like that APC, have plastic moldings on them, which is probably just to encourage users to purchase their replacement from APC for inflated prices when the time comes. That is something you may want to consider. You can get an off the shelf Powersonic PSH-1280 for $20, which is a very high quality battery, probably better than what the UPS companies OEM.

    Personally I use Tripplite ISOBAR's for surge protectors on all my electronic gear that I care about, they are very well made and protect up to 3800 joules.

    Don't splurge on a UPS, you just need it to work for 5 minutes to get you past short outages, or let your computer run long enough to shut down for a long outage. Get something well made but don't go overboard on capacity. If you splurge, I'd splurge on quality, not capacity.

    regards,

    Rob
     
  19. doxavita, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Good post Rob, thanks I appreciate it.
    Choosing a UPS is far tougher than I thought.
    My max budget for this should be between $150-$230

    You mention that the further away the rated power draw from the UPS is from the power draw, the more inefficient the UPS will be (energy wasted as heat, something counter-intuitive indeed). You're certain about this?
    So in that case I might be considering the 1000VA version (600W: just a little bit over that range you suggested). I recall reading that it's best to choose the mid-range option (not the lower ends or the way high ends, capacity wise). I assume the only thing that changes is the capacity, but quality should be the same. I got so many contradictory opinions already. Some people have told me it's best to choose a high capacity as it would add lifetime to the battery, but I didn't know the power would be wasted as heat.

    If I were to buy the CP1500PFCLCD or the CP1000PFCLCD, should I buy an additional surge protector? If so, where would it be plugged? (before the UPS itself, or connected to a plug from the UPS? If so, would either way void my UPS' warranty? equipment coverage? Would a 'pure sine wave' still be delivered? ( Now I know for a fact that iMacs DO use Active PFC Power supplies, which make those CyberPower's attractive)

    I would assume those UPS' surge protectors are decent enough, they may not be able to handle a lightning bolt, but your everyday fluctuations, they should (for lightnings, isn't that what the circuit breaker/fuses are for?) Buying an additional surge protector like the Tripp Lite Isobar might be nice, but not sure if it's within my budget.
     
  20. archer75 macrumors 65816

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    #20
  21. Icaras, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

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    #21
    Back and with some results! Ok, so here's how it went down...

    Last night I tested my 850PFCLCD...Unplugged it from the wall outlet, but Mac OSX did NOT shut down. I had a timer running and i let it go for 5 minutes with no result...In my menu bar, my energy saving icon showed that my Mac was still connected to the "Power Adapter" and not the "UPS"...which was disconcerting.

    Now before anyone begins to blame these on CyberPower units, I tried to troubleshoot this issue and googled this in particular:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2569424?threadID=2569424&tstart=0&messageID=12219459

    So apparently, even users were experiencing this issue on APC back-UPS units, which would presume this to be an OSX issue. Now if you skim through the thread, the user actually did a complete reformat and complete reinstall of 10.6. I wasn't about to do that lol.

    Anyway, I was pretty tired and decided I'd test more the next day so I just went to bed. So this morning I went ahead and repaired my disk permissions and then reset my PRAM. I booted into OSX and performed the test, and the UPS was recognized perfectly. Mac OS will give you a pop up warning immediately saying that your machine is now running on UPS power and that it will shut down soon.

    I had a number of programs running: Safari, Mail, Air Display, iChat, iTunes, Activity Monitor, Steam, and Pages (with document loaded). After a minute, as expected, OSX shut down...I didn't actually see my programs shutting down one by one, but I did get that bluescreen with the spinning loading icon in the center right before shut down so it was pretty graceful. Oh and by the way, my 850VA unit was showing 30-40 minutes of run time! And definitely more than 40 minutes if you dim the brightness of your screen and close some apps. Note that my iMac is the only electronics using the UPS. Still though, i think that's pretty impressive considering I'm using only an 850VA!


    This makes sense to me and I also wanted minimal power draw and energy usage so I tried to get a smaller sized UPS....I think the 1350VA and 1500VA units are best suited for Mac Pros and power users who've loaded them with 4 hard drives, several external monitors and other high powered peripherals.

    It might have been gimmicky for older, first generation models that introduced the LCD feature, but I definitely don't think it's gimmicky on the new CyberPower units! These things give you quite a wealth of information. Using the "display" button on the front of the unit, you can cycle across Input Voltage, Output Voltage, Estimated Run Time, Output in Watts, Output in percentage, battery level percentage, and number of power outage events has occurred. If you check out the official CyberPower PDF here: http://www.cyberpowersystems.com/user-manuals/cp1350pfclcd-cp1500pfclcd-UM-092010.pdf

    You'll see under "Definitions For Illuminated LCD Indicators" that the display shows a lot of helpful information. So this is where I must disagree. I have in fact used the LCD a lot and has been proven to be very helpful to me :)

    Although I don't disagree that a lot of it is marketing, there is definitely something different going on. The biggest issue with approximated sine wave units with the Mac Pro was that when the UPS kicked in, the PSU would start exhibiting an odd buzzing sound. I had both the AVR and PFC units from CyberPower when I used to have a Mac Pro, and with the AVR UPS (approximated sine wave) it had the weird buzzing sound, but with the PFC UPS (adaptive sine wave), the buzzing sound disappeared. I certainly don't know all the scientifics that go into a UPS, and won't pretend to be well versed in all the technical specs, but I just wanted to point out my observations when using both of them.

    I agree. I also personally never intended to keep working under the UPS battery, so I went with lower VA.

    Yes it is tough and very confusing indeed! But I ended up purchasing my 850VA unit for $109 out the door from J&R.com. Couldn't be happier :D

    You shouldn't mistaken these PFC as pure sine wave units. I know CP has it's marketing term (adaptive sine wave), but they are still not "pure". A true pure sine wave UPS easily costs 3 times as much as any of these units. So will that feature still be active with a surge protector on? I think it would if the UPS came before the surge protector (that is: power outlet > surge protector > UPS > iMac). As for that bit, I've heard of some people again in the Mac Pro forums that have done that, but I know this is not recommended by the UPS companies. Personally I don't want to take a chance myself so I don't mix the two. If you're adamant about using a higher quality surge protector, why not just plug that into a different outlet?

    That's why I just kept simple and use both the UPS and the surge protector on my UPS unit.
     
  22. kfscoll macrumors 65816

    kfscoll

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    #22
    doxavita, you're really overthinking this. For your usage case a 1000VA stepped-wave UPS is fine. In fact, the one that archer75 linked to in post #20 is the same one that I have and, like I mentioned, it works like a champ.
     
  23. doxavita thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Icaras, thanks for taking the time to test that USB- OS X connectivity issue and for your great post, you're the best :)
    So even if OS X only takes care of shutting itself down, (not really caring about apps and documents), nothing should really get corrupted/damaged during the shut-down process? also, by default the UPS should be recognized by OS X, right?

    The CP1500PFCLCD / CP1000PFCLCD , although they use an "Adaptive" sine wave technology, and are not completely 'Pure', should take care of that known buzzing sound from the PSU, and that's good enough for me.


    I think I am lol. The one I'm thinking of is pretty much the one you and archer75 have plus the sine wave thing. Only thing I have yet to determine is the capacity, unsure between the 1000VA/600W and 1500VA/900W models. Even the 1000VA one should be able to handle the 27"iMac, 1(or2) external hard drives, modem, router, and perhaps a future LED cinema display, right? plenty of minutes?
     
  24. robzr, May 10, 2011
    Last edited: May 10, 2011

    robzr macrumors member

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    #24
    You know - I don't think it's relevant with these tiny UPSs. I learned that while spec'ing rackmount UPSs with external battery packs for servers/phone systems, but there are two factors at play.

    1) SLA batteries effective capacity goes down as current draw goes up. See any SLA data sheet for info on this, like: http://www.sealedperformance.com.au/uploaded_files/1277825434_20100627-PSH-1280FR.pdf It's dramatic - this particular battery is rated at 8.5 amp-hour @ 425mA draw, but only 4.38 amp-hour with a 17.5 amp draw; which is closer to what one of these tiny UPSs will draw. You are operating way out of the batteries sweet spot of efficiency; this is one of those areas a quality battery will make a difference - compare data sheets from various manufacturers, theres a big difference. All "7 amp hour" 12v SLAs are NOT the same in other words. The Power Sonics are very nice. BTW, that is an advantage of a multi battery system, two batteries means half the current load for each one, which will result in more than twice the capacity. But the real question is, do you need that? Or is 5 minutes enough.

    2) Yes, UPSs run more efficiently closer to full load, ex: http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SMT750 (scroll down to "Energy Use/Efficiency"

    When you have a 7 amp-hour battery and you are drawing 20 amps, factor #1 is going to far outweight factor #2. It's a different situation when you are talking about extended runtimes with large battery packs, not really relevant to this discussion.

    I would guess it's always relevant when it comes to heat output and wasted electricity with a high end double conversion UPS, which is constantly rectifying down to DC and generating and then generating an AC waveform, but low end UPSs for the most part just regulate (if necessary) and pass through AC through unless they have to switch over to batteries, so in everyday use it may not be an issue. But I would call the tech support at a UPS company and ask their opinions, they are better informed than I and would obviously be better aquainted with their products.

    At which points the UPS will regulate (boost, trim) AC current is also something to compare amongst various UPSs.

    Personally with my desktop system I put the UPS after the surge protector as the max current draw of the UPS is within the surge protection rating, AFAIK there is no issue with that on a quality unit like the Isobars, but a call to Tripplite would clear that up for sure, their tech support staff is very well informed.

    Rob
     
  25. robzr macrumors member

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    #25
    That is nice, looks like the very low end models won't show that, so I'd check out the specific unit, if it does show power/current draw, I would definitely find that useful.

    That might just be a cheap UPS that was doing that, I have an APC Smart-UPS 750, two Tripp Lite OMNISMART500's and a Tripplite SU750XL, none of which make noise when they are on battery (other than the obnoxious beeping and some major fan noise on the SU750XL), but they are all quality units. I just reread your post, I've also never heard any power supplies buzzing when on power from any of these units, or any quality unit I've used at a clients...

    I'm a little over my head here, but I think if it was truly creating a sine wave under load, the power factor would be closer to 1.0 and not a rather meager .6, so I would take that "adaptive sine wave" term with a grain of salt.

    Rob
     

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