Do I need a UPS for MP if I only want this...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by IceMacMac, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. IceMacMac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #1
    I live in a semi-rural area where power can fluctuate. Twice in the past month the power has gone out, bringing my MP, monitors, external RAID drives to an abrupt halt.

    Should I be using a UPS to even out the power supply to my system?

    And I don't expect to want to run more than 2-3 minutes if the power goes down...but I'd like a graceful exit?

    How do I determine specs for an Uninterruptible Power Supply?
     
  2. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Yes, you definately need a UPS.

    Make sure you get a pure sine wave UPS. It will cost more but it will save your PSU.

    You might want to get a Mac-compatible one(they all are compatible hardware-wise) if you want to use software to monitor the power and power down the system automatically when the power goes out.

    I'm using 60% of the maximum load capacity on a 750va UPS. That's only the Mac Pro and 23" LCD LED monitor. If you want other devices behind the UPS, I'd suggest you get a bigger one or get another to use from another outlet. Do not piggy-back UPS:es.

    Another thing to look for is line interactive. When you have power, the UPS will not discharge the battery but will clean and filter the power and pass it through. It will buck and boost if necessary. If the power fluctuates too much for the UPS to boost or buck, it will go on battery backup.

    My power here is probably best in the country but fluctuations are quite severe. In a 240v system the voltage can go as low as 200. That's the threshold where my UPS can't boost any longer and goes into battery backup. Really annoying.
     
  3. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #3
    APC have a sizing guide on their website. They don't have specific Mac models for the Mac Pro but if you choose a "franken-Mac" with your spec, you should be in the right ballpark with 750 to 1000VA.

    I run a SMT1000I 1000VA on my MP and it runs at about 40% capacity. The Smart-UPS models are the ones you want, NOT the Back-UPS models.
     
  4. diazj3, Jul 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011

    diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #4
    You need a UPS.

    For your setup - 8core MP, multiple displays, external RAID and the common related equipment - I'd go with at least a 1000 VA ups. Be sure to get a pure sine wave SmartUPS (instead of a cheap consumer one). That'll protect your setup against power noise, fluctuations, brownouts and blackouts, and give you 2-3 minutes to save your work and safely shut down.

    BUT... take into account that batteries loose capacity over time, so my advice is to get a 1500 VA smartUPS. That'll protect your machine, give you more than enough time to shut down when power goes out, and give you a comfortable margin for the natural battery degradation and last you at least 3-5 years. Another good thing about SmartUPS is that - while they are more expensive in the beggining - replacement batteries are very affordable and available. Cheap consumer UPS generally make you buy a new unit when the batteries end their life.

    About the brands, I've had a great experience with APC - both with their products and their customer service.

    There are plenty of threads about UPS, SmartUPS, capacities, etc, such as this, this and this, among many others.

    cheers!
     
  5. IceMacMac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    #5
    Thanks gentlemen. I think I'll order one this month.

    If I'm going to pay for shipping to Alaska I might as well get something good and ample for my needs.
     
  6. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #6
    When you buy the APC UPS, be aware that there are several versions with different sockets on the back - check which is right for your country.

    High-draw items such as the MP and monitors should go into separate sockets on the back but low-draw items such as routers, USB hubs and things that have a transformer brick can safely be put on a 4-way adapter (just whip the mains plug off the end and fit the appropriate plug for the UPS if needed). NEVER put a laser printer on the UPS because they have a very high draw when first turned on.

    The APC SMT1500 models are big beasts by the way - I believe the SMT1000 shares the same enclosure and it was a bit of a surprise when I opened the box. They will hum and buzz when first charging the unit but are practically silent in operation when charged. You will just hear the odd quiet chatter as they do their work when power dips.
     
  7. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    Yeah, no kidding! When I have a blackout for a longer period of time I go out to manually turn on my backup generator.

    If I forget to switch off my laser printer, as soon as I flick the transfer switch, the printer totally stalls the genny upon turning on. I gotta run back in to turn it off.
     
  8. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #8
    Here's the UPS I would recommend (bought it for my MP). Pure sine output and compatible with Apple OSX:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102134
     

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