Help Me Decide Between Two UPS for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gfhoward, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. gfhoward macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    #1
    Hey guys, trying to find a good yet inexpensive UPS/AVR for a Mac Pro Quad. I'm looking at these two. Please tell me what you think between them, or if you have another recommendation altogether in the same price range. Thanks!

    UPS #1 Belkin AP30800fc10 (1200VA): BELKIN 1200VA MODEL

    UPS #2 CyberPower CP1350AVRLCD (1350VA): CyberPower 1350VA Model
     
  2. Jarman74 macrumors regular

    Jarman74

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #2
    Here it is:

    APC Back-UPS RS 800VA

    ;)
     
  3. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    ~119W 34N
    #3
    +1 vote for APC - I have 6 of 'em in the house.
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    APC!

    Great support, great products.

    I have two of them on my MacPro (one for the computer itself, one for the displays) and a big one on the server.
    Running great for several years now!
     
  5. gfhoward thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2009
    #5
    OK, so you guys like APC over Belkin or CyberPower, but I had heard 1200-1500VA is what's desirable for the Mac Pro because of the juice it pulls at start up and when lots of things are running. Do you really think 800VA is enough?
     
  6. ssri1983 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #6
    gfhoward, I am using the APC Back-UPS RS 800VA (BR800BLK) and it works fine with my monitor (150-170W) and the computer on it (even during startup/coming out of sleep).
    I assumed you were talking about the 2009 Quad. There is the APC Back-UPS 1200VA (BR1200) if you want to go up a little on the VA.
     
  7. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #7
    I'm thinking about getting an APC, the power briefly went out at the house yesterday and my mac pro turned off and I lost my data I was working on! No problem with the notebook though since it runs on battery...

    I have been watching this thread and will continue to read the advices!
     
  8. gfhoward thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2009
    #8
    I called APC, and after looking at the Mac Pro (Quad) power draw, they recommended the APC RS 1500LCD: 1500LCD. They said the 800VA is rated too low for the Mac Pro's max power draw specs, so it might sound an alert when full current is being drawn, like possibly at start up. The price difference is about $80 between them. Thos of you who use an 800VA, is it enough? Any sound alerts ever?
     
  9. iBug2 macrumors 68040

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    #9
  10. DesignerOnMac macrumors 6502a

    DesignerOnMac

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #10
    I would recommend APC also. I did have a problem with my APC when I bought it, as the software CD included was not up to date. I went to APC's tech support page online and found no updates for Leopard. I emailed them and they had no clue so to when am update would be available!

    I plugged the APC into the wall outlet and let the battery charge. Connected my iMac and was pleasantly surprised to see Apple had included software to setup the UPS from APC.
     
  11. ssri1983 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    #11
    Like I said, I use the 800 VA for my 2009 quad pro. I used the UPS selector on APC's site and it showed me the 800 VA as one of the options with I think about 78% load.
    http://www.apc.com/tools/ups_selector/index.cfm
    I have been using it now for a couple of weeks and haven't heard any sound alerts when starting or when waking from sleep. Sure, sometimes my room light dims slightly when I wake the computer, but no alerts from the UPS yet.

    I am afraid the current ratings on the mac pro may just be an indicator of how much the power supply can take without breaking. The maximum I saw using a Kill-a-watt meter was about 500VA (granted, the killawatt may not have sampled enough) when waking from sleep.

    There is always a possibility that APC wants you spend more money unnecessarily (conflict of interest :))
    Anyway, here is also some power benchmarks from an older system and if anything newer systems should use lower power than this.
    http://www.macintouch.com/reviews/macpro/benchmarks.html#power
     
  12. gfhoward thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2009
    #12
    After reading some other threads here as well as the Amazon.com reviews, I'm thinking of going with the 1350VA CyberPower I listed in my first post. Any reason I shouldn't?
     
  13. Trev311 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    Location:
    Pumpkin Land
    #13
    I was in a similar situation to you a couple of months ago. The PSU, IIRC, is 1000 watts. After much searching I settled for this : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842102054

    900 watts, which should be plenty considering the highest power draw I've been able to see was around 380 watts. However, for me, a better graphics card, and maybe a few other upgrades might push that number higher.

    So with that my advice to you would to not get that one but this one here http://www.amazon.com/Cyberpower-CP...2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1255571170&sr=8-2
    It seems to be about 40 dollars more (and 10 dollars cheaper than the one I got, oh price drops!) but it is 1500VA/900W. Just some food for thought.

    Edit: It helps also to have the system you are using, as someone above stated your MP "shouldn't" go above those numbers, but as things are loaded down then power draw can (should) increase. Also a higher VA/W rating will help if you want to have a monitor, external hd, etc plugged in as well. So far for my system I just have one 19" screen and the MP and it has been awesome.
     
  14. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
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    #14
    Hello.

    I'd like to strongly recommend the APC Smart UPS series with Sine Wave output. Especially the SmartUPS SUA1500 or at minimum SUA1000

    The Mac Pro 1.1 was famous for high power draw upon wake from sleep. (Initial startup wasn't affected) When I got the MP1.1 online research indicated that:

    1- "BackUPS" type UPS units with either Square wave or Modified Square wave or "Simulated" sine wave had a high chance of shutdown upon wake from sleep. This happens if the USB cable is connected and you get a power outage, causing the UPS to activate and the computer to wake up, thus triggering a UPS shutdown.

    2- If you have frequent power outages or brownouts, anything but a Sine Wave output causes the computer's Power Supply Unit to run hotter and will likely have a slow detrimental effect on it. This is because of something called RMS as I recall. Basically, it will overcharge some capacitors and probably cause trouble later. This is probably not a problem if power issues are rare at your location.

    Being a very expensive computer, I bought the best UPS I could afford for it, an SUA1500. It's been great as I get frequent brownouts here.
    It's well matched to the MP1.1's 980w Power Supply and will run the system, monitor and cable modem for over an hour on older batteries.

    Normally, my system seldom gets over 400w but that initial surge can be pretty high (on any computer PSU) and shut down an under-rated UPS.

    Have Fun,
    Keri

    PS. Why not Google "Mac Pro UPS"?
     
  15. Jarman74 macrumors regular

    Jarman74

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #15
    I have found an interesting article about power consumption and thermal output of Mac Pros.
     
  16. Bartman01 macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2008
    #16
    Do you have anything to back up these claims other than internet hearsay? The back-ups line uses a simulated stepped sine wave output that is perfectly fine for running a computer for short periods of time. Given a 800-1500VA unit, the run time provided would be pretty short (long enough to get through a short outage or time to save work and power down for a longer one).

    Item 1 sounds like an issue with too low of a VA rating to handle the load.
    Item 2 is just fear mongering. A 'square wave' output would do this, but a good simulated sine wave (like the back-ups line provides) is good for anything that a small UPS will get you through. See the following for more info: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/248245-28-tomshardware

    Sine wave > simulated sine wave, but the cost makes it prohibitive for most home users.

    One benefit of the better sine wave units is that they typically work as full time line filters, reducing power overages as well as brown/black outs. This does help protect/extend the life of your power supply but not because of the output wave form - becase it 'cleans up' all of the dirty power coming from your provider.
     
  17. BeerdedOne macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    #17
    Exactly. I second the use of the Smart-UPS series as a smart investment to protect that expensive Mac Pro. I currently use a Smart-UPS 750 to protect my ReadyNAS and GigE networking equipment and feel is was a good way to spend an extra $100, especially considering the 1-2 brownouts per week I experience at my location.
     
  18. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #18
    I have the APC Back-UPS RS 1500VA LCD 120V. It works incredibly well and does not cost a fortune. It uses stepped sine waves when on battery power which are just fine for the Mac Pro.

    S-
     
  19. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #19
    Each of our MPs have a APC 1500 XS UPS. They indicate they will last < 30 mins in a blackout. Have the software configured to gracefully shutdown the MP when it reaches a certain level of power remaining.

    My feeling is anything less than 1500 would cause the system to shutdown sooner.

    In a few recent interruptions they have saved my wife's work and prevented issues for her.
     
  20. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

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    #20
    Hello.

    My research was done around March '08 just when the 8-core Mac Pro came out (and when I got my MP1.1 on closeout).

    I guess you would call it Internet Hearsay, but I looked into it quite a bit.
    At first I only wanted to find out what size Back-UPS to get. Then I found out about all the complaints. I had Google'd "Mac Pro UPS"

    At the time, the MP1.1 had a lot of complaints about UPS shutdown upon wake from sleep.
    This would only happen when running on batteries and because the UPS sends a signal to the computer over the USB it wakes the computer up when switching to battery power. This caused the Mac Pro to overload the UPS, thus causing shutdown for an awful lot of people (at the time). One person was even having trouble with an APC Back-UPS 1500? if I recall correctly.

    Further research found more Internet Hearsay about non-sine wave UPS's damaging certain kinds of computer power supplies.
    Looking into it further, someone explained that a sine wave charges something called Primary Capacitors much differently than square or stepped wave. This causes a lot of heat and eventual failure (non-sine wave).
    Of course this would only occur when running on batteries for an extended period or on a fairly regular basis. Regular line power is unaffected.

    One person said a UPS company engineer (who spoke poor English) compared using a UPS to smoking cigarettes... slow death.

    The general opinion at the time amongst 1st generation Mac Pro users was:
    1- Back-UPS type UPS's might or might not work.
    2- Smart-UPS type UPS's work great if sized large enough.
    3- The UPS should be sized larger than the computers Power Supply max rating in VA (not watts) plus anything else plugged in.

    So I set out to find a SUA1000 and ended up with a slightly used SUA1500 which has been great for a year and a half through many brownouts and a few blackouts.

    As important as good backup power is how well the UPS adjusts for low or high voltage. I get quite a bit of low voltage here especially in summer. The SUA1500 then clicks and does its thing. It has something called Buck/Boost that lets it raise or lower line voltage quite a bit without turning on battery power

    If one is going to the expense of buying a Mac Pro wouldn't it be a little silly to cut corners on a UPS?

    The only bad thing about a Smart UPS (750, 1000 or 1500) is the higher initial price. Oh, and the weight!
    Wow is that thing HEAVY! It's actually heavier than the Mac Pro itself.

    Have Fun,
    Keri

    PS. By doing my research I avoided buying TWO (or more) UPS's.
    At least I like to think so. ;)
     
  21. gfhoward thread starter macrumors member

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    Oct 6, 2009
    #21
    The CyberPower I am considering has AVR built in. Is that not the same thing you're talking about when you say a better Sine wave unit will regulate the voltage?
     
  22. doccelo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    #22
    I've been using the CyberPower 1350 AVR for over a year now and love it. Had a few power outages and it has protected my Mac Pro every time. Your power consumption will vary depending what you have attached to it (external drives, monitors, etc). Works well with the built-in UPS management in OS X. If you have any specific questions just let me know!
     
  23. Bartman01 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #23
    From the amazon link you provided, the CyberPower has "Output Voltage Wave Form: Simulated Sine Wave". That means it uses a stepped square wave output and not a true sine wave.
     
  24. Bartman01 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2008
    #24
    FYI, I did find some info on the APC forums backing this up. Some power supplies just don't handle the stepped wave that well.

    Agree with you here. Spend the extra money to get a quality UPS.
     
  25. sidewinder macrumors 68020

    sidewinder

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Northern California
    #25
    Timeout, Bartman. There is no issue running a Mac Pro power supply on a stepped-square wave UPS for a short while.

    Typically, the goal of the UPS is to run your equipment long enough to save all open files, close, applications, and shut everything down. So something like the APC Back-UPS RS 1500VA LCD is a reasonable choice considering cost. A similar true sine wave Smart-UPS from APC costs twice as much and does not really make any difference in this scenario.

    Now, if you have serious power problems with voltage fluctuations and are losing power on a regular basis, then by all mean invest in a high power capacity UPS with true sine wave output.

    The sky isn't going to fall if someone with a decent power source chooses to use a stepped-square wave UPS for those rare times when they lose power.

    S-
     

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