How necessary is a surge protector for an iMac? OK to plug directly into outlet?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Amnesiac1, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Amnesiac1 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #1
    ...Or does plugging your iMac directly into the outlet run the risk of depleting the longevity of its life?

    Do I need a surge protector? If so, which one? Does it need to be expensive, will any type of inexpensive surge protector suffice?
     
  2. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

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    #2
    With expensive electronic equipment, I always use surge protection. It's just good practice.

    Also, if you plan to use a cheap surge protector, don't even bother.
     
  3. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

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    #3
    I use belkin surge protectors for all my expensive kit. They don't have to be expensive, as long as they work. Mine cost in the region of £5-£10($8-$15?) each, I have a single, a 4 way, a 6 way and 2 8 ways. Total cost was around £30 ($50?)
    I think the minmum cover is up to £100,000 of equiptment on that, that belkin will give me to replace kit if fried while using their protectors.
     
  4. Michael383 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I wouldn't recommend plugging your iMac directly into an outlet. A good surge protector is cheap insurance compared to the price of a new iMac.
     
  5. X5-452 macrumors 6502

    X5-452

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    #5
    Surge protectors themselves won't extend the life of your products. All they do is stop the routing of electrical currents from entering your equipment.

    Any old surge protector is better than plugging directly into the wall. I use cheap-o ones from Wal-Mart that do the trick.
     
  6. Spike88 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2010
    #6
    I have my iMac plugged into APC Backup UPS unit. APC 1300LCD. When buying a Backup UPS unit, ensure it uses "pure Sine" output. "pure sine" (like on the APC Smart UPS class) have much cleaner output. When my APC 1300LCD needs to be replaced, I'm getting a "pure sine" output replacement.

    As a minimum, do use a Sure Protection on your iMac.

    .
     
  7. iMikeT macrumors 68020

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    California
    #7
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't an iMac's built-in power supply have a transformer that protects it from electrical surges? Isn't that how the old power bricks (still shipping with portable Macs and iOS devices) worked?
     
  8. spillproof macrumors 68020

    spillproof

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    #8
    That "power brick" transforms AC electrical current to DC. It has little to do with surge protection.
     
  9. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #9
    Can someone link me to a good surge protector, then? If I can't got the inexpensive route, then what surge protector should I get and how much is it?
     
  10. jaikob macrumors 6502

    jaikob

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    #10
    I use an APC UPS for all my electronic equipment. Well worth the investment. They come in a variety of capacities, for just the iMac I would suggest something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16842101349

    I have one similar that runs my Hi-Def TV and other equipment in the living room. Works like a champ.
     
  11. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Really? I was going to go ahead and order one of those but I noticed this comment:

    Have you experienced this?
     
  12. spcdust macrumors 6502a

    spcdust

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    #12
    Personally I have never used any form of surge protection on my computers / expensive electrical equipment and in the last 15+ years have never suffered any ill effects. It's the same story at my work, 30+ Apple computers (Pro's and iMacs) and no surge protection and again no ill effects - however I'm guessing the servers are probably surge protected.

    Saying that, I guess for peace of mind and a relatively cheap cost it can't hurt.
     
  13. Michael D. macrumors member

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    May 6, 2011
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    Helsinki, Finland
    #13
    I've got APC surge protectors on all my electronics.

    I'm consider buying an APC UPS for my iMac.

    Stay away from the bargain bin surge protectors. Reasonably good surge protectors cost very little.

    An UPS can provide added layer of protection. If you're running a home office, I'd put in the extra bucks.

    For home users, an UPS something to consider.
     
  14. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    Can you provide me with a direct link to the surge protector I should buy?
     
  15. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #15
    Same here. MacBook Pro, HDTV, surround sound, etc. ...all without surge protectors. Never had a problem. But that doesn't mean it couldn't happen in the future.
     
  16. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    Lawton, OK
    #16
    The APC audible alarm exists for a reason. Though they have a mute button.

    A basic surge protector is $6. In the event of a lightning strike, your $6 surge protector will fry. Your iMac won't.
     
  17. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Also, what is the difference between a surge protector and a battery back-up? These features are often conflated into one device, right? Does my new iMac really need both, though?
     
  18. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #18
    I plug all of my electronics into a surge protector. My first DVD player became completely fried because I had it plugged directly into a wall outlet.


    If I understand what you're talking about correctly, a battery backup is a surge protector with a battery that will last long enough for you to shut down your computer incase of a power failure, preventing you from losing all of your work. I'm not sure if they all do this but we have them at work and they make this awful horror-movie beeping/screeching noise when the power goes out.
     
  19. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Well, I might as well spend at least $100 and ensure that I'm getting one of quality. I noticed surge protectors for over $200 but I think a $100 protector should suffice, right?
     
  20. mrfoof82, Jun 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011

    mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    There is a difference between a "surge protector" and an "uninterruptible power supply (UPS)". It's like comparing a bicycle and a motorcycle. Both get you places, but one is far more complicated and offers other features.

    A surge protector is basically an inline fuse that fails at a specified level, to protect the electronics that connect to it. Fuses work very well. If all you care about is not having equipment fried by lightning striking your home, a $6 surge protector will do that.

    A UPS has a surge protector, but also a sizable internal battery. The sizable battery is if in the event the power goes out, powered equipment stays powered. They cost much more because they are much more complicated than a simple fuse. This is not about just protecting against a direct lightning strike against your home, it's about protecting against data loss by not having the computer lose power unexpectedly.

    For a UPS, something like this is just fine and dandy for iMacs: APC BR700G For my loaded 27" iMac with a 27" Cinema Display attached, I expect to get 12 minutes of runtime while fully loading the system (i.e. playing Crysis 2), and closer to 20 under normal conditions, which is more than enough time to shut the system down (the recommendation is usually 5 minutes).

    For just a surge protector, a $6 one will work just fine.
     
  21. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 11, 2010
    #21
    I see. Thank you very much.

    Which of these would do the trick for my forthcoming 2011 i7 iMac?

    APC 750VA Battery Back-Up (BE750G-CN) -LINK.

    APC Battery Back-Up (BE550G-CN) - LINK.

    As you'll notice when you click the links, the first one is $149 while the second one is $99. I'm leaning toward the second one. :p Good idea? Bad idea?
     
  22. Amnesiac1 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    For how long? Can you mute it?
     
  23. jaikob macrumors 6502

    jaikob

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    #23
    The alarm can be disabled, though it exists for a reason. Turn your hardware off and then turn your UPS off until utility power is back.

    And it really isn't "that" bad, and it is usually done in intervals of time, like every few minutes.
     
  24. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    It's enough power to give you time to shut your computer down (this is ignoring the fact that you can configure the iMac under the Energy Saver preferences pane to have it automatically sleep and/or shut down). Therefore it's fine.
     
  25. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    This has been answered already.
     

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