MM2018 - UPS choice? Experiences?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by strawbale, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. strawbale, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    strawbale macrumors 6502

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    #1
    With a new MM2018 added to the household, the recently perished UPS urgently needs being replaced.

    So far I've been using an APC (BR800) which is stepped-sine, not pure-sine.
    I've been reading that some (more and more?) computer PSUs are PFC (Power Factor Correction), either passive or active. Some PFC PSUs can't deal with the output of a stepped-sine UPS and need a pure-sine (or online) UPS.
    I've read that some (all?) newer Macs have PFC PSUs, though don't know whether they are active of passive.

    Anyone that has his/her MM2018 connected to an UPS without any problems, could you mention brand and model? ideally APC or Eaton, as those are readily available here in France.

    PS: just for reference, these iMac threads:
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/imac-5k-loud-buzz-when-using-ups.2054869/#post-24768452
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/2017-imac-pure-sine-wave-ups-required.2067158/
     
  2. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    #2
    Well I have an APC BX1400U-MS ordered, so I guess I'll find out and report back later this week?
     
  3. strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
  4. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    #4
    The material here all references it as RJ11 protection (e.g. we use VDSL over copper phone lines), it's not clear from the docs if the port is somehow usable for both RJ11 and RJ45 connections or if they ship different ports for different parts of the world.

    I'm not sure how old the model is to be honest - one of the PDFs linked on the product page has a date of August 2014.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 4, 2018 ---
    This document describes an issue with UPS and PFC PSUs https://www.apc.com/us/en/faqs/FA158939/ but it may not be the only one.

    It's very possible I've misunderstood this document, but it seems like the issue is when changing to/from mains/battery power or back, if the load from the PSU is close to the load limit of the UPS?

    So, rather than saying the Mini has a maximum power draw of 150watts from the PSU, you need to consider that it may draw 1.25x that as input, i.e. just under 190watts.
     
  5. strawbale, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    MM2018 has Energy Star 7: https://ww2.epeat.net/criteriadisplay.aspx?productid=17493&epeatcountryid=1&category=5

    So for the 150W PSU of the Mac mini we can assume efficiency as well as Power Factor of 90+ %

    Screenshot 2018-12-04 at 20.27.12.png
    --- Post Merged, Dec 4, 2018 ---
    After reading
    "The Evolution of 80 PLUS
    This program has helped many users realize the importance of recognizing efficiency in power supplies, and it has also helped make active power factor correction (APFC) converters popular. Indeed, these days, most desktop PSUs feature such a converter."
    here: https://www.tomshardware.com/news/what-80-plus-levels-mean,36721.html
    I have to assume the MM2018 has an Active PFC PSU.
     
  6. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Since the power supply in the Mini is universal ranging (meaning it can work with 100-240V without flipping a switch) and is getting minimum 0.9 PF at 50% load, that implies it's active PFC.

    I used to be very loyal to the APC brand but their consumer-oriented products have slipped in quality in recent years. If you're going to go consumer-level, in the U.S. you can get a 1500VA, line-interactive sinewave UPS for $200 e.g.:

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00429N19W/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I've been using these things all over the house for years now and so far they've always worked.

    I know you're in France though, so you're dealing with different voltages, logistics and SKUs, but if you find CyberPower they aren't as crappy as their name might imply. More-or-less the same quality as APC.
     
  7. strawbale, Dec 4, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018

    strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks! Yes, have read good reviews for Cyber Systems, though mostly in the US.
    I managed to trace their representative (https://www.nitram.fr/fr/fr/tools/compare/spec) - will give them a ring tomorrow. They show up on Amazon France, though most despatched from another country so need to check who's OK/safe to buy from re: warranty.

    PS: reading https://www.electronicdesign.com/po...en-passive-and-active-power-factor-correctors earlier, made me think it'd be Active PFC indeed.
     
  8. F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #8
    My mini will be living in rural Newfoundland next summer, where power is less than 100% reliable. For that matter, there are times during the year when NY specialises in brownouts. This thread reminds me that I should pick up one of these boxes.
     
  9. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Always, always, always IMO. Anyone who cares about data integrity should have a UPS connected to their computer. Even (especially) if they have a standby generator.
     
  10. strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    The situation here, in rural France, has improved over the last 10-15 years - less brown outs & blackouts - but I wouldn't go without an UPS.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 4, 2018 ---
    It looks like Amazon France (themselves) sell the CP1300EPFCLCD (slightly different model names here, but I just checked with Cyber Power USA that they are the equivalent of the CPxxxxPFCLCD series:
    https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B0058RVIEC/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_c_x_5_w
     
  11. F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #11
    I love les Pyrénées, although some of the roads are interesting :)

    Hard to beat Ossau-Iraty with a bottle of Irouléguy, or even some Norman cider.
     
  12. strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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  13. strawbale, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

    strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Update:

    CyberPower's representatives in France, Nitram (who only add their logo and add 50% to the price, (virtually) only sell through distributors and then sell to shops, none of which are within an hour from me...

    Rethinking the 'necessity' to have a pure sine UPS for a computer with an Active PFC PSU:

    * these tips of PSUs are not new, probably pretty standard since about 5 years. after all, the APC doc Stephen R linked to in an earlier post is already from Aug 2014, see #4
    * in spite of that, you read hardly ever that there are problems in reality - OK, there is some anecdotal evidence, but there must be millions of PCs with such a PSU by now, and thousands of those on bog standard (i.e. non-pure sine wave) UPSs
    * CyberPower (and Dell) are (maybe) the only ones suggesting/advising one needs a pure sine wave UPS, but APC 'only' suggested to factor for pf (power factor)
    * CyberPower's 'technical' explanation, see link in #12, seems too simplistic to me: the 'power gap' in their simulated sine wave is less than a quarter of a full wave, i.e. less than 4 ms, whereas 4 ms is the typical switch time for the better line interactive (APC Backup Pro has typical 8 ms, for instance) => if a modern (aPFC) PSU manages to overcome that 4-8 (max even 10) ms switch time ( = gap), assuming with the help of sufficiently large capacitors, why wouldn't it then/subsequently not be able to deal with shorter 'power gaps'? I don't know if one can compare those gaps, but it just makes me wonder whether that could explain why the majority of modern PCs' PSUs don't seem to have a problem with non-pure sine wave UPSs.
    * looking at oscilloscopes images of all kinds of UPSs, I didn't see any ones with power gaps of more than a quarter wave: https://www.hardwareinsights.com/database-of-ups-output-waveforms/#Revision-history

    Thoughts?

    Having said all that, I'm thinking about getting this pure sine wave Eaton:
    http://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/skuPage.5SC500.html
    500 VA / 350W is enough for my setup (normal use: 100W, max: 260W)
    and has no fan, unlike the larger 5SC models => quiet
     
  14. Stephen.R macrumors 65816

    Stephen.R

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    #14
    You're definitely over my head on the topic, all I can add is that I got a message with the four sweetest words in the English language: "your order has shipped".

    Monday is a holiday here, so I probably won't get the shipment (part of which is the UPS) until Tuesday.
     
  15. rmdeluca macrumors 6502

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    #15
    My thoughts are you're overthinking this a bit. The "power gap" is not really the problem so much as the power supply detecting a fault in the line voltage because the rail is held high or low for too long in a stepped sine wave. In practice, I've never seen an ordinary consumer UPS fail to keep a computer running during a brownout/blackout unless I do something dumb like go way over the UPS' VA/W rating.

    I'm highly confident that if you use a $150+ line-interactive UPS from a reputable brand for your Mini you'll be fine. Any installation of a UPS should include a sanity check anyhow - hook everything up, turn your devices on and then pull the UPS' power cable from the wall and make sure everything continues running. If it does you're good to go.

    FYI the unit you linked seems to be 120V, but you're in France. Not sure if that's intentional or if that's not a problem. EDIT: derp, the "G" models of the same series are 220V-240V.
     
  16. strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I was/am 'just' trying to understand it a bit better - confident, by now, that a stepped sine wave UPS will do after all, but probably getting the small pure sine (because it's not that much more expensive - 150€) any way (the French version, but thought I'd link to the US version, given the audience here)
     
  17. philipma1957, Dec 8, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #17
    there is a good seller on ebay. he sells refurbished rebuilt units. they work well. I will find the link



    ebay.com/itm/APC-SMT1000-Smart-UPS-1000VA-700W-120V-LCD-Tower-Power-Backup-New-Batteries-SUA-/272973180879?

    199 refurbished

    378 new
    amazon.com/APC-Smart-UPS-SmartConnect-Uninterruptible-SMT1000C/dp/B0762LKQVP/ref=asc_df_B0762LKQVP/?


    I buy from the ebay guy his gear works and is about ½ price of new.

    he has more then 20 different listings compare the prices to new on newegg or amazon
    you get about ½ the price.

    make sure you buy a sine wave model not a modified one.

    get at least a 1000va that will keep the mini going a while.

    you also need to have the modem and router hooked up to it.

    he has this below it may be better but I never used this model below:

    ebay.com/itm/HP-T1500-G4-J2P87A-UPS-1080W-1500VA-120V-776500-007-Tower-Power-Backup/292786475667?
     
  18. F-Train, Dec 8, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018

    F-Train macrumors 65816

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    #18
    The ebay seller's shipping rates to France are shown in the photo below.

    Merde :)

    Screenshot 2018-12-08 at 9.17.59 AM.png
     
  19. strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I got a (unsolicited) quote for a refurb APC from Czech Republic...

    More seriously: unfortunately the Eaton SC500 I've been looking at doesn't protect the phone/ethernet line, which with the overhead phone lines here is a no-go :-(
    Probably going for an Eaton Ellipse Pro now, stepped sine wave, with 3 yr warranty for UPS & battery
     
  20. strawbale thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Update: Bought the Eaton 5SC500 (tower) in the end: sine wave, quiet (no fan), 500VA/350W (enough for me), good price (150€)
    PS: Will protect the phone line differently
     

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19 December 4, 2018