Recommended UPS for Mac Pro in the UK?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by big_malk, May 3, 2008.

  1. big_malk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #1
    So... the other day I plugged my Wii into the same extension cable I've plugged into 100 times before, where my mac pro has always been plugged in, and it went BANG, big white flash, little puff of smoke... :eek: thankfully that was just the power cable, and my Mac Pro was unaffected *phew* So I thought I'd look at getting a UPS's... (and no lectures about overloading power cables please :p)

    OK, I know there's been plenty UPS threads, but I'm still not sure, and most threads recommend US models, and UK models differ due to the UK power differences. So forgive the repeat topic. :p

    I have a Mac Pro with 2 x dual core 2.66GHz, 4 HDs, 4GB RAM, and two 20" Formac TFTs (and obviously I'd need at least one backed-up so I could safely save my work and shut down).

    Originally I'd hoped to go for this one, an 800VA from APC, but from what I've read that won't be enough. So I looked at this one, the 1000VA model, or even this 1500VA model. But at that size their getting pretty expensive!

    So I was wondering if any UK dweller had found a nicely priced UPS that works with UK power outlets? Before My Mac blow up instead of just the extension cable :)
     
  2. rpaloalto macrumors 6502a

    rpaloalto

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Palo Alto CA.
    #2
    How many devices do you have plugged in?
    It sounds like you need a good power strip with a surge protector for your mac.
    I have heard of allot of software conflicts, with these automatic shut down programs that come with these devices
     
  3. thekaptn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #3
    1500va Ftw

    I have the 1500VA model, but I don't live in the UK. BUT! I do work out on drilling rigs where I haul my machine around to. I have an
    Early 08
    2x3.2 Ghz
    16GB Ram
    4x640GB HDD's
    24" Samsung LCD

    ...and the UPS hangs with it great. I got it because our trailers are ran by generators out here that constantly fluctuate voltage. The 1500VA gives my computer/monitor about 13 min if the power goes out. Also it has a voltage regulation built into it so I know that my little beauty gets all the juice she needs and not to much. The LCD screen also is great for checking out current IN/OUT voltage, Hertz, Wattage Drawn, and battery power available.

    Yes she is pricey, but I found it easily justifiable to buy this to protect the amount that I have invested in the MP. And as far as any software problems I have had none, and have been using the UPS for a little over a month now at work, but I didn't install any of the software that came with it. I felt it was unnecessary having the LCD screen.
     
  4. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #4
    I'd have my Mac and two displays, I have other things like powered speakers, but it's not majority important that they stay powered in a power out or whatever.

    The APC UPSs (and maybe others) use built in software with Leopard I believe, that only shows up when you plug one in, so conflicts wouln't be an issue.

    The 1500VA model I linked to above doesn't have an LCD, but I think the US APV model does if that's the one you mean?

    Does the fan make a lot of noise? I can sometimes hear the fan on my MP from where I sleep, and I'm not too keen on adding even more fan noise, but from what I've read most UPSs are about as near as you get to completely silent.
     
  5. MircoT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    Venice, Italy.
    #5
    I've this one for my MacPro: SmartUPS 1500VA
    http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SUA1500I&total_watts=50

    No software to install... Leopard has built in support for this UPS. Plug and play via USB cable.

    Currently attached:
    MacPro 2008 2x2.8ghz, 8GB, 2xWD7500AYYS, ATI 2600, Eizo 24" HD2441W, Eizo 18" L685, Router Cisco 877W, Canon MP970 scanner/printer, Klipsch Promedia 2.1. APC report that is 20% of total capacity.

    There's a fan, but it spin up only during black out... so normally is dead quiet.


    Ciao! :)
     
  6. thekaptn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #6
    Yeah it is the US XS Series. Sorry I didn't follow your link. Unfortunately hearing the MP is not an issue for me so I cannot give you any info. Where I work generally stays above 100 decibels 24/7. Never quiet, eh, you get used to it. But even getting close to it, I can maybe barely hear the fans going. Very quiet, and the UPS, even quieter.

    And WOW! I just clicked the link from MircoT, $620!! I purchase my 1500VA XS for $169 here in Texas. Sorry guys!
     
  7. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #7
    Well I've found the BR1500I for £196.13 including next business day delivery from here, that's about £30 cheaper than the APC ERP price without VAT, so I guess its a good deal! Although, that would be about $386, so not a good deal if compared with American prices by the sounds of it!

    I think I might go for it, but it is quite a big investment for something you'd hope to never actually need!!

    Does anyone know if an APC UPS with the built in Leopard software gives you all the detailed about % of total capacity and battery run-time etc?
     
  8. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    It does not give you runtime but does give the percentage full of the battery capacity plus three shutdown options time on battery, time left of charge and percentage left of charge.
     
  9. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #9
    Thanks. What happens if I'm not here, the power goes, the battery is about to die and the Mac start to shut down, but a "Do you want to save?" dialogue pops up? Normally the Mac would just wait and the app would cancel the shut down, but then the battery would die and potentially some hardware damage?

    I'm so undecided... I'v just almost finished college (exam in 10 hours :() and am starting a web development company, I'll need every penny I can get for CS3 and stuff. This would be good since obviously loosing my Mac would *slightly* hinder business, but £200 is still a lot for me at the moment :confused:
     
  10. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    I would think that the shutdown on UPS would override everything just because it would have to be that way. Now if it is anything like the Linux daemon for APC UPS's then it would probably just do the same as it does namely issue a "shutdown -h now" command at the system level when the power drops to the prescribed level which just kills everything off no matter what is running, pure speculation on my part as I have never had it get to the point where it will shutdown yet but it really is the only way it can work correctly.
     
  11. occamsrazor macrumors 6502

    occamsrazor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #11
    I also have this model, the APC Back-UPS BR1500I:

    http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=BR1500I

    I did look at this more expensive one:

    http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=SUA1500I&total_watts=50

    But it was too pricey for me. The main difference is the second one is a true "online backup" device, which is better. But frankly I really don't think you need that unless you have *very* sensitive equipment, and especially if you are on a budget.

    One nice aspect of the BR1500I, and not all of the other models, is the 2 x surge-only outlets - meaning you can connect high power devices to them e.g. hifi amplifiers etc and while you won't get any power to them if the electricity cuts, they are protected against surges. For example I can live without all my hifi during a cut, so I put it on those outlets meaning a large amount of power draw is removed from the actual battery-powered outlets.

    If you do get the model I've got (and only that one) and later find you need a longer duration of backup power (note: longer duration, not larger output) then you can add this, which just plugs into the main unit and greatly increases duration:

    http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=BR24BP

    I'd planned to get it but have seen that while I'm running a G4 Quicksilver desktop with 22" Cinema Display, Mac mini with 19" LCD, 4x RAID hard drive enclosures, speakers, modems, routers, etc and am only hitting 450watts i.e. less than half my UPS's capacity. You can see this info in the APC Windows software...

    As for software don't even bother with the APC crap. I couldn't even install it. Leopard recognised the UPS instantly when plugged in and gives you options to:

    a) Shutdown computer after UPS power has kicked in for more than X minutes
    b) Shutdown computer when remaining UPS power is less than X minutes
    c) Shutdown when UPS power-level drops to X percentage

    It also tells you percentage full, and time remaining when on battery power.

    MacUser2525 - Click the menubar item, then change "Show" from percentage to time remaining. Of course it only shows time when actually on battery power.

    MircoT - You say "APC report that is 20% of total capacity" - how were you able to see that figure on Mac? Do you have the Powerchute software installed? When I ran it on mine the option to install it was greyed out and I couldn't install. Is the software worth it?

    All in all I'm very happy with the unit, and am happy it's got a proper fan because I live in a hot climate and I suspect my last UPS blew up from overheating (you won't have that problem in UK).

    One other thing to note about the BR1500I (don't know about other models) is that the battery packs inside are user-replaceable - you just unplug one cable and pop them out to be replaced with a new one. That's pretty useful in the long-term.

    Like I say, I like the BR1500I a lot, but if you are on a tight budget you may find the 1000w model sufficient.

    Finally, you mention having a scanner/printer - be careful with that. If your unit is a laser printer it is not recommended to connect it to a UPS because of the *very large* current draw of laser printers when they start up.

    Best of luck!

    Ben
     
  12. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #12
    I've actually bought, or at least tried to buy, the BR1500I, but that's another story!
    (Bank says the money's been paid, company says they've not receive it!)

    Yeah I'd looked at that, but if you used the 6 battery backups, and the 2 surge protected, wouldn't 8 devices over load a UK socket? I used a 6-way extension, with only 4 devices turned on and it blew up!

    I looked at their software, I think they dropped support when OS X added native support, I think that was with Tiger, maybe not.

    What about plugging it into the surge protection only sockets?

    Do you know what happens if the Mac tries to shut down but an app pops up a save dialogue, while your not there?
    Or if an app stops responding an needs to be force quit?
     
  13. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #13
  14. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #14
  15. occamsrazor macrumors 6502

    occamsrazor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #15
    "Yeah I'd looked at that, but if you used the 6 battery backups, and the 2 surge protected, wouldn't 8 devices over load a UK socket? I used a 6-way extension, with only 4 devices turned on and it blew up!"

    It's just a question of total wattage I think. I know they *say* not to do it but I have a 6-way plugged into a 6-way plugged into a 6-way.... as my old UPS only had one outlet. So long as the total watts isn't too large I don't see an electrical reason why it should be a problem - as even with all that - it's mostly chargers etc - the total is about 450watts which is nothing. That said if you *are* going to use multiple 6-ways on the BR1500I I think it would make more sense to plug each one into a separate outlet, rather than daisy-chaining them as I had to do.


    "What about plugging it into the surge protection only sockets?"

    I would have thought plugging a laser printer into those outlets should be fine as my understanding is they bypass the battery/UPS system entirely and just get surge protection, but am not sure.

    "Do you know what happens if the Mac tries to shut down but an app pops up a save dialogue, while your not there?
    Or if an app stops responding an needs to be force quit?"

    Actually am not sure, I haven't tried it yet...

    Cheers, Ben

    PS and offtopic - How do you quote and reply to multiple pieces from a previous reply in these forums?
     
  16. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #16
    To quote multiple bits from the same post, click quote on that post, and copy and paste the
     
  17. MircoT macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    Location:
    Venice, Italy.
    #17
    I see a lot of information via ethernet cable with the Management card... it's a option for this ups.
    BTW the front panel show a 5 led bar for the capacity in use: actually only one is on, so the value is real, more or less...

    Powerchute? do not install it... Leopard support is sufficient. :)

    I think that all APC have user replaceable batteries... on Smart UPS batteries are replaceable on line (hot plug), you don't have to shutdown anything.

    Ciao. :)
     
  18. tom. macrumors 6502

    tom.

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    I use a Belkin Surge Protector for my Mac Pro/Monitors.

    It's guaranteed for a ridiculous amount of money for your components.
     
  19. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #19
    Well my APC 1500VA arrived this morning, and and plugged-in and played very nicely :) would be good if it'd included a few more male-female power cables though.

    It doesn't last quite as long as I'd hoped on battery power, but I suppose my Mac will draw a lot of power, an I'm glad I didn't go for the 1000VA now :)

    One question though, is it normal for it to make a a buzzing sound when it running of the battery? It doesn't sound like normal fans, and it's not a warning buzzer either?
     
  20. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
  21. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Location:
    One Nation Under Gordon
    #21
    I believe so - a fizzing noise, right? If you think that's bad, you should hear the Symmetras under my stairs.
     
  22. big_malk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Scotland
    #22
    I wouldn't have called it a fizzing sound, but I could see different makes/models sounding a bit different and it's not far from a fizzing sound.
    And it seems to work great, so good to know it's nothing to worry about :)
     
  23. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #23
    Yeah nothing to worry about both my 500 and 750 make a click when it goes to battery then the buzzing sound you hear when the transformer kicks in to do the conversion from 12v up to in my case 120v yours I believe would be to 220v.
     

Share This Page