Should I go for the APC Smart-UPS SC 1500VA 230V - 2U Rackmount/Tower - SC1500I ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chiefroastbeef, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    Hi folks,

    I've done quite a bit of extensive reading on UPS in this forum and have decided to go with an APC SmartUPS to be safe and be without regrets.

    Sadly, there are no refurbs here in HK, so I must pay full price. Here is the HK site I am looking at:

    I found the:
    APC Smart-UPS SC 1500VA 230V - 2U Rackmount/Tower - SC1500I for around $371USD, will it work well for my Mac Pro with 30" ACD, and a Drobo? I only need enough time for it to shut down, will it do so automatically via power management with OSX SL?

    The SUA1500 is $500 (a fair price) , and I don't see much of a difference between the two besides a slightly higher wattage on the SUA1500 and price tag, do you guys know of any differences?

    Thank you for any suggestions guys!
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  3. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    Ah, so the SC1500 isn't pure sinewave? Thanks.

    On second thought, the SC1500 doesn't seem quite right for the Mac Pro, no USB connectivity, only four outputs.. Looks like I'll have to shell out for the SUA1500.
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Unfortunately, it's not. :(

    The SUA1500 is a better choice, and if you can swing it, an Online type is better if at all possible. Not sure about the models available to you locally, but I looked up the UK/HK versions (230V in/out), as it may help. There's no 1500VA model though (1000VA, then jumps to 2000VA, which I presume would require you to have a new circuit wired in to handle it, as it requires a C20 circuit).

  5. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong

    Thanks for the suggestion!

    Should I just go for the APC Back-UPS RS 1500VA LCD 230V - BR1500LCDI?
    I don't need anything too hardcore. I just want sort of insurance, in the three years I've lived in my apartment in Hong Kong, I have not experienced one power outage surge yet. will the BR1500 do the job adequately?

    This 230v thing is going over my head.. I wish I can just get a refurbed SUA1500 from excessUPS for $270 and get it over with... :(
  6. thaniel98 macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2008
    The SC1500I and the BR1500LCDI are basically the same unit, minus the LCD display. The Smart-UPS SC line was created for people who wanted the back-ups RS but required serial communication instead of USB. Other than that, the internal components are the same.

    You would be much better off with a SUA1500I or if budget allows a online Smart-UPS RT.
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    • Are you trying to get a single UPS unit that can be used in both the US and HK (same as UK)?

    I ask, as this may be more difficult than you think, as the US and HK have different power systems.

    Wall Voltages and Frequency Specifications:
    US = 120V AC @ 60Hz
    UK/HK = 230V AC @50Hz (this definitely isn't the same plug as in the US)

    The MP's PSU can be used with either (automatically switches between the voltage differences, so you don't have to flip a switch on the back of the PSU). You just need the correct plug.

    How you could use a single unit, and be OK.

    Option A:
    • Get a 230V Input unit (wall spec), and output (goes to the computer). Those linked are such units (and they're Online types = always output pure sine wave and run off of the battery + inverter).
    • To make it work in HK is easy, as you only need to have the correct plug (not the same as type G, linked above, but IEC 60320_C13 <MP's PSU> to IEC 60320-C14 = end needed for the UPS).
    • Getting it to work in the US is a bit more tricky. You'd have to have an electrician install a 240V circuit with sufficient current to handle it. I'd say 20A, and it happens to be sufficient for either unit.
    • For the 1000VA unit, you'd also need the correct power cable for a US wall socket (NEMA L6-20P to IEC-320 C14)
    • The 2000VA unit would require a different cord to feed it (here).

    BTW, the 2000VA unit would probably require an electrician at that location as well (not sure how common C20 = 20A are in residential buildings), as it needs a 20A circuit, as where the standard wall outlet is only rated for 13A. So keep that in mind as well. The 1000VA will work off of a C13 (much easier to deal with, but you'll loose operation time during an outage unless you get an extended run time battery pack for it).

    Option B:
    • Get a US unit, such as the SUA1500 (not an Online unit, but it's output = pure sine wave), and get a step down transformer for use in HK with the correct plugs. Example (has the right plug ends for US and UK/HK). It would have to be of sufficient size, which is why the linked unit is 3kVA (you want it to be more than the rating of the UPS, as VA /= Watts due to losses).
    • You may also want to note, that you will very likely hear the transformer in the form of a Hum (and the lights may dim when you first turn the UPS on).
    • It also adds weight to be carried when you need to travel with it.
    • It's not exactly cheap either (~$350USD or so, based on 222GBP and, but I'm not sure if you can find refurbished UPS units in HK, so it may actually work out in your favor financially speaking. And it will certianly work in the US, without the need to hire an electrician (1500VA models work off of a standard 120V, 15A circuit). Its when you go to 2kVA+ that you need an electrician in the US.

    Sorry if this is confusing, but I'm not sure you're wanting to have a separate unit at your US and HK locations, or one unit that you can take back and forth as needed.
  8. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    Thank you Nanofrog for typing out an extensive explanation, I greatly appreciate it! I will have the unit in Hong Kong only, since I will be here long term. I will go with a 230v unit since HK doesn't seem to sell the 120v units, and I'd imagine shipping costs from the States will murder me, plus I don't want to have to use a transformer to step down the power.

    As of now I will either go with the SUA1500, or the BR1500VALCD.

    Once again, thank you for the valuable info, it made it very very clear for me!
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    You have to have a unit that is rated for 230V input (wall socket it plugs into), as that's the power standards there in HK.

    The SUA1500 is a 120V model meant for the US. You'd kill it if you plug it into a HK socket without a stepdown transformer.

    Unless what you're calling an SUA1500 is actually a different model (i.e. 230V variant such as the SUA1500RMI2U). A link would help make sure it's rated for 230V AC. ;) Rather expensive and dangerous mistake, so best avoided. :D
  10. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2008
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    Sorry Nanofrog! My mistake, for both the SUA1500 and BR1500LCD(VA), I mean the 230V variant (they put an "i" at the end of the model number, SUA1500i for example, I was too lazy to type the "i") that is currently available here in HK via this reputable dealer:

    What UPS do you have nanofrog?

    They are both 230v units, I'll just need to find some plugs and cords, which are plentiful here in HK with its many computer stores.
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    That unit will serve you just fine then. :) For HK, the Online versions would be the SURT1000XLI or SURT2000XLI. They don't offer a 1500VA unit in an Online version it seems. :(

    Eaton (EX = Online, Evolution = Line Interactive) or Tripp Lite (Online, Line Interactive) are another couple of brands you can look into as well.

    I actually have a few, but the current one in use is a refurbished SURTA1500XL. I've used Line interactive in the past (both stepped and pure sine wave for personal use), and have had problems with stepped units on occasion (fairly recent PSU problems caused by a BR1500LCD; that unit still works, but I'm nervous about using it on expensive equipment).

    But I prefer Online if I can get it (why the XL variant), and I go with refurbished units to save money (not had problems so far with refurbished units, don't care about appearance as much as functionality, and they're rather expensive new).

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