UPS's and Mac Pro's

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rafalski24, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Rafalski24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #1
    So is it stupid to run a MP without one? I have read every now and then people saying that its a mistake to run your MP without one, and my question is why? I have my computers plugged into a decent/good surge protector and very rarely have my power go out (ie. never had a brown out, <1 a year I would say on average) The chances that the power goes out when I am working on something extremely important are very low, and even if it does I have auto save saving quite often (in FCP) so I wouldn't likely loose very much time even then. So am I missing something? I can't imagine, if I were convinced to buy one, buying one that costs much more than 100USD.

    thanks guys!
     
  2. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #2
    Think of it as a $100 protection scheme on your $2200+ machine. For some people it's a lost time/money thing, if damage occurs during a surge or abrupt outage. But you should be able to find an adequate one at about $100 USD, and it's probably worth it considering the expense of the machine before upgrading, and most users upgrade to the tune of anywhere from $200-$1500 in parts.
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    You really won't know what problems you have until you plug the high end UPS in.

    Had the low end UPS plugged in, and every page the the color laser printed would cause the UPS to beep.

    Went to storage and refurbed the monster UPS with new batteries and plugged it in, now it runs on battery for the undervolt condition the printer causes. Updated the computer next to the printer to the OK UPS and boxed up the crappy unit, and the OK UPS cries when someone prints too many pages (likely needs new batteries)/

    A surge suppressor or cheap UPS likely won't cover most under/over volt conditions. Things that can and do harm the computers.

    Also with the Mac Pro you are sticking a $2-5k machine on the same lines as ceiling fans, CCFLs, fans, etc. all of which create line noise which can either harm the machine or corrupt data.
     
  4. TonyK macrumors 6502a

    TonyK

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    #4
    Both my wife and my MPs are on their own UPSs and never have issues. She is a writer and even a small outage, even a few seconds, can cause her major headaches.

    Since putting her system on a UPS she has not lost any work and it allows her about 25 to 30 minutes to power down. The UPS is connected to the MP and will automatically close when it reaches thresholds I've set.

    Get a good, high powered UPS and you should be happy.
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #5
    Color lasers need quite a bit of power during print and startup. Mine (Brother MFC-9450CDN) consumes ~500W during those conditions. Idle OTOH, is just under 20W. Big difference.

    The switch types can't handle it that well, as they get overloaded (looks like a brown-out to it, and can't supply adequate power with the total load; even exceeding the W output). Better units (always draws off the battery fare much better). They're more efficient, and provide more power off the battery for the same VA rating. I.e. APC's 1500VA consumer units can output 865W, while the professional units can provide 980W. That extra 95W can make a difference. ;)

    Most of the consumer units also are horrible for surge suppression (~10% of what should be there). Way too weak, and need to be plugged into an additional surge suppressor unit (a decent one that can exceed 3k Joules; the higher the better).
     
  6. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #6
    My same situation exactly... I recently upgraded from an iMac to a Quad Mac Pro.


    I did some research on UPSs for a MP. It seems that "consumer grade" UPS of around $100 to $300 are not suitable for this machine. First, I researched the APC's BR1500 - which is supposed to hold enough raw power for the MP. But due to the power peak it draws when waking from sleep and/or startup surpasses the BR1500 capacity, hence powering down immediately. According to some, it has to do with the Sine Wave effectiveness over the PSU if the MP. Other say the BR1500 can work with an extra surge protector between the UPS and the computer, but that's not certain either.

    Can anyone comment on this?

    Then there are the "Smart UPS", the professional high end ones, which cost as 3x more than the consumer ones. I researched the SUA1000 and SUA1500 ($459 and $559 resp.) - which seem to work great, and may also somehow optimize the quality of the electricity that goes into the MP and provide better protection. But the cost is nearly prohibitive though - being more like 15% of your system, depending on how many internal/external extras are hooked to it.

    Nevertheless - either going the consumer or the professional route, I do think it's worth the investment, the same way insurance is. And even when the chances that a blackout occurs when working something critical - and loosing your work - may be slim, the damage to the computer due to such blackouts or brownouts, the risk for your internal drives (and the information on them), other peripherals, plus the time without the computer while its repair (and the cost of the repair itself), may well justify the cost.

    For the moment, I'm just about to bite the bullet and likely buy the SUA1500 (unless anyone can recommend any consumer level alternatives based on experience with a recent model MP).

    Hope this helps, and that someone can comment if/how the BR1500 has worked for them... that'll surely save me/you some money!

    Thanks
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    I've not seen or experienced this when I had an '08 MP (2.8GHz base) with a RAID card in it.

    The UPS only contained the MP, monitor, DSL modem, and router though. No printer, external enclosures. (System was only tested with 4x drives).

    I do place a good surge between the wall and the UPS (BR1500LCD). No problems with it so far.

    The SmartUPS always runs off the battery, so it's not switched between the battery and the wall as the consumer models are (BackUPS models). They're also more efficient (980W vs. 865W from the consumer version).
     
  8. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    They have a 1500VA version (BX1500G) available. I'm not familiar with that specific model though.
     
  10. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    would it really be worth the extra $40+ bucks up from the 1300VA one? I was just looking at the specs between the two I linked to and the cheaper one has a higher joule surge protection rating, is this significant?
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    They're both 354 Joules, which is lousy (maybe 10% of what you'd want). To offset this limitation, you'd need a decent surge suppressor between the UPS and the wall. This is what I've done, and haven't had any issues.

    As per the rest of it, you just get additional power. So the larger unit can either run longer, or support a higher max load, assuming you exceed the 780W the 1300VA can produce (less likely, and if the case, you'll need a bigger unit than a 1500VA anyway :p). Higher run time is a good thing, as the battery ages. As it does, the run time will reduce for a full charge.
     
  12. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2009
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #12
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    Run Time is far more important, as the Surge Ratings on them suck (either is lousy, and you need a separate surge suppressor anyway; as close to 4k Joules as you can get, and the higher the better).
     
  14. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #14
    I have the SU1400, with no extras, was $799 and is now over 10 years old (built 6/1999).

    The batteries were last $150.

    If you get a cheap $200 unit, I doubt you will have it past the batteries dying.

    Might seen like a lot, but these units aren't consumables ... you tend to replace batteries and keep them around.

    ---

    If you think they are too much, look around they do sell refurbs with new batteries.
     
  15. frimple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #16
    You should look at eBay as well, I was able to get my SmartUPS 1500VA for $130. It was a re-conditioned model but came with a warranty. If you're patient you'll come out with a great UPS for half the "cost" that you find elsewhere.
     

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