What UPS for a Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by FluJunkie, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #1
    So, I'm ordering a Mac Pro soon, and I'd clearly like its power supply to be protected. But honestly, I know nothing about UPS systems, and am frankly on a bit of a budget.

    What am I looking for in terms of "will protect my machine, but doesn't cost a zillion dollars"?
     
  2. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

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    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #2
    The main thing is that the Mac Pro needs a "pure sine-wave" output when the UPS is on battery. This is a feature that tends to be in the premium UPS models.

    I can personally recommend the APC Smart-UPS SMT1000I. You will need to check if your MP can manage with one of their smaller models. Their website should give you the contact details you need.

    APC do a "Trade-UPS" for older UPS models when you buy one of theirs, even if the old one did not come from them originally. Discounts for an old APC-brand UPS to a new APC-brand UPS was 25% in my case.
     
  3. FluJunkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 17, 2007
    #3
    Any idea what kind of wattage a Mac Pro draws in? When I use the configuration tool, depending on if I put in "Gaming/High Performance" or "Tower" I get...vastly different answers.

    My configuration will look something like this:

    Mac Pro with the 3.2 quad-core processor, the 5870 graphics card, a boot SSD, the built in 1 TB hard drive, a 2TB Caviar Black and a 2TB Caviar Green. I'll probably be using on of the 23 inch Dell Ultrasharps along with an elderly IBM LCD.
     
  4. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
  5. FluJunkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    An what's the difference between a "pure sine-wave" and a "stepped approximation"? How big of a deal does that end up being?
     
  6. FluJunkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #7
    a stepped approx wave does not power the psu in a mac pro nicely it can cause hum and buzz issues. pure sine wave is the way to go.
     
  8. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #8
    vanns is a good seller the black model goes for 600 or so.

    vanns had a aps s10 in silver for 199 vs 499 in black it sold out.

    I purchased a few of them they work fine with my mac pro.. Last spring APC sold out a silver conditioner only four 99 dollars vs 325. I purchased one of them.

    it works well for me since april of 2010. the UPS/cond have worked for me since nov. sometimes things sell out for funny things color etc. Two or three of us purchased the units from vanns since oct/ nov so far so good.


    power conditioning means the signal is cleaned up from outside interference . ups gives power on a blackout. this unit cleans the power that passes through it and it also provides power if you get a blackout.
     
  9. sash macrumors 6502a

    sash

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    #9
    Hi,
    I've got APC 1500VA for a MP with 2 21" LCDs and a bunch of smaller stuff like isdn, two phone bases, external drive etc. 1500 give me about 20 minutes after electricity has been switched off. Turning out one of the monitors gives me about extra 5 min.
     
  10. FluJunkie, Feb 3, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011

    FluJunkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 17, 2007
    #10
    The linked device also seems to have a non-standard plug...do adaptors exist to get them into standard wall sockets? Or at least that's what the APC guy suggested, although I can't really see how one couldn't just plug one of the S15's into the wall.
     
  11. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #11
    I just ordered the same unit as sash.

    The pure sine wave is nice but if you are on a budget the step approximation will be fine.
     
  12. scotttaylor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #12
    I ordered one of the S15 units from Vann's about a month ago. It plugs into a standard wall outlet - no special adapter required. It's one impressive piece of equipment. If you read the reviews on the Vann's site there was a complaint about one (or more?) units being old and the reviewer had to return them to APC for service. Mine worked fine out of the box and I did a power-outage test with a known load and the unit delivered an actual run-time that very closely matched the expected run time from the documentation so the batteries seem fine. I also have an APC Smart-UPS 1500 and an older APC Back-UPS 1500. The S15 is more appropriate for a home theater/high-end stereo system but works fine with computers or any sensitive equipment. I'd buy it before it's no longer available!
     
  13. dissolve macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #13
    I've got a similar setup (but 2.8 instead of 3.2) and it pulls a little under 250W at idle with two monitors on. You've got two more HDDs than I do so figure in about 10-15W more. You'll want to go more than double this for many reasons, but primarily to account for the system under load and battery weakening as it ages. I've got a 1000VA (~600W) UPS, but I was on more of a budget. Many recommend the 1350-1500VA models around here.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
  15. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #15
    How big a deal will depend on how much stock you put into internet chatter. I don't think there's any real evidence that the PSU in Apple's MP is damaged by occasional use of a stepped input. I've run my 2010 MP with a Cyber Power stepped UPS (while on battery power) and the MP worked just fine. No problemos at all. If you have the extra $'s then sure go pure sine, but I really wouldn't stress over it one way or other.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  16. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #16
    If your only concern is that the machine stay on in a power outage, then the stepped approximation works. Your power supply might buzz and squeal. I don't understand the physics of this, but someone else mentioned it is the capacitors in the power supply doing their work.

    If you also want clean correct power, get a pure sine wave unit with power conditioner.

    Some power supplies in some computers will not work at all with stepped approximation, so if you will use the UPS with other computers, it may not work. I have seen this with many Dell computers; they just turn off as they are unable to use stepped power at all.
     
  17. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Phoenix, AZ
    #17
    In the end, it's really going to depend on your budget and how much draw you'll be pulling in the event of an outage.

    APC limits their "pure sine-wave" output models to their Smart-UPS line, which starts somewhere in the neighborhood of $450 for a suitable unit (1000VA and up). The Back-UPS and Back-UPS Pro models are all "stepped approximation".

    If you're on a tight budget, stepped approximation is fine, as long as the UPS is a "line-interactive" type, which is far superior to a "standby" type. Line-interactive units use an autotransformer to condition the output voltage, allowing the UPS to cope with over- and under-voltage better. As a result, the UPS is more resistant to problems caused by brownouts and voltage spikes when switching over to battery power. Also, because the output voltage is conditioned by the transformer, it prolongs the life of the backup battery. You can get decent "line-interactive" models in the 1000-1500VA range for $150-250, generally.

    There's also some good deals to be had buying refurbished. A lot of vendors sell good refurbished UPSes (APC, Tripplite, Eaton, etc.) with brand new batteries for a lot less than new.

    Just avoid a "standby/offline" type UPS like the plague. Their inferior performance isn't worth the hassle over a standard surge protector.
     
  18. Setter Guy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #18
    I recently picked up a used APC SmartUPS 1000 here for $160. The unit works perfectly and offers a new battery, pure sine wave, and other nice features. It's a refurb (and appears to have been used in a war zone), but no problem - it's tucked away beneath my desk.
     
  19. akadmon, Feb 4, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011

    akadmon macrumors 68010

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    Aug 30, 2006
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    New England
    #19
    "Pure sine wave" my foot! I've head my MP for 4.5 years. No UPS. No trouble. Have I been incredibly lucky, or is UPS protection (or at leat the need for it) a myth?

    EDIT: BTW, in all my years on this earth, I have never once had a piece of electronics die on me during a blackout/brownout/"all hall broke loose" lightning storm or whathaveyou. Not saying that a UPS has never helped anyone avoid damage to expensive equipment. But...All it is is insurance. Anyway, why would I spend $300-400 on on a UPS, when I'm already covered by my homeowner's insurance for computer losses up to $10000K?
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #20
    1. A UPS's primary function is to allow for a safe shut down to prevent data loss.
    2. In terms of power quality, you've been lucky (there are protection circuits in the PSU, but they're limited in order to keep costs low).

    Power quality varies greatly, even on the same grid. Exact location matters, as does a host of other factors (load, equipment used, age of equipment, frequency of upgrades <usually waits for things like road widening projects to get government funds to pay for it rather than company funds>, ...). For most of us, the power quality sucks (undervolt/brown-out conditions are more common than spikes).

    Home Owners Insurance or the policies that come with UPS's or surge suppressors cover equipment costs only. Not DATA recovery, which gets expensive quick, assuming it can even be recovered at all.
     
  21. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

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    Nov 15, 2010
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    Edinburgh, UK
    #21
    Plus if you claim on your home insurance, they'll get it back through the next year's premiums... and the next year's...
     
  22. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #22
    In all my life, I've never needed my motorcycle helmet. Why the F should I bother wearing it when I already have health coverage up to $300,000K???
     
  23. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #23
    :eek:
     
  24. philipma1957, Feb 7, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    Howell, New Jersey
    #24
    if you don't need it. save your money and don't buy it. If you are running a business you may need it for data loss. the equipment is covered.

    But a few lawsuits if you are a photographer and lose a few wedding videos . that can cost your entire business. If you are like me a very enthusiastic computer geek you do not need this piece of gear. you know what you need. BTW my neighbors home was struck by lightning a few years back. Everything fried in his home , the homes to his left his right and behind him had electronic damage.


    MY house is across the street about 135 feet from where the bolt struck. I had no damage was it due to the whole house surge protector was it due to three 4 foot copper rods that ground my rooftop antenna was it due to the double grounding block on my cable internet hookup.

    I don't know but I know this much I got to use my computer before the strike and after the strike because when the blocks power died due to the strike my ups worked just fine. My wife and I said cool. That is worth the 300 bucks I paid for it.
     
  25. karsten macrumors 6502a

    karsten

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    Sep 3, 2010
    #25
    what system are you running on that? thanks

    also does the fan run all the time on it? thanks
     

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