What's the cheapest useable UPS/surge protector for a hex?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by musicguy7, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. musicguy7 macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #1
    Really don't want to break the bank on a UPS/surge protector. I do get power outages from time to time in my area, so I was wondering what are the cheapest options for me?

    I'm not too concerned about data loss, but basically I want something (do I even need a UPS?) to plug the mac pro in that when a power outage or surge occurs, none of my hardware is damaged.

    Can you name some specific models?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    You spent multiple thousands of dollars on your Mac Pro and you are cheaping out on a UPS/surge protector? Your priorities are misplaced.
     
  3. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    +1, QFT, etc...

    <insert brilliant car analogy here>
     
  4. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #5
    Well I was just wondering what the cheapest solution was against unusual surges?

    In terms of power outages, will that even damage mac pro hardware? Sudden shutdowns?

    Again, I'm not concerned about losing data, because I can live with relying on daily backups to externals.
     
  5. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    #6
  6. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    #7
    It will auto shutdown a MP.
     
  7. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #8
    What are the capacity numbers I should be looking at?
     
  8. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I'm running a Mac Pro 1,1 Quad 3.0GHz, 7300GT and a 23" Acer LCD LED on a 750va UPS at a 50-60% load.

    I would imagine a heftier video card would draw more power as would more CPU cores. Kinda depends on your Mac Pro.
     
  9. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
  10. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I would suspect that with that setup you would come close to the capacity limit with 850va. I strongly recommend the original recommendation.

    I would've gone for a higher capacity one for myself but I had bought my current UPS before getting my Mac Pro. It used to serve a headless Mac Mini server with several external drives and the Time Capsule. I saw that 750va was barely enough for the Mac Pro so I had to move another 750va UPS I had elsewhere to feed the Mini and TC.
     
  11. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #12
    Log onto APC or another maker and use their calculator to determine the size you need. Then shop around for deals. Brownouts and spikes can damage computer equipment. A good UPS will prevent these issues. I used a 1500 APC for my 2008 Mac pro. Gave me about 40 minutes on batteries before shut down. OS X has the software built in for APC. Not sure about the others. Unless you have money to throw away, get a UPS soon!
     
  12. telequest macrumors regular

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    NJ
    #13
    Thanks for this ... my UPS failed a couple of weeks ago and I've been relying on an undersized spare I had sitting around. This Cyberpower unit offers full sinewave protection much more cheaply than I recall seeing elsewhere. So I placed my order, hoping it arrives before the next major outage. Could be soon given the massive heat wave that's consuming the U.S. East coast!
     
  13. westom macrumors regular

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    Nov 8, 2009
    #14
    Cheapest solution is a protector that actually does surge protection. View numbers for UPS protection. Maybe hundreds of joules. Near zero. Destructive surges are hundreds of thousands of joules. But since the UPS has near zero joules, then many (including some here) have called that 100% protection.

    Protectors adjacent to electronics can sometimes make damage easier. No protector does protection. Not one. Protection is always about where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate. Either energy dissipates harmlessly outside. Or it goes hunting for earth destructively via appliance. A protector too close to appliances can give that energy even more paths to find earth – destructively via that appliance.

    Cheapest solution is also an only solution used anywhere that damage cannot happen. Costs about $1 per protected appliance. Is sold by more responsible companies including ABB, Siemens, Intermatic, Square D, Leviton, and General Electric. A Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. The effective solution always - as in every time - always has one critically important feature. A short and dedicated wire to single point earth ground.

    Effective protector means direct lightning strikes cause no damage. Where do 20,000 amps go during a lightning strike? If 20,000 amps is incoming on a power strip protector, then 20,000 amps is also outgoing into an appliance on the other side of that protector. Simultaneously. It is called electricity. If current is incoming, then same current is outgoing on the appliance side. You do not stop or block surges as so many wish. Connect 20,000 amps short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to earth. A minimally sized 'whole house' protector from those responsible companies starts at 50,000 amps so that even direct lightning strikes are harmlessly connected to earth. So that even the protector is unharmed. So that nobody even knows a surge existed.

    Only solution always found in any facility that cannot suffer damage. Many concepts were pioneered in munitions dumps so that direct lightning strikes cause no explosions. You do same for everything inside your house for about $1 per protected appliance. A best solution is also the least expensive.

    What needs to be protected by a 'whole house' protector? Power strip protectors. Again, read their numbers. Often grossly undersized. A surge too tiny to overwhelm protection inside all appliances easily destroys a strip protector. Being grossly undersized then gets many to say, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my computer". Computer protected itself. Protector was a potential house fire.

    Any protector that fails does no protection. Just another reason why the least expensive solution is also the superior one.

    To make that protection even better, telcos locate their ‘whole house’ protector up to 50 meters (150 feet) separated from electronics. Separation between a protector and electronics INCREASES protection. But always most important is a low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to single point earth ground. Only item that must always exist in every protection system: single point ground. Why do power strip and UPS protectors never discuss it?

    Cable TV needs no protector. Cable company connects their cable to earth only via a wire. That wire is superior to any protector.

    Telephone wires cannot be earthed directly. So your telco installs a 'whole house' protector where their wires meet yours. But again, a protector is only as effective as its earth ground that you provide and maintain. Otherwise, neither cable nor phone has surge protection. How many never learned this?

    Anyone recommending without discussing energy dissipation is being cagey or deceitful. Protection is always about the earthing. Always. Neither a power strip nor UPS provide numbers for protection from each type of surge. Don’t just read this. Go view their numbers. Protection is often recommended by hearsay and wild speculation. Even the manufacturer does not claim that protection.

    Only you are responsible for the earthing that is always required for protection. The informed consumer earths a ‘whole house’ protector from more responsible companies. Effective protectors always have that dedicated wire for the all so important ‘less than 10 foot’ connection to earth. $1 per protected appliance. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
     
  14. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
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    So are you saying the cyberpower is no good...? I'm not sure if your explanation only pertains to extreme circumstances...
     
  15. westom macrumors regular

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    Nov 8, 2009
    #16
    A subjective claim - 'no good' - says nothing useful.

    First define what must be solved. Then have numbers that define that solution. Do you want temporary and 'dirty' power during blackouts? The dirtiest power from any UPS is ideal perfect power for all electronics.

    An example of 'dirty'. This 120 volt UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of 270 volts between those square waves. Can be harmful to small motors and power strip protector. But is more than ideal power for all electronics. So it is sufficient. But only when the problem is first defined.

    Power outages (zero volts) do not damage electronics. Surges (well over 300 volts) can cause damage. Which are you protecting from? 300 consecutive surges could pass through that Cyberpower before it even thought about switching to battery.

    International design standards well over 40 years ago have a description (in all capital letters) for all low voltages. "No Damage Region". If you have low voltages, then protect what is actually at risk from low voltages - refrigerator, dishwasher, air conditioner. Protection from electronics discuss other completely different anomalies.

    Cyberpower has one function. To provide temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout. It does not do and does not claim to solve other electrical anomalies. Or did its numeric specs claim solutions to harmonics, ground faults, frequency variations, power factor, noise, or so many other anomalies. What are you trying to solve?

    What is good is also no good. First an anomaly must be defined. No cure for everything exists even though so many who recommend a UPS claim otherwise - subjectively.

    Do you want hardware protection or do you want to eliminate inconvenience during a blackout? Those are two different problems.
     
  16. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #17
    I want to protect against any potential surges that more or less likely to occur during a year...not a very rare lightning strike directly on my house...
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    You're equipment is by far more likely to be damaged by brown-out conditions (low wall voltage) rather than a surge (high wall voltage). You may notice this from time to time, such as the lights dimming without a high current draw appliance kicking in, such as an A/C system.

    This is where a good UPS does help. As per CyberPower, their QC seem spotty from what I've seen, so I'm hesitant to recommend their gear. So I'd stick to APC, TrippLite, or Eaton instead.

    As mentioned, check the surge values (Joules), as many UPS's fall short in this area, and make sure the inverter is Pure Sine Wave. If it's a stepped wave type, it can damage the PSU in your system (stepped inverters usually cause damage to Active Power Factor Controlled PSU's = PSU type in the MP).

    In terms of VA, don't go over 1500VA, as anything larger will likely require an electrician if you live in the US (runs on a standard wall outlet).
     
  18. westom macrumors regular

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    Nov 8, 2009
    #19
    All appliances contain superior protection. Anything that might be installed on the power cord is already done better inside the appliance. How good is that protection? How often daily do you replace dimmer switches and clock radios? Popular myth says those appliances (with even less internal protection) must be replaced hourly; damaged by a refrigerator or vacuum cleaner.

    Destructive surges (from lightning and other equivalent transients) occur about once every seven years. A transient that can overwhelm internal appliance protection must be earthed before it can enter a building. A transient must be earthed because it threatens everything. Even less robust electronics found in newer stoves.

    Two choices exist. Same two choices found in every high reliability facility. Either earth a transient before it enters the building using a solution that costs about $1 per protected appliance. Or that transient is inside hunting for earth destructively via appliances. Nothing will stop or block that hunt.

    The well proven solution that makes all typically destructive surges (including direct lightning strikes) irrelevant costs tens or 100 times less money. And makes irrelevant all other lesser transients.

    Well proven solutions are provide by more responsible companies including Siemens, ABB, General Electric, Keison, Square D, Leviton, and Intermatic. A Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. These well proven solutions (what has been known for over 100 years) also do not have massive profit margins to then pay for advertising. Therefore most have never even heard of it.

    This 100 year solution has been that well proven and is that simple. Every effective solution may or may not have a protector. But every protection layer always has one item. Only item that absorbs energy. Earth ground. Every incoming wire must connect short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. Either by a direct wire connection (cable TV, satellite dish). Or via a 'whole house' protector (AC electric, telephone). Did you know your phone line already has one installed for free? Most do not even know that. If any wire inside any cable enters without earthing, then a surge goes hunting for earth destructively via appliances. A transient created by lightning. Or one created by a stray car hitting a telephone pole. That is the transient that overwhelms protection already inside every appliance.

    Always ask or define where hundreds of thousands of joule dissipate. Any recommendation that does not discuss energy absorption is wasting your time. Protection was always about energy dissipation even 100 years ago. As Franklin demonstrated in 1752. A protector - every protector - is only as effective as its earth ground.

    A best solution also costs tens or 100 times less money. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
     
  19. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Hmm. Running all my cores at max now. Load jumped to 85-90%. Not good.
     
  20. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #21
    Can someone tell me if these two ups's are the same:

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=A4564368&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=0&~ck=baynoteSearch

    http://accessories.dell.com/sna/products/Batteries_Adapters/productdetail.aspx?c=ca&l=en&cs=cadhs1&sku=A4235864&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=0&~ck=baynoteSearch

    I'm in Canada so I can only order the canadian one, second link, the manufacturer part number is identical on both, but the second Canadian link omits Pure Sine Wave in it's title, description, and tech specs, which worries me since this is a big deal apparently...
     
  21. westom macrumors regular

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    #22
    Canada may have stricter requirements on what can be posted subjectively. Just like Wheat Bread in America can be white bread with molasses added. Because it does not say Whole Wheat Bread. A title can say almost anything. Does not matter. Only facts that matter are numbers in the tab labeled Tech Specs.

    This UPS was also called a pure sine wave. A 120 volt UPS outputs 200 volt square waves with a spike of 270 volts between those square waves. That output is also a sum of pure sine waves.

    If pure sine waves as you were asking, then it costs something approaching or exceeding $1000. And it would list a %THD number (or something equivalent). If it really was 'pure', their specs would be bragging about its 'purity'. At $160, it will never have 'purity' that good.

    View only Tech Specs numbers to answer your question.
     
  22. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #23
    Just go to CP's web site for a full description.

    I've been running the larger 1500W version for almost a month now on my Hex. Works fabulous on battery power. NO SW needed........ just plug in the USB cable and set the shutdown time/settings in the System Preferences. Tastes great and less filling. NOT a peep from the MP power supply when running on battery power. i.e. The MP likes the AC from this CP.

    I had been running an older CP UPS for over 5 years and it has always worked perfecto for surges/brownouts/outages.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  23. musicguy7 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2011
    #24
    Ok, well I'm gonna assume if the manufacturer number is identical, than they are both the same units...
     
  24. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #25

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