Yet Another UPS Thread

Discussion in 'iMac' started by jacek83, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. jacek83 macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I've been reading MR for years and it's time for my first post :)
    Here it goes.

    I just spent an entire day collecting information about UPS products (I've also read almost everything on topic that was written on MacRumors, but most of the threads were about Mac Pro, not iMacs) - I would have never guessed that it's THAT MUCH complicated.

    Anyway - I'm looking for an UPS to power an iMac (specs in sig) + two external hard drives + cable modem and router.

    Here's what I know:
    1. pure sine wave output is a must
    2. UPS should have USB connectivity, so the iMac can power down automatically when batteries are running out of juice
    3. APC products seem a safe bet (Smart UPS line has pure sine wave, so it's the only one that I'm considering)
    4. iMac 27'' power consumption is - at maximum load - 365W according to Apple; two external hard drives shouldn't consume more than 50-60W at peak, modem - 15 W, router - 5W. So we're looking at 450W power consumption MAX.

    And here are my questions:
    1. I'm contemplating APC Smart-UPS 1000 VA or APC Smart-UPS 1500 VA - according to APC online selector, the 1000 VA model should power the 450W setup for around 12 mins - that sure seems enough, but what will happen when the batteries in UPS get older? I've read that they loose around 1/3 of the capacity a year, so will the 1000 VA be usable after two years? Which model would you choose?
    2. I have a choice between SUA1000/1500 and SMT1000/1500 models - I understand that SMT is an newer model, but I've also heard that the only difference is LCD display, and SMT were more noisy. Is that true?
    3. Generally, my biggest concern is noise - do any of you have a Smart UPS 1000/1500? How bad is it?

    Thanks a lot!

    [edit: I see my signature is gone... so, my iMac spec is: iMac 27'' Core i7 2.93, 12 gb ram]
  2. chris98vf macrumors regular


    Mar 3, 2010
    I've had an APC for about 3 years now since a drunk driver hit a pole and fried my house. I've had no issues with it at all and the batteries still hold a full charge.
    Lucky for me the only thing not plugged into a strip was a 27" JVC from 1987. Their insurance got me all new strips and a Samsung 32" LCD. Who says drunk drivers are bad :D
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    I've been a APC customer for awhile myself and very pleased with their products. One thing to note is DO NOT load their software, once you connect the UPS via USB to your iMac OS X will recognize it and allow you to customize the Energy Saver preferences. Mine has been dead silent, I don't believe noise should be a consideration.

  4. jacek83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2011
  5. Icaras, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2011

    Icaras macrumors 603


    Mar 18, 2008
    California, United States
    Hi, welcome TO MR!

    Since you've already scoured the forums for UPS threads, you may have already come across my own thead here:

    I have a core i5 iMac model with 12GB of RAM also, and I use the new CyberPower CP850PFCLCD model which uses a new technology called "adaptive sinewave" that works for PFC based PSUs that prefer pure sinewaves, but is not in fact truly pure. But if budget is a concern, this a great affordable solution. I've been using my UPS for about half a year now and here's what I can tell you from my experience so far...

    Pure Sinewave just does not seem to be a must. I have gone back and forth between this whole pure sinewave and approximated sinewave thing more times than I can remember, reading countless threads arguing about this, but to tell you the truth, I have not yet seen documented evidence or reported articles that approximated sine wave UPS systems have a reputation of utterly destroying machines. If you can find evidence that a non-sinewave will kill your system, then I'd love to see that, but so far I haven't. Again, just basing this entirely off my experience.

    Also, take the "maximum load" from Apple's site lightly. Granted you have the i7 over my i5, but I also have 8 USB devices connected, two firewire devices, cable modem, and my Time Capsule all being backed up, and I average only around 150 watts. When I'm doing some intensive gaming or working in Logic Studio, I will go above 200 watts but I've never hit 300 watts. The iMac is extraordinarly energy efficient. However, the best way to prepare yourself is to get a kill-a-watt and measure your system wattage first.

    And if you want to talk noise, the SMT1500 had serious issues with noise when it first came out. If you google this, you'll see plenty of discussion about this. Thankfully though, APC has since then, issued a firmware, so I hear that it runs silent now. However, running on battery, the CP units are incredibly quiet and I'm pretty sure that a smaller non-sinewave unit will just simply run cooler and quieter than a hulking smartUPS unit. The PFC CP units also seem to be among the coolest, quietest, and smallest UPS systems in their class.

    I really couldn't be happier. Best of all, I saved $400 going this route than going with a smartUPS (not counting refurbs, which I know can be had for much more competitive pricing). Excellent user reviews as well.

    Anyway, just wanted to throw another option out there for you :)
  6. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA

    For my needs the ES 750 did the job.
  7. Bubbalicious macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2010

    You're good to go with either the SUA1000 or the SUA1500. Both will work great for your configuration. The SUA1500 will give you more run time, but otherwise the protection will be the same.

    The SUA1000 and the SUA1500 are quieter than the SMT1000/SMT1500 due to the fan settings on the new units. If you don't need the hype of the LCD screen and new front cover, go with a refurb SUA1000 or SUA1500 and save yourself the money buying the latest and greatest.

    If you're getting a refub unit, make sure to get one with new batteries and a one year replacement warranty. They are solid machines, with new batteries they can last forever.

    Batteries in UPSs last 3-5 years, if you're buying from a crappy vendor they'll die on your in 1 year because they use cheap batteries. We have UPSs that are on their 6th year and we still haven't replaced the batteries and we do run time testing every 6 months, they're still good.

    If you buy brand new, buy the SMT1000 or SMT1500. The reason for this is simple, the SUA's have been discontinued, whoever has them in stock "new" is actually selling you old product new in box. So, buy buying old "new" product you'll be getting a battery that's almost dead, and you'll have the problem of needing new batteries for a new UPS. If that's the route you want to go, save yourself the headaches and buy refurbished.
  8. jacek83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2011
    Thanks a lot for the answers!

    Icaras: I've seen that thread, but didn't really consider CyberPower. I don't know anything about CP, and I had some limited experience with APC, so I think I'll prefer to be on the safe side here... In my country (Poland) Apple hardware is INSANELY expensive, so I think I'll buy APC with pure sinewave even though it's more expensive, just for the additional peace of mind.
    As for pure sine vs approximated - I haven't seen any hard data on it (and no mentions of actual damage from approximated sine), but I've seen opinions that anything with approximated sine may cause buzzing or other noise from the equipment, and again - I want to play it safe.
    Thanks VERY MUCH for the power consumption info - now I see that 1500 VA would be total overkill for me.

    Bubbalicious: thanks for the input. Unfortunately, I don't know any reseller in Poland (that I can trust) who offers refurbished UPS units, so I have to buy new. I'll probably take SUA1000i - that's the international model that is still in production, because SMT didn't replace SUA on all the markets.
  9. jacek83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2011
    Ok, a quick update, as my UPS arrived today - maybe someone will find the information valuable.

    I went with SMT1000 and it was a good choice - it's dead silent (so it seems that APC fixed the problem with fan running all the time), and my current load with iMac 27'' + two external hard drives + modem + router is below 25%, so there's a lot of room for expansion. Anyway, Icaras, you were right - current iMacs are extremely energy efficient.

    So, thanks again for your help guys!

Share This Page