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what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: clay
Date: October 30, 2008 03:30PM
I have a 8-core 2.8 2008 Mac Pro. 4 internal drives and 12GB RAM. This would be the only device plugged into the UPS.

I'm looking for a UPS that will provide protection against surges and brownouts. Just had one this afternoon, and the existing UPS couldn't even keep the computer on when the power dipped for a couple of seconds. The existing UPS was bought before I started at the company and was intended for use with a different (older) computer, so I realize it's not up to snuff.

I don't need to keep this thing running during power outages--I just want to offer a minimum amount of protection (i.e. constant power) when power blinks or whatnot.

I don't need to have anything else hooked up to the UPS. What type of UPS would be adequate for my needs?

Thanks
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: papercup
Date: October 30, 2008 03:33PM
At least a 650VA would be my guess. Bigger if you can.


Go to the APC site, they have a configurator widget, I think.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: October 30, 2008 03:33PM
I bought this for my MacPro and various peripherals...

[www.amazon.com]




__________________________________
There’s a guy wearing overalls with no shirt.
Which I think we all know is the International uniform for the last guy you’ll ever see.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: clay
Date: October 30, 2008 03:35PM
Thanks, papercup. I tried the APC widget, but it gave me a $70 option, and then a couple options above $1k. That was a little suspect, so I decided to ask here.

Quote
papercup
At least a 650VA would be my guess. Bigger if you can.


Go to the APC site, they have a configurator widget, I think.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 30, 2008 03:42PM
650VA strikes me as waaaay too small. i'd go for at least 1500VA. you have a lot of computer and getting a ups thats too small isn't going to do anything for you.

[www.amazon.com]

The price on that is reasonable AND you can buy an external pack for it which add 2/3s more running time. i waited for a deal for one to pop upon ebay and snagged it for about $60.

Also, the batteries on this ups and the external pack can be easily replaced.



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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: Doc
Date: October 30, 2008 03:47PM
The rule of thumb is to take the maximum wattage of all of the devices connected to the UPS and double that number to get the minimum VA.

Your MacPro probably has a 250w power supply. An LCD monitor might have a 130w power supply. If that's all you're connecting to it then go for an 800VA-rated UPS.

For your purposes, don't forget to find a UPS with active power-conditioning.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: October 30, 2008 04:00PM
Quote
Doc
Your MacPro probably has a 250w power supply.

MacTracker says its 980w.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/30/2008 04:03PM by mattkime.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: October 30, 2008 04:20PM
clay;

Definitely check the specs on the existing one..
If it's never had a battery replacement, and it's an otherwise good model, it would be far cheaper (assuming it's rated for enough ooomph in the first place) to replace the batteries than to buy a new one!



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: AllGold
Date: October 30, 2008 04:30PM
Your Mac Pro probably pulls about 400 watts when working hard and at least 200 when idle.

650VA won't cover it. You would need 800VA at minimum. 1000, 1200 or 1500 would be better.



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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: October 30, 2008 04:32PM
The CyberPower unit linked above at Amazon is certainly a good deal for a 1500VA UPS. I usually get my UPSes at

[www.refurbups.com]

and even their refurb APC units don't match that price.

Note that eventually UPS batteries fail, and you have to replace them (the battery[ies]). Interestingly, I don't see CyberPower batteries listed at RefurbUPS, though they stock most other UPS brands. Is it a new brand? Or are the batteries unique or not replaceable?

There may be a reason for the low price.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: papercup
Date: October 30, 2008 04:45PM
Quote
AllGold
Your Mac Pro probably pulls about 400 watts when working hard and at least 200 when idle.

650VA won't cover it. You would need 800VA at minimum. 1000, 1200 or 1500 would be better.

It will cover it, I have that approx. setup. With a new battery and a 23" LCD I get 11 minutes runtime.

Any other peripherals will prolly overload it. Go bigger if you can, but buy an APC brand.

Another thing to consider is the replacement cost of the battery. The larger APC's take either 1 or 2 (or more) of a standard home security battery. Some generics and smaller units are disposable because of the high cost or lack of battery replacements.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: October 30, 2008 04:57PM
Sounds like a good unit from this buyers review:
Quote

A worthwhile alternative to APC to consider:, October 26, 2008
By Mac Tech "Alan" (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
I work as a network technician and have used APC equipment for many years. Their high-end units have always done well for us. For many years, I also used their Smart-UPS brand for my home network needs. As they've become old and had problems, it became more economical to replace them, instead of fixing them, especially, since for my desktops, the industry was moving to USB for signaling, and away from serial ports. My rack still has older 1400 VA SU units using SNMP management cards, but I needed a new desktop solution.

For the past three years, I stuck to APC's consumer products and have been very disappointed. They have more problems than the older units I've grown to love, and because they change models so often, it's harder to find a battery replacement. Plus, they just have a sort of cheapness about them.

With my latest computer purchase, a dual quad Mac Pro, my older 800VA APC just couldn't handle it. So, I decided to try this Cyberpower 1500 and have been very pleased with it, using it for about 2 months so far. The signaling and reported time is more reliable than the APC I was using. Although it should be said, any consumer UPS will not guarantee exact runtimes, load measurements, etc. - For what you are paying for this amount of capacity, some sacrifice must be realized. If you do your calculations correctly, and use it as needed (surges, brown-outs and limited black-outs), these units will fulfill your needs. If you need super accurate measurements and reliable AC power generation, then you should consider a high end unit, such as what APC offers for data centers.

The load reading for this unit, when measured with a Kill-A-Watt is pretty accurate. I like the soft blue lighting with auto-off. I connect my two, 24" LCDs to the APC 800VA unit, and the Cyberpower handles the Mac Pro with three, external FireWire drives with no problems. Testing it, by turning off the circuit breaker (shouldn't pull the cord from the wall), reports about 20 minutes of runtime, which seems about right. I've left it on battery power for about 10 minutes, and the readings remained fairly constant. I live out in the country at the end of our power grid, so I get a lot of "dirty" power. Brown-outs are common, and my larger UPS units have the ability to generate statistical logs each day of the power fluctuation. I feel pretty safe with this unit, and wouldn't hesitate to purchase another one.

Lastly, the software both Cyberpower and APC provides for the Mac OS, is really bad! I prefer to just use the Mac's SysPrefs to configure the UPS settings and leave it at that. Both companies desperately need a re-write of their OS X software.



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: Harbourmaster
Date: October 30, 2008 05:01PM
Our power went out twice Monday morning, the older APC unit that my Mac is connected to did not keep the computer on. Not only that it didn't even sound the alarm that the power had failed!

I switched it out for another unit and left it plugged in to the wall with a digital clock plugged into it just to see what was going on.

This morning the alarm started beeping like crazy (even thought the power was on) and when I went to check on it the "Replace Battery" light is lit! Huh lotta good that circuitry did....



Aloha, Ken


“I have developed significant attachments to several members even though I wouldn't recognize them if I sat next to one on a park bench. I'm often tempted when in an airport to walk around, hollering "The Løpe", to see if anyone other than the Homeland Security people will acknowledge me. ” - The Løpe
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: Doc
Date: October 30, 2008 05:06PM
Quote
mattkime
Quote
Doc
Your MacPro probably has a 250w power supply.

MacTracker says its 980w.

Continuous power vs peak power ratings. Apples and oranges.

[en.wikipedia.org]
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: clay
Date: October 30, 2008 05:28PM
the battery was replaced last summer (2007), so I don't think it's an issue of battery age.

I think it's simply a matter of capacity, and something bigger is needed.

I'll take a look at the apc and cyberpower models that fall within the recommended range, and then make a decision.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: October 30, 2008 06:27PM
Quote
Harbourmaster
Sounds like a good unit from this buyers review:
Quote

A worthwhile alternative to APC to consider:, October 26, 2008
By Mac Tech "Alan" (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
I work as a network technician and have used APC equipment for many years. Their high-end units have always done well for us. For many years, I also used their Smart-UPS brand for my home network needs. As they've become old and had problems, it became more economical to replace them, instead of fixing them, especially, since for my desktops, the industry was moving to USB for signaling, and away from serial ports. My rack still has older 1400 VA SU units using SNMP management cards, but I needed a new desktop solution.

For the past three years, I stuck to APC's consumer products and have been very disappointed. They have more problems than the older units I've grown to love, and because they change models so often, it's harder to find a battery replacement. Plus, they just have a sort of cheapness about them.

With my latest computer purchase, a dual quad Mac Pro, my older 800VA APC just couldn't handle it. So, I decided to try this Cyberpower 1500 and have been very pleased with it, using it for about 2 months so far. The signaling and reported time is more reliable than the APC I was using. Although it should be said, any consumer UPS will not guarantee exact runtimes, load measurements, etc. - For what you are paying for this amount of capacity, some sacrifice must be realized. If you do your calculations correctly, and use it as needed (surges, brown-outs and limited black-outs), these units will fulfill your needs. If you need super accurate measurements and reliable AC power generation, then you should consider a high end unit, such as what APC offers for data centers.

The load reading for this unit, when measured with a Kill-A-Watt is pretty accurate. I like the soft blue lighting with auto-off. I connect my two, 24" LCDs to the APC 800VA unit, and the Cyberpower handles the Mac Pro with three, external FireWire drives with no problems. Testing it, by turning off the circuit breaker (shouldn't pull the cord from the wall), reports about 20 minutes of runtime, which seems about right. I've left it on battery power for about 10 minutes, and the readings remained fairly constant. I live out in the country at the end of our power grid, so I get a lot of "dirty" power. Brown-outs are common, and my larger UPS units have the ability to generate statistical logs each day of the power fluctuation. I feel pretty safe with this unit, and wouldn't hesitate to purchase another one.

Lastly, the software both Cyberpower and APC provides for the Mac OS, is really bad! I prefer to just use the Mac's SysPrefs to configure the UPS settings and leave it at that. Both companies desperately need a re-write of their OS X software.

Joke's on him -- if what I've heard about them is correct, CyberPower is an APC-owned company that sells older APC technology.

EDIT: Or maybe that's what makes it better!



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/30/2008 06:29PM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: October 30, 2008 08:26PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
Harbourmaster
Sounds like a good unit from this buyers review:
Quote

A worthwhile alternative to APC to consider:, October 26, 2008
By Mac Tech "Alan" (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
I work as a network technician and have used APC equipment for many years. Their high-end units have always done well for us. For many years, I also used their Smart-UPS brand for my home network needs. As they've become old and had problems, it became more economical to replace them, instead of fixing them, especially, since for my desktops, the industry was moving to USB for signaling, and away from serial ports. My rack still has older 1400 VA SU units using SNMP management cards, but I needed a new desktop solution.

For the past three years, I stuck to APC's consumer products and have been very disappointed. They have more problems than the older units I've grown to love, and because they change models so often, it's harder to find a battery replacement. Plus, they just have a sort of cheapness about them.

With my latest computer purchase, a dual quad Mac Pro, my older 800VA APC just couldn't handle it. So, I decided to try this Cyberpower 1500 and have been very pleased with it, using it for about 2 months so far. The signaling and reported time is more reliable than the APC I was using. Although it should be said, any consumer UPS will not guarantee exact runtimes, load measurements, etc. - For what you are paying for this amount of capacity, some sacrifice must be realized. If you do your calculations correctly, and use it as needed (surges, brown-outs and limited black-outs), these units will fulfill your needs. If you need super accurate measurements and reliable AC power generation, then you should consider a high end unit, such as what APC offers for data centers.

The load reading for this unit, when measured with a Kill-A-Watt is pretty accurate. I like the soft blue lighting with auto-off. I connect my two, 24" LCDs to the APC 800VA unit, and the Cyberpower handles the Mac Pro with three, external FireWire drives with no problems. Testing it, by turning off the circuit breaker (shouldn't pull the cord from the wall), reports about 20 minutes of runtime, which seems about right. I've left it on battery power for about 10 minutes, and the readings remained fairly constant. I live out in the country at the end of our power grid, so I get a lot of "dirty" power. Brown-outs are common, and my larger UPS units have the ability to generate statistical logs each day of the power fluctuation. I feel pretty safe with this unit, and wouldn't hesitate to purchase another one.

Lastly, the software both Cyberpower and APC provides for the Mac OS, is really bad! I prefer to just use the Mac's SysPrefs to configure the UPS settings and leave it at that. Both companies desperately need a re-write of their OS X software.

Joke's on him -- if what I've heard about them is correct, CyberPower is an APC-owned company that sells older APC technology.

EDIT: Or maybe that's what makes it better!

Incorrect, the APC owned company is Conext, [www.conextproducts.com], and is down to selling just two models, 750 VA and 950 VA units. CyberPower is independent of APC.

P.S. You may want to do more than double the watts used to calculate the VA to buy. Typically, the watt rating of an UPS for electronics use is rated at about 60-65% of the VA rating. So a 1000 VA UPS can handle about 650 W. Generally consumer level UPS's have little peak capacity above that figure. The Mac Pro may have a PS rated at up to 980 W maximum, you would have to hook up to a meter to see waht your actual maximum draw was with all disks, etc. active.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/30/2008 08:35PM by JoeH.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: tortoise
Date: October 31, 2008 01:45AM
I am running a MacPro along with RAID enclosure containing 8 1TB HD, and several other odds and ends into a 1000VA APC unit. May move up to 1500VA next battery replacement just for extra capacity. Would not consider any brand but APC, as I work in the field as independent tech and see all the cheap crap people try to save money on. Bottom line UPS is the main products from APS, only a sideline for other companies.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: October 31, 2008 07:18AM
Hi everyone,

JoeH is absolutely correct. APC Owns Conext. I still remember buying a Conext 900 va model and being pleasantly surprised to see the UPS inside was in fact made by APC. It just used one of their older designs. No complaints! that machine served my household well for many years.

Robert
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: billb
Date: October 31, 2008 07:33AM
Many of those older Conexts also had wider operating parameters.
The AVR models were often +/- 10Hz rather than the more common +/-3 Hz.


I'd vote for 800VA AVR minimum model.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: November 04, 2008 03:02AM
Quote
JoeH
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Joke's on him -- if what I've heard about them is correct, CyberPower is an APC-owned company that sells older APC technology.

EDIT: Or maybe that's what makes it better!

Incorrect, the APC owned company is Conext, [www.conextproducts.com], and is down to selling just two models, 750 VA and 950 VA units. CyberPower is independent of APC.

Yes, that's it. I wasn't sure I was remembering that correctly, hence the qualifier.



It is what it is.
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Re: what size UPS for my mac pro?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: November 04, 2008 03:14AM
Quote
tortoise
I am running a MacPro along with RAID enclosure containing 8 1TB HD, and several other odds and ends into a 1000VA APC unit. May move up to 1500VA next battery replacement just for extra capacity. Would not consider any brand but APC, as I work in the field as independent tech and see all the cheap crap people try to save money on. Bottom line UPS is the main products from APS, only a sideline for other companies.

Tripp Lite makes a quality product. The company I work for has installed hundreds of their UPSes into LAUSD schools over the last six years with no major reliability issues. I have two of their 1000VA units at home (one for my 24" iMac w/attached peripherals, one for my home theater components), both of which work perfectly. These were purchased at Costco for $90 each.

Before getting the first Tripp Lite, I had my old G5 dualie tower attached to a 500VA APC unit. Don't remember the details of what caused it, but there were certain times when the video card kicking in would cause the alarm on the APC to go off. Not the fault of the APC (it was undersized for the G5 - originally got it for a G4); just a great story that illustrates how much of a power hog the G5 tower was/is.



It is what it is.
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