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Thread: Looking for a UPS...

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Default Looking for a UPS...

    Hello,

    I'm looking for a UPS, as I suspect some issues with my electricity supply (it may be connected to renovation works in the building, but it may also be connected to the dimming of led lights - which as an electrical engineer told me - are a source of harmonics). The symptom I have is that my Asus mainboard sometimes triggers its surge-detection, but the PSU is fine.

    But now ... Should I get one that gives a pure sinewave? My PSU is an EnerMax Modu+, which has active PFC. And I've learned that those PSUs don't play well with simulated sinewaves... Any experiences with this?

    There are some UPSs that output pure sinewaves (APC Smart, CyberPower, ...) but they are of course more expensive. In addition, I would like to find a PSU that is silent (no fan noise or so) under normal operation (I don't care how much noise it makes when there is a power failure). Any suggestions/experiences?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by VJ; 16th July 2019 at 06:46.
    pixar
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    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    That, a UPS, is one of the things I should arrange for my Server. I asked around a couple of years back at the forums of Covecube/Stablebit and got some pointers but I'd have to look, don;t remember. Anyway, once you get a good one, let me know

    Silent PSU? I got me a few BeQuiet PSUs. Not fanless, but as far as I can tell basically inaudible.
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    I was researching UPSes and APC tend to have some quieter ones. Consider getting one with schuko. Also a cost effective way is to buy used UPS and get new batteries for it.

    My ESX has no ups and has now an uptime of 272 days.

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umfriend View Post
    Silent PSU? I got me a few BeQuiet PSUs. Not fanless, but as far as I can tell basically inaudible.
    I meant to write UPS, not PSU...

    Quote Originally Posted by UtwigMU View Post
    I was researching UPSes and APC tend to have some quieter ones. Consider getting one with schuko. Also a cost effective way is to buy used UPS and get new batteries for it.
    Problem is that with APC you have to go to the more expensive range to get a sine-wave output: the Back-UPS Pro range has a stepped approximation. You have to go to the SmartUPS range to get a sine-wave output from a line-interactive ups... But from what I found, the newer models also tend to have a noisy fan (the ones that have 4 buttons below the display are said to be silent, the ones that have 2 buttons below the display have the fan).

    CyberPower seems to offer many models that have sine-wave output, but reviews are all over the place... Some people claim they are silent, others not and apparently it may depend on the load put on the ups... So difficult to get a good answer on the noise level...
    pixar
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    Super MURCer UtwigMU's Avatar
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    I would consider getting a more robust oversized PSU with bigger caps first as silent UPSes are rarer. I was also researching UPSes for my NAS last year but then forgot and came to same conclusion - older APCs are quieter than newer ones and to get silent newer, it's in the 400-500€ ballpark.

    I have some maranello or somesuch UPS with dead batteries, if you want I can send it to you for free (should be about 15€ to ship)

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    I had an MGE Pulsar with dead batteries, but we threw it out... But that one was loud... all the time...

    CyberPower seems to have some silent ones, but reviews are all over the place. The main issue is that it has to provide a pure sinewave: the psu in my computer is very finnicky about what comes in. APC only has this for the higher models... But there are not many brands in general: APC, Eaton, PowerWalker and CyberPower... then some cheap brands that do not offer pure sinewave output.
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    I'm thinking of going with this one:
    https://powerwalker.com/?page=produc...120027&lang=en

    I like the form factor (would be ideal for me to position this size). At max noise of 45 db, it is loud, but the fan logic as described on the technical details imply that the fan will not most of the time. If I over-capacitate it a bit, I should have no problem staying below 80% of the load capacity. Pre-sales support nicely answered my questions, and say that these models are silent when the fan is off. By contrast, they wrote that models of the VI R1U (e.g. https://powerwalker.com/?page=produc...121047&lang=en ) are fanless, but esp. the 500VA and 750VA models can have a cirping noise due to the capcitors. I am considering a 500VA model of this range for a different purpose where this would not be an issue... Still wondering if the VI 1500 R1U might not be a better choice for the first purpose: they wrote that the cirping noise is in the 500 and 750 models, but the higher models have the same architecture should it could occur also - however it is a deeper model which is more difficult to postition.

    Also considering a CyberPower model that according to many reviews is silent, but the official specs say nothing. Tech support did confirm that the fan is off when on normal operation.

    Any thoughts?
    pixar
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    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    Am I reading this right? It'll power for 4 mins at 900W? That seems ample of time for an orderly shutdown.
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    I don't care too much about the time, but I do have to take into account the maximum load I can put on the UPS. This model has a maximum load of 900 W, but if you want the fan to switch off, you should not go above 80% of that; so let us say it is a silent UPS for loads up to 700 W. My PC has a 650 W PSU, with several disks and a GTX1070. So I may get away with a lower model - I doubt my PC in this configuration would pull 650 W - but this model is the lowest one of the range. There are more "consumer-style" models, e.g. https://powerwalker.com/?page=produc...121124&lang=en, but noise-wise they are similar in behaviour (tech support confirmed that they are not fan-less,it is an error on the specsheet, and their fan-logic is similar).

    Cyberpower has these: https://www.cyberpower.com/eu/en/pro...s/pfc_sinewave and https://www.cyberpower.com/eu/en/pro...essional_tower . The reviews for the former are all over the place but according to tech support the max noise level is 35 db, the latter has max noise level of 55 db. They should all be silent in normal operation (and some reviews praise that) though... So it made me doubt again (I just got the reply with the noise levels).

    The Cyberpower model is a bit cheaper and more silent worst case (in addition, the Powerwalker is a rackmount, where noise is not the biggest concern). It is also smaller so would fit better...
    Last edited by VJ; 7th August 2019 at 01:30.
    pixar
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    More and more thinking about those passive Powerwalker models... I am thinking of getting the 500VA model to protect switch and other light stuff (it is quite a cheap ups), and see what type of noise it makes. If it is ok, I could go with a 1500VA model for the computer. Positioning is a bit more difficult (43 cm wide, 48 cm deep), but even though it does not come with a stand, it can be used in a sideways position.
    At least with a fanless one, I'm sure not to have fan-noise.

    The cyberpower models get ok reviews, but some people complain of smells and bad support.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer Evildead666's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VJ View Post
    More and more thinking about those passive Powerwalker models... I am thinking of getting the 500VA model to protect switch and other light stuff (it is quite a cheap ups), and see what type of noise it makes. If it is ok, I could go with a 1500VA model for the computer. Positioning is a bit more difficult (43 cm wide, 48 cm deep), but even though it does not come with a stand, it can be used in a sideways position.
    At least with a fanless one, I'm sure not to have fan-noise.

    The cyberpower models get ok reviews, but some people complain of smells and bad support.
    I have 5 or more UPS's.

    Some old MGE 650/850VA ones, fanless and with fans.
    I have a small, recent, 800VA fanless FSP which i use for my Pi's and 8 port GigE switch.
    I have a 1500VA Eaton one for my Games PC.

    Basically, 2/3 the VA is what the max wattage should be for about ~15 minutes of UPS time (depends on the load).
    My 1500VA UPS is on a PC with a 850W PSU, and its not pulling that at max usage (Maybe 500-550W at Max for the whole PC).

    I have an 850VA just for my Internet router. It has a fan that comes on every 1:30mins, for 30s, no matter what.
    It was in the garage because of the noise, so the router thats down there got it all to itself.
    It'll hold 3-4 hours or more when the power cuts out.

    I also have another 850VA one for the Satellite boxes (2) and the Internet TVBox under the TV.
    Need to change the fan for a noctua or something. its heat activated, but noisy-ish when on.

    Eaton bought MGE iirc, so my 1500VA is an Eaton.
    I preferred the MGE ones over the APC ones.

    Now i get Eaton.
    Its like your PSU, don't ever gimp on it.
    You're relying on it.

    If your PC has a 600W PSU, i'd go for 850VA at least.
    the more VA over that, the more time in case of power cut. thats it.
    I think they count 15mins. So 850VA would be 10-15mins+ on 600W (Much probably less actual power draw IRL), and 25-30mins+ on 1500VA.

    I live in the sticks a bit, and they like to play with the power in short bursts sometimes.
    Sometimes it the weather and the trees hitting the lines somewhere
    Better than losing a whole load of PC's and Sat boxes and stuff.

    All fanless
    Eaton Ellipse ECO 1200 USB / 750W 180€ including 20% tax here.
    Eaton Ellipse ECO 1600 USB / 1000W 260€
    Eaton Ellipse ECO 650 USB / 400W 90€

    FSP Nano 800 / ~500W / 80€ -15mins autonomy advertised.

    I'd go with a known brand name.
    PC-1 Fractal Design Arc Mini R2, 3800X, Asus B450M-PRO mATX, 2x8GB B-die@3800C16, AMD Vega64, Seasonic 850W Gold, Black Ice Nemesis/Laing DDC/EKWB 240 Loop (VRM>CPU>GPU), Noctua Fans.
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    +++ : FSP Nano 800VA (Pi's+switch) + 1600VA (PC-1+Nas)

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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evildead666 View Post
    All fanless
    Eaton Ellipse ECO 1200 USB / 750W 180€ including 20% tax here.
    Eaton Ellipse ECO 1600 USB / 1000W 260€
    Eaton Ellipse ECO 650 USB / 400W 90€

    FSP Nano 800 / ~500W / 80€ -15mins autonomy advertised.

    I'd go with a known brand name.
    I was looking at Eaton, but the ECO range does not output a pure sinewave and may have issues with an active PFC PSU... The Eaton Ellipse Pro range should be fine, but many reviews claim they are noisy (others claim they are silent). FSP Nano also does not output a pure sine wave. The main reason for me to get a UPS is because the PSU is quite finnicky on the incoming power (mainboard protection kicks in). But then if power is that bad, I would also want to protect other devices (modem, switch, ...). Power may be bad due to the outside source, due to the fact that there are ongoing renovations in the building or due to dimming led lights, but I feel I need to do something about it.

    Perhaps for the switch it does not have to be apfc compatible, but I prefer to play it safe. The need for this active PFC compatible limits the choice a lot, which is why it came down to : APC BackUPS Pro (but new models seem to have a fan that is on frequently), Powerwalker/Bluewalker and CyberPower. The latter two are not such typical brands, but they seem quite popular (it is not like e.g. Gembird or so) and esp. Powerwalker support is very helpful. They are also the only ones that have a full passive UPS that outputs a pure sine wave. All ups's I'm looking at should switch off the fan for normal operation (not on battery, not charging, not using AVR) though...
    pixar
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    Super MURCer Evildead666's Avatar
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    Frankly I have never had any problems with any of my equipment plugged into any of my UPS's.
    Some pretty crappy power bricks have had a very long life on them.

    Light dimmers and stuff do add a lot of noise into the power grid.
    Neighbours can give you grief as well, if you are on a connected power ring, like an apartment building.

    Get one, try it out. If you don't like it, stick all the switches and stuff on it.

    That dimmer is going to hurt the quality of your current more than an unclean sine wave from the UPS.
    At least its stable.

    If your power supply is finnicky, it might be that that is a problem, have you thought of that ?
    If my power supply was unstable, i'd try another to make sure it wasn't the problem.
    PSU goes, it could take everything else with it.
    PC-1 Fractal Design Arc Mini R2, 3800X, Asus B450M-PRO mATX, 2x8GB B-die@3800C16, AMD Vega64, Seasonic 850W Gold, Black Ice Nemesis/Laing DDC/EKWB 240 Loop (VRM>CPU>GPU), Noctua Fans.
    Nas : i3/itx/2x4GB/8x4TB BTRFS/Raid6 (7 + Hotspare) Xpenology
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    Moderator VJ's Avatar
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    Well, there are many articles on the issues with an active PFC power supply and normal UPS, a quick google:
    https://www.dougv.com/2010/03/active...t-low-end-ups/
    https://www.apc.com/us/en/faqs/FA158939/
    https://forums.anandtech.com/threads...upply.2442922/
    The PSU as far as I can tell is fine, however it is an Enermax Modu88+ (something like that) which has active PFC. The problem may be that the mainboard voltage protection is too sensitive as well (Asus Z97A). I can switch off that protection in bios, but prefer not to. Now, sometimes when I start the computer it tells me that the protection kicked in and that I have to enter bios. Only on one occasion it caused the computer to switch off. The issues started appearing this year, coincidental with renovation works in the apartment building (they are changing the electrical wiring throughout, switching all apartments to three phase power - and they are using big powertools). Our own cabling is fine and new, but we are dependent on the incoming power supplied by the building, so I am fairly certain it is that. I could just ignore it and hope that it will finish when renovations will finish (should be November), but more renovations are scheduled so I want to protect the equipment.

    Problem with the idea of just getting one and using it for the switch if I don't like it is actually that the one for the switch does not have to be very big or so; getting one that is suitable for the PC would be much too big for the switch (practical issue of putting it). So I'm thinking of going the other way: getting one for the switches (e.g. the Powerwalker vi500r1u) and if I like it then go for the vi1500r1u for the computer.
    pixar
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    Super MURCer Evildead666's Avatar
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    OK, I see the problem.

    Not had this ever. Haven't really had any big cuts, well I have had a couple of biggies, but can't remember if that PC stayed on.
    My Nas stayed on for sure.

    Probably time to go around and check
    PC-1 Fractal Design Arc Mini R2, 3800X, Asus B450M-PRO mATX, 2x8GB B-die@3800C16, AMD Vega64, Seasonic 850W Gold, Black Ice Nemesis/Laing DDC/EKWB 240 Loop (VRM>CPU>GPU), Noctua Fans.
    Nas : i3/itx/2x4GB/8x4TB BTRFS/Raid6 (7 + Hotspare) Xpenology
    +++ : FSP Nano 800VA (Pi's+switch) + 1600VA (PC-1+Nas)

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