UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

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Antonio Chagin
Antonio Chagin Regular Member • Posts: 132
UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

Hi all, I used to have a 2009 Mac Pro tower in South America where electricity is very unstable and it required to be plugged into a UPS unit in order to turn on. After a while, I had battery problems and so on.

Now living in Florida I have an iMac i9 2020 plugged directly into the outlet and having problems with electricity from time to time, last night I was converting some 50 files in Camera Raw, after some 30 minutes of work I lost all my conversions as the computer restarted due to electrical flaws.

Now I'm looking into buying a modern UPS unit, go into Amazon and the reviews are terrible, so wondering if you guys have any advice on the matter.

JRP64
JRP64 Senior Member • Posts: 1,089
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

I'm not a big fan of APC...well let me explain better. I bought in the past two higher models that overtime (not too much time) either stopped working or starting flaking out on me. I bought the APC UPS, 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector which is their low end model. It's simple and so far it's doing the job. This is a third time for me and if this UPS doesn't workout for me then I be looking for a different brand.

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Antonio Chagin
OP Antonio Chagin Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

JRP64 wrote:

I'm not a big fan of APC...well let me explain better. I bought in the past two higher models that overtime (not too much time) either stopped working or starting flaking out on me. I bought the APC UPS, 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector which is their low end model. It's simple and so far it's doing the job. This is a third time for me and if this UPS doesn't workout for me then I be looking for a different brand.

Yes, this is what the reviews talk about, they stop working after a while. The solution, probably, is to expend a lot of money on a high-end unit but is not something I'm willing to do.

Thanks for your opinion.

D Saul
D Saul Regular Member • Posts: 387
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

I have the opposite experience with APC, having multiple units of theirs over many, many years. Currently, my 2010 Mac Pro is connected to the Pro 1500 S model and has performed flawlessly for 6 years. One older unit's battery died sooner than I expected, so I contacted APC and they sent me a new, updated model of my UPS for free, outside of warranty.

I remember two power incidents where the power went out in the neighborhood and my UPS stayed up for around 15 minutes, which gave me plenty of time to shut down the programs and the computer properly.

Just my experience for what it's worth.

lightandaprayer Veteran Member • Posts: 4,793
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

I recall having the same misgivings when I was in the market for a new UPS. I eventually chalked it up to the assumption that with millions of units sold, there are bound to be some problems and even downright lemons out there.

I've been using APC for over 20 years now. I'm on my third UPS. I got it when I purchased a Mac Mini in 2019. No problems with any of them: I upgraded when the cost of a new battery and a new UPS were so close it made sense to go for the UPS. Over the years I also needed more power sockets for peripherals.

BTW, if you live in an older house like I do, make sure that the outlets are grounded. A UPS only works with grounded plugs.  All of the units I have used provide a warning if there is something amiss with the electrical circuit.  In my case I had to have grounded plugs installed in my home office, a repair that requires a qualified electrician.

Whichever brand you wind up choosing, I that you'll be fine. If something does go wrong, it's not the end of the world. Hopefully it will occur while the unit is under warranty.

Scott Vail Senior Member • Posts: 1,737
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

I bought an APC-Smart-UPS 1500 circa 2006, about the same time I purchased my first Intel MacPro. All things considered, it's met my expectations. The rather large lead-acid battery has been replaced at least twice, likely three times.

I was disappointed that APC halted support of MacOS. The unit came with an application that initiated an automated system shutdown, via USB connection. I wasn't long after, and an OS upgrade, when the software became obsolete and version upgrades were no longer available. I've always had ample time to invoke a manual shutdown in the event of a power failure.

One word of warning, and I wasn't aware of this, I understand it's generally recommended against using this (and comparably sized UPS systems) as a power source for laser printers.

Scott

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strawbale Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

Antonio Chagin wrote:

Hi all, I used to have a 2009 Mac Pro tower in South America where electricity is very unstable and it required to be plugged into a UPS unit in order to turn on. After a while, I had battery problems and so on.

Now living in Florida I have an iMac i9 2020 plugged directly into the outlet and having problems with electricity from time to time, last night I was converting some 50 files in Camera Raw, after some 30 minutes of work I lost all my conversions as the computer restarted due to electrical flaws.

Now I'm looking into buying a modern UPS unit, go into Amazon and the reviews are terrible, so wondering if you guys have any advice on the matter.

My humble advice before you buy anything, have a good read of this:

https://community.fs.com/blog/line-interactive-vs-online-vs-offline-ups.html

After having read that, decide which of the three technologies best serve your needs and your budget - personally I'd choose between line-interactive and online for sensitive equipment.

I've had a line-interactive APC Back-Up UPS RS800 in the past, got replaced under warrantee when it packed in within 2 yrs, then served me well for another 2 yrs, when I had to replace the battery, which served me well for another 5 years!

In 2018, I opted to replace it with a small line-interactive Eaton 5SC 500 with pure sine wave output, as I've only got two Mac Minis (2018 Intel i5 and 2020 M1), two energy efficient monitors, and some smaller peripherals connected to it. Very happy with it (so far).

BTW, your 2020 i9 iMac draws max nearly 300W (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201918), so I'd get at least the 750 VA / 525 W version, depending on what else you'd like to connect/protect: https://www.eaton.com/ca/en-gb/skuPage.5SC750.html

E.g. here? https://www.eatonguard.com/Eaton-5SC.asp

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lightandaprayer Veteran Member • Posts: 4,793
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

Scott Vail wrote: One word of warning, and I wasn't aware of this, I understand it's generally recommended against using this (and comparably sized UPS systems) as a power source for laser printers.

Scott

APC has a webpage that provides additional details but you are essentially correct:

Recommendations for protecting a laser printer

I use a Tripp Lite surge protector for my laser printer and some other devices that do not require a battery backup. I can attest to the validity of APC's advice:

It is recommended the Laser Printer have its own designated circuit, as the high current draw of a Laser Printer can "sag" the utility line causing low voltage situations.

Sometimes after it is turned on our laser printer briefly trips the UPS that lives across the room from the printer.  Our 1955 ranch-style home has an interesting mix of electrical circuits (we also have baseboard electric heating).  I've had the system checked out and it is OK.  But since we are going to remodel the main bath I am having additional electric work done to upgrade it.

Antonio Chagin
OP Antonio Chagin Regular Member • Posts: 132
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

Thanks for the advice! I'll still have to research this to be able to make a decision.

graybalanced Veteran Member • Posts: 7,008
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

I am on my second APC in 15 years or so, and they haven’t let me down. Maybe I’m just lucky. The battery in my first one never died and I was thinking it was time to get it a new battery, but since it had been in service so long I decided to replace the whole thing to get a current one with an info screen on the front. I also have a CyberPower on my home entertainment system. Both brands have responded as expected, including during today’s storm on the west coast of the USA when the APC recorded many power events during which it switched to battery for a second or two.

The warning about laser printers is simple. Laser printers fuse toner with heat, so there is a heating element in there. Heaters must never be plugged into a home-grade UPS, because the heating elements draw so many watts that they will leave very little runtime for any other devices, and also because when the heating element cycles on it can cause a sudden, brief, but very high demand for power that may exceed the wattage rating of the UPS.

lightandaprayer Veteran Member • Posts: 4,793
Re: UPS unit for iMac i9 2020

strawbale wrote:

My humble advice before you buy anything, have a good read of this:

https://community.fs.com/blog/line-interactive-vs-online-vs-offline-ups.html

I had time to read the article this morning and I just want to thank you for providing the link. I have never read anything about how UPS units actually work and I did not know that there are different units designed for specific situations.

I was happy to discover that the consumer UPS units that I have been using for the past 25+ years are fine for the hardware I have. That means I have more money available for things that I really need. . .

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