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Old 09-27-2012, 08:30 PM   #1
terrie
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Default Need help with a UPS!

Ok...so this new system is proving to be such a PITA!!! I'm really beginning to think I'm jinxed and that I've spent all this money (that I don't really have) and it's just a MESS!

When I was at the shop yesterday, I asked if my current APC BackUPS RS 700 (700VA/420W) was ok to use with the new system--I'd unplug my current system from the UPS first of course--and I was told, yes, it was.

Today, when I actually picked up the system, they'd done some research and found that the Asus PA248Q specs require a 1000VA UPS so I went looking at newegg and found an APC BR1000G (1000VA/600W) at a reasonable price and ordered it.

THEN!!! I discover that it may not work because the new system uses "active PFC" (whatever that is!) and the APC BR1000G is apparently not compatible with "active PFC".

Of course, I paid an extra $3.99 so that newegg would expedite their processing and it was indeed shipped this afternoon--Thursday. I am going to do live chat with newegg tomorrow--found out about all of this too late for live chat--to see both what I need to do about either not accepting the delivery or sending it back and what UPS they'd suggest.

I"m wondering if the Asus PA248Q monitor may require a 1000VA UPS only if I use the USB3 hub?

What would happen if I were to use my BackUPS RS700 even though it isn't 1000VA?

I am soooo tired of this....

Thanks!

Terrie
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:03 AM   #2
Steve Rindsberg
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Have you considered not putting the monitor on the UPS?

   
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
Robin Springall
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Most of my APS UPSs are rated at 500VA, as I can't justify the price jump for more powerful models. They're fine for my porpoises, but they won't power two computers and monitors for more than 5 minutes or so, which is enough time for me to zoom round and cleanly shut things down. I don't hang the printers on them.

I suppose you'd need a 1000VA unit if you were drawing loads of power from it, or needed the battery to keep it all running for a fairly long time, though.

The main disadvantage to me is I've gone through a fair few power supplies over the years, because the UPSs don't shove out a clean sinusoidal waveform.

   
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
steve: Have you considered not putting the monitor on the UPS?
Actually...no...but it might not be a bad idea...'-}}

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Old 09-28-2012, 11:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
robin: as I can't justify the price jump for more powerful models.
The APC BR1000G wasn't too bad--a bit over $100. The problem is this active PFC business perhaps making the BR1000G incompatible. While the having power--for a time--in a power outage is very useful, what I think I use the UPS for primarily is line conditioning so that I get "smooth" power to my system.

I didn't think to plug the new system into a UPS--it was plugged into a decent surge protector--but given that I just got the system back supposedly fixing the the spontaneous reboot problem, I wanted to make sure that the electrical power was not an issue so that's why I ordered the UPS and have not set up the returned system yet.

I found an informative thread at tomshardware that is relatively current (July 2011) with 2 posts on active PFC:

1. "I just spoke with both Silverstone and APC. Silverstone is going to get back to me on this question, but APC was pretty clear -- they strongly felt that PFC power supplies should use true sine wave UPSs. They told me that the reason for this was because PFC power supplies require a much faster changeover time when the battery kicks in, and that due to the design of stepped sine wave UPSs, they were not always fast enough to satisfy the power supply. This could lead to the PSU *****shutting down when the battery tried to kick in.******The guy I spoke with said that the stepped sine wave wouldn't "damage" the PSU, but that it simply might not work, and that if it DID work, it might not "always" work. Apparently it depends on the specific power supply."


2. "Active PFC isnt really meant to benefit the consumer, thats not its primary purpose. What it does do is save the power companies significant amounts of money, in the US consumers are only billed for real power used not complex power, active PFC makes the computer look like a simple toaster that is only using real power which lessens the load on the power lines and reduces transmission losses which saves the power company quite a bit of money. The way Active PFC is implemented in modern PSUs has the advantage of providing universal input voltage capability so that the same PSU can be sold all over the world and wont need the little voltage switch for the voltage doubler circuit for North America. Active PFC doesnt make a PSU more efficient, thats a miss conception caused by the fact that very few high efficiency units have APFC and all high efficiency units do. Active PFC actually consumes a bit of power BUT it boosts the voltages inside the PSU to a higher level than the passive circuits do so the other circuits in the PSU are more efficient, again this isnt because of the APFC its just a side effect of how they chose to implement it."


I have a query into the build shop to see if there is an appropriate PSU for my system that does NOT use active PFC. From reading around online, I think all current PSU's are active PFC.

I've been trying all day to access APC's site and it's got some weird glitch that I hope will be fixed soon...

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Old 09-28-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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Terrie,

I don't know enough about this but you say

<< THEN!!! I discover that it may not work because the new system uses "active PFC" (whatever that is!) and the APC BR1000G is apparently not compatible with "active PFC". >>

Does the new system "use" or "require" Active PFC (Power Correction Factor).

There used to be long arguments (sorry discussions) on this on Compuserve way back because one regular ran a company that made UPS units and only those which delivered a true sine wave output that he insisted was essential for computers and not everyone agreed with him!

There are still some good solid citizens in PCHW over there and I'd suggest you post the question there too. I think I'd post in

Buy,Build,Overclock

as an active folder.

Where did you find the bit about the new system, Active PFC and the UPS not being compatible with this.

   
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
terrie
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Quote:
hugh: Does the new system "use" or "require" Active PFC (Power Correction Factor).
Yes...the PSU is an active PFC-based unit and apparently all PSUs are now active PFC units so much so that it's difficult if not impossible to find a PSU that is not active PFC.

APC's website finally came back online and I was able to email tech support with my questions and of course, as soon as I did that I found the live chat option so I went ahead and asked there too. Both the live chat rep and the tech who responded via email stated that none of the APC BackUPS models are compatible with my new pc's active PFC PSU. The models APC recommends are 2 to 3 times the price of their BackUPS models and the specific model they recommened to me out of their Smart-UPS line is 2x the price of the BR1000G I had ordered. I have found that CyberPower offers a line of active PFC compatible UPSs that are within same price range as the APC BR1000G.

I've never had to return anything to newegg before and so contacted them via live chat to find out the best approach. The BR1000G is due to be delivered on Monday and I hope that I'm home when UPS delivers so I can refuse the delivery--apparently that's not a big deal--and UPS will return it to newegg at no cost to me. If I miss the delivery, I will contact newegg for an RMA and from what I understand, return shipping costs will be paid by newegg as long as I've not opened the package which I don't intend to do but I will have to schlep the package to my local UPS store--not a big deal.

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Old 09-30-2012, 10:40 AM   #8
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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I never ran into this before ......

Note that I picked up on one website after googling on [ compatibility of active pfc psu and ups unit ] that Cyberpower do have a lower cost pure sine wave unit eg

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16842102134

I've an idea that Cyberpower PSUs may be made by APC .....

   
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:37 PM   #9
terrie
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Quote:
hugh: that Cyberpower do have a lower cost pure sine wave unit
Yes...we must have done the same sort of search...'-}}

I just bought the 1000VA model at MicroCenter. I had stumbled across the CyberPower units late on Friday and was going to order one from newegg but kept putting it off and late Saturday evening, I don't know why but I decided to see what MicroCenter might have--there is a store not too far from me.

I was surprised to find that not only did they have the 1000VA CyberPower unit in stock but it was priced less than what newegg wanted--MicroCenter even has a newegg specific price comparison--and so I decided to go over there today and have just returned home with the unit. In the end, by the time I paid tax, the price was about the same as newegg's. I'm getting ready to get it unpacked and read the installation/user guide--not sure if it needs to charge before using it.

CyberPower is the only UPS maker--at least that I've found--that makes active PFC compatible units. I really doubt that they are made by APC as it seems to me that APC would be undercutting the sales for their own branded units. I've always thought of APC as one of the top UPS companies but who in their right mind would spend 2 to 3 times more when you can get an active PFC compatible UPS for less--basically in the same price range as the APC BackUPS models. Maybe, the CyberPower unit won't last as long but it's got a 3 year warranty, the batteries are replaceable and all of the feedback/reviews I've read on the units have been positive.

Thanks!

Terrie

Last edited by terrie; 10-01-2012 at 07:05 PM. Reason: fix a typo
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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It's odd that people like Antec don't seem to say anything about input waveforms. This is all they say in their FAQs on Active PFC:

Quote:
Questions: What is Active PFC?

Answers: Active Power Factor Correction improves the power factor value of the PSU by altering the input current wave shape. PSUs with Active PFC can achieve a power factor of 0.99, while PSUs with Passive PFC can only achieve 0.70, and PSUs with no PFC achieve less than 0.60. A higher power factor reduces transmission losses and improves efficiency for power companies, making Active PFC an important feature for the environment.

   
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