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Thread: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    I notice this mornings Ebuyer email has a UPS for 5 pounds off.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/240319

    So, anyone tried one of these Plexus units???

    Part of me is tempted to get one for our home server which hasn't had a UPS for ages now but I have conflicting thoughts...

    1/ I spend more than that for a PSU, but then a UPS only has one voltage output to worry about so hopefully the design is much simpler and that's OK.

    2/ I used to use expensive SMART-UPS units from APC. One tried to melt itself and two others just failed in the end and new batteries wouldn't bring them back. Does that mean spending extra is pointless, or will buying something this cheap be even worse?

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    only 1 way to find out - though I can't see 800vA lasting too long ?
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    I bought a low end UPS for one of my clients once (to run a single low power server) and AFAIK they had no problems with it at all (apart from the one time they called me in to look at it because it was making a high pitched whine, and I pointed out that this was because an electrical contractor had unplugged it ). Given they were inclined to call me in for absolutely anything, no matter how minor, I can only assume that it did the job...

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    root Member DanceswithUnix's Avatar
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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    Well this is for a home server, an Athlon 64 running 64 bit Linux with 2 network ports and integrated video so only takes about 60W as it hardly ever comes out of idle + if the power fails I don't see there being much load on the server

    The Smart-UPS 700 I used to have would last about 25 mins on a similar server which is more than enough for the machine to safely shut itself down.

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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    I'll grab one at that price - the supply in my flat is pretty ropey, prone to tiny dropouts and I've been running a duffed up old Smart-UPS to smooth this out for a while for my main machine. Sadly said UPS is pretty much screwed now, but I can't justify spending £200 on a new one, however I can easily justify £40 including delivery...

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    Senior Member oolon's Avatar
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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    The only real problem with very cheap UPSes is they often use a square wave output (rather than sine) when on batteries and the switch time might not be as smooth/fast. However if you have a good PSU (thats run under its max) in your computer it should be able to handle the "bad supply".
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    Senior Member FatalSaviour's Avatar
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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    Good timing OP, as I've also been looking at buying a couple of UPSs for the workstations at work. Of course, the server, NAS and other critical devices are already connected, but these would be to prevent the occasional power cut, or when someone accidentally turns the wrong plug socket off...
    Now I don't really need them to provide sustained power as a result, but the longer the better obviously.

    So, a couple of questions really. Would the aforementioned eBuyer PSU be significantly (or any) worse than something such as this FSP offering from Scan?
    As it might transpire that we protect all the PCs in one office (14 units), is it possible to run more than 1 PC off it as a result? I wouldn't consider most of the PCs to be particularly power-hungry (Core 2 Duos with low power or integrated graphics mainly). I'm assuming that we'd lose the ability to shutdown more than one PC as a result of a power cut (as there's only 1 USB connection), but are there other UPSs or other solutions that might enable this?

    Thanks for your help all!
    Last edited by FatalSaviour; 21-01-2011 at 04:05 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Noni
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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    FSP are at least a recognised and trusted brand name in power supply, so if money wasn't an issue and product quality was I'd go for the FSP, even thought it's a bit more expensive.

    As to what you could power off one, here's the relevant clip from Scan:

    Typical Backup Time (Half Load): 15 Minutes
    Typical Backup Time (Full Load): Minutes
    I don't know if the full load was just missed out, or if "minutes" is meant to be an indication of just how little time you get Typically a Core 2 computer will draw up to around 100W. But of course you can't do anything with a computer if the monitor is off, so you'd need to factor in some power for the monitors too. That means that 2 PCs would hit half load for the FSP and last ~ 15 minutes.

    A lot of UPSs (particularly higher spec ones) come with software that allows one machine to act as a communications server and tell any registered PCs to shut down - or if you've got an enthusiastic young thing on the team you could task them with writing a little script to do the same job. Of course, the issue with that is that you'd need all your PCs on UPS, and to put an entire office on UPS will not be cheap, whichever way you look at it.

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    Senior Member oolon's Avatar
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    Re: Is 35 quid too cheap for a UPS?

    One of the justifications for my old work (and 2 others before that) giving everyone laptops was then everyone had a built in UPS on there computer, and we needed it 3 or 4 times while I was working there.
    (\__/) All I wanted in the end was world domination and a whole lot of money to spend. - NMA
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