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Which UPS/Line Conditioner for 1200W Workstation

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November 29, 2012 2:46:22 PM

Hey guys,

Got a beefy video workstation built for CS6 use at Home
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Running on a Corsair AX1200 PSU (1200w).

System Specs: Dual Xeon-E5s, 64GB(8x8), 4x Mech Drives, 2x SSDs, 1x 580 GTX Classified, BR Burner, all on an Evga SR-X Mobo.

With such an expensive build, I'd really want to keep it protected against surges/brownouts. Don't care as much about Blackouts/Battery Backup. Mainly want to provide clean power and not fry anything - ever.
I'm not even sure if it uses the entirety of the 1200Ws the PSU provides.

Currently, its connected to an el-cheapo surge protector only. Hoping to change that.

As an electrical/hardware noob - I've been trying to research further - Calling APC, CyberPower, Friends. And I'm still not sure in my particular predicament. There is a stark gap, Power wise and price wise between <1000W and >1000W UPS's. A suitable 1200W UPS costs over $900 (ex APC's SMT2200 - a 1950W UPS a bit overkill - Also, it weighs 120lbs! And uses NEMO520 plugs). However, A 950W UPS from APC or CyberPower should cost as little as $150. Or a maximum of $350 (ex SMT1500 - a 950W UPS).

Its a huge gap. Many Factors are making this a difficult choice. Compatibility. Expense. Nemo520 Sockets (which I don't have). Weight. Living in an Apartment. Moving around a lot. etc.



My Questions:

1) Should I pick up a Kill-A-Watt to see how many watts my system is using when Rendering? Would this be Safe to do?

2) Would I be okay getting a 950W UPS for my 1200W PC? Battery Backup isn't as important to me as much as just providing clean power. I've heard I could overload the UPS, i.e. blow a circuit/fuse if it needs more than 950W while functioning under normal non-blackout conditions. Any opinions? I would love being able to use a 950W for clean power if its safe.

3) Another problem with getting a >1000W UPS like the APC SMT2200 is that it would require a NEMA520 Outlet, something my Apartment does not have, so I'd have to call an electrician to set that up - not to mention I'll be moving out of here in 5 months. Suggestions on that front?

4) There are Line Conditioners I could get. Like the APC LE1200 Line-R 1200VA Automatic Voltage Regulator - These have 1200W input according to APCs website. Are they a viable alternative?

If you have any suggestions or options for me, please let me know. I'd hate to fry my system under heavy work load when rendering.

Best,
November 29, 2012 3:52:16 PM

Thats part of the conundrum, my PSU is 1200W.
So I'm not sure if getting a sub 1200W UPS is safe to get.
I'd prefer to get a cheaper CyberPower/APC UPS if it were safe.
APC has the SMT1500 (950W), which is a highly rated/recommended unit.

However, according to an APC Sales Representative I called, I could overload the UPS if my machine ever draws more than 950W. Not sure how accurate he was, or if he was just trying to upsell a more expensive product.
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November 29, 2012 4:39:24 PM

Well I have that UPS on a 1500 watt power supply and of course you could overload it. I haven't had mine shut down yet and I have hit over 950 watts.
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November 29, 2012 7:01:13 PM

Whoa, thats good news then.
I think I'm gonna order a Kill-A-Watt and see how much my actual watt usage is under heavy stress.

Btw, is your UPS connected into a Surge Protector or Direct to wall? If surge protector, what kind are you using? or which would you recommend?
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November 29, 2012 7:08:43 PM

Hi

I would like to know how much power your system is using when running all the CPU's/ cores at maximum
unless you are running several monster graphics cards I don't think it will be any where near 1200W

Most UPS quote VA not watts to allow for power factor
VA rating would need to be higher than actual maximum watts consumed
volts and amps are not in phase so V X A does not equal watts with AC unless no capacitors & inductors in circuit
modern good quality PSU include power factor correction

How big you go depends if you want a clean shut down or a long run time .
You can buy devices to check & count the mains for voltage spikes to see if filtering is important than power failure or brown outs in your area.


regards

Mike Barnes
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November 29, 2012 7:53:02 PM

Hey Mbarnes,

I'm using two Intel E5-2670's.
According to their website, these chips have a max TDP of 115W. So that should be the max allowed right? I suppose with that number, it would be 230W total for the two of them.

The Power Supply is a Corsair AX1200. According to their site, its 80 Plus Gold certified . With 90% efficiency at 50% load. Over-voltage and over-current protection, under-voltage protection, and short circuit protection provide maximum safety to your critical system components.

http://www.corsair.com/power-supply-units/ax-series-pow...

As for video cards, I just nabbed an EVGA 580 GTX Classified. Its meant for overclocking, but I doubt I'd do it. It is a power hungry card though (two 8pin + one 6pin power connections). I believe the un-OC'd it can use 400W, not certain.
Here is a GTX review site going over the power consumption information.

http://www.overclockers.com/evga-gtx-580-classified

As far as power outs and clean shut down, yeah it would be nice to have a couple minutes to save. But its not really ultra necessary - My primary concern is with protecting my hardware (Line Conditioner is important I hear). I just don't want to damage the PC if I use a 900W UPS on my system.

For what its worth, I've had pretty clean power at my current apartment. Though my lease is up in 6 months.

I was wondering why VAs were - read up here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volt-ampere - Made little sense to my feeble knowledged mind. Your desciption makes a little more sense, though I'm not sure I still grasp the concept.

Let me know if I could skate with a 850-950W UPS - or if its even necessary. Maybe all I need is a good surge protector. Or if I need to pony up for the 1950W UPS ridiculousness.

Thanks very much man!
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November 29, 2012 8:09:16 PM

beyondabraxas said:
Whoa, thats good news then.
I think I'm gonna order a Kill-A-Watt and see how much my actual watt usage is under heavy stress.

Btw, is your UPS connected into a Surge Protector or Direct to wall? If surge protector, what kind are you using? or which would you recommend?


I would have to look when I get home, I do know they are both (2 ups's) plugged into 2 surge protecting power strips (15 amp) in a 20 amp outlet.
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