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OCZ's First UPS, Made by PC Power & Cooling

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 20 comments

OCZ Technology announced this week that it has stepped into the UPS arena with the release of its Pro-Source 1500 UPS.

OCZ/PC Power & Cooling's Pro-Source 1500OCZ/PC Power & Cooling's Pro-Source 1500OCZ Technology announced this week that it has stepped into the UPS arena with the release of its Pro-Source 1500 UPS.

It should have been obvious that OCZ Technology would eventually produce an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) given its current product portfolio as well as having PC Power & Cooling under its wing. Designed by PC Power & Cooling and touted to be fully compatible with all PC Power and OCZ brand power supply units, the new Pro-Source claims to bring professional quality UPS protection at an affordable price.

The biggest selling point of the Pro-Source 1500 is in its pure sine wave output. Pure-sine wave output is usually only found in high end UPSes. Why is this important? Many sensitive electronic equipment have problems running on a simulated or modified sine wave output. Because a modified sine wave operates in peaks, such things as audio equipment, displays and products with lower quality power supplies can show anomalies such as lines, humming, and other distortion. In some severe cases, equipment can even be damaged.

From the diagram above, it's easy to visualize that a modified sine wave doesn't provide a "pure" output. The AC output from your wall outlet, which is considered higher quality than a modified output is what the Pro-Source 1500 provides. Often than not, a pure sine wave UPS will be significantly more pricey than a modified sine wave UPS.

Many competitive UPS devices use modified sine wave output because the UPS is cheaper to produce and are compatible with most computer equipment, such as the APC's consumer line of Back-UPS units. As a general guideline, if your equipment comes with its own "AC adaptor," it will operating just fine on a modified sine wave UPS.

According to OCZ, the Pro-Source 1500 features a back-up battery time lasting 10 minutes when powering what OCZ calls a typical 600W load. This seems to be in line with what APC offers in its equivalent line of APC Back-UPS. The UPS comes packed with three standard 12V, 7Ah rechargeable lead acid batteries that are easy to replace. An LCD crystal window mounted on the front displays Input Voltage, Output voltage, Frequency, Load, Backup Time, and Temperature, keeping the end-user up-to-date on the device status.

APC's Smart-UPS 1500APC's Smart-UPS 1500We looked at APC's Back-UPS RS 1500VA LCD, which is priced at $249. At a 600W load, APC says its unit will last approximately 7 minutes--3 minutes short of OCZ's own Pro-Source. Also, the Back-UPS RS 1500VA outputs a modified sine wave rather than a pure sine wave, which is why OCZ's Pro-Source costs more at $300, but not by a large amount. In fact, the asking price for the Pro-Source is very reasonable for what it offers. APC's Smart-UPS 1500 VA, which does deliver a pure sine wave output costs nearly twice as much as the Pro-Source. Granted, the APC Smart-UPS 1500 has a longer lasting battery and its internal circuitry is built for the enterprise.

OCZ ships the Pro-Source 1500 with software that is compatible with all major operating systems including Windows XP/Vista, Netware, and Linux. The app presents the same information found on the LCD, gathering information from the device via a USB cable connected to the PC and provides alerts via email or messages.

Consumers wanting a backup device that offers a pure, clean sine wave should consider the Pro-Source 1500. Considering its heritage and long standing reputation for very high quality products, we have no qualms about recommending a product made by PC Power & Cooling or one by APC. Both are legendary in their field.

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  • 0 Hide
    grieve , April 8, 2009 5:52 PM
    SOOO it costs more than $249 but half as much as the equivalent APC model...

    What’s the actual price?
  • 0 Hide
    waikano , April 8, 2009 6:02 PM
    grieveSOOO it costs more than $249 but half as much as the equivalent APC model...What’s the actual price?


    Yea I was wondering the same thing. Only price I could find was the APC model that was mentioned but not the OCZ one.
  • 3 Hide
    cjmcgee , April 8, 2009 6:15 PM
    I'd like to see Tom's do a UPS roundup.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , April 8, 2009 6:41 PM
    What is a "AC Adapter" (quotes from article, paragraph 4) - not literaly an AC Adapter? Do you mean really mean a DC Adapter or something? This article is written "well"
  • 1 Hide
    etrnl_frost , April 8, 2009 6:55 PM
    Speaking as a specialist for an unnamed brand at an unnamed computer reseller, I will be the first to say that if you're buying APC, you're paying for the name. That being said, there are a lot of details that aren't being put forward here. How is this getting the pure sine wave power? Is this an online/dual conversion unit? Does this contain any management software? Does it have expansion capability?

    There's a lot more to UPS's than output. However, the idea of a unit that will offer what an online UPS offers by way of "clean" output for cheap, by getting rid of bells and whistles, this is a good thing for consumers. Keep in mind the price difference in the APC (and other competitors') units include the above conditions. Many times these enterprise level products can be managed remotely, can be expanded to longer run times, etc.

    I'd... hazard that the APC unit is around $700. Other vendors might get you closer to the $500 mark. If this is really around the $300 mark, again, kudos, but what's the MTBF on the battery? Does it have a shortened life span? How many outlets are on this thing? What's the total watt capacity?

    Ah hell, maybe I should just research it :) 
  • 1 Hide
    etrnl_frost , April 8, 2009 7:02 PM
    Well, there you go. That was quick. Max watt load is 900W. If you look at vendors like APC, Eaton, TrippLite, and I'm even sure about Liebert... You'll find that there's a VA fallacy here. E.g. an online/dual conversion 1500VA unit, while "twice as expensive", have a better power factor/more efficient - they will handle around 1200-1400W, compared to this unit's 900W. That's a good difference of being able to support a server right there (low to mid range).
    The 900W capacity is closer in comparison to the 1000VA models of the above brands. So if you're comparing apples to apples, compare this unit to the online/dual conversion 1000VA units of the other brands with higher PF.

    I just did a brief look, and I'm still seeing that the OCZ is now "only" about $100 less, rather than being half the cost. I'm betting that cost is made up by what I was talking about previously - firmware and expansion capability.
  • 1 Hide
    etrnl_frost , April 8, 2009 7:13 PM
    lamorpaWhat is a "AC Adapter" (quotes from article, paragraph 4) - not literaly an AC Adapter? Do you mean really mean a DC Adapter or something? This article is written "well"

    They're probably referencing a power brick - essentially a PSU. Modern PSU's do their own sort of "scrubbing", allowing them to accept both US standard voltage as well as European voltages. More importantly so, the capacitors, resistors, and regulators allow them to handle stepped sine wave approximations.

    In all actuality, I would only recommend the OCZ unit if 1) you're running VOIP on the protected equipment or PoE, 2) you're using a higher end Cisco or HP unit with a finicky PSU. Otherwise, your standard PSU will be fine.

    From the press release OCZ gave (http://www.ocztechnology.com/aboutocz/press/2009/331), general comments:
    1: They don't state explicitly what kind of UPS this is. Is it a superior line interactive UPS, or is it an online UPS?
    2: "Pro-Source 1500 is the first pure sine wave, high output UPS retailing under $300." - is marketing speak. There exist out there 750VA online units. And "High output" is relative to... what here, the Wattage? If you're talking VA, yes, true, but VA isn't a true measure of capacity.
    3: It turns out this unit can be managed locally. I wonder if there's an included software, and how robust it is? If one could manage multiple servers from the locally managed server, this could be one good deal for SOHO's.
  • -2 Hide
    lamorpa , April 8, 2009 7:24 PM
    etrnl_frostThey're probably referencing a power brick - essentially a PSU. Modern PSU's do their own sort of "scrubbing", allowing them to accept both US standard voltage as well as European voltages. More importantly so, the capacitors, resistors, and regulators allow them to handle stepped sine wave approximations. In all actuality, I would only recommend the OCZ unit if 1) you're running VOIP on the protected equipment or PoE, 2) you're using a higher end Cisco or HP unit with a finicky PSU. Otherwise, your standard PSU will be fine.From the press release OCZ gave (http://www.ocztechnology.com/aboutocz/press/2009/331), general comments:1: They don't state explicitly what kind of UPS this is. Is it a superior line interactive UPS, or is it an online UPS?2: "Pro-Source 1500 is the first pure sine wave, high output UPS retailing under $300." - is marketing speak. There exist out there 750VA online units. And "High output" is relative to... what here, the Wattage? If you're talking VA, yes, true, but VA isn't a true measure of capacity.3: It turns out this unit can be managed locally. I wonder if there's an included software, and how robust it is? If one could manage multiple servers from the locally managed server, this could be one good deal for SOHO's.

    No. The author clearly quoted "AC Adapter", where quoting in this context means that you don't literally mean what you are saying, and/or mean the opposite.
  • 0 Hide
    Proximon , April 8, 2009 7:33 PM
    Good article and good comments :) 

    I've learned quite a bit in a short time on this one. Thank you for spelling out some of the other criteria we need to look at, etrnl_frost. Maybe we could get someone to do a roundup.


  • -1 Hide
    etrnl_frost , April 8, 2009 7:51 PM

    lamorpaNo. The author clearly quoted "AC Adapter", where quoting in this context means that you don't literally mean what you are saying, and/or mean the opposite.


    Yes. Judging by context, they didn't mean the opposite of what they were saying, they just didn't literally mean "AC Adaptor". Most likely (making a GRAND :p  assumption here) I think they meant "PSU". Which means they did not, literally, mean "AC Adaptor". They mean "PSU".
  • -1 Hide
    etrnl_frost , April 8, 2009 8:02 PM
    Lamorpa, I think I understand what you're trying to say; but my point still stands. If you're running hardware that utilizes a good PSU or an AC Adaptor (like a laptop), a line interactive ups will be just fine.

    As stated in my previous posts, though, certain higher end systems do NOT play well with transfer times, and so require online UPS's.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , April 8, 2009 8:29 PM
    etrnl_frostYes. Judging by context, they didn't mean the opposite of what they were saying, they just didn't literally mean "AC Adaptor". Most likely (making a GRAND assumption here) I think they meant "PSU". Which means they did not, literally, mean "AC Adaptor". They mean "PSU".

    I think I see what you mean. Strange way to imply PSU. Might be easter to just say PSU.
  • 0 Hide
    etrnl_frost , April 8, 2009 9:03 PM
    Well, your normal computer person that does naught but browse the web and use office doc's may not know what a PSU is, but they can identify with an AC adaptor. I figure that's why they said that; people can more readily identify with a "wall wart" than a PSU...
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , April 8, 2009 9:33 PM
    Its been a few years since I was in college, so correct me if I'm wrong, but digital equipment doens't actually require pure sine-wave input, right? I mean, your PSU takes whatever power input it has, and converts that to a DC current. Why would a UPC geared towards the computing world need sine-wave correcting technology? Seems superfluous to me.

    AC is all about average power, and I'm sure there are plenty of mathematicians out there able to show you how a pure sine wave and a modified square wave deliver equivalent power. Anything made in the last decade will probably handle non-pure sine wave input.
  • 2 Hide
    acecombat , April 8, 2009 9:44 PM
    grieveSOOO it costs more than $249 but half as much as the equivalent APC model...What’s the actual price?


    tomswhich is why OCZ's Pro-Source costs more at $300


    Looks to me like they already answered your question if you actually read the article!!!
  • 0 Hide
    FrozenGpu , April 9, 2009 3:32 AM
    acecombatLooks to me like they already answered your question if you actually read the article!!!

    ^+1

    I was going to say I know I saw the price in the article, somewhere.
  • 0 Hide
    pocketdrummer , April 9, 2009 7:38 AM
    OCZ's first PSU made by someone else?

    So, pretty much it's a PSU made by PCP&C...
  • 0 Hide
    BKD , April 9, 2009 9:44 AM
    I'd like to see a modular standard like we have for computer hardware, for IPS. You pay high dollar with proprietary and you get low value. Quality may be OK, but functionality and versatility is going to be very low. Take a look at this Dan's Data Story on building your own IPS. It's not the unit that he builds that's the story, but the idea of a modular setup.

    http://www.dansdata.com/diyups.htm

    Be real, be sober.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , April 9, 2009 10:55 PM
    zipzoomflyhighWow big surprise its made by PCP&C, since OCZ owns them. However, knowing PCP&C, I wouldnt doubt its made by a 3rd party, like all their Power supplies. Yes thats right, PCP&C doesnt make its own power supplies.

    Yes, we know. PC Power PSUs are made by Sea Sonic, but it's DESIGNED by PC Power & Cooling.
  • 0 Hide
    Computer_Lots , February 10, 2010 3:16 PM
    I'm reviving this topic a little here. I just ordered this unit from Prosource for $260.

    http://www.provantage.com/pc-power-cooling-ppcupsps1500~7PCPW00E.htm

    I ordered it for use on some pro-audio equipment and a PC used for recording. These things are much more sensitive to power than your average PC and pure sine-wave would work nicely here.
    However, I'm looking to replace all of my cheap old Belkin UPSs in my office but this thing is a little expensive.
    I wish they would make some smaller versions of this. I'd like to use them for regular desktops but 1500VA is overkill for your average desktop PC.