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

OCZ/PC Power & Cooling's Pro-Source 1500

OCZ 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 1500

We 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.

  • grieve
    SOOO it costs more than $249 but half as much as the equivalent APC model...

    What’s the actual price?
    Reply
  • waikano
    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.
    Reply
  • cjmcgee
    I'd like to see Tom's do a UPS roundup.
    Reply
  • lamorpa
    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"
    Reply
  • etrnl_frost
    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 :)
    Reply
  • etrnl_frost
    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.
    Reply
  • etrnl_frost
    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.
    Reply
  • lamorpa
    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.
    Reply
  • Proximon
    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.


    Reply
  • etrnl_frost
    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".
    Reply