CyberPower CP1000PFCLCD Tear-Down

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Daniel Sauvageau

Daniel Sauvageau is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He’s known for his feature tear-downs of components and peripherals.

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  • KaiserPhantasma
    inally =D but will these get a "ok to buy" from you or are there other models/brands we can look at?

    also well written nice job on the article
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    Aside from Tripp-Lite which gets a definitive fail for lacking a breaker and wasting twice as much power as almost any other UPS I have taken apart here, they are all "worth looking at" if they suit your specific application.

    I'm using the LX1500 for my main PC (not using the coax nor Ethernet protections), I installed the BE550 at my mother's place as planned and I'm currently using the 1000PFCLCD as a portable/isolated AC source.

    None of them are perfect but they are all usable. There is that nagging feeling from seeing third or fourth tier caps peppered throughout most of them. Higher quality caps appear to have gone extinct in UPS under ~$160. At least those I have gotten my hands on so far.
  • cage0022
    I enjoy your reviews, but this was so technical, I'm not even sure if this is a positive review or not. So are you saying it doesn't really do sine wave and if buying for that factor, it's a waste of money?

    Lastly, what would you recommend for someone who wants a good sinewave UPS that also offers good surge protection, without breaking the bank? (or, what's the most affordable way to get a good surge protector and battery backup unit?)
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    38815 said:
    I enjoy your reviews, but this was so technical, I'm not even sure if this is a positive review or not.

    It is a tear down, I show you what is inside, comment on some of the things I have seen and readers can decide if what they have seen is worth whatever the unit or an equivalent one might be worth to them. The PFCLCD did produce a (mostly) sinusoidal output but on my unit, the output voltage under no-load condition was intermittently extremely low the first few times I checked. An UPS would not normally run under no-load condition, so that shouldn't be an issue during normal use.

    Where surge protection in UPSes is concerned, none of those I have looked at here so far have anything beyond basic three MOVs surge protection on the power side, the same protection found in the same brands' $10-15 power strips. If you want more thorough power line surge protection, you will need to disregard the UPS and surge protector instructions and use something else with more serious surge protection (isobar, SurgeArrest Performance, SurgeX/Zerosurge, etc.) upstream from the UPS.
  • falchard
    Actually for a Coax cable you want the dielectric just a bit past the fitting's edge. Depending on how cheap the fitting is, it may need to be a little longer. Still that coax cable is junk and running a coax through the UPS will probably ruin a digital signal. Better to ground out a coax cable at the MPOE instead of through a surge protector.
  • cage0022
    1736083 said:
    38815 said:
    I enjoy your reviews, but this was so technical, I'm not even sure if this is a positive review or not.
    If you want more thorough power line surge protection, you will need to disregard the UPS and surge protector instructions and use something else with more serious surge protection (isobar, SurgeArrest Performance, SurgeX/Zerosurge, etc.) upstream from the UPS.


    Thank you for the clarification on the sinewave issue. Where you state, "disregard the UPS and surge protector instructions and use something else with more serious surge protection (isobar, SurgeArrest Performance, SurgeX/Zerosurge, etc.) upstream from the UPS", is that safe to do? I thought I'd read somewhere that you shouldn't plug a UPS into a surge protector (or vise versa). If so, that's what's lead to my quandary - if you shouldn't plug a UPS into a surge protector, then how does when get surge and battery backup?

    Also, thank you for the teardowns - although I may not understand the technical side, it's still a great read and good to see someone separating the marketing from the truth.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    38815 said:
    is that safe to do? I thought I'd read somewhere that you shouldn't plug a UPS into a surge protector (or vise versa).

    Indications against it are stuck on labels, printed or molded into just about every UPS and power strip I have taken apart here. There are two reasons I can think of: not overloading the power bar (which you shouldn't be able to do on a good bar with #14 cord and a 15A breaker in the first place) and poor/intermittent ground connections on those cheap bars or UPS that use simple flaps for the ground connections like the BE550 from last month.

    Of those two issues, I'd say poor ground is the one that bothers me the most as those square-bent flap-style ground connections are still common despite the more reliable torque contact style (I call them 'torque' because the contact fingers attach to the sides of the metal strips which act as torque bars and reduce strain at bend lines) costing practically the same to manufacture: one slightly more complex cutting die, one slightly more complex bending/shaping die, same amount of metal. (Though based on the level of inconsistency in how flaps get bent, I would not be surprised if they got 'shaped' by poking blunt nails in assembled units instead of a die.)

    Every extra cord and junction box between the breaker box and your loads is one more potential point of failure and extra power losses. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with combining devices within reason but manufacturers don't want to take the blame if people exaggerate and something goes wrong.

    I believe the only power bar I have seen that lacked such instructions is the SurgeX's SA-1810. That thing is built like a tank, which does not leave much for the company to worry about. I would expect no less from a $200+ surge protector and its instructions even suggest protecting UPSes as one application.
  • gamebrigada
    I would love to see you tear down some "Enterprise" grade UPS's. Some that have some serious reliability and where name brands are paid extra for. I would do one myself out of curiosity but I doubt my opinion would be regarded well.
  • jeyman
    Dan,

    I wanted to say that your review is very thorough and well put together. I gained a lot of insight about the Cyberpower units and how they are built (as well as their shortcomings). Thank you for that.

    A few things to consider though. Your writing style sometimes comes across as overly sarcastic and you make a presumption that the reader has already gone through your previous articles, leaving off key details or making inferences. Additionally, your readers could benefit from a well formed summary or conclusion as we do not all possess the skill sets that you do. With your attention to detail and obvious subject knowledge, I think your articles could be made even better with a little more time and care.

    I look forward to seeing many more of your articles and will make a point to check out your previous postings.

    Thanks again for the good read.
  • cage0022
    Thank you Daniel. Appreciate the surge protector + UPS combination info.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    330381 said:
    I would love to see you tear down some "Enterprise" grade UPS's.

    As much as I would like to accommodate your wish, the shipping bill alone (with batteries) to get one on my bench would nuke most of the revenue I might earn from writing the story!

    Of course, if APC, Tripp-Lite, CyberPower, Eaton or other wants to send one in postage-and-duties-paid, I'd gladly take it. If they or one of their customers have some lying around near Longueuil or Montreal, I may be able to go pick some up.

    76875 said:
    With your attention to detail and obvious subject knowledge, I think your articles could be made even better with a little more time and care.

    Thanks for the comments. I do expect readers to go read past stories if they want to read more about the tear downs I am referring to and the stories does include links to those stories, though some of them do get lost or shuffled around through the THG editorial process. Here, they got lumped together on slide #11 instead of the slides where I originally provided the links.

    Why am I constraining myself to the picture story format? It boils down to the massive compensation discrepancy between picture stories and review format. For me to buy $100-200 devices for tear down purposes, I need to hit the picture story compensation cap. To hit the same compensation with the review format at my current rate, I would need to write 16+ pages and that would mean a lot of padding with rehashing since tear downs have 9-10 pages worth of text in 'em. With the picture story format, I can focus on what I consider most relevant and preferably fresh instead of worrying about the character count.
  • gamebrigada
    There are several small business units that are widely used in enterprise environments for basic uses and can be heavily relied on in some cases. I wish you weren't in Canadia, I'd ship one to you.

    I understand that getting shipped something like a Symmetra LX unit for a tear down review would be a shipping nightmare, I don't want to know how much I pay for shipping on those things. But I imagine at that level, the manufacturer pays very close attention to quality.
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    330381 said:
    But I imagine at that level, the manufacturer pays very close attention to quality.

    Other people have taken apart some high-end UPSes and the fundamental designs are essentially the same, just bigger transformers (or sometimes multiple transformers in parallel to achieve more rackmount-friendly form factors and reduce core losses), thicker wires, bigger batteries, more/bigger FETs, bigger fans (instead of none whatsoever in most UPSes below 1200VA) and Nichicon/Rubicon/Chemi-Con/etc. capacitors instead of third/fourth tier ones.
  • falchard
    I prefer the picture style format. It's easier to digest than walls of text.
  • KaiserPhantasma
    1736083 said:
    Aside from Tripp-Lite which gets a definitive fail for lacking a breaker and wasting twice as much power as almost any other UPS I have taken apart here, they are all "worth looking at" if they suit your specific application. I'm using the LX1500 for my main PC (not using the coax nor Ethernet protections), I installed the BE550 at my mother's place as planned and I'm currently using the 1000PFCLCD as a portable/isolated AC source. None of them are perfect but they are all usable. There is that nagging feeling from seeing third or fourth tier caps peppered throughout most of them. Higher quality caps appear to have gone extinct in UPS under ~$160. At least those I have gotten my hands on so far.



    again much thanks for the review of this unit but like what some say its a bit technical (well to the average consumer just like me at least) but like what you also say its a teardown not a product review ;) anyways is this the UPS you mentioned that you were using? https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/ups/pc-battery-backup/lx1500g cause when I googled it showed a projector but when I added "ups" on it this is the one that shows
  • Daniel Sauvageau
    1482295 said:
    is this the UPS you mentioned that you were using? https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/ups/pc-battery-backup/lx1500g cause when I googled it showed a projector but when I added "ups" on it this is the one that shows

    More specifically, it is the LX1500GU-FC:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/picturestory/700-cyberpower-lx1500gu-fc-ups-tear-down.html
    https://www.cyberpowersystems.com/products/ups/pc-battery-backup/lx1500gu

    Basically the same thing except for the slight redesign and a few extra features such as the built-in USB power supply.