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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    APC Surge Protector Issue - Mac Pro
    I have a Mac Pro one Quad Xeon processor, 2.8 GHz, that I use as my server. I have an APC surge protector. The Mac Pro and Airport are the only things on this APC.
    I had some power surges. My IT guys came and looked and saw that my APC is only good for 10 Amps. They told me to get 20 Amps.

    When I'm searching surge protectors, I don't see the Amp rating. They all seem to list Voltages and or Wattages. I chatted with person at APC and she asked about watts. I don't have a clue about watts.

    Any suggestion for another back-up/surge protector? APC or another brand is fine.
    Thanks

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Don't know why the IT guys would suggest a 20 amp device - if you're using a standard outlet at home, you're on a 15 amp breaker in the U.S.

    I know just enough not to give any advice to someone else.
    All units will be measured in volts and watts.
    Watts is the amount of electric power required for a device to run.
    Watts is equal to voltage (volts) times the current (amps).

    A surge suppressor is basically designed to protect your device in case of a lightning strike.
    An AVR - auto voltage regulator is designed to provide the continuous voltage required by your devices whether the voltage coming in fluctuates up or down. I've lost at a minimum a TV and an A/C unit due to low power being delivered to the house.

    Personally, another case where I wouldn't listen to the IT guy.
    Watts are what you need to know - how much power does each device draw.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Here's a Mac Pro power consumption chart - link.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  4. #4

    Slydude's Avatar
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    @bobtomany Had to read your post twice before I caught the IT guys mistake. Really not on my game today.

    BTW I feel your pain. Over the last several years I suspect power issues to have lead to the demise of my G5, Mac Pro, and probably a bread maker. Unfortunately, a UPS device was not in the cards at the time.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  5. #5

    chscag's Avatar
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    Here in North Texas where thunderstorms sound like WW III an UPS can only provide so much protection. A nearby lightning strike will take out the UPS and everything connected to it and whatever else is on line at the same time. Been there done that....

    Best protection: Unplug your Mac Pro, iMac, or whatever other expensive electronic components you have on line.

  6. #6

    Slydude's Avatar
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    We get the same kind of storms here. I usually unplug during storms. I think the bulk of the problem was from some power sags that we experienced from time to time where we used to live.

    I remember some magazine that I used to get when I had the Apple IIGS discussed use of surge strips in terms of lightening strikes. General conclusion IIRC was that the "clamp down time" even on some very good units just wasn't fast enough to deal with lightening strikes.

    The UPS units would be useful in situation like power sags and some situations where fluctuations are common.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  7. #7

    chscag's Avatar
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    The UPS units would be useful in situation like power sags and some situations where fluctuations are common.
    You're referring to a sophisticated UPS, not the ordinary kind that you can purchase at Best Buy or from Office Depot. An UPS that deals with power sags (line leveling) and power line sine wave clipping, (smoothing) while at the same time provides battery backup, is going to cost much more than a common UPS.

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
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    That's exactly why I don't own one. Thanks for clarifying that.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  9. #9

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    They are coming down in price. Well, some brands. APC is going to run you $400-500. When I was looking a couple weeks ago, got a Cyberpower - this one.

    Retail pricing starting at $150 for a 510 watt with pure sine wave and AVR - that is more than likely big enough for the op with only the 2 devices connected - don't know that he needs to replace what he has though.

    I caught that one on sale for $210 at MicroCenter - plus discovered they're owned by Schneider Electric for whom I've been doing ongoing work for years at their corporate offices here and decided I could give them a few dollars back. Not designed to run your equipment while the power is down, just gives time to shut everything down.

    The TV I lost was here in Dallas, took 2-3 months of multiple calls to get the utility company to verify the brown outs were theirs and get the line replaced.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Nov 13, 2011
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    Addendum to my Mac Pro thread
    This Mac Pro is my server in a periodontal practice. Perhaps the power supply is different than at home. But, the breaker never flips - just the surge protector goes out and is beeping when I come in after a surge.
    So, the IT and electricians from my contractor/builder came to see what the problem was. The electricians suggested the 20 amps.

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    I used the power link that was posted here and went back to the APC help center. They suggested the APC SMT1000 Server UPS , which is $414. Any idea of something close in specs that isn't so much? The deal is that this is a new practice and I am just getting by. I don't have $400 or even $250, if there is something less in price, but similar in value. I have the APC BN600R right now. I think it is BN - I'm at home now. So, I really just need something close to that - a step or two above.
    Thanks

  12. #12

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Am by no means an expert with these things. APC seems to always be twice the price of Cyberpower and don't know enough to know why beside the name.
    I can see why a 360 watt rated UPS probably would not be enough though.

    Amazon has that APC for $389 - link.

    For money savings, you might compare it with this Cyberpower model - link - $160 at Amazon - link and the 900 watt model at $200

    Compare features - the APC probably has the better battery - both provide pure sine wave and very similar features.

    For a fairly good review of the CP unit - see this one.
    Am only using mine as a dumb unit also since it's powering AV hardware rather than a computer.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Thanks to all.
    Drewber

  14. #14


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewber View Post
    So, the IT and electricians from my contractor/builder came to see what the problem was. The electricians suggested the 20 amps.
    What computer is outputting more heat than multiple bread toasters? Unfortunately most IT people have no idea how electricity works. You had a surge. That is not insufficient current tripping circuit breakers

    BTW, the standard plug (two flat blades and a ground prong) is only rated for 15 amps. That is common knowledge. The 20 amp connector would look completely different. And could not connect to standard receptacles in your kitchen or bedroom. If the computer needs 20 amps, then it also has that other and different plug. Obviously it doesn't. So it obviously does not need 20 amps. Be concerned that the electrician did not know this.

    That APC is not and does not claim to do surge protection. It is a UPS. That means it provides temporary and 'dirty' power during a blackout. Nothing more. These things are often made so cheaply that even noise causes it to switch to batteries (and beep). Noise or a blackout are not a surge. A surge is maybe 4000 volts passing through your computer. If having surges, then you have hardware damage. And that surge blows right through a UPS.

    Now, connect an incandescent bulb to the same circuit that powers the UPS and computer. Does it dim when the UPS beeps? Does it dim at any time? Then the problem is elsewhere. Dimming reports a low voltage sometimes (rarely) due to a building wiring problem. Or a utility problem that will only get worse with time.

    Find the problem before trying to fix it. And do not confuse a surge with something completely different - low voltage or a blackout.

  15. #15


    Member Since
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    Update on surge issue
    Many suggestions were offered here for my surge issues, in my periodontal practice.
    I bought a Cyberpower 600 VA back-up and surge protector.
    It has a USB connection, as I'm sure many do, allowing me to set how and when things shut down.
    Since I hooked the Mac Pro server to this unit, I have not had another alarm or shut down of my system.
    I wanted to say, "Thanks."
    I also wanted to let y'all know how things are working out.

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