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Thread: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

  1. #1
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    Default UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    I am considering the purchase of a UPS for my desktop PC, here in Thailand. I recently moved here earlier this year, and earlier this month I finally got around to unpacking my desktop computer. I have already had a couple of unexpected power outages in the short time my desktop has been up and running, so I figure I should consider a UPS.

    I've read threads on this forum raving about APC UPS, but unfortunately those are priced rather high compared, for example, to the CyberPower. I'm currently considering a CyberPower UPS UT1500E-AS,1500VA/900WATT which I can purchase in Thailand (by mail order) from an electronics parts supplier for a reasonable price.

    My desktop has a Core-i7 and I use a 27" monitor. I often have a couple of external hard drives attached when using the desktop, so I figure it is better to 'err' on the slightly higher side wrt UPS capacity. My goal is to have an openSUSE shutdown within a few minutes of any power outage - even when UPS battery is 3 to 4 years old. So based on that, obviously a "USB" interface from UPS to PC is essential.

    I note CyberPower support GNU/Linux and they have an RPM one can download and install. There is at least one Youtube video tutorial explaining how to configure a GNU/Linux system using the CyberPower GNU/Linux support package.

    Still, I am curious about other UPS. In Thailand I note a locally produced UPS is the Chuphotic brand ... but most of the information I've seen on such is in Thai language, I have not read of any GNU/Linux support, and price wise it is no cheaper than CyberPower brand froom what I can tell.

    Stories ... experiences ... advice ... feedback in general on UPS is welcome.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 29-Aug-2019 at 20:13.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    IMO typically the main reason some UPS are significantly more expensive than others is their support for brownout conditions.
    I don't know about Thailand municipal power systems, but I'm going to guess that they can't be relied upon to deliver high quality power 24/7/365 like what you might see in leading western civilization cities. Bad power can ruin computers, and a good UPS may be imperative when the power isn't consistent.

    You should read the technical specs of your UPS closely, and generally prefer brands which might be found in colo facilities.
    And, if any of your machines are running databases or other applications which might need to support long running transactions, you might also consider disk controller cards with their own power supplies.

    In general, Cyberpower is very low-end with minimal features... Maybe something you might use for a workstation that's not doing particularly important things. If power goes out completely (not a brownout), then it can provide enough power for your system to gracefully shut down (10 minutes or so).

    In other words, I'd strongly prefer a second-hand, used "better" UPS over a brand new, low end UPS and cross my fingers that I won't have to change the batteries soon. But, even if you have to change the batteries, you can usually do that easily, typically sliding them in and out on a tray.

    IMO,
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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    In general, Cyberpower is very low-end with minimal features... Maybe something you might use for a workstation that's not doing particularly important things. If power goes out completely (not a brownout), then it can provide enough power for your system to gracefully shut down (10 minutes or so).
    The things that I do that require long periods of time (that I typically do not watch) are usually either
    1. encoding or re-encoding home videos, that could take some hours, or
    2. shuffling long videos from one external hard drive to another external hard drive (with both connected) as I either synchronize backup, or change the files on one to another as part of a re-organization (which could take many hours at USB-3.0 transfer speeds).

    I do NOT sit by my PC while those are underway.

    I do not do data base work ...

    I have thou lost large video files (fortunately I had backups) and had NTFS corrupted (requiring an MS-Windows PC to repair) due to power outages in the middle of a massive file move operation. It took me a long time to recover from backups and to clean up the affected drive. I do not want to repeat that. Given the time I spent to recover, having a single not too expensive UPS (cost less than 150 euros) to have prevented that one occurrence would have been cheaper than my spending the time to achieve the same in a recovery effort.

    Quote Originally Posted by tsu2 View Post
    In other words, I'd strongly prefer a second-hand, used "better" UPS over a brand new, low end UPS and cross my fingers that I won't have to change the batteries soon.
    IMHO thats the problem. With my luck the batteries likely will have to be changed soon in a used UPS. In some areas batteries are easy to come by, in other areas the right battery not so easy to find. Where I live it may not be feasible to find the replacement batteries.

    Also, my research suggested that a UPS that has a sliding tray for a battery replacement is really really expensive. Not likely within my budget (which is approximately 100 to 150 euros maximum. For certain not a euro cent more).

    Thanks thou for the viewpoint. I think it more applicable for someone where spare batteries are easier to come by.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 29-Aug-2019 at 23:28.

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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post

    I have thou lost large video files (fortunately I had backups) and had NTFS corrupted (requiring an MS-Windows PC to repair) due to power outages in the middle of a massive file move operation. It took me a long time to recover from backups and to clean up the affected drive. I do not want to repeat that. Given the time I spent to recover, having a single not too expensive UPS (cost less than 150 euros) to have prevented that one occurrence would have been cheaper than my spending the time to achieve the same in a recovery effort.
    Your words quoted above are key...
    You know the amount of pain that's involved when a power outage happens, and that's what you'd have to weigh against the cost of a capable UPS.

    If your workstation task is more or less like a server where critical data is at risk, then that's the other critical issue... But I suspect that transcoding is not so important, if a job fails you can simply rebuild and re-run the task... your source data should still be OK as long as you're not writing to that disk (the whole disk, not just the partition which is a big reason why I store my personal archive files on external disks... I write infrequently only to add files and never modify a file once written).

    The other thing to calculate is how much time your UPS can keep your systems running... Many people plug in everything... The box, the monitor, external hard drives, more. With these cheap (<$200) UPS, once all is calculated you may find that you'only have about 10 minutes, maybe less. You can try unplugging the monitor which will make a big difference (remembering that simply blanking or running a screensaver isn't likely going to make a difference) and that will get you maybe another 5 minutes. But a lot of people are under the misconception that you can run for maybe 30 minutes on battery to finish a job <and> maybe shutdown. Some might think they can run longer on battery power.

    In other words, don't even begin to fantasize that you can run a long transcoding job while on battery power...

    Of course, the rule of thumb is that your monitor and disks will be what sucks practically all your system power, everything else is relatively small. If your machine has a big power supply because you're loaded up with multiple hard drives maybe to support RAID, maybe for additional storage it all adds up quickly.

    The point is that if you have something running unattended, if the UPS kicks in you really have no time to waste... The machine should go into a graceful shutdown immediately all on its own and depending on what's happening hopefully it would complete without incident. This calculation should actually be one of the first things you should do so you know what to look for, buying an UPS that ultimately won't give you more than 5 minutes of battery load won't likely make you happy.

    In the past,
    If I was really serious about a capable UPS, I'd try to find something that might have retailed at $1200 or more, and try to buy that for maybe $500.
    But there are many approaches to trying to find a good deal... Don't overlook clearances, when a company goes out of business they might try to do a fire sale either on their own or through a site dedicated to these kinds of things. Although these kinds of sales often sell multiple items in lots, I think a "better" UPS might be sold on its own.

    Or nowadays you can also go the other approach... Build a strategy based on certain destruction and a quick re-build rather than a recovery...
    Stuff like..
    Build a generic and uncomplicated basic system.
    Install and run your applications in portable objects like virtual machines and containers.
    Script a build so that wiping out anything old and replacing applications and configuration doesn't take more than an hour or two.
    Ensure your data and its integrity is preserved no matter the scenario.

    IMO,
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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    I cannot comment specifically on the Cyberpower model you mentioned. However, I have been using Cyberpower UPS for many years now and have been satisfied with there performance (they kept me running without problem during short (less than 15 second) blackouts and gave me time to shutdown during longer blackouts.

    I switched from APC to Cyberpower around the turn of the century. About 3 years ago my first Cyberpower UPS (model PP1100) needed new batteries. Instead of replacing the batteries I "upgraded" to a newer model (1000pfc).

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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    When my APC failed I replaced it with a CyberPower LX1325GU in Aug 2017. I've had no problems with it.

    I use their powerpanel software under Tumbleweed for automated shutdowns. It's fairly easy to figure out.

    As Tsu2 mentioned, don't plug anything into the UPS that doesn't need to be on during a power failure.

    For what it is worth, my experience with these "home" ups units, both personal and work, failures have all been due to the electronics in the ups and not the batteries.

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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    J_Andrew, doscott, tsu2 - thankyou all for the suggestions and comments on your experience.

    I'm likely a week away from purchasing, and I appreciate very much the input.

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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    I note I can get (via mail order) an APC UPS 1400VA BX1400U-MS, which is slightly smaller in load capacity than the CyberPower I was looking at and also more expensive ... The APC UPS BX1400U is currently exceeding the budget I set, as it costs about 170-euros (after currency exchange). The APC BX1400U is rated for 700 Watts, as opposed to the CyberPower UPS UT1500E which is rated for 900 Watts (cost 128 euros).

    Both APC and CyberPower support GNU/Linux. The APC does not provide the USB-Type-B connector (for UPS to PC connection) while my understanding is the CyberPower does provide the cable. That is another 15-euros or so for the cable which makes the APC even more expensive in comparison.

    One advantage the APC (model that I am looking at) may have is I believe its battery may be user replaceable, while I am not convinced the CyberPower (model that I am looking at) battery is user replaceable.

    Still, I confess to be leaning toward the CyberPower - less expensive (and it hence stays inside my budget) and it has a slightly higher rating.

    I'm currently searching for reviews on both UPS.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 31-Aug-2019 at 08:27.

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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    One advantage the APC (model that I am looking at) may have is I believe its battery may be user replaceable, while I am not convinced the CyberPower (model that I am looking at) battery is user replaceable.
    Even though Cyberpower said the battery in my pp1100 was not user replaceable, I could have replaced the battery.

    All I had to do was remove 2 small phillips head screws to gain access to the battery. The harder part was disconnecting the battery from the power leads. I had to use pliers to do this.

    In the end I did not replace the battery, but bought a new ups. My rational for buying a new upst was:
    1) Price of replacement battery verse new UPS. Battery was about 1/2 the cost of a new ups (if I exchanged by old battery for the new one).
    2) Availability. I could get a new ups same day. The replacement battery would have been shipped to me and I would have had to ship the old battery back for a refund of the battery core deposit. (it was a lead-acid battery so shipping would have been a hassle).
    3) A minor reason, I got a higher wattage unit.

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    Default Re: UPS experiences to share? (CyberPower under consideration) or recommend?

    Thankyou for all the suggestions and advice in this thread.

    In the end I purchased the CyberPower UT1500E 1500VA / 900W (ordered it last weekend). It arrived yesterday.


    After an overnight charge, I plugged my desktop PC (but not my monitor nor my speakers) and I also routed my wired Ethernet through the CyberPower Ethernet in/out outlet on the back of the UPS. And I connected a USB cable from UPS to my desktop PC.


    I previous had downloaded the CyberPower "PowerPanel" software, thinking I would install it after booting my PC (plugged in to the UPS), but to my surprise after booting my PC (running openSUSE-15.0 with KDE), I noted this icon in the right corner of my desktop.


    Nominally I only see that with a laptop computer, ... but I confess nothing in my (albeit limited) research, suggested that I should expect that for a desktop plugged into the UPS. I figure it must have been because I connected the UPS to the desktop also via the USB. So it was a pleasant surprise.

    If one clicks on the icon one will see this:


    I also went through the KDE power management settings and tuned them a bit.

    It has me thinking .... should I still install the CyberPower "PowerPanel" software?

    I do note that the CyberPower "PowerPanel" command line package available on the CyberPower site (for GNU/Linux) offers more settings, so I am thinking I may still proceed with my original plan and install the CyberPower software. First thou - I am wondering if it may conflict with the KDE settings, and my assumption is if I set the KDE settings for no action, then the CyberPower daemon will take precedence.

    Its been educational - and I plan to blog on this, once I decide my course of action, and decide on the settings I want wrt action to take if there is a power outage.
    .

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