A Uninterruptible/Universal Power Supply (UPS), often referred to as a battery backup, is required to protect and extend the life of expensive computer equipment by supplying the equipment with good clean power.
Yes, it's difficult to invest in a product that produces a return one can't see. However, we recommend battery backups because we have seen an increase in power related issues over the years as people plug more power-hungry devices into the grid. If you've ever lost work due to a power-outage or brownout, then you know how nice it would have been to have had a battery backup.
We have long recommended the APC Backup-UPS RS 800 (and similar) as a battery backup solution for iMacs and PowerMac G5s. However, this unit can NOT support a Mac Pro.
According to APC, the minimum UPS for a Mac Pro is the Smart-UPS 750 (part number SUA750). Below is a summary of our current battery backup recommendations. Although the links below reference Amazon, you can sometimes find better deals at newegg.com.
- Xserve or Mac Pro (in rack): Smart-UPS 1500VA 2U (980 W, 6 outlets) = $560
- Mac Pro: Smart-UPS 1500VA (980 W, 8 outlets) = $500
Mac Pro workstation
- APC BR1000G (600 W, 8 outlets) = $150
A 2.8GHz Mac Pro has a maximum power consumption of 318 Watts. Add a 30” display (150 Watts) and the total rises to 468 Watts. If you simply need battery backup for a Mac Pro and display then a Smart-UPS 750 (500 Watts) is fine. If you'll be plugging in additional devices then a Smart-UPS 1000 (670 Watts) is a better solution.
Before buying any new product we strongly recommend our Pro Support clients contact us for a free purchasing consultation.
Notebooks have their own built-in batteries so a UPS is not required, but power protection against surges is always a good idea. We recommend Belkin's Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger for protecting your notebooks in the office or while traveling.