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Review: APC SmartUPS 1000 - Loading and summary
Written by Danrok   
Saturday, 09 October 2004 02:42
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Review: APC SmartUPS 1000
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Power and Loading

This 1000 VA model should provide plenty of power for most SOHO uses. So, let's see what it can take. An important point to remember is that a 500 watt PSU does not draw 500 watt of power unless it is under full load.

The screen-shot below demonstrates this. The UPS was powering two systems, an Athlon 64 3000 and an Athlon XP 3000. Both computers have a single IDE hard disk, add-on graphics cards and the Athlon XP is also running a Koolance watercooling unit. As you can see the load is just 52% or about 350 watt even though both PSUs are rated at 400 watt or more. No monitors were attached to the UPS.

UPS Loading

Mains voltage over a 6 hour period

The UPS will quite happily power monitors, but is not designed to power laser printers. This might seem odd, but laser printers contain a high wattage heater used to heat up the fuser. This heater can be as large as 800W on it's own, which this UPS isn't capable of powering. The rest of the laser printer takes fairly little power.

Now that we've seen how the UPS load looks with a couple of computers attached, lets see what happens when we connect a couple of monitors to the UPS.

First monitor to be attached is a 17" TFT and the load goes up from 52% to just 55%. Adding a 21" CRT to this causes the load to go up to 65%.

The load is 69% with both PCs, the two monitors
and an ADSL/Router connected to the UPS

The screen shot below shows that it is predicted that
the batteries will run for 24 minutes with 69% load.

Auto-Shutdown and Cold Starts

I have configured the UPS to initiate an automatic OS shutdown immediately on power failure. After killing the mains supply at the wall socket the UPS alarm sounds and Windows does indeed perform an unattended shutdown, closing all running applications as it does so.

The PowerChute software can be configured to handle shutdowns in different ways. It can be set to wait until battery power is low or you can specify the duration in minutes before shutdown occurs when the power fails.

Power failure options

Next I tried a cold boot of all hardware at the same time. This caused problems. After booting power was lost to all hardware and I received an email which reads "PowerChute Business Edition has detected the following event: Output Load Threshold Exceeded on Agent dan-2x2ta9dz3ps".

So, in this case cold booting all hardware at the same time is not a good idea. But, everything does hold-up just fine if I boot one machine at a time. A number of CRT monitors are noted

The document I was working on during the test was not saved and my changes were lost. However, normally I would save my work before leaving the PC and if I was sitting at the PC during a failure I would have plenty of time to save all my work before shutdown. For more specialised unattended use it is possible to have PowerChute execute commands as needed during a failure.

It is advisable to carry out your own tests when installing a new UPS, this way you will know exactly what will happen during a real failure.

The Case and Front Panel

The front panel has two switches for on and off. The on button doubles up as a test button, and also be used to indicate the approximate mains voltage, should you not be near the console machine.

There is an array of LEDs to show the general status of the UPS. This is only of real use if the PowerChute software is not being used, but they can be handy to give an "at a glance" indication of loading and the battery status on the UPS.

UPS Front Panel

The steel case looks and feels solid. There are some vent holes on both flanks to provide passive air flow through the case. The case does feel warm to the touch during normal operation.

The unit is fairly heavy as you would expect, as it contains lead acid batteries. Most UPS's find end up stowed below desks. It is a little awkward to drag out, the sculpted curve on the front is a useful hand hold. It would have been nice if there were a couple of wheels at the rear. That way it would be possible to get it out from under the desk without crawling underneath. On the other hand, many UPS devices sit where they're placed for years on end.


I encountered no major problems with the APC 1000 Smart-UPS. It does exactly what I expected it to do. The power output is adequate to run two PC's provided care is taken when booting the machines. By no means cheap, I paid £273.77 including VAT at 17.5%. There are suitable UPS's for running single PCs which can be had for about half this price. APC UPS devices are widely available, so shop around for the best price.

I cannot say how well this particular unit will stand the test of time. The battery will, of course, need replacing at some point in the future. If the batteries are kept well charged, they are expected to last about 5 years. Batteries can be changed without having to send the UPS back to APC, but APC genuine batteries are not cheap.

I am now content that I have finally got round to giving my machines the protection they deserve!

Feel free to discuss this or any other UPS in AOA's Forums!

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