|Tripp Lite SMART1500LCD 1500VA 900W LCD Rackmount UPS|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Power|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 14 July 2007|
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The purpose of a battery backup unit is to provide power to equipment when the A/C power has failed. Simple enough, which means that it isn't very difficult to test an uninterruptible power source. What separates the good from the bad is how long they can survive after a power failure, and what they can offer in addition to a battery backup solution.
For this review, I compared the Tripp Lite 1500VA 900W SMART1500LCD UPS to several other battery backup systems. CyberPower's CP1350AVRLCD 810W and CP1350AVRLCD 900W joined the Powercom Black Knight Pro BNT-1500AP and it's related cousin the Ultra ULT33045 900W.
Battery Backup Devices
The Powercom Black Knight Pro BNT-1500AP is a 1500VA UPS offering 900 Watts and is available at many of the more popular online stores. I used the BNT-1500AP in nearly all of my server installations, because it offers plenty of wattage at a very reasonable cost. Unfortunately Powercom doesn't offer a convenient LCD diagnostic display on the BNT-1500AP like CyberPower does on their CP1350AVRLCD and CP1500AVRLCD, nor do they offer an equipment guarantee like all of the other system include. Feature amenities aside, all of the systems tested in this article are very comparable UPS battery backup systems, which offer similar wattage at a similar price.
For each test, the computer was booted into DOS, and MemTest 86+ was run for the duration which consumed 180W. The on-battery lifetime was recorded from the moment the UPS system began on-battery power, to the moment the devices fully depleted the battery and system shut off. For comparison, the computer and LCD display combined consumed 170W at the Windows XP login screen, and 178W during web browsing. Ironically, power draw was slightly higher when the system entered into the BIOS setup screen, which measured 186W. Benchmark Reviews utilized the following test system hardware for the computer and display:
Each UPS would be drained completely during the on-battery lifetime test, and then recharged for a full 24-hour period before retesting. Each test was repeated three times, and the results were averaged (although the results were practically identical each time). For the battery backup unit testing, each UPS was pulled out of the box and charged for more than 24 hours with the power turned off. I then connected the computer and display (listed below) into the UPS. The computer was started and the main power cord was immediately disconnected from the UPS to begin on-battery power.
I felt pretty sure that the Tripp Lite SMART1500LCD would perform just as well as the equally rated Powercom Black Knight Pro BNT-1500AP the nearly identical Ultra ULT33045, but the end results were a real surprise.
Tripp Lite SMART1500LCD Results
CyberPower CP1350AVRLCD 1350VA 810W UPS: 25 Minutes of on-battery life operation for PC and display. Averaging 180Kw drain, the CyberPower CP1350AVRLCD offered nearly a half-hour of on-battery life. While not nearly the lifetime the retail box boasts, it was clearly the little UPS that could.
Powercom Black Knight Pro BNT-1500AP 1500VA 900W UPS: 22 Minutes of on-battery life operation for PC and display. With less overhead (no LCD), and more volt-amps and wattage, the Powercom UPS couldn't push past the less powerful CyberPower CP1350AVRLCD. Similar battery configurations, somewhat comparative power output, and yet the lifetime proves the numbers wrong.
Tripp Lite 1500VA SMART1500LCD UPS: 22 Minutes of on-battery life operation for PC and display. The single-reading LCD display may create a very minor amount of overhead, but despite higher volt-amps and wattage the Tripp Lite SMART1500LCD UPS matched the Powercom BNT-1500AP, but could not outperform the less powerful CyberPower CP1350AVRLCD. What I really liked about these results was that Tripp Lites own test result chart matched our results exactly, which means that they are being very honest and not attempting to give the consumer a marketing spin on their products performance.
Ultra ULT33045 1500VA 900W Digital Display UPS: 12 Minutes of on-battery life operation for PC and display. That's not a typo. The Ultra ULT33045 really did not perform well, and we suspect this unit to be defective. Fortunately for us (and Ultra), this unit was covered under warranty. The replacement unit is inbound, and the new results will be posted as soon as the testing is complete.
CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD 1500VA 900W LCD UPS: 30 Minutes of on-battery life operation for PC and display. CyberPower's CP1500AVRLCD provided a half-hour of on-battery life while giving more technical information and power signal data than all of the other manufacturers. While the lifetime on the retail box suggests a much longer runtime, CyberPower has an easy lead over the competition.