The very first step to do when you get your APC
product will be reconnecting the black wire to the battery. All of APCíS units
are shipped with a battery wire disconnected due the compliance with the Department
of Transportation (DOT) regulations. To do so, place the unit on a side, open
the battery protection door, and slide the battery out. After these steps
have been done, connect the black wire to the battery, slip the battery back
and close the protection door.
When these steps have been completed, you will
need to connect the unit to a power source. The UPS battery charges whenever
it is connected to utility power and typically requires around 5 hours to
fully charge. After the charge, you can proceed connecting your equipment
to the UPS.
After your equipment has been connected to the system, you are ready to proceed
installing the PowerChute Plus software. In order to connect the UPS to a
computer, you will need to connect the included serial cable from the UPS
system to the PC serial port.
Once completed, insert the PowerChute Plus CD
in the drive and setup should automatically start if "auto insert notification"
is enabled on that particular drive. The installation should not take more
than a few seconds, as the size of the program is only a few Mbytes. At the
very end of the installation, process you will be asked to choose the appropriate
COM port the unit is connected. If you are not sure, do not panic, APC included
an auto COM detector that will find it in less than 5 seconds. When it has
found the appropriate communication protocol, your new UPS is fully functional
with your computer.
The Force of the 650 PRO
Having your PC connected to an UPS system is
great, but did you ever ask your-self how long these systems could keep up
with your PC? Well before going further, let me just explain that every single
UPS has itís own specifications. This means that the 650 PRO model performs
somehow better compared to letís say the 500 standard model. The price difference
is not only based on the exterior features and power output, but it is also
based on a reasonable improvement over the time it can hold your PC up.
We decided to perform a simple On-Battery test
on our desktop Pentium III 550E system featuring the Asus P3V4X motherboard,
128MB of memory and a G400 video card from Matrox. It was tested on a mid-tower
case running on a 300Watt Furtron power-supply. The monitor of choice was
Sonyís value 17" ES monitor. The complete setup was rated at around 230W including
We started the test at 12:00pm. Just by unplugging
the electricity source, the Back-UPS PRO started out-putting an alarm sound:
sending out a warning that the electricity has been completely cut off and
the system fully operates from the UPS Battery. The beeping lasted until 12:36,
which was then replaced by a continues alarm: sending out a warning that the
UPS battery is in its last resources.
This alarm lasted until 12:44 and 29 seconds.
The UPS system gave up and the PC turned off. The Back-UPS 650 showed us an
impressive on battery result of 44 Minutes and 29 seconds, a very reasonable
back up hold for this 299$ UPS system. Our previous test with the Back-UPS
650 demonstrated that the unit was capable of a maximum of 35Minutes and 27
seconds of back Time using the exact same PC. It will be up to you to decide
if the nine extra minutes are worth the extra money.
The APC Back-UPS PRO 650 is quite an
improvement over the normal 650 version. The PRO version includes an improved
battery that offers more back time and at the same time doesn't require the
11 hours needed by the 650 version to fully charge; 6hours that's all it needs.
I would also want to applaud APC for including the Computer Interface kit.
Customers will highly appreciate that, as the PowerChute Program is a very
Depending of your needs, the extra 100$ the PRO
version is sold for may not be required for most. The 650 version offers similar
specifications but lesser features. If you look for a top UPS system for your
desktop, than the 650 might be your answer. However, if you are the same user
that doesn't care about extra features and battery recharge times then we
would recommend you to stick with the affordable APC 650 solution that will
also do a great job.