Ultra 700VA UPS vs Ultra 850VA UPS

Print

Product(s): Ultra 850VA 425 Watts Backup UPS, Ultra 700VA 350 Watts Backup UPS
Provided By:
Ultra Products
Price: Ultra 850VA - $42.97 CDN (Tigerdirect.ca), Ultra 700VA - $53.97 CDN (Tigerdirect.ca)

 

Introduction: 

I really find it amazing that people with a couple thousand dollars invested in the most current hardware don't bother to use a UPS. Statistics place power problems as the leading cause of computer damage, and for an extra few dollars you can literally buy piece of mind knowing that if your power goes out your computer is going to safely shut itself down and prevent any damage due to the power being cut out suddenly.

Now that summer is coming, and everytime your neighbor powers up that big old air conditioner and you lights go dim for a second, it might be a good time to get yourself a UPS, or at least consider getting one. Not sure how a UPS works? Well, check out this link, it explains it alot better than I can.

Ultra might not be a well-known name in the UPS market, but we're going to see in this review how their 700VA and 850VA models perform, they both are very competitively price, lets see if they can compete with the big guys...

 

First Impressions:

Well, when I was told a these UPS' were coming, I was pretty sure I knew what to expect. Pulling them out of the box really didn't amaze me, but honestly, I was overall quite impressed with them, they look nice and classy. Looks only count for so much on a UPS since most likely its going to get shoved under your desk and no one is ever going to see it, but hey, I'm just saying they look very nice. But enough with how they look, lets move onto the next section for the real tests...

 

Ultra 700VA - Box Action
Ultra 700VA UPS Box
Ultra 850VA - Box Action
Ultra 850VA UPS Box
   
Ultra 700VA - Connections
Ultra 700VA UPS
Ultra 850VA - Connections
Ultra 850VA UPS
   
Ultra 700VA - Contents
Ultra 700VA UPS Contents
Ultra 850VA - Contents
Ultra 850VA UPS Contents

 

As you can see from the pictures, both UPS' look pretty similar, only major difference is that the 850VA has 8 plugs and the 750VA has 6 plugs. As you can see in the picture below, the 850VA is also a little bitter bigger in size.

 

Ultra 850VA - 700VA Comparison
Ultra 750VA and 850VA - Side By Side

 

 

Ultra 700VA and 800VA UPS Specifications:

All specifications where taken directly from Ultra's website.

 

Ultra 700VA 350 Watts Backup UPS:

 

General Backup Time 9-11 minutes (a PC with 15” CRT monitor)
17-19 minutes (a PC with 15” LCD monitor)
Net Weight Kg (lbs) 2.58(5.67)
Digital Display No
Output Watts 350
UPS Capacity 700VA
Total Capacity
(Protection)
1200VA
No. of Sockets Style A UPSx3, Bypassx3
Voltage (Battery) Simulated sine wave at 120V +/- 5%
Frequency (Battery) 50 or 60Hz +/- 0.3Hz
Transfer Time 2-4 milliseconds, including detection time
Input Voltage (Single Phase) 120V +15%/-20% at line input
Frequency 50 or 60Hz +/- 10% (auto sensing)
Protection Unit Input Circuit breaker for overload & short circuit protection
Overload Protection AC Mode: If load exceeds 110% of nominal,
Buzzer beeps continuously. If load exceeds
120% of nominal for 30 seconds, 130% for 3
seconds, UPS shuts down automatically.
Back up Mode: If load exceeds 105% of
nominal for 20 seconds, 120% for 10 seconds,
130% for 3 seconds, UPS shuts down
automatically.
Short Circuit UPS output shuts off immediately
Surge Protection 1140 Joules, 2ms
Battery Type Sealed, maintenance-free lead acid battery, with 3-6 years typical lifetime
Typical Recharge Time 6 hours (to 90% of full capacity)
Protection Automatic self-test, Over discharge
protection, short circuit protection by fuse
Interface USB Battery low detecting, UPS on/off scheduling AC input/output power status display.
Alarm Battery Backup Slow beeping sound every 4 seconds
Battery Low Rapid beeping sound every second
Abnormal Charge AC Mode: Rapid beeping sound every 0.5 second
Overload Continuous beeping sound
Environment Ambient Operation 3,500 meters max. elevation, 0-95% humidity non-condensing, 0-40?
Audible Noise <40dBA (1 meter from surface)

 

 

Ultra 850 VA 425 Watts UPS:

 

General Backup Time 16-20 minutes (a PC with 15” CRT monitor)
36-40 minutes (a PC with 15” LCD monitor)
Net Weight Kg (lbs) 4.1(9.1)
Digital Display No
Output Watts 425
UPS Capacity 850VA
Total Capacity
(Protection)
1200VA
No. of Sockets Style A UPSx4, Bypassx4
Voltage (Battery) Simulated sine wave at 120V +/- 5%
Frequency (Battery) 50 or 60Hz +/- 0.3Hz
Transfer Time 2-4 milliseconds, including detection time
Input Voltage (Single Phase) 120V +15%/-20% at line input
Frequency 50 or 60Hz +/- 10% (auto sensing)
Protection Unit Input Circuit breaker for overload & short circuit protection
Overload Protection AC Mode: If load exceeds 110% of nominal,
Buzzer beeps continuously. If load exceeds
120% of nominal for 30 seconds, 130% for 3
seconds, UPS shuts down automatically.
Backup Mode: If load exceeds 105% of
nominal for 20 seconds, 120% for 10 seconds,
130% for 3 seconds. UPS shuts down
automatically.
Short Circuit UPS output shuts off immediately
Surge Protection 1520 Joules, 2ms
Battery Type Sealed, maintenance-free lead acid battery, with 3-6 years typical lifetime
Typical Recharge Time 6 hours (to 90% of full capacity)
Protection Automatic self-test, Over discharge
protection, short circuit protection by fuse
Interface USB Battery low detecting, UPS on/off scheduling AC input/output power status display.
Alarm Battery Backup Slow beeping sound every 4 seconds
Battery Low Rapid beeping sound every second
Abnormal Charge AC Mode: Rapid beeping sound every 0.5 second
Overload Continuous beeping sound
Environment Ambient Operation 3,500 meters max. elevation, 0-95% humidity non-condensing, 0-40?
Audible Noise <40dBA (1 meter from surface)

 

Software:

All my testing found the software to be very easy to use, and very easy to setup, two of my favorite things. I installed the software and unplugged the UPS to see what would happen, and sure enough with no problems it automatically shutdown without any more setup. There are quite a few options (Send E-mail to yourself when the power goes out, voltage monitors, event views, etc) which are pretty handy, but for the majority of users, it will just run in the background and protect you if the power goes out and your not around, and honestly thats what 95% of people are going to need it to do.

I won't go into much detail about the software, other than it worked great and I'll include some screenshots of it in action (Included below)

 

main.jpg
Ultra UPSMON Plus - Main Moniter

 

event.jpg
Ultra UPSMON Plus - Event Log

 

record.jpg
Ultra UPSMON Plus - Record Viewer

 

Battery Replacement: 

Both models also offer replaceable batteries. I found both models very easy to open up and take out the battery, both batteries are quite standard sizes and are easily found at your local battery store, or even on ebay. These batteries are not proprietary, so your not going to have to pay an arm and a leg to Ultra to buy a replacement battery, both batteries can easily be purchased for a number of different vendors.

 

Ultra 700VA - Battery
Ultra 700VA Replaceable Battery
Ultra 850VA - Battery
Ultra 850VA Replaceable Battery
   
Ultra 700VA - Jacks
Phone Line Protection and USB (Both Models)
Ultra 850VA - Plugs
Ultra 850VA Battery Plugs

 

 

Testing Conclusion:

Testing a UPS is pretty basic, there really aren't a ton of options to test out, basically I wanted to see how long these UPS' lasted, and how the software worked and if there ever was a blackout I wanted to make sure the software would shut down my computer.

Everyone knows that the suggested run time of a UPS is really not how long they are going to run for in real world scenarios, the questions is, how big is the difference?

For all my testing I let the battery charge for 24 hours before testing, both units had been used before and had charged and discharged before the final test occurred. For the testing I simply unplugged the UPS and let it run until the computer attached turned off. For testing I used my bench system with the below specifications:

 

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 - Provided by Memory Express
MSI P965 Neo - Provided by Memory Express
XFX 8800 GTX - Provided by Memory Express
2 GB Kit of Crucial Ballistix PC2-8000 - Provided by Crucial
Western Digital 250 gig (16 MB Cache)
Enermax Liberty 500 Watt Power Supply
CoolIT Freezone CPU Cooler -
Provided by CoolIT Systems

 

The wattage of the system being run off the UPS was approximately 240 Watts running idle. This wattage fluctuated by about 10 watts, but was consistently around 240 watts for the entire test.

The monitoring software claimed my test system was running the 700VA at approximately 65% load, and the 850VA at 50% load.

 

compare.jpg

The 700VA Ultra UPS has a runtime of 3:06 seconds and the 850VA Ultra UPS had a runtime of 3:32. Both tests were done with the same computer which was drawing 240 Watts (+/- 5 Watts).

 

 

Ultra 700VA and 800VA UPS Final Thoughts:

These UPS' aren't claiming to be able to run your system for hours and hours without power, but are aimed more at a market that needs enough time to save some documents and get shut down if the power goes out, and both units do that without a problem. The real-life tests I ran on these units proved that they aren't going to run for an extended period of time, but I found that in the 3-4 minutes that they ran for, I was easily able to get everything saved and ready to be shut down. Also the majority of times this year that my lights have gone out for more than 10 seconds, is pretty low, both of these units are more than enough to keep you going during a storm where the power goes out for a couple seconds, then comes back on.

I was very happy with how simple it was to install the software, and have it work with no modifications, I simply plugged the UPS in, installed the software, and unplugged the power and without missing a beat the software kicked it and shut my computer down automatically with no problems. I'm always a fan of software that once installed just works, of course there are modifications you can make if you want your computer to run longer than the defaults, but for 95% of users, the defaults are great and work with no problems.

Doing the Pro's and Con's for this review turned out to be a bit more difficult that most other products. Really the only thing that could be considered a "Con" is the run time, but thats why Ultra has other products that offer longer run times, so obviously I can't dock any points for that because the longer run time you need, the more you pay.

Finding the "Pro's" of these UPS' were pretty easy, they both have a great price which is lower than other "Big Name" UPS' on the market. Also its software is simple and very easy to use and does the job perfectly, I had no issues whatsoever with it, and found it to do everything I could ask and more. At the time of publishing I found the 850VA model for $42.97 CDN, which is really a super deal, thats a pretty low price to pay for protection like a UPS offers, heck, you can easily spend more than that on a good surge protector. I would think such a low price might scare some people off thinking they are getting a low quality product, however I have been using mine for about a month and have had no problems whatsoever and can easily recommend either one of the models we reviewed. If both these models are more than you need you can even go with Ultra's 500VA model which is advertised for $24.97 CDN on pricegrabber.ca. With prices like this its pretty hard to use the old "I can't justify spending that much on something thats not going to make my computer better" excuse.

Overall both of these UPS' I reviewed were great, they both worked great and I honestly had no issues with either of them. I think at the end of the day the price of these units is going to be the major selling point, and if you do a little searching around on the internet, you can find both these units at some pretty low prices.

 

Pro's

- Affordable Price
- Software works Great
- Works Great

Con's

- None

 

In the end, I can easily give both of these Ultra UPS' our Top Pick award, they are a great product at a great price, and definitely deserving of our Top Pick. I am awarding both of these units (700VA and 850VA) the same score, since they both performed at the same level.

 

BCCHardware.com Rating
Quality:
9.7/10
Performance:
10/10
Software Pack:
n/a
Stability:
n/a
Features:
n/a
Value:
10/10
Total Score 9.9

 

TopPick

 

I'd like to thank Ultra for allowing us to review these UPS'. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.