Are APC UPS units worth the extra price?

Hey, I’m having some difficulty seeing if getting a APC Smart-UPS SMT1500IC compared to something like the Bluewalker PowerWalker VI 2200 LCD as I’m having a difficult time seeing what features or specs that are there which would make it worse the serious price hike.

Only feature that I’m aware of that I’m missing out on is the fact that APC products are listed as compatible with unraid, but not sure if it’s worth the ~$700 price difference.

I’ve never even heard of the Bluewalker UPS’s, but from first glance they look like a typical consumer UPS. The SMT from APC is a much higher class, industry standard “Enterprise” product that you will see in MDF’s and server rooms all around the world

But, its very probable either one would serve you fine.

I would suggest though you buy used. Of the things to buy used, UPS’s is it. The resale value of UPS’s are a fraction of the new cost, so you can get a great deal on used APC UPS’s

Also, look for Eaton and Vertiv/Emerson units too, also very high quality. And if you can, go double conversion

If it was between the two you mentioned for $700 difference, I’d go the cheaper. But there is no way in hell I’d pay even $700 total for a 1500VA UPS

I paid less than that for my 3000VA double conversion SRT3000RMXLA

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Thanks for the reminder, I found a listing for a unused APC Smart UPS RT 3000 XL, but the tricky thing is if I’ll be able to get it shipped to me considering the weight.

and it’s honestly a bit overkill, but honestly it feels quite difficult trying to find a ups that’s specced for over 1Kw draw without going into ridiculous pricing.

You’re in the US I assume?

Not at all. Hence some of my difficulties.

I have an opinion that power delivery is both the easiest, and one of the worst things to cheap out on. I like APC. But are they worth the cost? Not really; the trick is finding refurb units and a battery supplier nearby.
If you want to post your approximate location I can take a crack at it.

I’m from the arctic bit of Norway, so what’s available is quite limited.

Ee Arctic Circle always makes things fun.
Buy Apc Products Online in Norway at Best Prices looks to have reasonable prices, but doesn’t include the import fees in shipping. I have no idea what Norways customs clearance would cost. I also don’t know if it will change the shipping fees when a full address is supplied.
Contacting might also be worth a look. See if they ship inside the coutry for reasonable prices, or ask if they know a closer supplier?
Worst case you’re only a… two day trip to Oslo and back? Assuming roads are passable? :upside_down_face:

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thanks for the tips, I’ll look further into it tomorrow.

the Sentic price for the SMC1500IC is a bit more palatable.

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Let us know your results if you go with that one.

I tend to put UPS on all of my PCs, and my limited experience is:

  • 3 Mustek units, line interactive - all dead
  • 1 PowerSomething unit, desktop, line interactive - dead
  • 1 APC unit, desktop, line interactive pushing 15+ years
  • 1 APC unit, rack, line interactive, second-hand, 18+ years old - a bit wacky, somewhat operational
  • 1 Delta Amplon Double Conversion rack unit, pushing 5+ years

A quick note, if you go for double conversion they tend to be loud AF, the inverter is always on and needs cooling at all times.



I’ve had good luck with Eaton and Delta (non enterprise) UPS units
You might however want to lookup that you have software capable to communicate with the UPS as that might not cover all platforms out there.

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My SRT3000RMXLA is virtually silent, just a very quiet 80mm fan in there

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If you have a military base or goverment post near you, you can check there DRMO (I don’t know what it would be in NATO terms).
Basically pick up the UPS shell and buy the batteries from a supplier because more than likely, the batteries in the unit will be shot.

I personally run the SMT-1500s and I so far have not used anything better outside of the enterprise environment.

Big caveat is that they use two lead acid batteries and you only get about 4 to five years of life out of them. Case in point, I had to use one of mine on battery power and it was only pulling like 49 watts, but the battery lasted 45 minutes. I switched to the other one and it lasted for like 2 hours before I was able to restore power. Depending on the load through the years, the batteries will not wear evenly. A battery is also like 75USD. for that price, I wish there was a Li-Poly or Li-PO4 battery replacement.

That one looks awesome, but too pricey for my home lab.

Mine too, but keep a look out for deals. These are expensive units but almost no one wants a 30a UPS for their home. I have an eBay search I look at every now and then, and one popped up for a steal and I nabbed it

I’d love a second double conversion for the garage, probably 1500VA, and they go for double to triple the price of the 3000VA’s

I’ve always stuck to APC and especially now these are hard to source here in Sri Lanka. Thankfully I still have an official agent importing these. But the cost is eye watering due to exchange rates.

I recently added another 3kva unit but an expandable long runtime version.

One of my older 3kva units is having a battery sensing issue but I had all the SLA batteries replaced after 5-years use and will use it for a less critical load.


This goes back thirty years, but is still valid.

When I first started in IT we wanted to outfit all office PC’s with UPS as local power quality was unstable. Our supplier could not get APC units and brought in a couple of pallets of PowerEdge UPS instead.

I had doubts about the quality of the PowerEdge’s The Ops VP at the time heard me
and immediately took one of the PowerEdges and hooked it up to a variable voltage transformer then asked me to hook up a PC to the UPS output. We left it overnight to charge the battery. Next day, he twisted and turned the output dial randomly and within 30 secs the PC crashed.

An APC unit I was using was tested next and nothing we did to that dial made the slightest difference.

I’ve used APC exclusively since. There have been a couple of issues recently with them since they were bought out. I’ve replaced two 4K units because the main boards fried. No cost or charge to me, but that’s the first thing that has happened.

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