Moving beyond the basic box full of batteries mentality, both units offer an additional feature you might not expect on a UPS, manageability. Unsurprisingly the units feature a USB connection for direct monitoring and communication of power events with a single PC.
Taking things a step further the 5PX offers an Ethernet connection for network monitoring and management abilities. With the included software the UPS can be configured to allow UPS management as well as provide status updates and alerts across a network including email alerts to key support personnel.
If virtualization is part of your daily life then the Eaton 5PX also has an "app for that". The 5PX and its accompanying software integrate directly with VMware and allow the option of managing power needs for virtual machines. For example, say three virtual machines are running on a server and that server (connected to the 5PX) loses power. Not only will the 5PX supply battery power to the affected server and begin the power down sequence, it is also able to migrate the virtual machines to a server that still has power.Battery Life
The main purpose of a UPS is to provide you with time, in the form of power. A UPS is a tool that supplies your PC/Workstation/Server with enough power to run for X minutes after a power failure, thereby providing you with the time necessary to save your work and safely shutdown the system. A UPS is not intended to be a long term power solution allowing you to run your gadgets for hours on end after a power failure. After all, if you lost power due to a natural disaster, odds are that you would be more concerned with saving your data than with finishing your level on Crysis 2.
The common belief, including my own prior to researching the topic, was that the best way to get extended run time with a UPS was to simply buy a bigger UPS. While this is true to some degree the reality is that this is far from the most efficient method of gaining additional run time. I spoke with Brad Amano of Eaton Corporation who explained that UPS efficiency is highly dependent on the total amount of power load.
Essentially, the closer the power load is to the maximum rating of the UPS, the greater the efficiency of the UPS. The reason for this is that a true UPS includes the batteries themselves as well as management hardware and software(firmware). The management hardware/software introduces overhead to the UPS system and effects its overall efficiency.
For example say the management hardware/software running on the UPS requires 5 watts of power, if your power load is only a total of 50W then there is no way to feasibly reach 99% efficiency. On the other, if you load the UPS with a 500W load and the overhead is still constant at 5W you will experience greater efficiency.Rackmounted Eaton 5PX 1500VA with an additional Extended Battery Module (EBM)
If we agree that makes sense then the question still remains, how do I get more runtime efficiently? The Eaton 3S is more of a consumer grade plug and play model. With the 3S the run time you get is what you get, there is no upgrading. The 5PX model with its enterprise/server room focus does allow for upgradeability.
That is where EBM's (Extended Battery Modules) come in. EBM's are identical in physical size to the 5PX itself and can be daisy-chained to the unit. EBM's are essentially a true box full of batteries and cannot operate independently of the UPS. Adding these additional batteries also adds additional runtime without greatly increasing system overhead. The 5PX can support a total of 4 EBM's to aid in additional run time.Testing and Methodology
Generally this is the part of the review where we outline exactly what component we will be testing and the supporting hardware used to test it. Today things are a little bit different as the UPS is not a component we plug into our system but rather our system is a component we plug into the UPS. Secondly there is really no user-friendly benchmark for UPSs, at least not any that spit out benchmark results easily translatable to real world performance.
With this in mind we will be running some subjective testing and in a sense benchmarking the systems against their own claims. When it comes right down to it there are really only two things most people concern themselves with when it comes to UPS's; battery powered runtime and power protection. Essentially what most users (including myself) want to know is; "How long will it run on battery power?"
and "What will happen to my equipment if there is a power surge like a lightning strike?"
As I do not have the capability to reproduce a lightning strike and do not wish to stand in the middle of a field holding a steel rod during a thunderstorm we will test for power loss and battery run time.
The Eaton Intelligent Power Software closely monitors the health of the UPS as well as its current activity level and will produce estimated run times on battery power based on current loads. The 5PX has the added feature of displaying estimated runtimes on its LCD display.
In order to keep things consistent with the rest of our testing here at BSN we will use our standard desktop test bed as the source of power load for our testing with the 5PX and 3S. To hit a constant power draw Futuremark's 3DMark 11 was looped and run continuously.
•Intel Core i7 2600K Processor at 3.4GHz (Supplied by Intel)
•Intel DP67BG Motherboard (Supplied by Intel)
•2x 2GB Kingston DDR3-1600 Memory
•NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560Ti graphics card (Supplied by NVIDIA)
•160GB Intel X25-M SSD
•Enermax Revolution 1000W PSU
•Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW 24" 1900x1200 display
Let's move on to the test results.
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