Date: September 20th, 2005
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: SinTek Industries
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PRODUCT COMPOSITION & PICTORIAL (cont'd)
Inside the box, the PSU is wrapped in plastic and sandwiched between dense foam blocks. Four mounting screws are included.
With the packaging removed, we find a nicely executed aluminum case with a shallow “fin” detail utilized on all four long sides of the unit. The case is very robust and the PSU has a pleasing “heft” to it. A voltage selector switch and a fan speed controller knob flank the customary AC plug and on/off switch. Screened openings on both sides of the PSU provide venting, and the rear 80mm exhaust fan has a very nice looking grill with the SinTek logo in the center.
A small LCD displays internal PSU temperature during use. Cases with non-standard PSU placement or orientation may render this feature unviewable.
A 120mm intake fan pulls cooling duty on the bottom of the unit and features blue LED illumination. The fan grills are very attractive, although the user is unlikely to spend much time admiring them after installation. The 500 SLI has “active cooling,” meaning that no matter how low the speed controller knob is set, the PSU will increase fan speed to meet demand. At seven inches in length, it's a bit longer than some PSUs, however this has been a trend in the last couple of years and shouldn't be an issue for late-model ATX cases.
The business end of the SinTek PSU shows off a couple of unique features. On the left, two knobs allow the user to adjust voltage output to the memory (3.3V rail) and PCI-E (5Vand 12V Rails). Though not spelled out in the manual, a SinTek representative explained that the voltage knobs have a 5% range. For example, should the user turn the memory knob to it's lowest setting, the measured voltage would be approximately 2.8V, while the voltage would increase to 3.4 with the knob adjusted to maximum. The PCI-E knob works in the same manner. As mentioned above, the PSU has over/under voltage protection, eliminating any danger to computer components if voltages are improperly adjusted. Modular receptacles are clearly marked and, as we'll see when examining the cables, a latching mechanism keeps them securely in place during use. The ATX and 12V CPU leads are not modular in design. I've always wondered why manufacturers “modularized” these two cables, as they are necessary in virtually all installations. Soldered connections will always be superior to pin-and socket connections and, while modular design has a benefit, keeping the motherboard and CPU power cables in the conventional manner can only enhance performance.