The Power Supply
At first glance, there isn't a whole lot that sets this unit apart from several others on the market. It has a pair of fans (which has become nearly an industry standard of late), the switch for voltage levels that conform to your part of the world and a power toggle switch. So far it looks to be pretty standard, but let's start by taking a peek at one of the features that sets it apart from the competition.
You see this? If you think that it looks like a 4-pin Molex type connector, then you'll be right on the money. With so many products coming out on the market that require external power supplies, Antec has decided to help out. This Molex connector can be used to power an external device that requires such a connection. This can come in mighty handy with some of the external drives hitting the streets.
It is no surprise to see a lot of Molex connectors with the Antec PSU. With more and more peripherals being added to modern systems, there just has to be a way to power them all. You'll get seven 4-pin connectors and two smaller FDD type connectors.
You also get two 4-pin connectors strictly designed for fans. These are a mixed blessing as they automatically adjust the voltage levels in accordance with the temperatures being registered by the PSU. I generally tend to stay away from this type of setup, so I just tie these leads off and store them at the top of the case out of the way. It should also be noted that these connectors are not recommended for use with fans that have LED lights on them. The fluctuating power levels don't play well with the built in lighting.
For those who like to keep an eye on things, you also get this little 3-pin connector that fits very nicely into a vacant fan header on the mainboard. This allows you to monitor the fan speeds of the power supply.
These two leads are standard fare anymore, but if you'll take note of the 20-pin primary power cable, you'll see that it is wrapped with a braided material. This is an excellent addition to any power supply and if you don't have this type of setup, you should. With so many motherboard manufacturers putting the primary power connections close to the processor socket, there has been more than one who has suddenly heard that bone-chilling sound as the power cable wiring meets the spinning blades of a hungry HSF fan. There are few sounds like it and it gets your immediate and undivided attention in nothing flat! With the braiding wrapped around the wiring harness, it keeps everything neat, tidy and out of the way of the internal fans.
The last chunk of wiring hanging out of the back of the PSU is this little white thing. Before getting too deeply into this one, we'll continue on with the main thing that makes this PSU different from the rest.