What You Get
Once you open the box, you'll be greeted by the power supply, a power cable, a wad of unattached cables and some mounting screws. Nothing really out of the ordinary except for the cabling harness that doesn't come connected to the PSU. We'll take a closer look at this feature in a bit, but first lets get a general idea as to the power ratings of this model.
As we mentioned earlier, this particular model carries a power rating of 500 watts. Unlike many low-end manufacturers out there, this rating is not the peak power level, but what the unit is designed to withstand on a continuous basis. A quick look at the specifications shows a peak power rating of 588 watts, so we can already see that there is power enough to spare.
Breaking down the power rails shows a very impressive 34A for the 12v rail, 30A for the 5v rail, and 30A for the 3.3v rail. I've seen more than one PSU that claims to be high-end but only offers 28A or less on the 12v power rail. While this model does not make use of dual 12v rails, the power ratings are more than acceptable.
The 500 SLI is also actively cooled with a pair of fans. There is a standard 80mm fan on the rear-facing panel and a 120mm fan on the underside to keep the air flowing over parts that can create a huge amount of heat. And just to give a cooler overall appearance, the 120mm fan has LED lighting around the edges of the fan bay. To control these two fans, there is an onboard rheostat that is accessible from the rear of the unit. Lets take a closer look at this area to show you what I mean.
The round knob at the bottom of the panel is the rheostat control. Directly above this is the toggle switch to change from 115v power to 230v settings. Just make sure you set this to the proper setting before cranking up the unit for the first time.
Moving around to the side of the unit brings us to an interesting feature; a small LCD display that shows the temperature. For those with a large side window (most of us nowadays), this panel can be seen through the window along with the blue lighting effects of the 120mm fan. This is something out of the ordinary on a power supply, but it does add character to the unit.
Heading to the back of the PSU shows us why we have a cabling harness that isn't attached. The 500 SLI is of a modular design and you only need hook up the cables necessary to power your installed components. This can be a true blessing when it comes to cable management as you don't have unused cabling getting in the way all the time.
Each port is clearly labeled so just plug in the appropriate cable to the correct port and you're ready for action. The only cables that are hard wired into the unit are the primary power coupling and the auxiliary connector. All else is modular and can be added as needed. You can also see above that the hard wired cabling harness has a plastic grommet surrounding the outer shell hole so you won't have to worry about the cables getting rubbed raw and shorting out the power supply and very likely your system.
Another feature that helps make this model unique are the voltage adjustment knobs you see on the left side of the back panel. These knobs allow you to manually adjust the voltage levels for the memory and the PCI-E devices. This makes for another feature that isn't unheard of, but is still a bit rare.
Since we've been chatting about the modular concept, it might be a good idea to see what type of connections we have at our immediate disposal. Besides the main power coupling and the auxiliary connector, you have modular cables for six 4-pin Molex, one FDD device, four SATA drives and two PCI-E devices. Overall a solid setup that will handle just about anything you can throw at it.
For those who are concerned about the 20-pin versus the 24-pin layout, the SinTek 500 SLI has you covered regardless of your needs. The primary power coupler uses the 20+4 design that can easily handle the motherboard you have. For those with a newer 24-pin main header, just attach the entire coupler as it is shipped. Need only a 20-pin connection? Just get a small pair of pliers and squeeze the little clamp device you see on the left of the coupler and remove the unwanted four pins. Compatibility with either type was not an issue, so you'll be good to go no matter your needs.