Articles: Cases/PSU

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SinTek WIN550XSPX-X (550W)

This powers supply from an ominously named manufacturer bears a strong resemblance to the MGE Vortec models I have reviewed in my previous articles, see for instance the article called ATX Power Supply Units Roundup: Part II . It uses the same aluminum case (painted a different color and with aluminum wire instead of transparent windows) and the same placement of the fans, and there is the same knob to control the fan speed. A short investigation proved that the actual manufacturer of these PSUs is Wintech which has already been mentioned in this review (see the sections about the PSUs from MGE).

The PSU features detachable power cables for the peripherals; the mainboard and CPU cables are fixed. The different connectors are only labeled and not color-coded (as in the Enermax Liberty, for example), so you should be very careful when attaching the cables.

There are two control knobs near the connectors, labeled as “Memory” and “PCI Express”. I supposed that the former controls the +3.3V voltage, although the memory slots are powered from their own regulator on any modern mainboard and don’t care a bit about the voltage on the +3.3V rail (some enthusiasts do bind the memory voltage regulator to the input voltage as to an etalon, but this redesign requires some soldering skills and worsens the system stability and reliability).

The neighboring knob, “PCI Express”, should have controlled the +12V voltage, but I couldn’t spot any correlation between its position and the voltage on any of the PSU’s outputs.

The thermometer on the side of the PSU shows the temperature of the group regulation coil and the heatsink with diode packs (the thermal sensor is placed in between them). This thermometer will probably be obscured from view after installation unless your system case has a very large side window or there is no side panel in your case at all. Fortunately, the manufacturer made use of a functionally complete thermometer unit which can be easily taken out (you’ll need a cross-tipped screwdriver to dismantle the PSU and a flat-tipped screwdriver to release the plastic feet of the thermometer and to extract it) and placed on the front panel of the system case, for example. The thermometer is fed through a standard Molex connector (it can be seen in the snapshot of the internal design of the PSU, see below) and the thermal sensor has a long enough wire for you to place it anywhere in the system case. The thermometer lacks highlighting.

The internal design of the PSU is standard enough; this is a typical circuit design with group voltage regulation. The PSU doesn’t have any power factor correction whatsoever. The golden color of the heatsinks resembles Enermax, but this is the only common feature between the two companies: Wintech has nothing to do with Enermax as yet. The PSU is assembled neatly without visible flaws.

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