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Sparkle Gold Class 850W PSU

Introduction

Sparkle is mainly known for their video cards, and as we have seen, they tend to deliver. Power supplies might seem to be an odd place to branch off into at first, but it makes sense given that the graphics card is becoming one of the largest single power draws in a modern gaming system.

High-end PCs use a lot of power, and that power has to be tightly regulated. Voltage spikes, dips and fluctuations can cause malfunctions, or even dead components. It’s no exaggeration to say that your PC lives or dies by the quality of the power it receives. Over the years I’ve seen dozens, if not hundreds of systems with fried circuit boards, blown capacitors and even cooked-off wire insulation, all caused by sub-standard power supplies.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at a power supply that aims to be as far away from substandard as possible: Sparkle’s Gold Class SCC-850AF. Let’s see if that sparkle comes from the luster of the finish, or the fizzling sparks of dying circuitry.

Sparkle’s Take

Sparkle has never been big on exuberant self-promotion, preferring instead to let the products speak for themselves—an approach I can always appreciate. Here then, is a list of features to get that discussion started:

  • 850W Modular Power Supply
  • 80 Plus Gold Certified
  • Double Ball Bearing Fan
  • All connector AU coating to keep Ultra high efficiency
  • Full Thermal Control with super silent fan
  • 12V peak at 80A
  • Temperature control design mode
  • Active PFC design
  • Keep PSU fan running for 5-10 seconds after shut down to dissipate the remaining system heat and prolonging system lifetime.
  • Ultra-quiet 13.9cm Fan with intelligent RPM control guarantees cool performance and silent operation.
  • 99.9% 12V Power
  • SYNC Transformer Array
  • Double main electrolytic capacitors
  • DC to DC circuitry design with solid capacitors
  • Forward Safe Guard Circuitry Design
  • Dual Layer main PCB 1.6mm thickness
  • Quintuple 12V Rails
  • 100A Mosfet 12V Rectifiers
  • 20k µF low ESR secondary 105°C electrolytic capacitors
  • Triple AC EMC Filtering stage
  • Dual capacitors design to protect system safety when sudden shut down

One feature that stands out is the extended running of the cooling fan. As many cases use the power supply fan to help cool the rest of the system, letting it run for 5-10 seconds after the rest of the system has shut down helps to dissipate any remaining waste heat. If you’ve got a particularly hot-running system, this may well prolong the life of your components.

Specifications:
UPC No. 843636004048
Series Gold Class Series
Intel Specification ATX12V / EPS12V
Energy Efficiency 80Plus Gold
Modular Cabling Yes
Fan 139mm Fan
Fan Type Double Ball Bearing
+12V Rail 5
AC Input Range Full Range: 100~240Vac
Frequency 50/60Hz
Input Current 10-6A
+5V 30A
+3.3V 24A
+12V1 16A
+12V2 16A
+12V3 16A
+12V4 18A
+12V5 18A
-12V 0.5A
+5VSB 3A
Total Power 850W
24P Mainboard Connector X 1
4+4P CPU +12V Connector X 1
6+2P PCI-E Connector X 4
SATA Connector X 9 (Max.)
4P Molex Connector X 9 (Max.)
4P FDD Connector X 3 (Max.)
Dimension 175mm X 150mm X 86mm

The thing to note here is the current rating on each rail: a guaranteed minimum of 16 amps on each of the five 12 volt rails. This power supply is clearly designed for power-hungry components.

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  • 4 Comments
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4 Comments... What's your say?

  1. I was so stoked about this power supply which I got for a great price. It worked great for 18 months and then it died, possibly my fault/bad outlet etc. What troubles me is that I can get no response from Sparkle’s support e-mail and their website is blocked by Chrome for containing malware. I registered the power supply and supposedly there is a 5 year warranty on it. Who cares if you can’t get service? Why go through all the trouble to put together a great package only to not support it? Disappointing to say the least.

  2. FIVE +12V rails. Jeeez. Why not 7 rails? Or 8? Or 10?
    My experience is, that with multiple +12V rails, some of them will not be used at all. Or grossly underused.

    For instance, when three of the five +12V rails are dedicated to a pair of 6/8 pin video card connectors each, you’re not using all rails UNLESS you’re building a triple-SLI gaming PC.
    Which means, you are paying for a, say, 850W supply but using only a, say, 500W supply.

    Also, in many situations, exactly WHICH rail feeds exactly WHICH connector is not clearly documented.

    Sure it’s less expensive for the manufacturer to build a power supply with multiple rails.
    The more, the merrier, in fact.
    A 5 rail, 850W power supply might cost $70 to manufacture whereas a single rail, 850W power supply might cost $80 to manufacture.
    Yet expect to pay $150 for either, in retail.

    Since a few years, I only buy power supplies which have a single +12V rail and these power supplies fit my needs (for instance, the server with 20 SATA disks or the dual-GTX480-SLI gaming box) much better than multiple +12V rails, some of which would be utterly underutilized.

    • That’s a valid point you bring up, but the examples you give–dual graphics cards, 20 SATA discs–aren’t much disaccommodated by the multi-rail setup. The graphics cards would be drawing from different power plugs in any event, and this PSU was doubtless designed with exactly that kind of scenario in mind. The rack-o-drives scenario would be more hampered by the limited current available on the 5V and 3.3V rails than any issues stemming from multiple 12V rails.

      The only setup I can think of that would really suffer would be a triple-SLI system with a power-hungry watercooling rig–and if you’ve built a monster like that, you really should be looking at the 1000W or 1250W variants in this line.

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