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Sparkle Gold Class 850W PSU

A Closer Look, part 1

With the “Gold Class” label so prominently displayed, there’s an expectation of extra fit and polish. Let’s take a closer look, and see how well Sparkle delivers.


Nice black and gold packaging, the hexagonal pattern brings to mind honeycombs, which implies that this PSU is sweet. Trivia bonus: honey is one of the easiest foods to preserve, lasting for decades or even centuries after it is stored. Obviously, no PSU is engineered to last quite that long, but Sparkle’s 5-year warranty puts them ahead of the class in terms of longevity.


On the back, we find the same list of features and specifications presented a page ago.

box-side-1 box-side-2

While the left-hand side is just a glamor shot, the right side provides a critical bit of info—namely, the number and type of connectors available. Given that high-watt PSUs like this one are often mated to component-stuffed systems, this is extremely good to know beforehand.


Opening the box up, we see…a cardboard cover.


Digging a little deeper, we find a folder containing documentation. Underneath that…


…we find yet another layer of protective packaging. Sparkle certainly wants to be sure this PSU comes to you in pristine condition; we certainly can’t fault them for that.


Opening the folder up, we see the manual and other paperwork tucked inside, along with a redemption card for a “free gift”. Exactly what this gift entails isn’t mentioned, but it’s a nice little incentive to complete the warranty registration.


Aside from the manual itself, Sparkle has included a detailed warranty instruction card and a printed report of the power supply’s efficiency curves. Obviously, this is a product Sparkle takes pride in.


Behind the cardboard partitions, we find the accessories. Aside from the usual power cord, we find a set of thumbscrews, some velcro cable ties, and a bag containing all the modular cables.


Opening up that bag, we see that Sparkle has certainly not skimped on connection options. Four 6+2 pin PCIe cables share space with three MOLEX and three SATA cables, each of these last two capable of attaching three devices each. While I wouldn’t recommend hanging a drive off of all of them, the range of options means you’ll not have to make awkward compromises to get your peripherals hooked up.

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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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