We examine one of the few Gold rated power supplies on the market today: the Sparkle Gold Class 1000 Watt PSU.
When looking at power supplies for computers, users find a plethora of choices. This broad range is further widened by the fact that power supplies come in many different power outputs and efficiency ratings. One area that makes purchasing a PSU easier is the efficiency rating. We all know that a higher rating means better power saving.
Here is a quick Quote from Wikipedia on PSU efficiency. For more information can be found HERE
“Computer power supplies are generally about 70–75% efficient. That means in order for a 75% efficient power supply to produce 75 W of DC output it would require 100 W of AC input and dissipate the remaining 25 W in heat. Higher-quality power supplies can be over 80% efficient; higher energy efficient PSU’s waste less energy in heat, and requires less airflow to cool, and as a result will be quieter.”
Sparkle has made its name selling graphics cards for a long time. Like most other hardware manufacturers, however, it has now entered the PSU market. During this review, we will be looking at the Gold Class 1000 Watt PSU from Sparkle Computers.
|Brand||SPARKLE COMPUTER CORP|
|Type||ATX12V / EPS12V|
|Fans||1 x 139mm fan|
|PCI-Express Connector||4 x 6+2-Pin|
|SATA Power Connector||12|
|Energy-Efficient||80 PLUS GOLD Certified|
|Over Voltage Protection||Yes|
|Input Voltage||90 – 264 V|
|Input Frequency Range||50/60 Hz|
|Input Current||15A / 8A|
|Output||+3.3V@30A, +5V@30A, +12V1@18A, +12V2@18A, +12V3@18A, +12V4@18A, +12V5@18A, +12V6@18A, -12V@0.6A, +5VSB@3.0A|
|Approvals||OCC, TUV, UL, CB, CE, FCC, WEEE, ROHS|
|Dimensions||6.89″ x 6.1″ x 3.39″|
|Connectors||1 x Main connector (24Pin)
1 x 4+4-Pin ATX/EPS 12V
9 x Peripheral
12 x SATA
3 x Floppy
4 x PCI-E
|Features||Double Ball Bearing Fan
All connector AU coating to keep Ultra high efficiency
Full Thermal Control with Super Silent Fan
12V peak at 100A
Temperature Control Design Mode
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 2.0mm Thickness
Sextuple 12V Rails
100A Mosfet 12V Rectifiers
30k uF Low ESR Secondary 105°C Electrolytic Capacitors
Triple AC EMC Filtering Stage
Dual Capacitors Design to Protect System Safety When Sudden Shut Down
|Parts||5 years limited|
|Labor||5 years limited|
This PSU comes with many options, and includes some great features for a PSU. We will now test the power supply on our testbench, which includes:
- 2 x Nvidia 470GTX
- 4 x Seagate Momentus 320GB HDDs in RAID0 configuration
- Intel Core i7 930 CPU @ 4.1GHz
All of these components require significant power output, so keep reading for our methodology and results.
The box that the PSU comes in proudly carries the product’s Gold Class and 1000 Watt rating on its front. It also shows that the power supply is modular, which should facilitate easier cable management later on.
This PSU is 80+ Gold Certified. This PSU is manufactured by Great Wall, which has been in the PC market since 1987.
Sparkle goes the extra mile to ensure the product’s safety during during transportation.
The PSU has a built in 135mm fan, a small bag containing all the extra cables, a power cord (power supply specific), some Velcro cable ties. The only cables coming out of this PSU are the main 24 pin ATX cable, and the EPS CPU power cable.
A quick look at the top of the product. Both the fan grill and the rear of the PSU uses a honey-comb design to maximize airflow.
As we can see here, Sparkle went off the beaten path and anodized the power supply’s aluminum heatsink a bright pink.
The main input power cable is not the standard PSU notched corner, but is instead a square plug, meaning the only cable that can be used with this power supply is the one that it comes with.
The side of the power supply.
A table explaining how the Gold Class 1000 Watt PSU distributes amperage. Looking at the 12 volt line ratings, we can see this PSU uses six 12 volt rails, and each rail carries 18 Amperes.
This is where the modular cables connect to the PSU. The power supply supports up to four 6/8 pin PCI-E power cables, and up to five additional SATA/Molex power cables.
Sparkle includes four SATA power cables, with three SATA power connectors per cable, long enough to fit most chassis out there.
Moving on over to our Molex power cables, each one of these power cables has three Molex power connectors and one floppy power connector. These cables are just as long as the SATA power cables.
Sparkles includes four PCI-E cables, which are all 8/6pin connector configurable. 22 inches long, these cables should easily reach the video card. Each power cable has a black connector, which connects to hardware, and a purple connector that attaches to the power supply.
All of the power connectors are gold plated to maximize electrical transfer.
The fan in this unit will only turn on when the PSU components start to reach a temperature threshold.
The sticker that instructs users on how to attach each of the modular cables to the PSU.
Another unique features on this PSU: the bulges on the sides of the cable are load line capacitors that will help keep voltages stable during load.
Test Setup &Testing Methodology
|CPU||Intel Core i7 930 D0 @ 4.1 GHz|
|Memory||Crucial 1600 @ 1720MHz|
|Video Card||2 PNY 470GTX in SLI|
|Hard Drives||4x Seagate 320Gig 2.5″ Momentus HDD’s RAID-0, WD 1TB green drive Backup|
|CDRom Drive||LiteOn Blu Ray|
|Power Supply||Power and Cooling 950 Mk II, Sparkle Gold Class 1000 Watt PSU|
|CPU Speeds Used||4.1 GHz|
|Operating System Used||Microsoft Windows 7|
|Video Card Cooler
||Koolance 470GTX, EK 470GTX water blocks|
||EK Supreme HF CPU with a XSPC Quad 120mm Rad|
Before we begin, it is worth mentioning that we at Bjorn3D.com do not have the five thousand dollars worth of testing equipment required to test for line noise, exact power draw per individual voltage lines, and so forth. The following results are based upon a basic user level testing, and user level experience with these PSUs.
We measured all voltage lines with a Multi-Meter. For the purposes of this test, we conducted various tasks that will target those specific voltage lines. Every time the voltage was measured, we reverted to the main 24 pin power plug. We used Stone Giant at 5760×1080 resolution to ensure the 470GTX video cards were at their maximum possible power usage. For HDD testing, we moved a 4-5 Gigabyte file from the primary HDDs (4 x Seagate Momentus 320GB in RAID0) to a 1 TB Western Digital HDD. CPU testing was done with LinX 20 loops with all eight threads of the CPU in use.
We included a few pictures of the system in idle mode, and also of the stable configuration closest to 100% computer utilization. We used Stone Giant again at 5760×1080 resolution for the 2 x 470GTX video cards, and also ran LinX on all eight threads of the Core i7 930 CPU in the background. We listed two PSUs for comparison here: the PC Power and Cooling 950 Mk II , and the Sparkle Gold Class 1000 Watt PSU.
|Power Rail||Sparkle Gold Class 1000 Watt
||PC Power and Cooling 950 Mk II
|EPS 1 12v||12.19V||12.14V||12.27V||12.25V|
|EPS 2 12v||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|PCI-E 1 12v||12.21V||12.16V||12.27V||12.25V|
|PCI-E 2 12v||12.21V||12.16V||12.28V||12.26V|
|PCI-E 3 12v||12.20V||12.15V||12.28V||12.26V|
|PCI-E 4 12v||12.20V||12.15V||12.27V||12.25V|
|PCI-E 5 12v||N/A||N/A||12.27V||12.26V|
|PCI-E 6 12v||N/A||N/A||12.28V||12.25V|
Starting off on our voltage checks with this PSU, we can see it does have a bit more power fluctuation between idle and load states than the comparable PC Power and Cooling PSU. These results are still very much well within the 5% of the PSUs voltage output.
All these tests were done during idle mode, and during full load testing. Results may also vary based on environmental factors
We found the Power Factor of the computer after it was idling for about an hour; for more information with the Power Factor please visit this LINK. Overall, the Sparkle Gold Class PSU has a slightly higher PF number.
Although there is a large amount of power running through the computer considering it is idling, a 2W difference is not enough to say one is better than the other.
This is the PF after we brought the computer from idle mode to full load. Both PSUs jump to a high PF number of 99.
During the full load testing, we see the PC Power and Cooling PSU is drawing 7W less then the Sparkle Gold Class PSU. As mentioned before, it is difficult to determine which unit is better on a 7W difference.
The Sparkle Gold Class PSU is capable of powering our testbench properly. The use of plated power connectors, in line capacitors was a positive factor. Another positive aspect of this PSU is the modular design and the flexibility of the cables; both of these characteristics facilitate cable management inside the system. The Modular design is a pleasing sight for those who like to keep their own computer internals clean and spacious.
We expected to see a bit less power draw from this PSU, considering its 80+ Gold rating. The PC Power and Cooling PSU was able to keep up with the Sparkle Gold Class PSU with regards to power usage. An appropriate price for this PSU would be around 250 USD.
|OUR VERDICT: Sparkle 1000 watt Gold Class Power Supply|
|Summary: The Sparkle Gold Class 1000W PSU is a great candidate for anyone needing a powerful and flexible PSU for their computer.