Introduction, Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Today we are continuing our look at some mainstream and entry level enthusiast power supplies. These are designed for the gamer or power user in mind that is looking to utilize multiple graphics cards as well as other higher end parts in their computer. While more power is required for these systems, perfect power delivery and a plethora of connectors are not needed as much.
The power supply on the test bench today is one of Sparkle Computer Corporation's latest and greatest. For those that haven't heard of Sparkle Computer Corp. , they've been in business for over 25 years and have primarily focused on delivering NVIDIA products. Lately they've also started delivering power supplies and they look quite promising on paper.
The model we are taking a look at today is their 850W Gold Class power supply, the SCC-850AF. It comes packed full of options at a modest price. Keep reading to find out how well the SCC-850AF performs when put through the gauntlet of tests here at TweakTown.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Sparkle Computer comes in swinging with plenty of power available from the SCC-850AF for just about any need. The full 850W of power is available on the 12V rails while still leaving plenty of room for the requirements of processors and drives via the heavy 3.3V and 5V rails. While many PSU manufacturers have moved to a single 12V rail design, Sparkle Computer has implemented five 12V rails in the SCC-850AF. This is something usually reserved for high end power supplies above the 1000W mark. This is because the SCC-850AF is a derivative of their higher end Gold Class power supplies that came to market first and utilize a total of six 12V rails.
Sparkle Computer makes sure that you have plenty of options with the SCC-850AF. It has everything we look for with the exception of Over Temperature Protection. You'll be able to enjoy the benefits of sleeved modular cabling, 100% power delivery at 50C, and an 80Plus Gold rating. Topping things off, the SCC-850AF continues to operate the fan for 5-10 seconds after system shutdown to help remove extra heat within the system.
The SCC-850AF retails for $179.99 and can be found at major online stores for purchase, including Newegg. Sparkle Computer gives you a 1-year warranty on the SCC-850AF out of the box. If you register the power supply on their website, Sparkle Computer ups that warranty to 5 years. This is much better, but it would be nice if you didn't have to register for the extra four years.
Sparkle Computer keeps the design on the front of the box simple, yet eye catching. This gives you a glimpse of the power supply, lets you know the wattage, shows off the 80Plus Gold rating, and tells you that it is modular.
Flipping over to the back, we get a nice, simplistic list of features. There isn't any extreme marketing hype trying to overwhelm you, but it has almost everything you would want to know about the SCC-850AF.
One side of the box displays the connector availability and which modular cables are included. Unfortunately cable length isn't listed.
The other side of the box gives you the warranty information and serial number for the power supply. The top and bottom of the box contain no additional information that isn't already covered on the rest of the packaging.
Inside the Box
Opening the box up for the first time, we can see that Sparkle Computer takes some pride in their packaging and presents you with some information in a more formal manner. That isn't a user manual in the picture, but rather a folder that contains information about the SCC-850AF power supply.
Taking the foam off the top half of the power supply shows that Sparkle Computer even wraps the power supply in a synthetic felt bag to protect it further during shipping and handling.
Once we get the SCC-850AF out of the box we can get a good look at it. On the bottom we see a honeycomb fan grill displaying the Sparkle Computer logo in the middle.
Taking a look at the front of the power supply, we can see the modular connections. The SCC-850AF gives you enough connections for a pair of graphics cards and five peripheral cables. The front of the power supply is also vented for additional airflow.
On one side of the SC-850AF we have the specification label. It is nice that they give you the color code for the individual rails. The unfortunate part of all this is that you cannot discern which rail is which for the modular cables, as none of the modular cables continue the color code and just use yellow wires without a stripe. You can, however, look at the two hardwired cables and see that the 24-pin main cable is 12V1 and the ATX 4+4 cable is 12V2.
The other side of the SCC-850AF simply has a logo and serial number on the side of it. Unfortunately it isn't inverted, so if the PSU is displayed in a BTX case, it will be displayed upside down.
The back of the SCC-850AF doesn't contain anything special. The typical honeycomb exhaust grill, AC input, and on/off switch reside here.
Above is what is included in the folder that Sparkle Computer includes with the SCC-850AF power supply. The user manual and warranty care are here as well an 80Plus Gold certificate which displays efficiency on the inside. There is also a card redeemable for a free gift from Sparkle Computer attached to the right pocket of the folder. Sparkle Computer also includes some thumb screws and reusable Velcro cable ties.
Cabling Arrangement & A Look Inside
Sparkle Computer makes sure that you have all the connectors that you should need for a power supply in this range. The four 6+2 pin PCI-E connectors make sure that you can adequately feed a pair of GPU's, while the six peripheral cables offer up nine Molex connectors, nine SATA connectors, and two FDD connectors. There are actually more modular cables than you can use at any one time. Sparkle Computer gives you six peripheral cables, but there are only five places to connect them on the front of the power supply.
With a total of five 12V rails, you would expect power distribution to be a little complicated, but Sparkle Computer makes it nice and simple. 12V1 feeds the 24-pin main connector and 12V2 feeds the ATX 4+4 connector. The remaining three rails feed the modular cables. 12V3 provides the power for the SATA and Molex connectors. These three rails are limited at 16A a piece.
For the remaining two rails, the SCC-850AF bumps up the output to 18A each. Each of these rails feed a pair of PCI-E connectors. This means 12V4 goes to one GPU while 12V5 feeds a second one if it is there.
A Look Inside
Popping the cover off of the SCC-850AF reveals a pair of anodized heatsinks cooling the inside of the power supply. We've seen better, but we've also seen much worse here.
Taking a look at the primary capacitors, we see a pair of CapXon aluminum electrolytic caps. These are manufactured in China, while CapXon's headquarters is in Hong Kong.
The secondary side of things shows several Taiwanese Teapo capacitors. It would be nice to see Sparkle Computer step things up here and use high quality Japanese caps throughout the entire design.
Test Results & Final Thoughts
Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are greater than the SCC-850AF, we can test it to the maximum.
Please note that our test equipment also has a limit of testing four individual 12V rails. As such, we had to pair two 12V rails together for the test. 12V2 and 12V3 were paired to represent 12V2, while 12V3 and 12V4 represent 12V4 and 12V5 respectively.
The SCC-850AF performed quite well throughout the entire testing procedure. All values are well within specifications with the only noticeable drop in voltages being on 12V1. We've seen better regulation on higher end power supplies, but can't complain too much since things are still within ATX specs. Ripple is also good on the 12V rails, reaching a maximum of 52mV at full load.
Sparkle Computer has a solid power supply with the Gold Class SCC-850AF. It is packaged well and offers what almost anyone would need out of an 850W class power supply. The SCC-850AF performs well for an entry level enthusiast power supply.
My only complaints are that the voltage regulation could be a tad bit better on 12V1; it would also be nice to be able to utilize all of the modular cables that are included, and higher quality capacitors could be used through the entire build.
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