The Sparkle 1250W power supply ships in a colorful retail box with some very attractive product documentation. As a point of clarification, the product we're reviewing today is manufactured under Sparkle Computer Corp, not Sparkle Power Inc, and shouldn't be confused with other Sparkle/Fortron power supply products. In addition to more detail about the company and the manufacturer, the literature also includes information concerning the five year warranty, 24 hour support hotline, 80Plus Gold certification, user manual and a $100 gift card, which can be redeemed for a game bundle through Sparkle's website. This truly is a "Gold Class" product!
The packaging on the 1250W is also first class, with formed foam cushioning, separate boxes for cords and cables and a soft velvet drawstring bag to protect the power supply during shipping. The 1250W is semi-modular, with fixed 24pin ATX and 4+4pin +12V CPU hard-wired to the chassis, and modular cables for all the other accessories stored in a nylon pouch. Mounting screws and Velcro cable management ties come bundled with the unit. What is interesting to note is that at the main 24pin connector are five capacitors of various sizes, wired inline and wrapped with heatshrink tubing. I have never seen caps used on a power supply ATX connector before, but are likely there for electrical ripple and noise suppression and/or better voltage stability.
With its 1250W power handling, the Sparkle Gold Class exceeds the rating of a standard 10A C13 style 120V AC power cord, and a 16A C19 cord is provided. However the cord is a bit short at only five feet long, and as it is an uncommon style plug end you can't simply swap it for an extra cord you may have lying around. The modular cables consist of three peripheral with nine Molex and three Floppy connectors, four SATA with 12 connectors, and four PCI-E with six 6+2pin connectors total. To be honest I'm a little disappointed that the 6+2pin PCI-E don't snap or clasp together in some way, you pretty much just have to line them up and then insert together. All of the cables are mesh wrapped with heatshrink and have purple colored ends where they connect to the power supply.
According to the product packaging as well as the specification sticker on the power supply itself, the Sparkle 1250W is manufactured by Great Wall Shenzhen China. This is confirmed by the UL File Number E203359. The modular connectors on the power supply chassis are color-matched to the cable ends and consist of only one of two types, either 8pin for the PCI-E or 5pin for everything else. This eliminates any confusion over which cable end plugs in where and ensures you don't get one in the wrong spot.
The Sparkle 1250W is not much bigger than most other sub-1000W ATX power supplies. At 175mm long by 155mm wide and 86mm tall it's only about 1½cm longer than the Toughpower 775W we reviewed last month, and tips the scales at just over 5½ pounds. It features a honeycomb stamped grill opening with a purple 140mm fan behind it. The rear of the chassis is also fully meshed, with the exception of the C20 power socket and large on/off rocker switch. A Sparkle logo and graphic sticker adorn the side opposite the specification sheet.
Next let's get the Sparkle 1250W installed and perform some testing.