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Power Supply Comparisons

Sparkle Power International 350watt vs. 400watt PS comparison. Inital revision 26 January 2001.

Enermax, PC Power and Cooling, Antec, and Sparkle are the names heard most frequently among computer enthusiasts. Barring the standard sizes of 145, 200, 250, 300 and 400 watts, there are some oddball sizes. Enermax does 330 and 431 watt power supplies, while Sparkle has a 350watt PS.

First, some notes. According to jfh of coolcases.com and my own analysis, the Enermax 330 watt is really much closer to a 300 watt PS in terms of output. The 431 watt is closer to a 400 watt. That's something to chew on for people deciding between the 330 watt Enermax and the 350 watt Sparkle; in terms of quality and cooling Enermax may be top notch, but if you really need the extra power and don't have the money for a 400 watt, you will probably be better off with the Sparkle 350 watt. It should be noted that I am NOT a trained engineer, so do not expect detailed engineering to be touched in this comparison. I have a rudimentary understanding of electronics and circuits, but this is also being done from a computer geek perspective and is focused on what is visible, not what isn't.

On to the comparison. In short, the Sparkle 350 watt and 400 watt have similar combined (+3.3 and +5) loads of 220 and 235 watts, but the 400 watt has beefier internals. "Noise killer" fans mean nothing, both were definitely noticable when powered on.

The Sparkle 400 watt, case removed.
Note the thickness (!) of the heatsinks. They're not sheet metal with holes punched in them. They're THICK and can handle quite a bit of heat dissapation. Note the huge black capacitors as well. 1000 microfarads (uF) in quantity should provide excellent stability. Also note the large circuit board oriented vertically. Not pictured is the Nidec Beta SL cooling fan, which is very noisy and provides considerable- probably ~40cfm of airflow.


The Sparkle 350 watt, case removed.
First, notice the much thinner heatsinks. They're at best, half the size of the ones in the 400 watt. Still have some nice fat capacitors, but the component density is much lower. The vertically oriented circuit board is much smaller as well. I didn't have a scale to weigh the two, but the 350 watt is considerably lighter as well. The PS plug is smaller and not as well shielded as the 400 watt's model. The PS fan is a NMB 3110GL-B4W-B54, which has a higher current draw than the Beta SL, but blows less air (not sure how much, probably ~35cfm) and is considerably less noisy.


Electronics is not my speciality, so this pictorial comparison is the best I can do. The Sparkle 350 watt has a very high combined load of 220 watts when compared to other 300 watt power supplies (Enermax 330 watt, Ya Hsin 300 watt, Antec 300 watt, etc.) and should be an excellent upgrade for those who are worried about maxing out their 300 watt power supplies. However, the Sparkle 400 watt has much beefier internals and is most definitely a "true" 400 watt power supply if its construction is at all informative of its abilities. Should you be running a highly stressed system with considerable power demands, the Sparkle 400 watt unit or other equivalents may be worth the upgrade.

SpecificationSparkle FSP350-60BNSparkle FSP400-60GT
Maximum Output350 watts400 watts
+3.3V and +5V max220 watts235 watts
Fuse8A, 250V10A, 250V
FanNMB 80mm, .31ANidec 80mm, .22A

17 March 2001: Sparkle 400 watt voltages added.
BP6/SPI400 voltage info
Readings taken by MBM5, verified as identical to Hardware Monitor 3.1.1 latest. Core 0 is 2.08v (set for 2.10v in BIOS), Core 1 is 1.49v (1.50v), +3.3 is 3.44v, +5.00 is 4.97v, +12.00 is 11.92v, -12.00 is -12.19v, -5.00 is -5.34v.

Final notes: 26 January 2001: Pictures were not all taken at one time, as a result pictures are not as comprehensive as I would like. I currently have a Ya Hsin 300 watt PS in my possession as well as an Enermax 330 watt PS on the way. I may add those two PS'es to this comparison if time permits. Below is a collection of all pictures uploaded for this review.

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