Sparkle Power's 250W ATX12V 80 Plus SPI250EP

Power
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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS

Each of these recording start with 6~10 seconds of the ambient sound of the room, followed by 10 seconds of the product's noise.

Sound Recordings of PSU Comparatives

HOW TO LISTEN & COMPARE

These recordings were made with a high resolution, studio quality, digital recording system, then converted to LAME 128kbps encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of what we heard during the review. Two recordings of some noise level were made, one from a distance of one meter, and another from one foot away. More details about how we make these recordings can be found in our short article: Audio Recording Methods Revised.

The one meter recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the subject of this review sound in actual use — one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware that very quiet subjects may not be audible — if we couldn't hear it from one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!

The one foot recordings
are designed to bring out the fine details of the noise. Use this recording with caution! Although more detailed, it may not represent how the subject sounds in actual use. It is best to listen to this recording after you have listened to the one meter recording.Each recording starts with 6~10 seconds of room ambience, followed by 10 seconds of the product's noise.

For the most realistic results, set the volume so that the starting ambient is just barely audible.

CONCLUSIONS

The Sparkle Power SPI250EP is the lowest capacity 80 Plus approved ATX form factor power supply we've tested thus far. Our sample meets the 80 Plus requirements, and it is 80% efficient even down to a low 50W load, which is better than most other PSUs.

Parameters such as voltage regulation, power factor, ripple and low load performance were all fine. The SPI250EP is a more convenient and probably lower-cost all-in-one alternative to the more complex, multi-part picoPSU for energy efficiency. It's not quite as efficient, but the convenience and far greater power headroom may make up for the few watts difference.

The acoustics are very good, good enough for this modest Sparkle to be considered an excellent, no-fuss, solution for a quiet, low power system. With a little bit of work, an experienced system builder could easily create a silent PC incorporating the SPI250EP. For the green-and-silent PC system builder, this is a very useful product. The biggest challenge for DIY computer enthusiasts may be to find a store that sells it.



Much thanks to Sparkle Power International for this review sample.

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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals
Recommended Power Supplies
Power Distribution within Six PCs
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
picoPSU
EnermaxModu82+ 625

Corsair VX450W
Seasonic SS-300SFD 80 Plus: Little Big PSU

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