They use the best coolers, look at their gtx 285! Calibre series is super sweet. No special warranty, but all of their products are super reliable. Their fanless 9400 gt 1 gb ($40) overclocks like crazy without crashing; in an old Hewlett Packard case without good airflow (one 92mm exhaust), I got better fps than a xfx 9500 gt 1 gb, and a zotac 9600 gt 512 mb at standard clock speeds. All this was done in the same pc.
These cards run 10dB quieter which is really amazing. I was leaning towards the HD5850 but they went up in price. We'll see in a few months but I definitely want a cooling solution like Vapor-X regardless of the card I get.
All my sapphires are still chugging along in different friends boxes (3 different cards across 4 generations, heh). My XFX 4870x2 died... twice. Holding on to the second dead card until I am sure that they will have to replace it with a 5850 or the like. I will buy XFX again (x2's reliability is substantially less than the single GPU cards regardless of the vendor, doesn't concern me) as they have pretty good CS, and the double lifetime warranty kicks ass.
Sparkle 8400GS PCI card, fanless, large heatsink meant it wouldn't fit properly (3 video cards, 2 PCI slots, top slot didn't allow enough space for card on bottom slot, bottom slot didnt fit due to MB cables). No real complaints otherwise. Performs well in different machine and was cheap.
I bought a Sparkle GEForce 8800 GT more than 230 euros ; It worked less than two years and impossible to obtain warranty exchange !!!
I will never buy other Sparkle card !!!
Pay attention : It doesn't happen only to another guys...
Never even heard of Sparkle before but I see tigerdirect carries them. Never seen one in a retail store though.
To me most of these companies its just the same basic card in fancy packaging though. Sometimes the heatsink an fan configurations are a bit different. And some might offer an overclocked version or something.
I looked at the sparkle 9800 gtx+ since I have one in a PNY model. I think the PNY version has a better heat sink and fan system from the looks of it.
I tend to end up with PNY, XFX, BFG and Visiontek depending on the card. Really boils down to which one offers me the specs I want at the best price at the time. They are all either going to be a Nvidia or ATI card though. Just sold under a different name is all.
I am big into Second Life so I tend to stick with the Nvidia though since Linden Labs client seems to hate ATI drivers lol.
EVGA has the best warrenty and their step up program is unique... Their packaging and clocks are also right up there as well as their quality. Sparkle uses cheaper see through plastic, basic coolers, dismal heatsinks, and the color of the board looks like its actually cheaper color and material wise from EVGA and XFX cards... Sparkle has that "cheap" feel, not so good clocks, poor software...much like Palits board, coolers and plastic....
I bought a silent cooling Sparkle 9400GT. I have been very happy with it. Although its no gaming card I managed to enjoy playing Crysis Warhead on it without having to turn down settings much and playing on a 19" Dell LCD. Probably my biggest concern is not with Sparkle but with the fact of using only a heat sink with no additional cooling help. Playing a game like Crysis I am thinking this card must be getting pretty hot. If I were any kind od frequent gamer I would avoid any kind of silent cooling as most would probably agree. But for the rest of us its perfect! I have bought XFX cards in the past and almost always have they failed within 6 months.