VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003


The Taiwan-based company Sparkle focuses completely on the production of graphics cards based on 3D chips from NVIDIA. Support is available through a contact form from the company's website. The warranty period for Sparkle products is not known.

Sparkle GeForceFX 5600 (SP8831DV/ 128 MB DDR)

The Sparkle FX 5600 is based on NVIDIA's GeForceFX 5600 a.k.a. NV31. The card has 128 MB DDR memory (128 bit) from Samsung, with an access time of 3.6 ns (maximum 275 MHz (550 DDR)). The clock speed corresponds to NVIDIA's reference specifications (325/ 550). The chip is cooled by a silver fan, which, though not excessively loud, is definitely audible.

In addition to TV-out, the Sparkle FX 5600 also offers TV-in (Philips SAA7114H encoder chip). It is connected with a one meter long adapter cable that accepts S-VHS and composite video cables. The included S-VHS video cable is about 2 m in length. The video functions of the card can be used with Cyberlink's somewhat outdated video editing software PowerDirector 2.1ME (Pro).