The non-reference Sparkle Dragon Cyclone GTX 650 derives its name primarily from the custom cooler (though you also get a factory overclock) that Sparkle has designed. It includes three fans that are swap-and-drop, allowing consumers the choice of Turbo, Stock, or Silent options to install in order to suit their preferences and needs. It's definitely innovative, but can the card compete in criteria other than price and fan design?
With a custom heatsink that has a design with the fans mounted below the fins, the Calibre X680 looks different from most other models we've seen. Touted as a quiet solution for discerning consumers, the X680 also comes with an aggressive Boost Clock out of the box to provide a horsepower bonus as well. And for those who are cost conscious, it comes with a very competitive price tag of $490 as well, which is considerably cheaper than many competitors' custom offerings. Looks good on paper. Let's push onward and see if the Sparkle Calibre X680 can match up well in action.
Excellent gaming value and performance.
Unique aesthetics and 80PLUS Gold certified.
Unique aesthetics and 80PLUS Gold certification.
Reference design with some excellent overclocking headroom.