Friday, 18 March 2011

Graphics Card Mess

A good few years ago I bought an XFX 7800GS from RL Supplies. It was an amazing upgrade at the time and worked absolutely flawlessly. I sold it to a friend and it still works in one of his machines today. Encouraged by this card I upgraded to an XFX 8800GTS 320 XXX, this also worked perfectly, overclocked nicely and is still working in as a dedicated GPGPU today.

By this point I was so pleased with my XFX cards I even themed a case mod around the XFX name.

I upgraded from this card to an XFX GTX 260 XXX (192sp). It had a deteriorating problem (instability under load) which unfortunately took over a year to get to a point where it was repeatable enough to apply for an RMA. In the meantime, I purchased a new XFX GTX 260 XXX (216sp) from Videocardshop (RL Weren't able to get them by this point) with the hope that with the dodgy card as the non primary GPU the stability issues would go away.

This new card however was, DOA (1/4/10). I RMA'd it promptly and after three weeks Videocardshop got back to me and told me they couldn't get me another one, so offered me a refurbished GTX 280 (21/4/10).

In the meantime I'd established a completely reproducible test for the fault on my original 260. So I RMA'd this and it eventually was diagnosed as faulty by the XFX RMA Centre. I got a £140 refund back which I put towards a second XFX GTX 280 from Videocardshop. (ordered 21/5/10, despatched 1/6/10)

Everything was fine for a few months, then I started getting weird colour screen locks, both when starting applications (that used SLI) and (if they started) when under heavy load. The display would freeze with whatever I was running and there would be pink squares all over the image. I eventually pinned it down to one of the two cards and RMA'd it to Videocardshop (23/1/11). They couldn't reproduce the fault. So I sent them pictures of the fault occurring with just that card.

They replaced it with another XFX GTX 280 (18/2/11) after much insistence on my part and when I received the replacement it was even worse. The replacement locks on boot to a full coloured/squares screen (when primary gpu or lone). I tested the replacement in a completely different machine at RL and it exhibited exactly the same fault.(6/3/11)

So even after months of waiting for replies and being without a fully working graphics card setup, they say "they cannot agree it is faulty" (7/3/11), because they "tested it" before they sent it to me. They have, however, offered me a £75 "trade in" for each card (9/3/11), which given they cost me a combined £330 less than a year ago I feel is a joke. Having had 3 GPU's from Videocardshop (of which only one works) I have kindly asked them for a refund for the faulty gpu and a partial refund for the working one from the original RMA. I'm not willing to go on with constant issues and get a replacement from them which probably won't work or will probably break after a few months.

They have now asked me to pay to send the card to them, saying they will test it (presumably with the same tests that didn't show the issue before) and if it doesn't show the fault they're just going to send it back to me (and I'll have to pay the shipping back as well) (I had to wait a week from my last email just to get this reply from them)

I've really lost faith in XFX Cards or more specifically Videocardshop's stock.

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