Thursday, September 25th 2008

Diamond Multimedia Faces Flack for Faulty Radeon HD 3800 Products

There are two ways you get a gaming PC. You either shop for all its components and build it yourself, or buy one pre-buit from a company in the business of selling them. Alienware is one such company. One of the differences between the two modes of getting a gaming PC is that if you find that a component is faulty, within a period, you could return the faulty part to the retailer for a replacement. With pre-built PCs, the whole unit has to be sent to a service center, for them to diagnose the fault and replace parts.

Diamond Multimedia, popular for its ATI graphics accelerators have allegedly pumped anywhere between 15,000 and 20,000 defective graphics cards using the Radeon HD 3800 series SKUs between the months of January and July, 2008, through OEM channels. As as a report from TG Daily finds out, it may be more of a case specific to Diamond and its manufacturing sources, particularly Info-Tek Corporation (ITC). Alienware has alleged that a disturbingly high amount of graphics card related failures have been noticed with its products. The system builder found failure rates of more than 10% with HD 3870 X2 cards, more than 2% with 3870 models and almost 8% for 3850 versions. Problems included random crashes and artifacts. These problems may have been caused because of the cards lacking power-management features (for the HD 3850), resistors with wrong values (for HD 3870). The source of the problems may have been traced to ITC, one of the manufacturers that has contracts with Diamond. Diamond itself is also to blame, since clearly its product testing, quality assurance teams have been sleeping on the job. This just might cost Diamond its supply contract with Alienware.Source: TG Daily
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15 Comments on Diamond Multimedia Faces Flack for Faulty Radeon HD 3800 Products

#1
eidairaman1
This Company has been on a Downward Spiral for a few years now, id laugh if AMD decides to Cut them from their AIB partners list. Whats odd is they used to be a top of line product.
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#2
jbunch07
That's, interesting, I'm using a Diamond card, I hope the 4800 series don't have this problem.
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#3
mdm-adph
And here I was thinking Diamond was one of the better ones. Figures.
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#4
jbunch07
by: mdm-adph
And here I was thinking Diamond was one of the better ones. Figures.
Same here. :ohwell:
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#6
yogurt_21
ummmm 2% of 3870's ? that's well within normal fail rates, 8% and 10% area little high, but not exactly astounding failure numbers. But seriously it sounds like it could just have easily been alienware shipping rigs with underpowered psu's causing the issues. But hey in the PC business passing the buck isn't just a practice, it's a lifestyle.
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#7
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
If you read the whole article you will find this little tidbit ...
In a previous instance, Alienware had found 100% of a supply of Diamond Multimedia graphics cards to be defective.
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#8
warup89
Sucks, im one of the poeple affected with the faulty 3870 x2, I RMAd my card twice already since the first replacement one was faulty too. eh im trying other companies next time.
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#9
newconroer
Shame, because if I would ever 'root' for a GPU company, Diamond would be the one; but that's based on interests from nearly ten years ago so..moot point now I suppose.

I did get a chuckle out of this though; it made me think people should start suing, like they are over faulty Nvidia mobile GPUs.
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#10
r1rhyder
I have two 3870x2's, and they are both flawless. Both overclock to 932/960. Sweet cards.
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#11
WarhammerTX
I remember the only Diamond card I ever purchased was a 3dfx banshee when they first came out and had to wait 3 weeks for a driver update to use it the drivers that came with it would not even load and I havent purchased anything made by them sense that time because of this.
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#12
Megasty
Damn, both of my 3870x2s are diamond. I hope they don't give out soon or I'm going to have some pissed off kids on my hands. I'm glad I laid off of diamond by accident with the 4800s. I basically took the cheapest I could find with them & they're all purring (or roaring) like kittens (or big things that roar) :D
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#13
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
I hope not! I have a diamond card! O noes!
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#14
imperialreign
well, after skimming through the article - it wouldn't surpise me if the issue really revolves around defunct PSUs bieng used by Alienware. I think we can all agree that in 90% of OEM rigs, they tend to opt for the el-cheapo, generic, WTF is that?!, PSU. Even still, when they do make use of a quality name (i.e. Antec), the unit typically meets, what we would consider, bare-minimum requirements for the system it's powering.

IMO, I don't find Diamond at any fault here, it seems like it's either related to generic PSUs - or the possiblity that manufacturing was cutting some corners. It's quite possible DM's quality assurance team completely missed any issues when looking at the rather low failure rates - and 15,000 units within a 4-5 month window, when 15 million units have been sold since last November, offers what would only be a low catch rate. They might've run across a small handful of defective units, but probably not enough to catch their attention.


As far as ATI brands are concerned - I hold Diamond and VisionTek to be on par for the same level of quality and dependability. Read the article - if you possibly have a defective card, contact Diamond and they'll handle it.
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