Friday, July 16th 2021

TechPowerUp is Hiring Motherboard and Memory Reviewers

We have open positions on our team for 1) a motherboard reviewer, and 2) a memory reviewer. TechPowerUp Reviews are renowned for their in-depth focus on technical and performance aspects, and are supported by a large selection of tests. We are looking for someone with experience tweaking hardware in general—and memory in particular—ideally with some overclocking experience. As a motherboard reviewer you should be able to identify the various components of a motherboard PCB, discuss their quality aspects, test relevant onboard devices, provide technical photography, and put the motherboard through a selection of tests that will evolve with your feedback and community interest. Likewise for memory, we'll need you to be able to push the memory module to its limits, to detail its OC tuning potential and stability (we're not expecting you to do LN2). You should also be able to understand DRAM IC choices, memory timings and their effects, and how everything comes together for the big picture.
In terms of language skills we're not asking for novel writers, however you should have a decent grasp of the English language, and be able to get across your thoughts, experience and excitement with the product to our readers, who may have learned English as second language.

Both positions are remote, part-time and paid. Ideally you already have some hardware on your own, we can definitely provide you with additional testing platforms, as needed. We'd prefer someone from North America/EU, but as long as shipping logistics can reach your place, any location will be fine.

While it makes some sense to combine the the memory and motherboard reviewer positions, we are considering both options—one person, or two—because we aim to maintain a high sampling rate (1-2 reviews a week, with a high probability of more during new platform launches). If you think you can handle both positions, please ensure you have sufficient time to accommodate both roles. Having your own contacts in the industry is completely optional, and the lack of any is not a dealbreaker in the hiring process. While it is certainly a plus, we already have close ties with vendors and can make the necessary introductions to get you going with review samples. If you are interested, get in touch with us by sending your application and resume with relevant experiences, if any, to w1zzard@techpowerup.com to discuss further. Any questions? Let us know in the comments of this thread.
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119 Comments on TechPowerUp is Hiring Motherboard and Memory Reviewers

#1
lynx29
fyi, very very few people are probably qualified for the ram reviews...

@tabascosauz you are one of those very few. just a heads up if you are interested! ram oc'ing gives me a headache.
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#3
firewrath9
hell yeah, maybe we will have someone who doesnt just use dram calculator as a OC....
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#4
Gmr_Chick
I know we're not voting or anything, but if we were, Tabby aka @tabascosauz would get my vote, hands down! :clap:
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#5
tabascosauz
lynx29fyi, very very few people are probably qualified for the ram reviews...

@tabascosauz you are one of those very few. just a heads up if you are interested! ram oc'ing gives me a headache.
iBruceypoo@tabascosauz can complete this job - in his sleep. :)
Gmr_ChickI know we're not voting or anything, but if we were, Tabby aka @tabascosauz would get my vote, hands down! :clap:
Thanks but I'm basically 0 on intel. @Black Haru already has the right ideas, just could benefit from a little more hands on with AMD and less reliance on DRAMcalc, and infinitely more experience than I have on Intel. Also I really just regurgitate what other ppl have said already :D

I think I can offer some insight into the Renoir/Cezanne APUs especially on the IF and iGPU side - but I'm sure w1zz has got cpu testing covered already

can't think of many people with experience working in both camps except @buildzoid
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#6
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
tabascosauzThanks but I'm basically 0 on intel. @Black Haru already has the right ideas, just could benefit from a little more hands on with AMD and less reliance on DRAMcalc, and infinitely more experience than I have on Intel. Also I really just regurgitate what other ppl have said already :D

I think I can offer some insight into the Renoir/Cezanne APUs especially on the IF and iGPU side - but I'm sure w1zz has got cpu testing covered already

can't think of many people with experience working in both camps except @buildzoid
Never hurts to apply and see, except for the time spent. I'd say go for it and try out.
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#8
lynx29
tabascosauzThanks but I'm basically 0 on intel. @Black Haru already has the right ideas, just could benefit from a little more hands on with AMD and less reliance on DRAMcalc, and infinitely more experience than I have on Intel. Also I really just regurgitate what other ppl have said already :D

I think I can offer some insight into the Renoir/Cezanne APUs especially on the IF and iGPU side - but I'm sure w1zz has got cpu testing covered already

can't think of many people with experience working in both camps except @buildzoid
Intel overclocking is much easier imo. I think you should go for it!
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#9
weekendgeek
tabascosauzThanks but I'm basically 0 on intel. @Black Haru already has the right ideas, just could benefit from a little more hands on with AMD and less reliance on DRAMcalc, and infinitely more experience than I have on Intel. Also I really just regurgitate what other ppl have said already :D

I think I can offer some insight into the Renoir/Cezanne APUs especially on the IF and iGPU side - but I'm sure w1zz has got cpu testing covered already

can't think of many people with experience working in both camps except @buildzoid
I'd never try to encourage anyone into something they didn't have any interest in, but if applying for this is on your radar, count me in to read the reviews you wrote even if I wasn't in the market for the product.

#tabascosauzformemoryreviewer
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#10
damric
Are test platforms provided or is the reviewer on their own to supply such components? I know a couple people qualified for either position but they might be reluctant if they have to purchase a bunch of new hardware regularly.
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#11
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
damricAre test platforms provided or is the reviewer on their own to supply such components? I know a couple people qualified for either position but they might be reluctant if they have to purchase a bunch of new hardware regularly.
Says right in the post, hardware will be supplied as needed.
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#12
delshay
DDRx memory modules perform differently from motherboard to motherboard & CPU to CPU from both camps.

What you need to test memory modules "in the real world" is "Professional Hardware Diagnostic Hardware" (PHD). Even with this, your still at the mercy that a memory module with the same make & model may perform slightly differently as the binning is never the same.

In-short, when someone reviews a set of memory modules on a particular set-up, it's only relevant to that set-up only, everything outside of this is invalid.
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#13
freeagent
It’s a good opportunity for someone who knows how to tweak and get the most from hardware.
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#15
delshay
Hardcore GamesI have done a lot of RAM reviews of counterfeits, I have resorted to microscopes to read erased memory chips to identify the real devices etc

www.hardcoregames.ca/2015/11/05/counterfeit-ddr3-memory/
Ever wonder what happens RMA DDR memory.. Yes they are sometimes returned back or sold on with mixed chips without most if not all users not knowing. Anyone doubt what I'm saying, I have the evidence here from big manufactures, with the memory modules not tampered with, so yes, some brand new memory modules were sold with mixed ram chip. I only know they were doing this in the pass, so I don't know if they are still doing it today with modern DDR4. I have detected this in DDR1 memory modules only, but I'm fairly confident this was going on in DDR2 & DDR3.

If requested I can upload a photo, but it will name & shame a few big company's. AFAIK I have caught up-to three company's with mixed ram chips under the hood, ie heatsink.
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#16
maxfly
Testing and ocing memory for review is no joke! I have all the respect in the world for those that dedicate the time and effort in doing it professionally.
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#17
Grave Mistake
While I would love to apply for this I have a couple worries.

1. RAM OC is more of a little hobby so I am not the most knowledgeable about all the different IC and the deep stuff, but I am willing to learn and getting paid is a real motivator.
2. I am really worried about my writing skills as they are almost never used and I have very little confidence in them.

So while I would love to do this as I really love messing with RAM I don't think I am qualified for it, mostly in regards to the writing
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#18
mechtech
I don't think I could do ram. Motherboard yes.

Unfortunately no time with kids and work and everything else. Probably have spare time when kids are old and gone away to school or moved out lol

Good luck TPU!!
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#19
RealKGB
I'd love to review RAM but there's two problems:
1. I'm a minor (and a few years out from being an adult)
2. I'm not super experienced with RAM overclocking and benchmarking, and while I'd love to learn I don't think being a paid reviewer is the way to do it.

Reviewing motherboards sounds fun but it'd take up a lot of space. RAM you can stack up 10+ kits in box in the space that 1 motherboard box will take up.

I wish well to the ones who do this though!
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#20
delshay
VSGSays right in the post, hardware will be supplied as needed.
Yeah, but do they get to keep the the hardware at the end of the day or do they need to send it back?
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#21
Fouquin
delshayYeah, but do they get to keep the the hardware at the end of the day or do they need to send it back?
From my experience it's down to various factors. Some, but not all might be:

If it's a unit direct from the vendor, and it's a retail unit, than you may get to keep it.
If it's a pre-production serialized sample than it may need to be returned.
If it's provided by TPU via the vendor for the organization to publish a review than it could be under ownership of TPU, thus would be returned on departure by that reviewer. Or it could be granted to the reviewer as a bonus to the standard pay if the vendor does not require it to be sent back (I.E. if it were compensatory provided to TPU for providing a review.)

Each vendor plays it differently. My previous anecdotal experiences showed MSI, ASRock, and AMD to be the most lenient with review sampling. Generally not requiring whole units be returned, and often encouraging the practice of keeping the unit on hand for possible further analysis (in the event performance may be affected by an upstream change that should need a revisit.) AMD in particular has been the single most relaxed vendor I've ever dealt with for review samples, as they attribute the samples no monetary value and suggest it's a gift to the reviewer for giving the product a showcase; positive or negative regardless.
Posted on Reply
#22
delshay
FouquinFrom my experience it's down to various factors. Some, but not all might be:

If it's a unit direct from the vendor, and it's a retail unit, than you may get to keep it.
If it's a pre-production serialized sample than it may need to be returned.
If it's provided by TPU via the vendor for the organization to publish a review than it could be under ownership of TPU, thus would be returned on departure by that reviewer. Or it could be granted to the reviewer as a bonus to the standard pay if the vendor does not require it to be sent back (I.E. if it were compensatory provided to TPU for providing a review.)

Each vendor plays it differently. My previous anecdotal experiences showed MSI, ASRock, and AMD to be the most lenient with review sampling. Generally not requiring whole units be returned, and often encouraging the practice of keeping the unit on hand for possible further analysis (in the event performance may be affected by an upstream change that should need a revisit.) AMD in particular has been the single most relaxed vendor I've ever dealt with for review samples, as they attribute the samples no monetary value and suggest it's a gift to the reviewer for giving the product a showcase; positive or negative regardless.
What happens if you break it doing teardown, overclocking & putting it under LN2. ...I take it, it's fine to send it back broken.
Posted on Reply
#23
tabascosauz
VSGNever hurts to apply and see, except for the time spent. I'd say go for it and try out.
One thing about the current RAM reviews that gives me pause (and I admire) is the commitment to removing heatspreaders on every kit reviewed. I've done it before but it was anything but a pleasant experience even with copious amounts of heat, some vendors have seriously horrible heatspreaders. Is a great help given how Thaiphoon is a crapshoot for correctly guessing ICs, but damn that's dedication. Most layman reviewer sites don't bother.
Posted on Reply
#24
delshay
tabascosauzOne thing about the current RAM reviews that gives me pause (and I admire) is the commitment to removing heatspreaders on every kit reviewed. I've done it before but it was anything but a pleasant experience even with copious amounts of heat, some vendors have seriously horrible heatspreaders. Is a great help given how Thaiphoon is a crapshoot for correctly guessing ICs, but damn that's dedication. Most layman reviewer sites don't bother.
It not guessing, it's all down to what been programmed into the SPD at a given location.. Study this & you will know who made the dram chip by the code provided it is filled in by the company who made it.

You can see it here byte 350-351 (DDR4). Serial presence detect - Wikipedia ...Die revision is at byte 352

EDIT: I'm an hardware modder, so if I went as far as to remover the heat spreader, I would fit a thermal sensor if it did not have one & fill in byte 8 & 14.
Posted on Reply
#25
tabascosauz
delshayIt not guessing, it's all down to what been programmed into the SPD at a given location.. Study this & you will know who made the dram chip by the code provided it is filled in by the company who made it.

You can see it here byte 350-351 (DDR4). Serial presence detect - Wikipedia

EDIT: I'm an hardware modder, so if I went as far as to remover the heat spreader, I would fit a thermal sensor if it did not have one & fill in byte 14.
you clearly haven't been around Thaiphoon much if you think it's always right......8Gb C-die identifies as B-die, CJR identifies as DJR, 4Gb E-die identifies as 4Gb D-die, etc. Yes it is programmed into the SPD, but more often than you think it's done so incorrectly and Thaiphoon just goes along with it. Corsair rev number is equally dicey, G.skill 042 is better, but looking at the chips never lies - but like I said it's a pain.
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