Daily Archives: April 11, 2007

Return of the Prodigal Video Card

We were in our new house for just a day when my Sapphire x1950 Pro video card landed on the door step, fresh from the land of RMA’d electronics.  I was happy to see it.

However, since we’re still settling down from the move… really, there is still crap to be moved… where does all this stuff come from… I have not had a chance to install the card in my system.  I hope to manage that by this weekend.

I am a bit disgruntled with Sapphire and the whole RMA process.

Actually, it turns out, the actual company called Sapphire has little to do with things.  The company that handled the RMA is Althon Micro.

They are based out of the Los Angeles area and should not to be confused with Athlon, the AMD chip. 

A little bit of research (the only kind I do) revealed that Althon builds, ships, and supports video cards sold in the US using the Sapphire name. 

So I am disgruntled with Althon Micro.  A little disgruntled, really, over two points.

First, in order to get my video card repaired under warranty, I had to include a check for $15 to get it shipped back to me.  Not the biggest ripoff in history by any means, and since I had no other option I was willing to drop $15 to revive my $250 video card, but it irks me some that I had to cover shipping both ways for what I believed to be a defective product.

Which brings us to my second point.  I *think* the product was defective.  I could not tell you for sure because there was no documentation at all about what they did.  The card came back with the same serial number, so they might have done some board level component changes.  Or, they might have sat on in for a few weeks, plugged it in to a test rig, noted no immediate problem, and shipped it back to me as I sent it.

I know, everybody is busy and what would some detail about replacing three resistors or some such mean to me?  Still, it seems to me to be a good customer service practice to let the customer know what you did on a warranty repair.

But I can live with it…

…as long as that video card works when I plug it back in.