[BLOG] An XFX 6970 goes to see the doctor.

NullenVoydNullenVoyd Orlandish
edited 8:20AM in Community
Been using Ati cards for awhile now, more just because I'm used to them than anything. Also been using the ones made by Sapphire, because between price and performance, they've been very good to me. Folks kept mentioning XFX as a good source for Ati cards though, and since as far as I can tell these cards are practically identical now anyways (Diamond 6970 = Sapphire 6970 = ASUS 6970), I decided to try the XFX 6970 2GB card to replace my still capable Sapphire 4870x2 2GB.

Freshly loaded with a new Win7 x64 pro install, the new card complemented the rest of the system to really rock my socks, but you could tell the almost-beta drivers could use some tweaking and improvements. When Catalyst 10.12 came out, I figured it was a good time to update. Right around the time I did that though, I started to notice a few barely noticeable artifacts showing up in regular 2d desktop use and occasionally in some games. These spots would vanish shortly after they appeared, and didn't come back much after playing/using the PC.

Of course, these artifacts got worse, and it finally got to the point I ran through every trick I knew to fix it without voiding the warranty. Reinstalled drivers, did a couple clean driver wipes and reinstalls of different versions. Finally engaged XFX tech support about the problem (on 2-22-2011) and we went over a few basic troubleshooting steps again to verify the issue.

Response from XFX was present, but took a bit longer than I expected. It seemed to take about a day for them to respond, which isn't bad, but then I'd try their suggestion and reply, wait a day, then hear back with something else to try, try it, reply, wait a day... They did eventually issue an RMA and I promptly sent the card off, nestled lovingly in sturdy packaging and carried off by angels (the non-drunk kind) on 2-28.

3-9 The thing shows having arrived, 3-10 They say they have it, are testing it, and declare it to be FAULTY (which I never would have guessed). 3-11 They send out a replacement and on 3-17 it arrives and is in my hands. Understanding the distance traveled, (me in Lexington, KY, them in Ontario, CA (California)) they did get to testing and sending out a replacement in good time, but I wasn't thinking of that when I opened up a small, much less carefully packed box to find a refurbished card with a few minor issues.

I wasn't necessarily expecting my own card back, or a new unit, so the scuffs on the top sticker weren't a big thing, but turning the card around and finding two completely loose screws, and one screw entirely missing... well, that definitely wasn't what I was expecting. Still, tightened everything up, took it home and got the thing running again. Smooth sailing with everything I could throw at it, computer all buttoned up and back in place, purring along nicely.

Still not sure what to think of the whole experience. Yes they handled the defect promptly, yes the replacement works great, but there's just something about A) having something you spend a decent chunk of bucks on go bad about 2 months of purchase, and B) getting back something cosmetically in worse condition then you sent out... Like sending in your new car for service because the engine is going out, and getting back the same model but someone else's and it has cigarette burns on the upholstery.

Ahwell, back to blowing up zombies!
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