My GPU RMA Experiences this year

Andrew_Carr

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Feb 26, 2005
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Since I handle a lot of GPUs for my er... work, I thought I'd share my experiences here. So far I have purchased AMD and nVidia GPUs from most major manufacturers and submitted RMAs with the following:

Powercolor (2 cards)
ASUS (1 card)
Gigabyte (1 card)
MSI (3 cards)
Zotac (1 card)
Sapphire (1 card)

End-to-end Time: Winners would be ASUS in #1 followed by Gigabyte. Followed distantly by Powercolor. ASUS and Gigabyte both got my card back within 1-2 weeks of receipt and the packaging and overall experience was professional and pleasant. I sent two cards to Powercolor around roughly the same time. Their RMA system was down so updated were done via email with one of their techs. They were responsive and helpful and it was weird having a human to talk to for once, but the overall process took the longest at about 45 days total. The also shipped the card back via FedEx hold for pick-up which could be a plus or a minus depending on your preference.

Process
Overall I like MSI's interface the best since you can see the statuses of all your RMAs and they verify SN etc. when you input the data. ASUS seemed a little archaic but functional with a lot of unnecessary forms. Gigabyte's was pretty good as was Powercolor's (minus the whole update system being down). Overall they were all pretty similar and I didn't have any issues with confusion due to lost packages or requiring anything too onerous. Sapphire was somewhat confusing and in the end I didn't have any luck with my radeon VII (it was DOA and probably out of warranty anyway).

Politeness / Customer Service
The tech at Powercolor was good but overwhelmed. MSI was good, I tried RMAing some cards that I had bought overseas and they were polite about not being able to help, but helped me lookup the warranty info anyway so I could see they were out of warranty and not waste me time. Zotac was the worst, my card was in warranty but purchased overseas so they wouldn't help at all (ok, fine) but they wouldn't even bother to give me info on thermal pad thickness. Seemed generally pretty rude. No issues with Asus or Gigabyte but I didn't have to deal with humans directly either.

Free Upgrades
ASUS gave me an upgrade from the 5600xt to a 5700xt so that was nice. Everyone else shipped back the exact model that was submitted (various 6xxx series cards).

Overall the process was much better than I had expected given the market and that these were submitted around May to July 2021. Only Powercolor took awhile and that seems to be the norm in today's world. I did have an issue with one card I purchased from Microcenter where the serial number on the receipt and box did not match the serial number of the card itself (I think it was an open box return, so who knows what happened) but that didn't cause any trouble with the return thankfully.
 

legcramp

[H]F Junkie
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11,978
Awesome, we need a sticky for this thread so everyone can post their experiences. I find that depending on the functionality of your card will affect how the experience of the RMA will be, for example, if a card has artifacts only at Windows screen, do the tech reproduce the issue and confirm it's defective or just send the card right back because it loads bios fine *cough ASUS*. I find that if the card is under warranty and completely dead is when the process will be easy; it's good to hear that ASUS is doing better at RMAs nowadays especially since most view them as the premium brand.

Did you need to provide invoices for all/any of the RMAs?

I'll add in my experience this year and funny enough it was only Zotac, I haven't had any of my "work" GPUs die yet *knock on wood*.

ZOTAC experience:
  • Purchased a dead RTX 3080 from reddit for $400 cash earlier this year, submitted an RMA request to ZOTAC and our invoice. Sent the card in and received a refurbed working 3080 about a week later and it's been working fine every since. The only issue is two of the fans on the Zotac died running at 80%... I just simply replaced them with original fans found on aliexpress instead of sending it back in.
 

Andrew_Carr

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Yes, I had to provide receipts for the RMAs when I submitted them. I don't know if they looked at them closely or if it was a check the box type requirement though.
 

Copyright

Supreme [H]ardness
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Nov 17, 2000
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Great info.. I had a good experience with EVGA but I don't recall the timelines.
 

rewted

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jul 4, 2005
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ZOTAC experience:
  • Purchased a dead RTX 3080 from reddit for $400 cash earlier this year, submitted an RMA request to ZOTAC and our invoice. Sent the card in and received a refurbed working 3080 about a week later and it's been working fine every since. The only issue is two of the fans on the Zotac died running at 80%... I just simply replaced them with original fans found on aliexpress instead of sending it back in.
They did that without verification that you were original owner? That might be score 1 for Zotac.

Even if their only available 3090's are $2800 MSRP.
 

thecold

[H]ard|Gawd
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Nov 12, 2017
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I think you can say you received it as a gift as well and they have to provide warranty coverage.

I doubt it.

Also, it definitely wouldn't apply to mining. I don't know if current boxes show that they will not warrant mining or not, but all the promotional information does.
 

Andrew_Carr

2[H]4U
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Feb 26, 2005
Messages
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Just thought I would update this: My powercolor 5700xt that I've RMA'd for a second time came back and still doesn't work right (card acted up again immediately after I got it back, and only worked for 2 days after first purchase). I put it into a linux computer first and it was recognized but wouldn't mine anything. Put it in my windows PC and it's recognized as a 5700xt as well and actually mines. But freezes the computer periodically and eventually crashes the computer. Usually happens after a few hours and it automatically reboots so I'm not sure what the error is, but even running underclocked and with low intensity settings on mining it causes the computer to lock up (although it will mine for a bit before totally crashing). Considering each RMA process has taken 1+ month and I've had the GPU for about 4-5 days total in my hands since purchase, I'd really like to just get a refund, but I'm past the window for microcenter returns so I guess I'll have to go through powercolor. It does seem slightly better than before because at least it's recognized and is somewhat functional. I'll have to test the GPU output though and in gaming, maybe it'll work fine for that but I doubt it. Around the same time one of my powercolor 6800's blew up as well (VRM or something started smoking even though card temps were low). Submitted an RMA for it but haven't heard back yet. Not expecting anything back on this one, they probably have me logged as a serial GPU abuser or something by now. My ASUS 6800 connected to the same PSU is fine though. All my other branded GPUs though have been mostly good experiences.

I've always been an AMD fanboy, but I would say that using more GPUs has shown me that AMD GPUs have a higher failure rate and are less stable. I can't count a single failure from any of my 1xxx or 3xxx series nvidia GPUs despite buying all the 1xxx series used (one set was horribly corroded due to mining in a coastal garage for several years) vs buying most of my AMD GPUs new. Stability-wise the nvidia cards only seem to have issues if they overheat, but then they just throttle and pause until temps lower. The AMD cards I can monitor temps better so they should be running cooler than my nvidia cards, and I typically run all of the cards at conservative clocks, but I still get more random GPU crashes (mostly from 5700xt's). Current 6xxx series experience is better for the most part. Their HBM2 GPUs seem to be the most stable though and I hardly ever have issues with those, even if temps were near the limit.

Pulling a little fraud on 'em eh? OP also probably violated the warranty terms by mining on that gigabyte card.
Looks like Gigabyte has updated their warranty terms to prohibit mining. Guess I'll buy more EVGAs. It probably does make sense for them to either limit warranty periods or just install better coolers. AMD cards this generation have all generally been really good at cooling memory temps but nvidia's AIBs seem to have cut corners on their memory cooling for the gddr6x cards and I guess that combined with mining has come back to bite them. Maybe we'll all get better coolers out of it next gen.
 
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