Graphics cards: Guarantee conditions from processing to changing the cooler
: Test |CUP | Specs |Config
Update 09/15/2020 10:00 a.m.
More than just performance to consider
Gamers can choose between a large number of graphics cards from all kinds of manufacturers, ComputerBase continuously provides decision support with graphics card tests and graphics card purchase advice. In addition to criteria such as performance, volume and price, there is another important point that is often not easy to understand: the guarantee. ComputerBase explains the differences between the manufacturers. All information is based on specific answers from the manufacturer.
There is far more to consider than the pure guarantee period. For example, some manufacturers allow the built-in cooler to be replaced or the GPU and memory to be overclocked – in some cases even by increasing the voltage.
Overview of duration and processing
A total of six of the thirteen manufacturers listed here guarantee users the trouble-free operation of their graphics cards for a period of two years. Two of them give a three-year guarantee on selected models, as do the remaining seven manufacturers. This period can be extended again for EVGA, Zotac and Gigabyte. In the case of EVGA, customers can optionally purchase an extended warranty within 30 days of purchase, the price depends on the RRP of the graphics card.
In addition, the manufacturer offers an advance exchange for defective graphics cards and a program in which users can exchange their graphics card for a stronger model within 90 days by paying the price difference.
More guarantee against registration
At Zotac, the graphics card must be registered within 28 days of purchase, after which customers receive a manufacturer’s guarantee of three (for GeForce RTX 3000 series two) years after the warranty has expired. In the first two years after purchase, buyers must contact the dealer in the event of a defect under the warranty, after which the manufacturer takes over the processing. At Gigabyte, the guarantee of selected products can be extended upon registration within 30 days of purchase.
Users can also register their graphics cards with PowerColor, but only if they are from the Devil series. A chat is then available that can be used to communicate with the manufacturer.
There is also a guarantee from the production date
At MSI, the warranty period is three years, but counts from the date of production and not the date of sale. Even with Gigabyte, the guarantee is calculated from the production date.
What happens if the dealer goes bankrupt?
The majority of manufacturers do not offer direct warranty processing, normally the dealer has to serve for this. Strictly speaking, the manufacturer only grants the guarantee to him and not to the customer. This can be a disadvantage if dealers are reluctant to deal with the warranty. In this case, the guarantee (granted by the manufacturer for problems in operation) and warranty (granted by the dealer for problems that already existed at the time of purchase) are mixed up and the dealer demands that the customer proves after six months that the cause of the defect already exists was present at the time of purchase. If he cannot do this, the dealer does not have to provide a guarantee and distances itself – the manufacturer is then difficult to reach for the buyer with his guarantee promise.
In this case or if the dealer goes bankrupt, the customer is not necessarily left on dry land. Then customers should always contact the manufacturer directly with the invoice for the graphics card and a description of the defect and describe the situation. There is a special type of processing at Nvidia for Founders Edition. Customers must first contact Nvidia regarding the defect, but the processing itself is then taken over by a service provider (Digital River).
Cooler change and overclocking
Many users want to replace the cooler installed by the manufacturer with a more powerful or quieter model. Here, too, it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer whether the guarantee is retained with such an exchange. It’s the same with overclocking.
If you damage the graphics card when replacing the cooler, you are out of luck
Even if some manufacturers allow the cooler to be changed: If you physically damage the graphics card when you replace it, you will lose all warranty claims. Other physical modifications such as volt mods also void the warranty. Users should therefore exercise caution here.
The original condition must be restored before sending
If a manufacturer allows the installed cooler to be replaced under the guarantee, in the event of a defect, the graphics card must be returned to its original state before being sent to the manufacturer or dealer. The original cooler should definitely be kept.
Another restriction at Zotac is that the extended warranty expires if the cooler is changed. This means that customers only have a two-year warranty period instead of five.
Overclocking works, but
Some manufacturers limit overclocking to certain programs under warranty. For example, at Asus you can only use GPU Tweak II or official AMD / Nvidia software and at Palit only with the ThunderMaster. Anyone who uses other software or modifies that of the manufacturer will formally lose the guarantee. With regard to the Founders Edition, Nvidia says that overclocking and under / overvolting are allowed with the help of the manufacturer’s own programs and software from the board partner.
Goodwill instead of guarantee
Various manufacturers do not explicitly allow overclocking or cooler replacement, but have given ComputerBase to understand that goodwill usually takes effect. At Sapphire, changing the cooler officially invalidates the warranty, but the answer to ComputerBase continues, “If the card is returned to its original condition and the defect cannot be attributed to the mechanical change, the RMA will certainly be accepted in most cases“. In previous revisions of this article, other manufacturers have given similar answers, but they haven’t repeated them for this year’s demand. For customers, this means that they should consult the manufacturer before physically modifying their graphics card. If in doubt, it is better to refrain from installing a new cooler, because goodwill is voluntary and not binding. In any case, the original cooler must be reassembled before sending it in for warranty processing.
In the event of a defect and prior use of the graphics card outside of the warranty, customers should contact the manufacturer directly. This is the only way for manufacturers to show goodwill, dealers filter out graphics cards in advance from which the warranty sticker has been removed.
A new VBIOS is always critical
The VBIOS of the graphics card can be read out, changed and then replayed (flashed) using various tools. This leads to a loss of warranty for almost all manufacturers. In the past, PowerColor was the only manufacturer to allow the installation of modified VBIOS that the manufacturer published itself. EVGA accepts graphics cards with modified VBIOS as long as they have a dual BIOS and at least one of them is in its original state.
Information out of date?
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