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Reports claiming that defective Radeons surfaced at top-tier manufacturers prove false

A recent article from DigiTimes had many graphics partners pointing a finger at AMD for several thousand potentially faulty Radeon HD 2600 and HD 2400 products.  Specifically, DigiTimes claimed “One first-tier maker has recalled over 20,000-30,000 units already, noted the sources.”

Although the article stated that Asustek Computers, Micro-Star International (MSI) and Gigabyte Technology all experienced a problem with improperly flashed cards, all three manufacturers have since denied the existence of any such defect.

Several product managers and engineers were left scratching their heads when confronted about receiving batches of faulty Radeon HD parts.  ASUS representatives, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claim that no journalists inquired to the company about faulty Radeon-series graphic adaptors, and that the company has not found a single defective in its inventory.

When approached as to the nature of the defect, a Taiwanese graphics adaptor engineer stated, “ATI did deliver some chips without UVD to Acer for one of its projects and that’s it.  All chips delivered to other OEM and ODM has the UVD enabled.” Universal Video Decoder, or UVD, is a hardware acceleration unit found on the Radeon HD 2600 and 2400 graphics processors.

That same engineer suspects Acer is where the notion of a defect or recall may have occurred.

Acer, the world’s fourth largest branded PC vendor occasionally orders one-off products from its suppliers. Since the parts were ordered without UVD support it one would be hard pressed to consider them defective.  Acer’s OEM partners include ECS and Asustek.
MSI and Gigabyte have no knowledge of receiving either products without hardware UVD support or defective ROMs. Both companies went on to say that internal testing of the HD 2K-series has not shown problems related to UVD support.

A Gigabyte official spoke to DailyTech on the record with regard to the defect report.  “We can confirm that all shipping AMD Radeon HD 2400s and ATI Radeon HD 2600s have working UVD functionality,” he stated. “We are shipping a number of HD 2400 A13s and their UVD functionality is enabled in the August Catalyst driver drop.  All of the remaining HD 2400s, and all of the HD 2600s, have UVD support in the current driver.”

One AMD engineer, also speaking on terms of anonymity, claim that there are no cards in the channel with a UVD problem and they are unaware of faulty products leaving the factory.  "Any report claiming that defective HD 2600 and 2400 [cards] are recalled in the channel is completely untrue."

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By CZroe on 8/8/2007 11:24:13 PM , Rating: 5
Might wanna, you know, at least HINT at what UVD is. I'm just sayin'

By HrilL on 8/8/2007 11:32:40 PM , Rating: 4
Unified Video Decoder, previously called "Universal Video Decoder", or UVD in short, is the video decoding unit from ATI Technologies to support hardware decode of H.264 and VC-1 video codec standards, and being a part of AVIVO HD technology


By Polynikes on 8/9/2007 12:28:52 AM , Rating: 2
His point is what you said, or at least what the acronym means, should be included in the article. Not everyone knows every acronym in the tech world, even if they do read DailyTech regularly. (That's not true of me, but I don't think it's very good journalism to mention something that some people may not understand without clarification.)

By HrilL on 8/9/2007 1:47:34 AM , Rating: 2
Yes I understand that, and that is why I voted him up before I posted. And since some people don't know. I decided I would enlighten them.

By 1078feba on 8/9/07, Rating: 0
By Spivonious on 8/9/2007 11:36:21 AM , Rating: 2
You can rate posts as long as you haven't posted a comment of your own. As soon as you post, your ratings are deleted.

I imagine that is to prevent rating yourself up, but one would think that would be easy to control.

By jtesoro on 8/9/2007 11:47:44 AM , Rating: 1
Just noticed that I lost my rating rights, even for articles where I haven't posted yet. I thought you couldn't rate only if you haven't posted enough in the past. I have 300+ posts already, but admittedly only a few the last couple of months. Maybe a rule about the number of recent posts is in place.

By Justin Case on 8/9/2007 12:41:53 PM , Rating: 2
If you don't see the "worth reading / not worth reading" links at the bottom of posts, that is due to one of three things:

1. The discussion is old and doesn't accept ratings anymore.

2. You have already posted in that discussion.

3. You are not logged in.

By Merry on 8/9/2007 3:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
1. The discussion is old and doesn't accept ratings anymore.

2. You have already posted in that discussion.

3. You are not logged in.

I have also lost my ability to rate posts despite the fact i havent posted in the thread, the topic isn't old and I am logged in.

Bit of a mystery really.

By Justin Case on 8/9/2007 7:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
I had a problem some time ago when the site was logging me out during a session, for no apparent reason. The only way to fix it was to close the browser and then go back. That hasn't happened to me lately, but maybe you have similar problem. Clear all your cookies that mention "" and try logging back in.

By Spivonious on 8/10/2007 3:39:54 PM , Rating: 1
And I'm rated down because??

By wien on 8/11/2007 10:58:34 AM , Rating: 1're way off topic?

I thought acer didn't make computers...?
By lompocus on 8/8/2007 11:50:13 PM , Rating: 2
Do they really make then, besides the low-low end laptops? Afaik i've only ever seen acer displays.

By Flunk on 8/9/2007 12:00:14 AM , Rating: 2
They have a whole line of notebooks from low to high end. They might just not sell them where you live.

By oab on 8/9/2007 1:08:09 AM , Rating: 2
In North America, Acer has a whole line of desktops (aspire series) and laptops (aspire and travelmate series) both from the low to high end, with the desktops focusing on the lower end, leaving the "high end" to HP/Dell in the retail sector.

They also have monitors, and re-badged brands of optical drives, with other things that they sell as well. I think they sell TVs as well, but don't quote me on that.

By giantpandaman2 on 8/9/2007 2:18:49 AM , Rating: 2
By Korvon on 8/9/2007 5:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
Acer makes some good quality laptops, every customer of mine that has purchased one has loved them. The support kicks dells butt, one major reason is their call center is in Texas and not india. :P

By Shadowmaster625 on 8/9/2007 9:43:42 AM , Rating: 2
Is this an example of what you'd call NVFUD?

By Screwballl on 8/9/2007 10:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
thats what I suspect...

By Spivonious on 8/9/2007 11:37:22 AM , Rating: 2
What's the NV?

By Goty on 8/9/2007 2:48:12 PM , Rating: 2

By Spivonious on 8/10/2007 3:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
Whoa, my brain must have been off yesterday.

By crystal clear on 8/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: Just
By bfonnes on 8/11/2007 6:45:18 PM , Rating: 2
It may be... but, there was already an article at DT about this about a month or two ago... So, it's old news for DT regulars. :)

RE: Just
By bfonnes on 8/11/2007 6:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
or maybe that was something else... dunno really, I'm not a financial expert and don't really know those are anyway. I could be wrong.

RE: Just
By KristopherKubicki on 8/12/2007 6:22:45 AM , Rating: 2
I think what you're thinking about has occurred more than once this year. AMD just did it again last week:

RE: Just
By crystal clear on 8/12/2007 8:32:09 AM , Rating: 1
This could be interesting for you-

"ATI driver flaw exposes Vista kernel"

Purple Pill leaves bitter taste

An unpatched flaw in drivers from ATI creates a means to smuggle malware past improved security defences in the latest version of Windows and into the Vista kernel.

Microsoft is working with ATI on an update which security watchers warn might be far from straightforward to roll-out.

The existence of the security flaw in ATI's driver came to light after developer Alex Ionescu released a proof-of-concept tool called Purple Pill that created an easy way to load and unload unsigned (potentially malicious) drivers on Vista. The utility circumvented new anti-rootkit defences built into Vista by turning off checks for signed drivers.

Ionescu pulled the utility hours after its release after realising that the ATI driver flaw Purple Pill uses, which he learned about in a presentation by Vista kernel security expert Joanna Rutkowska at Black Hat last week, is yet to be patched.

RE: Just
By crystal clear on 8/12/2007 8:37:49 AM , Rating: 1
See the date of the links provided-AMD & Rueters.

Plus read the links to get updated on the facts & figures.

Crystal Clear-one of the D.T. regulars

Defective chips
By The Jedi on 8/9/2007 1:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
When approached as to the nature of the defect, a Taiwanese graphics adaptor engineer stated, “ATI did deliver some chips without UVD to Acer for one of its projects and that’s it. All chips delivered to other OEM and ODM has the UVD enabled.” Universal Video Decoder, or UVD, is a hardware acceleration unit found on the Radeon HD 2600 and 2400 graphics processors.

I think a more likely occurance was that ATI had an early batch of defective chips, and cut Acer a deal to dump them off. Large OEMs offer cut-down lower cost parts all the time, especially with graphics chips. Dell for example has GeForce 6150 LE motherboards, and routinely sells SE model graphics cards that are slower. With the lower costs, it's harder for the channel to compete with crap like that. But I can understand the need to sell all of the chips you can rather than trash a portion of them.

Of course a lot of that stuff is with a limited warranty, and maybe suspect quality. I recall Gainward had some "GeForce 256 SE" cards that were like 10 MHz lower. They were cheaper, but they died early with no real warranty.

RE: Defective chips
By Treckin on 8/9/2007 4:45:32 PM , Rating: 1
No no no no. While that may be a component of it (that amd had some unusual hardware from a first run) OEM's have been contracting neutered hardware since the dawn of personalized computing (think dell and hp). Every OEM on the market has chopped versions of motherboards, especially chipsets, in their low-end budget systems.
They used to make OEM only versions of procs which had half the cache of purchasable CPU's etc. Im not sure about that anymore, as the cost of doing special runs on 90nm, 65nm, and soon 45nm and 32nm fabs is incredibly expensive. On the older fab processes, the die cutters and engravers were not nearly as expensive...
One example of a low-end chopped board is sitting in my garage right now. I have a 1999 Dell something or other, which has a neutered version of a gigabyte mobo in it. The retail version had 4 ram dimms, while this has 2, and also the retail had an agp slot (ht shit back then LOL), and this one has only 2 PCI slots, both OEM populated...

The thinking is that anyone buying a $300 desktop is probably not going to be doing much HD decoding, and probably dont have a monitor worth displaying HD vid on anyhow.

RE: Defective chips
By Slaimus on 8/9/2007 5:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
There were no defective chips at all. The problem reported by digit-life was on the BIOS.

Acer probably requested some cards without UVD, and so those had the BIOS set a flag to the driver that UVD is not present. Those card were likely made by Asus or ECS like the article says.

Some of those probably got mixed in with the normal batch, so it was suspected that they had to recall a lot of cards to see cover all possible stock.

AMD/ATI then probably stepped in with a driver update that just ignored this BIOS flag, and enabled the UVD always.

Learned my lesson
By ralith on 8/9/07, Rating: 0
RE: Learned my lesson
By FITCamaro on 8/9/2007 8:34:05 AM , Rating: 1
Perhaps you need less caffeine.

RE: Learned my lesson
By Makaveli on 8/9/2007 7:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
or glasses =)

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