False Alarm: Defective Radeon Report "Completely Untrue"
August 8, 2007 9:28 PM
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Reports claiming that defective Radeons surfaced at top-tier manufacturers prove false
recent article from
had many graphics partners pointing a finger at AMD for several thousand potentially faulty Radeon HD 2600 and HD 2400 products. Specifically,
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
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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RE: Defective chips
8/9/2007 5:00:20 PM
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.
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