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  1. #1
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    Gainward Ti4200 defect.

    Gainward USA RMA: 800-539-2273

    Update - July 28, 2003
    Seems like people are still experiencing problems with Gainward Ti4200 cards.

    Recently it is ProMDoG who's card was RMA'd 6 months ago and the replacement is now dead. (July 27, 2003).

    Another is Heezer7 who's replaced card is now dead. (July 28, 2003). (See here).

    Seems like we need to start a 2nd list with people who have defective RMA'd cards.
    • ProMDoG
    • Heezer7


    [H]arder Than Gainward's RMA Dept (Feb 3, 2003)

    Just saw this on [H]ardOCP...



    Looks like we just made the front page. Thanks to Kyle for posting it up! Welcome to our [H] brothers!


    "As seen on PCWorld..." (Jan 29, 2003)

    PCWorld has written an article on this issue! It's now featured in their "news" section today.

    Thanks to PBX Tech for contacting them and to Joel Strauch from PCWorld for covering the story!

    We all just got a huge boost in visibility today. When new users come in to this thread, be sure to make them all feel welcome.

    People with working cards All cards are RMAed cards, unless stated. Last update Jan 15, 2003
    • AlphText - Jan 23, 2003
    • ajm786
    • Balex - Jan 21, 2003
    • ls1_alex - Jan 20, 2003
    • Cap'n Kirk - Jan 14, 2003
    • FrizzleFried - Jan 13, 2003
    • nem3 - Jan 10, 2003 (Original card bought from http://www.3btech.net/, not an RMA card)
    • RyboFlavin - Jan 9, 2003
    • FreakyShadow - Jan 8, 2003. Original from CompUSA.
    • mystykmax - Jan 8, 2003
    • Phil J - Jan 18, 2003
    • Shag_man - Early Jan 2003
    • Socom18E - Jan 18, 2003
    • Top - RMA Late December 2002
    • bats718 - Late December 2002
    • wb22rules - RMA mid Nov. 2002
    • Lenny - RMA early Nov. 2002



    Gainward Ti4200 Pics (defective and working cards) Last update Jan 13, 2003



    (Update Jan 11, 2003)
    Jason Wu Gainward asked me to post a message on his behalf. It's not an official statement from Gainward, but it's still a good sign. Read it here or see the 3rd post (two down from this one).

    Also I hav moved my remarks with a conversation with Jason at Gainward USA to the 2nd post of this thread.

    (Update Jan 9, 2003)
    Please read this new thread (link removed. See the post after this) about my remarks with a conversation with Jason at Gainward USA. You can now find it in the 2nd post of this thread.


    What you need to know about the defective Gainward Ti4200 (Last Updated Jan 13, 2003)

    Gainward speaks!
    Important update to this problem. Jason Wu from Gainward speaks (through me). Read it here. (Jan 10, 2003)


    What are the symptoms of the defective Gainward card?
    There are 2 tell-tale signs of a defective Gainward Ti4200:

    1) Pink Screen of Death ("PSOD")
    2) Checker-board crash

    It may look something like this:

    Taken from Top's post at [H]ardOCP, 12-16-2002 06:35 PM

    This will happen in both 2D and 3D applications (though 3D apps seem to happen more often) and across multiple OSes reported so far (Win98, Win2K, WinME, WinXP, SuSE Linux).

    What is causing this problem?
    As far as we can tell, the problem lies within a group of capacitors located at the top-right corner of the videocard. With a lack of official word of Gainward, we are pretty much up the creek without paddles.

    I have a Gainward Ti4200, but have other problems
    If this is your case, then it may not be a defective card. Make sure your problem is not related to your OS, drivers, power supply, etc. before concluding it's a defect. No need worrying about this particular problem if you are having other issues.

    Arfa posted this on January 13, 2003. It may help some of you Ti4200 users with VIA chipsets:

    Arfa said on 01-13-2003 07:19 AM
    I run a very old (I would guess one of the original batch, it looks like a lot of the RMA pictures) 128mb 4200 golden samples and I had crash problems with every D3D game that started a month ago. Symptoms were a crash to desktop or just a plain reboot after anything from a few seconds to a few minutes into gameplay. I found this fix however that might help some of you.

    This page explains it:
    http://pcbuyersguide.com/news/talkba...8,64766,.shtml

    However I run the latest detonators from Nvidia and 4in1s from VIA but the fix nonetheless still works. No more problems in D3D at all. I guess they never included it in the 4in1s after all.

    Here is a direct link to the patch:
    http://downloads.viaarena.com/driver...st_driver1.zip

    I never had the checkboard effect that seems to be related to the faulty cards but it does seem odd that it started happening suddenly after no changes to drivers or anything. Maybe its related somehow. Anyway, hope this helps someone
    So I have a defective card, what do I do?
    Gainward USA appears to be shipping a higher number of working cards. In recent days, many members here are receiving cards that are able to complete 200 loops of 3DMark. This is a very encouraging sign!

    If you plan to RMA, RMA to Gainward and ask them to pay for shipping. They will give you a UPS account tag and a RMA number. Package your videocard. Write your RMA # on the box. Wait for UPS to pick it up and give UPS the account tag/

    Is there any way to tell a defective card from a good one?
    Contrary to previous hypothesis posted in this thread, it appears that there are no definitive ways to determine a "good" card. The appearance of a "working" card also matches that of a defective card.

    At the moment, assume that all configurations of Gainward's Ti4200 card (64MB, 128MB, GoldenSample, Powerpack etc.) will be defective. There are too many defective cards around and not enough working ones for me to safely recommend going with an RMA from Gainward. The chances are you will get a non-working card.

    So far, we have not been able to discern a pattern or trick to determine a good one.

    I am unhappy with Gainward's treatment of the issue. What can I do?

    Update:
    Gainward USA has made a positive move in improving the situation. Not only are they shipping good/fixed cards now, they are also paying for shipping! We never got an official statement from Gainward HQ about this problem (they'll never admit it, it seems).

    The company has an obligation to honor their warranty. If you have received a replacement card that is also defective, they have dishonored their part of the agreement. In certain States, you may also be entitled to additional rights as a consumer. So what should you do?

    • Contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint. If you are an individual who has received one or more defective cards as a replacement, then make sure to mention that Gainward has "Unhonored Guarantees and/or Warranty".
    • Contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint. Use this form here.
    • Contact your local Consumer Protection office.
    • Contact your legal council to find out what rights you have in your State as a consumer.
    • Write a letter to your retailer explaining to them the problem. Be mature and reasonable in your correspondence - you get more attention and respect that way.
    • Write a letter to Gainward explaining to them that you are unhappy. Again, be mature and reasonable in your correspondence - you get more attention and respect that way.


    "Let's not turn into an angry mob here!" - The Simpsons
    As frustrating as this experience is, we should all try to maintain our composure as we deal with this. We are more likely to get positive progress if we all remain mature and professional. Gainward will unlikely take us seriously if we're all out there flaming and swearing.

    Even though Gainward hasn't been very good with dealing with their Ti4200s, their Ti4400s and and Ti4600 cards are excellent.

    Also remember that NOT ALL GAINWARD Ti4200 ARE DEFECTIVE. There are in fact people running working Ti4200 cards, so you may be one of them. So before you join us in this thread with your story of a defective card, make sure it is a defective card!


    - Jerky.
    Last edited by Jonathan; 08-28-2003 at 11:02 AM.
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  2. #2
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    The following was something I originally posted on January 9, 2003.

    I talked to Jason from Gainward USA earlier this morning. We discussed the current situation of defective Ti4200 cards and what GainwardUSA is doing to help rectify the problem.

    There will be a remarks on Gainward's behalf tomorrow which will be posted here in this thread as well on the front page of AMDMB. I did hear a draft of the statement and it seemed satisfactory, but I will reserve any judgment until it is emailed to me. For now, I will not say anything else about this besides to expect something tomorrow.

    However I can mention some other details (which I don't think is covered in the statement).

    But before I begin, familiarize yourself with the problem by reading the 1st post in this thread.

    ===================================================
    DISCLAIMER
    None of the remarks here should be taken as an official statement from Gainward. These are just notes and thoughts I have on the issue after my discussion with GainwardUSA. These are my thoughts and not words from Gainward's mouth. If you want any official word from Gainward, you will have to wait until tomorrow.
    ===================================================


    Give Gainward USA a break
    In talking with Jason, I have gained some insight into what is happening over at the Gainward offices in Fremont, California. I think if Gainward USA has a magic pill for this problem, they would have used it. Unfortunately, it's not like that in real life. Gainward USA is just a satellite office of a larger company. I suspect many of the decisions are made at Gainward-Taiwan and a lot of the manufacturing and quality-assurance happens there as well.

    As much as we like to blame Gainward USA (or Gainward Europe) for our problems, it's Gainward Taiwan that makes the wheels turn. If there are complaints, it should be sent to the Head Office. The people in Gainward USA are just doing their jobs as best as they can given the circumstances (i.e. limited resources and being a branch office).

    So I think we should cut Gainward USA some slack since they are not the ones to blame here. Gainward Taiwan, however, should be made aware of this issue.


    The problem is caused by 3 faulty capacitors located at the top-right corner of the vidcard.

    My thoughts
    Any fixed vidcard coming from Gainward will have these 3 capacitors "addressed" (I am unsure how Gainward is doing this, but I suspect it will be a combination of factory-reconditioned parts and/or new production cards). The production time of these cards were in July 2002. However, I am unsure if they kept using the same supply of bad capacitors after that. So if you have a card that was produced/bought before July 2002, there is a VERY good chance you are not affected.


    Someone in this forum has already received a fixed card.
    Jason mentioned specifically that there's an image of it in the Problem Thread.

    My thoughts
    My best guess is Lenny's card (also see page 1, first post of the problem thread) which has been running fine for almost 2 months.




    (Notice the change in capacitors)

    Let me know if you have a card that looks like this and does not work.


    Gainward's 3 Year Warranty

    My thoughts
    Gainward offers 3 year warranty on all their products. So if your TNT M64 from 2 years ago is dying, you can still send it back to Gainward. With this said, you will be able to do the same with the Ti4200 for another 3 years. So if your card is not experiencing the checkerboard problem, then rest easy. You may have a working card and have no problems -- no sense in worrying about a problem that you don't have. If you do have a Ti4200 card and get the checkerboard/pink-screen problem, you still have that 3 year warranty (which is much better than other company's policies!).


    It seems that temperature does affect the state of the card.
    Colder the temperatures, more prevalant the problem. Initially Gainward was unable to reproduce this problem until someone suggested the temperature.

    My thoughts
    This matches a hypothesis we came up with early on in the Problem Thread. We suspected that somehow a warmer room made the card run better. We were never able to confirm this theory, but eventually ignored it since no one else seemed to be able to reproduce it.

    This may also explain why New Zealand encountered this problem first in August since it would be cooler then and why we're seeing so many instances of it now in North America (because of the cooler seasons). It may be worth a try to make your case a little warmer and see if you can complete 3DMark loops.


    Jason said that it is unacceptable and unfortunate that some customers have received more than 1 defective card through the RMA process.

    My thoughts
    What exactly is going to be done for these individuals, I am not sure at the moment (i.e. wait for the statement hopefully). I suspect people at Gainward USA are quite upset as well since they are limited in their resources and probably rely on Gainward-Asia for parts, new cards, and guidance. Knowing how international companies work, this can be a real mess and a source of tension between offices.


    If any testing is done on the cards, it is done using 3DMark.

    My thoughts
    Any testing is good in my opinion.


    Problem is more common in Europe and North America

    My thoughts
    Asia seems to be largely unaffected. I haven't seen any reports from Asia and Jason implied that Europe and North America were seeing majority of the problems. I suspect Gainward-Asia, shipped fixed cards to the Asian market first (Gainward is a Taiwanese company, HQ in Taiwan, offices in USA and Europe). This may explain why the markets outside of Asia are still experiencing issues.


    Final Thoughts
    I'd like to thank Jason for getting back to me so quickly on my emails and with a phone call this morning. This has probably been very stressful for him and his colleagues. Hopefully customers with defective cards will get their working replacements soon. Until then, hold onto your cards.

    - Jerky.
    Last edited by Jonathan; 01-13-2003 at 10:54 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Gainward USA's Message to Customers

    For some time now, I have been helping AMDForums members with an issue with their Gainward Ti4200 videocards. At first it appeared to be some random occurances, but when six members experienced the same problem across different systems and OSes, I knew that we had stumbled onto something unusual.

    The problem was that these particular video cards were prone to crashing in either 2D or 3D applications. The crash would either be a "Pink Screen" or a multi-colored checkerboard screen.


    (Courtesy of BuckMaster)

    Affected cards will eventually display this problem regardless of videocard model (GoldenSample, Powerpack, 64MB, 128MB), OS (reported Win98, WinME, Win2K, WinXP, SuSE, Redhat) and architecture (Intel, AMD, VIA, Shuttle, SiS). The problem may appear as soon as it is plugged in, or it may take 2-3 months.

    From our observations in the forum, the problem is caused by faulty capacitors located on the front, top-right corner of the video card.



    (Courtesy of Lenny)

    The unfortunate part of this problem was that customers going through the RMA process (with Gainward USA) were receiving defective cards in return! Some customers have gone so far as doing 4 RMAs before giving up. This was clearly unacceptable and something had to be done.

    A few days ago I emailed Gainward USA about this problem hoping to start a dialog between the company and their customers (me being their representative). Jason Wu from Gainward USA's Business Development department responded promptly and we exchanged a few emails and a phone conversation discussing what can be done about these defective cards.

    He has sent me a message that he would like conveyed to Gainward customers who are affected by this problem.

    Jason is confident that all cards leaving Gainward USA, for sale or RMA, are good (i.e. not defective). This is great news for those people waiting for RMAs and for those who are stuck with bad cards. He has told me that those customers who have this defect to contact their RMA dept at 800-539-2273 and they will issue a UPS call tag and have UPS pick up the card from you. Yes, Gainward is paying for the shipping of your defective card.

    Jason hopes that they can clear up this issue immediately. He has even provided his personal email so that any further questions and comments can be answered promptly (jwu@gainwardusa.com).

    So this is good news for those affected by this problem. Jason has given is assurance that cards being shipped are GOOD. Furthermore, he has put his reputation and Gainward's reputation on the line to prove to everyone that things will be corrected.

    For an issue that surfaced back in August 2002 (see this article at The Inquirer, http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=5144), it is good to finally see Gainward (the USA office anyway) making moves to fix the problem and to make sure customers are satisfied. However, there has been no word from Gainward UK, Gainward Europe, or Gainward Taiwan.

    I must thank Jason for being so prompt with his correspondence and for taking this big step in making sure customers are satisfied and get what they want. I also thank everyone who has taken part in the thread at AMDForums -- you all have been very understanding, mature, and civil despite all that has happened.

    Please share your Gainward Ti4200 experiences in this thread (http://www.amdforums.com/showthread....5&pagenumber=1). If you hear news from any other Gainward office, please let me know.

    Gainward Ti4200 Problems around the web


    - Jerky.

    ===================================
    Sorry MP, I had to hijack your post so I can have 4 posts back-to-back. - Jerky. Jan 13, 2003

    c'mon folks,,i seen a lot of complaints on this card also, don't be shy It's only Jerky who wants your info, and i'm sure it will be held confidntial. - MousePotato Oct 14, 2002.
    Last edited by Jonathan; 01-15-2003 at 01:49 PM.

  4. #4
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    The RadioShack Solution

    The following was a post made by Bob Schuckhart in this thread on Jan 14, 2003. This is a good solution for those with a steady hand and can't afford to wait for an RMA.

    Thanks bob!

    - Jerky.

    =====================
    The Radio Shack $3.99 solution... I have a Gainward TI4200 64meg card that performed well for a couple of months and then, well the checkerboard screen of death lead me to this forum. I particularly enjoy all the fine pictures of the offending capacitors around the card's voltage regulator that have been posted here.

    NOTE: THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY!

    I liked them so much that I went to the local Radio Shack and got their electrolytic capacitor grab bag which is at least (30) capacitors of varying voltages and capacitances. And I proceeded to replace the two capacitors on my board that were of a different value than those that appear on the 'working' gainward cards. On my card they were the first and third capacitors on the top row. Originally a 1500 mf and a 330mf. The pictures showed working cards have two 470 mf capacitors so I got as close as I could from the 'grab bag' which was a 470 and a 330 and the problem was worse. My second try worked and my top row is now a 1200 mf (radio shack) 1000 mf (original) and 470mf (radio shack). I haven't seen a CSOD since the soldering job and have run mulitple 3dmark2001 benchmarks overclocked to 315 core and 590 ram. Before the mod I couldn't even get through the second game test at default clock speed without the CSOD.

    So if you like to experiment, and don't want to wait for the UPS man, and don't mind voiding your warranty you might try fixing it yourself. The soldering was quite easy as the capacitors are soldered to pads on the top of the board, just make sure to get the polarity right! (clearly marked on the board and on each capacitor). It worked for me, but I can't really help you if you try this and ruin your card.

    - Above was written by bob schuckhart

    ==========================
    Ash2Dust's remarks on"The Radio Shack $3.99 solution..."

    Good info to know that someone succeeded in slapping on some cheap Radio Shack capacitors and have the card run. Its hardware hacking at its best. No guts, no glory. Maybe the Gainward caps were cheaper than Radio Shacks!

    <sarcastic> You know Gainwards self-proclaimed god-like skeleton crew customer service has hit a new high when customers have to try to soldering parts on. </sarcastic>

    For Newbies who havent soldered much:
    1) The capacitors have to be soldered on according to polarity. If not, they make for a cool electical fire.
    2) Parts on a board (design) are picked out for their specs by engineers. They pick a specific cap because of some requirement of the board or a chip manufacture's recommendation. Slapping on a *roughly* equivalent part can cause other issues. While the engineers tend to overspec the parts, they dont work in purchasing (who are always looking for a cheaper price). Unless you get the specs on the old part (tolerances, voltages, etc) and buy new parts accordingly, be warned that you are beta testing new parts on your card.

    The 12 layer PCB for the new GF cards was also interesting. The only time I've seen that number of layers is if someone has an extremely high pin count on a small board (meaning more signal traces) or they had need for extra power and ground planes on the board for cleaning up the signals. It also makes for a higher cost fab as each dual layer added to a board increases the cost by roughly 150%. Some places wont fab over 8 layers as they have too high of a failure at that level.

    - Above is written by Ash2Dust

    ======================

    Here's a picture of kipsteruk's self-fixed Gainward.

    "now i replaced the suss capacitors, 1000uF and 470uF"
    Last edited by Jonathan; 09-15-2003 at 04:31 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up

    mcb41n attempts to fix his defective Ti4200 using the "RadioShack Solution". No success so far, but he's not giving up. Interesting read for those who are good with electronics.

    On the topic of capacitors... Mindless gives details about the voltage ratings of the capacitors so you can replace them yourself.



    - Jerky.
    Last edited by Jonathan; 09-15-2003 at 06:48 PM.

  6. #6
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    *bump* like a motherf****!
    what it do?

  7. #7
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    So far I haven't had any problems with my replacement. I have yet to overclock it though.
    Cognitive Dissonance: The enemy of the mind

  8. #8
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    Jerky,

    My Golden Sample 128MB Ti4200 works fine...I'll send you all the info when I get home from work tonight.
    "Only two things are infinite, the Universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." ---- Albert Einstein

  9. #9
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    Despotes. Did you email me already? If not can you give me the info on your card?

    Thanks for the info Master Qui-Gon.

    - Jerky.
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  10. #10
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    Why do you want info on the new card? So far it's working fine.
    Cognitive Dissonance: The enemy of the mind

  11. #11
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    I want to see if there are any production/serial #'s that would indicate a good Gainward from a bad one. Are you going to be OCing it?
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  12. #12
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    Well mine worked for 4 month almost then went to hell, now in 2D or 3D I'll get a corrupted display with red and green checker board and have to do a cold boot to get rid of it.
    XP2200 12.5@152 1900mhz 1.6V
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  13. #13
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    Zazuk.
    Can you tell me if you did anything unusual to the card that caused this? Did you overclock it? What are your case and room temps? Does the problem go away if you open your side panel and/or sto OCing your card?

    - Jerky.
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  14. #14
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    *bump*

    If there's no one left with problems, then I will draft a letter to Gainward and send it to them in the next few days.

    Please email me if you haven't already. Thanks!

    - Jerky.
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  15. #15
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    I've talked to the folks at Gainward and RMA'd my card. I had the problems everyone listed, with no overclocking, or anything else out of the norm.

    When I called Gainward, the operator answered and asked how he could help me, and I said I needed to RMA my video card because it was defective. I was transferred to the RMA department, and the tech asked me what kind of card I had. I told him a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 64MB DDR with 3.5ns Etron memory. He said, "Ok, your RMA number is #########." He did not ask me what kind of problem I was experiencing, he did not ask me what my other system specs were, what applications was I running, or any other normal pertinent information. This leads me to conclude that they are fully aware of their mistake. Now we'll just wait and see what they do about it.
    -Mackieman

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