I attended the Intel Channel Conference, June of 2008, in Irvine. Gigabyte had an impressive display at the conference. They even had one knowledgeable person that spoke English well. My fiancee won the raffle for an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 quad core processor at that ICC. I decided to give a Gigabyte motherboard an opportunity. I read through all of the technical specifications and marketing material, combed reviews. I decided on the GA-EP45-DS3R motherboard. I purchased the motherboard online from ZipZoomFly.com. I purchased an Antec Sonata III 500 case and power supply from a local retailer. I acquired the rest of the parts and built the system. I’ve been building computers since 1995. I take my time. I skip the shortcuts. Once it was complete, I plugged it in and turned it on. The system didn’t boot. I completely disassembled the system. Looking very carefully for any possible foreign object damage or explanation for the lack of power. The PSU, a 500W Antec model, that came with the Sonata case was indeed shorted. I returned the case w/PSU to the local retailer. They happily provided me a new one, and offered to return my money if that was what I preferred. I brought the new case back and built again. This time the Antec 500W PSU shorted at the power switch of the PSU. Again back to retailer. Build again. Processor error indicated by diagnostics of motherboard. Remove the QX9650. Install the Intel E6750 processor from my primary system. Replace PSU. Call ZipZoomFly about $)(#^&^%($&^ motherboard. They indicate that they would be happy to RMA said motherboard and waive their 10% restocking fee. They cannot cross ship a new one. I had lost 2 days building and transporting dead parts, a $1600 processor, and 3 power supplies. They offered to waive the restocking fee? Yeah. Ok. I took the motherboard to Gigabyte USA HQ. I stated the issues. Shorts PSUs. Causes processor failure as a result. Gigabyte staff tested the board in the lab and could find no fault with the motherboard. I built the system again. Poof E6750 and another PSU up in smoke. At this point I was livid with Gigabyte and with Antec. I contacted ZipZoomFly.com. They indicated: you have exceeded the 15 day return policy. We can not replace your motherboard.
The power supply manufactured by Antec, case manufactured by Antec, and the Gigabyte motherboard still do not work correctly.
I approached Antec with the issues and they suggested I return the PSUs to them for analysis. Given that those PSUs were exchanged at the retailer for new ones, that was not possible. Antec indicates that THEIR PSUs have
Industrial-grade protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits, power overloads, over voltage, and under voltage
Quoted from the following page of the Antec web site: Earthwatts 500W PSU
that a motherboard can not short a power supply
they cannot accept an RMA after 15 days, even when the manufacturer had possession for 10 of those days
To which I indicate:
Antec, Gigabyte, and Zipzoomfly.com are no longer on my approved list of suppliers
The lesson cost me approximately $285 in parts, but worth every dime. I did not lose a client. I ultimately received a different factory refurbished Gigabyte motherboard. I was able to sell the motherboard to a client that specified, against my strong objection, on a Gigabyte motherboard. The motherboard failed in less than a year. We replaced the motherboard with an Evga motherboard with a lifetime warranty. We have not had a problem since. Your mileage may vary.