Gigabyte's Motherboard Revision 'Misleading'

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Gigabyte's Motherboard Revision 'Misleading'


"Several days ago, one of our (Dutch) forum visitors asked about a Gigabyte motherboard with difference characteristics than the original model, and visible differences from the photo displayed by the shop where it was purchased. A bit of Googling and browsing through Gigabyte's website shows that the Taiwanese manufacturer makes new revisions of quite a few of its motherboards, mostly in the budget segment. For us reason to do some more research and buy and test the motherboards. The results are more than a little remarkable...

Gigabyte has been making new revisions of its motherboards, using the original product name, since time immemorial. This is nothing special, nor anything the manufacturer is less than open about. New motherboards are easily identified by the addition to their name: Rev. 2.0 or Rev 3.0 for example. However, lately these revisions appear to be primarily instigated by cost considerations. In the boards we tested, we observed very clear differences, such as a lowering of the number of CPU power supply phases and in one case even the removal of a secondary BIOS chip.

Although Gigabyte is fairly honest about the differing versions on its website (even though changes like a lower number of phases are not to be found in the official specification lists), this is not an approach we are enthusiastic about. The reason for that lies in the way Gigabyte brings the new products to market, using exactly the same manufacturer and UPC codes as for the original versions. Thanks to that, distributors and online shops (who work with automatic links based on these codes) cannot tell the difference. Hence, they can receive - and thus, sell - a different product, without being aware of the change in the product. Of course for you, the end user, there is no way at all to tell the difference, until you receive the product and open the box."

Issue here is that GB didn't use a new manufacturers code or new revision. The specs were wrong and allegedly misleading on their website. Ie, the recently revised EVGA GTX 980 Classified had less changes but due diligence/common-sense prevailed and code was move up a notch so everyone in the chain knew the score.

Whether you'd get what you're paying for requires checking with GB website and reading the product page, checking the images (not reliable and simply a representation), and white paper or manual. If you trust your etailer ask them before ordering via email, webchat, forum if it has all the features you were hoping for otherwise its a breach of contract and returning it will be far easier via previous correspondence with etailer. Best option is to buy in person and verify.

This isn't a big issue and happens more than you'd think although usually cutdown parts are reduced. Being clearer with customers would be a good start. Just because it's a budget option doesn't mean you should treat customers any differently, inevitably it happens. Changes affects reviews for either their reliability or performance and features. Seen this over a number of years (recently with SSDs), what you thought your ideal upgrade and what you later receive are no longer the same. Commonly known as bait and switch. Whether deliberate or not (get your tinfoil Christmas hat out), get the good reviews in and switch to cheaper components shortly after launch.

Direct link to hosting of the GIF (739KB), just in case ;)


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