When a serious hardware problem occurs, the buck always passes a few times before it finds a solid resting place. In the recent case of NVIDIA, it was remarkably simple, as the company itself (it seems) was responsible for pushing the bad solder that was cracking. But now we have several thousand Radeon 3800 cards that are faulty, and the finger is not quite so easy to point.
Of course, first we look at AMD. What the hell, guys? They’re quick to point out that the faulty cards were all from a single distributor: Diamond. So! The culprit is found! Wait though: Diamond didn’t manufacture the cards. They have a stable of OEMs who make the various lines of tech they distribute. Fortunately for blame-seekers, the faulty ones were traced back to ITC/GeCube, so that’s the end of the story, right? Actually, blame could go back up the ladder if it turns out Diamond tweaked the card too much or didn’t do enough quality assurance, and it seems AMD never checked them either. Alienware, who received a significant chunk of the faulty cards, has replaced Diamond as a partner, and to be honest I would be wary of them as well. If you’re the proud owner of one of the 15,000 or so faulty cards, Diamond will gladly replace it, so at least you have that, but it sounds like there’s enough blame to go around for everybody. Not nearly the level of SNAFU achieved by NVIDIA, but this kind of bad PR may be harmful to AMD’s big comeback.