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Trusted Manufacturers and Reputations

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April 14, 2010 8:11:50 PM

Firstly, I do hope this is in the right place. I searched a great deal, but this is a rather ambiguous topic.


Now then, word of mouth plays a vital role in the Consumer Experience (tm). Pick any section of an economy, and people will be able to tell you who to avoid, who's the bee's knees, who's a crook, et cetera. Heck, this site is one big example of this. And while TH does a great job showing us what products to avoid, and which to snag, it's run by only so many people, with so many resources. As such, I'm putting forth a modest proposal. No, I'm not suggesting we eat Irish children. I'm instead suggesting we pool our experiences to create a list of manufacturers, who's to be trusted, who's known for poor quality, what their shtick is (X makes hardware for overclockers, Y hardware that will be functioning long after you), who's known for reliability, and so forth.

The result (hopefully) will be an easily referenced list that can aide anyone any time they're unsure about going with a new brand. Heartbreak will be averted, money will be saved, and joy will be spread like jam on toast. So, good idea? Bad? I'd start the ball rolling, but I'm still fairly green.
April 14, 2010 8:18:57 PM

It's not really as black and white as that. Yes, there are some manufacturer's that make very good products like Asus and Gigabyte for motherboards. The problem is that some manufacturer's that make excellent products also have low-end lines that are only so-so quality.
April 14, 2010 8:21:41 PM

This would be impossible to do. Some products by certain brands are great while others aren't. For example, Coolermaster's case and heatsink are excellent, while their PSU are POSs. Are you going to keep a list of every componenet?

Another problem is that even certain models made by the same company aren't quality. For example, OCZ's Z-Series PSUs are high quality, while their StealthXStream units are barely decent. So you'd have to track it on a model by model basis.

A third problem is that even the same product can change quickly. For example, last year Gigabyte's P55 motherboards were considered excellent, until a problem with the Foxconn sockets they used started causing total system failure. So even if you were tracking every model, you'd still have to constantly watch everything.

A fourth problem is that this is already done. They're called REVEIWS and NEWS. It's found through this brand new, new-fangled thing called GOOGLE. I'm not surprised if you've never heard of it...

To sum up, this is a terrible idea. It would be impossible to start, and even harder to keep updated. It's easier to just stick to giving advice as asked.
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April 14, 2010 8:49:13 PM

I know that there can be big differences in quality within a brand, but am I totally wrong in my assumption that manufacturers have a general reputation? If I am, then how can we buy a product that hasn't been reviewed with any confidence? I'm not suggesting some exhaustive list that covers every possibility, just a general list of who's usually a good buy.

And youch on that fourth one, Admiral. Yeah, my Search-Fu might not be the best, but it's pretty hard to Google a nebulous concept like the long-term reliability of a given brand.
April 14, 2010 8:58:36 PM

I may have been a bit mean, but it's still the truth. Some manufacturers have a good reputation in some products, but still they aren't set in stone. Seagate used to be well thought of, but then a single problem caused people to avoid them at all costs. Right now, their new HDDs are some of the best available, but many people won't touch them because of a past problem.

As for buying products that haven't been reviewed, it's not advisable. Heck, I don't even trust some reviews. Most recommendations are held to wait on the reviews, tentative until the products been out for a while, and then subject to change. For example, XFX (a great video card company) just started making PSUs. Their units have gotten great reviews. However, since they're new, I won't trust them until their stability has shown in the market. Even then, it will take a while for them to become one of my main recommendations.

Frankly, if you've got a bad reputation, you don't last in technology. That's what really makes this pointless. A reputation takes so long to build, is heavily based on reviews, and can be destroyed in an instant.
April 14, 2010 9:07:00 PM

Ok, cool. I had a feeling that that last part, but I wasn't sure. Now I know, so thanks.



Oh, and that Irish/"modest proposal" thing? That was just a Jonathan Swift joke. Don't want my first post here to give people the idea that I'm some sort of nut-job racist...
April 14, 2010 9:14:54 PM

I got the Swift reference. No worries. And well done.

Though I think that generally speaking, any baby-eating reference will do, you don't need to qualify it with "Irish".
April 14, 2010 9:16:45 PM

I think I am making a big mistake by looking at the negative reviews of a part on newegg. I think that people who are having problems are more likely to post feedback that those who are 100% happy. So there is some bias in the product reviews on newegg. I would guess that any review on a video card over a month old can be ignored. The drivers have been updated since some issues were posted.
April 14, 2010 9:25:40 PM

Mr Maims said:
I know that there can be big differences in quality within a brand, but am I totally wrong in my assumption that manufacturers have a general reputation? If I am, then how can we buy a product that hasn't been reviewed with any confidence? I'm not suggesting some exhaustive list that covers every possibility, just a general list of who's usually a good buy.


There's no single answer. Let's look at PSU's.....Corsair addresses itself solely to the enthusiast market basically building two tiers of PSU's.

HX Series - Top of the line (9.5 - 10.0)
TX/VX/CX Series - One tier below (8.5 to 9.5)

Antec on the other hand builds PSU's to satisfy several market demographics. Their "Basiq" series is a budget model up to the task of powering an office drone's PC or Aunt Tillie's machine that she uses for recipes and e-mail. Then there's 2 or three lines in between before you get to the enthusiast lines.....the TP and EA series are comparable to Cosair's TX/VX/CX .... then there's the TPX series which is in between before reaching the Antec CP and SG series which are the pinnacle.....think equivalent to the Corsair HX series but quieter.

So if your list says "Antec is Good" ....and someone tries to OC their monster gaming box with a Basiq series, then they are going to be disappointed.

Hard Drives is another area.....every manufacturer has made a true bomb. The Raptor achieved almost a god like reputation among enthusiasts but the 1500 model had a 25% failure rate..... Seagate's 15k.3 is the most reliable HD ever made ..... the 15k.4 was a bomb. Reliability Data from:

http://www.storagereview.com/php/survey/survey_result_t...
April 14, 2010 9:52:52 PM

Quote:
However, since they're new, I won't trust them until their stability has shown in the market. Even then, it will take a while for them to become one of my main recommendations.

Yup. Well said. For example, I won't get a USB3/SATA III RAID until they are proven. I'll wait until Intel/AMDs next chipset revision for SATA3 RAID.
April 15, 2010 4:29:34 PM

you pretty much have to be able to test components to build a system. there is definately no " these are never bad" my last build I got 3 bad top of the line boards from Gigabyte in a row (and the 4th one is a bit iffy). I've had a pre-sellout PCP&C PSU not give proper voltage when new. I've had a suposedly tested system arrive with bad Memory
!