Sapphire Gets Hot by Going Cool

Accessories, Warranty And Price, Continued


The Toxic is protected by a two year standard warranty against defects and card failure; users are required to register their purchases on the Sapphire website. If there is an issue within the warranty period, the owner needs to determine the problem. You might be saying "What? My card doesn't work and I need to figure out why?" Sapphire's website states the following: "To receive support please visit ATI Customer Care for extensive online support, including Drivers, Knowledgebase and Web-Tickets, and to access Toll-Free Telephone Support."

The ironic part is if the consumer does not know how to diagnose the problem, they will continue to read on the ATI website that "OEM, Partner and System Builder products (e.g. DELL, Sapphire, Connect3D) are not eligible for Warranty Service from ATI." Scratching your head yet? Back on Sapphire's website it states that "if you are unable to resolve your support issues by following the link above, please do not hesitate to make use of the Sapphire Online forums or Create a Sapphire Support Ticket."

Okay, well why wasn't this stated in the first place? Most tech savvy consumers will try to diagnose their issue using Sapphire's forums anyway, as well as other forums like ours. But what about the average consumer who just wants a solid card for a good price to play games? This maze seems a little much just to solve an issue. It is understandable that Sapphire would like to minimize the number of times customers send cards back for repair or replacement, especially if the problem is something the user can resolve. But when a consumer shells out half a grand for a high-end card, is it fair for them to be left up the creek without a paddle?


The price of the Toxic X1900XTX seems to be somewhat of a moving target; it has been changing over the past week, even as we received our card for testing. It seems that since these will not hit the street until the fourth week of April, the initial $599 was deemed to be a little steep; Sapphire has subsequently revised this figure to $569. That price is probably going to go even lower, as this time of year typically sees a lot of rebate action from various competitors. Sapphire is planning on having a $30 mail-in rebate, which would make the debut price of the Blizzard around $539. This is a nice price for the extras on the Toxic compared to the standard Radeon X1900XTX, which is currently selling for around $499, just $40 less than the Toxic's modified target price.