If you can read this text your card has not failed. On a serious note – AMD partner Diamond Multimedia is reporting that it has shipped 15,000 up to potentially 20,000 Radeon 3800 series cards that suffer from an apparent ‘design / manufacture’ defects. These cards were reportedly shipped between January and July of this year.
Cards that were affected include all Radeon 3850 cards with 512MB of memory sold in that specific time frame along with a large number of Radeon 3870 and 3870 X2 cards. Claims are that the 3850 cards have “quality issues with poor soldering and integrated memory problems” while the 3870 cards suffer from bad resistor values that can “result in computers not starting up and system crashes.”
These issues came to light in Alienware systems (now owned by Dell), where over 10 percent of Radeon 3870 X2s, over 2 percent of 3870s and nearly 8 percent of 3850s outright failed. Alienware ended up returning 2,600 graphics cards and cut its business ties with Diamond Multimedia because of these problems. For the record, Diamond did not actually manufacture the boards – they instead purchased them from ITC. ITC is a company that also sells its own cards under the GeCube brand.
Quoting CEO Bruce Zaman in saying that his firm indeed encounted an isolated issue with “one vendor” that used inadequate power supplies. Diamond added in a separate statement “We do not have any extraordinary customer call reports for HD 3850, 3870 512MB boards.” Alienware was supposedly using sub-par 750W power supplies in affected systems and the flaws “apparently affect very few users.” For those people who are encountering such issues should have no troubles getting their graphics cards replaced.
So who is really to blame here? The manufacturer of the boards, or the fact that sub-par power supplies were being coupled with them? The situation seems to be a he-said , she-said situation. Thus you may draw your own conclusion. It is known that utilizing poor power supplies can cause users all kinds of hardware grief including, but not limited to complete hardware failures.