Sunday, September 09, 2007

AMD's Non-Existent Warranty for OEM CPU's

Remember that great processor I bought for my computer? The one I was so lucky to find, because they don't make them anymore and it's the fastest available CPU that my old motherboard will support?

It's dead. 3 weeks past the warranty return date.

You see, normally you get a 3 year warranty on CPU's. However, that's only for retail boxed CPU's. If you buy a component that is not packaged for retail sale - an OEM component (typically sold to companies that make computers - original equipment manufacturers) - at least by AMD's terms, your warranty is limited to whatever warranty your place of sale provides. AMD provides NO warranty on OEM CPU's, at least not to consumers.

My place of sale ( provides a 30 day warranty on OEM CPU's.

I have never liked newegg to begin with. I prefer, but ZZF didn't have the CPU I needed in stock back on July 15, 2007 when I was ordering it.

I woke up this morning to a black screen on my monitor. I noticed that my keyboard LED's were off (the backlighting to the keys on my keyboard). Weird, but the system still had power. It was on. The monitor was getting no signal. Alrighty, whatever. Reboot.

The talking lady inside my computer came on and, in a very concerned voice, repeated incessantly, "System reports CPU failure! System reports CPU failure!"


Except I didn't really say "fuck" at that time. I sighed, shut the machine down, and started taking it apart, knowing I still had my old CPU tucked safely away in its protective case. (Good thing I didn't sell it on ebay last week when I was all about getting rid of my old computer parts).
I took the "new" CPU out (it was HOT as hell) and put my old CPU back in. Closed her up, powered on, booted up, and here I am.

Then I went to to print out my invoice and get the date of purchase. I was shocked that it was 7 weeks ago, really. It felt more like 3. I was sure I'd be within the 30 day time frame. Not so.

I've done RMA's (return merchandise authorizations) on computer parts before, and have never really had any trouble. Western Digital has a good RMA service, as does Maxtor (though I've used Maxtor's WAY more than anybody should - I mean, it's great that they make it easy to return their failed components, but their components shouldn't fail so friggin much). Anyway, after a mildly frustrating experience discovering that AMD's RMA web site requires Internet Explorer (no, they don't mention it - it just doesn't work in Firefox), I entered all of my CPU information only to find that my CPU was not in their database. Then, this notation:

The processor serial number you have entered has not been found in our records and the processor cannot be registered online.

If this is an AMD retail packaged Processor in a Box and you have proof of purchase, please contact your regional Technical Service Center to request an RMA.

If this processor is not an AMD retail packaged Processor in a Box you will need to contact the company from which you purchased your processor or computer system to obtain any warranty replacement to which you may be entitled.

Not found in AMD database.

Oh my. This is not a retail box processor. That means I'm limited to's return policy.

That's 30 days.

It has been more than 30 days.

(Here's where the "Fuck" came in. Sorry for the premature slinging of profanities).

It's just my luck, really. $95.99 down the drain. Gone. Vanished. Up in smoke. All for 7 weeks of fast computer processing speeds. That's almost $14/week.

It was not worth it.

You're probably asking, "Well, why didn't you buy the retail boxed version, then?"

2 reasons:

1. There wasn't one available (I do prefer retail boxed components whenever possible).

2. Most manufacturers still support returns of OEM equipment as long as you have proof of purchase, which I have. The terms are usually shorter. In fact, when I worked at the computer shop, AMD OEM CPU's had a 1 year warranty, while boxed chips had the 3 year warranty.

At any rate, I'd have never guessed a 30 day warranty on a CPU. Never. Actually, I've never seen a manufacturer NOT support their OEM products! AMD offers NO warranty on an OEM CPU! That's just ridiculous. What do PC manufacturers do when they get dead parts (which DOES happen)? Maybe this is just their policy with private consumers.

I don't know, but my opinion of AMD has just dropped HUGE.

Anyone want a dead AMD 64 X2 4200+ dual core CPU? They make great keychains.

1 comment:

NE said...

The fact that warranties for OEM processors are not provided by AMD but by the reseller is a well published fact, and has been for a very long time (long before 2007). You really should have investigated before you purchased rather then presuming you'd be covered when it was never implied or suggested. And it's the same with Intel.

Actually many/most manufacturer provide little support for OEM products. That's the whole idea of OEM products. They're sold to OEMs (and resellers) who are responsible for the support including warranties. The OEMs (and resellers) likely have their own agreements for warranties with company but that's between them and doesn't concern the consumer.

Most resellers including OEM AMD and Intel CPUs do provide a 1 year warranty. Clearly NewEgg's reseller does not (or perhaps NewEgg just has stupid warranty procedures). Either way, another failing on your part.

And actually outside of the US, even retail products often don't have direct warranties with the manufacturer. Often it's through the reseller or retailer anyway.

There is one exception, hard disks. In this case OEM or retail the warranties are usually handled the same and indeed OEM warranties usually last longer.