So I have a Gigabyte GA8DW board, 4Gb of RAM and a graphics card, and I want to know why I can only see 2.8Gb of RAM. Simple. 1.75Gb of address space is used by PCI cards, and the board does not support the advertised 8Gb of RAM.
Scan technical admitted this, benched an identical board, reproduced the fault, and passed me to the returns department. The returns department are political, and "evaluated options", which is political-speak for saying they won't do anything about the faulty part(s).
The political dude failed to call me. When I rang him, he told me that there was no fault with the board. Follow this:
- There was a fault on the processor memory controller, thus it isn't the board, it's the CPU.
- The processors were not faulty (as soon as I threatened to RMA them).
- Gigabyte are writing new software for the board. (Me: It's still faulty as shipped.)
- The existing software is not faulty. (Me: !!!)
- The board supports 8Gb of RAM. (Me: Preposterous. It plainly doesn't. Both their technical team and ours agree on this.)
- It's an incompatibility issue. (Me: Then they have mis-advertised it as compatible.)
- ... etc
Basically, the fault is in whichever part I'm not trying to RMA at any particular moment, and he won't guarantee compatibility. This is odd because the web site and the manual both quite clearly that it "supports dual opterons" and "supports 8Gb of RAM". It doesn't.
Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that there are other Opterons and other RAM which it does support. But there are no other Opterons (We are using 246s) and there is no other PC3200 RAM. The claim is preposterous, since these are clearly the parts with which it is intended to be compatible. Thus the board must be at fault and misadvertised.
So at the worst, we'll nail them on trade descriptions via trading standards. We are now in the process of identifying alternative suppliers.
It surprises me because we've done 10,000-15,000 of business their way in the last 6 months, including parts and prebuilt systems, and we have previously had no problem with RMA of faulty parts (of which we have had our fair share).