Tweaktown has a news item (dated 9/12, 7:08 AM) which states that Epox Taiwan told them that the 8X AGP problem is being caused by the GPU, and a new stepping corrects the problem.
While this explanation is being disputed by one of the ATI people over at the Rage3D, numerous people have filed and ATI has accepted RMAs on the product. They’ve been told that new cards with “corrected 8X AGP performance” will not be shipped by ATI until September 23, and news itemthey’ll get their replacement cards then or shortly thereafter.
What this means if that statement is correct (and it is coming from part of ATI) is that every single Radeon 9700 not only in somebody’s hands but in the stores at least potentially has this problem. Until at earliest September 23, there will be no “good” card for sale. More importantly, since ATI hasn’t recalled the product from resellers, they have inventory of the “old” cards to sell.
What is unknown at this point is just how ATI is going to handle this. Will they take back every card with this potential problem, or will you have to first document the problem?
For example, I don’t have an AGP 8X board right now, so I’m not yet affected by this problem. But I’m sure I’ll have such a board before the year’s out. Will I (and anyone else in that boat) have to buy an AGP 8X board, prove that it doesn’t work, and only then get a replacement board? That means you can’t modify the card in the meantime.
Don’t cry for me. Imagine those buying a new 8X board along with this card, or those who already have the mobo and buying this card this weekend unaware.
We don’t know if ATI is going to do the right thing or not, or even 100% percent what the right thing is.
But every day of delay means more people facing more pain trying to make a card work that the manufacturer knows has major problems, for whatever reason.
You have to look out for yourself. Don’t buy the card until ATI publicly announces exactly what is or isn’t wrong with the card, and what they’re going to do about it. Then, based on that, decide what you’re going to do.
And for those (mercifully few) fanATIcs who are into denial that this is a real problem and for whom the Cause is more important than subjecting people through hours of misery, well, you are low and I hope someone returns you the favor, soon.