Value Meets Performance: HD 4890 Cards from Gigabyte and MSI

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     October 26, 2009

Meet the Manufacturers and their Warranties

Gigabyte: Movin’ on Up

We all know Gigabyte for their motherboards and graphics cards but there are few that realize this is a company which is also trying to get their feet wet in many other areas as well. From cases to power supplies to gaming mice and netbooks, it seems like they are into nearly every aspect of the computing world. They also have a worldwide presence which means excellent availability of their products wherever you look. While they haven’t made the jump to the big-box retailers like Best Buy and Future Shop here in Canada, their cards can be found at smaller brick and mortar shops as well as from nearly every online retailer.

Warranty and Support Information

Gigabyte offers a warranty length of 3 years on all of their cards with or without registration on their website. However, unlike other manufacturers their warranty goes into effect from the date the card is manufactured which means if the retailer you buy from has had a card in stock for a year, that card will have 2 years left on its warranty when it is sold. All RMAs from the USA and Canada are shipped to their facility in California with the customer playing shipping to Gigabyte while Gigabyte will pay for return shipping. If you want expedited shipping, an extra charge will be added but the option is there for those of you who want your card back fast. In addition, we Canadians are responsible for any and all customs charges.

Customer Support URL: rma_index
Customer Support Tel. #: 626-854-9336 (Option 3)
Customer Support hours of operation: 8:30am – 5:30pm PST (Mon – Fri)

MSI: A Speck on the Horizon no More

When we think about high performance graphics cards, MSI isn’t a name that is usually near the top of our lists. We all know their motherboards which until recently have been on a bit of a hiatus here in Canada but they are making a comeback with some strong designs at reasonable prices. When it comes to graphics cards, MSI has begun a marketing push to increase awareness of the fact that they have cards which cater to everyone from the most cost-conscious penny pincers to upscale buyers looking for the best of the best. Even though availability of some of their products remains spotty particularly here in Canada, cards like the HD 4890 are allowing MSI to put their best foot forward. One way or another, MSI is and always has been one of the largest manufacturers of both motherboards, graphics cards and other products so we are always interested to see what they have up their sleeves.

Warranty and Support Info

MSI’s warranty length is the usual 3-years (with registration) as seen with other board partners but there is a bit of fine print here as well. Basically, within that 3 years the parts and labor is completely covered for two years while ONLY the parts are covered in the third year. That means after the first two years of warranty coverage, all repair and handling expenses will be charged to you if you RMA your card to MSI. The cost isn’t extreme; a mere $45CAD per RMA’d item after the first 2 years and $65CAD if you are requesting out of warranty repairs.

To lessen the sting of what amounts to a mere 2-year bumper to bumper warranty, Canadians can take solace in the fact that MSI has an RMA facility that is based in Canada. Residents of the US of A return their cards to California and as with Canada, MSI pays for the shipping to you but won’t front the money for the shipment to their facility. Just remember, in order to RMA your cards to MSI Canada, the product has to be bought from a Canadian-based retailer.

Customer Support URL:
USA: http://us.msi.com/company_service.asp
Canada: Welcome to MSI(Canada) RMA Department

Customer Support Tel. #:
USA: 626-581-3001
Canada: 1-888-614-6674

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