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Thread: Component reliability

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    Component reliability

    Is it me, or has component quality gone rapidly downhill over the last few years?

    I remember "Back in the day" () when it was shockingly rare to get a faulty component. It was that rare that cross shipping with some of the big retailers of the time was common place if you asked for it.

    I suppose its a case of components constantly getting more complex and QA not being able to keep up with it? or perhaps its worth letting the few that slip through based on the economics of faulty# vs cost of RMA ratio?

    PSU's and graphics cards are the prime ones for this. Although the number of cheapo PSUs on the market really makes the situation worse.

    I pretty much accept that for every 3/4 machines I build, something will have to go back (and I don't buy cheap parts, is just false economy).

    Anyone else think its getting a bit silly? I'd happily pay a few quid extra for higher quality components / manufacturing.
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    Re: Component reliability

    well when i built my PC in december, the motherboard didn't work, the graphics card didn't work and the PSU had a faulty PCI-E rail.

    was nearly january before i got the motherboard back becuase City-Link bolloxed up with the return of the motherboard.

    rather annoying, but i'm with you, i'd definately rather pay an extra few quid to know it's gonna work when i plug it all in!
    instead of having to stick old parts in and test them 1 by 1..

    edit: and there's also all the delivery and everything, if you RMA something you're tripling the CO2 emmisions on the delivery.. may not sound like much, but add everything up that's been RMA'd that could've been helped..

  3. #3
    D.M
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    Re: Component reliability

    I totally agree with you both, with my current new build I've had 4 faulty mobos, 2 faulty PSUs and 1 faulty GFX card! This kinda thing rarely happend in the past, I just think companies put themselves under such pressure to be the 1st to market and forgoe (sp?) alot of QA and testing and hope for the best on returns (lack of funding to QA vs RMA costs).

    I'd happily pay a few pennies more knowing that its all top quality stuff and will work 1st time and last a long while too.

    Thats another thing I guess things arent designed to last too long either as they want you to upgrade often and buy more of their 'wares!

    Just my 2 cents!

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    Senior Member GSte's Avatar
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    Re: Component reliability

    I get very suspicious about this Agent, certain suppliers have a very high incidence of sending me dodgy components, while others always send me working ones. I have to wonder if it's the etailers sending out stock that has been RMA'd to them, to save money on having to return it to their suppliers themselves, in the hope that either: a) we might keep it, or b) we might not notice in time before the 30 day RTB period and have to RMA it to the manufacturer ourselves...... it's just uncanny, I can predict with a fair amount of certainty the chance of getting working components it seems depending on the company.

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    Re: Component reliability

    it maybe has to do with the exponential increase on numbers of transistors... there more there is the more likely it is that one of them will go wrong and create a faulty device... just a thought

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    Re: Component reliability

    It's called relocating your factories to China. QA just isn't as good.

    The dept I work in spends most of it's time giving concessions to manufacturers who make random changes to the materials they make components from. They get away with murder but because they are in India it costs 2p to make something and accountants only see the bottom line they don't see the additional costs involved in getting compliance. Scares me really because I don't think we get the same quality of aircraft engine parts.

    I remember doing some research for my 28" flat screen CRT telly and you could guarantee that Sony, Panasonic and Phillips would be very reliable. 2 years later and the prices in general had halved and the quality across the board had gone through the floor. What happens is a company pioneers a process, the quality is high, then they flog the process to someone else who cut corners and the quality drops.
    "Reality is what it is, not what you want it to be." Frank Zappa. ----------- "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." Huang Po.----------- "A drowsy line of wasted time bathes my open mind", - Ride.

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    Re: Component reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by D.M View Post
    ...with my current new build I've had 4 faulty mobos, 2 faulty PSUs and 1 faulty GFX card!
    Bloody ell !!

    Can you name them, or at least give us a clue?

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    D.M
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    Re: Component reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by DWhitley View Post
    Bloody ell !!

    Can you name them, or at least give us a clue?
    lol, I can laugh now!

    2x fautly abit IX38 Quad GT's
    3x faulty Gigabyte X38-DQ6's (Ive just remember its 5 faulty mobos!)

    2x faulty Tagan BZ900w PSUs (the new one with LED lights on the locking connectors, 3rd one is being shipped to me for Wednesday delivery, so it may be 3? just have to wait and see )

    1x faulty BFG 8800GTS!

    Phew!

    Oh and I forgot my 1st delivery of my Cosmos case was also damaged so I guess that counts as another fault! (ebuyer were fantastic on the RMA though so no biggy)

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    Re: Component reliability

    Its a good thing we have e-tailers such as scan and ebuyer to make up for the suppliers lacking standards

  10. #10
    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Component reliability

    I havn't had a single problem with 5 new different builds and 3 new laptops in the last year..

    Mostly from scan, a bit from OCUK and LOW and the laptops from Dell. Guess I'm just lucky.. although I am very picky about parts I buy of course.

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    D.M
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    Re: Component reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
    Its a good thing we have e-tailers such as scan and ebuyer to make up for the suppliers lacking standards
    True, True!

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    Re: Component reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    I havn't had a single problem with 5 new different builds and 3 new laptops in the last year..

    Mostly from scan, a bit from OCUK and LOW and the laptops from Dell. Guess I'm just lucky.. although I am very picky about parts I buy of course.
    God knows how many builds i have done over the past year but my record has been pretty decent also. 1 faulty motherboard 2 faulty hard drives and thats it!

  13. #13
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    Re: Component reliability

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    I havn't had a single problem with 5 new different builds and 3 new laptops in the last year..

    Guess I'm just lucky.. although I am very picky about parts I buy of course.
    It does seem to be very much the case for myself too, touch wood. It would seem that being picky about the components you choose for a build can in fact save you a lot of headache.

    As Biscuit says, with more and more transistors being added, the likelihood of failure is that more likely but as a result you could think that QA might be falling as the level of complexity in component build increases.

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    Re: Component reliability

    Things have changed in the last 5 years.
    The reliability of the components hasnt but the QA/QC procedures have.

    I have been in the electronics industry on/off for the best part of my civilian working life (around 10 years) and here's why things have changed.

    The 'fall-out' in production has nearly always been at around 9%. Not the PCB's or the seperate parts. Its the finished product boxed and ready.

    Thing is, with the Far Eastern markets, they only have a AQL (Acceptable Quality Level) test. This means, depending on the standard followed, that maybe only 1 out of every 30 units is tested in a 500 units batch. This keeps manufacturing costs down but inevitably leads to higher failures in the field.

    THIS is the price you pay for buying abroad.

    In the UK manufacturing the AQL would be, on a 100 batch, usually 15-20 per 100 tested. So, although not fool proof, it will usually spot errors more frequently.
    Unfortunately though, to have any chance of competing with the foreign markets, we too have had to drop our batch testing levels to bring the costs down.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I went to South Korea in 2002 to a VERY well known electronics manufacturer which is based there.
    When i was on the plant tour, the Manufacturing Director told me that they have a 100% pass rate leaving their factory.
    We all know that its impossible to get 1st time right every time.

    This is how they achieved a 100% success rate upon finished goods leaving.........they had a manufacturing floor about 4 times the size of an aircraft hangar and there was faulty units/parts EVERYWHERE.
    The other side of the plant they had another building that was at least 5 times the size of the manufacturing unit.
    Know what it was??????

    The rework station.....all the scrap (mustve been 30-40% of all manufactured product), ended up there to be reworked and shipped.

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    Re: Component reliability

    So please, how do SCAN rate for sending out reliable parts, and how good is their RMA system?

    regards

    acro666

  16. #16
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    Re: Component reliability

    I'd regard scan very highly at both personally although the RMA process is only being judged by what I have heard because i've never had to use it.. such is the quality of parts that get sent

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