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  Daily Column, July 24th 
  Jul 24, 2001, 02:30pm EDT 
 
By: Sander Sassen

What’s new? Not much really, still trying to get through to Tyan and asking them to send us a replacement for our defective Thunder K7. So far they’ve only sent us instructions and FAQs and even more suggestions, which didn’t help as we’ve tried every trick in the book already to get the Thunder K7 up and running. You might wonder why we’re making such a big issue out of this, well, if it was just us we’d ask for a replacement or send the board back DOA, in this case there’s a lot more end-users that are having problems with getting their Thunder K7s up and running stable.

In our case we can easily swap out parts for new ones or call a few manufacturers and ask them whether they know what could be causing our problems. If you’re an end-user however you will usually not have this luxury and can only contact the vendor that sold you the motherboard or the manufacturer’s tech support. In both cases they’ll probably doubt whether you set it up properly or whether you’re skilled enough to tackle any issues. In our case things are different, we do this everyday, and most of us have years of experience in the field. Thus if we’ve built a system for the 3rd time and it still doesn’t work properly we know that others will be faced with even bigger problems, especially if you’ve just spent your last nickel on your new motherboard, that quickly becomes really frustrating.

Tyan’s tech support hasn’t been all too responsive in our case and we’re hoping they have been in others, as we can imagine there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for them to get back to you with a solution, whilst looking at a brand new system that refuses to work properly. And we’re not even talking about the countless hours some of our readers spent trying to work around or solve the issues, these hours should’ve been put in by Tyan's engineers, prior to the release of the board, not afterwards by the end-users. With a $500 price tag and targeted towards the server market you wouldn’t expect to be bug-hunting or rather beta-testing your new motherboard would you? I’m sure most system administrators and others that intend to use this motherboard professionally will prefer to do other things, and quite frankly this is not what you’d expect from such a product.

We realize that there’s people out there that got their Thunder K7s up and running out of the box and have been running it 24/7 for the past month or so, and we can only hope we’ll get a motherboard that’ll do likewise. As by the looks of it and what we've been told by some suppliers, Tyan has had a much higher return rate on the Thunder K7 than they’ve had on any board before. So basically, until Tyan cleans up their act and releases a press release stating what could be wrong with certain Thunder K7s, you could be taking a gamble when buying one, either you’re lucky and it never falters or you spend the next three days troubleshooting. Tyan’s tech support seems to be brushing it all off as ‘user error’ as if herds of inexperienced users would be buying $500 motherboards, I’m sorry but that just doesn’t make sense.

We’re still talking to Tyan and are trying to motivate them to do the right thing and ship us a new motherboard, so we can start evaluating the 760MP platform instead of troubleshooting it. We’re frankly getting a bit of fed up with their approach especially because we get the impression that they’re not taking these issues with the Thunder K7, either mentioned by us or other people, seriously.

Sander Sassen

 

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