Update: MSI has responded to the original story, confirming that, "the changes are only happening in Russia and only on specific SKUs, and it is due to a change in national regulations over there."
MSI has slashed the warranty of some of its gaming graphics cards in Russia to just six months, leaving us wondering if this is something it will try and roll out to other territories soon. At the same time, Gigabyte has released a mining card that has a warranty of just 90 days. A worrying development for sure, although consumer protection law should prevent this from happening in other areas.
For reference, graphics cards normally come with 36-month warranties. Given the limited supply of graphics cards globally, the idea that a GPU you do finally manage to get your hands on could be out of warranty so soon is not something any of us wants to hear right now.
Once again, it's mining that seems to be shifting the landscape here. Cards aimed exclusively at miners, that is those without video outputs, have been known to offer limited warranties. This is a little more understandable though, as such cards tend to be used 24/7 without any letup. Not something that most gaming GPUs are subject to.
Although are we heading for a time when our GPUs come with clauses governing reasonable use? Let's hope not.
Even allowing for some reduction in warranty, Gigabyte's latest move is shocking. It recently released its CMP 30HX D6 6G, which is essentially a GTX 1660 Super without any outputs. This card can be found on Romainian reseller IT Direct for the equivalent of $600 and boasts a warranty of just 90 days. Ninety days! This is a card purely for miners, but still, that is a ridiculously tight warranty.
MSI seemed to be going down a similar route as well, with a document from MSI Russia showing it has decided to reduce the warranties of 19 cards down to just six months. The first few cards on this list are all mining cards, but then gaming versions pop up, like the GeForce RTX 3070 Ventus 3X OC, and it's suddenly not only affecting cryptocurrency miners.
We've reached out to MSI for comment and will update this story when we hear back front them. In the meantime, it's worth double-checking the warranty period of any card you do manage to track down. You really shouldn't settle for anything less than 3 years.