Patriot Memory Complaint - Poor Quality Control and Fraudulent Manufacturing Practices
On April 1st, I began the construction of a brand new top-of-the-line computer. Some of the essential components of the computer are the memory modules (RAM, or Random Access Memory), and the newest standard is DDR3.
As part of this new build, I purchased two packages of Patriot's 2x2GB DDR3 1333 RAM, model number PDC34G1333LLK, for $359.99 for each package. (The item is pictured.) So I had a total of four 2GB DDR3 sticks of RAM, running at a speed of 1333 MHz, for a total of $719.98, purchased from an online retailer.
I put the system together, ensuring that all of the modules were correctly seated on the motherboard. I began using my computer and was having occasional freezing and rebooting, and I was attributing the issue to my motherboard.
On September 10th I decided to replace the motherboard. However I continued to have those problems. I went to a computer store and I learned about a program called MemTest, which tests the sticks to ensure that they are functioning properly. The test revealed that two of the four sticks were defective.
I contacted the online retailer, sent back the defective set, and got a replacement. I installed the replacement and immediately ran MemTest. The test revealed that the two new replacement sticks were defective.
Once again I got a replacement set and installed it. Memtest revealed no problems with it, however, I went into the BIOS settings and revealed a new problem.
NONE of the sticks were designed to run at the advertised speeds, even the defective ones. In the BIOS settings, I found that the sticks were only designed to run at 1066 MHz, and not the 1333 MHz as advertised on the product page, the packaging, or on the stickers on the sticks themselves. To make them run at the advertised speeds, I would have to forcibly over-clock the RAM, something I should not have to do. When I did force the speed to 1333 MHz, the system would not work.
I did more research on this and other consumers who purchased RAM by Patriot Memory have reported similar phenomena. On sticks advertising speeds of 1066 MHz, the sticks are actually designed to run at 800 MHz. On their sticks advertising 1333 MHz, the sticks are actually 1066 MHz. On their sticks advertising 1600 MHz, they are actually 1333 MHz.
This is a deceptive and fraudulent manufacturing practice. It takes advantage of those who do not know enough about computers to tell them apart. It requires those that are knowledgeable to push them to the advertised speeds and potentially shorten the lifespan of the product, a risk I do not wish to take. I have since discovered that they have incorporated this same practice into their latest line of products as well.
I wrote a review about the product on the retailer's website and I got a response from someone named Guy, from Patriot Memory. It reads:
"When using high performance modules it is not recommended to occupy all memory banks as the higher bandwidth on these modules will require the timings and the voltage to be even more tweaked and may cause instability with the system."
Well then what the heck is the point of buying the product?! Even when I removed sticks and tried them one at a time I couldn't get the product to work at the advertised speeds! I shouldn't have to tweak anything to make the product do what it should.
Since I have determined that the product is incapable of running at the advertised specifications without user intervention (let alone in my case with user intervention), I have been able to get a full refund at the original purchase price from the online retailer. I have since purchased memory from OCZ and it works without a problem on both the new AND the old motherboard.
I have purchased other products from this manufacturer such as camera memory cards and those work great, but the fraudulent manufacturing practices with their RAM is horrific and inexcusable. If I didn't get a full refund I would make a bigger issue with this. Be warned...