After 3 Faulty CPUs & 2 RMAs, Intel Refuses to Refund a Crashing 13900K, Less than a Month Old

Intel claims to have gone above and beyond its TCs by providing a replacement unit

Over the last few months, we’ve been in touch with Intel’s RMA team, trying to get our Core i9-13900KF and Core i7-14700KF (successfully) replaced. The latter worked out in the first go, but the former has been a headache. The first unit suffered from a PCIe fault that caused the PC to crash (BSOD) whenever the PCIe bus was utilized beyond a certain level. Intel quickly remedied the situation, replacing it with a brand-new unit that worked perfectly…for about two months. Here’s the breakdown of that.

Core i9-13900KF RMA unit 1: The same problem resurfaced in the replaced unit slightly differently. Anything plugged into the CPU’s PCIe Gen 5 lanes wasn’t detected: Graphics card, SSD adapter, network adapter, etc. With a GPU plugged in, the PC refused to boot. Things worked well with the card plugged into the chipset-based PCIe Gen 4 x4 slot…except you’re limited to less than a quarter of the bandwidth.

Core i9-13900KF RMA unit 2: The second RMA unit, or the RMA of the RMA had a promising start. Following the eTVB fix, it was stable in most of the games we tested. Until The First Descendant descended upon it: Crashes every other minute were the highlight of the launch. It took me two days to get through the tutorial which otherwise takes 15 minutes. Here’s an Event Viewer log containing all 44,242 error events.

There are 44K of these errors in the event manager recorded from 28th June to 7th Feb

After publishing the above posts, I got a call from Intel Customer Care, enquiring if I wanted a refund for the unit. Of course, I said yes. I submitted the sale invoice, and they asked me to wait. After nine days of waiting, came the below reply:

Despite suggesting the refund route, the Intel Customer Support team notified me that the same isn’t possible. It would seem that providing two faulty RMA units one after the other is the company’s definition of “going above and beyond.” I’ve requested a “functional CPU” and the team has asked me to wait. Here’s hoping they’ll send a working chip after 10 days.

Areej Syed

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have written about computer hardware for over seven years with over 5000 published articles. I started during engineering college and haven't stopped since. On the side, I play RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Divinity, and Fallout. Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.
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