If you’ve been trying to buy a GPU this year, you may be familiar with the Newegg Shuffle, a lottery system that Newegg instituted in January to try to beat bots and scalpers. You may also know that the GPUs and consoles in the Newegg Shuffle are often bundled with components like RAM, motherboards, and power supplies as a package deal—if you want dessert (in this case, a GPU), you have to eat your vegetables (or, a product you might be able to use but weren’t looking to buy).
Earlier this month, the PC gaming YouTubers at Gamers Nexus posted a video showing that two Gigabyte power supplies commonly bundled with GPUs in the Newegg Shuffle were prone to “catastrophic” failure. Some of the GP-P850GM and GP-P750GM models that were tested sparked as they died, creating a fire risk, and one also ruined an attached RTX 3080 GPU. Gigabyte has now released a statement that (inaccurately) takes issue with Gamers Nexus’ findings before outlining how the company is addressing the problem and offering exchanges for anyone who has bought a power supply within the affected range of serial numbers (the company has stopped short of a formal recall, however).
Gigabyte claims that the Gamers Nexus team ran the power supplies over capacity for “extended lengths of time” and that these conditions “would not be typical of any real world usage.” In a response video posted today, Gamers Nexus pointed out that this statement mischaracterizes their tests, which were carefully designed to find where the power supplies’ Over-Power Protection (OPP) feature would trigger and shut the power supply off (as OPP is designed to do when functioning properly). The power supplies were then left to sit for a few minutes and brought back online at 60 percent of their capacity to ensure that they were still working properly after the shutdown—the full testing methodology section of the first video is here. Gamers Nexus also pointed to numerous product reviews claiming that the power supplies had shown up dead on arrival, before they were ever installed or used.
As for what it’s doing to prevent future problems with these power supplies, Gigabyte has responded by lowering the OPP wattage limit to improve the odds that the power supplies will safely shut themselves down and continue working. Both models would accept power spikes of up to 150 percent their rated capacity before shutting down (1300 W for the 850 W power supply, and 1125 W for the 750 W model), and that ceiling has been lowered to 120 percent. The statement doesn’t say whether Gigabyte is making other manufacturing changes to address the problem.
The issue is partly that Gigabyte has made a poor product, but bad power supplies happen. This has only become a newsworthy problem because Newegg has been pushing these parts onto buyers who are desperate to get a GPU at anywhere near the advertised retail price. At best, buying a bundle means getting some things you can actually use but didn’t plan to pay for, like an extra controller or a game with a game console, or decent RAM or a motherboard to go with a GPU. But at worst, it’s a way for retailers to offload things they can’t normally sell to people who are so eager to buy something that they will gladly accept the inflated cost along with the unwanted accessories.
We’ve contacted Newegg to see if the problems with the Gigabyte power supplies will result in any changes to the Newegg Shuffle return policy or the kinds of products that get bundled with GPUs in the first place (the current return policy says that you need to return all bundled items together to get a refund). We’ll update if we get a response.