It’s always good to see companies taking end user’s complaints very seriously and working on it, but it’s bad when some people try their best to bash a brand. We all can agree to this, no matter where we’re from. When it’s your fault, it’s your fault.
True, it’s important that people working for consumer-centric companies need to take some time off and listen to people’s criticisms no matter how hard it would be for them to swallow, but it’s also important that people frame criticisms accurately- and worst of all, not go to a level of manipulating photo to mis-align a company’s name for whatever reason.
But that’s not the case over here. This is:
There are unfortunate times where people defend their product to a level that it looks more like a sign of desperation- and even to a point that one seems to be in denial for some reason. Why don’t they take feedbacks to improve their products instead and have a name-calling session like ‘brand bashers’, ‘mischief mongers’ etc?
Why? Who knows- and when one reaches a point of frustration that you cannot make a horse out of a donkey- who cares! It’s their brand name that would most likely suffer and its something that will not be forgotten anytime soon, but only realize when it’s too late! Sometimes, as a reviewer, I face this especially from people who assume that reviewers are cost effective advertisement and marketing tools.
Such is the case of IC Diamond thermal paste (Innovation Cooling, LLC) where TechPowerUp! forum members who claimed that IC Diamond thermal paste was damage such as posts 1, 2 and 3. It should be noted that one of the damages on the lapped processor had a similar shape as on a graphic card’s heatsink as well. It was speculated that there were ‘some chunky diamond crystals’ on the thermal paste.
It started when Innovation Cooling, LLC given away 100 syringes of ICD24 IC Diamond thermal pastes in TechPowerUp! forum to people with 50 posts or 3 months of membership minimum? What turned to be an excellent way to show how good or bad their product is to the people and get a response, it went haywire from this point and went beyond control when a report was brought in.
IC Diamond did make a direct post for clarification (or try to), which lead to a heated conversation.
Some of the pictures in question are as follows as posted in TPU forum:
The manufacturer’s rep on the forum said the following in the thread during December 28, 2012:
The diamond we buy for our compound is purchased from one of the largest diamond suppliers in the country, the same sources and sizes that are used for optical lapping.
The diamond we buy is commonly referred to in the biz as a flour.Here are some pictures posted as IC Diamond scratches magnified 250% it is no big deal to analyze “scratches” which can only be made a certain width/depth by an established particle size, the fact that they represent a particle size 10X+ times the diamond component in our compound should be noted. Any suggested idea particles are larger than this shows a lack of understanding of the screening process as you will not find 1200 grit sandpaper peppered/contaminated with 150 grit sized particles and especially in mission critical optical components like lasers you will not see errantly large particles. We purchase only the highest quality and pay through the nose for it.
To draw a contrast for you I am privy to a competitors processing technique in which the paste is mixed in paint mixers, in a block building, with unfiltered air.
We are not Yahoos or hillbilly’s, we contract our mixing and the people that do it, do it in a sterile air filtered environment on million dollar machines that heat the compound and mix it in a vacuum to prevent any air being folded into the compound. In addition prior to mixing our contract manufacturer performs QC testing to validate materials received meet specified material requirements.
The containers we receive from our contract mixer are unopened and tubes are filled directly from the sealed container through the syringe tip. Our processing and quality control are state of the art.
We do pay attention and we do collect reports of supposed scratching and they are analyzed and found with out merit.
When researching a problem you look for a commonality between samples.
Below sample was recently circulated and claimed the belt sanded look was due to the sink sitting stationary on the IHS and that he was excruciating careful cleaning off the compound. Happens to be a different grit size/finish, varying grit sizes? Note the white lettering overlaying scratches. I honestly do not know the question to this – does Intel do white ink print ID on nickel plated IHS’s?
The conversation went on when some of the senior members and moderators posters. Did those forum members really manipulate the pictures? Was it an end result of improper cleaning which lead to a freak damage? All possibilities and assumptions were made, but it cannot be ignored that the complaint didn’t come from one person alone. Another possibility came up that it could be that a certain batch had certain problems. For a long time, nothing was updated by IC Diamond.
During this time, according to posts made in the forums and even in IC Diamond’s page, the cooler which had that damage was shipped to IC Diamond- which was then ‘lost’. How unfortunate (suspicious, isn’t it?)!!
Until recently IC diamond has posted this PDF copy of a report made by Forensic Media Solutions, LLC. But before we get into the conspiracy mode, understand this: when you use most of these free picture uploading websites and even in forums, there was a good amount of compression and resizing. Heck, a lot of people bash Facebook’s picture uploading service at times that it degrades the quality of their pictures.
If this report proves anything as far as what I’ve read- and what TPU members have read, it does nothing more than prove that the photos were compressed, resized. Even people resize the photo or make it ‘brighter’ to show the damage properly, especially those who don’t have a proper setup.
How can a heatsink required to analyze the damage and fix the thermal paste or identify and recall the specific batch in question to save the company’s reputation be lost? Why didn’t IC Diamond ask for ‘non-compressed’ pictures (assuming the end users kept it by not overwriting the same source)? What was the IC diamond rep thinking when he had forensic analysis of a photo done from a forum where everyone knows that both end user and the forum uploading utility would have recompressed/resized the picture? That doesn’t mean the pictures are doctored.
The more you read, the more questions will come up. But one cannot deny that few users reporting the same issue points of a certain possibility that a batch could be defective- or something else is wrong which all the more reason taking a look at the heatsink and analyzing the damage should take much higher priority, rather losing a heatsink and then analyzing pictures that are obviously resized and compressed when uploaded on the forums (and to add, assuming cropping and resizing was done via user’s end, which would further result in the analyses proving that it was compressed).
It should be noted that there were times that certain batches of thermal pastes were known to behave ‘weird’, such as significantly disappointing results compared to older batches of thermal pastes, let alone reviews. They didn’t damage the processors, but the newer batches were fixed! One will have to dig many forum posts to find that out. Which thermal paste? Artic MX2, but this happened very long time ago.
Mind you, the report only says that the pictures were compressed and had pixel defects, of which they needed the same camera to accurately prove, but that doesn’t prove whether or not whether it is a legitimate damage or not. In that sense, the report is ‘scientifically’ accurate, but the ‘proof’ is useless because of the reasons stated above. Hopefully, one will not ask for the cameras which was used to click pictures, especially now that the crucial piece of evidence, the heatsink, is lost. It only would make sense if the same thermal paste/batch was tested over different types of coolers and heatsinks- CPU and GPU. In any case, things do not look good for IC Diamond’s reputation.
Edit 1: The rep seems to be the company’s CEO. He also runs an aeronautical company and thanks to the digging by the good folks of TPU members, Andrew Lemont who owns Innovation Cooling, LLC and Lemont Aircraft Corp, have actually sued Best Buy and Coolermaster for patent infringement. The company also sued Silverstone.
Edit 2: IC Diamond CEO apparently has made a post which simply shows how low can an individual go and it made a very bad impression:
Just because you dig up your dead grandmother put a couple of bullets in her and post her bullet ridden corpse on a forum as proof I killed her does not mean that’s what happened.
Some conditions do apply to “evidence”
Admitting it that there is a chance that it could be a batch defect and working with those who have complained about the damages will obvious be beneficial for the company in long term to fix any issue that that they haven’t encountered otherwise and this batch incident would have been buried and unknown to a lot of people. Batch issues in thermal pastes isn’t a new thing, though damages on the IHS is a very serious issue.
This, unfortunately, was overshadowed because:
A. They ‘lost’ a crucial piece of evidence to pinpoint the issue- heatsink
B. Get an analysis of a picture which obviously was resized/compressed when uploaded in the forum.
C. Going to the lowest of the low by using such comments is uncivilised and downright disgusting at best.
We’re not just talking about the actions of the company, but yes we are talking about the words chosen by an individual. Unfortunately, he happens to be the CEO of the company. A wise lesson for other people to learn, irrespective of the brand and location.
Edit 3: EVGA and other forums noted the problems with the IC Diamond being abrasive, causing damage to the processor’s IHS (documented since 2007 in multiple forum posts):