Friday June 16, 2017

Seasonic Pulls the Plug on Review Samples - Retail Direct for Reviews

As you might have seen over the years here at HardOCP, we have many times been "cut off" by companies when those companies did not like the outcome of our reviews. The most recent that comes to mind is ASRock. ASRock will no longer sample HardOCP motherboards. Many times the reviews you see here on ASRock motherboards are products that we purchase ourselves. We have also done this in the last few years with PSUs, motherboards, AMD Radeon cards, and Intel CPUs as well. If we feel there is a "need" to cover a product, or we simply have holes in our content schedules we go fishing for things to cover. Sometimes we can source the product faster from China and then have no need to agree to NDAs and embargoes. HardOCP actually took up a fight to push for retail-only samples many years ago, but we were simply met by too much resistance from manufacturers. But now one is changing its tune.

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Seasonic contacted us last night to let us know that it would not longer be shipping PSU review samples to PSU reviewers directly, but instead our review samples would now be shipped from Newegg out of retail stock. In the PSU world, there is tons of bickering and shit-slinging between manufacturers. Walter Sun, a Director of Seasonic out of the Netherlands, has taken hold of some criticisms of reviewers getting "golden samples" for review and wants to turn that on its ear. Golden sample accusations are thrown around in almost every piece and part of a computer when it comes to online reviews, it is hardly just a PSU discussion. These golden samples supposedly are better than the products that you actually purchase for your own use. Walter was short and to the point, and described it like this.

We want to show the world that retail purchased Seasonic PSUs are good enough to be used for review evaluation, even for sites like HardOCP that set the bar very high when it comes to PSU testing.

Worth keeping in mind here is that Seasonic has risen to lead the world in enthusiast PSUs in our opinion. That is not to say there are not a couple of others that nip at their heels occasionally. Take a look at Seasonic's track record with HardOCP reviews. Couple that with the fact that Seasonic is now offering 12 year warranty on some of its products and that has shaken up the PSU industry some, as surely some of "the big guys" have not pushed quality and design forward the way Seasonic has.

So basically what happened here was a few manufacturers began arguing with each other in PSU back channels with accusations being made that "cheating" on reviews was happening with companies seeding golden samples. Seasonic is the only one that stood up and said, and this is paraphrased as to what I read between the lines, "Yeah? Well suck on this. We will ship our review units direct out of retail. We dare you to do the same with your PSUs!" Now it will be fun to see if any other PSU manufacturers step up to exhibit Seasonic's level of product confidence. Do we need to name names?

Edit: Currently this is only for testing Seasonic in USA. We hope to see this done worldwide soon.