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Tul blasts PowerColor VGA 'forgeries'

Radeon 9550s masquerading as 9600 Pros

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Taiwan's Tul has denied it has shipped 128MB PowerColor Radeon 9600 Pro graphics cards based on the older, less sophisticated Radeon 9550 chip.

The allegation was made earlier this week by web site Xbit Labs, which discovered a number of the boards for sale in Russia. Closer inspection revealed the use of the 9550 in place of the anticipated 9600 Pro. Various chip-package resistors had be resoldered, possibly to overclock the part.

Tul's response noted that the company had formally discontinued the 9600 Pro product in June, a move announced at the time. It continues to offer 9600 and 9600XT-based boards. Tul denounced the Russian cards as forgeries, fraudulently playing on the PowerColor brand.

Tul CEO Ted Chen reacted angrily to the discovery of the allegedly fake hardware: "The forgery act not only jeopardises Tul's credibility to its customers and Tul's relationship to the channels," he said in a statement, "it also drives the VGA industry to an unhealthy condition."

The company warned customers only to purchase PowerColor product sourced from its certified distributors. It also said it was implementing a scheme to sticker future packaging with a hologram to indicate genuine PowerColor kit.

Mobo maker ABIT recently introduced a similar scheme intended to indicate products sourced through its official channel. ABIT's move was inspired more by a desire to tackle unauthorised imports rather than fakes. ®

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