Gigabyte is offering users who buy into its Z97 Black Edition motherboard series a free upgrade to future generations of products once they become available.
The promotion is called 'Take One, Get 2', and it applies to all customers who have purchased a mainboard stress-tested on Gigabyte's 168 hour server-level benchmarks. Such customers are now able to register their product to receive the Upgrade Warranty.
The Upgrade Warranty is twofold. Firstly, it gives registered customers the right to exchange their motherboard for one from a future series (e.g. an as yet unreleased chipset) within three years of purchase. Secondly, it extends the manufacturer's standard warranty to five years, and this continues to apply to any motherboards received as an upgrade, meaning they are covered for a minimum of two years. If the original unit becomes defective within the three years, the upgrade can be sent as the replacement board too.
As with any warranty, there are a number of conditions and caveats to be aware of (an FAQ can be found here
and T&Cs here
). The main thing to remember is that this is an exchange – you won't receive your upgrade until Gigabyte receives the original motherboard, so don't expect to be able to flog the older gear on your favourite auction site. Replacement boards should ship within two working days of Gigabyte receiving the original, but if you don't want to be PC-less at all, you can pay for the upgrade in full to get it before sending the original back, and Gigabyte will refund you once it's received. Finally, the motherboard and all accessories will need to be returned in full for the offer to be valid, but Gigabyte says it will deal with missing accessories and so on in a case by case basis in a way that is 'customer oriented'.
The models this offer is currently available for includes the GA-Z97X-G1 Gaming WIFI-BK, GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK and GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK. Free upgrades will be to the direct successor only, but by paying Gigabyte the difference between the original purchase price of your lower end SKU and the new suggested street price of a higher end upgrade SKU, you'll qualify for an upgrade to that model.
To receive the Upgrade Warranty, customers need to register their details, including purchase information and motherboard serial number, here
. Registration is available for up to 4 weeks from the purchase date.
What do you make of Gigabyte's Upgrade Warranty? Should other manufacturers follow in its footsteps and offer similar deals for higher end parts? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.