My experience with Donald and HIDEvolution

Discussion in 'Reseller Feedback Forum' started by mirror176, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. mirror176

    mirror176 Newbie

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    Well this got big fast so if anyone wants me to make some smaller bullet points I can try to do so. I've lurked for a while and have to say many in the community here have my attention. Hopefully this is a post that is community worthy to show how things went. At this point it has been a little while and I didn't create this throughout the purchase process so some comes from memory, including recalling phone call content as I didn't record those and couldn't just refer back. Hopefully I remembered things clearly and @Donald@HIDevolution can speak up if desired.

    Initially hunting for a serviceable computer I had done some off and on research of Sager/Clevo machines after mention from a coworker. My parents now were both needing to replace their 2007 laptops (15”HP for mom and 17” Toshiba for dad were both from about 2007; both wanted to go 15” this time). As I neared purchase time I was trying to narrow down across different units and where to get it. Reviewing discussions of people's experience with shopping and service combined with options of what was available for product+service lead me to consider HIDEvolution. If you look around enough you find some listed details of varying hardware options and services such as delidding (sad that there is even a reason for this to be an option but Intel is to thank for that).

    I guess the other thing to mention is that Donald prefers phone calls instead of email; he is right that they are faster and I get the feeling there is. Between being sick and hours I work I hadn't wanted to be on the phone much during the inquiries and order of the computer and he had at least 4 emails back to answer questions (some were numerous) with additional status and issue updates. As for phone calls, some calls were long with the content yet Donald never tried to rush me off. He always tried to get questions answered even if he had to get back to me later with the answer. He showed interest in helping keep the computer specifications on track for the purpose, then I think laughed a bit inside with my 'but why not do this more powerful choice' attitude and after giving his guidance among the shopping ideas still leaves the choice up to me. As a result I felt like I was with a salesman willing to downsell me instead of just upsell for various aspects which can be nice to see after my experience with retail.

    Prema BIOS is something I had interest in and finding it listed on several machines had my attention. On the HIDEvolution website I found a number of them with “Prema BIOS once available”. After inquiring about it I was told he was not going to make it for the N950KP6 model I was interested in and several others I was looking at due to motherboard having issues operating under its power throttling. And the customization pages began to change to take that listing away. That left P870TM+P870TM1 with it included and P775TM1+P750TM1 which still had an expected development path to hopefully bring it soon.

    After looking around I had plans for the N950KP6 with some performance upgrades of the higher delidded non-binned processor choice, a nice 960 drive, 2*8GB RAM for dual channel performance. Next thing I knew on my slow shopping the N950KP6 was gone as a shopping choice; seemed to be Clevo thing as it vanished in general among Clevo/Sager distributors I checked around with at the same time.

    Further research lead me to P750TM1-G as it had a socketed CPU (and as desktop is a noticable clock speed improvement) and 6 core (gains depend on use but programs are getting better at using extra cores as time goes on), Prema BIOS (which I probably like for the wrong reasons). The unit was outside of what I planned to get so I had to make changes to keep it more reasonable. I stuck with the basic 1080 IPS display and 1060 graphics. Upgraded stock drive to 2TB for general bulk storage with a nice SSD planned in the future and going more minimal on RAM realizing that can be an upgrade for later if prices become more reasonable. Still kept some perks like the display upgrade of cooling system, win10 pro, prescreened screen to minimize backlight bleed and with 30 day pixel guarantee. Not sure if the GPU cooling pad difference is as much as Donald said it was estimated to be or not as I didn't request specifications of either the normal or upgraded pads and don't know the component temperatures so took Donald on his word for the difference (10C under load? I don't remember now) as a reason why I did the upgrade; I want the system to be reliable for longer and thought additional thermal transfer could help minimize how hard/loud the cooling runs.

    I had requested screen info for the 3 offered panels which Donald didn't have immediately but got me links to their specific models. Results lead to the 1080 being 6bit (still wonder if any 8bit could be an upgrade route that can just be dropped in but never asked) and 4k could take me to 8bit but was RG/BW LCD PenTile which is a no in my book if picture quality is important for anything other than resolution. I think the 4k, really 3840, is likely a further 'faked' number then as many panels use the 'W' component as part of the pixel count even though those pixels are not driven with individual pixel instructions from the computer and are instead lit up as a signal averaging so you cannot see more than 3K or so out of the display. Ended up with IPS figuring the demands of the gamer for high fps were less than the more likely use of document work and movies which wouldn't benefit from the fps but would gain in the color representation on movies.

    I asked what options were best to minimize cost to me, HIDEvolution, and how time would be influenced for shipping the unit as I thought I saw a 'cash discount' message on the site as I knew I had seen in places when Clevo/Sager shopping. Donald informed me of options of wire transfer, ACH, and EFT were accepted to electronically move the money and receive a discount but that there can be processing delays with the banks compared to using a card. Pretty sure there were 'check' options in there somewhere though I paid less attention to them in my research and don't remember what was said now as I trusted electronic to likely be faster and more reliable. I ended up with EFT which my bank informed me would initially take 3 days to set up my account to do and after that 1-3 days for a transaction to go through. Don't like the thought of “cutting in line” but it was stated that the accelerated build would not push other units back just to get mine done so I figured I'd rather spend my money with Donald and the team with a faster build fee than with the shipper for a faster shipping fee and time still looked good. Donald also explained the 1-5 day rush order would not compromise the quality of the build/test stage.

    Trying to get the computer here hopefully by the end of February, I submitted my order 2018-Feb-9th and then began working with my bank to get EFT ready on the 12th with the transfer initialized on the 15th. On the 20th I got an email that payment had not been received and I responded on the 22nd confirming I had submitted payment as weekend + I thought a holiday could have made for a very long 1-3 day estimate my bank gave. Received an update in less than an hour that payment was in fact received as an automated and Donald typed message.

    On the 23rd a message that G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB 2666MHz RAM was changed to Corsair Vengeance 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 RAM due to shortage; didn't watch it as I was thinking minimally on my RAM shopping and without models of either, they cannot be compared. The system still arrived with a single 16GB stick as ordered though I'm not sure of the brand/model. Later that day notified a technician was printing the order and grabbing parts if available. Got an email that the 2TB FireCuda SSHD was special ordered and would arrive the next week and communication ended with it having actually arrived that day. During that time I had also asked for a better 'estimate' as my calculations gave a window from March 1st to March 15th when factoring in possible drive arrival dates, build times, and delivery times. Response was ti would ship by or before Friday, March 2nd if everything went well.

    On the 5th I got a message to call to discuss why it had not shipped yet; according to Donald, buying a 1060 model of the computer is considered a different model from Clevo with a different BIOS and the BIOS was causing the CPU to throttle under load which made the sold spec of an overclock of 4.8GHz and a normal spec of 4.7GHz unobtainable with throttling (around 4.4GHz or lower don't remember now) with 3 delidded CPUs having been attempted with no change and that it would be likely be fixed with the Prema BIOS that was expected to be out within the week but was delayed as Prema got sick. I explained I would prefer to wait to see if its release would get the machine more in spec but needed to set a deadline outside my hands of a goal to have it by the 15th. Donald would watch the state and if an issue would get a message to me on the 12th with me contacting him on the 13th about where to go next. When we talked around that time he said that the new BIOS was working great.

    On the 15th I get a message that we needed to talk about an issue with my order and it was apparently that my 4k display was received as non-gsync instead of gsync so wanted to know if I'd prefer to wait to fix it or get it shipped now as time was already as late as it is. Couldn't remember if I had the strong feeling for or against gsync but pretty much disregarded that as the thought of the technology just makes me mad anyway. They somehow got my machine in the 'batch' of 4k units they almost shipped and flagged as having the issue but mine was a 1080 order. Nice that they fought to get the units right but further confusing how that was thought to match the detail of my order. Donald realized quickly after the mention of the gsync issue that it was strange for my order to be in the 4k issue queue and had an idea of how it 'may' have got mixed in but should be a false alarm.

    During that call I asked if there was an invoice in the box or not as it was a gift and I wasn't telling all specifics of this gift to my dad who it was for which he said it would not have and the invoice only goes by email. On discussion with dad if he should open it or not on arrival, I explained I planned to start things out a certain way that he decided to leave it alone for me to do when I got home from work.

    Unit arrived on the March 17th (so much for my 1-5 business day rush build option) and upon opening there in fact was an invoice in the box that I was able to get to first. I wouldn't be very happy with the present and uneven backlight bleed across the top and bottom though both mom and dad looking at it thought the display looks great. I've heard of people saying tape was used on some displays to help resolve it; at present I presume the LCD bezel needs to be lifted off the screen or material removed from it as it seems likely to be an issue from pressure on the display.

    I think other things at this point are probably better as a review of the computer instead of HIDEvolution and should go into a different post. With the ups and downs I still give a “thank you” to Donald and his team.
     
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