This really angered me, as conducting a "TrustedReview" is hard enough as it is without people throwing a stick in your wheel. It also means that I can't judge the build of a machine by how the BIOS is configured. Seeing machines that relatives have purchased is a good insight into this, and it is not uncommon to see memory running below specifications, or an incorrectly configured processor. Annoyingly, this is something we can't realistically check for when doing our job.
As a publication, we are vigilant enough to look out for overclocking and other tweaks (such as changing all the quality settings in graphics drivers to â€œperformanceâ€) and we pride ourselves in correct, accurate and consistent results. Some journalists though, aren't quite as tech-savvy and will test the machine as it arrives. Many SIs will take advantage of this and apply tweaks such as the ones I've mentioned. If we were buying machines from retail, then testing them as-is would be correct, but these are coming straight from the manufacturer, and each vendor knows that they are being reviewed.
My loyalty is not to advertisers and it's not to manufacturers, it's to readers. So naturally, a reader being misled is frustrating. I don't expect for one minute that TrustedReviews is your only source of knowledge - looking at multiple sources for opinions on products is only natural, so if there are other reviews that don't spot these problems and come to a different conclusion â€“ it makes us look bad and leads you astray. Neither of which I want!
Now, some of you may be wondering (or wandering) right about now â€“ from what you've told me, how can I trust your reviews? Each review we do is based on a limited sample â€“ usually of one. No matter where it has come from, either from retail channels, or directly from the manufacturer, in most cases there is a significant chance that it can be different from the product you receive. That is an unavoidable inevitability, as with many smaller SIs, they are built by hand - not every machine is built the same.
So before you go buying your next PC, check the specs are the same as we list in our reviews. If they aren't, perhaps get in touch with the manufacturer. If you can't get the answers you want â€“ this might be a good indication as to what sort of customer support you might receive too. Failing that, pop by our Forums and see if anyone can help you there. It's free to register, and you can poke fun at our news editor Gordon Kelly as much as you want without care for the consequences!