I primarily deal with stock systems, and avoid changing settings as much as is possible.
It is my opinion that if the component doesn't work properly at stock settings (all software issues aside) - then it's defective.
If the seller cannot replicate the problem, then there's a couple of possibilities:
- the card is damaged, but the replication testing process isn't accurate
- that the card is not damaged, but hardware circumstances in your system are different than those of the seller's test apparatus (either hardware or compatibility issues).
- that the card is not damaged, and that the problems are software related (single problem)
- that the card is not damaged, and that the problems are software related (multiple interacting problems)
There are 2 types of BSOD errors (talking about how problems affect them).
There are those that stem from a single cause.
There are those that stem from multiple interacting problems.
There is a difference in how graphics drivers interact with the system and how other drivers interact with the system. The graphics drivers actually have a lot more access to the stuff in the kernel space than most other drivers do.
The TDR is a special sort of error that spits out different BSOD's depending on the event that generated it (see this page for more details on TDR:
Disk space - IMO lack of free space should not cause a problem.
In reality, I have seen several cases where it does cause BSOD's
My personal theory is that it's caused by 3rd party drivers that can't handle storage space/virtual memory problems.
As it's not easy to prove this problem, I always check free space in the reports and suggest fixing it if you are having BSOD's or other errors.
Finally, you have to understand that vendors make video cards in order to make money.
IMO it's why there aren't new video card tests - simply because it costs too much to develop a test for a card that only has a 3 year (or less) support life cycle.
Also, there are other, business related, decisions that affect their support. For example, it's cheaper to RMA a card than it is to test it thoroughly.