GeForce Partner Program Impacts Consumer Choice

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
49,083

Hielo_loco

Weaksauce
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
104
Well, I will not even consider a video card if it has not been reviewed by HardOCP, so the fact that said review comes later should not affect my decisions or recommendations to friends. If anything, this sort of stuff is why I consider HardOCP the best tech review site, because it understands that they owe themselves to their own integrity and the end consumers, and not to these companies, whichever they might be. No fake news in here.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,157
So an OEM or AIB would have to reserve a particular brand to nVidia hardware? So in the case of the example in the article speaking hypothetically, the Asus ROG brand would have to be nVidia only under the terms of the GPP. But Asus could use another brand for AMD GPUs, like FOG (Federation of Gamers) to brand AMD parts?
 

ecmaster76

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
1,150
So an OEM or AIB would have to reserve a particular brand to nVidia hardware? So in the case of the example in the article speaking hypothetically, the Asus ROG brand would have to be nVidia only under the terms of the GPP. But Asus could use another brand for AMD GPUs, like FOG (Federation of Gamers) to brand AMD parts?
The whole GPU allocation implication bit is the iron fist holding the GPP leash. I would suspect anyone not staying in line to get hung out to dry

But, hey, I heard AMD cards make your motherboard catch on fire so definitely don't buy those (/s) :rolleyes:
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
55,548
So an OEM or AIB would have to reserve a particular brand to nVidia hardware? So in the case of the example in the article speaking hypothetically, the Asus ROG brand would have to be nVidia only under the terms of the GPP. But Asus could use another brand for AMD GPUs, like FOG (Federation of Gamers) to brand AMD parts?
My understanding is that if MSI sells video cards with NVIDIA GPU's and is part of the GPP, it can't sell AMD GPU's in any shape or form. Whether or not this would include APU's in notebooks, I couldn't say. I don't know if sub-branding like Republic of Gamers or Aorus counts either. It may be like GMC and Chevrolet being different, but with the same parent company. I don't know. It's an interesting question for sure.

EDIT: It seems that this is being interpreted more like ASUS couldn't sell AMD cards under the ROG or ROG STRIX names if ROG was part of the GPP and sold NVIDIA cards under that brand. However, it could create separate STRIX from ROG or create an entirely new brand to sell AMD cards under.
 
Last edited:

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,157
The whole GPU allocation implication bit is the iron fist holding the GPP leash.
Of course. However it can't be an obvious quid pro quo. nVidia is saying it's a "branding" thing which they legally could probably get away with if especially if nVidia is using their own resources promoting specific OEM brands and products.

I don't like this but it's also not totally unreasonable from a branding perspective. My guess that's how nVidia's legal team is viewing it.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,157
My understanding is that if MSI sells video cards with NVIDIA GPU's and is part of the GPP, it can't sell AMD GPU's in any shape or form.
And if that's the case then that's totally unacceptable and should draw anti-trust action. This kind of thing has gotten plenty of tech companies in trouble before, Microsoft and Intel are just two of many examples.
 

digitalwanderer

Long Time No See
Joined
Aug 21, 2004
Messages
141
Sounds like a heavily enforced GITG under a new name and with "transparent" contracts so it's not like they're getting paid under the table, they're just getting screwed and screwing gamers by participating in it. :(

Great article Kyle, looking forward to seeing where this goes. :)
 

ecmaster76

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
1,150
And if that's the case then that's totally unacceptable and should draw anti-trust action. This kind of thing has gotten plenty of tech companies in trouble before, Microsoft and Intel are just two of many examples.
I mean in some ways its already been the de facto rules for the smaller players that only sell one brand or the other. They switch wholesale when defecting (XFX comes to mind)

The larger players have been more immune to pressure but with NV dabbling its toes into direct consumer sales and wholesale product integration over the last few years that might change. Also the current GPU demand means NV has a lot more leverage.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
49,083
Kyle - have you published this before GPP contracts are signed? If so, let's the (doubtless) negative enthusiast reaction will make nVidia think again about the "gaming brand" requirement.
It is my understanding that some companies have joined the GPP program. I do not have enough credible and substantiated information to tell you which ones have or have not, and NVIDIA did not respond to my query on that specific question. I did send John Teeple, Director - Partner Marketing at NVIDIA, a mail yesterday as well, no answer yet.
 

Modred189

I'm Smarter Than You
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
14,618
I've been team green since my debacle with CF 4850s. And I've been very happy, but that's because Nvidia has earned my business with great products and great partners. I've been team green since my 9800gt.

But this is the opposite. This is them taking business by some kind of racketeering scheme with the AIBs. They're holding funds and inventory hostage in exchange for leverage into AIB's branding activities. And then to threaten [H]?

That's shit, and it makes me seriously consider team red when I replace my 970.

Lose the crap, Nvidia, or lose enthusiast customers.
 

ecmaster76

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
1,150
I think current GPU demand gives nVidia or anyone for that matter less leverage as OEMs faced with strained GPU supplies would want as many suppliers as they can get, especially if AMD and nVidia start selling crypto specific parts.
Other way around. Since all of NV's OEM/AIB partners can move 100% of the allocation they receive right now NV can pick the winners and losers. Imagine you build PCs and cant get any GPUs. How would you sell them?

AMD cant meet demand either right now and would probably favor their long term partners over one that might jump ship as soon as they could get NV parts again.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,157
Other way around. Since all of NV's OEM/AIB partners can move 100% of the allocation they receive right now NV can pick the winners and losers. Imagine you build PCs and cant get any GPUs. How would you sell them?
I guess it depends on exactly what this program really is. If an OEM cannot sell non-nVidia GPUs under this program then they loose all ability to generate revenue from AMD products and I just don't see how that sits well with any OEM.
 

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
49,083
I guess it depends on exactly what this program really is. If an OEM cannot sell non-nVidia GPUs under this program then they loose all ability to generate revenue from AMD products and I just don't see how that sits well with any OEM.
I have not spoken with any OEM or AIB that is a fan of this program. Quite the opposite in fact.
 

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
4,271
NVidia has already undoubtedly put in substantial risk analysis to look at probability of loss vs probability of gain of this program, and I'm betting even if there is an anti-trust suit the outcome will cost less than the gain in market position and channel protection.

What they probably didn't account for is Kyle bringing this program and its implications to light -- nice job.
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
55,548
I've been team green since my debacle with CF 4850s. And I've been very happy, but that's because Nvidia has earned my business with great products and great partners. I've been team green since my 9800gt.

But this is the opposite. This is them taking business by some kind of racketeering scheme with the AIBs. They're holding funds and inventory hostage in exchange for leverage into AIB's branding activities. And then to threaten [H]?

That's shit, and it makes me seriously consider team red when I replace my 970.

Lose the crap, Nvidia, or lose enthusiast customers.
Unfortunately, the crux of Kyle's article rings true. All of this boils down to a lack of consumer choice. NVIDIA produces the best graphics cards for gaming today. Period. At 4K, I need all the power I can get. So long as NVIDIA keeps pulling this shit with both AIB's and game developers, I don't see this changing anytime soon.

However, I can see why NVIDIA would do this. Anti-competitive agreements in the computing industry are more common than you might think. Belkin is famous for doing this. In fact, exclusive contracts with one company that prohibit them from selling competing products can be found in many industries. You rarely see a car dealership that sells more than one brand unless those brands are owned by the same company. You can't just open a car dealership in the middle of the network as there are rules against it. In fact, that industry has specific laws that keep car makers and dealers fucking the consumer hard and have for three quarters of a century. Belkin had an agreement with Comp USA to sell Belkin cables exclusively, and at one time it was the number one seller of computer related cables, despite having the highest prices.

I'm not sure what the logic is that lets this stuff fly under the radar legally, but this isn't all that surprising. Of course, NVIDIA can do it because we the consumer have no real choices. AMD isn't exactly able to offer a serious alternative to gamers at this point.
 

bill_d

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
193
I have bought Asus ROG cards since they started the ROG brand both AMD and NVidia as I have two systems

if this stands and asus signs up for it I will stop buying NVidia even if I have to buy a console
 
Joined
Aug 17, 2016
Messages
704
The problem for AIB partners is that AMD isn't competitive in the GPU market. If you want to make money you have to sell Nvidia until years later when the courts figure this out. How many years did Intel string AMD along until AMD settled to save the company from bankruptcy?
 
D

Deleted member 93354

Guest
NVidia doing unethical things like...

Not honoring defective product warranty claims with bad solder joints, or nForce chipsets
Or refusing to turn off telemetry
Or having their CEO consistently releasing misleading statements about his competition

Say it ain't so....
 

Dan_D

Extremely [H]
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Messages
55,548
I guess it depends on exactly what this program really is. If an OEM cannot sell non-nVidia GPUs under this program then they loose all ability to generate revenue from AMD products and I just don't see how that sits well with any OEM.
It comes down to simple math for the AIB. If you currently sell GPU's from both AMD and NVIDIA it's easy to figure out who to side with. More than likely, any company that sells both sells more NVIDIA GPUs than AMD GPUs. If the split is 70% / 30% for example, then the math is easy. If sanctions from NVIDIA would hurt NVIDIA GPU sales for a given AIB by more than 30%, then dropping AMD makes sense. While you lose those AMD sales, the GPP seems like it could make up some of those losses or at least stop you from bleeding those NVIDIA sales entirely.

Basically, the AIBs may not have much of a choice either.
 

harmattan

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Messages
4,271
It comes down to simple math for the AIB. If you currently sell GPU's from both AMD and NVIDIA it's easy to figure out who to side with. More than likely, any company that sells both sells more NVIDIA GPUs than AMD GPUs. If the split is 70% / 30% for example, then the math is easy. If sanctions from NVIDIA would hurt NVIDIA GPU sales for a given AIB by more than 30%, then dropping AMD makes sense. While you lose those AMD sales, the GPP seems like it could make up some of those losses or at least stop you from bleeding those NVIDIA sales entirely.

Basically, the AIBs may not have much of a choice either.
That's exactly right: NVidia doesn't need to state an OEM or AIB only sell NVidia products, this program effectively creates a situation where they can't afford to sell anything else. AIBs are certainly not going to create two in-house brands, especially if the marketing subsidy for one has been pulled.
 
Top