NVIDIA Bans Reviewer for Concentrating on Rasterization Instead of Ray Tracing

cageymaru

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NVIDIA has banned Hardware Unboxed from receiving GeForce Founders Edition GPU review samples. NVIDIA wants tech reviewers to concentrate on ray tracing performance instead of rasterization.

Here is the tweet from Hardware Unboxed announcing the ban.
https://twitter.com/HardwareUnboxed/status/1337246983682060289

Nvidia have officially decided to ban us from receiving GeForce Founders Edition GPU review samples

Their reasoning is that we are focusing on rasterization instead of ray tracing.

They have said they will revisit this "should your editorial direction change".

2020-12-11 (2).png


AMD 6900 XT review from Hardware Unboxed





Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Benchmark Review from Hardware Unboxed

 

MaZa

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What the hell? That is shameful Nvidia, you know damn well that Raytracing, as cool as it is, is still a niche used only for screenshots and videos but turned off for actual gaming. At least for most people, FPS and high resolution is still king, eye candy the distant second.
 
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Well that’s a shame. I guess Hardware Unboxed is done for now. They couldn’t possibly have any other way of obtaining a card without Nvidia handing it to them.I mean, it’s not like they have a strong base of viewers who give them money....

Oh...wait.

This is one of the dumbest moves I’ve seen. Someone at Nvidia had a tantrum, and crossed a major line of journalism.

Hey Nvidia! You showed up to a GPU fight with half the VRAM. Instead of whining about reviewers, how about prove you’re worth our money. You want people to praise Ray Tracing? Fine, Cyberpunk looks incredible at the 10-15 FPS it runs on my 3070 before I trash the image with the worst DLSS since BF5.
 
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Wait.... I have more grievances..

Let me sum up EVERY Nvidia made card in the last decade: looks nice, relatively small, runs hot and loud.

Oh man... real sorry I won’t get to hear that review again.

At least the Nvidia control panel is easy to navigate. I have it memorized since it hasn’t changed since my Riva 128.

GeForce Experience? Let me tell you how it goes: start a game, try ray tracing. It either looks awesome or I double check to see if it’s even on. Then it runs Too slow. Try DLSS. To blurry. Turn off Ray tracing.

Nvidia: “it’s safe to upgrade from Pascal”...

Nvidia to English: Buy a new card because we aren’t optimizing another damn driver for Pascal.

You chose Quake 2 to be your RTX centerpiece? We now know how many ways things can reflect on the color BROWNNNNN. Could you at least give us some UT2004, Quake 3, or even Return to Castle Wolfenstein?!
 
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Zarathustra[H]

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Fools.

Companies can never control the narrative. In the history of marketing I can't think of a single occurrence where it worked.

Try to steer the conversation too much and all you get is ridicule and derision.

Raytracing is a cool tech, for sure, but we are 2-3 generations away from swing it be a must have feature. Any reviewer worry their salt would focus on raster performance now. If Nvidia wants to cut off the more competent reviewers it will be their loss.

I've never really followed Hardware Unboxed before but this has me interested in them. I'm still not going to watch any reviews on Youtube if that is their thing. Video is just a terrible media for reviews.

A good company is transparent and releases a product and is open to what the market thinks of it.

But what else is new. Nvidia has been a manipulative bad actor for 10-15 years.
 

Flogger23m

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Did they not benchmark with ray tracing at all? I can see that being a problem, but most reviewers are doing both. Main thing I look at is non-ray tracing performance. Ray tracing is nice, but more of a tack on. Same with DLSS.
 
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This will no doubt blow up in nVIDIA's face as the dying to be offended and those who are 247 looking to get the gold in the oppression Olympics rage and rant and cry. I am not surprised, Gamers Nexus doesn't name names from unethical emails,Steve Burke thinks it unethical. HU has a history of this. Either way nV is in the wrong,yet its there product and they can withhold all they want,no harm no foul.
 

RanceJustice

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I'm so tired of watching Nvidia pull this kind of stuff again and again. There's a clear relationship here between "No reviewer, you focus on the thing we care about and makes us look good for the moment. Pay no attention to the green poof of smoke behind the curtain..." behavior like this, and their long history of pushing for controlling, proprietary hardware and software solutions. PhysX was the big one of the past generation, finally defunct. CUDA is another big one with major impacts. GameWorks. Gsync (the one example that they FINALLY at least allowed their GPU owners to connect to FreeSync displays as well) GeForce Experience / Streaming and their encoder. It goes on and on and now everything is focused on DLSS and Raytracing.

For the moment Nvidia cards have the upper hand as developers have optimized for their hardware thanks to the RTX 2000 and now 3000 series, as opposed to the very new RDNA2 powered AMD cards. After a very long time AMD have provided 6900XT / 6800XT that can compete with the RTX 3080 and even the astounding expensive 3090 at standard rasterized gameplay performance, often for a much better value. However, their raytracing performance on older/current NV RTX focused titles is decent, but not up to NV's level ; they also lack a DLSS style feature yet to take some of the raytracing performance hit off the way NV can, among other features (ie streaming encoder etc). So of course Nvidia wants to focus on raytracing where they still appear dominant enough that if you're buying a new $700-1500 MSRP card you'll want that performance, rather than AMD being able to do equal or better for cheaper when it comes to "standard" rasterized graphics and other features .

I hope attempting to put Hardware Unboxed on the naughty list for not giving them as perfectly glowing, laser focused review will blow up in their face "Streisand effect" style. I'm guessing Nvidia is pushing to showcase their GPUs as "the standard" for another generation as quickly as possible, for not only shareholders but for OEMs, system integrator, and developers in order to continue supporting their proprietary way of doing things. If and when AMD and related developers start using their equivalents for things like raytracing, DLSS, video encoding and more ( which tend to be more open in terms of source, spec and the like) , its likely that Nvidia's prominence in these features will shrink substantially and the justification for their hardware far more limited. This isn't to say that they may not keep the overall raytracing crown, but if the gap narrows significantly with optimization and AMD's tech rollout , that will be be a big hit to Nvidia. Thus, they want to capitalize on this time they have now and don't want any distraction with things like rasterization!

If this is true, it will be another example of bad form on Nvidia's part. I hope AMD answers by launching and optimizing related tech ASAP and making sure its a more open, desirable paradigm. In addition to just their performance, AMD's choice to favor open source/spec methodologies is a major reason I want to support them - but they DO need to have those features available in a reasonable time frame! Nvidia has just painted a target upon their back with this , so lets see what AMD , the industry, journalists, and customers/players do in response!
 

Meeho

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Did they not benchmark with ray tracing at all? I can see that being a problem, but most reviewers are doing both. Main thing I look at is non-ray tracing performance. Ray tracing is nice, but more of a tack on. Same with DLSS.
They have, with and without DLSS, the full works. But they haven't put enough emphasis on how great and mighty Nvidia is, it would seem. Too puny offerings to the green God.
 

jfreund

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I'm pretty sure AMD has cut off reviewers in the past, under different regimes. This is par for the course as far as nVidia goes.
 

Derangel

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I'm pretty sure AMD has cut off reviewers in the past, under different regimes. This is par for the course as far as nVidia goes.

They have, but this seems a bit more extreme than most blacklists. To the point where Linus, Steve from Gamers Nexus, and TechDeals have all commented on it and said it's the wrong thing for Nvidia to do. Linus even said he wants to get to the bottom of it and, if possible, get the decision reversed.

GN Steve made a good point too: Nvidia going this route makes any RT results and any review focusing on RT performance look suspect because there is always the looming possibility of Nvidia making these demands now.
 

tangoseal

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Is AMD doing this same shit? If not then my next gpu decision has been made.
I just picked up a 3090 today, against every bit of my being to spend that much on one. I almost bought one from a forum member but decided I better go with retail incase my wife murders me or I get cold feet, so I can return it.

Now I think I will just return it. I really can't stand nVidias antics. This is bullshit. I am going to try a few more times to score a 6900xt next week then this thing goes back I believe. Still deciding.
 

Randall Stephens

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I just picked up a 3090 today, against every bit of my being to spend that much on one. I almost bought one from a forum member but decided I better go with retail incase my wife murders me or I get cold feet, so I can return it.

Now I think I will just return it. I really can't stand nVidias antics. This is bullshit. I am going to try a few more times to score a 6900xt next week then this thing goes back I believe. Still deciding.
With the wattage that thing pulls at load, nothing in your house will be cold 🤣
 
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HockeyJon

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Whoever made this decision is an idiot. The people who watch channels like Hardware Unboxed are typically enthusiasts who understand the products and follow this kind of thing closely. They should understand that this won’t go over well with their core audience of enthusiasts, and people who aren’t enthusiasts probably never watched the video anyway, and don’t base their decisions on Hardware Unboxed reviews when purchasing whatever video card their Dell salesman says is “like, totally awesome man!”. I don’t understand how they can possibly be this disconnected from reality.
 

sover

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Steve at hardware unboxed is one of the best GPU/CPU reviewers right now. I was thinking I might make a 3060TI my next video card purchase. This definitely gives me pause. nVidia's moves have all been pretty anti-consumer for a while now, from the Geforce experience spyware, to the grossly inflated prices on their product lines along with miniscule memory size increases. Thank God AMD is finally starting to get their shit together. Hopefully Navi 22 is performant or the price of Navi 21 cards comes into line with what it should be.
 

vegeta535

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Whoever made this decision is an idiot. The people who watch channels like Hardware Unboxed are typically enthusiasts who understand the products and follow this kind of thing closely. They should understand that this won’t go over well with their core audience of enthusiasts, and people who aren’t enthusiasts probably never watched the video anyway, and don’t base their decisions on Hardware Unboxed reviews when purchasing whatever video card their Dell salesman says is “like, totally awesome man!”. I don’t understand how they can possibly be this disconnected from reality.
Just like GPP didn't go over well when it was brought up. People don't care and just want the best performance. They will bitch and moan and say they are AMD forever but end up buying the next Nvidia product. This like everything else will not hurt their bottom line.
 
D

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Everyone saying “this won’t go over well with enthusiasts” - I have to ask, how many of you guys switched to AMD after nvidia pulled the same stunt with [H] after the GPP nonsense?

because as near as I can tell everyone was upset about it but still buying nvidia anyways.
 
D

Deleted whining member 223597

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Just like GPP didn't go over well when it was brought up. People don't care and just want the best performance. They will bitch and moan and say they are AMD forever but end up buying the next Nvidia product. This like everything else will not hurt their bottom line.
Cooler master did the same thing with GN, but they ended up improving the case and are back to providing GN with review samples IIRC.
Its scummy from Nvidia, but at the end of the day if you get free hardware and a guideline on what to cover and you decide to shit all over that, you can’t expect to keep getting samples. Plus we all know Nvidia is a bit childish in these regards, so no real surprise.
 

Azrak

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RT is not good enough (ie. fast enough) nor implemented in enough games to make it a requirement for reviews. Besides, it's not logical for a manufacturer to dictate how a product is reviewed. Hardware Unboxed has stated why they do not focus their reviews on RT performance. That being the exact reasons I just stated.

As a gamer, this was a stupid thing for Nvidia to do. As a person who watches Hardware Unboxed reviews for every new GPU and CPU release, this was a stupid thing for Nvidia to do.

Sure, I'm biased because I own a GPU that does not have RT capabilities. There is a reason for that. Think about that for a second, Nvidia. I'm pretty sure you will get the "aha" moment.
 

exlink

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Why does nvidia even care? The card people buy these days is whatever is on the shelf.
Yes and no. I think that many people will still wait for an Nvidia or AMD card specifically. But they will pick up whatever AIB variant there is of the card they’re looking for.

Nvidia was sitting comfortably at the top for years. Now that their competition has caught up in rasterization performance, they want to shift the narrative to what they’re best at and the competition is not quite up to par with (ray tracing).

Very unfortunate, as many people don’t care for RT. And HBU was tailoring their content to what they think is reflective of their audience’s needs.
 
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The way most UToob ”reviewers” focus almost entirely on RT it’s almost like they have to check crib sheets to see what they’re allowed to say. Considering dlss Looks mucky and RTX does just about fuck all, it’s kind of suspicious.

the sad thing is, these people are considered influencers for a reason, they help the companies control the conversation around their products. Deliberate or not.
 

c3k

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Everyone saying “this won’t go over well with enthusiasts” - I have to ask, how many of you guys switched to AMD after nvidia pulled the same stunt with [H] after the GPP nonsense?

because as near as I can tell everyone was upset about it but still buying nvidia anyways.
I have gone all-AMD because of Nvidia's BS.

Will my action bring corporate change? I don't care. I will not labor and then voluntarily transfer the fruits of my labor to the asshats that seem to be running Nvidia.

As long as AMD can offer something that works, at a price I deem acceptable, I will buy their gpus.

This story just solidifies my very low opinion of the Nvidia corporate culture. And, it also solidifies my high opinion of Hardware Unboxed.
 

polonyc2

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the Hardware Unboxed guys have made it known in multiple videos that they are not fans of ray-tracing so it's not surprising that they are focusing on rasterisation...sad to see Nvidia relying on these bullying type of tactics...that's what happens when AMD catches up and puts Nvidia on their heels
 

DooKey

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Cooler master did the same thing with GN, but they ended up improving the case and are back to providing GN with review samples IIRC.
Its scummy from Nvidia, but at the end of the day if you get free hardware and a guideline on what to cover and you decide to shit all over that, you can’t expect to keep getting samples. Plus we all know Nvidia is a bit childish in these regards, so no real surprise.
Yeah, if HU accepted the cards with the caveat they will follow the reviewers guide, and then don't, they deserve to lose access to free cards. Simply follow the contract terms or face the consequences.
 

Azrak

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Everyone saying “this won’t go over well with enthusiasts” - I have to ask, how many of you guys switched to AMD after nvidia pulled the same stunt with [H] after the GPP nonsense?

because as near as I can tell everyone was upset about it but still buying nvidia anyways.
Times were different then. AMD had no enthusiast-level GPUs for sale. The only choice for high performance was Nvidia.
At least now we have a choice. Sure, RT performance on AMD is more like last-gen Nvidia, but again, as I said in my previous post in this thread above this post, there are not enough games with RT implemented nor is performance good enough to make RT a requirement for reviews. HUB constantly asks viewers how much effort they should put into RT performance in their reviews and the majority agree that it shouldn't be the focus of the review. HUB isn't going to review products in a way that the viewers don't want, or else they'd lose viewership and subs and $. So it's in their best interests to do what most viewers want, which is rasterization performance 1st, RT second.

the Hardware Unboxed guys have made it known in multiple videos that they are not fans of ray-tracing
It's not that they are not fans of RT. They just think it is not good enough to warrant focusing on it for reviews. They know RT is the future. They have stated it multiple times in their Q&A sessions. But right now, RT is not a thing that requires primary focus. And they've asked their viewers what they think and they agree, so HUB's reviews don't include much RT testing.
 

sover

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It's not that they are not fans of RT. They just think it is not good enough to warrant focusing on it for reviews. They know RT is the future. They have stated it multiple times in their Q&A sessions. But right now, RT is not a thing that requires primary focus. And they've asked their viewers what they think and they agree, so HUB's reviews don't include much RT testing.
This kind of reminds me of 20+ years ago when nVidia was introducing a lot of features and 3dfx was stagnating on features, but was modestly faster in a lot of benchmarks. 3dfx wanted reviewers getting Voodoo3 3000 cards to focus on how fast they could render in 16-bit color since they couldn't render in 32-bit. nVidia wanted reviewers to point this lack of 32-bit out at every step, as well as setting up special benchmarks that would overload the 3dfx cards with texture data since those cards couldn't do AGP texturing while TnT2 cards could, giving nVidia a mild advantage in tests like these.
 

jfreund

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They have, but this seems a bit more extreme than most blacklists. To the point where Linus, Steve from Gamers Nexus, and TechDeals have all commented on it and said it's the wrong thing for Nvidia to do. Linus even said he wants to get to the bottom of it and, if possible, get the decision reversed.

GN Steve made a good point too: Nvidia going this route makes any RT results and any review focusing on RT performance look suspect because there is always the looming possibility of Nvidia making these demands now.

I should have been more clear. AMD has cut off reviewers in the past, but this is just one more duechey action in a long line from nVidia.

Everyone saying “this won’t go over well with enthusiasts” - I have to ask, how many of you guys switched to AMD after nvidia pulled the same stunt with [H] after the GPP nonsense?

because as near as I can tell everyone was upset about it but still buying nvidia anyways.

I did. That's why I have a 6800 right now, and am looking for a 6800XT or 6900XT. Nvidia made it easy by not offering a real upgrade to the 1080Ti with Turing.
 
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Reviews are for us, the consumers. We want reviews to reflect what most people do with their GPUs, If the vast majority doesn't care about RT yet, then it shouldn't be the primary focus.............
It's not that hard Nvidia.
 

MrCaffeineX

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Fools.

Companies can never control the narrative. In the history of marketing I can't think of a single occurrence where it worked.

Try to steer the conversation too much and all you get is ridicule and derision.

Raytracing is a cool tech, for sure, but we are 2-3 generations away from swing it be a must have feature. Any reviewer worry their salt would focus on raster performance now. If Nvidia wants to cut off the more competent reviewers it will be their loss.

I've never really followed Hardware Unboxed before but this has me interested in them. I'm still not going to watch any reviews on Youtube if that is their thing. Video is just a terrible media for reviews.

A good company is transparent and releases a product and is open to what the market thinks of it.

But what else is new. Nvidia has been a manipulative bad actor for 10-15 years.
They are one of the few video review channels that I watch regularly. I'm pretty sure the same guys also run TechSpot.com, which is a more traditional text-based site.
 

/dev/null

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Yes and no. I think that many people will still wait for an Nvidia or AMD card specifically. But they will pick up whatever AIB variant there is of the card they’re looking for.

Nvidia was sitting comfortably at the top for years. Now that their competition has caught up in rasterization performance, they want to shift the narrative to what they’re best at and the competition is not quite up to par with (ray tracing).

Very unfortunate, as many people don’t care for RT. And HBU was tailoring their content to what they think is reflective of their audience’s needs.
My friend's son is trying to upgrade his 1060. His budget is max $400....is there any choice at 5700xt vs 3060Ti? He won't ever use RT. 3060Ti is probably the best rasterization performance at that price point. I still don't understand why Nvidia is being petty about this.
 
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