Thursday, January 29th 2015

Perfectly Functional GTX 970 Cards Being Returned Over Memory Controversy

In what is a major fallout of the GeForce GTX 970 memory allocation controversy, leading retailers in the EU are reporting returns of perfectly functional GTX 970 cards citing "false advertising." Heise.de reports that NVIDIA is facing a fierce blowback from retailers and customers over incorrect specs. Heise comments that the specifications "cheating could mean the greatest damage to the reputation of the company's history."

Major German PC hardware retailer Caseking.de says that retailers don't have any explanation from NVIDIA to give to their customers. A similar sentiment is being expressed by the NVIDIA add-in card partners (AICs) we spoke to. Retailers and AIC partners are on their own, for now. One AIC partner rep told us that NVIDIA has no worldwide action plan, as of now, to deal with a potential flood of returns.

In absence of every other recourse, laws in most EU member states dictate that the retailers accept returns for a full refund, if they are not able to "repair" the defect, or exchange with another unit that works as advertised (which a retailer obviously can't, in this case). Retailers' options in the matter boil down to: 1. Taking back cards from whoever isn't happy with their GTX 970 and giving them a refund; 2. compensating with something of value (eg: game-coupons, in-game currency, etc.,) and 3. Springing up a surprise, such as exchanging GTX 970 cards purchased before a set date, with a GTX 980 (if that's your idea of a "repair."). This will come at the expense of a cascading lawsuit-chain (customers suing retailers, who in-turn sue AICs, and who in-turn sue NVIDIA).

NVIDIA, on the other hand, plans to issue a driver update that will "improve" the way the chip allocates resources, but there's no word on whether it re-enables disabled components that NVIDIA wasn't honest about, the first time around. They're counting on the issue to simply blow over, because at $329, there really isn't much you can complain about the GTX 970, given how it's positioned in comparison to the GTX 980.
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172 Comments on Perfectly Functional GTX 970 Cards Being Returned Over Memory Controversy

#1
Severus
I'm perfectly happy with my 970 Strix and am going to keep it. All the fuss isn't worth the trouble, since I haven't noticed any problems with performance.
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#2
Chaitanya
I wouldn't mind purchasing one or two of those open box cards for cheap. Only idiots would return those cards.
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#3
Jborg
Chaitanya said:
I wouldn't mind purchasing one or two of those open box cards for cheap. Only idiots would return those cards.
I was thinking the same exact thing.

Sounds like a cheap way into a SLI set up :D

I won't be returning my 970 G1 Gaming either. Card has been great for what I do, and I have no complaints.
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#4
64K
I'm keeping my MSI 970 Gaming too.

Chaitanya said:
I wouldn't mind purchasing one or two of those open box cards for cheap. Only idiots would return those cards.
I imagine there will be quite a few refurbished GPUs in the near future for a good price.
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#5
HTC
Severus said:
I'm perfectly happy with my 970 Strix and am going to keep it. All the fuss isn't worth the trouble, since I haven't noticed any problems with performance.
Chaitanya said:
I wouldn't mind purchasing one or two of those open box cards for cheap. Only idiots would return those cards.
It all depends on what use you give it: tax it enough and the problem will "show" itself.

If you don't use resolutions or image enhancements that push the VRAM usage past 3.5 GB, then you're correct, IMO. If not, then that's a whole different story and, personally, i'd think hard before deciding what to do if i were in such a case.
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#6
Sasqui
64K said:
I'm keeping my MSI 970 Gaming too.



I imagine there will be quite a few refurbished GPUs in the near future for a good price.
Have to keep an eye in eBay for sold listings to see where the price trend is heading in the next few weeks.
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#7
JMO
Ahahahaha. Nvidia is going to eat some s**t over this debacle.

It's hilarious.

I have an image in my mind of all these 970 owners flocking to the local retailer waving their under-specced GPU's angrily in the air.

Cash will be flowing from the Nvidia coffers this quarter.

lolol Nvidia.
Posted on Reply
#8
Severus
Even if there's a slight drop in performance, at the price point you still don't have any better option. Why bother returning it and adding another couple hundred dollars for a 980? It won't be worth the trouble and it won't be a good time / price / performance deal.
I'll just wait for whatever Nvidia will offer us for the trpuble and be happy with it :)
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#9
e62144
I'll keep mine too but I wanna see some sort of compensation. 970's resale value is rapidly decreasing already.
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#10
john_
Perfectly functional or not, this is a good thing. Marketing department will think twice or even triple times before trying to misled the consumer.
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#11
W1zzard
JMO said:
Cash will be flowing from the Nvidia coffers this quarter.
Did you read the post? merchants and board partners are getting hit with costs, not NVIDIA
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#12
GhostRyder
This is actually quite funny because a couple of things are going to happen (Depending on how this is handled):

A: People who want the GTX 970 (Or another 1-2) will be able to pick these up cheap (If they get re-sold as open box/refurbished) which also might show up cheaper because the value might take a hit on eBay or the likes so people can get a high end card for less.
B: Some of those people are going to buy GTX 980's instead so the reality is this is more of a slap on the wrist than anything because they are still purchasing said products and actually buying a much more expensive version so the only real hits to NVidia would be the people who end up buying from the alternative side (I am not factoring in of course any hits that travel down the line from the cards being returned and NVidia being charged for it in some way).
C: The cards are going to get some improvement down the line that could help this at least a bit and the advertisement on the box will probably change (Well the boxes might get an update or something of the likes) so in the end people can be made happy.

Its interesting to see how people are reacting to this, I understand why some people would return the card since they feel cheated on the specs. Though I think the major players that are/will/might see a difference in the performance even if the memory was a full 4gb at the proper speed are running 1440p+ and some crazy games with crazy mods or settings turned up. I think though in the end whether you kept the card or not your probably going to be made a bit happier one way or another.
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#13
MustSeeMelons
Won't be returning mine, but I think the returns are understandable - mostly principle not reason. If ill start having problems it will be going on sale though.
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#14
GC_PaNzerFIN
What I see going on around is that ANY problem with ANYTHING related to GTX 970 is getting blamed for memory allocation now. Even game engine related bugs, other driver issues, SLI microstuttering and not being capable of handing +30 FPS at ultra high settings at 4K resolution.

No doubt there are some with valid driver issues related to memory allocation. But come on, this is a huge storm in a glass. Mass panic. Few people were ready to return GTX 970 and buy MUCH WORSE card from AMD. Does not make sense at all anymore.

NVIDIA made a huge PR mistake handling this. No doubt they should make official company statement and give some kind of compensation for the pain like game bundle.

Also I would love to see NVIDIA give users option to disable this last 512 MB partition from drivers if they experience problems. !
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#15
Severus
Worst outcome for users is to return them and buy the 980, whose's price went up since the release of the 960. I was just checking the prices, and I paid 450 $ for the 970, and the 980 is now almost 800 $. So it would be plain stupid to do this. Rather wait and buy another 970 refursbished.

Think it through people and don't make stupid mistakes over a stupid scandal!
Posted on Reply
#16
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Teacups and storms come to mind.
Posted on Reply
#17
Sasqui
GC_PaNzerFIN said:
Also I would love to see NVIDIA give users option to disable this last 512 MB partition from drivers if they experience problems. !
In reality, that would make things worse. Run out of 3.5 Gb and you're now swapping to even slower system memory.
Posted on Reply
#18
JMO
W1zzard said:
Did you read the post? merchants and board partners are getting hit with costs, not NVIDIA
Did you?

"This will come at the expense of a cascading lawsuit-chain (customers suing retailers, who in-turn sue AICs, and who in-turn sue NVIDIA). "
Posted on Reply
#19
GC_PaNzerFIN
Sasqui said:
In reality, that would make things worse. Run out of 3.5 Gb and you're now swapping to even slower system memory.
Af far as I understood few guys problems, it would be better option to not have it at all. For example some workstation utilities seem to use ALL available vram regardless how much is needed and then get in trouble with last 512 MB being slower than rest (which the app doesn't know of course). Mark that disabled and performance actually goes up.
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#20
xfia
GC_PaNzerFIN said:
Af far as I understood few guys problems, it would be better option to not have it at all. For example some workstation utilities seem to use ALL available vram regardless how much is needed and then get in trouble with last 512 MB being slower than rest (which the app doesn't know of course). Mark that disabled and performance actually goes up.
in reality it would fix the performance for everything. nvidia themselves said the segments dont have simultaneous access.
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#21
rooivalk
Hopefully this means a lot of 970s will flooding the 2nd hand market with low price. It's like 280x/290x ex-mining rig again.
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#23
JMO
What I also find amusing is all the discussion around:

"Oh it's not a big deal, still a a great card"

"Still performs like it did when released"

"What will you buy instead?"

"What are you complaining about?"

"Card was never internded for 4k"

"Oh the issues is probably your -insert other pc component-"

blah blah blah.

Who cares? It's all irrelevant.

People are jumping up and down. So funny.

Nvidia engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. Case closed. Consumers will have the choice to return the cards for full refunds, it's just a matter of time.

Maybe Nvidia and Co. will come up with alternative options to offer disgruntled consumers, end of the day though, unless your country has really shitty consumer protection laws, you are going to get to choose at the retailer level, money or the card.

Nvidia is making intermittent press statements, but generally pretty quiet on what exactly they plan on doing. Oh, new drivers! Never heard that before. Nvidia really really screwed up and they know it. They can't say too much until they finish all their "OH SHIT" meetings with lawyers and upper management.

Then they still have all the consumer complaints agencies that will be knocking at their door. Not to mention letters from outraged customers, countless emails and PM's...farking funny.

The potential damage to their reputation has...potential.

lol lol lol Nvidia.

Time to man up Nvidia. Doesn't matter if the GTX 970 is still a great card, you lied, and you're gonna pay for it. So-sayeth the angry shopper!

hahahahah. lol ;)
Posted on Reply
#24
Fluffmeister
JMO said:
What I also find amusing is all the discussion around:

"Oh it's not a big deal, still a a great card"

"Still performs like it did when released"

"What will you buy instead?"

"What are you complaining about?"

"Card was never internded for 4k"

"Oh the issues is probably your -insert other pc component-"

blah blah blah.

Who cares? It's all irrelevant.

People are jumping up and down. So funny.

Nvidia engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct. Case closed. Consumers will have the choice to return the cards for full refunds, it's just a matter of time.

Maybe Nvidia and Co. will come up with alternative options to offer disgruntled consumers, end of the day though, unless your country has really shitty consumer protection laws, you are going to get to choose at the retailer level, money or the card.

Nvidia is making intermittent press statements, but generally pretty quiet on what exactly they plan on doing. Oh, new drivers! Never heard that before. Nvidia really really screwed up and they know it. They can't say too much until they finish all their "OH SHIT" meetings with lawyers and upper management.

Then they still have all the consumer complaints agencies that will be knocking at their door. Not to mention letters from outraged customers, countless emails and PM's...farking funny.

The potential damage to their reputation has...potential.

lol lol lol Nvidia.

Time to man up Nvidia. Doesn't matter if the GTX 970 is still a great card, you lied, and you're gonna pay for it. So-sayeth the angry shopper!

hahahahah. lol ;)
Did they steal your first born child or something?
Posted on Reply
#25
ShurikN
GC_PaNzerFIN said:
Mass panic. Few people were ready to return GTX 970 and buy MUCH WORSE card from AMD. Does not make sense at all anymore.
You can get a 290x for the same money, those two cards are basically on par. Therefore people have an alternative.
People are making a moral stand here, that's all it is. And they should. They should punish companies who lie to them. (wish they would do the same with Ubi games)
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