Tuesday, February 24th 2015

"It Won't Happen Again:" NVIDIA CEO Breaks Silence on GTX 970 Controversy

In the wake of bad PR, and a potentially expensive class-action lawsuit over the GeForce GTX 970 memory controversy, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang wrote a candid letter addressed to everyone concerned, explaining in the simplest possible language what went wrong with designing and marketing the chip, how it doesn't affect the design-goals of the product, its quality or stability, and how it could be misconstrued in a whole different ways.

Huang's explanation of the issue isn't much different from the one we already have, but bears the final stamp of authority from the company, especially with the spate of discrepancies between what NVIDIA representatives post on GeForce forums, and what ends up being the company's position on certain things. Huang's letter signs off with "we won't let this happen again. We'll do a better job next time."

The transcript of Huang's letter follows.

Hey everyone,

Some of you are disappointed that we didn't clearly describe the segmented memory of GeForce GTX 970 when we launched it. I can see why, so let me address it.

We invented a new memory architecture in Maxwell. This new capability was created so that reduced-configurations of Maxwell can have a larger framebuffer - i.e., so that GTX 970 is not limited to 3GB, and can have an additional 1GB.

GTX 970 is a 4GB card. However, the upper 512MB of the additional 1GB is segmented and has reduced bandwidth. This is a good design because we were able to add an additional 1GB for GTX 970 and our software engineers can keep less frequently used data in the 512MB segment.

Unfortunately, we failed to communicate this internally to our marketing team, and externally to reviewers at launch.

Since then, Jonah Alben, our senior vice president of hardware engineering, provided a technical description of the design, which was captured well by several editors. Here's one example from The Tech Report.

Instead of being excited that we invented a way to increase memory of the GTX 970 from 3GB to 4GB, some were disappointed that we didn't better describe the segmented nature of the architecture for that last 1GB of memory.

This is understandable. But, let me be clear: Our only intention was to create the best GPU for you. We wanted GTX 970 to have 4GB of memory, as games are using more memory than ever.

The 4GB of memory on GTX 970 is used and useful to achieve the performance you are enjoying. And as ever, our engineers will continue to enhance game performance that you can regularly download using GeForce Experience.

This new feature of Maxwell should have been clearly detailed from the beginning.

We won't let this happen again. We'll do a better job next time.

Jen-Hsun
Source: NVIDIA
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140 Comments on "It Won't Happen Again:" NVIDIA CEO Breaks Silence on GTX 970 Controversy

#1
EarthDog
TLTLate... but that is nice to see...

Queue nonbelievers....................... :p
Posted on Reply
#2
Cheeseball
Technically this is what most of us were speculating from the beginning. If NVIDIA had only disclosed how memory is handled in cut-down Maxwell parts from the start, the backlash wouldn't have grown this big.
Posted on Reply
#3
natr0n
So basically...

"We won't let this happen again. We'll do a better job next time."

really means

"We will try harder to cheat customers again next time"
Posted on Reply
#4
$ReaPeR$
oh you dont say... at least they are apologising.
seriously though, why not just tell the truth? it is a damn good card anyway and the reviews would show that (as they did). bsing customers is not the way to go. especially when the cheapest 970 here costs 400 euro. which is alot.
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#6
bubbleawsome
I like the apology except the part where he says "Instead of being excited that we invented a way to increase memory of the GTX 970 from 3GB to 4GB, some were disappointed that we didn't better describe the segmented nature of the architecture for that last 1GB of memory."

They didn't invent jack, it's just a variant of the 660/660ti (which one had the mismatched memory?) They didn't increase the memory, they didn't make a 2GB memory chip into a 4GB chip by magic. They could have made them 8GB and said they figured out a way to make it a 8GB card. Nothin would be figured out there.
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#7
Ahhzz
esrever, post: 3244781, member: 111604"
"It's a feature"
I believe the appropriate phrase is "Working as intended".....
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#8
荷兰大母猪
It is great because at least NV does care about that issue and did something. It is better than just kept silence before. And for me, I don't care about the specs, but some people do. So~ it is hard to deal with this problem, especially in China.
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#9
heydan83
So basically they tried to make the 970 a 4gb card and they saw that they would not make it and maybe they saw that advertising the card has a 3gb card wouldn´t be that excitement from a 780 3gb card and decided to advertise it as a 4gb card.
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#10
Jorge
Nvidia = Dumb and dumber with every disclaimer
Posted on Reply
#11
Jurassic1024
I think the backlash from consumers when this came out were 100x more pityful than nVIDIA's handling of this whole ordeal. I mean how dare nVIDIA try to give us more performance for less money!

Did nVIDIA eff up? Sure, but y'all used the card for 4 months and needed a third party to tell you that there was something wrong with it.

nVIDIA 1 - Y'alls stupid asses 0
Posted on Reply
#12
Toothless
Tech, Games, and TPU!
What the hell guys. You all have miscommunications, and don't make a big deal. We're all human, we make mistakes, get over it.
NV had a miscommunication, so what, no one is perfect. Quit bashing them when they at least own up to their mistake.

Next time I see one of you mess up, I'll just link this thread into your post and remind you of how much of an ass you are.

NO HUMAN IS PERFECT.
Posted on Reply
#13
jordan199
Nvidia it's time for a new CEO, I hope will replace with someone who RESPECT the company and consumers...
Posted on Reply
#14
heydan83
Toothless, post: 3244793, member: 148599"
What the hell guys. You all have miscommunications, and don't make a big deal. We're all human, we make mistakes, get over it.
NV had a miscommunication, so what, no one is perfect. Quit bashing them when they at least own up to their mistake.

Next time I see one of you mess up, I'll just link this thread into your post and remind you of how much of an ass you are.

NO HUMAN IS PERFECT.
We are not sure if this is really a mistake or not, and also it is a mistake that the minute you saw it the minute you correct it, and they say nothing until people start notice the problem, why anyone at nvidia raise the hand when seeing wrong advertise from the media? and also they could advertise something about the 1gb working differently but they don´t till now, why the box doesnt have maybe an asterisk aside from the "4gb" so you know there´s something with the vram advertised? and I doubt that Huang or any archiquitec did not have in their hands a box saying "4gb" before lunching it so they wouldnt manage to notice the problem..... so has we said in my country, dont make good things that looks like bad things...
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#15
荷兰大母猪
I am thinking how NV deal with this problem in China. It seems the best way is compensate the games but as u know in China almost everybody use the illegal version of games which means they don't think we need to pay for the games. Even most Chinese think paying for the games is silly. Another way is return the GTX970. However, in China the prices from every single way to buy the GPU are so different. Just in zhongguancun, Beijing, the prices in just one market had a huge gap, so some people bought the gpu at much higher price than normal. And the third solution is pay more to get gtx 980. But many people who are using gtx 970 don't want to do that because they can't afford it in China. So it is really a hard problem in Chinese market.
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#16
night.fox
荷兰大母猪, post: 3244785, member: 152843"
It is great because at least NV does care about that issue and did something. It is better than just kept silence before. And for me, I don't care about the specs, but some people do. So~ it is hard to deal with this problem, especially in China.
of course they have to start apologizing to maybe reduce people who file a class suit. I bet if nobody found out about it they would'nt even admit it.
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#17
CounterZeus
If they just told this from the start, nobody would be complaining. I hope they get sanctioned with a symbolic amount, they shouldn't have lied to us.
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#18
荷兰大母猪
night.fox, post: 3244813, member: 127114"
of course they have to start apologizing to maybe reduce people who file a class suit. I bet if nobody found out about it they would'nt even admit it.
Yes, I agree.
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#19
xorbe
We just want to take the time to formally apologize (that we got caught)!
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#20
the54thvoid
lol,

It's a very clever apology, not sincere in the slightest but very clever.
Posted on Reply
#21
RejZoR
It's too late for existing GTX 970 users, but this is the EXACT reason why we shouldn't just say "oh well it's working ok as it is". NO. You should NEVER say that. And because we weren't silent, this happened. And this is good for ALL consumers. So companies won't pull shit like this in the future. Not NVIDIA and not anyone else. Consumers have to show greedy companies that we aren't some assholes who can be manipulated with bullshit.

I just hope tehy really mean it, because if they don't and people find out again about something like this, the shit will hit the fan with triple force of this GTX 970 controversy...
Posted on Reply
#22
bogami
That I do not believe that will happend.. :laugh: Otherwise, a year late with a 20 nm processor says it all.
Posted on Reply
#23
yogurt_21
jordan199, post: 3244799, member: 80502"
Nvidia it's time for a new CEO, I hope will replace with someone who RESPECT the company and consumers...
lol that would pretty much ensure the opposite happens. AMD has gone through how many ceo's in the last 22 years? How's that worked out for them? Did Hector Ruiz respect the consumer? how about the others? Did amd stay true to its roots of offering low cost microprocessors and motherboard chipsets when it got the performance lead during the Athlon 64 and X2 or did they resort to 250$ mortherboards and 500$ cpus?

seriously ones who don't care don't respond.
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#24
Bugsy004
”...GTX 970 is a 4GB card. We wanted GTX 970 to have 4GB of memory...”
next time you should add memory card slot, an microSD card slot, ...up to 128GB memory...???!!!

Same issue where with the GTX660Ti graphics cards... same here... :(
Posted on Reply
#25
heydan83
yogurt_21, post: 3244837, member: 23675"
lol that would pretty much ensure the opposite happens. AMD has gone through how many ceo's in the last 22 years? How's that worked out for them? Did Hector Ruiz respect the consumer? how about the others? Did amd stay true to its roots of offering low cost microprocessors and motherboard chipsets when it got the performance lead during the Athlon 64 and X2 or did they resort to 250$ mortherboards and 500$ cpus?

seriously ones who don't care don't respond.
I dont think this is a Nvidia vs AMD discuss, this is about consumer vs enterprises, and also all that you said is not "hidden the truth" to the consumer but maybe change the strategy, so even if AMD or any other company that make this kind of thing should be treated the same....
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