Monday, July 16th 2018

Pay $160 for the AREZ Sticker: The Mess GPP Landed AIC Partners and Consumers in

The same exact graphics cards, made by the same exact manufacturer, in the same exact factory, with the only difference being the "AREZ Strix" branding, priced a whopping USD $160 apart - that's the kind of mess NVIDIA GPP (GeForce Partners Program) left in its wake. Newegg lists the ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 (STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING) graphics card at USD $589.99. This card was made before ASUS decided to re-brand its AMD Radeon graphics cards under the AREZ Strix brand, necessitated by NVIDIA GPP. The post-rebrand AREZ Strix Radeon RX Vega 64 (AREZ RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING), is priced at $749.99 on the same site, a whopping $160 premium for what is basically a sticker. Just to make sure this isn't a discrepancy between the various sellers from Newegg's marketplace, we also post screenshots that confirm both listings are "sold and shipped by Newegg" (and not a marketplace partner).

We noticed this anomaly on Newegg last week (the week of 9th July), and initially dismissed it for a listing error that would be resolved by the retailer in a couple of days. The week passed, and the listings didn't change. NVIDIA triggered a strong backlash for the language of its GeForce Partners Program (GPP), which implicitly forced its AIC (add-in card) partners to keep their well-established gaming hardware brands (eg: ROG, Aorus, MSI Gaming, etc.,) exclusive to GeForce GTX graphics cards, forcing them to re-brand their AMD Radeon products (and stripping them of those well-established brands, thereby putting AMD at a disadvantage). NVIDIA eventually cancelled GPP, but not before the likes of ASUS and MSI committed changes to their product stacks. AREZ is the Frankenstein's monster that was too late to abort, which now threatens to rip off uninformed consumers.
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77 Comments on Pay $160 for the AREZ Sticker: The Mess GPP Landed AIC Partners and Consumers in

#1
Krzych
Everyone is already so fed up with this GPP whining, just make up some other drama already...
Posted on Reply
#2
Vayra86
Is this news? There has always been a wide pricing range on Asus products that are 100% the same and availability is still being weird, look at this for some price variations. Want some OC or 11 GBps memory on your 1080, sucks to be you I guess? Want a 580? Pay up to double what you have to I guess...

This has nothing to do with GPP. Stop baiting.



Posted on Reply
#3
john_
All those difficult years before Ryzen, that AMD was trying to servive with Bulldozers, Kaveris and Carrizos, there was always something in common with hardware made from AMD's "partners". They where all overpriced for their specs. Sometimes with unnecessary features that where driving prices up. A Carrizo laptop priced as high as an i5. Having touch screens and stuff when it was a typical laptop not a convertible or detachable. I was always thinking that those specs and prices where probably coming directly from Intel, where execs there where laughing and trolling at AMD's face.

I don't know if the above prices are an error in Newegg's pricing, or if it has to do with the original MSRP price those two models came out. The Strix edition could have an MSRP price much lower than the AREZ card, because it is a pre-mining madness card. AREZ came out while cryptomining was still hot, if I am not mistaking, so maybe came out at a much higher MSRP, so this could just be the proof that shows how partners are profiteering in the expense of their customers because of cryptomining and have nothing to do with GPP.

But it could easily be just Nvidia's money that affect pricing of all or most AREZ cards, it could be a repeat of the first paragraph I wrote, this time in the GPU market. If Nvidia is covering what money ASUS expects to lose by making this line of cards and this brand specifficaly uncompetitive, we could be seeing a repeat of how partners where treating AMD the time that Intel was playing ball without any kind of competition.
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#4
kastriot
What a ridiculous prices ha!
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#5
Xaled
"Vayra86 said:
Is this news? There has always been a wide pricing range on Asus products that are 100% the same and availability is still being weird, look at this for some price variations. Want some OC or 11 GBps memory on your 1080, sucks to be you I guess? Want a 580? Pay up to double what you have to I guess...

This has nothing to do with GPP. Stop baiting.




None of the cards you highlighted here are the same. they have either different amount of memory, different clock speeds or different coolers.
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#6
Lobolawn
I always wondered why people went "in" on nvidia when all this happened. Why not go in on ASUS. How fast did they change there website? how fast did they say "yes daddy" and touch their toes for nvdia. That website for AREZ was up over night, And those arez stickers were changed in photoshop in the first 24 hours. Yes daddy lol. If nvidia can punk them as a company so easily why not try it every chance they get. Its all about money for them anyway. There has NEVER been a "loyalty to gamers". We made that up. Mining shows that too. They dont want a lane for you and me they want money. Its not nvidias fault everyone (companies fans customers) were so easy. It highlights what companies will do so easily. Give up trusted and established brand names at the drop of a hat to gain entry to a club they are already in. LOL
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#7
jsfitz54
If the "gaming" community and "enthusiasts" would care to UNIONIZE and agree not to make any purchases for a solid month or longer the market would correct itself hard.
The problem is a lot of individuals have no voice even if we say solely, I'M NOT BUYING NOW.

It needs to be made a global movement to agree not to buy or even broader to include all consumer electronics. Lets face it, we could all afford to skip buying for a month.
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#8
Sihastru
When has cryptocurrency mining become irrelevant?
Posted on Reply
#9
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
"Lobolawn said:
I always wondered why people went "in" on nvidia when all this happened. Why not go in on ASUS. How fast did they change there website? how fast did they say "yes daddy" and touch their toes for nvdia. That website for AREZ was up over night, And those arez stickers were changed in photoshop in the first 24 hours. Yes daddy lol. If nvidia can punk them as a company so easily why not try it every chance they get. Its all about money for them anyway. There has NEVER been a "loyalty to gamers". We made that up. Mining shows that too. They dont want a lane for you and me they want money. Its not nvidias fault everyone (companies fans customers) were so easy. It highlights what companies will do so easily. Give up trusted and established brand names at the drop of a hat to gain entry to a club they are already in. LOL
Asus is a Taiwanese company with no protections against GPP. It was either do as NVIDIA said or quit selling graphics cards. Graphics cards make them $100s of millions of dollars so Asus bent over backwards.


Should we blame the bully or the bullied? I think the answer is obvious.

"jsfitz54 said:
It needs to be made a global movement to agree not to buy or even broader to include all consumer electronics. Lets face it, we could all afford to skip buying for a month.
The sheeple will never boycott. If they need something they buy the first shiny that fits their requirements.
Posted on Reply
#10
RichF
"Vayra86 said:
Is this news?
Yes.

"Vayra86 said:
There has always been a wide pricing range on Asus products that are 100% the same
So, the news is that there is still a problem.
Posted on Reply
#11
Vayra86
"Xaled said:
None of the cards you highlighted here are the same. they have either different amount of memory, different clock speeds or different coolers.
Yes, but there are large price variances across every single SKU regardless of how small the differences are, and in the case of Asus there are even self-imposed locks on things like 'being able to overclock', most notably the Strix O8G 1080's versus the 8G 1080's.

It was an example of how minute or 'fake' differences are sufficient to create different 'products' with different prices. This Arez stuff is just more of the same and has little to do with GPP. Its Asus strategy above all, and Asus is not alone in this either. EVGA is another good example, MSI too. And it happens with Nvidia ánd AMD SKUs.

I could also argue that 'I'd want the AREZ' Vega because of its collector's value. There is a VERY small number of cards with that specific sticker and I'm a real enthusiast.. There you go - a difference.
Posted on Reply
#12
the54thvoid
"FordGT90Concept said:
Sheeple will never boycott. If they need something they buy the first shiny that fits their requirements.
Boycotting for an inferior product to 'play a computer game' is a waste of ethics. And if that first shiny delivers a performance that the competitor cannot match? Well, colour me green. And red for my CPU.

Anyway, we should be boycotting AMD for selling out the x86 licence to China by means of a backdoor bungle.

As for that Arez pricing? That will be a collector piece soon. An anomaly, like a Star Wars figurine with a different paint job.
Posted on Reply
#13
Vya Domus
"the54thvoid said:

Anyway, we should be boycotting AMD for selling out the x86 licence to China by means of a backdoor bungle.
Because selling some IP to a foreign country impacts you more than a 'computer game' ? Weird set of priorities I must say.

"Vayra86 said:
This Arez stuff is just more of the same and has little to do with GPP.
I am sure you know just as much as everyone else here that it had everything to do with GPP.

"Vayra86 said:

It was an example of how minute or 'fake' differences are sufficient to create different 'products' with different prices.
That's just not true , you make it sound as if ASUS has no clue as to what they are selling and make up prices based on random variation. Branding costs money , you will never sell that product at the same price. At least not for the time being, companies almost never work on a loss. The prices you see are no mistake.
Posted on Reply
#14
Ubersonic
I still can't believe ASUS are keeping the lame duck AREZ branding despite it being DOA and all the GPP baggage.

If anything it should give people money off, it's like putting a Celeron sticker on a CPU haha.
Posted on Reply
#15
dj-electric
The ugly and terrible truth about GPP is that it has never died.
Even if the contracts are not gonna happen between nvidia and AIBs, The message has been sent - "remove AMD branding from your flagship gaming series or we would make sure you gonna regret that".

It's done. Hardware Mafia in full force, with no way to police and regulate as those who do are a part of the exact same system. That's the kind of grim reality we have to accept.
Posted on Reply
#16
bug
"Lobolawn said:
I always wondered why people went "in" on nvidia when all this happened. Why not go in on ASUS. How fast did they change there website? how fast did they say "yes daddy" and touch their toes for nvdia. That website for AREZ was up over night, And those arez stickers were changed in photoshop in the first 24 hours. Yes daddy lol. If nvidia can punk them as a company so easily why not try it every chance they get. Its all about money for them anyway. There has NEVER been a "loyalty to gamers". We made that up. Mining shows that too. They dont want a lane for you and me they want money. Its not nvidias fault everyone (companies fans customers) were so easy. It highlights what companies will do so easily. Give up trusted and established brand names at the drop of a hat to gain entry to a club they are already in. LOL
Yeah, even this "news" right here is just Asus trying to make back the money they wasted on Arez on the back of their customers.
Posted on Reply
#17
RichF
"FordGT90Concept said:
The sheeple will never boycott. If they need something they buy the first shiny that fits their requirements.
I don't know how correct he was, but the sociology prof I had as an undergrad said revolutions nearly never occur unless the people revolting feel they have a strong chance of winning.

So, "sheeple" may be sheep-like because they don't feel they stand much of a chance of being successful with something like a boycott. Instead of looking down at them, which is what we are trained to do in individualist cultures (it's always the few bad apples who are to blame, not systemic flaws), we should probably ask ourselves how likely a boycott would be to succeed.

The China IP example, for instance, seems to be a case where a boycott would be completely ineffective. Not only is the cat out of the bag, China is just too big of a profit target for a company like AMD to pass up.
Posted on Reply
#18
Lobolawn
"FordGT90Concept said:
Asus is a Taiwanese company with no protections against GPP. It was either do as NVIDIA said or quit selling graphics cards. Graphics cards make them $100s of millions of dollars so Asus bent over backwards.


Should we blame the bully or the bullied? I think the answer is obvious.


The sheeple will never boycott. If they need something they buy the first shiny that fits their requirements.
Yes we should blame them both. The companies could have come together on something but that is "Against the rules" And its stupid. We live in the future, their protections are social (media etc whistle blowing leaking). That IS what stopped Nvidia in the first place. For what ever part they play in this mess, (AS IT HAPPENS) they should take action on their accountability in preventing it. They could have called it before WE called it. We don't need to tell them too. They KNEW what it was all along.
Posted on Reply
#19
the54thvoid
"Vya Domus said:
Because selling some IP to a foreign country impacts you more than a 'computer game' ? Weird set of priorities I must say.
Well, it impacts all of us more, yes. Arguably China getting it's own x86 licence is a blow to American interests, which on the grand scale is more important than a computer game. So when people talk of boycotts, it's important to grade global priority.

FWIW, I'm not heavily invested in either, but objectively, one is worse.
Posted on Reply
#20
ssdpro
The disconnect is strong in this article. What does the now defunct GPP have to do with ASUS deciding to up the price of an AREZ branded card by $170? I can't find anywhere in the old GPP program a requirement to charge a specific price increase for a competing brand name or brand name sku.
Posted on Reply
#21
Vayra86
"Vya Domus said:
Because selling some IP to a foreign country impacts you more than a 'computer game' ? Weird set of priorities I must say.



I am sure you know just as much as everyone else here that it had everything to do with GPP.



That's just not true , you make it sound as if ASUS has no clue as to what they are selling and make up prices based on random variation. Branding costs money , you will never sell that product at the same price. At least not for the time being, companies almost never work on a loss. The prices you see are no mistake.
Asus knows exactly what it is selling, but the consumers don't. They get screwed left and right - and AREZ is just another one in the long list of ripoffs from this company. Thát was my point. And thát is why this has little do with GPP and everything with company culture and strategy.

Take a step back and broaden your view a bit. The reason all this branding exists is precisely to extract a premium price for the same product. And Arez is a collectors' item even if just for the community backlash.

Also... about priorities? Selling out IP versus a price hike on a graphics card and you consider the latter of greater importance?! What are you smoking?

"ssdpro said:
The disconnect is strong in this article. What does the now defunct GPP have to do with ASUS deciding to up the price of an AREZ branded card by $170? I can't find anywhere in the old GPP program a requirement to charge a specific price increase for a competing brand name or brand name sku.
:toast: At least some people see things as they are.

Gotta love how some people here are already screaming 'GPP is still alive'... TPU "news" reporting doing a number on people here.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
"Lobolawn said:
We live in the future, their protections are social (media etc whistle blowing leaking). That IS what stopped Nvidia in the first place.
Investigative journalism by HardOCP is what stopped it. Without proof, all social media can do is rumor, theory, conjecture, and hearsay which gets handily dismissed.


"ssdpro said:
The disconnect is strong in this article. What does the now defunct GPP have to do with ASUS deciding to up the price of an AREZ branded card by $170? I can't find anywhere in the old GPP program a requirement to charge a specific price increase for a competing brand name or brand name sku.
It's likely a share of what it cost Asus to create the AREZ brand. Asus has to recover the cost somewhere.
Posted on Reply
#23
bug
"ssdpro said:
The disconnect is strong in this article. What does the now defunct GPP have to do with ASUS deciding to up the price of an AREZ branded card by $170? I can't find anywhere in the old GPP program a requirement to charge a specific price increase for a competing brand name or brand name sku.
You also can't find a requirement for Asus to keep Strix for Nvidia and create another brand for AMD, but that never stopped a good bashing.
There is a link between GPP and the price hike, though: Asus jumped onto the GPP bandwagon, poured money into the Arez branding and was left out in the cold when Nvidia canceled GPP. But the decision to make their money back from customers, that's solely on Asus.
Posted on Reply
#24
Vayra86
"bug said:
You also can't find a requirement for Asus to keep Strix for Nvidia and create another brand for AMD, but that never stopped a good bashing.
There is a link between GPP and the price hike, though: Asus jumped onto the GPP bandwagon, poured money into the Arez branding and was left out in the cold when Nvidia canceled GPP. But the decision to make their money back from customers, that's solely on Asus.
As is the decision to buy an overpriced card because of a sticker. I'm not seeing the problems here... but I guess I'm weird
Posted on Reply
#25
Vya Domus
"Vayra86 said:

Take a step back and broaden your view a bit.
You would have to be very naive to believe ASUS would go out of their way to ask a premium for a sticker on a product that they know most consumers already think isn't very appealing. They didn't do it because they genuinely thought that will bring them more cash, they did it because the surroundings forced them to do so , namely Nvidia and their program. Think for a bloody second , how do you rip off people with a brand that has no background by making an already expensive product even more expensive ? You are again trying to make it sound like this company is run by absolute morons and no else was involved in this. Actually scratch that , they were morons but not for that reason, they were morons because they bent over and it cost them a bit.

I don't know if you intentionally refuse to see how things really were or that you really can't understand what happened but I would go by your words as well and tell you to broaden your view a bit as well.

The root cause of this whole Arez garbage thing wasn't ASUS trying to rip off consumers , it was Nvidia trying to rip off consumers or rather to make sure that the number of consumers than are being ripped off doesn't go down.

"Vayra86 said:

Also... about priorities? Selling out IP versus a price hike on a graphics card and you consider the latter of greater importance?!
Well let's see , can you come up with a concise reason why those IPs would be detrimental to your well being at some point in time ? We all like to talk about big things and how it will affect us greatly. Meanwhile the price hike is already there and directly affecting some consumers. Boycotting one is just as worthless as boycotting the other and therefore I see no importance in neither one of them.
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