News Posts matching "GPP"

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Revised NVIDIA Reviewers NDA Raises Eyebrows: Our Thoughts

An "attack on journalism" exclaims German tech publication Heise.de, on NVIDIA's latest non-disclosure agreement (NDA), a document tech journalists and reviewers have to sign in order to receive graphics card samples and information from NVIDIA. The language of this NDA, released verbatim to the web by Heise, provides a glimpse of what terms reviewers agree to, in order to write launch-day reviews of new products. NDAs are sort of like the EULA you agree to before installing software. There are NDAs for even little things like new thermal pastes, and reviewers end up signing dozens of them each year. Over time, it becomes second nature for reviewers to not publish before a date prescribed by the manufacturer, NDA or not.

The spirit of an NDA is: "we are giving you information/a sample in good faith, don't post your review before date/time/timezone." Such an NDA casts no aspersions on the credibility of the review since it doesn't dictate how the review should be, or what it should say. It doesn't say "don't post your review before we approve what you wrote." NVIDIA samples usually ship with a PDF titled "reviewer's guide," which only politely suggests to reviewers something along the lines of "here's our cool new graphics card that's capable of playing this game at that resolution with these settings, just don't test it on something like Linux with Nouveau drivers, because that either won't work or won't show what our card is truly capable of." Heise's close inspection of the latest NDA by NVIDIA suggests to them that NVIDIA is mandating positive reviews now. We disagree.

Where AREZ Thou, GPP? ASUS 180's, Announces ROG Branding is Here to Stay

Well, if doubts ever existed, those have been somewhat dispelled in recent times, but this must be the final nail in the GPP coffin. Hopefully, it's also the proverbial nail to show customers Green, Red and Blue (seldom-remembered Intel was also a target) of what exactly NVIDIA's program entailed. NVIDIA found itself in a rather embattled field against tech publications and consumers alike when the first match was lit on what GPP was and what it forced NVIDIA partners to do with their brands. Turns out exclusively aligning them with NVIDIA products would give incredibly relevant advantages compared to partners who didn't, forcing an otherwise healthy ecosystem to converge on the dominant market player.

After around two months of story coverage, NVIDIA terminated the GPP program - begrudgingly so, and seemingly forgetting everything about the way things are meant to be played. However, some AMD partners had already announced some exclusive AMD-branded graphics cards, with new, market recognition-absent brands such as ASUS's AREZ and (it all seems to point that way) MSI's MECH 2 series of graphics cards. What were they to do in the wake of GPP's earlier-than-expected burial? These companies spent marketing and design funds to come up with new brands and designs, after all.
UPDATE (22/05): ASUS informed us that the tweet which was the basis of the original report is not operated by ASUS. The company stated that it will continue to sell ASUS ROG and AREZ branded graphics cards side-by-side. ASUS is in the process of getting Twitter to take down the impersonating handle.

Dell and HP Not Interested in Jumping on the NVIDIA GPP Bandwagon

Our colleague Kyle Bennett from HardOCP has spoken with his trusted industry sources and found out that big names like Dell and HP haven't penned the deal with NVIDIA to join the GeForce Partner Program (GPP). HP recently introduced their updated Pavilion Gaming lineup with both AMD and NVIDIA graphics card options, which goes to show that the computer giant hasn't aligned its gaming brand exclusively with NVIDIA. On the other hand, their Omen Gaming boxes weren't available with AMD graphics cards, which Kyle has noted could be a product of a supply issue. In other news, NVIDIA hasn't been able to convince Lenovo, one of the big three OEMs, to join their cause either. Lenovo Legion gaming products were still listed on their website with graphics cards from the red team. HardOCP has reached out to NVIDIA once again to inquire about which brands have comitted to GPP, but they were met with silence.

While brands like ASUS, Gigabyte, and MSI are siding with NVIDIA, Dell and HP are the real big players in the game. No other manufacturer comes close to purchasing and moving the amount of mid-end and low-end graphics cards from NVIDIA like those two do. It doesn't really come as a surprise why NVIDIA wants them to jump onboard so desperately. Kyle's behind-the-scene conversations with this sources suggest that neither Dell or HP will NVIDIA twist their arms as they consider GPP to be unethical and illegal.

In Aftermath of NVIDIA GPP, ASUS Creates AREZ Brand for Radeon Graphics Cards

Graphics card manufacturers are gradually starting to align their gaming brands with NVIDIA to get admission into the exclusive GeForce Partner Program (GPP). Although there isn't any official confirmation on behalf of the NVIDIA AIB partners, small but significant changes are starting to become evident. The first example comes from Gigabyte's Aorus gaming line. Gigabyte currently offers the Gaming Box external graphics enclosure with a GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080, or a Radeon RX 580. If we look at the packaging closely, we can clearly see that the RX 580 box lacks the Aorus branding. However, Gigabyte isn't alone though. MSI is apparently in favor of GPP too as they remove all their Radeon Gaming X models from their global website. Take the Radeon RX 580 for instance. The RX 580 models from the Armor lineup are the only ones present. Surprisingly the US website still carries the Gaming X models.

The latest rumor suggests that ASUS is the third AIB partner to jump on the GPP bandwagon. The Taiwanese manufacturer is allegedly creating the AREZ brand to accommodate their Radeon products. The AREZ moniker probably alludes to the Ares series of dual-GPU graphics cards historically centered around AMD GPUs. If this rumor is true, the Strix, Dual, Phoenix, and Expedition Radeon models are going to fall under the new AREZ branding. ASUS might even go as far as dropping their name from the AREZ models entirely.

Drunk on GeForce Partner Program Koolaid, MSI Openly Slanders AMD Radeon

MSI was caught openly slandering AMD Radeon graphics processors in promoting its MSI Gaming Series notebooks featuring NVIDIA GeForce graphics chips. The company is a signatory of the draconian GeForce Partner Program (GPP) by NVIDIA which, in boilerplate regulator-baiting language, tells its add-in card (AIC) partners not to use the same gaming sub-brand (eg: ASUS ROG, MSI Gaming, GIGABYTE Aorus, etc.,) for GPUs from any other brand (i.e. AMD Radeon). When it's in effect, ASUS, for example, can't sell an ROG Strix-branded Radeon graphics card, MSI can't sell an RX Vega 64 Gaming X, and it's probably why GIGABYTE stripped the RX 580 Gaming Box of Aorus branding.

In one of its regional Facebook pages, an official Facebook page customer response handle was seen openly stating "NVIDIA currently are ahead in the GPU experience," (keyword being "experience" and not performance), suggesting that its competition is sub-par. The handle was responding to a question as to why the notebook didn't come with AMD Radeon graphics options. Facebook users were quick to torch the MSI handle with a flame-war, and MSI corporate redacted the post stating "We apologize for making an inappropriate comment. It did not represent MSI's official views."

NVIDIA's New GPP Program Reportedly Engages in Monopolistic Practices

A report from HardOCP's Kyle Bennet aims to shake NVIDIA's foundations, with allegations of anti-competitive business practices under its new GeForce Partner Program (GPP). In his report, which started with an AMD approach that pushed him to look a little closer into GPP, Bennet says that he has found evidence that NVIDIA's new program aims to push partners towards shunning products from other hardware manufacturers - mainly AMD, with a shoot across the bow for Intel.

After following the breadcrumb trail and speaking with NVIDIA AIBs and OEM partners ("The ones that did speak to us have done so anonymously, in fear of losing their jobs, or having retribution placed upon them or their companies by NVIDIA," Bennett says), the picture is painted of an industry behemoth that aims to abuse its currently dominant market position. NVIDIA controls around 70% of the discrete GPU market share, and its industrious size is apparently being put to use to outmuscle its competitors' offerings by, essentially, putting partners between the proverbial rock and a hard place. According to Bennet, industry players unanimously brought about three consequences from Nvidia's GPP, saying that "They think that it has terms that are likely illegal; GPP is likely going to tremendously hurt consumers' choices; It will disrupt business with the companies that they are currently doing business with, namely AMD and Intel."
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