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Bikerdude

nVidia & the GTX970: caught in a lie

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So I emailed Gigabyte/nVidia for an official reponse -

Gigabyte:

Thank you for your kindly mail and inquiry. With the recent GeForce GTX 970 VRAM issue that has drawn concerns in this week, we would like to make the following clarifications:

  1. All GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 970 series graphics cards available on the market are equipped with a total of 4GB of dedicated graphics memory, which is consistent with the specifications stated on both GIGABYTE and NVIDIA websites.
  2. To optimize memory traffic under the new NVIDIA MAXWELL GTX 970 GPU configuration, the 4GB graphics memory is segmented into a 3.5GB section and a 0.5GB section, and the memory capacity can still be utilized up to 4GB as specified.
  3. Gaming performance is not directly associated with how memory is segmented, rather depending on game quality settings and display resolutions. It all comes down to GPU computing capability between GTX 980 and GTX 970 that makes the difference in performance. (Please see the comparison chart below).

01.png

1. nVidia have officially backtracked on the specifications so no, the specification of the card is NOT consistent any more.
2. I didn't ask for a tech lesson, I am fully aware of how the memory is segmented and how that DIRECTLY effects the performance of the card.
3. Your are completely WRONG on that statement as it has been proven on multiple websites (and nVidia have admitted the fact) that it DOES have a DIRECT association. I have already seen that chart and it contradicts your own statement.

Clearly Gigabyte don't want to get their hand's dirty, so I will be emailing nVidia UK on this matter quoting your reply.

nVidia:

post-496-0-81534100-1423914051_thumb.jpg

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upgrade to a 980.

 

Then you could feel the power of the FULLY ALLOCATED 4 GB VRAM.

 

This scandal is about 2 weeks old. Is the pressure on NVIDIA increasing, because I haven't noticed.

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This scandal is about 2 weeks old. Is the pressure on NVIDIA increasing, because I haven't noticed.

Well two online retailers over here in the UK are offering full refunds, some manufactures on the 0therhand (Gigabyte) seem to be trying to wash their hands of it.

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I understand the rants but although I didn't really look into it I ask if Nvidia or Gigabyte stated anywhere that the memory is adressed in the optimal way. I would be pissed, too. But from what I heard it's not like that those 512MB RAM can't be used at all.

The Linux Kernel is probably better than the Windows NT Kernel when it comes to performance relative matters like scheduling and memory allocation but still nobody wants a refund on Windows because it doesn't use the optimal way to make use of existing hardware.

Edited by Hiradur

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I would settle for some redeemable steam game codes,

This is reasonable in my mind but I think what they're actually doing is offering refunds on the 970 if you want one.

 

or pay the difference for an upgrade to a 980.

Har! This is a "free lunch" that I think many are trying to take advantage of. We all know this sort of upgrade isn't going to happen.

 

The whole thing is basically like McDonalds not telling you the coffee is HOT and then sueing them cause it burned you. There are 4GB of RAM on the card, yes it affects performance in extreme cases. I mean, what do you guys think, maybe 90% of the customer base is running 1080p single monitor? I doubt you'd ever see any issue at that res and if you did you would be running absurd GFX quality settings.

 

If this card was originally sold with 3.5GB VRAM +additional 500MB of "extreme cache" or whatever... no fewer cards would have been sold.

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  • But from what I heard it's not like that those 512MB RAM can't be used at all.

The Linux Kernel is probably better than the Windows NT Kernel when it comes to performance relative matters like scheduling and memory allocation but still nobody wants a refund on Windows because it doesn't use the optimal way to make use of existing hardware.

  • You can address the remaining 512MB, but due to the way its accessed its far slower than proceeding 3.5GB

The issue is hardware related on the gfx card itself, It dosent matter what OS your using, when you cross the 3.5GB threshold (Which I have done when using nVidia DSR) you get a noticeable slow down.

  • The whole thing is basically like McDonalds not telling you the coffee is HOT and then suing them cause it burned you.

There are 4GB of RAM on the card, yes it affects performance in extreme cases. I mean, what do you guys think, maybe 90% of the customer base is running 1080p single monitor? I doubt you'd ever see any issue at that res and if you did you would be running absurd GFX quality settings.

If this card was originally sold with 3.5GB VRAM +additional 500MB of "extreme cache" or whatever... no fewer cards would have been sold.

  • Er no, thats a very poor contextul analagy. Its like going into mcdonalds and paying for a bigmac meal and then finding one of the two beef patties missing, yes most people wont know the difference but, you didn't get what was advertised or what you paid for.

That's the wrong way to look at it, with nVidia DSR (its an alternative technology to Anti-Aliasing, which nVidia made a big deal about) your going to hit 3.5GB threshold very quickly depending on which game your playing.

Exactly! so nVidia learn from their mistake, compensate their customers and move on.

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Yeah, basically you've got 3.5GB on a 224bit buss and 500MB on a 32bit buss interconnect that is far slower. Still quick though.

 

Because of the binning process, a less than perfect GPU (perfect being 980 spec), with an SM missing because of yeilds/binning, they should have just disabled/not included the last 500MB accessed via the 32bit crosslink. Then it would have been a 3.5GB card period. They could have gotten the same price for the card with less money in it.

 

They gave the consumer more than they should have gotten and then tried to market it the same way they always have.

 

Let's be honest here though. What they should have done was disable the remaining legs the faulty SM (binned that way) and NOT included the additional 500MB memory, and marketed the card as 3.5GB at the same price.

 

No one would have been lied to, the performance "at a certain point" wouldn't change, and consumer would have gotten what they expected.

 

What they did though was give you a bit more for your money but didn't market it correctly and now they're caught in the twist. Its all just kind of dumb.

Edited by Lux

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What they did though was give you a bit more for you money but didn't market it correctly and now they're caught in the twist. Its all just kind of dumb.

In the meantime I will sit here and wait for my steam vouchers :ph34r:

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Oh yeah, DSR, running higher res than you actually can run on the monitor you have. There's another mistake they shouldn't have offered.

 

"most" people that mess around with DSR might be like, "it doesn't work well on my card" not realizing the memory size/bandwidth implications or 4x the resolution. Then you just open a box of complaints from users. Great idea....

 

We don't have ANY video card solutions presently with the VRAM size required to do this effectively for gaming. Maybe a 6GB Titan (um no)? QHD is still pretty new and we really haven't gotten out of the last gen of 1080p performance cards. I mean comon, 3840x2160 is nearly 8.3 megapixels @60fps is close to half a billion pixels/per second. Compression or not, that's a shit load of memory.

 

Maybe 2 gens from now we'll see cards capable of doing this without breaking a sweat but the current 970/980/280X aren't the ones. Even crossfired/sli'd.

Edited by Lux

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  • You can address the remaining 512MB, but due to the way its accessed its far slower than proceeding 3.5GB
  • The issue is hardware related on the gfx card itself, It dosent matter what OS your using, when you cross the 3.5GB threshold (Which I have done when using nVidia DSR) you get a noticeable slow down.

It's in hardware but anything that can be done in hardware can be done in software as well. The difference is that software can be optimized afterwards while hardware can't.

  • Er no, thats a very poor contextul analagy. Its like going into mcdonalds and paying for a bigmac meal and then finding one of the two beef patties missing, yes most people wont know the difference but, you didn't get what was advertised or what you paid for.

This isn't a good analogy either, it's more like paying for a bigmac deal which tastes worse than it usually does because the cooking method was altered. It's the same product (without anything missing) but inferior to what you are used to.

 

@Lux: I use DSR on a GTX 760 4GB as well for 4x1920x1200 resolution and for older games it's superb and runs well. But I never expected to be able to run current titles in 4k with it.

Edited by Hiradur

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The whole thing is basically like McDonalds not telling you the coffee is HOT and then sueing them cause it burned you.

 

Well it worked out quite well for Liebeck, if not anybody else.

 

They gave the consumer more than they should have gotten and then tried to market it the same way they always have.

 

Let's be honest here though. What they should have done was disable the remaining legs the faulty SM (binned that way) and NOT included the additional 500MB memory, and marketed the card as 3.5GB at the same price.

 

No one would have been lied to, the performance "at a certain point" wouldn't change, and consumer would have gotten what they expected.

 

What they did though was give you a bit more for your money but didn't market it correctly and now they're caught in the twist. Its all just kind of dumb.

 

Consumers aren't dumb for demanding truth in marketing. It's not about what they should have gotten, it's what they were promised. They were promised 4 GB of the same memory, no trickery. They got 3.5 GB + crippled 0.5 GB. Even if it makes no difference to GTX 970 being a good card, NVIDIA made a mistake, and now it's time for some punishment. Game credits or a measly $25 check/coupon from a class action are probably better awards for the consumer than a refund, given that the card runs almost exactly as well as it would with the full 4 GB. Anybody who wants a refund should get one. Just don't take a hammer to the card before sending it back.

Edited by jaxa

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  • Oh yeah, DSR, running higher res than you actually can run on the monitor you have. There's another mistake they shouldn't have offered.
  • We don't have ANY video card solutions presently with the VRAM size required to do this effectively for gaming.

 

  • Well I don't see why not, depending on the game/screen res It actually offer potentially more perf/qaulity than using AA would.
  • I have have played a few games at 4x DSR (4K) I have even play The Darkmod @ 4K.

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The whole thing is basically like McDonalds not telling you the coffee is HOT and then sueing them cause it burned you.

 

 

No, suing because hot coffee burned you is stupidity...in my opinion...but when a company markets something as one thing when it is not, that deserves to be rectified.

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Well it worked out quite well for Liebeck, if not anybody else.

Yeah, and what do we call this kind of person? Smart? Crafty? They're taking advantage.

 

This is a circular argument though. Customer takes advantage of McDonalds through legal loophole, Nvidia takes advantage of customer through legal loophole.

 

Should Nvidia be punished? Should Liebeck be punished? For what?

 

 

Consumers aren't dumb for demanding truth in marketing. It's not about what they should have gotten, it's what they were promised.

They were promised 4GB VRAM and that's what they got. Nothing anyone can do about it.

 

They were promised 4 GB of the same memory, no trickery. They got 3.5 GB + crippled 0.5 GB.

Not sure where this was ever stated? box says 4GB VRAM, doesn't say how its alotted, doesn't say anything else. AND most importantly --It never has!

 

You think when a consumer buys a hard drive that says 256GB they're going to get that? Oh... precedent, we already closed that loophole. You think when a consumer buys 8GB system RAM they're aware that the computer is going to use 12.5% of that for itself and you can't use it? No, you'd think the user is just ignorant of the facts of OS operation.

 

 

Even if it makes no difference to GTX 970 being a good card, NVIDIA made a mistake, and now it's time for some punishment.

Agreed I guess. To err is human, to be the all knowing all seeing all manufacturing giant that is Nvidia, you're right, we should take them for everything they have and weaken the giant and laugh at the sniveling once giant corpse. It just too bad that being the large corp they are, I'm sure they foresaw this backlash since release, knowing it was coming, and had their legal team assure them that nothing bad would come of it as a result. At least nothing "company threatening".

 

Game credits or a measly $25 check/coupon from a class action are probably better awards for the consumer than a refund, given that the card runs almost exactly as well as it would with the full 4 GB. Anybody who wants a refund should get one. Just don't take a hammer to the card before sending it back.

I agree here. Anyone who purchased a 970 should get like $25-50 dollar reimbursement and anyone who wants to return a card can do so.

 

I just think that even if they do nothing besides "offer an apology", it won't matter either way. I guarantee you that >90% of people that bought a 970 were:

#1 Completely unaware of this until someone else brought it to light.

#2 Completely happy with their freakin amazing 970 video card.

Edited by Lux

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Lux why are you so actively defending Nvidia? You don't win nothing by doing that man, and just make it so a BIG corporation that has no love for you, make a mistake like this and come clean, we all lose, consumers SHOULD reclaim even if there was promised a green screw but the card came with a red one, but on this case it was worse, people thought they add a 4GB card with full performance, Nvidia never said the last 500MB were slower or even that they existed at all in a separate configuration, just because they came with a excuse saying mea culpa, there was a "miscommunication" between departments, makes everything ok for you? We are talking about Nvidia here they have a marketing department full of professional people with years of experience on GPU hardware and no one caught the mistake?! And even if theres was a mistake they SHOULD pay for it i have no petty for them but IMO they were hoping users to not notice and gain a good profit with that, but got caught with their pants down and are just trying to clean their face.

 

Before some people think i'm of this opinion because i'm a AMD user, forget it, i don't care about AMD either, they make cards that i like and i buy them period but if some day they lie to me or anyone else, i promise you i will not actively defend them (even tho i did defend them before when people were making untrue and unjust statements) if they start using this anti consumer tactics then is their problem, theres no brand loyalty to me.

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he always likes to play devils advocate aswell...

Who..me ?_? Biker, you don't know me very well at all, and yet you know me soo well. :D

 

I'm not an Nvidia fan boy or employee. Its just that their product is good and their driver support is better than anything else out there and has been for a while. What are we to do? What choice do we have?

 

All I'm trying to say about Nvidia is this -- Most everyone loves the card, they just wish Nvidia hadn't done what they did, it's a "principle" thing... I get it. But whatever, it doesn't affect aNYTHINg really. In extreme cases, sure but for the majority of everyone that bought the card, nothing is different.

 

Principles wise... yeah, comon Nvidia, be straight with your loyal customer base and they'll keep being loyal. They probably lost some future customers doing what they did. Maybe they'll make amends. They learned along with everyone else, don't try to slip something by the tech community or you'll lose.

 

I'm pretty certain and I guess you can hold me to this, but I'm pretty certain that nothing is going to happen to them in court/class action whatever/false advertising/etc. because the box says 4GB, the card has 4GB.

 

There may be some precedent if it does go to court where in the future, companies have to stipulate if there are divisions of the memory or other subsystems and have them listed EXACTLY as they are on the card.

 

That would be a good thing going forward so this can't happen again. I get the whole "principles" argument and its just kind of shaky ground in this particular case, that's all. People getting all bent out of shape about it is kind of humorous, for me at least. The whole thing is a bit grey.

 

That whole "miscommunication between departments" thing too, if you ask me, is a bunch of smoke screen. I think they've had that in their pocket the entire time waiting in case something like this happened but that's just my opinion.

 

And by the way, it may sound like I'm defending them but I'm not. I'm just saying, they lied, the consumer actually got more memory than they sHOULd have gotten, Nvidia spent more than they should have on the card, Nvidia made less money than they should have made, and there probably isn't any recourse that can be taken unfortunately. So getting mad or whatever is just a waste of energy. Forgive, forget, move on with your life.

 

Does anyone know off hand, was there an AMD video card launched around the time the 970gtx was released? Something in direct competiton that ...with the 970 having 3.5GB of VRAM "might" have lost them some/a lot of sales? If that is the case, there may be some "anti competitive" leg to stand on here.

Edited by Lux

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This will all self-correct. Most customers will keep their excellent GTX 970, Nvidia will lose some money, and the marketing department will walk on eggshells for a while.

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This kind of sucks, but its not the end of the world. I wonder how much this slow memory would hurt the performance of Blender Cycles (CUDA). The bigger crime is that the GTX960 has just 2 GB. I would stay far away from that.

 

PS: Anybody want a 700 GB hard drive? Some of the sectors went bad, so portions of the disk are slow as shit, but hey its still 700 GB and (most) of it runs at full speed!

 

Joking obviously...

Edited by lost_soul

--- War does not decide who is right, war decides who is left.

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NVIDIA not only was some kind of "fuzzy" with the memory specifications, but also with the number of rasterizes and L2 cache:

 

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/Nvidia-Grafikkarten-GeForce-GTX-970-hat-auch-weniger-Rasterendstufen-und-L2-Cache-als-behauptet-2529302.html

 

(Sorry, in German, Heise discontinuied their English part).

 

And there is also the entire G-Sync thing, which, according what I read on the internet, is just a hardware module in the monitor telling the GPU "Yes, please enable G-Sync" and otherwise just implements a free spec. E.g. it would work w/o that HW module in the monitor, anyway. So, you know, the consumer can pay for stuff that would work for free anyay, er I mean upgrade his paying experience to utilize powerful DRM technologies to invetize monetary possibilities for eh whateher :rolleyes:


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Speaking of NVIDIA: Under Linux it still works miles better than AMD, and I'm an NVIDIA user since a long time. And its a shame that AMD almost always bundles their GPUs with their CPUs, because that means I'm sort of forced to look at Intel CPUs.

 

Anyway, I'm currently looking at a GTX 960, or a GTX 750, which can be even had as silent version. Both would be a tremendous upgrade to my GT 9800 :D Unfortunalely, both would require a complete new PC, too ...


"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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Good points, Tels. Actually, the difference in price between the 960 and 970 means you should get a 970 with the extra vram. If either would require a complete new PC... then its time to upgrade. Christmas in February for Tels! (Though if I'm being honest you should hold out till the end of the year and get skylake +new gfx).

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