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FERMI and nVidia Board Partners - time to favor?

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
2,808
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nVidia Authorized Board Partners. It's a short list:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/pf_boardpartners.html

For months we've heard about yields; yet here we are, closer to what we hope is a hard launch.

With ATI, it seems the brands I favor least are first to market. What's to happen with nVidia? Who will be first to market? Who will have more, with more frequent restocks? And I can't resist this one, who deserves to have more?

EVGA, green with envy for nVidia and a non-defector. BFG, equally dependent on a successful implementation, and also a non-defector. XFX, a brand we covet, but one that's selling ATI cards like crazy. Asus, well they're Asus, they don't care what color it is. And all the rest.

Demand exceeding supply is the magic stuff. Spare whatever GT200 shortage fell from the sky, nVidia loyal partners haven't been on that side of the curve in a while. In my opinion, they deserve to be first to market, and deserve higher goods allocation.
 

blanketyblank

Golden Member
Jan 23, 2007
1,149
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Are you crazy? That's like asking to get sued. If Nvidia favors one manufacturer over another because they sold a competitors card that is anticompetitive behavior and cause for an antitrust suit. Whether or not they win lawsuits are expensive and will hurt their rep. At best Nvidia can do first come first serve, split evenly, or proporionate orders for some legitimate business reason.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
12,968
221
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Are you crazy? That's like asking to get sued. If Nvidia favors one manufacturer over another because they sold a competitors card that is anticompetitive behavior and cause for an antitrust suit. Whether or not they win lawsuits are expensive and will hurt their rep. At best Nvidia can do first come first serve, split evenly, or proporionate orders for some legitimate business reason.
Not only that but my guess is that Nvidia's sales department has special breaks for certain vendors based on sales volume.

I find it hard to believe selling ATI would hurt this unless carrying the additional brand reduced the companies buying power.
 
Dec 30, 2004
12,554
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Are you crazy? That's like asking to get sued. If Nvidia favors one manufacturer over another because they sold a competitors card that is anticompetitive behavior and cause for an antitrust suit. Whether or not they win lawsuits are expensive and will hurt their rep. At best Nvidia can do first come first serve, split evenly, or proporionate orders for some legitimate business reason.
Not only that but my guess is that Nvidia's sales department has special breaks for certain vendors based on sales volume.

I find it hard to believe selling ATI would hurt this unless carrying the additional brand reduced the companies buying power.
well it wouldn't work like that, any video card vendor could get any sized loan they want at good rates to purchase the capital. So there wouldn't be any "reduced buying power".
 

ExcaliburMM

Senior member
Jan 24, 2009
606
2
81
www.Staredit.net
Don't be so quick to discredit MSI and PNY. MSI is building its reputation very well in the last couple of generations, their 5xxx specialized OCers are generating buzz. PNY is solid if not a standout, my 8600GT 512MB DDR3 is to this day running like a trooper. Zotac is fine for the low end GPUs, and I believe Galaxy and Palit like to make special editions of various cards as well IIRC.

That being said, yes EVGA, BFG, and XFX are some of the tops. Less so BFG as of late IMO, unless you want one of their silly overpriced ready for water cards. XFX's warranty is indeed highly coveted, so defector or not, NV isn't going to try and offend them lest they go totally red, and EVGA the loyal and reliable will certainly be in favor if anyone is.
 

cbn

Lifer
Mar 27, 2009
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XFX's warranty is indeed highly coveted, so defector or not, NV isn't going to try and offend them lest they go totally red, and EVGA the loyal and reliable will certainly be in favor if anyone is.
Do you really think Nvidia rewards companies for being loyal?

Is this what you mean by "in favor".

I am inclined to believe "business" matters more to Nvidia than anything else. As long as the company can buy and move product that is all that should matter.

In fact, If a company can move more product by selling both brands that might improve their ability to negotiate better prices with Nvidia? Or am I missing something here?

I do realize designing all these fancy SLI boards and custom PCB video cards takes resources. Therefore I can imagine an extra amount of cross talk occurs with certain companies and Nvidia. That alone could help pricing if design strategy ends up getting shared. But what does this have to do with being a one branded seller? Seriously I admit being clueless about IT so correct me if I am wrong.
 
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gorobei

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2007
3,194
346
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actually EVGA tried to get on the red wagon back with the 4870, but AMD/ATI wanted to keep their number of partners small.

PNY is only an official partner because they purchased the rights to the quadro line. the rest of their consumer cards have typically been on the lower end of quality. consider yourself lucky if your card is holding up, i remember a number of horror stories about PNY from the 8600 days.

effectively ALL the initial fermi cards are going to be default factory reference designs, so it really isn't going to matter much beyond warranty coverage.
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
7,411
395
126
Maybe I'm just lucky, but I had 2x 8800GTXs (friend's), 3x 8800GTs and a couple of 8500GTs and 8600GTs, all PNY. They've been holding up extremely well.
 

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
2,808
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Don't be so quick to discredit MSI and PNY. MSI is building its reputation very well in the last couple of generations, their 5xxx specialized OCers are generating buzz. PNY is solid if not a standout, my 8600GT 512MB DDR3 is to this day running like a trooper. Zotac is fine for the low end GPUs, and I believe Galaxy and Palit like to make special editions of various cards as well IIRC.

That being said, yes EVGA, BFG, and XFX are some of the tops. Less so BFG as of late IMO, unless you want one of their silly overpriced ready for water cards. XFX's warranty is indeed highly coveted, so defector or not, NV isn't going to try and offend them lest they go totally red, and EVGA the loyal and reliable will certainly be in favor if anyone is.
Agreed on MSI, they're Lightning offerings are the most exciting OEM alternatives in the last two years IMO.
 

CurseTheSky

Diamond Member
Oct 21, 2006
5,401
1
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The brand logo on your graphics card only matters for the said brand's warranty and other tech support, and any innovative (or lack thereof) features placed on the card that deviates from the reference design.

Otherwise, unless a brand is specifically using lesser quality components, a reference card is a reference card. I personally pay extra for EVGA and XFX simply for the excellent support, though I can't speak for XFX quite yet. I've been loyal to EVGA since my 6800 GT and I will continue to be so long as Nvidia produces a good card and EVGA continues their track record.

On lower-end and even midrange cards I usually buy whatever brand is cheapest. Chances are, if it dies in a year or two, I'll just throw it out and buy something else.
 

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
2,808
0
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The brand logo on your graphics card only matters for the said brand's warranty and other tech support, and any innovative (or lack thereof) features placed on the card that deviates from the reference design.

Otherwise, unless a brand is specifically using lesser quality components, a reference card is a reference card. I personally pay extra for EVGA and XFX simply for the excellent support, though I can't speak for XFX quite yet. I've been loyal to EVGA since my 6800 GT and I will continue to be so long as Nvidia produces a good card and EVGA continues their track record.

On lower-end and even midrange cards I usually buy whatever brand is cheapest. Chances are, if it dies in a year or two, I'll just throw it out and buy something else.
Well said from a buyer's standpoint. But from a board partner's standpoint..
 

Wag

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2000
8,285
3
81
These days I wouldn't buy anything other than EVGA or BFG simply because of their trade-up policies and lifetime support, otherwise I could care less. It used to be I went for the cheapest card, but with prices at a premium, I'd rather pay a little more and go for better support.
 

Zap

Elite Member
Oct 13, 1999
22,377
2
0
Whichever brand has the biggest ties with Dell, HP, Emachines, etc....
Have you ever looked at what goes into those machines? They're unbranded OEM cards. Only boutique builders use branded cards.
 

TXAngel08

Banned
Feb 13, 2010
56
0
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Have you ever looked at what goes into those machines? They're unbranded OEM cards. Only boutique builders use branded cards.
Probably made on the same production line as the branded cards however...

You do know there are, maybe, 3 or 4 companies in the world that make these things, right? EVGA for example does not make a single card, they buy their cards from a production company just like everyone else.

I buy EVGA cards for the company support, not because they are any better than the other half dozen nVidia cards out there.

:D
 

nitromullet

Diamond Member
Jan 7, 2004
9,031
36
91
Well said from a buyer's standpoint. But from a board partner's standpoint..
I dunno. I think it matters from a buyer's standpoint too. Not initially when all the cards come from the same place, but as a core matures the AIBs will start to make their own changes (and cost cutting measures) to the cards.

Here's a thread discussing some of the apparent cost cutting measures XFX took with a later edition of the 4890, and the poor results some users were seeing with these cards.

http://www.overclock.net/ati/634248-xfx-4890-bad-batch-discussion-3.html

...check out the pictures that show the difference between the reference card and XFX's... The XFX revision looks cheap in comparison.

A lot of people knock reference, but personally I'd rather have NVIDIA or ATI design the entire card than have some AIB take shortcuts to increase their margins.
 

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
2,808
0
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I dunno. I think it matters from a buyer's standpoint too. Not initially when all the cards come from the same place, but as a core matures the AIBs will start to make their own changes (and cost cutting measures) to the cards.

Here's a thread discussing some of the apparent cost cutting measures XFX took with a later edition of the 4890, and the poor results some users were seeing with these cards.

http://www.overclock.net/ati/634248-xfx-4890-bad-batch-discussion-3.html

...check out the pictures that show the difference between the reference card and XFX's... The XFX revision looks cheap in comparison.

A lot of people knock reference, but personally I'd rather have NVIDIA or ATI design the entire card than have some AIB take shortcuts to increase their margins.
Interesting point Nitro. I grabbed a couple non-reference XFX 4870's a few months back that I couldn't decide whether I liked or not. They worked, but cost savings was the main difference that kept jumping out at me.

Not to sidetrack too far, but here's one I saw just yesterday. Same thing, I sit on the fence whether this is an improvement over OEM. I'd have to tear one down: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-476-_-Product
 

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
2,808
0
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Thanks for the good comments so far. What got me thinking about this is brand selection moving forward. I've run with XFX branded ATI boards for over a year now. Assuming all the right variables are in order and Fermi proves to be a solid contender, I was thinking about which brand I'd choose. XFX, EVGA, or Asus have been my typical picks for nVidia cards.

I took time to browse EVGA's website and forums. Two things jumped out at me, their aging graphic card lineup, and their die hard fan base.

Here, some brought up legalities, others the fact that business is business. Deserve is a strong word; but the fact is, EVGA will be a highly desired brand as the product launches. If I knew EVGA could sell 100,00 units faster than Galaxy could, I'd move their po to the top of the pile. Business from a units sold standpoint, not to mention the handshakes that happen behind closed doors. "Thanks for enduring, your partnership means a great deal to us."

In any case, for those thinking of going green next month, I hope you're able to find stock in your brand of choice. While the cards may come off the same line, the name matters. Visit their forums, mingle with their fan base..
 

Piotrsama

Senior member
Feb 7, 2010
357
0
76
Regarding XFX and Nvidia, I read some time ago that Nvidia "downgraded" them because they are selling ATI, and that the first batch of fermis would go to their most loyal brands.

actually EVGA tried to get on the red wagon back with the 4870, but AMD/ATI wanted to keep their number of partners small.
Well, that's a rumor, EVGA denied that and said that AMD offered them to sell cards and they refused. (or maybe they got more incentives from Nvidia to stay loyal).
 

MarcVenice

Moderator Emeritus <br>
Apr 2, 2007
5,664
0
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Are you crazy? That's like asking to get sued. If Nvidia favors one manufacturer over another because they sold a competitors card that is anticompetitive behavior and cause for an antitrust suit. Whether or not they win lawsuits are expensive and will hurt their rep. At best Nvidia can do first come first serve, split evenly, or proporionate orders for some legitimate business reason.
It's a known fact that Nvidia (and ATI) sell more boards to certain AIB's then to others. ATI favors Sapphire for example. They can simply sell gpu's to whoever pays the most. In fact, they are even't required to sell any boards to anyone they don't want to. There's nothing anti-competitive about rewarding a loyal company. It's how you do it of course, but selling more cards, at a better price, to a loyal company is completely legal.
 

v8envy

Platinum Member
Sep 7, 2002
2,720
0
0
No, it is NOT legal. That's the exact definition of grounds for anti-trust. If it were legal to do that you would have massive conglomerates with monopolies in every vertical market.

Regulators take a dim view of preferential treatment. It's one thing to state "do X and qualify for better pricing" and quite another to quietly implement "we like company Y, they get better pricing."

What NV could have done is give allocation based on a first-come-first-served basis. As in, fill the partner orders (the guys who have been surviving in G92 cards for 2 quarters now) first, before anyone else gets on board and manages to submit their orders. In this case I see XFX, Asus and MSI coming out ahead -- they didn't have to shrink because they had low NV and high end ATI revenue coming the entire time.
 

Hauk

Platinum Member
Nov 22, 2001
2,808
0
0
No, it is NOT legal. That's the exact definition of grounds for anti-trust. If it were legal to do that you would have massive conglomerates with monopolies in every vertical market.

Regulators take a dim view of preferential treatment. It's one thing to state "do X and qualify for better pricing" and quite another to quietly implement "we like company Y, they get better pricing."

What NV could have done is give allocation based on a first-come-first-served basis. As in, fill the partner orders (the guys who have been surviving in G92 cards for 2 quarters now) first, before anyone else gets on board and manages to submit their orders. In this case I see XFX, Asus and MSI coming out ahead -- they didn't have to shrink because they had low NV and high end ATI revenue coming the entire time.
So as manufacturer, I cannot sell whatever quantity at whatever price I want to company A, and sell whatever quantity at whatever price I want to to company B?

This is considered a violation of US anti-trust laws?
 

mm2587

Member
Nov 2, 2006
76
0
0
well it depends heavily on the situation. If that situation is company A gets more quantity/lower price then company B because company A doesn't sell our competitors product and B does then yes it is illegal.

I company A simply negotiated a better price then B or is selling more/getting a bulk discount then no its not an anti-trust violation
 

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