Nvdia and their misleading low end video card strategy

mohit9206

Golden Member
Jul 2, 2013
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http://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=94462
I came across this article and while it is slightly old, it shows how Nvdia is selling low end GPUs like GT730 as new models even though they are still using extremely old GF108 architecture from the GT4xxx series.Morever these "new" video cards are actually slower than the one they are replacing. For example GT730 is actually slower than GT630 and GT820m is just a rebadge of GT435m.
Moreover these new video cards like GT730 cost more than the old faster models it replaces misleading the consumers into thinking they are buying a faster card when in fact they are actually getting the slower card by spending more money.
Moreover each of the card comes in different variety which makes already rebadge of a rebadge of a rebadge even more confusing. Gt730 is a rebadge of GT630 which was a rebadge of gt440 which was a rebadge of gt240 and comes in following flavors.
GT 730 DDR3 128-bit
GT 730 DDR3 64-bit
GT 730 GDDR5 64-bit
As Anandtech puts it
" The GeForce GT 730 is an unfortunate mix of different GPUs. NVIDIA is offering GK208 and GF117 versions of the cards – yes, Fermi is back once again – which means the performance of the card is going to depend on which version it is. All told NVIDIA is offering 3 versions of the card: GK208 with 1GB of GDDR5, GK208 with 2GB of DDR3, and GF117 with 1GB of DDR3. The GK208 GDDR5 version should be the strongest performer, however dueto GK208’s 64-bit memory bus, the GF117 card exists in a particular odd place due to its small CUDA core count (96 Fermi cores) versus its wider 128-bit memory bus."
http://www.anandtech.com/show/8225/best-video-cards-june-2014
Its all very confusing and tailor made to trap buyers into paying more for a slower card. And this is just for GT730.There are also similar things happening with other low end models too like GT720 and GT740 for instance.
I know AMD is notorious for doing this too but certainly not to such an extent. In most cases these $50-80 video cards are barely faster than integrated video in i3 and i5 CPU's and significantly slower than APU's like A8-7600/7700k and A10-7850k.
 
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ShintaiDK

Lifer
Apr 22, 2012
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So you bought the GF117?

Unfortunately you have to blame the OEMs instead. Its those setting the standard and definitions for the lowend. Same reason why entire lines gets rebranded with a new model number/name in lack of newer GPUs.
 
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greatnoob

Senior member
Jan 6, 2014
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The AMD side should be covered too as they are equal to if not as worse as Nvidia when it comes to rebadging their cards.

EDIT: Ok, after actually reading the thread, seems like AMD's actually honest compared to big green in this case.
 
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mohit9206

Golden Member
Jul 2, 2013
1,233
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So you bought the GF117?

Unfortunately you have to blame the OEMs instead. Its those setting the standard and definitions for the lowend. Same reason why entire lines gets rebranded with a new model number/name in lack of newer GPUs.
No i didn't buy it. I was just pointing how Nvdia is trying to fool the customers. I am a little too smart to fall for such tactics.
The AMD side should be covered too as they are equal to if not as worse as Nvidia when it comes to rebadging their cards.

EDIT: Ok, after actually reading the thread, seems like AMD's actually honest compared to big green in this case.
However this isn't just restricted to low end video cards either as clearly the GTX 960 is barely faster than the GTX 760 and actually has less bandwidth than 760(128 bit vs 256 bit) and costs more too.
Yes AMD also does this but not as often.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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People sure like to hate on nvidia. Not that it makes it right, but amd and intel both do it as well. Hell, AMD will probably have rebrands of a rebrand in the R9 3xx series. Not to mention both intel and amd rebranding tablet processors to make them sound like big cores and sneaking them into desktops.

Actually, what i find more annoying than rebranding is selling the same model number with both ddr3 and gddr5. I do think nvidia is more guilty of this than amd. It makes a huge difference in performance, and it can be very difficult to find out which memory a model comes wirh.
 

greatnoob

Senior member
Jan 6, 2014
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Actually, what i find more annoying than rebranding is selling the same model number with both ddr3 and gddr5. I do think nvidia is more guilty of this than amd. It makes a huge difference in performance, and it can be very difficult to find out which memory a model comes wirh.
Exactly, if they're going to release a DDR3 variant DON'T name it to its GDDR5 variant. All the DDR3 counterparts should in fact be much lower down the chain, i.e.:

R5 230
R5 235 (AKA DDR3 R7 240)
R7240 (GDDR5 only)

and:

GT 725 (AKA DDR3 GT 730)
GT 730 (GDDR5 only)
GT 735 (AKA DDR3 GT 740)
GT 740 (GDDR5 only)

etc..
 

Flapdrol1337

Golden Member
May 21, 2014
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Anything below the 740 is pretty much pointless, 730 can be matched by amd apu's already, and soon intels as well. I'd expect nothing but rebrands below 740 level of performance.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,486
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I guess I don't see anything to get all huffy about. If I am going out and buying a video card, I am looking at the performance I am getting with it. This goes for the card in my sig, which I bought on the day it came out, and the card I bought for my parent's computer (a low-end nVidia for which I have forgotten the model name.)

When one buys an computer with a card, I see a bit of a point here. But the manufacturer's know what they are doing here. All they have to do is surpass the performance of the Intel CPU or AMD chipset, which they are doing, which is enough to make (almost) everyone happy.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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If you already have a system with a weak igp or motherboard graphics, then it is easier to add a low end card than to either buy a new system with an apu or replace the cpu/mb. But for purchasing a new system now, i agree, these low end cards make little sense.
 

poofyhairguy

Lifer
Nov 20, 2005
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I actually like the GK208 cards, they run way cooler than the old GT 430. My V2 GT 630 works in places no other dedicated Nvidia GPU does, which is awesome in the HTPC space.

The real issue is people buying this to upgrade a modern desktop to be able to game, but for making old desktops turn into HTPC they rock.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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Exactly, if they're going to release a DDR3 variant DON'T name it to its GDDR5 variant. All the DDR3 counterparts should in fact be much lower down the chain, i.e.:

R5 230
R5 235 (AKA DDR3 R7 240)
R7240 (GDDR5 only)

and:

GT 725 (AKA DDR3 GT 730)
GT 730 (GDDR5 only)
GT 735 (AKA DDR3 GT 740)
GT 740 (GDDR5 only)

etc..
Yes, and the problem is even worse in mobile, where if you get a card you are not happy with you can't easily replace it. I ran into this problem with a couple of laptops with GT850M cards. With GDDR5, they would be close to the area of light/moderate gaming that I want for a laptop for my grandson's graduation. There were a couple of models at microcenter in my price range with this card, but even a highly tech oriented store like Microcenter did not specify which memory they had. Best Buy also has a nasty habit of selling models with slower memory and not specifying it.
 

crisium

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2001
2,631
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Nvidia uses trickle down reputation. The 750Ti was heralded for its good performance per watt, and while it's pp$ was never great, it has improved. So it's to try to get people to go "Well, 730 is almost 750". Same with 960 being close to the 970 in naming, but nowhere near in performance. The reputation of the higher card means the costumer sees value in the lower card, even if no such value actually exists. The 970 was almost tarnished which threatened this relationship, but the paid professional Nvidia defense force (remember that Tom's article?) made sure it remains the go to card.

Btw, I find this hilarious:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/evga-super-super-clocked-gtx-960,4063-5.html

No mention of AMD in the entire endorsement, er I mean review. The card is simply compared to the reference 960. And therefore, only costing $10 more than the reference while being faster, it by definition must be "worth every penny". Competition be damned. Nvidia is all that exists.

Do you think it's in the literature that EVGA or Nvidia sends? Note to reviewer, if you want to keep receiving free stuff, you must not mention the competition in this review.
 

Snafuh

Member
Mar 16, 2015
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AMD's R5 230 has a 40nm Caicos chip (released 2/2011 as HD 6500/6600).
Nvidia's GT 730 has a 40nm GF108 chip (released 9/2010) as GT 420)
I can't find a listed 730 with GF117.
Both companys have very old chips in their current line up
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,460
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In most cases these $50-80 video cards are barely faster than integrated video in i3 and i5 CPU's and significantly slower than APU's like A8-7600/7700k and A10-7850k.
That's the most important take away - Don't bother with any GPU under GTX750Ti/R9 265/270 if you intend to game. If you cannot afford those, look for used cards like HD7850/7870/GTX660, etc. Pretty much everything AMD/NV make under $100 is not worth it unless you have very specific needs like a budget card to drive Dual Dual-Link DVI 30 inch 2560x1600 monitors, etc.

A friend of mine drives 3x 1080P monitors using an i7 4790K. So for none-gamers assembling a modern system, a budget sub-$100 GPU is more or less a waste of money (might as well get a console if you can't afford a solid gaming card), unless they go on sale. Also, one thing to consider for gamers - the cost savings of PC games over consoles over even 2-3 years far exceeds the small difference in GPU hardware to move from a $120 to a $160 GPU. It's really worth it because often the increase in performance is 40-70% (for example moving from a $110-120 GTX750Ti/R7 260 to a $140 R9 270X gives a 43-51% increase in performance, while going to a $160 R9 280 gives an incredible 62-71% increase in performance).

Since budget gamers tend to keep their GPU for longer since naturally they can't afford to upgrade often, instead of buying a crappy $50-70 GPU 2-3X in 5 years, it's better to just save a bit more and get a solid $140-160 card. The increase in performance is tremendous. My advice is to skip all new budget gaming cards unless you have a specific non-gaming requirement that they meet. This way you don't even have to worry if lower end AMD/NV series are re-badges of what gen because they pretty much "all suck" for games.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,485
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In most cases these $50-80 video cards are barely faster than integrated video in i3 and i5 CPU's and significantly slower than APU's like A8-7600/7700k and A10-7850k.
Don't buy any cheap video card for performance. They are there for driver features, and/or more outputs.

On the desktop, less than a R7 260 or GTX 750 is not worth it, for performance, and usually unnecessary if not gaming.
 

bystander36

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2013
5,154
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Yeah, it seems for that purpose, they just dump all their old chips into a pile and make GT 730's and possibly 740's out of them.
 

Ichigo

Platinum Member
Sep 1, 2005
2,160
0
0
I guess I don't see anything to get all huffy about. If I am going out and buying a video card, I am looking at the performance I am getting with it. This goes for the card in my sig, which I bought on the day it came out, and the card I bought for my parent's computer (a low-end nVidia for which I have forgotten the model name.)

When one buys an computer with a card, I see a bit of a point here. But the manufacturer's know what they are doing here. All they have to do is surpass the performance of the Intel CPU or AMD chipset, which they are doing, which is enough to make (almost) everyone happy.
[redacted]

Warning issued for trolling.
-- stahlhart
 
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AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,319
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Pretty much everything AMD/NV make under $100 is not worth it unless you have very specific needs like a budget card to drive Dual Dual-Link DVI 30 inch 2560x1600 monitors, etc.
R7 250 1GB GDDR5 and R7 250X 1GB GDDR5 are both bellow $100 and are capable of 1080p (low-Medium settings) gaming. They are also both support Mantle and are faster than GT740 GDDR5.
 

Cerb

Elite Member
Aug 26, 2000
17,485
33
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R7 250 1GB GDDR5 and R7 250X 1GB GDDR5 are both bellow $100 and are capable of 1080p (low-Medium settings) gaming. They are also both support Mantle and are faster than GT740 GDDR5.
In either case, a little extra should worth it, though. A GTX 750 Ti or R7 265, for at or a bit over $100 (but consistently <$130), will each be quite a bit superior. Bang/buck goes up from both towards $300 (excepting the 4GB GTX 960, being a bit of a features/marketing anomaly).

I think an R7 250, while it may be a good way to move some budget volume for AMD partners, doesn't bring a lot of value, unless you already have a low-end PC with really weak IGP, and are trying to spend the minimum for some low-end 3D gaming. If planning it out, I just don't see it. Better, IMO, to get a Pentium and better video card (expecting a platform or just CPU upgrade before upgrading GPUs); or get a GPU-heavy APU with fast RAM, and save for a lowish midrange card in the future.
 
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Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
354
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It advertising and marketing; you have to be carefully about graphic cards since there are so many of them and each sound just like the others. Plus, each manufacturer seem to use the same set of numbers over and over again with different prefixes attach!
 

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