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Question Paranoid thought regarding pre-builts and GPUs... (OEM GPU lock-in?)

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Seeing as how it's "a thing" to buy pre-built PCs and "harvest" the advanced GPUs that come in them, and re-sell/discard the pre-built PCs...

What if, like the mining limiter, NVidia work with mobo vendors, to include some sort of "key string" in the mainboard's BIOS, that acts like a "key" to "unlock" the GPU, and that GPUs would be "paired / locked" to the mainboard in question, such that... if separated, they would no longer function, or the mainboard would only function with whatever iGPU it had, and would not function with another GPU, nor would that other GPU that was separated, function on it's own in another system.

Scary thought, isn't it.

NVidia, for their part, could claim that this is part of their "pro-gamer / anti-mining" initiatives, to prevent "gamers" from losing GPUs from "gaming" pre-builts, to miners just trying to accumulate GPUs.

I think that vendors would go along with it, too, such that it would prevent re-sale of individual GPUs and individual PCs sans GPUs.
 
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fleshconsumed

Diamond Member
Feb 21, 2002
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Meh, I think vendors would actually welcome people parting their PCs. They still get a sale, and now thanks to poor US consumer laws they don't have to provide warranty support. It's a win-win for them.

Profanity is not allowed in the tech forums. -Moderator Shmee
 
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VirtualLarry

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I think that vendors would go along with it, too, such that it would prevent re-sale of individual GPUs and individual PCs sans GPUs.
But what if NVidia forced this scheme onto their bruilder/resller partners, in order to receive GPU allocations? IOW, you don't go along with this "anti-mining scheme", you don't get GPUs to build / bundle with your systems...
 

Stuka87

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Dec 10, 2010
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But what if NVidia forced this scheme onto their bruilder/resller partners, in order to receive GPU allocations? IOW, you don't go along with this "anti-mining scheme", you don't get GPUs to build / bundle with your systems...
Well, first off the lock wouldn't work. Or rather, it would work for about a week, and then it would be broke.

Second, OEMs have zero motivation to lock GPU's to a specific motherboard. It would be a nightmare from a manufacturing point of view.

Third, don't for one second think that nVidia is anti-mining. The previous mining lock was NOT about them wanting to kill mining. It was about them not wanting to compete with themselves. They want to sell "mining only" cards because mining only cards have near zero resale value once the mining bubble bursts again. If miners use regular GPUs, and the bubble bursts, they can sell all those GPUs. So the market then gets flooded with cheap cards, and nobody then buys new ones. This is the same thing that happened last time, which resulted in really poor sales for nVidia (and AMD).

So while nVidia does have power over board partners, its highly unlikely that they would be able to get all those OEMs to run custom bios's on their motherboards, and lock each GPU to a certain motherboard.
 
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DeathReborn

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Oct 11, 2005
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Intel with DG1 has a kind of board lock on the GPU as it lacks a EEPROM, so relies on I believe one of 2 motherboards to function. I don't like it and I don't think even Nvidia would stoop that low as to make OEM only cards that need a OEM only motherboard to function at all.
 
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