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Graphics Hardware

Nvidia Fakes Fermi Boards At GPU Tech Conference 212

fragMasterFlash writes with this excerpt from SemiAccurate: 'In a really pathetic display, Nvidia actually faked the introduction of its latest video card, because it simply doesn't have boards to show. Why? Because it didn't get enough parts to properly bring them up, much less make demo boards. ... Notice that the three screws that hold the end plate on are, well, generic wood screws. Large flat -head Phillips screws. Home Depot-grade screws that don't even sit flush. If a card is real, you hold it on with the bolts on either side of the DVI connector. Go look at any GPU you have; do you see wood screws that don't mount flush or DVI flanking bolts? ... If you look at the back of the fake Fermi, [from this PC Watch picture], you can see that the expected DVI connector wires are not there, just solder-filled holes. No stubs, no tool marks from where they would be cut out. Basically, the DVI port isn't connected to anything with solder, so they had to use screws on the plate."
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Nvidia Fakes Fermi Boards At GPU Tech Conference

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  • Who cares... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bentov ( 993323 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:23AM (#29625821)
    A company faked a product...won't be the first time, won't be the last time.
  • Re:Who cares... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <sopssa@email.com> on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:28AM (#29625847) Journal

    Exactly. What is the point of this "news" anyway? Lots of times companies build something that looks kinda like the product but isn't it. This was same with Wii on E3 too before it was released. It wasn't the actual Wii at all.

    The purpose is to show off their new products that are coming. Sure, they could you just have a paper that lists the features. But as people are physically there, they might like to see something too. If it's not fully build yet, they have to make up a prototype to show. It doesn't really change anything with the product - when it gets out, reviewers will tell if it sucks then.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:28AM (#29625849)

    This is actually a lot more common than you might think. Lots of tech shows (whether it's cell phones, computer parts, etc) bring "fake" models in. Sometimes it's just the production case with weights in. Sometimes, when a device needs to be outputting video, what you see is just a movie being played as opposed to its actual output.

    Recently, netbook manufacturers have been caught doing it. During shows, you can see some brand new, thin and light netbook with a sign as "display model only". When show-goers pick it up, they see empty holes where USB, power, and ethernet connections should be. All that's there is a LCD, a keyboard, and a plastic shell.

  • Re:Who cares... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hattig ( 47930 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:37AM (#29625893) Journal

    It wasn't described as a mock up, but as a real working Fermi board.

    NVIDIA are quite a way behind in the next generation race (time-wise, not tech-wise), and they had to try and make it look like they were a month or two away from having product availability. This fakery just makes the late Q1 2010 rumours sound more likely...

  • by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:38AM (#29625901)
    And yet, you still make excuses for them? [fudzilla.com] Any other company would get slaughtered in the press for such an obvious stunt...
  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz ( 883997 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:39AM (#29625905)

    You'd think a company like Nvidia would be a bit more careful given their CEO's penchant for bold claims and harping on any perceived gaffe by competitors.

    I suspect this "announcement" was very rushed after AMD's recent announcement of their new DirectX 11 part that seems to outperform anything Nvidia has out at the moment and at a lower price point. Combine that with Intel's snub on producing chipsets for new/relevant PC platforms and one can imagine that Nvidia was anxious to appear competitive. Nvidia is in for a VERY tough slog.

  • Totally faked. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hattig ( 47930 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:40AM (#29625921) Journal

    The end of the motherboard was roughly dremmelled off to match the fan enclosure (that is surely the designed fan enclosure for the card). The power connectors were glued on, and didn't match the solder pads for said connectors (indeed one was mostly sawed off).

    Prototype? No. This card can't work.
    Blatant fake presented as a working board? Yes.
    Back-pedalling and claiming it is a mock up after the fact? Yes.

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:53AM (#29625997)

    The author is apparently not that familiar with screws. "Not being countersunk" has little to do with what type of screw something is. Neither does being a "wood screw" have much to do with bing flush with a surface. It has to do with the screw being "pan-head", and whether the surface has been drilled to allow the screw to fit into it. (That's the 'counter-sunk' part.)

    To see if it's a "wood screw", a "machine screw", or a "sheet metal screw", you'd have to see the threads and especially the tip. Wood screws have broadly gapped threads, and a sharp tip, and generally a bit of a taper along their length to the point, designed to gouge themselves into the wood as you screw in but without splitting the wood. Sheet metal screws have closer spaced threads, a sharp tip, and much less taper or none: they're used to screw into soft metal like aluminum and gouge their way in, but you generally have to pre-drill a hole for them. Machine screws have closely spaced threads, no taper, no sharp tip, and require the hole to be pre-threaded to work.

    Counter-sinking takes time and a bit of skill to get just right without overdrilling and making the case weak. Merely tapping, or pre-threading is quicker: I can easily believe that a prototype would not be countersunk.

  • Re:Who cares... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03, 2009 @08:53AM (#29625999)

    You don't generally call attention to the fact that a mock-up is, in fact, a mock-up. That would defeat the purpose of having it in the first place. They are still going to produce real cards, showing a mock-up doesn't negate that fact. As was said earlier, the article is fanboy crap.

  • Re:Who cares... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @09:01AM (#29626041)

    I dunno. I worked for companies that demonstrated fake products. Well not exactly fake - we had working hardware and software, just that the working hardware was a big mass of board and didn't fit in the box and we still didn't have the CPU power to get more than about 60% of the performance we were supposed to get.

    Now we went to great lengths to fake things at the trade show so we could keep the project going. I actually like the idea of tabloid hacks poking around and uncovering tricks like this, it keeps people honest.

  • Re:Who cares... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @09:12AM (#29626069)

    Exactly. What is the point of this "news" anyway?

    What are you, stupid? The question you should be asking is, what's the point of showing a fake product, if not to deceive? There isn't one. If it was intended as an artist's interpretation of a future product, they could have just said so. Clearly this is part of a false advertising campaign to promote their product, and make it seem like they're ahead of rivals when in fact they still have plenty of work to do.

  • Re:Totally faked. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by celeb8 ( 682138 ) <celeb8@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Saturday October 03, 2009 @09:26AM (#29626163)
    The point is that noone could really make themselves care that they showed a mock-up rather than the real product. When they hook it to a monitor and claim that they're showing it in action, THEN I'll give a rat's ass about the hardware in their silly little hands. THEN maybe you'll see outrage if they use a fake. This is, as described above, a non-issue. All this ado over nothing makes me wonder if ATI doesn't have an astroturfing campaign going on or something. (disclosure: I use ATI cards, mostly)
  • Re:Who cares... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03, 2009 @09:32AM (#29626195)
    They used real hardware for the demonstrations and THAT is what you should be concerned with, not whether the appearance of an internal card is real or not.
  • Re:Who cares... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Savior_on_a_Stick ( 971781 ) <robertfranz@gmail.com> on Saturday October 03, 2009 @10:14AM (#29626583)

    It's completely normal, and there is no deception.

    Do you think Nvidia suddenly lost the ability to bring a product to market?

    That they'll never produce another product?

    Stop trolling

  • Re:Who cares... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by parlancex ( 1322105 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @11:30AM (#29627265)
    Whoever modded this troll didn't read TFA. It is pure unadultered fanboy bullshit that shouldn't even qualify for the Slashdot idle section. The page is also littered with AMD/ATI ads. The article is the troll here.
  • Re:Who cares... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @11:40AM (#29627339)

    They are advertising, but they aren't false advertising because you can't even buy the product yet.

    My friend, this is the whole point. Advertising something that is not available, and may never be available (at least as advertised), is a falsehood.

  • by colonslashslash ( 762464 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:10PM (#29627599) Homepage
    From TFS:

    Top 5 Articles

    1. Nvidia GT300 yields are under 2%
    2. Nvidia fakes Fermi boards at GPU Technology Conference
    3. Apple keyboard firmware hack demonstrated
    4. Miracles happen, GT300 tapes out!
    5. Apple to Nvidia: Don't let the door hit your *ss on the way out

    Oh, and there's AMD/ATI adverts all over it. Who gives a fuck about nVidia using a mock up, companies do this all the time at tech shows. It's a non-issue! What is the issue is why an article from a site that is so obviously geared around slagging off nVidia was posted here.

    (and no, I'm not new here.)

  • by Antique Geekmeister ( 740220 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:13PM (#29627619)

    Little things matter. When designing hardware, when building software, getting those little details right helps prevent errors and failures later on. The ranting about the wood screws dominated the original post: failing to correct that would help make anyone else who repeated the rant look like, well, like someone who shouldn't be trusted with a screwdriver.

    Getting those details right can help your credibility quite a lot when you fill out a bug report, a blog, or even a letter to family.

  • by TheThiefMaster ( 992038 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @01:08PM (#29628047)

    Nah, I just didn't find the original funny.

    Especially not +5 funny.

  • by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @02:07PM (#29628537)

    What's up with all the decorative crap that goes into video card housings these days? It would be nice to be able to get high end hardware that isn't burdened with fluff designed to appeal to the minimally sapient crowd.

  • Re:Who cares... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03, 2009 @10:48PM (#29632153)

    The 3D0 was demonstrated the same way, too

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.