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AMD Software Hardware Technology

AMD Wants To Hear From GPU Resellers and Partners Bullied By Nvidia (forbes.com) 127

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Forbes: Nvidia may not be talking about its GeForce Partner Program, but AMD has gone from silent to proactive in less than 24 hours. Hours ago Scott Herkelman, Corporate VP and General Manager of AMD Radeon Gaming, addressed AMD resellers via Twitter, not only acknowledging the anti-competitive tactics Nvidia has leveraged against them, but inviting others to share their stories. The series of tweets coincides with an AMD sales event held in London this week. This was preceded by an impassioned blog post from Herkelman yesterday where he comes out swinging against Nvidia's GeForce Partner Program, and references other closed, proprietary technologies like G-Sync and GameWorks.

AMD's new mantra is "Freedom of Choice," a tagline clearly chosen to combat Nvidia's new program which is slowly taking gaming GPU brands from companies like MSI and Gigabyte, and locking them exclusively under the GeForce banner. The GeForce Partner Program also seems to threaten the business of board partners who are are not aligned with the program. Here's what Herkelman -- who was a former GeForce marketing executive at Nvidia -- had to say on Twitter: "I wanted to personally thank all of our resellers who are attending our AMD sales event in London this week, it was a pleasure catching up with you and thank you for your support. Many of you told me how our competition tries to use funding and allocation to restrict or block [...] your ability to market and sell Radeon based products in the manner you and your customers desire. I want to let you know that your voices have been heard and that I welcome any others who have encountered similar experiences to reach out to me..."
The report adds that Kyle Bennett of HardOCP, the author who broke the original GPP story, "says that Nvidia is beginning a disinformation campaign against him, claiming that he was paid handsomely for publishing the story."
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AMD Wants To Hear From GPU Resellers and Partners Bullied By Nvidia

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  • From TFA: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 21, 2018 @12:01AM (#56476111)

    The crux of the issue with NVIDIA GPP comes down to a single requirement in order to be part of GPP. In order to have access to the GPP program, its partners must have its "Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce." I have read documents with this requirement spelled out on it.

    What would it mean to have your "Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce?" The example that will likely resonate best with HardOCP readers is the ASUS Republic of Gamers brand. I have no knowledge if ASUS is a GPP partner, I am simply using the ROG brand hypothetically. If ASUS is an NVIDIA GPP partner, and it wants to continue to use NVIDIA GPUs in its ROG branded video cards, computers, and laptops, it can no longer sell any other company's GPUs in ROG products. So if ASUS want to keep building NVIDIA-based ROG video cards, it can no longer sell AMD-based ROG video cards, and be a GPP partner.

    What is disturbing is that we have been told that if a company does not participate in GPP, those companies feel as if NVIDIA would hold back allocation of GPUs from their inventories. From all we have talked to, the issue of not allocating GPU inventories to non-GPP partners have not been spelled out contractually, but is rather done on a wink and a nod.

    • Re:From TFA: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @12:17AM (#56476175)

      In order to have access to the GPP program, its partners must have its "Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce."

      Using incentives or threat of coercion to gain exclusivity is considered an anti-competitive practice. In America, it is usually only prosecuted against companies with "market dominance". Nvidia has about a 75% market share.

      we have been told that if a company does not participate in GPP, those companies feel as if NVIDIA would hold back allocation of GPUs from their inventories.

      If that threat was made in writing, or in front of multiple witnesses, then they should report it to the FTC.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        People who make threats tend not to put them in writing.

        See "organized crime" for various examples of this business practice.

      • umm, GL702ZC?
      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        we have been told that if a company does not participate in GPP, those companies feel as if NVIDIA would hold back allocation of GPUs from their inventories.

        If that threat was made in writing, or in front of multiple witnesses, then they should report it to the FTC.

        No, it's not explicit. It never will be. What OEMs have experienced though is allocations - basically if you order 10,000 GPU chips, nVidia says "Sorry, we cannot fulfill that order, but we'll send you 2000 of what you wanted". so you can build 2

  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @12:12AM (#56476157)

    is the CPU manufacturers who won't provide updates/patches for "OLD" CPUs that are vulnerable to attacks.

    That being said, I have a couple older linux boxes with NVidia drivers I WAS using as video/Kodi players that are just as bad....

  • by default luser ( 529332 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @12:30AM (#56476211) Journal

    This is the land of OEMs. You want to to make products that are in high demand, and have decent markup? Then you need to sign the contract with the supplier of those parts, and kiss the appropriate ass.

    Nvidia has ALWAYS demanded more of OEMs over the years, WITHOUT ever giving a clear picture of what tthe rules are. . The give preferential treatment to different OEMs based on the days of the week! Remember when XFX was a PREFERRED NVIDIA OEM? Pepperidge Farms fucking does! [dvhardware.net]

    Or how about that time that Nvidia unleashed the pricing gauntlet,, forcing all OEMs to not drop below minimum pricing levels, basically stopping all entry-level competition?

    OEMs are getting raped by Nvidia selling direct, but nobody complained about Founders Editions.

    So now you lazy fucks suddenly care about Nvidia swinging their balls around the OEMs yet again? When the end result is just them forcing rebrands? I personally feel like having the exact same brands across chip lines makes shopping for cards confusing, so this isn't NEARLY the biggest dick Nvidia has made in their entire history. But the whiners will have you believe that ir's the END OF DAYS, even though they're still allowing everyone to continue to sell both Nvidia and AMD cards if they want.

    • by robbak ( 775424 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @12:44AM (#56476241) Homepage

      It seems that they are demanding that OEMs stop selling AMD devices under their Gaming brands, thereby trying to shut AMD out of the premium GPU market.

      It may turn out that they are only requiring that manufacturers do not sell AMD and Nvidia GPUs under the same brand name - which is reasonable I suppose, but really they should just stay out of it. OEMs should be left to brand their products as they wish, and it would be great for comsumers if they put AMD and Nvidia powered cards with similar performance side by side on the shelf, packed similarly and with similar part numbers, apart from the acutal AMD and NVidia trademarks.

      • by default luser ( 529332 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @01:27AM (#56476327) Journal

        Asus just introduced another brand for selling their high-end AMD gear: Arez. They're still selling the EXACT SAME GPUs, just without the ROG branding.

        Just like they mysteriously introduced the STRIX brand of video cards about 5 years ago, and have for some fucking reason started selling motherboards under the brand (even though they are already silent)

        If rebranding a product line is so fucking hard, why do OEMs do it every few years? Like Asus introducing STRIX, or AsRock introducing Taichi a couple years back, or MSI going crazy with Carbon and Mortar for their motherboards and Duke and Lightning for their GPUs? Or Gigabyte making up AORUS recently and sticking it on every fucking product they sell?

        Rebranding is the easiest part of marketing a product. It's creating the RIGHT motherboard/GPU and getting it out there in reviews - THAT is the hard part of being an OEM.

        Why do you people pretend that rebranding is hard? BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE CHANGE.

        • by robbak ( 775424 )
          It's not just forcing re-branding - it is limitations on how they brand, how they can market AMD cards. Not being able to make it easy for their customers to compare offerings from the two companies, or being prevented from marketing high performance gaming AMD devices as high performance gaming devices. Things that make it harder for AMD to get market share, because of Nvidia illegally using their market dominance.
          • So far, all I have read about is a forced separation of brands. And in practice, this seems to mean that Nvidia gets the already established brands. That might be illegal and Nvidia probably bets on the new brands not getting as much attention. At least, it will take the graphics cards makers extra money to market the new brands.

            Taking ASUS as example, ROG is now Nvidia only and AMD has been moved to AREZ. I wonder what Nvidia would have said if it was the other way around?

        • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @09:12AM (#56477195)

          If rebranding a product line is so fucking hard, why do OEMs do it every few years?

          That would be due to the stinking desperation of marketing douches ("marketing" as an adjective, not a verb... though that would be pretty desperate, too).

          • If rebranding a product line is so fucking hard, why do OEMs do it every few years?

            That would be due to the stinking desperation of marketing douches

            It's actually because of the idiocy of the consumer. While some consumers are savvy and well-educated about products, most simply buy whatever is the new hotness. You see it in cars, too; new models sell better even if they aren't better than the old models or the competition, just because they're new.

            Marketing douches are taking advantage of the stupidity of consumers, but they didn't make them stupid.

        • by epine ( 68316 )

          Rebranding is the easiest part of marketing a product.

          Not even close. The customer—who is already bewildered by this unnecessary proliferation of meaningless distinction—enters into a terminal state of Johnny-come-lately fatigue.

          The young males who purchase these products are easily fatigued by any process that resembles bureaucracy. You don't need very many faux-affluent young men to wander up to the $2 slot machines of impatient, precipitous margin to make a real killing off of this strategy (

          • Have you ever wondered why people get a glazed look in their eye when you talk to them?
          • Impatient men don't wander up to the unfamiliar.

            I've been working with PCs a long, long time. My first PC was an IBM PC-1, and my second PC was a 286@6 MHz. The first graphics cards I used which caused unscheduled reboots under Windows (3.1) were Mach32, and the second ones were Mach64. I had the 3DFx Voodoo and Voodoo 2, the Matrox Mystique, an NEC PowerVR card, a Permedia 2, and finally a TNT and then TNT2. And I still tried ATI cards, and they were garbage, so I stuck with nVidia. Yet, every third card I would try an ATI card because they were cheaper

            • This. DAAMIT graphics cards are blacklisted from all procurement processes I get a say in (personal and professional) because of consistently discontinuing driver support far too early. Good luck finding an ATI proprietary driver that supports a reasonably recent version of the Linux kernel and a >2-years-old graphics card at the same time (with the possible exception of some really popular models they really can't get away with discontinuing early).

              Of course, you can go with the open-source driver. If y

    • People are pissed because
      a) It is anti-consumer
      b) It is evil
      c) It just happens to be really fuckign illegal.

  • I hate saying this (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rsilvergun ( 571051 )
    but the reason I don't buy AMD is I never stop hearing about all the issues their graphics cards have. Every time a new game comes out the Steam forums are filled with folks complaining about AMD with at least a 3 to 1 ratio to the nVidia comments. Moreover I play a lot of old games (I only just got around to playing Fallout NV last year and I fire up older stuff like Psyconauts or NOLF from time to time). nVidia's compatibility with old and/or obscure titles is just better.

    I miss the better image quali
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Khyber ( 864651 )

      " Every time a new game comes out the Steam forums are filled with folks complaining about AMD with at least a 3 to 1 ratio to the nVidia comments."

      Almost every idiot I see complaining is running OCs that no sane person should even attempt with liquid cooling because suddenly VRM airflow no longer exists due to the missing heatsink/fan combo that usually sits there. "My system shuts down with an overheating warning or thermal throttling issue! This GPU sucks!" Yea, GPU probably ain't your issue, because not

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        Every third graphic card I got AMD. Every single AMD card was a total nightmare. In order to get them to work at all reliably it was necessary to load hacked drivers (DnA) since otherwise they would just fail and fail. Then I gave up and just went with nVidia and I haven't had a GPU problem in years. I'd love to buy AMD, especially since their Linux support has gotten so good, but it's more important to me that my system work.

        If AMD wants me to buy their shit, they have to make it work.

        • by malkavian ( 9512 )

          I think you may be a statistical outlier. Happens in any large dataset. I've had exclusively AMD for the last 15 years or so, and never had a problem. I change GPU about every 3 years, so that'd be about 5 cards. Not a problem.

          • I change GPU about every 3 years, so that'd be about 5 cards. Not a problem.

            Seems plausible, and good for you. The problems precisely come crawling out of the woodwork when you're not willing change GPU "about every 3 years".

            • by Khyber ( 864651 )

              "The problems precisely come crawling out of the woodwork when you're not willing change GPU "about every 3 years"."

              Yea? Tell that to my Radeon 5770 which still works, how many years later, with no driver issues?

          • by Khyber ( 864651 )

            "I've had exclusively AMD for the last 15 years or so"

            ATi only got acquired in 2006.

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "Every third graphic card I got AMD"

          You must be very very young then, child, and should probably not be talking on this thread until you know the difference between an AMD card and an ATi card.

      • If one manufacturer's product works for a given enthusiast's application without issue, and the other does not, that points to the manufacturer, NOT the "idiot complaining."

        ATI^K^K^KAMD's problem has been drivers and continued support. They have improved, but I still haven't forgiven them for abandoning a brand new ( and very expensive at the time) card I had just bought when WIndows... 98, was it? moved to the WDM model, and they refused to support it. I wasn't going to stay on the previous version of win

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "If one manufacturer's product works for a given enthusiast's application without issue, and the other does not, that points to the manufacturer, NOT the "idiot complaining.""

          Been plenty of times I've seen it be the fault of the idiot complaining because they forgot to install the goddamned chipset drivers that would allow the video card to be seen in the first place on the PCI-E bus as anything other than a generic VGA device.

          Sounds like you don't know shit about real technology problems.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Saturday April 21, 2018 @05:33AM (#56476807)

      Every time a new game comes out the Steam forums are filled with folks complaining about AMD with at least a 3 to 1 ratio to the nVidia comments.

      You want to know why? Take a look at the branding icons on every new game. Smack dab on it you'll see nVidia's logo. This can even extend to the intro screens (I still remember some having "the way it's meant to be played" on it).

      The reason for it is simple - nVidia sends engineers out to game companies to optimize the game engine for their GPU. And not just that, but they have a ton of technology they offer game companies to incorporate into their games just to make it better.

      And just like how a certain CPU chip manufacturer used less optimized paths when the code ran on other CPUs, well, you can bet a lot of the nVidia GPU code probably runs poorly on AMD chips. Whether intentionally or not (i.e., they should disable those features), it's hard to say.

      Anyhow, I'm half wondering if it's because of the partnership Intel and AMD have now - the #1 GPU shipper in the world is Intel, and AMD GPUs are going to be featured on-package with Intel CPUs. You can bet that combination would make nVidia a little bit nervous

      Even more, you can bet a few of those are destined for Apple products - Apple loves to use Iris Pro graphics, but with this new combination, Apple may use these Intel+AMD chips instead.

      • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @06:42AM (#56476921)
        Lets not forget that nVidia got its ass handed to it in the console market while simultaneously Google is attacking the scientific end of the GPU market with their TPU's.

        Meanwhile everybody and their grandmother are making ARM's, so what the fuck is nVidia Tegra but just another mobile solution.
        • Nvidia was the one that declined making the consoles, AMD didnt win, Nvidia turned MS and Sony down. They have been down the console road and didnt enjoy it. For the original Xbox, Microsoft expected that over time Nvidia would drop the prices of the chipset they provided for the Xbox. Nvidia disagreed.
        • they stepped out of the console market because it wasn't profitable enough (they might have also got tired of being bullied by Microsoft & Sony, I can't imagine them doing well against those companies). The rumor mill was that AMD got better deals from MS & Sony because neither company was ready for nVidia to drop them. So it's been a nice infusion of cash.

          I think the Tegra was suppose to be a game console like chip but when it's performance didn't match up with the 360 & PS3 (let alone the
          • they stepped out of the console market because it wasn't profitable enough (they might have also got tired of being bullied by Microsoft & Sony, I can't imagine them doing well against those companies).

            Yep. They had to get deep into bed with Microsoft in order to get NV2A into Xbox, and that meant making agreements with Microsoft about their driver code that prevents them from releasing as much of it as OSS as AMD has done with their code. Tegra is not so encumbered, but it didn't turn out to scale like geforce (as you say.)

  • We're The Victims (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ytene ( 4376651 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @02:25AM (#56476457)
    Thanks to the crypto-currency miners, nVidia have a narrow window of opportunity to make a shed-load of money... They are experiencing a situation in which people are buying their cards as fast or faster than they can make them.

    This market-driven scarcity gives nVidia plausible deniability when it comes to any situation in which they may "have no available product" to ship to OEMs that do not play by their rules.

    It is such a shame that nVidia would choose to take advantage of a situation like this to try and squeeze AMD out of the market. Especially as the people that suffer the most are the enthusiasts willing to pay for this sort of technology, because a crippled or market-squeezed AMD is bad for innovation, bad for price competition and will lead to the sort of stagnation in the sector that we've seen from Intel in the CPU space.

    I've been a user of nVidia technology since they bought out the 3dfx/Voodoo technology, but if this article has substance then I think it will be time to move to AMD.

    It would be nice to see a government regulator take a look at this.
    • by Khyber ( 864651 )

      If you're an intel user you might want to step away from them, too, because I bet they're one way or another giving nVidia some cash to do this to AMD. Intel is well-known for pulling anti-competitive bullshit and partnering with known-bully nVidia to do more anti-competitive shit against AMD just makes sense.

      • by ytene ( 4376651 )
        I find myself thinking, "No... that's just too implausible..." Then I remember all of the stunts that Intel have pulled down through the years [the most recent of which was the issuing of patches for Spectre and Meltdown that would have slowed down *AMD* processors as well as Intel's own... and I realise that, actually, yes, what you write is entirely possible.

        The problem for us as consumers is that this sort of thing is virtually impossible to stop. We've already seen the "Intel Inside" and "Made for Wi
      • by jonwil ( 467024 )

        If Intel was acting against AMD they wouldn't have just released the new Core i7-G parts with on-board Vega M GPU.

        nVidia hates Intel and has done so ever since Intel stopped nVidia from being able to make chipsets for Intel CPUs.

        • by Khyber ( 864651 )

          "If Intel was acting against AMD they wouldn't have just released the new Core i7-G parts with on-board Vega M GPU."

          I see someone doesn't know one of the most cliched pieces of Roman History, which has been repeated time and time again through corporations and governments alike.

          Et tu, Brutus?

  • by msauve ( 701917 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @05:45AM (#56476825)
    After speaking with anonymous sources, he comes up with this, upon which the whole article is based:

    In order to have access to the GPP program, its partners must have its "Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce."

    The obvious, and unanswered question is - does that refer to all gaming brands a manufacturer may have, or a gaming brand? If the latter, there's absolutely no issue - MotherboardKing can have a Zoomzoom brand for Nvidia, and a Zipzip brand for AMD, each "aligned exclusively."

  • Glide API? 3DFX? Many 3DFX engineer going to work for Nvidia? Lawsuits......

    Nichts neues

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