- Jan 18, 2011
I thought it would be worth posting this in light of recent events.
brightsideofnews.com said:We contacted Nvidia for comment and received a response from their Senior PR Manager, Bryan Del Rizzo with the following,
"Green Light was created to help ensure that all of the GTX boards in the market all have great acoustics, temperatures, and mechanicals. This helps to ensure our GTX customers get the highest quality product that runs quiet, cool, and fits in their PC. GTX is a measureable brand, and Green Light is a promise to ensure that the brand remains as strong as possible by making sure the products brought to market meet our highest quality requirements.
Reducing RMAs has never been a focus of Green Light.
We support overvoltaging up to a limit on our products, but have a maximum reliability spec that is intended to protect the life of the product. We don?t want to see customers disappointed when their card dies in a year or two because the voltage was raised too high.
Regarding overvoltaging above our max spec, we offer AICs two choices:
? Ensure the GPU stays within our operating specs and have a full warranty from NVIDIA.
? Allow the GPU to be manually operated outside specs in which case NVIDIA provides no warranty.
We prefer AICs ensure the GPU stays within spec and encourage this through warranty support, but it?s ultimately up to the AIC what they want to do. Their choice does not affect allocation. And this has no bearing on the end user warranty provided by the AIC. It is simply a warranty between NVIDIA and the AIC.
With Green Light, we don?t really go out of the way to look for ways that AICs enable manual OV. As I stated, this isn?t the core purpose of the program. Yes, you?ve seen some cases of boards getting out into the market with OV features only to have them disabled later. This is due to the fact that AICs decided later that they would prefer to have a warranty. This is simply a choice the AICs each need to make for themselves. How, or when they make this decision, is entirely up to them.
With regards to your MSI comment below, we gave MSI the same choice I referenced above -- change their SW to disable OV above our reliability limit or not obtain a warranty. They simply chose to change their software in lieu of the warranty. Their choice. It is not ours to make, and we don?t influence them one way or the other.
In short, Green Light is an especially important program for a major, new product introduction like Kepler, where our AICs don?t have a lot of experience building and working with our new technologies, but also extends the flexibility to AICs who provide a design that can operate outside of the reliability limits of the board. And, if you look at the products in the market today, there is obviously evidence of differentiation. You only need to look at the large assortment of high quality Kepler boards available today, including standard and overclocked editions."
SourceWhat does this mean for consumers?
This essentially breaks down to giving consumers fewer options between their cards and limits the innovation that AIBs are capable of implementing in their products. If Nvidia is limiting the AIBs within a set of parameters on their non-reference cards, then they are hurting those board vendors' most profitable products. This gives consumers less choice, while enabling Nvidia to theoretically have lower RMAs. Such a program does, however, make sense if you think about the perception of Nvidia if all of their board partners are running amok. They obviously have to have a certain level of control over what their AIBs do with their GPUs if they are going to warranty them. But, we believe that Nvidia has gone too far in their restrictions on board partners and amount of control they exercise in the process.
So, the Green Light program is a program that we believe hurts AIBs and consumers while enabling Nvidia to reduce their RMA rate and improve their margins. If you are an Nvidia investor, this is great news, but if you are a consumer, this is clearly bad news. Nvidia claims that this has to do with the quality of the product and smoothness of launches, however, we believe that in the end it's all about money.