Nvidia Response to GTX Series Voltage Control

Nelly.

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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."
What 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.
Source
 

Nelly.

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Froggy Gremlin said:
:biggthumbsup: Thanks for posting this! :emot-tip-wink:
No problem, I spotted this on another forum.  :-))

I guess their will be no MSI GTX 780 Lightning now, I mean, what is the point of MSI designing such a great card if it can't do what it's intended for?

Sad times.  :crying:
 

HU16E

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Nelly. said:
No problem, I spotted this on another forum.  :-))

I guess their will be no MSI GTX 780 Lightning now, I mean, what is the point of MSI designing such a great card if it can't do what it's intended for?

Sad times.  :crying:
If I understand it correctly, MSI can do what they want as long as they carry the responsibility for any problems or RMA that may arise. If their R & D tests it and finds it reliable to offer it and to warranty it, that's a good safety net for the consumer.
 

xmad

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Right, they might cost a bit more because they can't turn around for a Nvidia warranty, but they can still do as they choose.
 

Nelly.

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Froggy Gremlin said:
If I understand it correctly, MSI can do what they want as long as they carry the responsibility for any problems or RMA that may arise. If their R & D tests it and finds it reliable to offer it and to warranty it, that's a good safety net for the consumer.
xmad said:
Right, they might cost a bit more because they can't turn around for a Nvidia warranty, but they can still do as they choose.
I guess, I would assume their will be an extra premium for the next gen GTX 780 Lightning.

Maybe it was all a cunning plan between MSI, Evga and Nvidia, one mad stunt for lots of publicity :confused2:  :hiha: (terrible joke...!)
 

xmad

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I think that NVIDIA just doesn't want to be in the overclocking business. Just like intel or amd etal
 

Nelly.

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I'll state the obvious, but say the MSI GTX 780 Lightning comes out and it's an extra $100+ to cover the GPU risk compared to whatever the MSI - AMD 8970 Lightning is priced at, only devout Nvidia people will buy the cards, I'm not sure I would be willing to pay an extra $100 for the luxury.  I May have to go the MSI Twin Frozr3 route like I did with the GTX 580, or get the MSI - AMD 8970 Lightning.

I guess I better get saving already for next year! lol  :scratchchin:
 

HU16E

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In a way, you answered your own question. There are enough choices to pick the one that is right for you and will fit within your budget. The even better news, no worries about if they will be covered by warranty or not. :-))
 

Nelly.

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Another response from Nvidia...

Some of our best and most passionate customers have told us (though forums, partners and directly) that they are frustrated with our position on GPU Overvoltaging.  So we feel that it is important to explain exactly what our position is and why we feel that it is important.
 
We love to see  our chips run faster and we understand that our customers want to squeeze as much performance as possible out of their GPUs.  However there is a physical limit to the amount of voltage that can be applied to a GPU before the silicon begins to degrade through electromigration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration).  Essentially, excessive voltages on transistors can over time "evaporate" the metal in a key spot destroying or degrading the performance of the chip.  Unfortunately, since the process happens over time it's not always immediately obvious when it's happening.  Overvoltaging above our max spec does exactly this.  It raises the operating voltage beyond our rated max and can erode the GPU silicon over time.
 
In contrast, GPU Boost always keeps the voltage below our max spec, even as it is raising and lowering the voltage dynamically.  That way you get great performance and a guaranteed lifetime.
So our policy is pretty simple:
We encourage users to go have fun with our GPUs.  They are completely guaranteed and will perform great within the predefined limits.
We also recommend that our board partners don?t build in mechanisms that raise voltages beyond our max spec.  We set it as high as possible within long term reliability limits.
 
The reason we have a limit on max voltage is very simply to prevent damage to the GPU chips.  At NVIDIA we know that our customers want to push their GPUs to the limit.  We are all for it, and as a matter of fact NVIDIA has always prioritized support for hardware enthusiasts by providing tools to access hardware settings and by supporting our board partners in creating overclocked enthusiast products.  Leading up to the GeForce GTX 680 release for example, we worked closely with developers of 3rd party overclocking utilities to make sure they fully supported GeForce GTX 680 and GPU Boost on the day of launch.
 

HU16E

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Ok, let's cut to the chase! Enthusiasts have been exceeding published maximums and limits on voltages and settings for years on CPU's, RAM, and VGA's. It is usually all upon the end user if it all goes bad. In this specific situation of MSI 'enhancing' their VGA product and standing behind it with a warranty, that is a 'very' bold move (or risk) on their part. A true enthusiast is going to push his components regardless if it is covered by warranty or not.

If other manufacturers (or brand fanboy product reviewers) are crying the blues about these modifications that result in handily beating out their models, that's just too bad! In my honest opinion, the AUTS thread and the very topic title itself by pizdjez is a malicious pile of manure aimed at nothing but to discredit MSI's effort to provide the enthusiast with a VGA second to none in performance!
 

Nelly.

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More to it than meets the eye, it seems...

bit-tech said:
Nvidia accused of crippling board partners' designs
A source inside one of Nvidia's largest graphics manufacturing partners, who spoke to us on the condition that they remain anonymous, explains: 'The fact is Nvidia is stopping ALL partners from allowing any form of hardware/software overvolting, or providing hardware mods beyond its very limited restrictions. They threaten to cut allocation [of GK100 parts] if hardware mods aren?t removed or avoided entirely.'

While homebrew soldering-iron-and-prayer overvolting is still permitted, manufacturing partners aren't allowed to make it easy for buyers. 'We're not allowed to openly advertise the PCB markings [for overvoltage adjustment] on the GTX 680,' our source continues.
Quote:
Claims that manufacturers aren't being restricted in their designs beyond the confines of the Green Light programme are soundly denied by our source, however. We've been told that the secretive restrictions on board partners go yet further: 'They [Nvidia] also threaten allocation if you make a card faster than the [stock] GTX 690.'

These restrictions are not limited to just a couple of companies, either: they appear to stretch right across the board, and are responsible for product cancellations and - as with EVGA's removal of the EVBot header from the GTX 680 Classified - hardware modifications from multiple manufacturers. They're also leaving a bad taste in board partners' mouths: where in previous generations each company has been able to push its own cards to the limit in order to beat the competition, under Nvidia's alleged new rules all GTX 680 boards will be more or less identical in performance and features.

The hardware restrictions are a loss for the consumer, too: EVGA has already stated that it won't be reducing the price of the GeForce GTX 680 Classified, despite removing the EVBot header and corresponding facility for custom voltages outside Nvidia's recommended limits - meaning buyers now get less card for their cash than before the company capitulated to Nvidia's alleged demands.

We've approached other board partners, but thus far none have been willing to comment on the record regarding our source's claims of hardware restrictions - and with our source alleging that Nvidia may even cut chip allocations for companies that talk publicly about the matter, that's no surprise.
Full story here >> http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2012/10/05/nvidia-crippling-partners/1
 
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