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Nvidia moves into retail

Nvidia moves into retail

Nvidia is making the move into retail, selling self-built cards in Best Buy stores across the US.

Nvidia's GT430 budget cards weren't the only things to appear at Best Buy stores across the US this week, with the company risking the ire of its hardware partners with the launch of self-manufactured graphics cards.

The cards, Nvidia GeForce GTS450 and GTX460s, are heavily branded with Nvidia logos - and are manufactured by Nvidia specifically for Best Buy, and are examples of the company's 'reference boards' - so don't be expecting to see factory overclocks and innovative cooling systems.

Asked about the sudden shift into retail, Nvidia's PR manager Bryan Del Rizzo stated that his company has joined forces with Best Buy " to offer PC customers the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest in PC technologies right inside Best Buy stores," and that the deal would include "NVIDIA [...] supplying to Best Buy specific GeForce models built and supported by NVIDIA."

Although the deal is exclusive to Best Buy at the moment, it's not hard to predict a future where Nvidia, hoping for a bigger chunk of the pie, directly competes with its hardware partners at a retail level.

While Nvidia launches its own hardware, at least one hardware partner has received even worse news from Big Green: HardOCP reports that the European arm of hardware manufacturer XFX has received its marching orders, and is no longer an approved Nvidia hardware partner. The reasons why aren't yet public, but if true means that XFX won't be receiving marketing help or preferential allocation of chips from Nvidia - and could spell the end of the company's UK operations, or even a shift to concentrate on AMD's products instead.

Do you believe that own-brand, 'reference' Nvidia designs will take precious revenue away from the company's hardware partners, or will the freedom third party manufacturers have to add overclocks and better cooling mean that Nvidia's partners have nothing to worry about? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

39 Comments

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V3ctor 6th October 2010, 13:18 Quote
look... nVidia looks alot like 3DFX... *annoying* the AIB's
dangerman1337 6th October 2010, 13:18 Quote
I Think there not actually and this is just Best buy doing it.,
McSteel 6th October 2010, 13:25 Quote
In buying 3DFX, nVidia seems to have bought and swallowed their business models and ethics as well...
It's just another one in a series of bad moves on green team's part, the previous one being disabled PhysX when there's an ATi/AMD card (even if it's integrated in the SB) present in the system alongside nVidia's...
NickCPC 6th October 2010, 13:26 Quote
The phrase "shooting onesself in the foot" is resonating loudly. I guess nVidia is trying to fill the XFX void, but entering the same market of your customer AIBs is foolish at best.
general22 6th October 2010, 13:40 Quote
I don't really know about the Best Buy stores but it doesn't really sound like those are the kind of stores that sell retail graphics cards anyway, not really a big deal for NV's board partners unless they expand their operations.

Getting rid of XFX though sounds punishment for going for the red team. Dumb move on NV's part and XFX make great AMD cards anyway.
V3ctor 6th October 2010, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerman1337
I Think there not actually and this is just Best buy doing it.,

nVidia is selling these graphic cards in Best Buy... And this could be an experiment... If they do well, why not "attack" everywhere else?
yakyb 6th October 2010, 13:55 Quote
always wondered why they relied on 3rd parties to build and sell their product
yakyb 6th October 2010, 13:56 Quote
re post but, should also mean cheaper prices for us rather than double loading the profits
Domestic_ginger 6th October 2010, 14:03 Quote
Newegg have been banded around too.

A point someone else made was that are bestbuy now an NV partner themselves? They just don't put their name on the product?

And as for cheaper; I'm not sure bestbuy offer great prices from what I've heard but could be completely wrong.
roblikesbeer 6th October 2010, 14:08 Quote
Why would you want to buy a reference card anyway?
kempez 6th October 2010, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by roblikesbeer
Why would you want to buy a reference card anyway?

Why not?

Grab a (hopefully cheaper), reference card, grab a 3rd party air or watercooler and you've got a good bargain. The amount some manufacturers add on for their 'extreme' cards is ridiculous anyway
pistol_pete 6th October 2010, 14:42 Quote
I'd quite like a 'reference' card. If i'm water cooling it, why pay extra for a fancy cooler, or an overclock I can do myself.

...so long as it's cheap. I don't want to subsidise a partners marketing budget, just give me a card!
ssj12 6th October 2010, 14:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by general22
I don't really know about the Best Buy stores but it doesn't really sound like those are the kind of stores that sell retail graphics cards anyway, not really a big deal for NV's board partners unless they expand their operations.

Getting rid of XFX though sounds punishment for going for the red team. Dumb move on NV's part and XFX make great AMD cards anyway.

They made great Nvidia cards too. I was really looking forward to an XFX GTX480 but I went EVGA.
Redbeaver 6th October 2010, 14:49 Quote
i love reference cards. definitely more room for tweaking. and modding. and everything else. without paying the premium for stuff id throw away as soon as i rip open the cardboard.

of course, being its in best buy, we all know the price is going to be premium anyway....

dunno bout US or UK, but here in Canada, in all (i mean most places in many provinces ive visited) best buys, graphic cards are at least 150% the price of e-tailers like newegg or ncix....
general22 6th October 2010, 14:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
They made great Nvidia cards too. I was really looking forward to an XFX GTX480 but I went EVGA.

Yeah XFX was a great board vendor for NV with the lifetime warranty and they made great NV cards and still do but my comment was more in reference to the fact that they are doing pretty well on the AMD side of things so cutting them off as an NV board vendor is just NV shooting themselves in the foot.
RichCreedy 6th October 2010, 14:59 Quote
best buy probably couldnt get the deal they were after by going to distribution, so went directly to source
Scootiep 6th October 2010, 15:06 Quote
"Today, Best Buy. Tommorow, the world?"

more like "Today Best Buy, tomorrow Bankruptcy." Damn it nVidia, wake up and make some good bang for the buck video cards again!
Pete J 6th October 2010, 15:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scootiep
Damn it nVidia, wake up and make some good bang for the buck video cards again!
Like the 460?
October 6th October 2010, 15:51 Quote
Quote:
and could spell the end of the company's UK operations, or even a shift to concentrate on AMD's products instead.

Hadn't they already moved to concentrate on AMD? I thought I read they hadn't made any 4xx's and were concentrating on the 5000 series?
r3loaded 6th October 2010, 16:32 Quote
Why Best Buy? The type of people who shop there aren't likely to know what a graphics card even is.
fingerbob69 6th October 2010, 16:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by October
Quote:
and could spell the end of the company's UK operations, or even a shift to concentrate on AMD's products instead.

Hadn't they already moved to concentrate on AMD? I thought I read they hadn't made any 4xx's and were concentrating on the 5000 series?

They couldn't make 4xx cards as nVidia wouldn't supply them. I think that was in response to XFX diversifying into AMD cards.
Farfalho 6th October 2010, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerbob69
Quote:
Originally Posted by October
Quote:
and could spell the end of the company's UK operations, or even a shift to concentrate on AMD's products instead.

Hadn't they already moved to concentrate on AMD? I thought I read they hadn't made any 4xx's and were concentrating on the 5000 series?

They couldn't make 4xx cards as nVidia wouldn't supply them. I think that was in response to XFX diversifying into AMD cards.

True and second that!

When XFX started working with HD4000 series, Nvidia went crazy like a cry baby and removed XFX from their official partners just because Nvidia thought they couldn't do that, like a only child makes a tantrum to his parents. XFX saw an opportunity to cash a few bucks by moving to the successful HD4000 family and they succeeded. Better for ATi user because XFX has an extraordinary customer service.

Let Nvidia cry...they need to be humble.
MajestiX 6th October 2010, 17:47 Quote
dont apple and microsoft got their own stores, taking business away from resellers
GoodBytes 6th October 2010, 18:13 Quote
Nvidia already makes most of their Quadro's and Tesla graphic cards.
I also read that it will be Foxconn (if Engadget is to be believed), will manufacture it.

I think it's nice to be able to buy a GPU that looks nice as the picture and not be plaster with 20 labels with crappy 3D figure on it.
Then again Nvidia warranty is far from interesting.. it's on 3 years. Well, it's pretty good, but most partners offer life time warranty.
I think the idea behind this, is that Nvidia wants to put their name out there, for the average computer user to see their name, and really know Nvidia.
Also, if it's sold at Best Buy, it means that the prices won't be competitive.
Tattysnuc 6th October 2010, 19:23 Quote
All this means is that Best Buy are a 3rd Party Distributor, selling Retail branded OEM products. It's a new channel for NVidia, that's all.

As for prices going down, get real folks. This'll just increase distribution. There'll be enough of a markup to allow this to trade. NVidia wont want to damage their current partners buying power.

Great move for Best Buy
Jaberw0cky 6th October 2010, 19:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Also, if it's sold at Best Buy, it means that the prices won't be competitive.

having worked for the local competition (DSGi), i can say that wont stop the less clued up punters. If XFX was axed just because NV were having a hissy fit over the XFX AMD cards, well thats just a poor business move. I doubt the XFX teams will loose much sleep over it, from what iv been reading AMD are churning out better value chips anyway imho.

For the overclockers i cant see this being an issue, as Redbeaver said, assuming the reference card is sensibly priced just get your own cooler and go nuts. Its a null point for me anyway, id only buy pre-oc'd cards with a warranty.
fingerbob69 6th October 2010, 22:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tattysnuc
All this means is that Best Buy are a 3rd Party Distributor, selling Retail branded OEM products. It's a new channel for NVidia, that's all.

As for prices going down, get real folks. This'll just increase distribution. There'll be enough of a markup to allow this to trade. NVidia wont want to damage their current partners buying power.

Great move for Best Buy

Except if you read the original Kyle article that set this all off then you'd know that nVidia are putting their cards into BestBuy at the same pricepoint as 'their' POV cards!

As for it being a new channel, isn't this a channel previously trod by 3dfx?

What happened to them?
NickCPC 7th October 2010, 00:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfalho
XFX has an extraordinary customer service...
You try setting up an RMA directly with XFX after your retailer warranty has expired, and tell me they have good customer service again. Descriptive words including "disastrous", "abysmal" and "pathetic" come to mind - they're just not interested and are completely solid on not letting you RMA dead cards, regardless of supposedly "lifetime" warranties. This isn't just based on one experience either - not a single one of my friends who have also had XFX cards die got anywhere with their support, and 6 of them have been in this position.

Add into the fact that XFX are producing some terrible AMD cards currently (I bought an XFX 4890 recently and my 1GB 4870 gets 17k 3DMark06 points, where the 4890 got 14k - so have had to RMA with my retailer, and still waiting to hear whether my RMA has been approved with XFX's distributor). I'm not alone either - another set of forums I frequent are completely littered with complaints about XFX's worryingly underperforming non-reference, non-black edition designs. Staff on this forum also revealed they have the highest return rate with XFX than any other AIB by several percentage points.

XFX are cheap for a reason, and I'll be avoiding them in the future.
Pete J 7th October 2010, 07:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCPC
I bought an XFX 4890 recently and my 1GB 4870 gets 17k 3DMark06 points, where the 4890 got 14k - so have had to RMA with my retailer
You're RMAing because of a synthetic test result? What about real performance in games?
Unicorn 7th October 2010, 08:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by October
Hadn't they already moved to concentrate on AMD? I thought I read they hadn't made any 4xx's and were concentrating on the 5000 series?
Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerbob69
They couldn't make 4xx cards as nVidia wouldn't supply them. I think that was in response to XFX diversifying into AMD cards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfalho
True and second that!

When XFX started working with HD4000 series, Nvidia went crazy like a cry baby and removed XFX from their official partners just because Nvidia thought they couldn't do that, like a only child makes a tantrum to his parents. XFX saw an opportunity to cash a few bucks by moving to the successful HD4000 family and they succeeded. Better for ATi user because XFX has an extraordinary customer service.

Let Nvidia cry...they need to be humble.

This is what concerns me the most in the article. Not only will it be a massive shame to see XFX cease to manufacture Nvidia cards (because they have been top of my Nvidia third party list for ages now) but it will also be a shame for it to happen under these circumstances, with Nvidia pulling the plug on them for such a stupid reason. I really hate this industry sometimes. Like you said, it's a cry baby reacion, and this is nowhere near the first time it has happened.

The whole computer electronics industry needs to catch itself on and quit the bickering and bad business moves.
Snips 7th October 2010, 08:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfalho
Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerbob69
Quote:
Originally Posted by October
Quote:
and could spell the end of the company's UK operations, or even a shift to concentrate on AMD's products instead.

Hadn't they already moved to concentrate on AMD? I thought I read they hadn't made any 4xx's and were concentrating on the 5000 series?

They couldn't make 4xx cards as nVidia wouldn't supply them. I think that was in response to XFX diversifying into AMD cards.

True and second that!

When XFX started working with HD4000 series, Nvidia went crazy like a cry baby and removed XFX from their official partners just because Nvidia thought they couldn't do that, like a only child makes a tantrum to his parents. XFX saw an opportunity to cash a few bucks by moving to the successful HD4000 family and they succeeded. Better for ATi user because XFX has an extraordinary customer service.

Let Nvidia cry...they need to be humble.

The 4XXX was never that good in the first place and was cleanly hammered by Nvidia on all fronts, clearly selective memory has kicked in. This site and it's sister mag only recommended Nvidia cards during that time.

Why are people here getting their backs up about the developer of a product actually releasing the product themselves?

If it was such an excellent move by XFX to manufacture ATi cards then why are you all bothered Nvidia have done this, with your bias you weren't going to buy one even if they still could make them.
Xir 7th October 2010, 09:35 Quote
I always thought all "reference" cards were built the same anyway, so no news :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
Then again Nvidia warranty is far from interesting.. it's on 3 years. Well, it's pretty good, but most partners offer life time warranty.
Not outside the US (or Canada in your case) they don't :D
Memnoch-fr 7th October 2010, 10:03 Quote
Quite funny to read the comments regarding RMA... I thought most people here had voided the waranty anyway ;)

Regarding Nvidia and Best Buy, partners probably won't have a problem with it, Nvidia just found a high profit margin business plan. Who really buys their stuff there anyway? As explained above, most people in US would buy from Newegg?
NickCPC 7th October 2010, 10:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete J
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickCPC
I bought an XFX 4890 recently and my 1GB 4870 gets 17k 3DMark06 points, where the 4890 got 14k - so have had to RMA with my retailer
You're RMAing because of a synthetic test result? What about real performance in games?
All the games I play (TF2, Audiosurf, L4D2, GRID, DIRT2) had a corresponding drop in average fps of around 15-20% over the 4870. TF2 suffered worst though - putting 4xMSAA on the 4890 dropped my average fps by about 40% compared to when 4xMSAA is on my 4870 - going from an average of 95fps to 55 is really not good, and the minimum went from around 65 to 28, which is hopeless in the heat of a TF2 match. 3DMark just symbolised the drop well.
Pete J 7th October 2010, 11:04 Quote
@NickCPC:

Heh, weird. I always thought XFX was supposed to be one of the better board partners - must've been a faulty card.
impar 7th October 2010, 11:17 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Farfalho
... XFX has an extraordinary customer service.
My experience disagrees with your affirmation.
Snips 7th October 2010, 14:33 Quote
I always thought of XFX as a "budget" partner and not for high end products since they never could get them spot on like Asus, Gigabyte, MSI etc...with that in mind, would it be a problem for Nvidia to drop them? It may be the reason for it in the first place.
B1GBUD 7th October 2010, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kempez
Quote:
Originally Posted by roblikesbeer
Why would you want to buy a reference card anyway?

Why not?

Grab a (hopefully cheaper), reference card, grab a 3rd party air or watercooler and you've got a good bargain. The amount some manufacturers add on for their 'extreme' cards is ridiculous anyway

Spot on, that's what I did. Bought a cheap 8800gtx (OcUK OEM) and stuck a Zalman waterblock on the bugger!
impar 11th October 2010, 12:35 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
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