Update 09/12: Bringing this back up, over the weekend the website to submit settlement claims went up. Owners of GTX 970s who purchased the card between its launch and August 24th of this year can participate in the settlement in order to receive $30 per card. The settlement itself has not yet been approved by the courts, but is expected to be approved in December.

Interestingly, there is no damage cap in the settlement, so all participants will receive a fixed $30 per card regardless of the price paid or the number of claimants. Meanwhile the proposed attorney fees total $1.3 million.


Original: 07/29

Word comes from Top Class Actions (via The Tech Report) that NVIDIA will soon be settling a series of proposed class action lawsuits brought against the company regarding the GeForce GTX 970. Under the preliminary settlement, United States residents who purchased GeForce GTX 970 cards would be able to claim a $30 settlement in return for dropping further litigation against the company. With the GTX 970 having launched at $329, this amounts to a de facto 9% rebate on the card.

The class action suits in question were brought against the company almost immediately after NVIDIA made the important (and more than a bit painful) disclosure that the initially published specifications for the GTX 970 were wrong. Specifically, that the card had an unusual memory crossbar organization where one ROP/L2 partition was disabled, giving the card only 56 ROPs instead of 64. Furthermore, this meant that the last 512MB of the standard 4GB of VRAM could not be accessed in a contiguous manner, impacting how it could be used. To that end, as the Top Class Actions article notes, the $30 settlement “was calculated to represent a portion of the cost of the storage and performance capabilities the consumers thought they were obtaining in the purchase of the product.”

With that said, at this point the settlement itself has yet to be approved by the court, and signups are not yet available. Assuming it is approved, I’d expect that signups will be made available shortly thereafter.

Source: Top Class Actions (via The Tech Report)

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  • Nfarce - Friday, July 29, 2016 - link

    Even after the "issue" was discovered, the 970 wound up being one of Nvidia's top selling GPUs of all time, and it is the most popular card used by Steam PC gamers. A $30 discount for something many never even knew there was an "issue" about, for a GPU that performed at 90% of a 980 for 60% of the cost (now 55% of the cost with this proposed $30 payout) is not bad.

    Of course, many 970 owners have already sold their 970s on eBay and whatnot for 1070s, so that $30 in their pocket will make that upgrade purchase a nice little bonus. The bottom line though is Nvidia is forking over many millions in a lessons learned experience to make sure they are 100% accurate in their paper specs.
    Reply
  • just4U - Saturday, July 30, 2016 - link

    err.. where do you get it's one of the top selling gpu's of all time? It's.... not even close. Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, July 31, 2016 - link

    I believe the GT210 GPU is nVidias top selling GPU in the GeForce lineup since Fermi was introduced. The top shipping performance GPU in recent history was the GTX460.

    Last I read, the top selling "GPU" of all time actually goes to the 945G chipset from Intel. The top selling discrete GPU in history for units shipped is hard to narrow down because neither nVidia or AMD release these figures, and neither do their partners, but it's widely believed to be either the G66800 or the Radeon 4870, both of which were incredibly successful and used throughout every tier 1 OEM. Even Dell made a custom GT6600, hundreds of thousands of them.
    Reply
  • Samus - Sunday, July 31, 2016 - link

    Opps, G66800 meant to say GT6600 Reply
  • SlyNine - Friday, July 29, 2016 - link

    I always thought the issue was silly. Even if 512 megs was slower, it was still there. Only in about 0.1% of the cases would it have affected performance. Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, July 30, 2016 - link

    Put a pair in surround or use a game that used all 4 gb and you'd see it real fast.
    Just because you may not have noticed doesn't make their "mistake" justified. They knew it was wrong and there is no way someone didn't notice the wrong specs before that marketing crap went out. They misrepresented the specs so even if you didn't notice you still deserve the "discount" IMO. They pushed the "marketing" a little too far this time, hopefully they learned a lesson.
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, July 29, 2016 - link

    I don't get it. Aren't all the benchmarks displaying the GTX970's performance still accurate? Maxwell's compression engine makes having 4GB of VRAM irrelevant, it still performs well at high resolutions and was never meant to be a 4K card, and even with 0.5GB more addressable memory, would it make a difference?

    This performance delta needs to be addressed before an accurate award could be issued to those seeking one. NVidia simply needs to demo an engineering sample with all 64 ROPs enabled.

    As it is, this is beyond frivolous and opens a whole new category of frivolous litigation against dozens of companies that "don't deliver based on specification" even though the product performs as expected.

    It reminds me of people who complained that the Chevy Volt wasn't always 100% battery powered and in certain circumstances, the engine would couple to the drivetrain to add efficiency. People got their panties in a bunch, boo'd, even cancelled preorders and asked for refunds. In the end, after GM showed a whitepaper with the necessary damning statistics that coupling the engine increased reliability, range, performance and even reduced perceived generator noise, everyone had long forgotten about it anyway, that it was, infact, a hybrid vehicle.
    Reply
  • piiman - Saturday, July 30, 2016 - link

    "As it is, this is beyond frivolous and opens a whole new category of frivolous litigation against dozens of companies that "don't deliver based on specification" even though the product performs as expected."

    "frivolous " ?? really? Yeah it can preform good but it can also stutter like crazy which they didn't show. Bottom line is you can't lie about the specs and specs do matter and they did effect the products performance. Nothing frivolous about it, its about keeping Corroborations honest, COMPLETELY HONEST not half honest. Of course the settlement doesn't even really do that since they can now claim no wrong doing but here's 30 bucks anyways. :)
    Reply
  • tamalero - Thursday, August 4, 2016 - link

    Agree. if I am being sold a car where the specs and the contract said 4 wheels.. I expect 4 wheels, not 3 full sized wheels and a crippled one. Reply
  • Achaios - Saturday, July 30, 2016 - link

    A big "thank you" to the California court that hit NVIDIA hard.

    This is a victory for all consumers all over the world. Disingenuous and dishonest corporations such as NVIDIA should be chased ruthlessly and then mercilessly hit when they dare to con the consumer.
    Reply

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