Well, I think everyone saw this one coming.

A class action lawsuit was recently filed in a US District Court in Northern California against Nvidia and Gigabyte, suing the two companies for unfair business practices, deceptive business practices, unlawful business practices, and misleading advertising. Ouch.

According to court documents, the plaintiff, Andrew Ostrowski, claims on behalf of pissed off GTX 970 owners everywhere that Nvidia intentionally misled customers to believe that the GTX 970 operates with a full 4GB of VRAM, has 64 ROPs, and a 2048KB L2 cache whereas the GTX 970 instead actually only has 3.5GB VRAM that can operate at full performance, 56ROPs, and 1792KB L2 cache.

The issue, which we like to call “MemoryGate” stems from a discovery early last month when some discerning GTX 970 users noticed some strange studdering and performance issues when the card is pushed to its limits. Further examination showed that the GTX 970’s memory throughput plummets at around 3.5GB memory usage. Responding to customer complaints, Nvidia came on record late last month admitting that memory performance does indeed drop after 3.5GB of memory usage. Additionally, they also revealed that original specifications on the GTX 970 were incorrect due to an internal error that somehow made it past everyone up the chain of command. Nvidia did however try to put out the fire by claiming that the unique memory configuration was done by design and that it had little to no impact on gaming performance. An 8,000 customer Change.org petition begs to differ.

Currently, the lawsuit is requesting the judge allow the class action lawsuit to proceed to a jury trial. It further requests an order to have Nvidia engage in corrective advertising, provide refunds, pay monetary damages, and of course of course, pay the plaintiff’s lawyer fees.


Our Take

Nvidia is going to have to make some concessions on this one either through the courts or through a settlement out of court. While most GTX 970 customers are still happy with their cards, it’s understandable why so many aren’t happy with their cards as well irregardless of if gaming performance is actually seriously impacted. Nvidia just needs to take the hit and move on. They’ve got great technology and if they can offer the community some goodwill and some transparency, I’m confident they’ll be back to breaking more revenue estimates by their next GPU launch.


Source: PC World