Nvidia Goes Direct, Drops XFX

"In a move that has surprised many, Nvidia has gone into direct sales and dropped one of their biggest American partners."

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Earlier this week, some unsuspecting users walked into Best Buy and came upon an odd surprise: boxes of graphics card bearing the words "Designed and built by Nvidia" and no other apparent partner logo.  Confused, these users (namely Kyle from HardOCP) decided to go to the source and ask Nvidia about what was going on.  This is the response he got:

NVIDIA and Best Buy are working together to offer PC customers the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest in PC technologies right inside Best Buy stores. As part of this broad initiative, NVIDIA is supplying to Best Buy specific GeForce models built and supported by NVIDIA. These products will only be available at Best Buy and will complement GeForce products from our partners. We will provide more details on this next week.

Now apparently the program wasn't supposed to start until the 10th, but who's going to sweat the details?  Also, despite the big "built by Nvidia" words, the cards are actually contracted out the usual OEM standby Foxconn.  Support is supposedly provided direct from Nvidia, with the cards being backed by a 3-year warranty.  Price-wise, the GTS450 was seen to be at $199 and the GTX460 at $299, putting these direct sale cards at a questionable price-point.

A number of people expressed concerns at how their AIB partners would feel about this move.  Evga gave CNN the politically typical "no comment" while making sure to mention they could provide better support, but overall partners must be feeling pretty shafted about things.  So how is Nvidia handling this possibility?

Apparently by giving them the boot.  It seems that Nvidia has chosen to drop one of their bigger American partners, XFX, though their AMD/ATI partnership probably played a role in this choice as well.  Both the direct sales and XFX dropping were things that were rumored to be occurring back in January, so it looks like Nvidia is just playing catch-up here with their backlog of "political" moves.

So in the space of six months Nvidia has lost two major American partners (with BFG having dropped GPU sales in May and going under in August) and have begun a direct sale campaign.  Where does that leave them?  An odd, questionable position that's for sure.  Many have been comparing the situation to that of 3dfx, who went through similar actions before finally dropping being acquired by Nvidia.  While the situations aren't really quite the same, it's still an amusing parallel to be drawn considering what ended up happening to the company.  One would hope Nvidia has a better grasp of what they're doing this time around.

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Most Recent Comments

15-09-2010, 07:26:55

Hi guys,

Have finally returned from my travels and tried to plug a wireless N Dongle into my mothers laptop.

The laptop instantly shut down and when I looked at the USB slot, it seems I had inserted the Dongle upside down, as the protective plastic "bar" that normally prevents you from doing this in the laptop was missing and there were just exposed pins.

Basically, what are the possibilities for damage to the laptop as it will no longer boot...

Motherboard Fried?
Fuse somewhere blown?

Thanks in advance guys!


15-09-2010, 07:30:37

I hate to say it but its more likely to be something on the motherboard that's fried. If the power pack still seems to be working then there's not really any other fuses that can be checked.

It may be something as simple as a popped capacitor/resistor though, so if the laptop is 'worth anything' I'd take it to a repair shop (unless you're handy with a soldering iron) and see if they can replace the blown component.

15-09-2010, 07:33:45

Cheers Jim, altho not sure the power pack is working, dont want to go to the expense of replacing it if it isn't the culprit and no idea how to test a laptop psu?

15-09-2010, 07:44:00

Catastrophe averted I think!

I Google'd the problem, there are very few examples of it online surprisingly! lol...

It was recommended to disconnect the battery and power for 15 minutes and then reconnect and try again and this worked, the laptop booted up. Maybe a fail-safe mechanism built in somewhere that prevents it from re-booting immediately in case the short is still present? Clever.

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