Nvidia's Green Light Program - Improving Quality or Strangling Innovation

Interesting article. Two notes here:

  • 1) Of course, in the end, it's all about profit (refering to the last line of the article.
  • 2) Nvidia essentially just explained what the GLP is, without actually addressing the issues at hand here. A bit weak, in my opinion.

In the end, I guess we'll just have to make "OC love" with our AMD cards. Tesselation FTW? (wink)

In the world of graphics cards, there is always something quiet brewing underneath the surface. Over the past few months we've been clued into a program that Nvidia has been running since the Fermi days. This program is called Green Light and as you can imagine, it has to do with Nvidia giving a 'green light' to add-in-board partners.

Today, we got confirmation that this program is still active in the form of the unfortunate announcement that EVGA would no longer be attaching their EVBot voltage tool to their GTX 680 Classified cards. These cards, for those unfamiliar with EVGA's products, are designed to be the best overclocking graphics cards on Earth with custom cooling and voltage regulation in addition to having additional power and manual voltage control.


Now, one of the interesting questions that we're wondering is why would Nvidia approve something like the GTX 680 Classified from EVGA if they know that it enables manual voltage control? We believe that Nvidia wanted to have a card that was capable of setting world records that they could tout as the fastest card in the world for overclockers. While we don't really know the details of why Nvidia approved this card and then forced EVGA to remove that feature, it seems logical that Nvidia purely wanted to approve this card as a marketing tool and would eventually force EVGA to cripple it.

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.

Please log in or register to comment.