Quite a few eyebrows were raised last week when images of an NVIDIA-branded graphics card in Best Buy were found circulating on the internet. However, it appears that this move is a typical example of the exception proving the norm, and the company has confirmed that its line of self-built graphics cards will be exclusive only to Best Buy.
Read on to find out more.
Some people were understandably surprised when images of NVIDIA selling its own line of graphics cards in Best Buy started circulating around the Internet. After all, the standard industrial practice in the GPU market is that the designer (NVIDIA, ATI, Matrox, etc) which works on designing the GPU it intends to sell on the market. The designs are then sent to a fab (like TSMC), and the resulting reference designs are then sent to the designer’s AICs, who then proceeds to make the cards.
Needless to say, NVIDIA’s jumping of the gun came across as a move that was contrary to the standard practice. However, NVIDIA has produced a statement claiming that the self-built cards were the result of an exclusive agreement with Best Buy.
“We have no plans to do that outside Best Buy stores [in the U.S.]. It is a unique marketing initiative with Best Buy,” said Bryan Del Rizzo, the head of marketing department of GeForce and consumer desktop products at NVIDIA.
More importantly, NVIDIA’s announcement serves two purposes. For one, it has finally acknowledged the existence of the self-built NVIDIA cards in a official capacity, thus dispelling any remaining rumors that such products are nothing more than vaporware. Secondly, NVIDIA has also officially confirmed that the cards will be a Best Buy exclusive, and as such, will not be available for retail in any other part of the world, at least for now.
And yes, that means that you will not be getting a self-built NVIDIA graphics card any time soon in SLS, if at all. So if you want one of these cards, importing them over is probably the only option available.
Of course, whether NVIDIA’s line of in-house graphics cards will offer better performance that its AICs’ designs still remains to be seen. But that will probably be a discussion for another time.
Source: X-bit Labs