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Why does MSi exist?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 3, 2012 11:31:30 AM

Why does Gigabyte exist?

I don't understand, why can't we buy cards from Nvidia or AMD themselves, instead we have to go through manufacturers like Sapphire, MSi and many other.

How do companies like MSi even make money?

Do you need a license to buy from Nvidia? How does it work?

More about : msi exist

a c 160 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 11:44:46 AM

First of all Nvidia and AMD(with exception to their CPU's) do not have production/assembling facilities.

2. They promote competitive pricing by selling the designs to manufacturers.

3. Increases availability of the parts.

4. They usually buy designs from AMD and Nvidia to be able to use their base designs.

5. Sometimes you will be able to buy reference cards of Nvidia or AMD branding. But they are usually second hand used for reviews and the like and are very expensive as collectors pieces.

6. In doing this they increase compatibility of the products before shipping as they know designs before hand.
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a c 79 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 11:55:03 AM

i don't know much but i'll give it a shot...
both amd and nvidia are fabless companies i.e. they don't own their own fabrication plant/facilities unlike intel who manufacture their own cpus. they design the gpus, send them to tsmc for manufacturing and then to oems (aibs?) like sapphire, asus, xfx who build the whole cards - pcb, vrm, cooler, gpu and so on. afaik amd and nvidia's own branded cards are built by some other oem (aib?). these companies also tweak the gpus and other settings to sell overclocked cards like sapphire toxic, his iceq turbo x, asus dctu top, evga soc, gigabyte windforce and stuff.
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 12:02:12 PM

The headache of dealing with customers :)  ??
Today the whole electronic world works like that don't think there a single company that makes everything themselves, buy from 1000's of factories and assemble its cheaper this way
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a c 358 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 12:51:30 PM

ATI used to sell their own branded graphic cards before they were acquired by AMD.

The reason is actually quite simple. From a business perspective, they would need to spend money on resources to promote and manufacture their own products and also distribute them. If you are a company that is trying to do everything all on your own, you will find that you can actually limit the growth potential of your company because you simply have to spend money on every aspect of the business.

Selling graphic cores to manufactures to make graphic cards instead of selling graphic cards directly to the consumers cuts out a lot of overhead and logistical issues. In the end they can focus on the performance design of their GPU cores and not have to worry about spending limited resources to get the cards into the hands of the consumers.

In the end this means lower prices, and more products available to the consumer.

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January 3, 2012 12:56:34 PM

woah that is fascinating, I didn't think it worked that way.

Does AMD make a lot of money selling the 'blueprints'? Are they copyrighted?

I'm thinking why can't MSi take a gtx 560 or whatever and make some tweaks to it and call it their own. Or do they already do that? Do they add things like Stream processors? Is that legal?
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a c 79 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 1:03:21 PM

internetswag said:
woah that is fascinating, I didn't think it worked that way.

Does AMD make a lot of money selling the 'blueprints'? Are they copyrighted?

I'm thinking why can't MSi take a gtx 560 or whatever and make some tweaks to it and call it their own. Or do they already do that? Do they add things like Stream processors? Is that legal?

msi wouldn't do that. if they did, it'd be copyright infringement. they can tweak the gpu, vram, add coolers and stuff.
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Best solution

a c 160 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 1:04:31 PM

internetswag said:
woah that is fascinating, I didn't think it worked that way.

Does AMD make a lot of money selling the 'blueprints'? Are they copyrighted?

I'm thinking why can't MSi take a gtx 560 or whatever and make some tweaks to it and call it their own. Or do they already do that? Do they add things like Stream processors? Is that legal?


It would not makes sense to do it like that. Its not as simple as adding cores. With VRAM its simple as it only increases the memory buffer.

To add stream processors or CUDA cores as Nvidia calls it they would need to change fundamentals of the design which could change it dramatically, mostly for the bad as they do not have the experience and expertise that AMD or Nvidia has.

From their perspective why would you use resources to even try this if it so risky with so little gain. Heck then they might as well start their own GPU design.

To answer your first question : I guess they do make alot of money form selling the designs and yes, they will be patented.

To a certain extent (VRAM increases, faster cores and ram clockspeeds, custom coolers) a manufacturer does "tweak" these cards. But added cores would not be classified as tweaking.
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 1:21:44 PM

Perfect AMD gpu core (6xxx series) from factory
1536 Stream processors so it goes to AMD 6970 card
now manufacturing not perfect so u get bit damaged core say
1408 Stream processors so it goes to AMD 6950 card
more damaged
1120 Stream processors AMD 6870
960 Stream processors AMD 6850

that's the way to keep waste/loss to minimum and produce different price ranges
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 1:38:23 PM

duxducis said:
Perfect AMD gpu core (6xxx series) from factory
1536 Stream processors so it goes to AMD 6970 card
now manufacturing not perfect so u get bit damaged core say
1408 Stream processors so it goes to AMD 6950 card
more damaged
1120 Stream processors AMD 6870
960 Stream processors AMD 6850

that's the way to keep waste/loss to minimum and produce different price ranges


The HD69xx can't downscale to the HD68xx. They differ in much more than just stream processors.

This method is only applicable to in series GPU chips when talking of AMD cards. Thats why you got the HD6930 in some countries.
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a b U Graphics card
January 3, 2012 1:53:22 PM

sorry probably didn't word it to well, but the point was that AMD can reuse GPU cores with different Stream processors, under different names, but they can come from same process, and factories like MSI end up with different Stream processors chips to make different cards
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a c 106 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 3:15:15 PM

Because you need AIBs to market and distribute your product so you don't have to. When you cut out the AIBs, you end up like 3dfx
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January 3, 2012 3:40:21 PM

Best answer selected by InternetSwag.
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a c 160 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 3, 2012 4:31:42 PM

Pleasure. Interesting discussion I must admit.
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