In February 2015, several people filed a lawsuit against Nvidia, Gigabyte, Asus and EVGA over the inaccuracy of the specs of the GeForce GTX 970. Yesterday, the case was settled, and even though the four companies didn’t admit liability, those who file a valid claim for their GTX 970 GPU will receive a $30 cash payment.
The original lawsuit claimed that Nvidia, as well as the other three companies, posted false specs for the GPU. The advertised specs for the GTX 970 had 4 GB of VRAM, 64 render output processors (ROP) and an L2 cache of 2.048 MB. The lawsuit claimed that card actually had 3.5 GB of VRAM, 56 ROPs and an L2 cache of 1.792 MB.
In terms of the settlement, the companies will “make a cash payment of $30 per GTX 970 unit to Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims, with no cap.”
The settlement cost of $30 was calculated because the average retail price of the GTX 970 is $350 and the cash payment would represent 8.6 percent of the purchase price. That percentage was reached by a measurement of one of the lawsuit’s major claims — that GTX 970 users had 3.5 GB of VRAM instead of the advertised 4 GB. That 0.5 GB discrepancy was calculated as 12.5 percent of the total advertised VRAM. If the case proceeded to the trial stage and the companies lost, the settlement cost would have been $43.75, or 12.5 percent of the $350 average retail price. Because the case never went to trial, and the four companies opted to settle, the $30 represented 70 percent of the original $43.75 settlement cost if the defendants lost the trial.
With a “no cap” settlement, it’s unclear how much Nvidia, Gigabyte, Asus and EVGA have to pay back to their customers that bought the GTX 970. The number of customers undoubtedly grew over the past few months with the GTX 970 considered to be the minimum requirement for a computer to run virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. If the settlement is approved, the defendants have to notify customers by October 23. Those affected will have to submit a claim by December 21 in order to get compensation.