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Lawsuit Filed Against Nvidia Over GTX 970 Specs Controversy

Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 owners are still fuming about the company's misinterpretation of the actual specs of the graphics card as it was stated on release. One specific customer took the next step against the company last week in the form of filing a lawsuit.

The plaintiff, a Michigan resident named Andrew Ostrowski, is suing the company on the basis that Nvidia misled customers about the actual specs of the GTX 970 and also concealed facts about the real specs of the graphics card itself. Ostroswski is also suing Gigabyte because he bought two of the company's GTX 970s, and it advertised the same specs as Nvidia at the time, specifically on the memory capacity.

The lawsuit is based on the specs sent to reviewers in terms of the memory capacity (4 GB), number of ROPs (64), and the capacity of the L2 cache (2 MB). However, the memory was split between 3.5 GB and 512 MB, the number of ROPs was actually 56, and the L2 cache had a smaller capacity of 1.75 MB.

In a recent post concerning the actual specs of the GTX 970, we found that even though the memory is split in two segments of 3.5 GB and 512 MB, with a memory bandwidth of 196 GB/s and 28 GB/s, respectively, it still contains the 4 GB of memory as advertised. However, the ROP count is actually 56 as opposed to the advertised 64, and the L2 cache has a capacity of 1.75 MB despite Nvidia claiming it was 2 MB.

While Ostrowski is the main plaintiff in the lawsuit, he also represents other customers in the same situation. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, which has jurisdiction over the case due to the criteria of U.S. Code, Section 1332(d) which requires that the "amount in controversy" to be more than $5 million exclusive of interest and costs, that there are more than 100 plaintiffs represented, and that the plaintiffs reside in different states.

The court has additional jurisdiction under U.S. Code, Section 1332(a), because the amount in controversy is over $75,000 and the plaintiffs are from different states. The last part of that criteria is important, because if the lawsuit goes through and Nvidia and Gigabyte are found guilty, then both companies will have to pay customers a large sum of money for the misleading specs.

In any case, the controversy has already put Nvidia in a bad light, and it might take some time for the company to regain the trust of its once-loyal customers.

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  • agentbb007
    I bought a GTX 970 so can I get some money back too? BTW I really like the card though :)
    Reply
  • zloginet
    nvidia wants to fix this the right way... offer free GTX 980 upgrades. Perfect.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    I get that false advertising, as mild as a case as this may be, is obviously pretty shady. But, who really buys graphics cards based on a spec sheet and not benchmarks and in-game performance?

    "This card has an L2 cache of 2mb? That's the card for me!"
    -weeks later-
    "WHAT?! This card only has a 1.75mb L2 cache?! Even though it still delivers exactly the experience I wanted, I'm furious!"
    Reply
  • hakesterman
    He has no lawsuit because on the outside of the box it states the actual spec's and i am sure they updated that before they released it, they alway's do.
    Reply
  • neon neophyte
    dstarr. that might be true except for ram.

    a card will give you the performance you expect until you tap out the ram fully. if a game is designed to use over 3.5gb you performance will fall off sharply.
    Reply
  • Shankovich
    The 970 is still a great card, but I agree, nVidia deserves this. It's about consumer rights, and false advertising should be punished.
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    I do agree that this is a good lawsuit, Nvidia should not have been hiding the past few months over this issue. They instead should have addressed it or apologized and been mature about it.
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    Wow how sad. People just love to sue. Sure NVidia gave the wrong specs, but i mean sheesh, that's just one little mistake nvidia did.

    Give them a break, every now and then expect a mistake. But when I see people actually suing companies for such a little thing makes me mad.

    I do agree that Nvidia shouldn't do this again, and if they did keep lying about their products then sure you could sue, but this is the first time i've ever seen this happen, give the company a 2nd chance!
    Reply
  • RedJaron
    I hope this suit gets tossed out. I think DStarr has it right. The card performs the same now as it did when it was reviewed ( possibly even better if drivers have improved performance. ) It's so ridiculous how litigious the US has become. Nothing is ever my problem, it's all someone else's fault. The only people who might have a legitimate complaint are those who bought twin 970s for hi-resolution displays because that's where the limitations will really start to show.
    Reply
  • TNT27
    15356726 said:
    Wow how sad. People just love to sue. Sure NVidia gave the wrong specs, but i mean sheesh, that's just one little mistake nvidia did.

    Give them a break, every now and then expect a mistake. But when I see people actually suing companies for such a little thing makes me mad.

    I do agree that Nvidia shouldn't do this again, and if they did keep lying about their products then sure you could sue, but this is the first time i've ever seen this happen, give the company a 2nd chance!

    Think of it this way, you bought a car that was listed to have 190HP, V6, 3.4 L, etc.
    However the company comes back an says hey it cant do 190HP, its only rated for 170 HP, still the V6 though, but it still goes fast, just not as much as we said it would! How would you feel? You paid for 190HP, yet get 170HP, and all they can say well it still goes fast, just not as fast as you paid for it to go.
    Reply