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Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang Apologizes For 'Miscommunication' On GTX 970 Specs

With Nvidia customers still fuming about the misleading specs of the GeForce GTX 970, along with a recent lawsuit filing against Nvidia, the company's president and CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, posted an open letter explaining the miscommunication within the company and apologizing to customers.

In the eyes of the consumer, the biggest issue with the GTX 970 was the memory, which some believe is misleading because the advertised capacity was 4 GB but was really 3.5 GB, with the final 512 MB of memory segmented with a smaller bandwidth.

Huang said that the split in memory was the company's new memory architecture and was created to give reduced configurations of Maxwell a larger frame buffer.

"This is a good design because we were able to add an additional 1 GB for GTX 970 and our software engineers can keep less frequently used data in the 512 MB segment," he said.

But what happened between Nvidia's engineering and marketing division was a failure to communicate. By not relaying the specifics of the video memory to marketing, and thus to reviewers, customers were then misled about how the 4 GB of memory was actually implemented on the card. Huang wanted people to be excited about the 970, but the miscommunication resulted in frustrated and angry customers.

As Nvidia moves forward after this incident, Huang assured customers that features will be "clearly detailed from the beginning," and he said that the company "won't let this happen again." Hopefully, its efforts will be enough to regain the trust of old customers.

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  • ny-tech
    Miscommunication? I fail to see how engineering and marketing can not be in sync over the course of the 12-18 MONTH cycle of product development. Publishing deflection only makes it worse. How about a live polygraph interview? No regret over how you have tarnished your product line with inept management or collusion to defraud? Unfortunately, having you publish the words "We won’t let this happen again" does nothing to allay the fear that your company or frankly any company will twist facts and outright lie if it gets those quarterly earnings up. It was bonus season afterall. I had a GTX 970. I was satisfied with its performance. I sent it back in protest of your fraud. I filed a complaint with the FTC and the BBB. I plan to join the class actions. Heck, I even wrote Elizabeth Warren a letter. Your product came into my space and on its label was a lie. That can not stand. There should be consequences for lying, for screwing up. If you get away with it others will try to as well. You should just be happy you don't make faulty ignition switches for automobiles!
    Reply
  • Steveymoo
    Well, technically, the cards did have 4gb of memory, even though 512MB of it is practically unusable. So I should imagine, if someone attempts a class action lawsuit here, they will not really get very far.
    Reply
  • Oldbutstillatit
    No mention of the other lies either.
    Reply
  • Maxx_Power
    If he is correct, then it is a huge lack of oversight for the Nvidia's engineering team. Apparently they do not read reviews of their own labor or Nvidia disregards what the engineers have to say. Either seems highly unlikely. Jen-Hsun apparently doesn't read reviews either.

    Anyone else read about these cards supposedly crashing freezing or causing poor performance in other 3D software (non-gaming) ?
    Reply
  • Onus
    I am perfectly willing to accept this answer, IF the future bears it out; that means to me a tight leash on the marketing droids.
    Engineering would understand this memory design and its implications, but it is the marketing droids that would relate it to existing product descriptions without regard to any limitations.
    Yes, it was a screw-up, and I don't blame people for being upset. I think it is an issue that can be mitigated in software though, and in product literature and advertising by clearly segmenting the RAM there too.
    Reply
  • Corey Carroz
    I really don't get why people are getting so bent out of shape over this. There is 4GBs on the card just 512 of it is slower then the other 3.5. My guess is people who purchased the card bought it because of the benchmarks they saw and the value of the card. How the card uses the last 512 does not change the benchmarks that everyone saw or the bang for your buck for the card. The first comment by ny-tech sounds like someone that wants to find a reason to sue someone and get a free pay day. "I fail to see how engineering and marketing can not be in sync over the course of the 12-18 MONTH cycle of product development." Really??? Do you think marketing calls up the engineering department and asks to review the memory architecture because they want to make sure all 4GBs on the card is accessible at the same speed? No, they would see that the card has 4GBs and advertise the card for having 4GBs on it because it does. MS tried to do the same thing regarding the total memory bandwidth of the XBOX one (only a small subsection of the RAM is as fast as what they advertised). Was MS statement incorrect? No. Misleading yes. It is unfortunate the way all of this came to light but I don't see this as a company trying to mislead people into buying their product. If you are really this concerned over this kind of stuff, do more research before you buy,
    Reply
  • RCguitarist
    So 970 owners, you would have had only 3GB of memory had they not used that process to get it to 4GB. So you got an additional free 500MB of speedy memory out of this. Would you have rather they released it as a 3GB card?
    Reply
  • Murissokah
    One would expect that an electronics developer would maybe check with their engineers before releasing a product. Figures.
    Reply
  • Nossy
    LOL. I bought the MSI 970 GTX despite knowing this. Big deal? It performs just like the benchmarks.

    #1
    Sales/Marketing guys often recycle old technical data sheet because they either are too lazy to update it, or the engineers have not provide an updated version after changes in specs.

    #2
    Also, lab performances are often times different from a production sample so they have to tweak it a little bit, which isn't always communicated to the sales team as long as the production samples met product specifications.
    Reply
  • jeffbrandt
    O, all this hateful spite ! You have all been ripped off ! Really, Then just send your cards back for a refund. I will keep my maxwell. My hat is off to Mr Huang actually.
    He is far more kind and humble than I am. These people at Nvidia work about 20 times harder than the couch potato gamers to keep giving us more graphics power. It is a insanely difficult job. You people have your 4 GB, now give it a rest or just build your own fab and make your own graphic cards. If you want to villanize someone I will tell you who to throw rocks at. Microsoft, thats the enemy.
    Reply