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NVIDIA will pay GeForce GTX 970 owners US$30 each for misleading VRAM claims

By Koh Wanzi - on 29 Jul 2016, 7:18pm

NVIDIA will pay GeForce GTX 970 owners US$30 each for misleading VRAM claims

NVIDIA has agreed to a preliminary settlement in a lawsuit brought to it for alleged false advertising of the amount of VRAM on the GeForce GTX 970.

Yes, it’s that issue again. The case was filed in February 2015, and the plaintiffs are all customers who purchased a GeForce GTX 970. They filed complaints against NVIDIA and partner manufacturers ASUS, EVGA, and Gigabyte, alleging that these companies had made misleading claims about the true hardware specifications of the GeForce GTX 970.

As you’ll recall, the GeForce GTX 970 was advertised as having 4GB of VRAM, but users could really only access up to 3.5GB. That might seem like a small thing to quibble over, but that, along with other discrepancies in the number of ROPs and size of the L2 cache, combined to make buyers feel as if they weren’t quite getting the performance they paid for.

As part of the settlement, NVIDIA will now have to pay US$30 for each GeForce GTX 970 unit. This isn’t limited to just the plaintiffs though, and the agreement covers any US resident or entity that bought a GeForce GTX 970 in the US from any of the defendants, their partners, or authorized retailers before 24 August 2016.

Image Source: NVIDIA

The settlement fund itself is unlimited, but NVIDIA and the other companies will also have to pay up to US$1.3 million in attorney’s fees and related expenses. On top of that, the 23 named plaintiffs will receive incentive awards of up to US$25,000 from the defendants.

US$30 per customer may not seem like much, but when you add everything up, the total settlement is likely to end up costing quite a bit for all the companies involved. The GeForce GTX 970 has long been a fairly value-for-money card that offered good performance at a reasonable price. It also forms the baseline requirement for VR headsets, so it’s safe to assume that NVIDIA has sold a lot of these cards. That’s backed up by figures from the monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey – the GeForce GTX 970 is reportedly the most popular card among Steam users, and over 5 percent of respondents were using it as of June.

Source: U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California via Polygon

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