Nvidia's bumpgate settlement details revealed

Once upon another lifetime I edited some other online tech news site that has since - naturally - gone downhill. I can't quite recall what the site was callled - The Stinquer or summat - but that's by the by.

Our US correspondent was a barmy geek called Charlie Demerjian who had been upset by the behaviour of a certain graphics chip company. Charlie proceeded to demolish the company with a series of startling articles detailing the outfit's failure to produce a graphics chip that wouldn't fall over in use. Charlie has helpfully republished that series of articles, starting here.

Each new article was quickly - and spookily - the focus of billious comments calling 'foul' and 'bias', but the basic facts were indisputably accurate, rarely just Semi-Accurate. The piece de resistance came when Charlie got his hands on an electron microscope to prove his point.

Not many people know that we submitted Charlie for a Pulitzer, only to rebuffed on the technicality that the site wasn't US based.

Eventually Nvidia - for that was the firm in question - said it had set aside a fortune to deal with the fall-out from its defective chips relating to what we'd decide to call 'Bumpgate'. It later set aside a further $193.9 million to deal with class action lawsuit it was facing.

Now, according to a site that's appeared, detailing the class action settlement, Nvidia has stuck some $2,000,000 in a bank account in order to pay for replacements for those chips that didn't work.

According to the site, "The lawsuit claimed that NVIDIA sold defective Graphics Processing Units (GPU) and Media and Communications Processors (MCP) that affected the performance of some of the computers in which they were incorporated. NVIDIA denies all allegations of wrongdoing and has asserted many defenses. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing."

Also, according to the list, the treatment you'll receive depends on who you brought your defective Nvidia-powered notebook from. Owners of broken HP laptops may be able to get a whole new laptop. Owners of Dells or Macbooks are less fortunate and may just get any repair bills paid... if they are lucky.

Nvidia is quids in, of course. It did nothing wrong; It's chips weren't so bad after all; Charlie's obviously biased and bonkers; and to cap it all off it set aside $193.9 million to pay for the class action and yet seems to have saved some $191.9 million of that figure, minus legal fees, of course.

Shafted consumers remain as shafted as ever, except maybe those bothered to complain in the first place and can be arsed wade through the mountains of cobblers necessary to claim a refund.