Market conditions ‘forced’ Nvidia into retail

Market conditions ‘forced’ Nvidia into retail

Graphics chip firm Nvidia has penned a retail deal with the US chain of tech stores, Best Buy, which will have it selling Nvidia-branded graphics cards.

The move is a departure fro the firm which traditionally relies on board-making ‘partners’ to sell cards based on its GPUs. The immediate thought that crossed everyone’s mind is that of “What about the partners?”

You could almost hear the air raid sirens going off at Nvidia’s partners’ HQs.

We asked Nvidia for a clarification on the news broken by HardOCP. According to the site – which actually managed to buy a couple of cards ahead of schedule – the cards are standard reference designs, no tweaks, no twiddles: GTX 460 (768MB version w/192-bit memory bus) and the GTS 450. These are cards that are smack dab in the middle of the market and will be selling by the dozens of thousands this Christmas, provided there are enough to go around. HardOCP’s impressions? Standard stuff, with awesome packaging… but the pricing … well, that just might need a little tweaking.

A sidenote, here. ATI, before it was gobbled up by AMD, also played this game: ATI-branded cards would be share the shelf, side-by-side, with partners’ kit. This has since evolved differently, depending on the market you are in, but the fact remains that ATI ‘built’ and sold some reference cards, and some it did not, leaving them to the partners.

Nvidia’s seniror PR manager Bryan del Rizzo shed a bit of light on the current goings-on at the company and the relationship with Best Buy. The answers clarified the main questions on how things will go down, but of course, nothing that will conflict with its partners’ own quest for financial gain.

“Nvidia will begin retailing its own brand of cards in select Best Buy stores from Sunday the 10th of October, 2010,” del Rizzo said. These will be limited to two models – the ones HardOCP mentioned – the GTX 460 (768MB) and GTS 450. The cards will feature reference designs with standard clocks and standard cooling, nothing outstanding about it, although HardOCP did say the retail box was sweet but pricing was so-and-so. Of course, we asked how the pricing worked out. Bryan told us that pricing is entirely up to Best Buy which, by the way, is the retailer set to sell Nvidia-branded cards.

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