Nvidia-branded graphics cards pop up at Best Buy

I had to do a double-take after spotting this story yesterday evening. HardOCP found out that Best Buy is now stocking retail-boxed GeForce graphics cards straight from Nvidia. The GeForce GTX 460 box HardOCP nabbed has a design that looks straight off the Nvidia website, and the card inside has a plain black cooler shroud with green highlights—again, just like the product shots on Nvidia.com.

I fired off an e-mail to Nvidia to see if I could get a response. The company replied with this statement:

NVIDIA and Best Buy are working together to offer PC customers the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest in PC technologies right inside Best Buy stores. As part of this broad initiative, NVIDIA is supplying to Best Buy specific GeForce models built and supported by NVIDIA. These products will only be available at Best Buy and will complement GeForce products from our partners. We will provide more details on this next week.

Interesting. Old-timers might remember that ATI used to offer retail-boxed Radeons, but I believe that was back before the AMD buyout. Why is Nvidia following in the same footsteps now? The move might help draw more attention to the Nvidia brand, although from a hardware standpoint, I doubt there’s much of a difference between Nvidia- and partner-branded reference cards… aside from the sticker, of course. I suppose we’ll find out more next week. (HardOCP says it’ll have “the full story” later this morning, too.)

Comments closed
    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    Curious. This could signal a dropoff in the number of AIB’s in the near future, a lack of confidence by nV in their AIB’s, or an attempt to keep the name, “nVidia” in the marketplace because of the death of ATI and the rising star that is “AMD Radeon.”

    Just seems like an odd move. I’ve never thought nVidia even wanted a slice of the video card manufacturing business after the way it killed 3dfx and the way ATI killed their own production off. To do this now (when consumer video cards are increasingly seen as their “old market” and Tesla, Tegra, & Quadro are their “new market”) makes it an odd move imo.

    Perhaps they’re getting rid of excess chips that none of the AIB’s want (for some reason).

    • south side sammy
    • 9 years ago

    if you want to read……

    §[<http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1427/1/<]§

      • mrksha
      • 9 years ago

      $299 for reference gtx 460 1GB

      gotta love best buy prices

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        Wow. In the future, grandparents will say things like “a fool and his money are soon parted”, only to be met by inquiring stares from their little grandkids. “What does that mean, Granpa?” the little tykes will say. “Well, son, it means that ‘a fool and his money shop at Best Buy'”. “Oh, why didn’t you just say that in the first place, Grandpa?”. 😛

      • Waco
      • 9 years ago

      l[

        • Shining Arcanine
        • 9 years ago

        Yes, you are.

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    Too bad NVidia never did this with things that mattered, like it’s chipset market. It could’ve made it’s own boards, it had all the features in the bucket and would’ve dominated all the other boards that sported their own chipset merely because they supported all the chipset features on their motherboard.

    It’s quite sad.

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTT?!?!?!?!??!

    • Shining Arcanine
    • 9 years ago

    The nvidia graphics cards are likely reference designs while partner branded cards have had modifications made to the reference design, possibly to make it cheaper.

    In terms of having a well made card, it is probably better to get the reference design. In terms of not having to spend much should something go wrong, whatever has the best warranty is best.

    • wiak
    • 9 years ago

    ATI branded cards was just re-branded Sapphire cards as far i have heard 😛

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 9 years ago

    The difference is support! Many nVidia partners offer lifetime warranty and have an USA based RMA center. It seems nVidia built cards have a 3 year guarantee and a Texas RMA center, so it does not look that bad I guess.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 9 years ago

    Thinking about this I wonder how many AIB partners are just slapping stickers over nVidia cards? I only ask this because I had a 8800GTX die on me, so I took it apart. The card was a BFG branded card but GPUZ always had the mfg as nVidia. Once apart and the stickers tore off it was indeed a nVidia card with BFG stickers covering over the nVidia bits.

      • Farting Bob
      • 9 years ago

      Umm…NV Do make all 8800GTX chips. GPUz reports the manufacture of the chip, not the board.
      Generally the AIB’s have to produce/buy everything else themeselves, NV give them a reference board design which is usually what you see initially and on standard clocked cards. Some partners will then design their own boards to make them shorter/better overclockers. Then slap a sticker on.

      Having said that, there isnt a lot of money to be made in the market, margins tend to be very low.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 9 years ago

      I think reference cards are usually all made by one OEM and relabeled/resold by the various AIB partners.

    • GTVic
    • 9 years ago

    Usually you can only find overpriced previous generation products at retail locations such as Staples, not sure about Best Buy though.

    So if they are trying to get current gen products on the shelves, that could be something new??

    • Forge
    • 9 years ago

    And the 3Dfx death pattern truly begins in earnest!

    Next they’ll begin shutting out board partners and alienating manufacturing concerns, then they’ll fall behind more and more with each product, while promising the Next One is going to be mega!

      • esterhasz
      • 9 years ago

      yeah, truly a dangerous game. I have the feeling that the market forces NV to go lower and lower on their cards and cutting out the middleman is a way to squeeze out a little margin. if you go by the steam HW survey, it’s currently 15/85 to NVs disadvantage in the DX11 segment. If we take these numbers as representative it means that all NV DX11 shipments together are less than half of what AMD sold with the 5800 series…

      With the 6000 series around the corner and new CPUs aiming to kill the low end board market, this may be shape up to be a sad christmas for NV…

      • WaltC
      • 9 years ago

      I thought the 3dfx-branded V3 was by far the best 3dfx product I had owned, only surpassed by the 3dfx-branded V5. What did 3dfx in was not the 3dfx branding, but the fact that the guys bought the STB FAB in Mexico and thought they knew how to run a fab, but they didn’t. To make matters even worse, STB had concealed lots of debt, about $100M if I recall, that was attached to the property but that 3dfx had known nothing about when it bought the factory. 3dfx reluctantly concluded it had no choice but to assume those debts itself. The guys just bit off more than they could chew with the FAB, and that pretty much did them in.

      I don’t believe nVidia is opening its own FAB, so I doubt nVidia will follow 3dfx in that regard. I do think, however, that the emergence of nVidia-branded cards into the retail market signals a couple of possibilities:

      1) nVidia needs to shore up its profits at this time, leading it to eliminate the board-partner middleman to some extent and take its products directly to retail itself in order to bolster its bottom line

      2)nVidia’s board partners are not ordering and selling enough product to suit nVidia, so it is taking its products to retail itself in the hopes of stimulating the sales its board partners could not

      I guess, really, that these are two sides of the same coin. Bottom line: nVidia needs the cash.

        • douglar
        • 9 years ago

        STB did not own a chip fab, it owned a manufacturing facility for producing boards. Also the idea that 3dfx missed $100Mil in debt during due diligence is not credible.

        You are right about Nvidia being cash short and swimming in inventory, so selling their own boards makes sense in the short term. But it is not a good long term decision. AIB partners usually have a good idea about how many boards the market can handle. Trying to force more boards onto the market leads directly to some SKU cannibalism and hostile partners.

        • SiliconSlick
        • 9 years ago

        This is such a BAD JOKE:

        ” I do think, however, that the emergence of nVidia-branded cards into the retail market signals a couple of possibilities:

        1) nVidia needs to shore up its profits at this time, leading it to eliminate the board-partner middleman to some extent and take its products directly to retail itself in order to bolster its bottom line

        2)nVidia’s board partners are not ordering and selling enough product to suit nVidia, so it is taking its products to retail itself in the hopes of stimulating the sales its board partners could not

        I guess, really, that these are two sides of the same coin. Bottom line: nVidia needs the cash. ”

        For all the nvidia haters here and out there, it’s a nice FANTASY to PRETEND NVidia “needs the cash” when they have 1.7 B I L L I O N IN THE BANK !

        NVIDIA sells 6.8 BILLION A YEAR BY ITSELF.

        Now let’s compare that to ATI(xxx that) – err… AMD.

        AMD w ati combined sells ONLY 4.6 billion a year.
        ATI is about 1.4 billion of that.
        AMD/ati is anywhere from 6 TO 8 BILLION IN DEBT !!!!
        (Depends on which crooked RUIZ method book cook you look at) ….

        So NVIDIA is 4X times the sales of ati, AND LARGER IN SALES THAN AMD/(ATI IN NAME DEFUNCT) combined.

        NVIDIA has 1.7 billion in the bank – CASH.

        AMD/ati has 6-8 billion in standing DEBT.

        Now, oh wise sages, and red rooster red card ragers, tell us all again, all over the net, how your endless INSANE FANTASIES about nvidia being in trouble add up …

        I mean it’s so far OFF THE MARK OF THE REAL WORLD, REALITY AS SANE PEOPLE KNOW IT, IT’S ON EVERY GDARN STOCK WEBSITE EASILY ACCESSIBLE FROM YOUR SURFING POSITION, AND FOR YEARS THE INSANE RED ROOTING ROOTER TOOTER TROLLING TARDS OF ATI AMD HAVE BEEN SPEWING THE EXACT OPPOSITE !

        For cripes sakes ! Take a look at their STOCKS and all the free and BY LAW PUBLIC INFORMATION YOU RAGING RED ROOSTER NEWBIES!!! NOOBIES FOREVER !!!!!

        FOOLS ! IDIOTS !!!! MORONS !!! WAKE UP !!!
        GET A CLUE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • moose17145
          • 9 years ago

          You seem upset. Take some nyquil and a beer. It will fix that problem.

          • spigzone
          • 9 years ago

          You’re cute when you scream!

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 9 years ago

        STB was *[

        • miken
        • 9 years ago

        F.A.B. I.S. N.O.T. A.N. A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.

        It’s just short for fabrication plant.

        §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fab_(semiconductors)<]§

      • SiliconSlick
      • 9 years ago

      Good gawd, the insanity is beyond recall…:

      ” And the 3Dfx death pattern truly begins in earnest!

      Next they’ll begin shutting out board partners and alienating manufacturing concerns, then they’ll fall behind more and more with each ….” BLAH BLAH BLAH

      I guess the bottom line is ATI IS ALREADY DEAD.
      A few years ago the collapsing AMD over-blew their non-existent wad on ATI, lost their shirt, and are still so pissed at the flailing driver nightmare they got swamped with, they decided to the CRUSH THE BAD NAME OUT OF THE WORLD. Ati was bought, now it’s BANNED.

      Now, with the massive debt burden carried by AMD, the disappeared brand swallowed whole and a bothersome burden ever since might just — go down with the sinking ship AMD…

      Let’s all hope for a change and a BAILOUT.

      NVIDIA lives on, STANDS ON IT’S OWN TWO FEET AND HAS BIG BANK PACKED AWAY…and it’s red headed little step sizter from hades…
      “is gone forever”

      Yeah, another NOTCH, locked loaded and delivered, realized understood and transmitted, why the little red trolling fanboys just cannot stop with the fail tales.
      Look in the mirror self deceived mouthing parrotsheeple – one card company is already DEAD, and it ain’t NVIDIA.

        • Fighterpilot
        • 9 years ago

        Yup all the wild stories about AMD pwning Nvidia’s ass in the marketplace are just made up stuff.
        Lucky they have -[

        • etrigan420
        • 9 years ago

        Are you for real? Like…seriously for real?

        Please say you are. You’re posts would just be that much more hilarious.

          • Waco
          • 9 years ago

          Seriously…the level of delusion required is hysterically funny. 🙂

        • swaaye
        • 9 years ago

        Is this our buddy Snakeoil?

    • Chrispy_
    • 9 years ago

    The difference is that the Nvidia boxed products won’t be emblazoned with stupid box art:

    kindergarden fairies,
    homoerotic elf bowman,
    scantily-clad bondage vixen + unweildable sword,
    angry werewolf
    space gorilla with laser rifles.

    The endless list of dumbass art aimed at small children fails to impress the adults carrying the credit cards. The only reason it works for Nvidia’s partners is because online retailers rarely show the box – preferring to use a shot of the card itself.

      • Kurkotain
      • 9 years ago

      +1 This

      • Skrying
      • 9 years ago

      Huh? You do realize Nvidia was the one to come up with the fairies, the massively over weight “modder”, etc, etc, etc. They’ve seemed to move on from that, but they were largely responsible for it in the past.

        • dmjifn
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah, nVidia’s Dawn and the nude patch – which my card couldn’t run anyway. I definitely agree that nVidia’s not off the hook on this accusation.

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      Palit’s laser frog remains the best.

      • willmore
      • 9 years ago

      You clearly don’t have children. When we go to Fry’s, my son can’t wait to go look at the video cards. He likes the cars, the dragons, the ‘pretty ladies’, etc.

      • albundy
      • 9 years ago

      you won me at scantily-clad

      • WaltC
      • 9 years ago

      Thanks for that…;) Sometimes I began to question my sanity, as I thought I was the only one who found that kind of box art to be condescending and extremely childish. It reminds me of the time I happened to make a mild, disparaging remark about “action figures” only to have a barrage of 30+-40+ guys & gals answer me, wanting to know why I was raining on their action-figure parades…;) Sheeeesh!

      • Sahrin
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, the ATI reference boards came in the *coolest* packaging. I remember the 9500 Pro box had the gas mask on it, and my AiW 9700 Pro had this cool ‘techno-ball’ on the front. I hate the gimmicky stuff that AIB vendors do.

      • swaaye
      • 9 years ago

      It is perplexing. I think it’s a popular asian cultural thing. That’s where most of those box designs come from I think.

      Some people do like that stuff though.

      • cphite
      • 9 years ago

      Then how can we be sure that the kindergarden fairies, homoerotic elf bowmen, scantily-clad bondage vixens with unweildable swords, angry werewolves, and space gorillas with laser rifles will be rendered properly in the games that we play? If it’s on the box, that’s basically like a guarantee or something, right?

      • TaBoVilla
      • 9 years ago

      Great post mate. I’ve too always wondered why AIB partners use all these silly looking box art in serious products, not only graphics cards but also motherboards (spaceships, dragons and stuff).

      The only reason I can think of is Asian anime culture/influence in places where these boxes are designed and the general consumer audience these products are aimed towards, which in many cases IS geeky guys like us, that might not feel detracted from buying certain GPU even if the laser rifle wielding gorilla on the box cover is a little cheesy, but in other markets it could be even considered attractive.

      • moose17145
      • 9 years ago

      Are you implying you have something against scantily clad bondage vixens?

        • Buzzard44
        • 9 years ago

        The purpose of having scantily-clad bondage vixens on your graphics card is so that you can still use your computer for pr0n even if your power goes off. You see, graphics card makers are getting into multipurpose computing through GPUs, and what better/simpler way than to make your graphics card replace your UPS?

        I, for one, support the idea.

          • Waco
          • 9 years ago

          Uninterruptible Pr0n Supply?

      • DrCR
      • 9 years ago

      You should see some of Scythe’s box art.

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        Thermalright used to have the best box art ^_^. Now, though, they seem intent on copying everyone else’s retail packaging :(.

          • Chrispy_
          • 9 years ago

          Oh man, if everyone took thermalright’s approach, I could actually RECYCLE the 4 ft tall stack of glossy cardboard boxes after every machine build.

    • Thresher
    • 9 years ago

    I have $120 in gift cards to BB and I can’t bring myself to using them because their prices are so atrocious. Despite the fact that it’s essentially $120 in free money, I am reluctant to spend the money because I know that I can get the same thing cheaper elsewhere.

    How messed up is that?

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      I’ll send you my address, you can mail them on over. I’ll take that moral problem off your hands

      • Homerr
      • 9 years ago

      You might be able to get a 7300LE at BB for that price.

        • bthylafh
        • 9 years ago

        With 1GB of RAM.

      • Pettytheft
      • 9 years ago

      Occasionally a good deal will pop up at best buy on video cards. You can usually find it a cheaper elsewhere but with they gift cards it makes them a decent enough buy.

      • moose17145
      • 9 years ago

      Get something that you can’t get for much less on newegg. UPS units for instance. Yes the actual unit is cheaper on the egg… but you lost those savings when you add shipping costs onto most of them because of how much they weigh. (occasionally i see newegg have free shipping on a few UPS’s… but not very often). On average i find buying those types of very heavy things at best buy usually ends up costing about the same as buying them online after you factor in shipping costs. And UPS units are fun and useful when power outages happen.

    • cygnus1
    • 9 years ago

    I wonder if nVidia is selling the cards to BB for very much below what the other AIB makers sell to retail.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 9 years ago

    I’m sure that they’ll sell a $200 GPU for $400 at Best Buy. The markup on basic computer components is huge there.

      • swaaye
      • 9 years ago

      I’ve seen it to be more like $50 more than say Newegg. But BB’s website is cheaper then their brick & mortal stores. There are a lot of additional costs in running those big stores ya know.

      BB makes huge money in their services. That’s where the money’s at. Service plans and their geek squad that runs around helping the lazy and incompetent.

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    Wasn’t this exactly what 3dfx tried to do that killed them? Making their own cards by buying up STB? (Although the late and underwhelming Voodoo 6000 series didn’t help)

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      the AIB’s got mad, and didn’t want to produce them anymore. Ol’well, not the DUMBEST thing nvidia’s ever done.

      • juampa_valve_rde
      • 9 years ago

      i remember that move killed 3dfx in short time, but nvidia main business is selling chips, not cards. in that times 3dfx was the only card maker for the voodoo3, and they didnt sell the chips to anyone, that killed sales.

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        Yeah, I remember 3dfx refusing to sell chips to the cardmakers that had made it successful in the first place – Diamond, Hercules, Creative.

        Fortunately, it looks as if nvidia is not going quite that far. If they can do a good job selling their cards direct to the customer, good luck to them. Though I doubt Best Buy is the best place to do that – I will chime in with the rest of the comments that BB is a good place to get ripped off, although there are still some decent bargains there if you keep yourself informed of market prices.

    • Sahrin
    • 9 years ago

    Read: Most legitimate nVidia AIB partners bailed after nVidia nearly bankrupted them with the Fermi delays.

    Kidding aside, ATI boxed cards used to be the best ones available for ATI – however, they (obviously) didn’t deviate from the retail spec in any meaningful way, and kept 3rd party AIB partners from legitimately competing (it was basically Sapphire and Gigabyte back then – right? and Sapphire only because they *built* the ATI reference boards) with ATI.

    I don’t know which is better, but given that nVidia doesn’t have a standing AIB salesforce (obviously, otherwise they wouldn’t be cutting deals with large national retailers) I can’t imagine they’re better suited for selling AIB’s than EVGA was. (Was it EVGA who just killed their nVidia line?).

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      no, evga is still nvidia exclusive. xfx is no longer nvidia, but nobody knows who’s decision that was.

        • Shining Arcanine
        • 9 years ago

        XFX has no new nvidia graphics cards, which is a problem for me, because I only buy Nvidia graphics cards made by XFX.

    • south side sammy
    • 9 years ago

    They have ATI cards also. But yes,this Sunday I first noticed nvidia products on the shelves. Way overpriced especially for an alert online shopper.

      • NeXus 6
      • 9 years ago

      Yep. I avoid BB like the plague unless there’s a super deal on something I want.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This