GeForce RTX 2080Ti feature

Report: NVIDIA controls which reviewers will get sample graphics cards from third-party AIBs [UPDATE]

I’m pretty sure that most of you are really looking forward to some benchmarks from the upcoming NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti and RTX2080 graphics cards, right? Well it appears that these first reviews will be controlled by NVIDIA. According to HardOCP, NVIDIA now has complete control on who will be receiving sample GPUs, even from third-party AIBs.

As HardOCP reported, AIBs now submit lists of reviewers to NVIDIA which the rejects or approves the reviewer based on its own list of approved reviewers. If a reviewer is rejected, AIBs will not be allowed to send them a sample graphics card. That’s something entirely new. In the past, AIBs were free to send sample GPUs to whoever they wanted.

“NVIDIA has demanded that its AIBs tell NVIDIA who will be reviewing the AIB’s custom RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti cards. We were forwarded emails from other reviewers, from the AIBs that were asking specifically, at NVIDIA’s direction, “Who will be performing the review content?” “What is that person’s phone number and email address?” That is a bit odd, as we have never seen this before in 20 years of reviewing video cards. AIBs in the past have been left to pretty much operate their own review campaigns on new video cards, but that seems to have come to an end. From these lists of reviewers submitted to NVIDIA by the AIBs, NVIDIA has put together its own list of “approved reviewers,” and sent their approved list back to the AIBs in order to let them know who they are allowed to sample review cards to.”

Not only that, but those who receive a sample GPU will have to sign a multi-year NDA that according to HardOCP’s lawyers reporters should not probably sign it.

“If I’m a reporter, I probably would not sign it. I could pick on several elements but basically, it is intended to provide a strong control over work product of the reporters. The definition of confidential information is way too broad. Broadest I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen and drafted and enforced a large number of these. Also, the typical exclusions to confidential information are not provided, but they exist at common law anyway. The 5 year duration of the obligation is just stupid for this type of technology. It’s pretty ridiculous top to bottom.

I don’t really agree with the interviewed attorney. He seems to think it very reasonable and “not that onerous.” I have to wonder what he thinks is. It’s a very heavy-handed way to deal with the media.”

Obviously this sucks for everyone that was getting sample GPUs from NVIDIA’s AIBs but – on the other hand – this will not affect some of us that have never received a sample GPU. And yes, we’ll be sure to purchase an RTX2080Ti once they are available so we can include it in our PC Performance Analysis articles.

Nevertheless, and after what has happened with the GeForce Partner Program, it’s a bit disappointing witnessing NVIDIA – the company that unquestionably produces some really interesting graphics cards – shooting itself in the foot with these ridiculous and anti-consumer decisions!


According to Guru3D and Videocardz, AMD is doing the same thing!