Nvidia’s GeForce Partner Program (GPP) has certainly lit the proverbial fire under PC gamers’ arses. The program, which Nvidia brazenly suggests “better serves gamers”, aims to unite AIB partners under Nvidia’s great green banner. Add-in-board manufacturers can sign up to become GPP partners in order to get their hands on the latest innovations, work with Nvidia’s engineering teams, and also engage in cross-brand marketing. You scratch my silicon, I’ll scratch yours. As Nvidia puts it, “Partners are signing up, fast. They see the benefit of keeping brands and communication consistent and transparent.” The downside to all this is that in order for AIB partners to sign up to Nvidia’s GPP, and get the fabled Nvidia GeForce Promise, they must have their “Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce.” And what exactly does this mean? Well, it means the branding used by graphics card producers must be unique to GeForce graphics cards. Right now, for example, ASUS has its ROG STRIX range of best-in-class GPUs. In order for ASUS to join the GPP, none of its AMD graphics cards can carry the ROG STRIX branding. Nvidia is throwing its weight around to decimate AMD’s Radeon branding, practically overnight, and the results are already plain to see. This week MSI and Gigabyte stripped their Radeon GPUs of their ‘Gaming X’ and ‘AORUS’ brand respectively, willing to do whatever it takes to stay in Nvidia’s good books. That’s not a dig, as it’s understandable when the GeForce market share is so very dominant worldwide. Nvidia’s argument for all this is that “GPP ensures our engineering and marketing efforts support brands consumers associate with GeForce. That transparency will give gamers the confidence needed to make their purchase, whichever products they choose.” But what do you think?Will this have any effect whatsoever on which graphics card you’re going to pick up? Or will you always go for whichever you believe to be the best buy from whichever GPU manufacturer?
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