Anti-competitive Actions (PhysX) by Nvidia - class action?

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by Mize, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    Let's say you put together a really sweet home theater system only to find that one of the components would hand-shake the others and then disable itself if the others weren't from the same manufacturer.

    Would you tolerate that?

    Would it be legal?

    That's effectively what nvidia has done with PhysX. It's not just that I have to have their GPU to run it - I'm fine with that and I bought one - it's that I cannot have a competitor's GPU in the same system or they disable their hardware. Yes, there are hacks to make it work but then secondary disablers kick in on a per game basis to, again, make the combination break.

    It's clearly an orchestrated effort to say "If you want PhysX you have to buy and use ONLY Nvidia GPU hardware."

    Would it be legal if Intel did something like this when they found a non-intel GPU in an i7 rig? What about a non-intel chipset? Of course Intel wouldn't do this because they've been under the anti-competitive hatchet before. It's time for Nvidia to learn this lesson.

    Nvidia's efforts to force 100% Nvidia GPUs are clearly for anti-competitive purposes only. It's been demonstrated over and over that a heterogeneous GPU/PhysX combo works just fine. What's more, this type of anti-competitive behavior is, quite likely, illegal.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. rpg.314

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    It would definitely be illegal if nv was a quasi-monopoly or worse.
     
  3. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    It's been deemed illegal for MS to force (or even default) to a browser product when you purchase an OS product. Isn't this similar? Buy an Nvidia GPU for PhysX, forced to switch to Nvidia GPU for graphics?
     
  4. XMAN26

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    Yeah, bitch to ATI. Nvidia is under absolutely no obligation to provide drivers and maintain drivers for a system setup they can not debug. As then they would be in the legal house with AMD over that. They have no way to garuntee that an ATI driver update wont hose the PhysX drivers for their cards in said setups and to debug would probably mean having to disect ATI drivers to figure out what they did to cause the issue which could lead to a legal battle. So instead they axed it. I've said this hundreds of times acorss multiple boards. I dont agree with the stance, but I completely understand why.
     
  5. XMAN26

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    No, because you dont have to play the game with PhysX enabled as it is an option, not a feature you can't turn off.
     
  6. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    That's an interesting claim XMAN26, but I have both cards in my rig working fine together. These are independent functions. Nobody, least of a I, am saying Nvidia should take responsibility for any other company's drivers. What they're doing, however, is intentionally breaking heterogeneous configurations, both through driver-detect (which is patched by the community to work) and through TWIWMTBP software as a backup break.

    If Nvidia starts making sound cards and disables either the sound card or the nV GPU if the other isn't nV is that okay? Same thing!
     
  7. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    It's a feature that for which I purchased their hardware.
    They are telling me that's not enough - I have to eradicate my system of their competitor's hardware or they won't let me use it.

    Like I said, if they did the same things with 3d sound cards would that be acceptable or legal?
     
  8. FrameBuffer

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    Imagine the uproar if you will if either AMD or Intel decided that having an nVidia graphics adapter installed was enough to justify forcing PCIe to run at 1x/4x speeds because neither AMD nor Intel can guarantee nV's hardware to run optimally:

    This just in:
     
  9. Davros

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    They dont need to, when ati cards worked with physx they did not debug ati drivers nor did they supply them,
    Intel are under absolutely no obligation to provide drivers and maintain drivers for a system setup they can not debug. should they disable the cpu if there isnt an intel gpu in the pc ?

    physx calculates the physics ati renders if something isnt rendered peoperly its ati's fault not nv's
     
  10. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    And I'm not even talking about allowing the ATI GPU to run PhysX, I'm talking about letting the ATI GPU render while the NV GPU does PhysX.

    You can't tell me it's a driver things because NV drivers allow me to render on both cards simultaneously, they just turn off PhysX from the driver and from the TWIWMTBP games if they detect ATI.

    What if you chose Firefox as your default browser and windows turned of Aero? It's just a feature after all and you can use windows without it.
     
  11. XMAN26

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    Your whole line of though sounds liek a used car buyer. I bought my used car from Honda with a warranty, so they should have the parts to cover it. Why do they need to goto GM to get my parts, I didn't buy it from GM. Again I will reitterate, I DO NOT AGREE with what Nvidia has done concerning PhysX in regards to using their GPU with ATI cards for PhysX, I side with gamers here, but I understand their view point on a driver support level. Granted, all their card will be doing is PhysX, what if an ATI driver update did/does cause a PhysX driver error, Who are you going to bitch to? My bet will be it wont be ATI even tho it was their driver update that caused the problem to begin with.
     
  12. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    Your logic is flawed. PhysX is not a rendering call. The soundcard analogy is correct.
     
  13. Malo

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    The point is that they are disabling the option for us to do this purely to force users to buy their products for rendering as well. As stated above, if you really believe this is due to possibly driver issues, then the PC wouldn't be what it is. Everything would be closed hardware by a specific manufacturer to guarantee compatibility.
     
  14. FrameBuffer

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    it's more like you buy a used Honda with a warranty then later purchase a GM supplied Stereo.. then the Honda refusing to start because of the presence of the non-Honda radio ;)
     
  15. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    What if AMD disabled AA when Intel processors were present because an intel driver might break AA & then you'd complain to AMD instead of intel.

    Sounds stupid, doesn't it?
     
  16. CarstenS

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    I think, Nvidia is in full rights to do whatever they want with physx - they've bought it and heavily invested in it after all.

    If you ask me, if I'd consider that policy a smart move, then I might just have to think about it a bit longer. ;)
     
  17. Mize

    Mize 3dfx Fan
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    Carsten, that's the point. PhysX is not rendering, it's a calculation. Nvidia is disabling their computation hardware when an AMD renderer is present. Would it be okay for Intel to disable floating point or SSE if the renderer wasn't Intel?
     
  18. CarstenS

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    The point is not lame analogies with cars or CPUs, but a technology which is owned by a company.

    Nvidia is not disabling their hardware, but part of their software. It's not very nice, but if they think that's the right way to care for their customers (even those who also bought a Radeon)… that's not my decision to make.

    edit:
    Coming to think of it, there's actually a scenario which resembles the physx situation: Intels optimizations where the CPU helps the integrated GPU with vertex work:
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17732/1

    Even though in reality this only applies to intel platforms, I'd not think it would be illegal, if they switched the optimizations off when no Intel CPU is doing the work for the chipset graphics.
     
    #18 CarstenS, Mar 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2010
  19. XMAN26

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    So your contention is that there is no way ever that an ATI driver update could break the PhysX driver. While I'd agree with, you can never sy never. Remember, people always thought 3DFX would never go out of business let alone get bought up by Nvidia.
     
  20. Sontin

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    They never said that you can use a geforce card for physx/compute together with a graphics card from an other vendor. Maybe you should buy a card from someone who will promise this feature.
     
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