Take a smidgen of salt with this, but HardOCP ‘s Kyle Bennett has suggested that both Dell and HP have resisted Nvidia’s strong-arming over its Nvidia GeForce Partner Program (GPP). Considering that collectively these two are responsible for 36.8% of PC sales on the planet, it seems safe to say they hold some serious sway over the graphics hardware market.
Nvidia 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. However, the murkier side to all of this is that for AIB partners to sign up to Nvidia GPP, their gaming brands must be “aligned exclusively with GeForce". If we were to take Dell as an example, signing up to the GPP would mean its Alienware Area-51 desktops would have to be GeForce only, and separate branding would be required if Dell wanted to release AMD variants.
That’s the nuts and bolts of the Nvidia GPP story, but HardOCP’s Kyle Bennett has been particularly vociferous in keeping track of what’s happening and digging deep with his contacts. He alleges that Dell and HP have refused to sign the Nvidia GPP contract, although he has been unable to receive official confirmation from either.
As the report from earlier this week showed, Dell and HP are two of three largest system providers in the world, along with Lenovo. At this stage, it’s unclear whether Lenovo has relented and signed the deal, although Bennett believes that, from the information obtained from his sources, that they too have refused to sign the deal, although he’s not 100% sure. If true, that would mean over half of all PCs sold in the world are already exempt from Nvidia GPP.
Make no mistake about it, if these three successfully push back against Nvidia GPP it would be huge news. Between them, they effectively dominate the budget and mid-range markets where the majority of PC sales take place. Without these players on-board, Nvidia GPP would be dead in the water before its barely begun. The suggestion from Bennett is the big three think GPP is unethical and bordering on illegal, and obviously, none of them will be keen to effectively surrender their entire gaming brand line-up to Nvidia and start from scratch with AMD Radeon.
For now, at least, it would mean that Dell and HP will not receive the discounted prices nor priority allocation that Nvidia GPP partners will benefit from. It’s shaky legal ground, to say the least, and Nvidia is probably going to have to prepare for a fight if it wants this policy to stick. Despite all this though, the anti-competitive methods used by Nvidia doesn't seem to be affecting their standing with consumers. A recent poll here on GD suggested the vast majority won't change their spending habits because of this.