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Old 9th December, 2006, 02:33 PM
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Post Nvidia, AMD accused of conspiracy to keep graphics pricing high

Story from the front page:
http://www.aoaforums.com/frontpage/content/view/1462/2/

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Old 9th December, 2006, 05:44 PM
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wow a company not doign wahts best for the consumer. anyway I havent seen any other companies out with anything compareable for cheaper?
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Old 9th December, 2006, 11:19 PM
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Because ATI and nVidia are pretty much the only GPU chipset manufacturers to throw enough money into R&D to design, and create chipset powerful enough to warrant the high cost.
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Old 10th December, 2006, 01:00 AM
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Yes, it refers to the pricing of new high-end GPUs, rather than cheap mediocre IGPs.

The fact that new ATI/Nvidia cards are always much the same price is a very odd coincidence!
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Old 10th December, 2006, 08:31 PM
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Coincidence, that's the truth, your Honor. Or My Lord. "Lord" is a bridge too far, IMHO. Sometimes I'm glad to live away from "Lord" land.
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Old 12th December, 2006, 04:54 AM
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man i used to beleive in AMD....
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Old 12th December, 2006, 08:20 PM
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I pretty much took that for granted. Anyone who thinks theses guys are our friends trying to look out for us hasn't grasped the ethical void of pure capitalism.

I could care less weather either company is here or doing well tomorrow. They are no friend of mankind... they just make electronic parts I happen to need...
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Old 12th December, 2006, 08:30 PM
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In contrast with you Daniel I hope AMD/ATI IS here tommorrow - without them Intel would completely dominate the CPU market and nVidia would do the same for graphics cards. That would be a bad bad situation
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Old 12th December, 2006, 09:41 PM
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TBH, I'm a little confused.

The goal of any company is to make money. Anyone who believes anything else is ignorant of how business works.

In general, it has been my experience that companies maximize their profit when they provide a good product at a good price to the customer. However, that is a lot of work, and many times the greedy will conclude that they can make ALMOST as much money for a lot less work, and even make MORE money (in the short term), by offering a crappy product at a high price for very little work.

So, as Daniel says, don't assume that a business is looking out for your best interests. It isn't.

But that's not the part that confuses me.

ATI and nVidia have been offering ever increasing levels of performance for a given amount of money. This doesn't require collusion; as the two biggest players in the market, there would be a natural tendency to settle into similar price points and then try to compete on the basis of performance or features based on that price. It appears to me that is exactly what has happened.

Now, am I missing something here? (probably )

Last edited by Gizmo; 12th December, 2006 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 12th December, 2006, 11:28 PM
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Um, yep. The small little fact that SLI and Crossfire can run on non-supporting boards, with hacked drivers.


That's making a monopoly (for your own hardware), and is not "Fair Trade Practice" in the eyes of the consumer, as it is well known that it's simply Egos that keep Crossfire from runinng on SLi chipsets and vice-versa..

Intel is part of this too...965 chipset...Gigabyte's boards support Crossfire, while others do not. Intel is saying 965 doesn't support peer-to-peer writes, but gigabyte's board proves otherwise. Intel then changed thier spec, and made 965 Crossfire supporting.

Remember a certain argument you and Aedan and I had about SLI/Crossfire a ways back?

You are now hearing/reading the end result. Some wrists are gonna get slapped with a ruler. Not a big enough one for MY liking, but oh well.

My attention is on the prize...and we all get it. I just hope it doesn't hurt nV like i think it will...becasue we are all gonna feel the effects of this one, IMHO.
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Old 12th December, 2006, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
Um, yep. The small little fact that SLI and Crossfire can run on non-supporting boards, with hacked drivers.
That doesn't mean collusion, though; that just means that you don't want to invest the effort to make your drivers work on your competitor's hardware, because that effort comes with increased support costs. If anything, that is the exact opposite of price fixing, or so it seems to me, although I will agree that it is anti-competitive.
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Old 12th December, 2006, 11:56 PM
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Um, it's nvidia's chipset drivers (only nV videocards installed can enable peer-to-peer writes for chipset)that do not allow Crossfire on SLI chipsets, and nvidia's video drivers (simply adding a few lines of code...less than 50 characters/ device)that do not allow SLi on Crossfire/975x chipsets...


Your driver does not allow the competition's components to work...not becasue you lack support, but because YOU WROTE OUT THE SUPPORT. The hacked drivers, and HOW they are hacked, is the dead give-away. They actually HAD TO WRITE THE BIT THAT SAYS such mentioned functionality can only be enabled when certain conditions are met...they simply could have not required ANY conditions, in regards to chipset, etc, and actually ended up having less code to write...yes, that's right...the hacked drivers ARE SMALLER.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
Um, it's nvidia's chipset drivers (only nV videocards installed can enable peer-to-peer writes for chipset)that do not allow Crossfire on SLI chipsets, and nvidia's video drivers (simply adding a few lines of code...less than 50 characters/ device)that do not allow SLi on Crossfire/975x chipsets...


Your driver does not allow the competition's components to work...not becasue you lack support, but because YOU WROTE OUT THE SUPPORT. The hacked drivers, and HOW they are hacked, is the dead give-away.
Hmm.......ok. Let's attack this from a different angle:

Intel and AMD chips are capable of running at clock speeds that are significantly higher in many cases than the clock speeds they are sold at, and AMD and Intel both go to a fair amount of trouble to make it harder for you to clock them up.

Why aren't we investigating Intel and AMD for collusion to keep CPU prices artificially high?
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Old 13th December, 2006, 12:16 AM
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LoL. who says we aren't? Fact of the matter is that just because you don't read about it, doesn't mean it's not happening.

However, a cpu is not software written with the intent of making the competitor's product non-functional, it's also not software (as previously mentioned functioning) that is optional...it's required.

If you use our stuff, you use ONLY our stuff. Where's the freedom of choice in that?

But I must digress, my point is merely a small part of the cookie. However the pricefixing ties in with this little interesting tidbit, so it's more than relevant. I'll post why in a minute...would like to see some response on things as they are now first.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
Hmm.......ok. Let's attack this from a different angle:

Intel and AMD chips are capable of running at clock speeds that are significantly higher in many cases than the clock speeds they are sold at, and AMD and Intel both go to a fair amount of trouble to make it harder for you to clock them up.

Why aren't we investigating Intel and AMD for collusion to keep CPU prices artificially high?
I have to agree with gizmo on this one, the fact that the cpu manufacturers keep going to faster busses and lower(and locked) multi's make me angry. I KNOW almost all cpu cores can handle a MUCH higher clock, but chipset and mobo manufacturers are also to blame here(via and machspeed in my case) which actually LOCK the fsb to below a certain freq. My fsb is currently running at its top, but is cooler than my cpu at ALL times. This for some reason is THE LIMIT on this particular chipset (k8t890) with this particular bios(pheonix).

Oh well, it is solid, can't knock the systems of today for being weak kneed like my fist 486 sx. That thing still runs believe it or not, I just gave it to my grandmother-in-law, complete with its sony 2x cd reader .
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Old 13th December, 2006, 12:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo
....This doesn't require collusion; as the two biggest players in the market, there would be a natural tendency to settle into similar price points and then try to compete on the basis of performance or features based on that price. It appears to me that is exactly what has happened.

Now, am I missing something here? (probably )
No, not missing anything!

This is exactly how price fixing works, a natural tendency to match prices. There is no real need of close collusion, they don't need to call each other on the phone. They simply follow the same pattern every time.

Thousands of companies all over the world get away with this all the time, not just AMD and Nvidia.

I don't think greed is always the driving factor, sometimes it is fear of a price war which hurts all involved. Ultimately the customer can lose out in the long term, because the prices fall so low that quality goes out the window.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 01:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danrok
No, not missing anything!

This is exactly how price fixing works, a natural tendency to match prices. There is no real need of close collusion, they don't need to call each other on the phone. They simply follow the same pattern every time.
The legal meaning of this must be different from my understanding, then.

I was always under the impression that 'Price Fixing' or 'collusion' was the result of a deliberate agreement between two or more parties to establish or 'fix' a price for a good or service (in secret), rather than letting the free market decide the price. Under such conditions, there is neither innovation NOR competition. That is patently NOT the case here; there has been a great deal of innovation and competition. $50 today buys me a graphics card today that is VASTLY more powerful than the card that I could have bought three years ago with that same $50. Where has the consumer been harmed here?

Now, this is entirely different from the anti-competitive behavior that Cad and I are discussing; specifically and explicitly preventing your competitor's products from interoperating with yours by the use of arbitrary means (such as code to detect if your competitor's product is installed and then disabling functionality if it is) is arguably anti-competitive.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
If you use our stuff, you use ONLY our stuff. Where's the freedom of choice in that?
If there is a valid technical reason for doing so, then it can be justified. There are entire industries built around doing just exactly that. Try getting a PACS system from Siemens to interface with a transcription system from Softmed and a dicatation system from Dictaphone in a medical environment. All three offer competing products, and don't interoperate with each other willingly.

However, there is some information here I'm not understanding, I think.

Part and parcel of the PCIe spec is that any two devices on the bus can communicate peer-to-peer. Are you telling me that nVidia's chipset drivers specifically disable peer-to-peer communication for ATI cards, or are you telling me that nVidia's chipset doesn't support peer-to-peer unless two nVidia cards are talking? The former is definitely anti-competitive; the later could have a valid engineering motiviation.

Now, on the other side of the coin, are you telling me that nVidia's video card drivers disable SLI if they are plugged into an AMD board? Or are you telling me that nVidia's video card drivers only enable SLI operation if the cards are plugged into an nVidia board? Again, the former would definitely be anti-competitive; the later could have a valid engineering motivation.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 01:15 AM
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Yep, it IS anti-competitive, and even more to the point...it's what leads to this price fixing.
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Old 13th December, 2006, 01:16 AM
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As far as price fixing goes, rarely is anyone prosecuted. Few are foolish enough to actually get together and agree prices, it is more of a nod and a wink type situation. Prices are allowed to settle at the same level, then they just leave it that way. So, difficult to come up with any evidence of price fixing.

I don't know the exact legal definition of anti-competitive behaviour. But, what they're doing certainly sounds like a good candidate.

Now, wouldn't it be funny if both companies were owned by the same people? Oh hang on, they are! Wise investors will always buy shares in both competing companies, perhaps more holdings in one than the other, but this ensures a win win situation - unless the two start a price war of course. So, don't expect any price wars. In the case of public companies, it is the investors who come first.
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