Listen up you gaming geeks out there! If you purchased the Nvidia GTX 970 Nvidia may owe you some cold hard cash, thanks in part to some bad advertising and misleading specifications that has led to a proposed settlement in a class-action lawsuit.
For those that don't recall, shortly after the GTX 970 rolled out, users started noticing issues with the cards 'alleged' 4GBs of VRAM memory. In short the card's memory allocation didn't work correctly and wasn't allowing games and applications access to the full 4GBs of memory. Additionally, when access to the additional memory was available users saw significant drops in performance.
Nvidia later admitted that the design of the card was to blame, which split the card’s memory into 3.5GB and 512MB segments. Nvidia’s CEO later explained that the memory segmentation was an inventive way to make the GTX 970 a 4GB card when it normally would’ve been 3GB.
In addition to the issues with crippled memory, it was later discovered that Nvidia also made false claims on other specifics. The card was originally listed as having 64 ROPs (Render Output Unit), when in fact it was found to only have 56. The L2 cache capacity was also misrepresented at 2048KB but in reality it ended up being 1792KB.
At the time some online retailers felt the need to offer refunds, which many of you geeks out there likely took advantage of. However, others felt a little more slighted and filled lawsuit over the issue. The lawsuits largely claimed that Nvidia misled its customers. Allegations that Nvidia has continued to deny. The proposed settlement would not force the company to admit to any liability or false claims, rather they would issue a cash refund for those impacted.
According to the proposed settlement (via The Register) GTX 970 owners will be reimbursed $30 per card. Essentially the amount that they feel makes up the discrepancy between what customers should’ve paid had Nvidia been honest about the memory and ROP discrepancies from the start. The court will hear the petition to approve the settlement on Wednesday, August 24, as first reported by Top Class Actions. A total of 15 lawsuits seeking class-action status would be settled if the proposal goes through.
As the agreement has not yet been settled there are no details as to how GTX 970 owners can claim their refund. However, it appears as though eligible owners that have previously registered their cards will be notified of the settlement by October 23, and all claims will need to be filed by December 21. We'll be keeping track of the settlement so that once there are more details about filling claims we can update our readers so they can get their $30 refund.