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GeForce GTX 970s seem to have an issue using all 4GB of VRAM, Nvidia looking into it

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nowarning

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Oct 21, 2014
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IMHO, kindof.

If you ask group 1 to make a card, and group 2 to document the card - it's possible for something to go wrong. "Bad stuff happens" /shrug.

However, this was a major launch of a new card, and this feature appears somewhat key to how the 970 was going to be received by customers - if it didn't work, then the card would be a turkey. (and I assume "suits" were watching the reception to determine if this technique should be used in future cards)

So, whilst it's entirely plausible that the documentation group made an innocent mistake, it seems rather implausible that NVIDIA didn't realise this when the reviews appeared...

Yeah that makes sense, I'm finding it hard to decide in my head from all that I've read, haha.

It is shitty, but you know what guys, ever since my Geforce 2 MX440 I've had zero issues with any of their hardware so I will give them this one. If true it's certainly not the first time a corporation has lied and it won't be the last.

I guess this pretty much guarantees this won't happen again in the future as well, which surely can only be a good thing!

I'm talking to Novatech now on their support chat and putting the feelers out there to see if they are doing refunds/step ups or whatever.
 

zer0blivion

Member
Feb 6, 2012
3,130
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Apparently EVGA are allowing people to step up to the 980 outside of their usual 90 day step up period. If you have an EVGA 970 card, are in North America or EU, and want to step up to the 980, contact their support department. Of course YMMV.
 

nowarning

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Oct 21, 2014
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Reply from Novatech;

I can confirm that the difference in the way the memory is accessed between the NVIDIA GTX 970 and NVIDIA GTX 980 does not cause any real difference in performance with the product. The performance seen is what would be expected from a product at this price point, and the product meets all specifications which we at Novatech have advertised it with. We are happy to provide a statement from NVIDIA which explains this further, if you so wish. Accordingly, we cannot accept a return for your GTX 970 product for this particular issue. However, if you do believe that there is a specific hardware fault with your product, please provide any screenshots of any problems you are seeing which would represent a fault (for example, on-screen artefacts, crashing or BSOD errors). We can then advise correctly from there whether there may be a fault with your product on a case-by-case basis.

Canned response that totally side-steps the issue, hahaha. If I wanted a refund I would get one, but I'm good for now. I probably would have taken them up on 980 step up if they offered it, though.
 

Bananajama

Banned
Jun 13, 2013
1,682
38
615
Isle of Man
Reply from Novatech;



Canned response that totally side-steps the issue, hahaha. If I wanted a refund I would get one, but I'm good for now. I probably would have taken them up on 980 step up if they offered it, though.

I can see from your profile that you're in the UK

Regardless of what they say - you are entitled to return it
 

Lain

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Jul 24, 2004
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You would have spent $200 more for .5 more gb of VRAM? I'm assuming you got the 970 because of the marginal performance difference between the two, which hasn't changed, but now your mind is changed over a number which has no affect on the benchmarks everyone was raving about a month ago?


Yes, since I wanted a card with 4GB of VRAM. The 200€ more would have simply meant that instead of ordering a 970 at the end of September I would have ordered a 980 in December. Price was only a factor in as far as the two cards having the same VRAM configuration and some of the same specs, but one costing more than the other. I can live with less cuda cores and slower clock speeds, so saving some money to still get a 4GB card seemed perfect to me, but what I was sold is a 4GB card in name only, more or less.

I don't think it's so hard to understand that if I'm sold a card with certain specs, I expect those specs and if I find out the specs were lies, I get upset.
There is no amount of "but the card performs just as well today as it did yesterday" to make up for the lies that pushed me to buy the card in the first place.
Yeah, the card performs just as well today as it did yesterday, who said otherwise? It still isn't the card I wanted. I wanted a 4GB card, so had I known back in September what I know now, I would have bought a 980.
 

SolidSnakeUS

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Aug 1, 2013
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I got my card back in... November? I wonder and hope I can still get a full refund. I'll fall back to my GTX 680 and buy up a GTX 980. Unless you think the 980 may have these issues as well?
 

Naked Snake

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Jun 6, 2004
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I bought mine from Gigabyte through Newegg.com

If I were to try to get a refund or upgrade to 980, who would I contact?

Newegg isn't helping their customers in regards to this. Neither is Gigabyte from what I believe. You could try contacting either of them but you're going to get the same canned response.
 

nicoga3000

Saint Nic
Mar 15, 2010
18,890
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I'm still not sure I fully understand the issue at hand. If the 970 wasn't gimped on that last 0.5GB of VRAM, would it be as good as the 980? I mean, I love my 970 and have no desire to spend an extra $200 for a minor performance boost at maximum settings.

Also, serious question - is this false advertising on Nvidia's part? Again, my lack of being able to fully understand the issue means my question may be completely off base.

E: Although if the issue IS bigger than I'm thinking, I'm sure Amazon will refund me for a "defective product" and allow me to order a 980. :3
 

Naked Snake

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I assume MSI won't help either right?

I haven't heard anything about MSI from other users so far. Only manufacturer in the US that seems to be helping is EVGA (and only by offering a step-up to 980, not refund)

Some Amazon customers were able to return their cards I believe citing incorrect product description/specs/false advertising.
 

Mengy

wishes it were bannable to say mean things about Marvel
Jun 8, 2004
9,648
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So..no magical driver update that will fix the memory issue? ;<<

It's a hardware issue, no driver update was ever going to truly fix it, just mitigate it. Any true fixes are going to have to be done on a game by game driver basis most likely, especially for games that push close to that 3.5GB wall. And as the months tick by more and more new games are going to push that wall.



Then maybe let's come back to this when these 4 GB required games come out and the 970 starts cratering in performance. Right now it's all false outrage because it has consistently killed every game coming out.


WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS ENTIRE THREAD IS ABOUT??? o_O


Seriously, can you bother to read the thread before you come in here insulting people?
 

Starzonedge

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Apr 3, 2013
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Newegg isn't helping their customers in regards to this. Neither is Gigabyte from what I believe. You could try contacting either of them but you're going to get the same canned response.

That's a shame. It's not really the missing .5gb that makes me want a refund, but stuff like not being able to play Far Cry 3, a game from 2012, at max settings/1080p/60fps. And recently, Dying Light has some weird stuttering issues. It's not the huge jump I imagined (coming from a 560ti) and doesn't match up with the "I JUST LOAD UP ANY GAME AND IT TOTALLY CRUSHES IT" claims I read on GAF.
 

Deepo

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Jun 20, 2011
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Strongly considering asking for a refund on my SLI 970 cards and going with a single 980 instead. This debacle can't be good for the resale value of the 970.
 

jfoul

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Jan 14, 2009
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I bought mine from Gigabyte through Newegg.com

If I were to try to get a refund or upgrade to 980, who would I contact?

If you bought the video card in November, you should fall under the holiday return policy. I would just say it has loud coil whine or something. Amazon also has the same holiday return policy. I recently returned my Gigabyte G1 970 for a full refund at Amazon which I bought it in early November. I also returned an Asus 970 Strix with loud coil whine in late October through Newegg without any problems.

If you get another 970 or go with the 980, I would suggest going with EVGA for the step-up program and great customer service. I currently have the EVGA 970 FTW+ and it's been great, and I have the step-up program to fall back on if the price drops on the 980 in the next 90 days.

We want to ensure your holiday shopping this year is hassle-free. That&#8217;s why we&#8217;re automatically extending our return policies on almost every product to January 31, 2015. There's nothing additional that you have to do!

  • Return for refund until: January 31, 2015
  • Return for replacement until: January 31, 2015
  • Restocking Fee: None
 

LilJoka

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Dec 22, 2013
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Still doesn't change that the card is still a good performer under most cases. It's when it's pushed to a point where it's not quite the ideal card where the issue likely arises from my point of view.

I agreed that the card performs amazing utilizing up to 3.5GB VRAM.

Your point that using 3.5GB+ VRAM would make the game unplayable in any scenario makes no sense. The only reason tests shown require 4k etc to break the 3.5GB barrier is because the NVIDIA driver is actively keeping the VRAM below 3.5GB until it gives up. You dont need to be a genius to know why. So currently utilizing 3.5GB+ VRAM requires silly settings to be used. On the other hand you dont need to use silly settings to get the GTX 980 to use 4GB VRAM.

1080p games are starting to use close to 3GB now, sooner or later 1080p settings will use 3.5GB or more and then the 60fps with stutter will be realized.
 

Inkvoterad

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Aug 16, 2014
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Fucking god damnit, and i just started saving money to buy a 970. What the fuck am i supposed to get now? AMD? I already got one and the fucking noise it makes could possibly be heard by deaf people, and i want that sweet juicy next gen fur.

FUCK
 

ISee

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Feb 18, 2014
4,793
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Fucking god damnit, and i just started saving money to buy a 970. What the fuck am i supposed to get now? AMD? I already got one and the fucking noise it makes could possibly be heard by deaf people, and i want that sweet juicy next gen fur.

FUCK

If you just started saving, then keep on doing so and wait for AMDs 3xxx specs, reviews and benchmarks and decide then.
 

wumster3000

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Mar 28, 2010
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Apparently EVGA are allowing people to step up to the 980 outside of their usual 90 day step up period. If you have an EVGA 970 card, are in North America or EU, and want to step up to the 980, contact their support department. Of course YMMV.

Why I alway stick with EVGA. If this is true I'm returning my 970's for 980's.

I've been following this thread closely and I agree that it's not about whether my card is performing well, it's about them not being upfront about it and how they are trying to spin it.It's about me buying the product that was advertised as a 4GB card. I would have never bought the card had I known that certain situations will not allow it to go over 3.5GB of VRAM. So what if the other .5 is there, it's not accessible in the same manner as the other 3.5.
 

wazoo

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Jun 10, 2004
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1080p games are starting to use close to 3GB now, sooner or later 1080p settings will use 3.5GB or more and then the 60fps with stutter will be realized.

4GB is not a magical number. As soon as a game will need 4GB, the next one will ask for 4.1GB, and so you will swap.

VRAM amount is ok for a given GPU power in a given timeframe. Currently, cards with more than 4GB do have too much VRAM for the current game requirement, and when the hungry games will come, they will have not enough horsepower to stand up.
 

Naked Snake

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Fucking god damnit, and i just started saving money to buy a 970. What the fuck am i supposed to get now? AMD? I already got one and the fucking noise it makes could possibly be heard by deaf people, and i want that sweet juicy next gen fur.

FUCK

Wait until the price drops or get a great deal on a used one. At least you'll get a better deal than early adopters and you'll know exactly what you're getting. And if AMDs next line drops by then you might have even better choices.
 

LilJoka

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Dec 22, 2013
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4GB is not a magical number. As soon as a game will need 4GB, the next one will ask for 4.1GB, and so you will swap.

VRAM amount is ok for a given GPU power in a given timeframe. Currently, cards with more than 4GB do have too much VRAM for the current game requirement, and when the hungry games will come, they will have not enough horsepower to stand up.

Erm yeh but most people thought buying a 4GB card would let them use 4GB properly, not 3.5Gb....
 
Jun 27, 2012
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I agreed that the card performs amazing utilizing up to 3.5GB VRAM.

Your point that using 3.5GB+ VRAM would make the game unplayable in any scenario makes no sense. The only reason tests shown require 4k etc to break the 3.5GB barrier is because the NVIDIA driver is actively keeping the VRAM below 3.5GB until it gives up. You dont need to be a genius to know why. So currently utilizing 3.5GB+ VRAM requires silly settings to be used. On the other hand you dont need to use silly settings to get the GTX 980 to use 4GB VRAM.

1080p games are starting to use close to 3GB now, sooner or later 1080p settings will use 3.5GB or more and then the 60fps with stutter will be realized.

I never mentioned the word "unplayable" but I can see why you thought that I'm saying that the card makes things unplayable at 3.5 GB+.

I've been thinking about the potential stuttering and performance issues that arises when the graphics card cannot have the memory usage in check and end up with a lot of access to the 512 MB segment, and yeah, I might have to agree with you on there, but then again, I could also argue that there'll be issues with 4GB video cards sooner or later, either way, when video memory requirements rise. No matter what the size of the memory a card has, I suspect at some point in time, something will make use of more than that.

Can't exactly future proof anything, methinks.
 

calder

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Jun 9, 2004
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UGH, i kinda hate asking here guys sorry but I wanted to order a card this weekend and this is really fucking with my head. Should I get a 970, knowing what we know now, or get a R9 290X for about the same price? I'm trying to read online buyer reviews for both cards but now I'm just 100% convinced that every card ever sold either dies in a week or has a skull piercing coil whine.

I like the power power consumption of the 970, but I"ll probably have to get a new PSU anyway (fucking 450w one in my pc now, thanks Dell... no wonder they threw a 7770 in there).
 

SolidSnakeUS

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Aug 1, 2013
8,394
2
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If you bought the video card in November, you should fall under the holiday return policy. I would just say it has loud coil whine or something. Amazon also has the same holiday return policy. I recently returned my Gigabyte G1 970 for a full refund at Amazon which I bought it in early November. I also returned an Asus 970 Strix with loud coil whine in late October through Newegg without any problems.

If you get another 970 or go with the 980, I would suggest going with EVGA for the step-up program and great customer service. I currently have the EVGA 970 FTW+ and it's been great, and I have the step-up program to fall back on if the price drops on the 980 in the next 90 days.

We want to ensure your holiday shopping this year is hassle-free. That’s why we’re automatically extending our return policies on almost every product to January 31, 2015. There's nothing additional that you have to do!

  • Return for refund until: January 31, 2015
  • Return for replacement until: January 31, 2015
  • Restocking Fee: None

must be returned to Newegg by January 31, 2015 for this policy to apply. “Return” constitutes receipt of the product by Newegg, and not the mere issuance of an RMA.

Basically impossible now.
 

Trojita

Rapid Response Threadmaker
Feb 9, 2009
37,903
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I would upgrade to a 980 if Nvidia gave me the choice. My 970 is a reference card from Nvidia, so I literally can't go through anyone else but Nvidia.
 

Starzonedge

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Apr 3, 2013
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jfoul

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must be returned to Newegg by January 31, 2015 for this policy to apply. &#8220;Return&#8221; constitutes receipt of the product by Newegg, and not the mere issuance of an RMA.

Basically impossible now.

I would contact them, I've always had good experiences with Newegg returns. Amazon requires the item be mailed out by the 31st.
 
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