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Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Customers Could Get $30 Refunds In False Advertising Settlement

31 July 2016, 10:48 pm EDT By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
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A class action lawsuit was filed against Nvidia in February of last year over false advertising claims surrounding the GeForce GTX 970 graphics processing unit.

The lawsuit involved more than 8,000 customers who purchased the GTX 970, believing that the GPU is capable of 4 GB of video RAM. However, the GPU was found to be only capable of performing optimally up until 3.5 GB of VRAM.

A proposed settlement has now been discovered in a court filing, which would see GTX 970 customers be refunded with $30 for every unit of the GPU purchased.

In addition to the $30 in refunds to be awarded to all customers who purchased the GTX 970, the defendants of the lawsuit, which have Asus, Gigabyte and EVGA joining Nvidia, will be required to pay attorneys' fees and legal fees worth $1.3 million.

The GTX 970 was advertised to feature 4 GB of high-speed GDD5 RAM. However, customers noticed performance issues when the GPU was pushed to its upper limits. It was then found that the GPU only had 3.5 GB of the high-speed VRAM, with the remaining 0.5 GB running slower by 80 percent.

At the time, Nvidia claimed that the issue was due to a communication error between its engineers and its marketing team, and that the 4 GB VRAM specification for the GTX 970 was not meant to mislead customers. Nvidia continues to defend its position, denying all the false advertising charges being placed upon the company.

However, Nvidia considered the potential costs of continuing the litigation of the class action lawsuit, and has instead decided to move toward a settlement to prevent the inflation of legal costs.

The $30 settlement, which is about 8.6 percent of the $350 average purchase price of the GTX 970 when it was first released, will be compensation for GTX 970 customers for the missing data speed of the GPU. Customers will be able to receive the refund if they are located in the United States and if they submit a valid claim.

According to lawyers, taking the class action lawsuit to court could lead to a best case scenario of customers receiving compensation of $43.75 for each GTX 970 purchased. The $30 refund would be about 70 percent of this value, though this figure could still change as the settlement goes through the process of receiving final approval from a judge presiding the case.

If the settlement is approved, eligible GTX 970 customers will be notified by Oct. 23, with the deadline of the submission of claims to be on Dec. 21.

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