A new class action claims Nvidia falsely marketed the GTX 970 graphics processing unit and misled consumers into thinking it had a full 4GB of VRAM.
The lawsuit notes that over 8,000 GTX 970 customers are lobbying the Federal Trade Commission to take action and want full refunds. Those involved in the class action say the GTX 970, which hit the market last September, hits about 3.5GB of video RAM and when used with a high-resolution monitor the performance begins to tank, with image loading performance impacted severely.
So far Nvidia has not formally responded to the court case filed Friday, Feb. 19 in the U.S. District Court for Northern California. Defendants named are Nvidia and Giga-Byte Technology. The lawsuit requests a jury trial and is seeking damages. The complainants want a refund on the products they bought.
The graphics card maker did make a statement at the end of January regarding the complaints being made. Nvidia acknowledged performance issues were real but due to how it designed the memory and original specs were incorrect.
Angry consumers have also initiated a Change.org petition on the issue, which has over 8,000 supporters. The petition, which also calls on the European Commission to take action, states the Nvidia memory design means that the first 3.5GB operates at 192GB/s (7/8th) while the remaining 0.5GB operates at 1/8th that speed. Such a design does not provide the same performance quality as 4GB of vram running at 224GB/S.
"It is believed that Nvidia should offer its customers a refund or at the very least acknowledgement and compensation, perhaps in the form of a "step-up" program, so the customer can choose what is best for them," states the petition.
One news report cites a consumer discussion thread about the topic at GeForce.com is now 360 pages in length.
In the meantime there are reports that third-party Nvidia product resellers, including Amazon, are giving refunds to customers though the feedback seems to indicate the company is doing so more on an ad-hoc basis than as a full-out refund program.
The legal case filed notes that a class action plaintiff attempted to get a refund, contacting Nvidia and Gigabyte, as well as retailer Newegg, in January but was told by all three companies that there would only be a refund if the item had arrived damaged.