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Nvidia Fakes Fermi Boards At GPU Tech Conference

Soulskill posted about 5 years ago | from the red-handed dept.

Graphics 212

fragMasterFlash writes with this excerpt from SemiAccurate: 'In a really pathetic display, Nvidia actually faked the introduction of its latest video card, because it simply doesn't have boards to show. Why? Because it didn't get enough parts to properly bring them up, much less make demo boards. ... Notice that the three screws that hold the end plate on are, well, generic wood screws. Large flat -head Phillips screws. Home Depot-grade screws that don't even sit flush. If a card is real, you hold it on with the bolts on either side of the DVI connector. Go look at any GPU you have; do you see wood screws that don't mount flush or DVI flanking bolts? ... If you look at the back of the fake Fermi, [from this PC Watch picture], you can see that the expected DVI connector wires are not there, just solder-filled holes. No stubs, no tool marks from where they would be cut out. Basically, the DVI port isn't connected to anything with solder, so they had to use screws on the plate."

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Who cares... (2, Insightful)

Bentov (993323) | about 5 years ago | (#29625821)

A company faked a product...won't be the first time, won't be the last time.

Re:Who cares... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625843)

Exactly. This is a non issue. Companies show mock-ups of products all of the time.

This all just sounds like fanboy nitpicking.

Re:Who cares... (5, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#29625893)

It wasn't described as a mock up, but as a real working Fermi board.

NVIDIA are quite a way behind in the next generation race (time-wise, not tech-wise), and they had to try and make it look like they were a month or two away from having product availability. This fakery just makes the late Q1 2010 rumours sound more likely...

Re:Who cares... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625999)

You don't generally call attention to the fact that a mock-up is, in fact, a mock-up. That would defeat the purpose of having it in the first place. They are still going to produce real cards, showing a mock-up doesn't negate that fact. As was said earlier, the article is fanboy crap.

Re:Who cares... (5, Insightful)

parlancex (1322105) | about 5 years ago | (#29627265)

Whoever modded this troll didn't read TFA. It is pure unadultered fanboy bullshit that shouldn't even qualify for the Slashdot idle section. The page is also littered with AMD/ATI ads. The article is the troll here.

Re:Who cares... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 5 years ago | (#29627361)

Since when do "generic wood screws" come chromed and without a tapered head? Has the author actually seen a generic wood screw before?

Summary is crap, article is slashdotted. Next, please.

Re:Who cares... (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | about 5 years ago | (#29627411)

The author has a grudge against nVidia. Read some of his past work paying close attention to how many times he has been wrong before.

Re:Who cares... (4, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 5 years ago | (#29626041)

I dunno. I worked for companies that demonstrated fake products. Well not exactly fake - we had working hardware and software, just that the working hardware was a big mass of board and didn't fit in the box and we still didn't have the CPU power to get more than about 60% of the performance we were supposed to get.

Now we went to great lengths to fake things at the trade show so we could keep the project going. I actually like the idea of tabloid hacks poking around and uncovering tricks like this, it keeps people honest.

Re:Who cares... (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29625847)

Exactly. What is the point of this "news" anyway? Lots of times companies build something that looks kinda like the product but isn't it. This was same with Wii on E3 too before it was released. It wasn't the actual Wii at all.

The purpose is to show off their new products that are coming. Sure, they could you just have a paper that lists the features. But as people are physically there, they might like to see something too. If it's not fully build yet, they have to make up a prototype to show. It doesn't really change anything with the product - when it gets out, reviewers will tell if it sucks then.

Re:Who cares... (2, Funny)

MogNuts (97512) | about 5 years ago | (#29626005)

The second I saw NVidia articles I knew that this was just a PR thing just so that people don't forget about them after ATI's launch. I knew their product wasn't finished and they had to show *something* in development, but c'mon, you have to admit this is pretty funny. I mean--wooden screws and boards!

I didn't know it would be *this* bad, LOL.

Re:Who cares... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626359)

Total BS. Look again. Those are fillister head screws not wood screws. This guy just has an nVidia vendetta.

Re:Who cares... (4, Funny)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | about 5 years ago | (#29627317)

I mean--wooden screws and boards!

They are wood screws, not wooden screws. Wooden screws are made of wood, wood screws are made to screw into wood, and are made of steel.

The boards themselves look legit - except for the odd screws and lack of an actual DVI connection to the board.

Re:Who cares... (2, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29626069)

Exactly. What is the point of this "news" anyway?

What are you, stupid? The question you should be asking is, what's the point of showing a fake product, if not to deceive? There isn't one. If it was intended as an artist's interpretation of a future product, they could have just said so. Clearly this is part of a false advertising campaign to promote their product, and make it seem like they're ahead of rivals when in fact they still have plenty of work to do.

Re:Who cares... (1, Redundant)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29626139)

Because products in development are never like the final versions. That is because they are in development. But people in these conferences like to see something physical, so its better to make up something that looks like the final product along with telling about the features.

If the upcoming product shown in these conferences would be the final version, why aren't they selling it already?

Re:Who cares... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29626317)

But people in these conferences like to see something physical

Of course they do, but why do you think that is? Because they're just dumb punters who like physical objects, even if they're fakes? Or because they actually care about seeing the REAL stage of production, the effort going in, the technical hurdles, seeing the real product before it hits the shelves, etc.? You don't lie to people just because you know they want to hear it.

Re:Who cares... (-1, Redundant)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29626569)

It's not really lying. They're demonstrating what features the product will have and what it will look like. Usually the actual look, while being looked early in art division, comes into the complete package later on. The actual prototype hardware isn't "pretty" to show off its without packaging.

Thats why companies make models they can show off while having the actual hardware elsewhere to show off. The purpose of these conferences is to show off what kind of product you will have. But obviously the slashdotters living in their basements dont understand how producting and getting investors, marketers and press with you works.

And even more so, we are on a tech news site and you cry about the appearance of the product. The technical details are the interesting ones!

Re:Who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29627029)

And even more so, we are on a tech news site and you cry about the appearance of the product. The technical details are the interesting ones!

Right, I agree. And the technical details are that they have no working silicon yet and are behind schedule. But they made a mock-up so that they could pretend that they are on schedule.

Re:Who cares... (2, Interesting)

TheKidWho (705796) | about 5 years ago | (#29627305)

No there was working silicon at the tech show, it was encoding the HD stream live.

Re:Who cares... (0)

fatalwall (873645) | about 5 years ago | (#29626585)

Based on your number I'm guessing you might be married... if you are... do you sleep on the couch a lot?

Re:Who cares... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626195)

They used real hardware for the demonstrations and THAT is what you should be concerned with, not whether the appearance of an internal card is real or not.

Re:Who cares... (1, Troll)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29626289)

So if I go to amazon and pre-order one of these based on the performance, only to find they can't actually mass produce them as valid PCI cards, that's fine? Right. It's false advertising, pure and simple.

Re:Who cares... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626705)

Your statement is contradictory. If you can't pre-order a product that doesn't yet exist, then how did Nvidia falsely advertise anything? In order to false advertise, you would have to advertise a product that is currently for sale.

Re:Who cares... (0, Troll)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29627155)

Prove it. I say advertising is any form of publicity generation related to a commercial product.

Re:Who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29627267)

Nobody said that they weren't advertising. They are advertising, but they aren't false advertising because you can't even buy the product yet. If they pulled out a crate of mock-ups and started selling them as actual Fermi cards, then you might have a point but as it stands now there is absolutely nothing to prove because you have no legitimate argument.

Is an automotive maker false advertising when they show off a concept for a future automobile?

Re:Who cares... (2, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29627339)

They are advertising, but they aren't false advertising because you can't even buy the product yet.

My friend, this is the whole point. Advertising something that is not available, and may never be available (at least as advertised), is a falsehood.

Re:Who cares... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626821)

I'll tell you what, I'll go on amazon, and assuming I actually can, I'll pre-order two.

If it comes up to spec as advertised, you can pay me the cash and I'll ship it to you.. no risk.

If it doesn't I'll give you a free 'under spec' card.

it's a friggin trade show unit, moron.

Re:Who cares... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#29627185)

OK, so you're willing to bet that it'll be OK. What you're willing to bet on, however, is entirely irrelevant to the morality of what they're doing. I surely wouldn't make that bet.

Re:Who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29627489)

It's a friggin trade show unit, moron.

Re:Who cares... (2, Insightful)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | about 5 years ago | (#29626583)

It's completely normal, and there is no deception.

Do you think Nvidia suddenly lost the ability to bring a product to market?

That they'll never produce another product?

Stop trolling

Re:Who cares... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626899)

The purpose is to show off their new products that are coming. Sure, they could you just have a paper that lists the features. But as people are physically there, they might like to see something too. If it's not fully build yet, they have to make up a prototype to show.

A prototype is an early design that has some level of functionality, though it may not be fully representative of the final product. This was a fake. They took some parts from other boards, cut them to fit, screwed them together in a very amateurish way, then put the Tesla logo on it and said "this is the Tesla card." There's a big difference there. The point of the article is that it wasn't a prototype board, and that nVidia doesn't even have a prototype board. The point of the article wasn't that they brought a mockup to a conference, the point was that nVidia is way behind schedule even though they say that they aren't, and they've stopped to building fake boards and presenting them as proof that they are on schedule. That's a HUGE difference.

Re:Who cares... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626573)

The original CD player comes to mind. They demoed it as a small elegant device on the desk, hardly bigger than the actual CD. Under the table, hidden by the tablecloth, were the hulking electronics. But they knew that miniaturisation of the electronics would be just a matter of time and they wanted to show what the system could be.

Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625823)

Goatse [goatse.fr]

Lies! (-1, Troll)

Seriousity (1441391) | about 5 years ago | (#29625835)

NVIDIA is a wonderful company that loves all of us (the linux community in particular) - they would never do something like this! This story is blatantly evil ATI propoganda!

Re:Lies! (4, Funny)

turing_m (1030530) | about 5 years ago | (#29625891)

What the article didn't see fit to mention is that the combination of wooden NVIDIA card and NVIDIA Linux driver still outperform the equivalent production ATI card and ATI Linux driver.

Re:Lies! (2, Interesting)

Seriousity (1441391) | about 5 years ago | (#29625965)

In all seriousity, you speak a bitter truth. My Nvidia 8600GT recently died, so I replaced it with an ATI Radeon 4770, as phoronix had raving reviews about good linux performance. Now the drivers for it have killed my linux completely, black screen with artefacts replaces the login screen and I can't rescue it from a login shell because ubuntu disabled the root password. Rather pathetic that they didn't account for the removal by implementing the option to log in with your normal username (I'm talking about in the recovery mode shell-login here)

So for now I'm using windows XP... Bugger.

Re:Lies! (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 5 years ago | (#29626035)

Why does a disabled root login prevent you from rescuing?

Just log in as you and do "sudo su". Voila, a root shell.

Re:Lies! (0, Offtopic)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 5 years ago | (#29626167)

Sounds like he can't log in as non-root in runlevel 1.

But, Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get a text terminal, then log in as yourself there.

Re:Lies! (1)

smoker2 (750216) | about 5 years ago | (#29627375)

You don't need to log in to run level 1. You are already in. Edit the kernel parameters by adding 1 to the end. Do this from the grub screen before booting the desired kernel . It's called single user mode. Or follow this. [ubuntu.com]

Re:Lies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29627569)

Broken X driver most likely means Ctrl+Alt+F1 won't get him a working text mode back. A more feasible solution for the poster is to boot off his live CD and set the root password on the disk, to allow single user login, or to boot with init=/bin/sh or something similar. None of that is easy.
I recently gave in and purchased a new nvidia 9500 board specifically because there aren't any good drivers out there, once you start demanding things, like shading, 3d and video all working. ATI somehow haven't managed once to do tearing free video, which does work in the free driver.

Re:Lies! (3, Informative)

theTerribleRobbo (661592) | about 5 years ago | (#29626519)

I believe it forces asking for the root account for run level 1.

Dear GP: If that's the case, try sticking a "2" on the end of your boot params (ie. select the line, hit e, edit the line with the mention of /boot on it, and add a " 2" to the end, then hit b to boot).

Re:Lies! (1)

turing_m (1030530) | about 5 years ago | (#29626219)

Now the drivers for it have killed my linux completely, black screen with artefacts replaces the login screen and I can't rescue it from a login shell because ubuntu disabled the root password. Rather pathetic that they didn't account for the removal by implementing the option to log in with your normal username (I'm talking about in the recovery mode shell-login here)

There's got to be something you can do to rescue it, surely - at least to the point where a full reinstall is not necessary. livecd?

I learned the hard way that when you finally manage to get an ATI driver working satisfactorily in Linux do not under any circumstances fail to have a ghosted copy of the HDD made before you install a newer version of the driver. You will not be able to remember the exact moon phase, breed of goat or sacrificial incantation necessary to get the thing working again, trust me. In the end I bought a very cheap NVIDIA. The worst thing about it is that I idealistically bought all AMD/ATI to support the decision to open source the driver. As a result I felt a little bad about making the crack, but the potential for the funny was too hard to resist. Perhaps the joke is somewhat on the mark as it seems a year later some people are still having difficulty with the ATI linux drivers. When I install a new version of Ubuntu (probably next LTS), I will try to get the ATI card working out of principle (reinstall from scratch should be a lot easier). Until then I'm not going to throw another week of my life at the problem.

I honestly don't mean any disrespect to AMD/ATI, some things are hard, some things take time. This is surely one of them. I sincerely wish them the best of luck with their efforts and will continue to buy AMD/ATI wherever possible.

Re:Lies! (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | about 5 years ago | (#29627431)

Rather pathetic that they didn't account for the removal by implementing the option to log in with your normal username (I'm talking about in the recovery mode shell-login here)

Boot to the root recovery shell, then just su username .

      --- Mr. DOS

This is actually a lot more common... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625849)

This is actually a lot more common than you might think. Lots of tech shows (whether it's cell phones, computer parts, etc) bring "fake" models in. Sometimes it's just the production case with weights in. Sometimes, when a device needs to be outputting video, what you see is just a movie being played as opposed to its actual output.

Recently, netbook manufacturers have been caught doing it. During shows, you can see some brand new, thin and light netbook with a sign as "display model only". When show-goers pick it up, they see empty holes where USB, power, and ethernet connections should be. All that's there is a LCD, a keyboard, and a plastic shell.

Re:This is actually a lot more common... (4, Funny)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 5 years ago | (#29625957)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.

Centipedes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626065)

This is actually a lot more common than you might think

Fakery? In my GPU Tech Conference?

not necessarily faked (4, Informative)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 5 years ago | (#29625859)

Having built many a prototype board in my day I can tell you I have utilized all manner of odds and ends including not only wood screws but wood as well - I don't think it means the card is a fake, it may be an engineering prototype or a software development board or whatever. I personally don't see anything in the photos that screams to me "FAKE" !

Re:not necessarily faked (4, Informative)

Raxxon (6291) | about 5 years ago | (#29625873)

Exactly my thoughts. And according to a fudzilla article linked above, this basically what happened. The actual "product" is an engineering build and not something they want a PR guy waving around so they gave him a mock-up of it.

Personally, I don't give a damn what their hype machine has to say about anything. When they get silicon in production and I can "reasonably" expect to get it physically in-hand, then I'll start paying attention... Served me well for "waiting" on Duke Nukem Forever. :p

Even nVidia says it's fake. (1, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | about 5 years ago | (#29625901)

And yet, you still make excuses for them? [fudzilla.com] Any other company would get slaughtered in the press for such an obvious stunt...

Re:not necessarily faked (1)

illumastorm (172101) | about 5 years ago | (#29625909)

I agree. The card used in the demo was likely a prototype and couldn't be shown. The card in the pictures looks more like of a very rough mock up intended to give an idea of what the actual card will look like when it is in production. TFA makes much ado about nothing.

Totally faked. (5, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#29625921)

The end of the motherboard was roughly dremmelled off to match the fan enclosure (that is surely the designed fan enclosure for the card). The power connectors were glued on, and didn't match the solder pads for said connectors (indeed one was mostly sawed off).

Prototype? No. This card can't work.
Blatant fake presented as a working board? Yes.
Back-pedalling and claiming it is a mock up after the fact? Yes.

Re:Totally faked. (4, Insightful)

celeb8 (682138) | about 5 years ago | (#29626163)

The point is that noone could really make themselves care that they showed a mock-up rather than the real product. When they hook it to a monitor and claim that they're showing it in action, THEN I'll give a rat's ass about the hardware in their silly little hands. THEN maybe you'll see outrage if they use a fake. This is, as described above, a non-issue. All this ado over nothing makes me wonder if ATI doesn't have an astroturfing campaign going on or something. (disclosure: I use ATI cards, mostly)

Re:Totally faked. (4, Funny)

m.ducharme (1082683) | about 5 years ago | (#29626185)

Ferocious nerds with no life? Check.

Re:not necessarily faked (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about 5 years ago | (#29626051)

I have done likewise, and I agree.

Re:not necessarily faked (2, Informative)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29626301)

Well, as TFS (yeah, that's right, you didn't even read that!) states, the DVI connector is not actually connected! So it can't actually display anything. Which by definition means, it's no a working graphics card. Which is another way of saying that it's FAKE. :)

Ya well (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 5 years ago | (#29626309)

Notice the source. The site semi accurate is run by a guy, Charlie Demerjian, who was fired from The Inquirer for a number of reasons, including making shit up. In particular, this guy has it in for nVidia. I don't remember the details of why he has it in for them, I think they cut him out of the information loop because he leaked some info he wasn't supposed to. Regardless, he hates nVidia and does everything he can to make them look bad. In his case, that includes just straight out making shit up.

So that's why he's making such a big deal of this being a fake. He wants it to be fake because, well I dunno, I guess that is somehow a "win" in his mind.

Personally I find it funny since companies do mockups for demonstrations all the time. Wouldn't at all surprise me if the card he was holding was such a mockup.

At any rate as with most things in life, you want to check sources, and on the Internet that is doubly true. Some people have an agenda to push and will... modify, to put it mildly, the truth to suit their needs. I though we'd all be well aware of that after all the political BS of recent years :P.

Re:Ya well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626817)

It's fake. You can't cut a slice out of a graphics card and expect it to work. Second source confirming it's fake [fudzilla.com] , unless you want to add Fuad Abazovic to the list of people who want to see nVidia fail for no particular reason.

Re:Ya well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29627119)

You know Fuad's nickname is Fraud right? More notorious than Charlie for not just reporting made up news but actually generating the fake himself and reporting on it as if someone else did it. Photoshopped screenshots and benchmarks are his stock in trade.

Re:Ya well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626823)

Dude, look at the pictures of the back of it. It's not "making shit up" when the board has clearly been cut stright through the barcode stickers.

You can argue it's not a big deal if it's a mockup or not, but it's certainly not "making shit up" to point out it's a mockup when nVidia claimed otherwise.

Re:Ya well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626987)

Funny how the one calling BS doesn't even seem to have read the article nor looked at the images.

Everything he said was based off of images that were taken of the demo. If you don't believe what he says you can look at the image yourself and find an excuse for everything being where it is, like the 8 pin power connector facing completely the wrong way and the 6 pin not lining up with anything, or how the PCB was actually cut to be shorter, or how the exhaust is blocked and the back panel is just screwed onto the card.

Re:Ya well (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 years ago | (#29627173)

Charlie Demerjian, who was fired from The Inquirer for a number of reasons, including making shit up.

Like what? That's a hell of a big accusation just to take on faith.

I think they cut him out of the information loop because he leaked some info he wasn't supposed to.

Unlikely. Because the Inq never signs NDAs. That's their official policy and has been since Mike Magee founded it. [theinquirer.net]

Re:Ya well (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 5 years ago | (#29627357)

Did they claim it was _real working prototype"? Yes
Was it a fake wooden mockup? Yes
The rest is irrelevant.

Re:Ya well (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 5 years ago | (#29627407)

You know, I had noticed a very anti-nVidia bias from the Inquirer before and once I saw your post I realized I hadn't seen any of that sort of thing for a while. Good post. As a disinterested observer I'll confirm that The Inquirer definitely has (had?) it in for nVidia for some reason.

Re:not necessarily faked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626865)

Same here. All the people screaming FAKE!!! have obviously never been in Engineering and Design.

I once had a Modem prototype design on my desk that I could heat my coffee mug with. Would these people like that shipped to them?

They don't look like "wood screws" to me (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 5 years ago | (#29627197)

They look more like the screws used to mount hard disks/CD drives.

faker (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625871)

Those do not look like wood screws to me. not even close. They appear way too small and they dont appear to be counter sunk. Go to lowes and see if you can find any wood screws that match. They do remind me of the ones used to mount motherboards or for mounting 5 1/4 and 3 1/2 drives. And my geforce 7800 gtx has those stand offs with both dvi connectors. I didnt realize that was novel.

Re:faker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626253)

I didnt realize that was novel.

It's not. Note the author of the original linked article: Charlie Demerjian.

He may be correct on certain points, but he is absolutely biased against Nvidia. In fact he is probably Nvidia's largest public critic on the topic of everything.

Meh

Re:faker (4, Informative)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 5 years ago | (#29626379)

I have to agree. I don't see wood screws. What I do see is wide head machine screws holding the backplate to the assembly. Maybe it's because I work in a shop that only manufacture electronics for a specific mission, but I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Much less anything worthy of the hyperbole and sensationalism coming from this article...

I do think that some assembly parts may not fit well or are meant for a different product which could explain the bad fit and finish. Anyway seems like a non-story to me..

Re:faker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626975)

Oh nice! Where can I get these wonderful chromed polished wood screws?

Re:faker (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 years ago | (#29627041)

That was my thought. These look like self-tapping machine screws, w/30-45 offset at the head for pulling sheet metal into a offset groove for panel mounting(read: need a impact screwdriver to use properly or bevel punch). You can get chrome woodscrews, they're rare as anything(defeats the purpose of hiding them in case a plug fallout when putting wood furniture together), much easier to find sheet metal screws, or self-tapping metal of the same type.

I call FUD on the article.

Seriously?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625875)

Some random guy declaring it a fake just from looking at a few pictures? Granted I am not an expert in this field, but NONE of his claims for it being a fake held much water for me.

Re:Seriously?!?! (1)

hattig (47930) | about 5 years ago | (#29625925)

What about the motherboard being sawn short, all the ports being glued on, NVIDIA saying it was a mockup after this report came out, etc?

Well... ya know.. it's hard to tell sometimes... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#29625951)

... Who can you trust? Some random guy out there, or some Anonymous Coward.
I'm utterly perplexed and I don't know who to believe anymore as both sides have such strong arguments. [youtube.com]

Re:Seriously?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625973)

Well, it certainly looks like a prototype. The countersunk screws would go flush if the aluminum plate was properly drilled. They are not wood screws, though. Lots of electronics and mechanical devices have screws like that. The DVI solder filled holes are a bit strange, but they may be working on surface mounting the actual DVI connector to the board and faked it. The days of always seeing pins sticking back through the board are over. Usually the pads would only be on the solder side and not go all the way through, but that doesn't exactly mean it's completely fake. The fact that some of the connectors aren't totally up to spec is also not an indication of a complete fake. If it works on their test machine they may well be running the prototype to work out the software while they polish the final hardware revision. Additionally sometimes you would even see extra pins on a prototype board for debug and testing purposes. While it certainly could be fake, and I haven't actually seen the physical board (just small photos), it certainly isn't nearly as fake as some of the prototype boards you'll see from marketing.

Happens all the time, but... (3, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 5 years ago | (#29625905)

You'd think a company like Nvidia would be a bit more careful given their CEO's penchant for bold claims and harping on any perceived gaffe by competitors.

I suspect this "announcement" was very rushed after AMD's recent announcement of their new DirectX 11 part that seems to outperform anything Nvidia has out at the moment and at a lower price point. Combine that with Intel's snub on producing chipsets for new/relevant PC platforms and one can imagine that Nvidia was anxious to appear competitive. Nvidia is in for a VERY tough slog.

Re:Happens all the time, but... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 5 years ago | (#29625931)

This is just NVIDIA FUD so people will not buy a competitor's product and wait for their own product instead.

Faked or Improvised? (2)

adosch (1397357) | about 5 years ago | (#29625915)

So the biggest complaint FTFA is the improvised/hobbiest/hurried/hasty assembly from Nvidia to make it for conference presentation? I'd say in the end it's still the card, it got demo'd and who cares. It'd be a different story if it was shipped out to the public consumer market that way, otherwise I wouldn't have a problem using it as long as it performed. Duct-tape Engineering at it's finest and it got Nvidia through their conference. I applaud. All that oppose, go cash your /. geek card in at the scrapbook store.

Re:Faked or Improvised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626003)

One major issue with what you wrote: Duct-tape engineering, despite being ugly, works.

A card with superglued power connectors, bits of the board cut off to fit that provide essential power to the GPU, etc? No.

NVIDIA say the card inside the case was a working prototype duct-tape Fermi (tangled messy wires, etc). However can we now be so sure?

The entire conference, interesting as it was, was clearly FUD designed to delay people buying ATI's products expecting an NVIDIA product in late December or similar. I'd suggest that there won't be a product until March 2010 based upon this fakery.

Sobering (3, Interesting)

HNS-I (1119771) | about 5 years ago | (#29625943)

This type of reporting is, in my opinion, one of the best things that have come out of the communication acceleration we have gone through. While many people here are already aware of these practices there many that aren't yet. This is the best weapon we have against the consumer manipulation that has been going on since WWII. I'm not saying that NVIDIA is a bad company, everyone does this, all we need is awareness about it.

huh? so? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 5 years ago | (#29625955)

Seems that they made something because the press think they need photos of a component for which photos reveal nothing. i.e it's a photo. This sort of thing happens at just about every single conference.

Who's been harmed? You've seen photos of something that only looks like the product that you might buy and don't care a jot about the appearance of?

Re:huh? so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626663)

Seems that they made something because the press think they need photos of a component for which photos reveal nothing....

Seems to me the photos DID reveal something!

It's my brick in a box... (2, Interesting)

Stiletto (12066) | about 5 years ago | (#29625975)

Anyone in the embedded systems biz who's ever gone to a trade show probably knows the "brick in the box" technique.

1. You fab a slick looking enclosure for your "new product".
2. You put a brick in the box.
3. You show the box with wires coming out of it, and a PC behind the curtain displayinging the actual app.

That way, you have something to show/promise/sell YEARS before an actual product is ready, and can blame the engineers for being slow to finish and test that "last 10%".

"Wood screws" no big deal, power plugs yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29625977)

It looks like the board is narrower than a 2-slot card, wider than a single-card, so they just used a 2-slot grill and improvised. I found the arguments surrounding the backplate to be pretty weak. If the screws stick out a bit, so what? It doesn't compromise the mechanical purpose of the plate.

But those power plugs and the solder points for them? Wow, those really are whacked.

Reminds me of their drivers (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | about 5 years ago | (#29625987)

Seriously. They've been faking those things for years.

Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrivers (4, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 5 years ago | (#29625997)

The author is apparently not that familiar with screws. "Not being countersunk" has little to do with what type of screw something is. Neither does being a "wood screw" have much to do with bing flush with a surface. It has to do with the screw being "pan-head", and whether the surface has been drilled to allow the screw to fit into it. (That's the 'counter-sunk' part.)

To see if it's a "wood screw", a "machine screw", or a "sheet metal screw", you'd have to see the threads and especially the tip. Wood screws have broadly gapped threads, and a sharp tip, and generally a bit of a taper along their length to the point, designed to gouge themselves into the wood as you screw in but without splitting the wood. Sheet metal screws have closer spaced threads, a sharp tip, and much less taper or none: they're used to screw into soft metal like aluminum and gouge their way in, but you generally have to pre-drill a hole for them. Machine screws have closely spaced threads, no taper, no sharp tip, and require the hole to be pre-threaded to work.

Counter-sinking takes time and a bit of skill to get just right without overdrilling and making the case weak. Merely tapping, or pre-threading is quicker: I can easily believe that a prototype would not be countersunk.

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626089)

Shocker, a Slashdot author unfamiliar with screwing.

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (1)

theskipper (461997) | about 5 years ago | (#29626161)

Shockerer, a Slashdot commenter familiar with screwing.

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 5 years ago | (#29626283)

You are correct. It's gratifying to see people that know something about hardware around here. I agree, those look like machine screws that have a place in the screw kits for working on computers. Either stainless or more likely, plated. I don't recall seeing a head for wood screw that looks like that.

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626351)

The screws are sloppy but not conclusive.
I find the lack of pins from the DVI connector more compelling. And so is the edge from the power connectors.

What i dont understand is that by this time they should have prototype PCB's. So why not just produce the board without the GPU. It would be the real thing except it wont work.

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (5, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | about 5 years ago | (#29626493)

OK. He got the screws wrong. Big deal. Try reading the article.

Some of the things NVidia did on their "working board" include: covering the SLI connector, not having the DVI connector wires go through vias, place the PCI-E power connectors wrong from where the board shows they should be, cut off the end of the board with a saw right though where there was more stuff, have half the vents on the back of the card completely blocked...

This isn't just "they used the wrong screws", this is "total fake that couldn't possibly work". Saying it was a working board was a total lie.

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (1)

forkazoo (138186) | about 5 years ago | (#29626893)

This isn't just "they used the wrong screws", this is "total fake that couldn't possibly work". Saying it was a working board was a total lie.

Meh, they didn't say that was a working board. They said the demo ran off a working board. No real value in playing show and tell with the real engineering samples, as they probably look less like a real card at this point than the mockup does.

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (1)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | about 5 years ago | (#29626981)

The reason he bothered to correct the summary so well was because the summary spent so much time screaming "OMG WOOD SCREWZ!!!"

Also, you are correct: claiming that what was pictured is a working board would be a total lie. As such, the article's author really shouldn't be stating that nvidia claimed that item was a working board, since they had another term for it: "mockup."

In short, the author has an axe to grind with nvidia, and is looking for anything he can to make them look bad. In this case, making shit up. :)

P.S. Stolen from another post in this thread: Fudzilla [fudzilla.com]

Re:Oh, dear: keep programmers away from screwdrive (3, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 5 years ago | (#29627619)

Little things matter. When designing hardware, when building software, getting those little details right helps prevent errors and failures later on. The ranting about the wood screws dominated the original post: failing to correct that would help make anyone else who repeated the rant look like, well, like someone who shouldn't be trusted with a screwdriver.

Getting those details right can help your credibility quite a lot when you fill out a bug report, a blog, or even a letter to family.

Vaporware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626083)

Don't beat them up for showing vaporware.
This is normal practice, I was showing vaporware to my clients many times and have been shown by other companies countless times.
The truth is that the product exists but not in the form you can show it. It may be still attached to a Teradyne machine to exercise it vigorously.
Vaporware is the only way to show a product to your potential customers and get REAL feedback and ORDERS to complete development (not money but a firm commitment to buy if the product meets its specs)

What's faked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29626327)

First of all, those are hard-drive screws, not wood screws, and as they ARE metal screws they could legitimately used as mounting screws for a metal bracket on a graphics card. Second, the "solder-filled holes" on the back of the card are so blurry in the picture, you can't tell if there are pins in them or not. Let alone the possibility of photo-shopping.

What are we supposed to do when a whole article is a troll?

hard drive screws? (2)

madcat2c (1292296) | about 5 years ago | (#29627059)

The screws just look like the screws you need use for hard drives. Wood screws are normally galvanized or black in color. As for the underside connection points, who knows how things are held together on the inside...or they faked it. Pics of the inside or its not a fake I say.

Hack reporting at its best (4, Informative)

richardkelleher (1184251) | about 5 years ago | (#29627331)

I'm sorry, but this screws in the end plate are not wood screws. I work with wood on a regular basis and spent over a decade as a manufacturing engineer in electronics manufacturing. These screws are common assembly screws in electronics, not furniture. It is also common to leave off components on proto, demo or even production PCAs. Many circuits are designed to be partially populated using a single board with various levels of features. As far as "First Silicon" is concerned, if a chip is working to spec, there is no reason not to use it. While this may not be a production board (I have no way of knowing), it could be a working prototype. I'm beginning to think the writer is a bit of a drama queen.

Yeah This Guy Doesn't Have An Agenda... (4, Insightful)

colonslashslash (762464) | about 5 years ago | (#29627599)

From TFS:

Top 5 Articles

1. Nvidia GT300 yields are under 2%
2. Nvidia fakes Fermi boards at GPU Technology Conference
3. Apple keyboard firmware hack demonstrated
4. Miracles happen, GT300 tapes out!
5. Apple to Nvidia: Don't let the door hit your *ss on the way out

Oh, and there's AMD/ATI adverts all over it. Who gives a fuck about nVidia using a mock up, companies do this all the time at tech shows. It's a non-issue! What is the issue is why an article from a site that is so obviously geared around slagging off nVidia was posted here.

(and no, I'm not new here.)

A1 would be second silicon, not first (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29627613)

Generally, the very first chips that come back are known as A0. If only metal layer changes need to be done to fix issues, further revisions would be known as A1, A2, A3.

If a full chip spin is done (or anything more than a metal fix), you start over with B0, and further metal spins are B1, B2, B3...

So, A1 means they probably got A0 back and it had enough issues to later call for doing a metal spin. So one entire premise of this article is quite like false. Ask anyone who has ever done work with real hardware and they'll tell you the same thing about how silicon revisions are named. I've never seen a company that has started out with their first silicon called A1.

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