A promotional push by NVIDIA has apparently tied up PC builders, and raised the ire of its competitor AMD. The current leader in the graphics card market, NVIDIA has apparently developed a GeForce Partner Program (GPP) that it claims exists to "ensure that gamers have full transparency into the GPU platform and software they're being sold, and can confidently select products that carry the NVIDIA GeForce promise."
But according to AMD, that vague explanation hides an attempt to elbow competition out of high-profile system lines. A recent report by HardOCP suggests that for PC builders to be a part of the program (with access to combined marketing efforts, bundles and rebate offers) they have to exclusively align their gaming brand with NVIDIA's GeForce hardware (and not AMD's Radeon). Things came to a head yesterday when ASUS suddenly announced a new gaming line, AREZ, that apparently exists only to keep AMD Radeon-powered PCs out of its well-known ROG gaming equipment. With AMD out of the way, the ROG line can join NVIDIA's GPP.
Meanwhile, AMD has taken the opportunity to go all William Wallace, proclaiming that "Freedom of choice is a staple of PC gaming." Its screed never mentions NVIDIA, the GPP or any of its proprietary tech like G-Sync or GameWorks, but reading between the lines makes things clear. From AMD's side, it claims that tech like FreeSync and Vulkan improvements it has developed move the industry forward without harming the competition.
We're not sure if that will convince anyone when it's time to upgrade their graphics card or build a new PC, but it's worth knowing where the sides stand. Asked about the situation, NVIDIA pointed to its March 1st blog post making the case that GPP is simply about consumer education.