Bought a GTX 970? Congrats, Nvidia owes you thirty bucks

GPU maker opens wallet to make class-action suit go away

Graphics goliath Nvidia has agreed to a settlement that will see it pay $30 to American gamers who purchased its GTX 970 graphics cards and can file a valid claim.

The pay-out deal [PDF] settles a class-action claim accusing the company of misleading consumers on the specs of the gaming card's memory and processor capabilities. Specifically, a class of customers had complained that Nvidia overstated the video RAM (advertised as 4GB but only 3.5GB in practice), render output processors (56, advertised as 64), and L2 cache (advertised as 2,048KB, but really 1,792KB).

Launched in the fall of 2014, the GTX 970 is the mid-range model of Nvidia's graphics card lineup. The cards usually retail at around $350. The $30 rebate figure was calculated to cover for the discrepancies between the advertised specifications and those the card actually delivered when installed in customer PCs.

Under the terms of the settlement, Nvidia will have to pay out the $30 per unit rebate to customers living in the US who file a valid claim. There is no cap on the amount Nvidia will pay out, though customers will have to file their claims during a yet-to-be-determined class period through an administration website that will be set up to handle the claims.

The settlement also calls for Nvidia to pay up to $1.3m to cover the court and administration costs of the case.

As part of the settlement deal, Nvidia will not have to admit to any wrongdoing in the case and the company can still deny the accusations. While the settlement deal has not yet been formally approved, both sides have put the agreement forward as "fair, adequate, and reasonable."

"Although Plaintiffs and Class Counsel had confidence in their claims, a favorable outcome was not assured," the filing reads.

"Defendants would no doubt present a vigorous defense at trial, and there is no assurance that the class would prevail – or even if they did, that they would not be able to obtain an award of damages significantly more than achieved here absent such risks." ®

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