Updated 06/02/2010: NVIDIA called me to talk about this situation. It seems that this was an internal mess-up rather than blacklisting. Basically I was listed in their system as being part of the Latin America region (as I am originally from Brazil and still run the largest website down there) and therefore NVIDIA USA was thinking that I was being handled by their Latin America team. At the same time, the Latin America team was not in touch with me since I live in the USA and thought I was being handled by NVIDIA USA. It seems that this glitch was fixed. As for GeForce GTX 465, they said that they didn't contact any media directly regarding this launch, they let this to their partners to do. So because I erroneously assumed that NVIDIA was providing the cards and giving support directly to other websites, I thought I was being left over. I must add that EVGA is providing a GeForce GTX 465 to us and NVIDIA provided us the necessary support on improving our test bed for DirectX 11 benchmarking. We should be posting a GeForce GTX 465 review very soon. I am keeping the original post below for historic reasons. I am also adding some clarifications made by NVIDIA below. I'd like to thank all of you for the support given and also to NVIDIA, that called us to fix this problem and told us that anytime we feel left over to call them for clarification. In the end everything seems like a big misunderstanding and lack of communication.
From time to time some manufacturer breaks the relationship they have with us. Usually this happens because we stand firm defending unbiased reviews and refuse to take down negative reviews and give the manufacturer the privilege of reading a review before it is posted.
This time we have NVIDIA blacklisting us. After we published a review – without any support from them, N.B. – they complained that we didn’t talk about CUDA or PhysX. I replied saying that we weren’t going to talk about these subjects because we thought they were not relevant to the average user, and we usually don’t re-write reviews. I think this is funny, we have to make a lot of effort to get samples because NVIDIA doesn’t help us and then when we publish the review they complain? If they had given us any kind of support or talked to us clarifying why they think commenting these features would make any real sense to the average user we wouldn’t be so frustrated. But all the reasons they gave us were manufactured by their propaganda machine.
After this e-mail exchange they simply put us in their black list and thus we stopped being invited to their latest product presentations, we were dropped from the list of websites that get products before the release date and we stop getting any kind of support from them. Any e-mail I sent to NVIDIA asking for anything is completely ignored.
Updated 06/02/2010: According to NVIDIA they don't blacklist websites. As explained, they thought I was being handled by another team when I was not.
They must think that we are a small entity, forgetting that I am also the editor-in-chief of Clube do Hardware, the largest website about computers in Brazil, with 20 million pageviews and 7.5 million visitors per month – yes, this website is bigger than most North-American reviewing websites (all reviews posted on Hardware Secrets are also posted on Clube do Hardware).
I am posting this to explain why we didn’t cover the Fermi architecture launch (we weren’t invited for the presentation) nor reviewed any of their DirectX 11 video cards (they didn’t send any samples even after we requested samples a few times). This also explains why we are reviewing more AMD/ATI-based products and why our video section is kind of slow.
Updated 06/02/2010: According to NVIDIA the Fermi presentation was "for selected media only". They didn't explain how one gets into that list.
Curiously from what I read on other websites, it seems that AMD/ATI was able to regain a lot of market share because it seems Fermi architecture didn’t live up to the expectations.
So apparently NVIDIA’s philosophy is “is you don’t say what we want you to say, we won’t support you anymore”. It is amazing how some manufacturers try to control what the media publish about them and try to brainwash journalists. Unfortunately there are some publications that accept this sort of thing. We will always be on the side of unbiased journalism. If a manufacturer restricts us from what we can or cannot talk, we prefer not to work with this manufacturer anymore. The press must be free.
Updated 06/02/2010: Once again, NVIDIA says they don't blacklist media. The above paragraph was written on the assumption that we were being blacklisted.
This Monday NVIDIA will announce GeForce GTX 465. Since I didn’t sign any NDA and since I am not getting any kind of support anyway, here are the basic specs: 352 processors, 44 texture units, 607 MHz core clock, 1,215 MHz shader clock and 802 MHz (2,206 MHz QDR) memory clock. The card will have 1 GB GDDR5 memory with a 256-bit interface.
Obviously we won’t publish a review of this card on the launch date, since NVIDIA blacklisted us.
Updated 06/02/2010: We got a GeForce GTX 465 from EVGA and should be posting its review shortly.
So if you have any complaints on why we haven’t reviewed video card “A” or “B” from NVIDIA, please complain with NVIDIA and not with us.
Updated 06/02/2010: We sort things out with NVIDIA and we hope everything will run smoothly between us from now on.