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Graphics Crime Hardware

Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany 76

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-they're-just-resting dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Several fake NVIDIA cards — probably GeForce GT 440 — have had their BIOS reflashed to report themselves as GeForce GTX 660. They were sold under the brand "GTX660 4096MB Nvidia Bulk" but only deliver 1/4 of the speed of a real GTX 660. Investigations are ongoing into who did the reflashing, but several hundred of them have already been sold and are now being recalled."
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Fake NVIDIA Graphics Cards Show Up In Germany

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  • by flowerp (512865) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:41AM (#47772433)

    I made a test order of one of these products for evaluating whether they are any good for mining. The 4 GB video RAM on the card and the supposed graphics chip on the card would have made a very good deal.

    But it became apparent immediately that this was an outdated Fermi gerneration chip, despite the card being recognized as a GTX 660 by the driver. The card ended up on my scrap heap because it was useless for my purpose (high power consumption and low performance)

    At the time I assumed it was some kind of OEM product (relabeling older chips under newer product names is very common in the GPU business). But the investigation of the c't magazine seem to indicate that there is some VBIOS tampering going on and that this is not happening with nVidia's blessing at all.

    I'll be following the story closely to see what the outcome of this clusterfuck will be.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @03:57AM (#47772471) Homepage

    There's also the delivery company that could have switched them. I know for a fact not all delivery companies are to be trusted equally.
    Or, if either Kosatec or POV uses a company to handle their warehousing, a third company.

  • by r1348 (2567295) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @04:20AM (#47772521)

    It's just some hacked electronics, not so uncommon. I bought a 32Gb mSDHC card a few months ago on Amazon, and I received a "32Gb mSDXC" card, complete with fake Samsung packaging, that on a better inspection turned out to be an old 2Gb mSD card with hacked firmware to show up as 32Gb to the host system. Of course any file transfer beyond the 2Gb limit was failing miserably.
    No biggie, I contacted Amazon and received a full refund, and the dealer was soon after banned from Amazon, apparently I wasn't the only one being scammed.

  • by DrYak (748999) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @05:31AM (#47772651) Homepage

    Yup, historically, there have always been official card, where the manufacturer try to pass an older chip as a "low-entry" of the newer generation.
    (like the GeForce 4MX, which was basically a variant in the GeForce2 familly and thus lacked the programmable shaders of the GeForce 4 Ti familly, but got quite successful due to brand-name recognition)

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Thursday August 28, 2014 @06:41AM (#47772835)

    Indeed, this is nothing new. It takes all of 10 seconds to find fake video cards being sold on eBay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/OEM-GT... [ebay.com]

    The sellers will simultaneously lie and tell the truth to skirt the rules and not get banned. Not that eBay actually cares about counterfeit goods.

    Right now it's rebadging Fermi (400/500 series) generation parts as modern Kepler (600/700 series) parts. However it's an old scam, and if you go back a few years you can find G7x (7xxx series) cards that were being rebadged and sold as GT2xx cards [anandtech.com].

    The method of the scam hasn't changed: flash a hacked vBIOS to change the device ID so that it shows up as the desired card. And as long as sellers aren't prosecuted it will keep happening. There's just not much risk in this kind of fraud on the individual level. Though the scam in TFA is large enough that it's certainly going to attract more attention than the perps would like.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 28, 2014 @07:10AM (#47772899)

    I ran into this with RAID controller cards, way back in the day. The part numbers on the chips had apparently been scraped or burned off. The systems identified them as ATI, but the cards were such crap that the mounting plate was misattached and you couldn't make it fit in the system without filing and carefully remounting the card. The boss tried to say "oh, just bend it and force it, that'll put extra force to keep it in place". The customer was *ballistic*, and should have been ballistic, at the complete crap we were selling them.

    The place was amazing: they had a bunch of H1B visa employees who didn't dare leave, had no ability to say "this is a bad idea" to the main sales guy who'd assemble complicated bids out of ideas he saw in Wired, and I was supposed to make everything work together with my MIT secret sauce. I got out of there *amazingly* fast.....

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