NVIDIA has reportedly blacklisted the popular YouTuber channel Hardware Unboxed, preventing them from receiving any future GeForce Founders Edition review samples. The reason behind this ban is that the channel is more focused on “rasterization” rather than ray-tracing.
This is a very shrewd and PR-oriented move as there are less than a handful of titles that come with ray-tracing effects worth enabling. The prime examples are Control, Battlefield V, Metro Exodus, and the newly launched blockbuster from CD Projekt Red, Cyberpunk 2077. However, as I’m sure you’ve already noticed, even the RTX 3090 fails to hit 60 FPS in the latter with ray-tracing turned on at 4K.
On a related note, this is something that happened with us as well, although over a very trivial affair. NVIDIA’s APAC (Asia-Pacific) PR Team is full of vindictive and high-headed people. You might be wondering why we didn’t review the RTX 30 series at launch. That was because of an “Unofficial blacklisting” rather than a shortage of cards.
During a briefing where NVIDIA was detailing its new RTX 20 Series Mobile graphics cards, I asked the person in question how “Dynamic Boost” was different from AMD’s SmartShift technology which was just announced at the time. I believe my exact words were whether DB was a copy or “ripoff” of Smartshift, and that was the last time I heard from NVIDIA’s APAC team, till recently.
I was asked for my new address for the purpose of sending an RTX 3060 Ti, and that too a week after the card was already released. I still haven’t released it and after this post goes up, I honestly don’t expect to.
This may be rare among big-time YouTubers like HUB, it happens very frequently with small or moderately sized channels. This just goes on to show how petty NVIDIA’s PR reps really are and how little it takes to ban newer, less prominent outlets.
Compared to NVIDIA, AMD has a much more neutral policy. For starters, you don’t get blacklisted for asking too many questions, positive or otherwise. Secondly, during NVIDIA’s briefings, the PR reps know exactly who’s asking the questions while AMD anonymizes them.
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