[SOLVED] Does Nvidia/AMD board partners literally make ALL there video cards from scratch?

SeriousGaming101

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Mar 17, 2016
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I'm not sure how it works. When companies like Nvidia and AMD release new video cards, and then their AIB like EVGA, GIGABYTE, ASUS and ETC. release there video cards...

Do the AIB partners create each video card from scratch? For example, Nvidia and AMD send the AIB the digital blueprints for their new video card. And then the AIB just looks at the blueprint and then mass manufactures the chip + PCB + custom coolers in their own factories? (Like licensing a copyright/patent to a company)

OR

Does Nvidia/AMD only manufactures the main square chip in the middle of the card themselves in mass quantities and then sends them to the AIB to install them on the AIB's own PCB + Cooler designs?
 

Barty1884

Retired Moderator
As far as I know, Nvidia mass-produce the GPU die itself (either in-house or outsourced to the likes of TSMC for fab, with AMD owning no fabs and outsourcing everything), and they send specs for the reference board to the AIB to install the die on.

I believe both Nvidia and AMD work with CoolerMaster for their FE cards.

AIB will typically implement the reference board for the first run of cards, entry-level priced models etc.... and design/implement a new cooler, or slightly rework (or outright repurpose) old designs.

Remember, most of the 'work' is assembly. They're not reinventing the wheel for power delivery etc, they're all 'off the shelf' components.

Reference is typically used first, as full-blown drivers & verification isn't available.... They essentially reverse engineer to come up with the custom PCB options.
 

Barty1884

Retired Moderator
As far as I know, Nvidia mass-produce the GPU die itself (either in-house or outsourced to the likes of TSMC for fab, with AMD owning no fabs and outsourcing everything), and they send specs for the reference board to the AIB to install the die on.

I believe both Nvidia and AMD work with CoolerMaster for their FE cards.

AIB will typically implement the reference board for the first run of cards, entry-level priced models etc.... and design/implement a new cooler, or slightly rework (or outright repurpose) old designs.

Remember, most of the 'work' is assembly. They're not reinventing the wheel for power delivery etc, they're all 'off the shelf' components.

Reference is typically used first, as full-blown drivers & verification isn't available.... They essentially reverse engineer to come up with the custom PCB options.
 
From what I gather, NVIDIA supplies a reference design for boards so AIBs have a baseline of what works. NVIDIA also supplies the GPUs for AIBs to integrate. An AIB doesn't have to adhere to this reference design, but they have to make sure the card performs reliably and within spec of the base specification numbers NVIDIA sets out.

So for example, I imagine an AIB can't take a RTX 3080 and skimp on enough components such that the 3080 has to run at a lower spec than what NVIDIA defined. The AIB has to make sure the GPU runs at the base specifications.
 
Sep 24, 2021
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so board companies like gigabyte, msi, & powercolour assemble the PCBs in house? or is it outsourced or a mix?
I guess the question is what do they buy as raw materials: resistors, integrated circuits, and like blank circuit boards that they print & weld components to? Or do they order in pre-cut PCBs with the traces already on them?
 

deesider

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Jun 15, 2017
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so board companies like gigabyte, msi, & powercolour assemble the PCBs in house? or is it outsourced or a mix?
I guess the question is what do they buy as raw materials: resistors, integrated circuits, and like blank circuit boards that they print & weld components to? Or do they order in pre-cut PCBs with the traces already on them?
The PCB is the main component that is customised by the OEM (other than the cooler and usually pointless shroud that's attached). The PCB is a lot more complicated and expensive than it looks - according to Igor's lab the RTX 3080 for instance uses a 12 layer PCB. It will be made either directly in-house or by a supplier according to the custom design - based on the reference by Nvidia or AMD.

The OEM then assembles the board by attaching all the components that are purchased from their favourite suppliers. The GPU chip itself is the only component sourced from Nvidia or AMD, via the foundries producing them - currently TSMC or Samsung.

The price differences between the various models of any one supplier is mostly just added margin for product differentiation rather than a reflection of actual COGS.
 

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