MSI managed to incense a spate of Facebook followers when a rep for its MSI Gaming page in India suggested that AMD graphics cards are not worthy of its "Gaming X" brand. The comment came in response to a follower accusing MSI of "siding with Nvidia," under the assumption that MSI joined Nvidia's recently announced GeForce Partner Program (GPP).
"This is not about siding with any supplier. Nvidia currently are ahead of the GPU experience and people would also not buy anything sub-par to it," the representative said.
The post has since been deleted, though is still visible at Forbes where contributing writer and former AMD employee Jason Evangelho posted a screen capture. MSI also deleted a comment in response to a question asking if joining Nvidia's affiliate program means it won't be making any more AMD graphics cards in the future, or using AMD GPUs in its laptops and desktops.
"If it's up par with performance, MSI will definitely be able to do so," the rep replied.
Many people would agree that, generally speaking, Nvidia has the edge over AMD in GPU performance. What's not sitting well with users, however, is how that might be related to GPP.
There is some controversy surrounding the program, which provides various support and perks to hardware partners who agree to align their gaming brand exclusively with Nvidia. The controversy stems from an investigative report by Kyle Bennett at HardOCP on the matter. The story was shopped to him by AMD, and initially there didn't seem to much of a story at all. However, Bennett claims multiple companies spoke with him on the condition of anonymity, each of which voiced concerns that Nvidia would hold back allocation of GPUs if they chose not to participate in the optional program.
This would be a huge concern, particularly with the continued shortage of GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia. When graphics card manufacturers can effectively sell every card they produce and still come up short, getting a smaller allocation would lead to a significant loss of revenue. Of course, when you can sell every card, Gaming X branding or otherwise, naming becomes less important.
It's important to note that this has never been substantiated. Furthermore, Nvidia promoted the program in a blog post, claiming transparency and saying the program is an effort to "better serve gamers."
Getting back to the hubbub with MSI, it's not known if the company has joined the program. Other than the comments made by the "lone employee," there is no indication either way, just an apology over the initial posts.
"We apologize for making an inappropriate comment. It did not represent MSI's official views," MSI said.
Adding to the mystery are reports that MSI had previously removed all Gaming X branded Radeon cards from its website, which sparked the inquiry on Facebook and subsequent drama. We don't know how long they might have been absent, but as of this writing, MSI is showing Radeon cards with its Gaming X brand, such as this Radeon RX 580 Gaming X+ 8G. There are no custom versions of the Vega 56 or 64, however.