Nvidia’s been getting pretty peeved lately about data centers using its GeForce graphics cards their data needs, rather than the dedicated Quadro and Tesla products. It just so happens that Nvidia’s gaming-focused GPUs do a pretty good for datacenter applications these days, which is an awkward side-effect of making top-notch GPUs.
For Nvidia, this means data centers are buying the cheaper GeForce graphics cards rather than splashing out on the much more expensive Quadro or Tesla GPUs. In an effort to combat this, Nvidia has tweaked its GeForce EULA (End User License Agreement), prohibiting users from deploying GeForce graphics cards or software in data centers.
"No Datacenter Deployment,” reads the EULA extract. “The SOFTWARE is not licensed for data center deployment, except that blockchain processing in a data center is permitted."
The only data center usage Nvidia is allowing for its GeForce graphics card is cryptocurrency mining, unfortunately. That’s the one area which could’ve actually helped keep GPU prices down in a big way. Anyway, anything else is in breach of the EULA and potentially opens the user/company up to a lawsuit.
This type of strong-arming really is antithetical to consumer choice, dictating how and when Nvidia’s products should be used. At the end of the day, if Nvidia’s putting out a cheaper product that can do much the same thing, why wouldn’t a data center take advantage of this to reduce costs? All this indicates is Nvidia is probably overcharging for its enterprise GPUs in the first place. Good luck to Nvidia enforcing this rule, it’s probably going to need it.
Is it fair for Nvidia to dictate GPU usage? Should cryptocurrency mining also be prohibited? Let us know!