Nvidia Sells Graphics Cards At Best Buy

Nvidia is going direct, and the graphics technology maker is using retail giant Best Buy as its springboard.

Nvidia has begun producing some of its own graphics cards and making them available to retailers. So far, it's only building and supporting certain models of its GeForce line and making them available at Best Buy.

However, this represents a significant strategic shift for a company that has made billions designing GPU architectures alone.

In the past, Nvidia has left it to a number of its partners including Asus, PNY, and EVGA to build, package, and sell the chips at retail. In so doing, it has avoided the costs of manufacturing and marketing these chips.

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In an interview with HardOCP on Tuesday Nvidia acknowledged that Chinese company Foxconn assembled the components for the new cards. However, the company has confirmed its exclusive partnership with Best Buy to build its own GeForce GTX 460 and GeForce GTS 450 cards and sell them in the $125 to $250 price range.

"NVIDIA and Best Buy are working together to offer PC customers the opportunity to experience firsthand the latest in PC technologies right inside Best Buy stores," Nvidia said in a statement following individual reports from consumers at Best Buy stores around the country.

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"As part of this broad initiative, Nvidia is supplying to Best Buy specific GeForce models built and supported by NVIDIA. These products will only be available at Best Buy and will complement GeForce products from our partners. We will provide more details on this next week."

Nvidia also said that it did not expect Best Buy to start selling them before the official announcement. Whether a problem in communication exists between partners, or Nvidia simply jumped the gun and got caught by average customers browsing through Best Buy's offerings remains unknown.