There are more questions than answers surrounding NVIDIA's GeForce Partner Program (GPP), which offers hardware partners a slew of perks and support in exchange for aligning their gaming brands with NVIDIA's products. Beyond a blog post by NVIDIA announcing the program, companies have been willing to discuss the program in detail. As such, it's not clear which companies are choosing to participate, and which ones are not. However, there is a rumor that ASUS has opted to join the program, that it's creating a new AREZ sub-brand for AMD cards.
We're taking this rumor with a pound of salt, but according to Videocardz and information it obtained "directly from ASUS," the company is attaching its new AREZ brand to Radeon series graphics cards and aligning its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand exclusively with GeForce cards. However, the Strix brand will still be used on Radeon cards as well for some SKUs, resulting in AREZ Strix cards.
ASUS created its ROG brand/division to separate its enthusiast and gaming products from the pack. These products often carry premium features and amenities not found on the company's other hardware lines, and usually offer robust overclocking support. But if ASUS is joining NVIDIA's partner program, as far as our understanding goes, it would have to align ROG with NVIDIA's cards. That appears to be what's happening, at least based on this rumor.
Here's how things are said to be transitioning:
- ASUS ROG Strix ---- AREZ Strix
- ASUS Dual ---- AREZ Dual
- ASUS Expedition ---- AREZ Expedition
- ASUS Phoenix ---- AREZ Phoenix
While ASUS is rumored to be replacing "ROG" with "AREZ" for its Radeon series cards, some of its cards will apparently retain the word "Gaming" in the SKU. To use the same example above, the SKU will transition from ROG-STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING to AREZ-STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING. That seems to go against what NVIDIA is shooting for with its partner program, but again, the finer details of GPP are still a mystery.
Clarity will come as times goes on. In the meantime, all we can do is pay attention to the marketplace and speculate. MSI, for example, dropped the "Gaming" moniker from its AMD cards on its website, but only its global portal—you can still find Gaming branded AMD cards on its US site (though not for Vega).
While all of this is going on, ASRock recently announced its first line of graphics cards, the Phantom Gaming series, which at the moment are all AMD Radeon cards.