We have been hearing rumors of ASUS introducing an AREZ sub-brand for its graphics cards, and specifically for its AMD Radeon Series, and sure enough a visit to the company’s website reveals that AREZ is real. While there are no cards listed under the new sub-brand at the moment, it seems pretty clear that ASUS will relegate its AMD cards to AREZ so that it can align is Republic of Gamers with NVIDIA’s GeForce Partner Program (GPP).
In case you have not been following that whole situation, there is a bit of controversy surrounding GPP, which provides additional marketing and sales support to vendors who choose to join. As for consumers, NVIDIA last month explained that it designed GPP “to ensure that gamers have full transparency into the GPU platform and software they’re being sold, and can confidently select products that carry the NVIDIA GeForce promise.”
Where the controversy stems is with NVIDIA’s requirement that participants align their gaming brands exclusively with GeForce products. As it applies to ASUS, assuming the company has joined—and it now looks that way—we would expect the ROG brand to only be used on GeForce products going forward. And that is fine if ASUS truly wants to go that route, but behind the scenes, there have been reports that even though the program is optional, NVIDIA’s hardware partners fear they will be punished if they don’t join the program. Specifically, vendors are worried that NVIDIA will hold back GPU allocations to non-participants, which is especially concerning since GPU supply is already fairly tight.
We can only wait and see if things actually play out that way, or if the situation is grossly overblown. In the meantime, it appears that ASUS has decided to join. The AREZ brand officially exists, and we should see the landing page fleshed out with actual products soon. Based on previous rumors, here is how things are expected to transition on the AMD side of the fence:
- ASUS ROG Strix —> AREZ Strix
- ASUS Dual —> AREZ Dual
- ASUS Expedition —> AREZ Expedition
- ASUS Phoenix —> AREZ Phoenix
The ROG-to-AREZ swap is the most noteworthy, as ASUS has spent a lot of time and resources promoting ROG as an enthusiast brand. Depending on the specifics of GPP, ASUS might not be allowed to build up the same kind of mindshare for AREZ, at least as it pertains to gaming. That is getting a bit ahead of ourselves, though, as the whole situation is still pretty new and developing.