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Laptops With Certain NVidia Chips Failing

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the hardware-sucks dept.

Bug 310

Eukariote writes "An estimated 18 million laptops with NVidia G84 and G86 graphics chips sold in the past one and a half years are experiencing high failure rates. Various laptop models from multiple manufacturers (Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others) are affected. NVidia blames it on bad chip packaging causing thermal failure. BIOS updates that turn the laptop fan on more frequently or permanently have been released by Dell and HP. The cynical interpretation is that this is likely to only delay the problem until the warranty has expired."

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310 comments

Literal interpretation (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427725)

Having to have my laptop fan all of the time to account for a bad chip is an unacceptable fix. It's loud, it takes more electricity to run, and it shortens the life of the fan, and possibly the whole computer as a result.

Let me guess.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427859)

These laptops were made by chinks, right?

Re:Let me guess.... (2, Interesting)

mraway (1321283) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428297)

These laptops were made by chinks, right?

You moron, the problem is all about the chips, not laptops, no matter where were they made.

ATTENTION SHOPPERS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427727)

ATTENTION SHOPPERS: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE NECROTIC DOG PENIS. I REPEAT, PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE NECROTIC DOG PENIS CURRENTLY LOOMING OUTSIDE LOT 4. CONTINUE SHOPPING BUT PLEASE ENSURE YOU LEAVE VIA AN ALTERNATIVE EXIT AS WE ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY IN LOT 4, DUE TO THE NECROTIC DOG PENIS. FOR YOUR INFORMATION, LOTS 1, 2, 3, 5 AND 6 ARE CURRENTLY FREE OF BAYING NECROTIC DOG PENIS. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE NECROTIC DOG PENIS. THANK YOU.

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter = censorship, lameness filter = censorship, lameness filter = censorship, lameness filter = censorship, lameness filter = censorship, lameness filter = censorship.

Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition.

Today's fun fact (5, Insightful)

mu11ing1t0ver (1175051) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427753)

"The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it." - George Bernard Shaw

Re:Today's fun fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427775)

If you choose to take the cynical interpretation why not ignore the update and hope it fails in the warranty? Of course if you do that and it fails not long after the warranty then you'll have only yourself to blame for being a cynical bastard.

Re:Today's fun fact (4, Informative)

pairo (519657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428563)

I don't know about the US, but in the EU, you are "entitled to have the goods brought into conformity free of charge by repair or replacement" even if they aren't broken as such (i.e. dead).

Nvidia appears to be screwed... (5, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427773)

Here are exerpts from the most amusing description [theinquirer.net] of the problem:

All Nvidia G84 and G86s are bad

The short story is that all the G84 and G86 parts are bad. Period. No exceptions. All of them, mobile and desktop, use the exact same ASIC, so expect them to go south in inordinate numbers as well. There are caveats however, and we will detail those in a bit.

Both of these ASICs have a rather terminal problem with unnamed substrate or bumping material, and it is heat related. If you ask Nvidia officially, you will get no reason why this happened, and no list of parts affected, we tried. Unofficially, they will blame everyone under the sun, and trash their suppliers in very colourful language.

When the process engineers pinged by the INQ picked themselves off the floor from laughing, they politely said that there is about zero chance that NV would change the assembly process or material set for a batch, much less an EOL part.

For dessert, there's this [theinquirer.net] article to finish :)

Don't care about failures as long as games fast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427783)

Unc Mongoni!

Oh, So That's What Happened... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427807)

My MacBookPro turned on one morning, and everything worked but the display. I managed to log in, launch iTunes and play some music, but no graphics output. A trip to the Apple store later and I'm out a machine for a week. Never had an explanation, but now I am curious if i should send it back and ask for a new logic board with a graphics chip that isn't going to fail again prematurely due to faulty design.

What should/can I do?

Re:Oh, So That's What Happened... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427925)

Just continue to use iTunes without the display, you pussy. Sheesh -- typical Mac user.

Re:Oh, So That's What Happened... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427931)

Have you tried rebooting with f8 in safe mode?

Re:Oh, So That's What Happened... (4, Informative)

postmortem (906676) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428011)

it is not logic board, it is motherboard. And yes, that is PC term. And yes, you got one.

Same thing happened to me and others (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428065)

I had the exact same experience in June, and I've seen plenty of other people in forums have it, too. There's some debate though whether this is the problem, or whether there's some sort of firmware glitch, as the machines show a different video card if you VNC into them and look at the system information.

Re:Oh, So That's What Happened... (5, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428187)

My MacBookPro turned on one morning, and everything worked but the display. I managed to log in, launch iTunes and play some music, but no graphics output. A trip to the Apple store later and I'm out a machine for a week. Never had an explanation, but now I am curious if i should send it back and ask for a new logic board with a graphics chip that isn't going to fail again prematurely due to faulty design.

Well, unless your replaced logic board fails again, I don't think Apple would take it back for replacement, since it basically works. Unfortunately, the affected GPUs are basically the entire nVidia 8x00 line (except for desktop 8300, and all the 8800's). Very few laptops actually use the 8800M GPU (think gaming laptops), so any other replacement, even a new laptop with an nVidia chipset will likely have the problematic GPU. The other alternative is to find a laptop with an AMD/ATi or Intel GPU.

Is my macbook faulty? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427817)

i think that the better quality control of apple makes my computer immune to the problem, the genius bar can surely fix this problem and replace the computer for a new one, try this with dell.

Re:Is my macbook faulty? (5, Funny)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428021)

I heard that Steve Jobs can smell a faulty substrate, even if it isnt going to fail for years, and that he personally sniffs every chip that goes into the production line to protect us Apple fans!

Re:Is my macbook faulty? (0, Offtopic)

byrdfl3w (1193387) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428237)

That's nothing.. I heard that Bill Gates regularly attempts to smell out a faulty OS!
Obviously he sneezed while sniff-testing Vista, covering it with snot and bugs..
--
Programming for ZX Spectrum: If at first you don't succeed, goto 10

Re:Is my macbook faulty? (0, Offtopic)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428313)

After hiring monkey-boy Ballmer, for some strange reason everything he sniffs has an odour of BO.

Model numbers (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427829)

Does anyone have a link to a list of laptop models that use these chips?

Re:Model numbers (5, Informative)

Hemogoblin (982564) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427867)

Here are the Dell models which have BIOS updates, from TFA:

Inspiron 1420
Latitude D630
Latitude D630c
Dell Precision M2300
Vostro Notebook 1310
Vostro Notebook 1400
Vostro Notebook 1510
Vostro Notebook 1710
XPS M1330
XPS M1530

Re:Model numbers (2, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428039)

On Inspiron 1420s the Nvidia is an option - and was back in early 2007 when I got mine. Unless you specifically paid for the 'better' chip, you got an Intel® GM965 Express chipset, with Graphics Media Accelerator X3100.

Re:Model numbers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428473)

I have one of the 1420n series laptops w/ the Nvidia 8400.

I haven't had any problems with it yet, it runs Ubuntu flawlessly with the factory install.

Maybe this is a Windows problem?

Re:Model numbers (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427881)

A link? Shit I own one. Dell XPS m1330; I've had the motherboard replaced twice already for video failure, and I got the thing in September of 07. Yes, that's right, replaced twice in less than a year.

The flaw is every bit as bad as everyone makes it out to be.

Re:Model numbers (4, Informative)

Gideon Fubar (833343) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427915)

Sadly, it's not the laptops that are the problem. The problem apparently exists in all G84 and G86 chips, including those on desktop models.

This was reported by the inquirer (and here, i think) a few weeks ago, but apparently the news hasn't been getting around..

quick check (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428557)

If you're worried about a specific machine (windows), rightclick your desktop, go to Properties, Settings and see what adapters are listed

So, is it not fair (2, Insightful)

hubdawg (1148477) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427831)

to say that possibly the manufacturer packaged and shipped these chips with inadequate cooling ? The best chip of any manufacturer is susceptible to heat failure. Why is it all Nvidia's fault, seems to me it should be a shared responsibilty. They need to come up with a viable solution and compensate the people who may be affected.

Re:So, is it not fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427891)

the article said that would be up to $200,000 million and possibly much more. if they have to replace the computer or if they have to replace the video card it's gonna be expensive, even "expensive" for a company as big as Nvidia.

Re:So, is it not fair (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427989)

But it is Nvidia's fault because they signed off on these cooling units.

That is like saying it isn't your car maker's fault if they put breaks in your car designed for a lawnmower and instead it is obviously the people who are making these lawnmower breaks fault for not making sure they can break a much heavier car...

From what I'm reading the issue isn't with fans not performing as expected. The issue is that at the performance rate Nvidia had them at they simply didn't do the job needed and resulting in the GPU overheating and destroying its self.

It is entirely, 100% Nvidia's fault. If you put in substandard parts you get a substandard result.

Re:So, is it not fair (5, Insightful)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428115)

Agreed. Most reference coolers (and even a lot of 3rd party ones) aren't worth the cheap plastic used to make them. When I pulled the ref cooler off my 8800GT last year I was shocked to find that the fan didn't even sit completely atop the core, and that there was a LOT of excess thermal paste and stupidly thick thermal pads. It's little suprise the card was heatsoaking to 90C after a few hours of Bioshock and crashing itself! I can only cringe in horror when I imagine something like that stuffed into a freaking laptop. Fortunatly I had already planned on replacing the stock cooler (just a big heatpipe/heatsink with a 120mm fan ziptied to it) and lo and behold my card now has trouble hitting low 40's even after hours of flogging.

\ Long story short, all manufacturers should be held accountable for the idiotic shortcuts they take when it comes to cooling their electronics. Its kind of an important aspect of electronics, no? Why not spend a buck or two more on something that actually does the job? Till then the first thing I do with any graphics card (or CPU for that matter) is still going to be to chuck the stock cooler into my parts bin, and then look for something bigger or better.

Re:So, is it not fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428281)

Well if a car maker puts BREAKS in the car, that's his fault, also your fault for buying a BROKEN car. Cause things that BREAK are BROKEN.

Re:So, is it not fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428405)

I think the real WTF is that your lawnmower has breaks.

Re:So, is it not fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428023)

No, not Nvidia's fault. They're the best company on earth. Fortune 500 company of the year. Their chips have heat problems. Think about that. What do you replace it with if it burns out from overheating? You have one option if it's a laptop. The SAME friggin chip that already caused the problem. So what, redesign the whole board?

If the manufacturer followed Nvidia's design limits then no, it's not their fault. It's called bad design and that would make it Nvidia's fault. But in this world that isn't possible - at least not until the class action suits start.

Re:So, is it not fair (1)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428045)

I have a Toshiba Tecra with an NVidia card. Damn thing was getting extremely hot -- too hot to touch sometimes. I brought it in for service and they replaced the video card, thermostat, mainboard, and a bunch of other stuff. When they gave it back to me, it had a bad video card in it. Damn thing goes blank for seconds at a time, and the GPU Errors is over 50 in nividia-settings. Sometimes it even crashes X -- doubly so when I have an external monitor hooked up.

I have to send it back to get the card replaced again, but I hate being without my computer for two weeks.

Re:So, is it not fair (5, Informative)

IorDMUX (870522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428543)

Why is it all Nvidia's fault, seems to me it should be a shared responsibilty.

I work for a company big into mobile IC design (like NVIDIA). And I can say that it is very likely NVIDIA's fault because they (as do we), as the design company, specify every last detail of process, circuit, and package, when it comes to IC fabrication. Additionally, the company which produced these chips--TSMC--is the oldest, largest, and possibly most reliable dedicated fab company in existence. If there is a heat dissipation problem, it almost certainly stems from engineering oversight or management's corner-cutting on NVIDIA's part.

NVIDIA's Official Statement (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427835)

From NVIDIA's Q2 FY2009 Business Update [nvidia.com]:

Separately, NVIDIA plans to take a one-time charge from $150 million to $200 million against cost of revenue for the second quarter to cover anticipated warranty, repair, return, replacement and other costs and expenses, arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of its previous generation GPU and MCP products used in notebook systems. Certain notebook configurations with GPUs and MCPs manufactured with a certain die/packaging material set are failing in the field at higher than normal rates. To date, abnormal failure rates with systems other than certain notebook systems have not been seen. NVIDIA has initiated discussions with its supply chain regarding this material set issue and the Company will also seek to access insurance coverage for this matter.

Regarding the notebook field failures, NVIDIA president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang stated: "Although the failure appears related to the combination of the interaction between the chip material set and system design, we have a responsibility to our customers and will take our part in resolving this problem. The GPU has become an increasingly important part of the computing experience and we are seeing more interest by PC OEMs to adopt GPUs in more platforms. Recognizing that the GPU is one of the most complex processors in the system, it is critical that we now work more closely with notebook system designers and our chip foundries to ensure that the GPU and the system are designed collaboratively for the best performance and robustness."

Today's high performance notebooks are highly complex systems with extreme thermal environments. The combination of limited thermal management and frequent power cycling is particularly challenging for complex processors like the GPU.

Huang added, "This has been a challenging experience for us. However, the lessons we've learned will help us build far more robust products in the future, and become a more valuable system design partner to our customers. As for the present, we have switched production to a more robust die/package material set and are working proactively with our OEM partners to develop system management software that will provide better thermal management to the GPU."

Re:NVIDIA's Official Statement (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428253)

Note that NVIDIA's customers are the OEMs putting chips in laptops and desktops, not the users buying systems. Users will have to deal with the computer manufacturers.

Of course, Dell, HP, and company will understandably try to minimize their expenditure on warrantee repairs.

The GF8400 has other (or related) problems on Dell (5, Interesting)

cdance (516169) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427863)

As detailed in this thread [laptopvideo2go.com], the GF8400 has serious performance problems under Vista Aero when running recent driver versions. I wonder if this is related? - i.e. Recent driver updates have down-clocked the GPU leading to bad performance. Dell have however recently acknowledge the problem and is working on a fix.

You just know there's a class action out there.... (5, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427921)

waiting to form.

Charlie gets it right. Let's see, 18 million notebook machines. Freight each way, plus cost of labor to fix them and the materials needed. Less than $10 a machine! Great, that math stuff. Yup, a $150-200 million charge oughta do it at around $10 a machine!

Hello? This is the SEC? Hey, I have a question about an 8K I saw for NVidia. It goes like this.....

Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (3, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427951)

Does this have anything to do with the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death [wikipedia.org]? And do these problems, in turn, have something to do with RoHS [wikipedia.org] certification, due to lead-free solders being less durable?

Nvidia has been said to have had a hand in the design of some parts of the 360, and the problem sounds like it is identical.

That said, on my own laptop (a Dell Inspiron 6000i) sees at least 8 hours a day of actual use, and is generally powered on at least 20 hours per day. The default fan control keeps the fan spinning all the time at smoothly varied speeds, with a heavy tendency to keep it spinning at high speed for long periods of time following heavy loads. This is very annoying to me.

Instead, I run i8kfangui, which lets me control (based on the temperature of the CPU, GPU, RAM, or hard drive) the fan's speed. It keeps dust accumulation and noise down, and works pretty well. The tradeoff is that it (by my choice) keeps the CPU in a constant and dramatic swing between 52 and 43 degrees Celcius:
The fan is simply off below 43C, then turns at low speed once the CPU reaches 52C. If it gets to 68C (which almost never happens, and is quite hot for a CPU) it spins at high speed. I find this behavior to be very preferable.

But the point is that it is generally a slow climb to 52C, and a fast fall to 43C, over and over in an abusive thermal-stress scenario. This cycle repeats a dozen or so times per hour, 8-20 hours per day, and has done so for three years. It works fine,

The motherboard is not RoHS compliant, and so presumably was built with lead-based solder. However it seems that most new machines are built with lead-free solders [wikipedia.org], all of which seem to have various problems.

Are there any metallurgists in the house who might care to speculate on the relationship between lead-free solders and systemic failure of laptops due to heat cycling?

Re:Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (3, Informative)

kevinl (38843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428025)

Does this have anything to do with the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death [wikipedia.org]? [...]

Nvidia has been said to have had a hand in the design of some parts of the 360, and the problem sounds like it is identical.

Xbox 360 has ATI graphics. You must be thinking of the original Xbox, which did use NVIDIA graphics.

Re:Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (4, Interesting)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428105)

I'd read that the 360 had certain component(s) designed by Microsoft in-house (as a cost-saving measure), which had lousy thermal characteristics, and which they sought the help of nVidia to rectify. I'm unable to find a reference at this time, but I do believe my statement to be true, whether or not the GPU in the 360 is an ATI part.

Re:Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (4, Insightful)

Brain_Recall (868040) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428053)

No, Xbox 360's use an ATi chip.

Although RoHS probably contributed to the RRoD, mostly it was an improper thermal solution. There was an article awhile back where it was discovered that Microsoft engineers decided to cut costs by designing the heatsink system themselves. Insufficient cooling and an improper mounting system allowed the board to warp more than the RoHS solder could handle. Newer 360's have lots of extra epoxy around the package to keep it from pulling too far away from the motherboard.

Re:Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428537)

No microchip designed the ASIC in house to save 10 million. They did not manage the power in it right, so to mush heat. The fix was to send it out for 10 million + plus fixing the failed units.

Is solder used inside chips? (2, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428079)

Sounds like you're drawing a long bow to me.

The problem here sounds like it's inside the chips themselves.

I'm no metallurgist or hardware expert but I'd have thought solder is used when mounting the chips to the board, not inside the board itself.

Re:Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428243)

The lack of lead in solder is a technological issue and as such is solved by more advanced technology. Certainly there are few people here who are opposed to higher technology?

Sure we can whine about the extra work we are forced to do, or the fact that we have to pay for higher technology, but what good does that do. As technologically savvy people we live for the chance to advance the technology. We see these opportunities all over the place. Smaller cars require innovate means to increase safety and power. Smaller computers require more power efficient components and better batteries. Have one type of plastic go away just opens up a space for innovative new plastics. this is what makes the world exciting.

So, if some company can't keep up, then they just suck as technologist and need to go away. A car company can't make technologically advanced cars, screw them. A video card manufacturer can't keep up with the trends and make a reliable video card, screw them too. I have involved in a number of situations where the process had to be rethought. Someone whines that a baby might be born with defect and we can't use this chemical. Someone complains that the dust will give them cancer and we must use a hood. Someone complains that we can't reliably dispose of an agent, and we must switch agents. Sure, we could say who cares if some worker dies. So what? But in each case the change was made, and technology gave us an equal or better solution.

It is always easier to blame failure of the external forces rather than taking responsibility for a personal lack of creativity. This change is solder is not the first scape goat used by the those that lack innovative solutions, and won't be the last. There will always be firms that say a problem can't be solved, and they will be generally over thrown by those who then find the solution. I think that any number of lazy American firms are discovering that right now, while others are riding the way of can-do innovations.

Change for change's sake good? (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428495)

Your comment assumes that higher technology is always better.

Sometimes what you need is a hammer, not a jackhammer. I'm not convinced the massive failures all over the place that result from using lead-free solder are worth the incremental environmental benefit.

Re:Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428547)

The lack of lead in solder is a technological issue and as such is solved by more advanced technology. Certainly there are few people here who are opposed to higher technology?

Sure we can whine about the extra work we are forced to do, or the fact that we have to pay for higher technology, but what good does that do. As technologically savvy people we live for the chance to advance the technology.

You are talking through your hat.

Specifically, you are committing the broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org].

RoHS is a serious problem, so much so that military equipment is exempt from it.

Re:Are the enviromentralists killing our PCs? (2, Informative)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428539)

And do these problems, in turn, have something to do with RoHS certification, due to lead-free solders being less durable?

The motherboard is not RoHS compliant, and so presumably was built with lead-based solder. However it seems that most new machines are built with lead-free solders, all of which seem to have various problems.

That's quite a theory, except that the solder has nothing at all to do with a graphics chip overheating. It holds the components to the board and that's it. These chips are failing internally. If the problem were mechanical, lead-free solder is actually going to be more durable in high-temperature electronics because it has a higher melting point than lead solder.

The problem extends to other Dells (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24427963)

I have an Inspiron 9400 originally with a Geforce Go 7900GS which is NOT part of this issue. It still failed. Two months after the warranty expired.

The problem was overheating, but not because of Nvidia, because Dell was too lazy to design laptops with proper cooling. After replacement, I modded my case a little to add a two heatpipe card, and now run another program which keeps all fans on full 24/7. The difference in temperature is about 15 degrees C IDLING. Under load it is more like 20 degrees C. Dell could have done this in the factory with minimal effort, they just know that they wont fail for at least a year, which is the standard warranty length.

Re:The problem extends to other Dells (3, Interesting)

brenddie (897982) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428125)

My DELL XPS M1710 has a 7950GTX and never had any issues. The DELL BIOS does have some issues with heat management so I run l8kfan to keep heat at acceptable levels.
On top of that, did you know most new DELL laptops (confirmed on XPS and VOSTRO) wont read S.M.A.R.T? I think heat killed my original hard drive but the BIOS wouldn't report the drive was going bad. They should fire whoever made the decision that removing this feature was an improvement.

Desktop chips too, or only laptops? (3, Interesting)

techmuse (160085) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427977)

Are any desktop chips affected, or only laptop chips?

Re:Desktop chips too, or only laptops? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428151)

Are any desktop chips affected, or only laptop chips?

According to TFA both desktop and laptop chips are affected.

Complete shock... Responsive customer service (1)

ouphie (1049832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24427993)

I just got off the phone with HP customer care. No tricks, no run alongs, just some info and a shipping box on its way.
I used to use this laptop as a space heater on cold winter nights. Many memories sitting around it, roasting marshmallows and sipping cider...

MacBook Pro Died Recently (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428009)

Well, this is interesting timing.

A month ago my MacBook Pro (17", GeForce 8600) died horribly while I was playing World of Warcraft. It threw a kernel panic every time I started it up, and while the screen worked, it was a mass of vertical lines.

It looked exactly like the fourth picture in this gallery:
http://gallery.mac.com/justinhart#100193 [mac.com]

Apple replaced the motherboard, and I'm fine again, but I never did find out the root cause.

Hmm...

Re:MacBook Pro Died Recently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428091)

Hey, nice plaid on your screen. What clan is that from?

Re:MacBook Pro Died Recently (1)

SignOfZeta (907092) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428109)

Interesting how the kernel panic message is unaffected by the display corruption. Not that this is relevant to the discussion, but any ideas why that is?

Re:MacBook Pro Died Recently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428215)

My off the wall assumption is that the corruption is due to the 3D acceleration, and the kernel panic message is not accelerated, therefore not affected.

Re:MacBook Pro Died Recently (1)

WeblionX (675030) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428431)

The kernel panic message probably doesn't use any hardware acceleration, while the desktop itself most likely uses it. Therefore there's less to go wrong when displaying the kernel panic message.

Re:MacBook Pro Died Recently (1)

SignOfZeta (907092) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428465)

No, hardware acceleration doesn't kick in until just before WindowServer starts; if I remember correctly, both the Apple logo and the panic message are hardcoded into the kernel. So now it just makes less sense that only one is corrupted.

Re:MacBook Pro Died Recently (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428197)

My NV-based HP laptop does that too. The weird thing is, it does it whenever it tries to turn the LCD off for power-saving. The CRT that is attached powers down fine. I'm able to resurrect it by hitting CTRL-ALT-F1 to get to a virtual terminal, then ALT-F7 to get back to X.

Re:MacBook Pro Died Recently (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428559)

It happened to a friend of mine, but turned out he spilled coffee on the keyboard and then forgot about it and then the next day tried to power it on and saw the same screen.

Then again World of Warcraft is a pretty hardcore program, you might have burned something out on your motherboard in one of them Leeroy Jenkins type scenarios your clan got into a while back. I doubt the GeForce 8600 could handle a scenario like that without having to be replaced later. :)

good timing? (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428029)

Interesting, that I just returned my Lenovo laptop with a NVidia processor just 3 weeks ago since it crapped out.

OK, the Inquirer's left menu's Review section [pic] is getting way out of hand.

For certain values of certain (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428083)

To date, abnormal failure rates with systems other than certain notebook systems have not been seen.

Another educated estimate says about half the parts are potentially affected

So is it certain notebooks or half of all GPUs Nvidia shipped during a 16 month period? And where did the Enquirer get their "educated estimate?" They then use this "estimate" to assume a failure rate that goes in the divisor part of a rather nasty equation to come up with an outrageous recall estimate, even though there is no recall. Conclusion: Nvidia is going bankrupt. This is journalism?

Re:For certain values of certain (1)

kevinl (38843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428311)

There is lots of mutual animosity between the Inquirer and NVIDIA. Let's just say that neither goes out of their way to say nice things about the other.

Chances are good that Wall Street has a less biased handle on the scope of the issue. The current stock price suggests that this problem, while plenty bad, is not even close to fatal.

Hmmm... (1)

rosemm (1336849) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428085)

I just had my motherboard changed out in my Dell Precision M65 - NVidia Quadro FX 350M chip. Seems the chip is glued, yes, no solder, to the motherboard and the heat generated from the clogged fan assembly inadequatly cooling the copper heat sink, caused the chip to lift off. Two things - keep your heat sink on the fan clear of fuzzies and if the fan is on all the time or very soon after boot-up, vacuum out the junk from the bottom of the laptop, not the back. Excesive fan use is a bad sign. Mark

HP (4, Interesting)

GeekSquadGuy (1336851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428111)

The HP DV2000 DV6000 and DV9000 series laptops are all affected. The BIOS updates just make the fan spin more often, thats it. HP has extended the MFG warranties to 2 years from the date of purchase. At GeekSquad/Best Buy HP has been offering a LOT of replacements for these laptops authorized through HP, but the laptops have to be DOA and sent to service which takes about a week to two weeks. I've sent off atleast 15 HP laptops in the past 6 months for replacement/repair. I give HP some credit for atleast trying to fix the problem and/or replace the whole laptops themselves. I don't know what other MFG's are doing..

HP Laptops (1)

sirvulcan (700310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428143)

Has anyone found that the HP driver update page for their laptop does not have the updated bios flash utility? I have a dv6302tx which has a Geforce Go 7400 however the latest bios flash download is F.29 from 2007 and not F.3D.

Re:HP Laptops (1)

GeekSquadGuy (1336851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428175)

yeah there has been an issue with that...you might want to contact HP directly. I'm pretty sure if you look under another model series...lets say you have a dv2115nr and there is like a dv2xxx model page some pages havent been updated but the BIOS should work...the processor speed/memory/hdd is really only what makes the models different, the motherboard should be the same. I had to look at another model page to do a BIOS update for a customer for this exact reason.

Re:HP Laptops (1)

bigsam411 (1043552) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428553)

Um some dv2xxx laptops use Intel chips, some use AMD chips, also some use Nvidia gfx while some use AMD/Ati gfx. so not all of them are the same mobo. With that said though you are partially correct in looking for the BIOS update in another model page... as long as the model has an Nvidia Card.

Re:HP Laptops (1)

sirvulcan (700310) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428411)

And in other news after talking to a HP rep the fixes are supposedly only available to America and not the rest of the world

Well this is depressing... (1)

viscus (1178513) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428213)

I have an 8400M in my Dell 1420 laptop. It's idling around 54C right now. It gets pretty warm when playing HL2, so I bought a cooling base which seems to help a lot.

From the sound of it, the BIOS update isn't going to do much, if anything. What to do, what to do? Just continue use and hope it's under warranty if and when it fails?

What are we talkin' about??? (4, Informative)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428219)

Sorry, I was distracted by the picture of the BREASTS on TFA page

Re:What are we talkin' about??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428471)

wait, there was an FA on that page?!

HELP How can I make my laptop fail? (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428223)

I have one of these chips in my laptop, and I would rather like it to fail now when the laptop is under warranty rather than later.

Can anyone come with a good solution?

I would like it not to be obvious abuse.

Exactly what kind of activity exercises/heats this chip a lot?

Re:HELP How can I make my laptop fail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428283)

Crysis demos w/o vsync?

Re:HELP How can I make my laptop fail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428323)

crysis wont work in a macbook

Re:HELP How can I make my laptop fail? (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428367)

3D benchmarking. But that will only heat it to max normal temp, which you are probably already getting to while playing any kind of 3d game. And if you aren't playing games with it, you'll probably not heat it up enough to die sooner than average in the first place.

I do not think nvidia cards store that they have been overclocked anywhere in the hardware - and it's more unlikely that such would be stored in a laptop version. Thus, if you wiped the hard drive afterwards (assuming the morons at the company could tell if it were overclocked or not), there will be no way to tell you messed with the speeds, as long as you do it via drivers-only. You shouldn't bet on my assumption, but it would be worth asking someone more video-card knowledgeable (see 'not taking the word of random people on slashdot'), since such is your best bet.

Should probably be posted anonymous, but I'm feeling lucky tonight. Excuse me, someone is knocking on the door...

Older nvidia chipsets with problems... (1)

chammy (1096007) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428247)

My old Dell Inspiron 9300 died on me a few months ago. It had a 6800 mobile with 256 mb of vram. It was very peculiar -- I was copying some files from my desktop on the network and it suddenly shut off.

After booting up I found that XP could display 640x480@4 and Ubuntu managed 800x600@16. It turns out that the video ram is completely corrupt -- neither OS can recognize the card anymore.

On another note, I'm pretty unhappy with how Dell handles replacements for these cards: another 6800 would cost me over $400. I won't be getting it fixed anytime soon, which is really a shame (it has a 1920x1200 display).

Awesome... (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428249)

Right after I buy a Lenovo IdeaPad where one of the "selling points" was it's nVidia discrete graphics.

A LOT of nvidia chips are messed up (2, Informative)

partowel (469956) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428263)

http://www.engadget.com/2008/07/31/figuring-out-which-nvidia-gpus-are-defective-its-a-lot/ [engadget.com]

GeForce Go 7000
6000 lines
Quadro NVS 135M
Quadro FX 360M

Something has gone terribly wrong, or right.

ATI must LOVE this. It is definitely helping
ATI's image.

A lot of nvidia chips are messed up.

It almost makes me want to go to ATI.

Almost.

But nvidia is admitting their mistake.

Probably because they can't lie about it, and

they don't want a mega lawsuit on their ass.

HPs list of affected laptops is odd. (1)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428351)

I have an HP dv9571eo with an nVidia geforce 8400 in it, but the list I've seen with affected HP laptops (can't find the link now) doesn't include the dv9500 series.

Hest when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428361)

Just when I bough an HP Pavilion dv6000 series laptop with a GeForce 8400M GS (G86), it does run hot very fast, damn it, and they didn't have a comparable laptop with a comparable ATI card (BestBuy).

My laptop has been in the shop for 2 months now (2, Informative)

citking (551907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428423)

The link to the HP "Service Enhancement" (gotta love marketing) saved my butt. I had a DV2000 laptop do exactly this, just a week or so after reading this [consumerist.com] article on The Consumerist.

I called HP and, after convincing the tech support guy that removing Vista and installing XP on the laptop did NOT cause the problem, sent it off for repairs in the middle of June. I was given a 2 week time period for it to be finished.

After a week and a half they sent me an e-mail saying that parts were on order and it might be another week. So July 8th was the new date.

After the 9th I called HP again and again was told parts were still on order. I was given a new date of July 22nd! I e-mailed HP's CEO [hp.com] and was contacted a few days later. HP said that they had been authorized to replace this series of laptop and asked me to fax in the specs from the broken one, which I did. About 2 weeks later a laptop was shipped to my old address (after having given HP the new one on 3 occasions: when I first called tech support, when I e-mailed the CEO, and when the case manager contacted me).

The laptop arrived and so far the only thing that doesn't work is DVD burning. Sure, it gets about 92% done, then dies. I've given up though and decided to just not buy HP products anymore.

To those who are having the problems mentioned for HP I strongly suggest sending an e-mail to Mark Hurd, the CEO. He doesn't write back personally obviously but someone contacted me just a day or two later.

It's just too bad HP has come to this (whether it's nVidia's fault or not is open to debate) but after an issue arises it is up to the manufacturer to take responsibility for their products. Man, I remember the days of HP meaning quality, the 2, 3, 4, and 5 series of laser printers were slow, sure, but they were steel and lasted forever. Now they sell these plastic pieces of crap that die after a year and, when contacted, all HP will do is give you $50 off of a new one. Wow, did Carly destroy HP or what?

perfect timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428427)

wow. my dell latitude d630 w/ nvidia quadro NVS 135 M just failed yesterday. the internal graphics are now dead and the external vga is garbled.

Can I get a refund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428441)

or a new laptop to exchange for the one I have with the bad NVida chip in it?

Over night it reports a critical error and shuts down. I have things scheduled to go on at night while I sleep so I can use my laptop by day. I think the chip overheats due to this defect.

If not, is there a class action lawsuit I can join?

Re:Can I get a refund (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428529)

It is better than you just don't buy a laptop from the company who sold it to you. I bought an HP/Compaq laptop with the same problems, chances are I won't buy from them again.

If my laptop had an nVidia GPU... (2, Interesting)

cyclocommuter (762131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428445)

... I would "stress test" the hell out of it more so if the manufacturer will be replacing it with an Intel or ATI GPU...

Sure this might be borderline immoral but aren't the laptop manufacturers in conjunction with nVidia acting in bad faith by not replacing the defective laptops with non defective ones? BIOS updates to run the fans all the time is not the real solution.

Is it time to pick up some AMD stocks? (3, Interesting)

sectionboy (930605) | more than 5 years ago | (#24428451)

Its price is the lowest since 1990 ($4.2 today); Just fired its CEO; Very favorable reviews for upcoming ATI4xxx GPU; Troubles for NV; What do ya thinking?

I have a MacBook Pro and have screen shots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24428527)

I've been having quite a few issues:

http://weblog.oriontransfer.org/2008/07/23/nvidia-and-macbook-pro-issues

I've put some links to the kinds of problems people are having with the MBP.

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