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Nvidia 55nm Parts Are Bad Too

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the or-so-they-say dept.

Bug 372

JagsLive sends in a story (in somewhat inflammatory prose) from The Inquirer, which links to many others; they have been following developments in the alleged NVidia quality "fiasco" for some time. "Hot on the heels of its denials that anything is wrong with the G92 and G94s comes another PCN [Product Change Notification] that shows the G92s and G92b are being changed for no reason. Yup, the problems that are plaguing G84 and G86 are the same that affect seemingly all 65nm and now 55nm NVidia parts ... It is hard to overstate how bad this is. Basically every 65nm and 55nm NVidia part appears to be defective ... We are hearing of early failure rates in the teens percent for 8800GTs and far higher for 9600GTs ... To make matters worse, NVidia has a mound of unsold defective parts that they are going to bleed out into the channel along side of the (hopefully) fixed parts. As a buyer, you have no way of knowing which one you are getting ... Until NVidia comes fully clean on this fiasco, lists all the defective parts, and orders boxes clearly marked, you can't say anything other than just avoid them. Then again, since doing the right thing would likely bankrupt them, we wouldn't hold your breath for it to happen."

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372 comments

Nvidia (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796477)

The common African Nigger(niggeris vulgaris) is a humanoid species which is known for its gorilla-like appearence and its distinctive languages and aromas.

They were integrated into American society in the late 1950's/early 1960's and have since evolved into a complex, symbiotic existence with the more evolved homo sapiens species. niggeris specimens do, however, posess attributes which may be deemed as being superior to those of sapiens; and these include superhuman, retard-like strength. Famed football coach Jimmy the Greek [cnn.com] once famously noted that,

"...blacks were bred for strength and speed from slave days, that if blacks took over coaching positions, there would be nothing left for whites, and that blacks have a physical advantage over whites because of their thigh size."

niggeris vulgaris are known also for their larger-than-average penis size and bellicose demeanor which ensures their beating out the competition for survival. This is all too evident as shown by the high incidence of other species' females increasingly leaving their own color and choosing male mates belonging to the niggeris vulgaris species because of the genetic "advantages" of having partially niggeris offspring.

The niggeris vulgaris species' distinctive vocalization may somewhat mimic that of American English; for example, the rhyming "Fo-Sho" (translated: "for sure")is an indicator of agreement but also showcases niggeris vulgaris' tendency to speak in rhyme whenever possible. A good example of the aforementioned phenomenon is the most recent all-niggeris Pizza Hut commercial which depicts a family of niggeris half-speaking, half-singing a collaborative, call-and-response poem in preparation of a feast.

The diet of niggeris vulgaris includes a wide variety of fruits(watermelon), vegetables(fried cabbage and collard greens), meat(fried chicken, chitterlings), and grains.

Actually, not that big of a deal. (5, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796513)

Sure, the GPU might be faulty but the rest of the components on their graphics cards (cooling fan, PCI-Express connector) are not showing any issues.

So let's not blow this out of proportion.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (-1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796633)

Sure, the GPU might be faulty but the rest of the components on their graphics cards (cooling fan, PCI-Express connector) are not showing any issues.

So let's not blow this out of proportion.

Oh really? Let's look at it this way. Let's assume that my CPU is faulty, but the rest of the components in my PC (cooling fan, power supply, DVD, Hard disks) are not showing any issues. So let's not blow this out of proportion.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796705)

WOOOOOSH!

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796745)

You are not the sharpest stick are you?

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796759)

Woosh...

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (5, Funny)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796811)

I've got this brand spanking new car if you want to buy it. I'll give you a great deal on it. The paint is brand new, custom wheels, high end brakes, a completely killer stereo system, GPS, power everything. The only problem is that there is a 15% chance the engine doesn't work.

But its just one component, so lets not blow this out of proportion, what will you give me for it?

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (5, Funny)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796851)

Thank you for that car analogy, I understand this now.

your signature (-1, Offtopic)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796909)

you know it's hardly appropriate to use an incomplete out of context quotation of nietzsche to somehow try to promote your religion

that's two lines of a three liner written by nietzsche himself

the last line is "some are born posthuminously! - nietzsche"

Re:your signature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797259)

Tell Taco to allow more characters in sigs...

Re:your signature (0, Offtopic)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797431)

Making a philosophy joke hardly qualifies as "promoting a religion"

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (5, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797177)

I've got this brand spanking new car if you want to buy it.

Can you crush it for me?

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (4, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797371)

I've got this brand spanking new car if you want to buy it. I'll give you a great deal on it. The paint is brand new, custom wheels, high end brakes, a completely killer stereo system, GPS, power everything. The only problem is that there is a 15% chance the engine doesn't work.

But its just one component, so lets not blow this out of proportion, what will you give me for it?

It worked for Jaguar in the 70s and 80s. Other than Ford buying them, I mean.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797405)

Take the price for replacing the engine X. Well an Engine might normally die after fifteen years (aka MTBF). The depreciation cost X/15; So if this effective engine has MTBF of 5 years. Then its depreciation is X/5; At five years it will be worth nothing while a non defective engine would be worth X - X/15*3 = X*4/5. So I'll buy your car for the normal price minus X*4/5.

As this is slashdot, this is completely pulled out of my ear. Like a coin a grandpa pulls out of your ear that only seems impressive to a five year old of moderate intelligence.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797011)

You have issues with sarcasm :) For example [slashdot.org] .

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797325)

Note to self: don't reply hastily to slashdot posts when you didn't get enough sleep.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (0)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797359)

You have issues with sarcasm :) For example [slashdot.org] .

You know, they say that serial killers lack the ability to differentiate between moral and non-moral actions...this guy is sorta the same, except he can't recognize sarcasm. I suppose that makes him a serial bore.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797049)

That's not really relevant now is it...
You can replace a defective CPU, ever tried removing a GPU from a videocard and replacing it?

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796681)

Not that big of a deal? I didn't realize that the CORE component of someone's product being pretty much faulty for most of their current product lines is a small thing.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (5, Funny)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796809)

That wasn't thunder, that was a sonic boom as the joke went right over your head.

not that big of a deal?!? (-1, Redundant)

Briden (1003105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796741)

what good is the connector and fan if the GPU is dead?

Re:not that big of a deal?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797117)

wooooooooooosh

Re:not that big of a deal?!? (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797189)

what good is the connector and fan if the GPU is dead?

Well, it WAS part of a joke. Now you blew it for everyone else. I hope you're happy.

Re:not that big of a deal?!? (1)

Briden (1003105) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797273)

believe it or not, i actually thought he was serious!

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796955)

Sure, the GPU might be faulty but the rest of the components on their graphics cards (cooling fan, PCI-Express connector) are not showing any issues.

So let's not blow this out of proportion.

You guys all failed your sarcasm check... OP is being sarcastic.

Re:Actually, not that big of a deal. (1, Funny)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796979)

Actually, the fan on my 8500 GT which was less than year old just died. I wanted a 9800 GTX anyway, which I got, but now I'm concerned I may have wasted some $$$.

Re: your brains (3, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797193)

We're not unreasonable here, nobody's going to eat your eyes.

You win... (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797423)

...for duping the greatest number of people who missed a blatantly obvious joke.

8600GT? (2, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796521)

At risk or not?

Also, this sounds like a class-action waiting to happen.

Re:8600GT? (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796933)

I've got one too and was wondering exactly the same thing. From what I can tell the 8600GT has an 80nm [techpowerup.com] process size, so it should be safe. Which is good, I really like this card.

Re:8600GT? (4, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797103)

I have an 8600GT too, hopefully it's OK...

But with ATI opening up their specs and open source drivers coming along nicely, and now this issue with nvidia chips, chances are my next videocard purchase will be from ATI.

Pizza (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796523)

This is the kind of story that can only end with somebody being fired for making pizza in the silicon fab oven.

Re:Pizza (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797363)

Actually it was Kramer warming up his clothes in the silicon fab oven.

Lead free (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796535)

But they are lead free, which is good for us.

Fair and Balanced? (4, Insightful)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796551)

"Then again, since doing the right thing would likely bankrupt them, we wouldn't hold your breath for it to happen"

-5 Troll

Re:Fair and Balanced? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796855)

Yeah, I'm sure you would say the same if Toyota produced cars whose brakes would fail if you used them for an extended period of time.

Granted, the example is a little extreme but why shouldn't Nvidia get a public flogging by the press when they have been, are and probably will continue to lie about this issue?

Re:Fair and Balanced? (4, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797171)

There's a big difference between a car with failure of engine or brakes, and a videocard with a failing GPU...
Failing brakes could kill you, or others, the legal fallout could easily bankrupt a company making such cars...
On the other hand, the engine or brakes make up a relatively small part of the overall cost of a car, replacing them would still be expensive but it's unlikely to bankrupt an auto maker. They are also much easier to repair than the inner workings of a silicon chip, so there's no need for thousands of units to be scrapped.

Re:Fair and Balanced? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797449)

Yeah, I'm sure you would say the same if Toyota produced cars whose brakes would fail if you used them for an extended period of time.

And I am pissed about it. My breaks failed and needed replacement at 40k and again at 80k! And it was denied warranty! Bastard car makers!

Re:Fair and Balanced? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796917)

Well, of course you wouldn't hold my breath, only I can do that.

Re:Fair and Balanced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796935)

THEY can't hold MY breath anyway...

Re:Fair and Balanced? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797499)

THEY can't hold MY breath anyway...

Have you checked the driver source to make sure? Oh sorry, I forgot: you can't.

Re:Fair and Balanced? (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796963)

Maybe so, but to an outsider they do have a lot of interesting statements about the changes Nvidia made to their hardware recently. Either the 8-K statement is business as usual in the chip market(I'm not expert on this) or it is an indication that larger problems loom. We'll know for sure if over the next month or so we start seeing massive amounts of failing gpus.

http://biz.yahoo.com/e/080702/nvda8-k.html [yahoo.com]

Re:Fair and Balanced? (5, Informative)

AcidPenguin9873 (911493) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797047)

The person who submitted this story to Slashdot left out an important link [theinquirer.net] on that text from the original Inquirer article (linked again here [theinquirer.net] for your convenience). In the original story, that sentence reads:

Then again, since doing the right thing would likely bankrupt them [theinquirer.net] , we wouldn't hold your breath for it to happen.

At that link, you'll find The Inquirer's (however flimsy and speculative) financial analysis of a full-scale Nvidia recall of the bad parts.

The Inquirer doesn't and has never claimed to be a fair and balanced news source, so they are free to put these sorts of quips on their stories. People there are pretty knowledgeable, and appear to have connections and sources in the industry, which is why people keep reading The Inquirer and don't really complain about stuff like that.

Re:Fair and Balanced? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797099)

I don't think anyone, including The Inquirer, has ever claimed The Inquirer was "Fair and Balanced".

And seeing a comment like that on Slashdot makes me think we have pot kettle situation here :)

Re:Fair and Balanced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797119)

Sounds fair and true to me. Are you saying it's not a true statement? Honestly you haven't said much. Wanting balance is stupid. I want as little bias in news reporting as possible. Balance can be a huge for of bias when one party is clearly in the wrong, like here. We don't give convicted murderers equal time and balanced reporting. We say they did XYZ and now XYZ will happen. Same here. Nvidia messed up and has hardly begun to make things right and probably cannot afford to fix this mess. The July SEC filing looks really very low balled to me. Sure they can avoid bankruptcy by selling the company and changing the name like most hard drive makers do when caught like this, but that hardly counts.

Intel... (4, Insightful)

faragon (789704) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796575)

...to buy Nvidia? Problem solved.

Re:Intel... (1)

faragon (789704) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797295)

It is paradoxical, I said almost the same four months ago (@20080417 [slashdot.org] )... and partially taken also as "funny", however, I was also speaking seriously.

Are you a betting man? (4, Interesting)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796579)

If you're a betting man, now's a good time to pick up on Nvidia stock.

The question is, do you feel lucky, punk?

Re:Are you a betting man? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796711)

I'm already "invested" in Nvidia. I paid extra for this crap in may most recent laptop purchase. I see no reason to go double or nothing.

Re:Are you a betting man? (2, Funny)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796713)

I'm not exactly going to pick up NVDA [yahoo.com] , but I may sell it shorter than the 55nm process used on these chips!

Re:Are you a betting man? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796723)

"If you're a betting man, now's a good time to pick up on Nvidia stock.

The question is, do you feel lucky, punk?"

Yes, Nvidia is worth a lot more then it currently is, if you don't think so you haven't been paying attention. Good investors look at the circumstances, if nvidia somehow stops being a good company (Execution, etc), then investors will bail, but good investors, make money on the waves the rises and falls, and get out before the damage occurs.

Re:Are you a betting man? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796843)

You mean now is the time to short Nvidia?

Re:Are you a betting man? (1)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796907)

Or you could short the stock if you think word will eventually get out and they'll be forced to take action.

Re:Are you a betting man? (1)

szquirrel (140575) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797087)

If you're a betting man, now's a good time to pick up on Nvidia stock.

The question is, do you feel lucky, punk?

Absolutely. Nvidia is getting hammered lately but they aren't stupid and they aren't poor. They have $1.6 billion on hand to weather this storm.

I wouldn't be surprised if they sold off their chipset business to refocus on high-end, high-margin GPUs, but they aren't done yet by a damn sight.

8800 and the 9600... Ouch. (2, Insightful)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796645)

I've always secretly been an ATI fanboy... and a traitor since the 6800GT.

Now, I've got ATI again but recommended everyone I know (up until 48XX by ATI) buy the 8800 or 9600....

I wanted ATI to regain some track to even the market... but this is a little much. Complete flops are not good for competition either.

Re:8800 and the 9600... Ouch. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797161)

IMNSHO, the quality control at both companies has been terrible for several years now. What's the point of paying a premium for a good graphics card, if hardware problems make your system unstable as soon as a demanding game is loaded or the drivers take out your operating system at random intervals? It's not like this has happened only on bleeding edge cards with new drivers, either: several entire models have had basic incompatibilities with other common system components, and sometimes drivers have been unacceptably poor for the entire useful lifetime of a gamer's card.

Contrary to the marketroid reports, it is not in any way unavoidable that new cards with new drivers have to crash a significant fraction of the hottest games at release time. It's not like these kinds of problems are subtle and might be missed during a decent period of testing, and it's not like the card vendors couldn't co-operate with the game vendors on a beta test programme. This happens because commercially, it makes more sense for them to race to market with inadequately tested hardware and poorly engineered driver software and hope they can patch up any widespread problems later with a minimal PR hit. As long as both the big names are as bad as each other, consumers in the target market are pretty much screwed anyway.

It's about time something like this happened and one of the companies took a major financial hit as a consequence. Perhaps then we'll move back towards supplying hardware and drivers that actually, you know, work. Gamers the world over (other than those currently suffering from these problems, of course) should probably be happy about this, because it might be serious enough this time to make a difference to future quality control, which is much better than a significant fraction of people being disappointed with each new model but never enough of a critical mass to really punish the company that supplied substandard kit.

Learning from the meat packing industry (1, Interesting)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796667)

Basically, the meat packing industry's favourite tactic is that when some contamination, like salmonella is found in the meat they will just sit on it. If the media gets wind of the story, they'll voluntarily recall a small fraction of the meat unfit for human consumption.

At least Nvidia by doing the same thing is not directly endangering human lives...

Re:Learning from the meat packing industry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796853)

While I don't think the meat industry is fair for doing what they do, at least you can avoid salmonella by cooking or curing the meat. Not to mention that healthy adults are unlikely to become terribly sick from a small amount of salmonella, and you should know better than to feed infants, elders, or sick people meat that hasn't been properly cooked or cured. Salmonella is a very common form of food poisoning, and is not as big of a deal in most countries outside of the U.S.A. where the FDA has made sure that the smallest "risk" is blown out of proportion and sounds like a life threatening risk for everyone. In the mean time, beef that is considered to be a risk of mad cow disease circulates within the U.S. without a problem. (Although I dare anyone to show me a single report where it is more than likely that a human disease was caused by cross contamination of mad cow disease. But that's the whole point, that a minute danger is blown out of proportion.)

On the other hand, with Nvidia chips, there is no common sense method to avoid the problem-chips apart from abstaining from the entire product line.

Neither one is seriously endangering human lives. Both are prone to piss of customers to no ends.

Re:Learning from the meat packing industry (0, Offtopic)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797027)

and is not as big of a deal in most countries outside of the U.S.A

That is because outside the USA, it has been virtually eradicated from livestock. Sweden began a program to do so more than 40 years ago and now less than 0.1% of Swedish cattle is infected with Salmonella. Compare that to the US with 2.1%...

Re:Learning from the meat packing industry (0, Offtopic)

kegger64 (653899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797301)

Got a source for this? I can't believe that one in fifty cattle in the US has Salmonella.

Re:Learning from the meat packing industry (1)

G00F (241765) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797357)

Same, I've always heard the US is better in that regard, our problem is E.Coli, and really the super strains of it.

Heck, I've eaten enough raw eggs in the form of cookie dough that even a %1 chance would have gotten me.

Still Not Buying It (5, Insightful)

RetiefUnwound (472931) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796689)

I've got a two 8800 series cards (one 8800GT, one 8800GTS), and I live in a place with no air conditioning. If these cards were subject to heat failure the way the Inquirer has been hollering about - one or both would have died by now. Particularly the one in my wife's computer - it's a Shuttle box, which runs toasty. It's been rock solid, running 24/7 for more than a year now.

I'm not suggesting there is NO problem - but the Inquirer has been talking about this like all of these cards are just waiting to die. With no A/C, and temps in the house above 90F during the summer, they should be dead if the Inq is to be believed. Perhaps I'm just lucky, but I still aint buying the story.

Re:Still Not Buying It (1)

neo8750 (566137) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796805)

I to own a 8800GTS and a 8800GS neither of which have any problems and both of the boxes are on 24/7

Both of mine have had problems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797441)

I'm on my second 8800GT now. On the first one, I started seeing lots of "stuck pixels" (actually sub-pixels, because they were only one color) ... but it wasn't the monitor. I was actually able to take screenshots of the pixels, so I figured it was the card and replaced it.

The second one? Same thing happened. Oddly enough, one of those programs that makes the screen blink endlessly actually fixed it up (except for a single green subpixel which I think is an actual monitor defect).

My system is on pretty much 24-7, but I think I have fairly decent cooling. But this would tend to explain the problems I've been having.

Re:Still Not Buying It (5, Insightful)

mandark1967 (630856) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796849)

Actually, if your wife's computer runs 24/7 it would be less susceptible to the problem since the problem they are experiencing is exacerbated by thermal cycling. fewer cycles of heating up and cooling down = less of a chance to fail.

Re:Still Not Buying It (5, Informative)

Curien (267780) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796915)

They say failure rates are "in the teens percent". Figure 20%, just for kicks. That means your chances of either card failing is 1 - (1 - .2)(1 - .2) = 36%.

For some reason that I don't understand, the vast majority of people have innate misconceptions of the rules of probability.

Re:Still Not Buying It (2, Informative)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796961)

Well for starters they said its a failure rate in the teens. The odds even with 2 cards that 1 would fail is still less likely than not.

Also the 8800 cards have been out for a while. The impression I get is that this is a newer issue with the cards, so initial 8800 cards might not be an issue.

Re:Still Not Buying It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796993)

"I've got a two 8800 series cards (one 8800GT, one 8800GTS), and I live in a place with no air conditioning. If these cards were subject to heat failure the way the Inquirer has been hollering about - one or both would have died by now. Particularly the one in my wife's computer - it's a Shuttle box, which runs toasty. It's been rock solid, running 24/7 for more than a year now."

I disagree somewhat, the older 8800 GTS, is prone to overheating and graphical artifacts in certain games. In crysis if I play for too long I have to shut down the PC for a while, playing certain games that stresses certain parts of the GPU (i.e. heats it up), causes a lot of artifacts.

Re:Still Not Buying It (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797207)

This sounds like what Xbox fanboys were saying when word of the 360 being defective reached a fever pitch.

"Well, MINE works fine, you all must be using it wrong!"

Course a week later Microsoft admitted to it and shelled out $1 billion.

Re:Still Not Buying It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797297)

just to provide anecdotal "evidence" on the other side, a friend of mine has a laptop with one of the affected chips in it and he said the video artifacting he's encountering was there almost from day one and quite annoying (though i believe he said it mainly only crops up when playing flash video). it's quite a bit worse when he's on battery power. he could just keep it on mains, but that does sort of defeat the purpose of having a laptop.

A Grain of Salt (5, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796701)

I don't get people who show any sort of devotion to a GPU manufacturer. I just don't. The author of this article is one of them. That doesn't mean it's not true, but he's written a number of articles that later proved to be completely false in the past, for instance saying that the 8800 series would doom nV because of low performance and high power usage compared to the 1900 or 2900, whatever ATI was releasing at about the same time. I'd suggest you not take any article written by Charlie seriously until it's been confirmed (not just repeated, as often happens) elsewhere.

Re:A Grain of Salt (2, Interesting)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797525)

Yea, but a lot of people show devotion to their notebook computer manufacturers, who hardwire these chips onto the mobos.

Like, say, the Apple MacBook Pro and its nVidia GeForce 8600M GT [lowendmac.com] , for instance.

Inflammatory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24796703)

You know what, I think the article is pretty much right on. This is a disaster, and you can bet your ass faulty parts are still being pushed through to unsuspecting users.

Charlie Demerjian (5, Informative)

Qhartb (1311541) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796709)

I stopped reading when I got to "By Charlie Demerjian."

Seriously, this guy is to NVIDIA as Jack Thompson is to video games. It's just not as common knowledge that you shouldn't take him seriously.

Re:Charlie Demerjian (4, Funny)

unsigned integer (721338) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797335)

Could someone explain just what exactly the chip on his shoulder is?

Did a nvidia graphics card molest him as a child?

Re:Charlie Demerjian (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797443)

He also has a huge chip on his shoulder about Vista and a strange tick of exclusively referring to it as "Windows MeII", as in "Windows Millenium 2". Except in their font it is indistinguishable from "Windows Mell", as in Windows M[e]llenium. He also refers to Windows 7 as "Windows Mell SP1a", from his insider knowledge that "WINDOWS 7, AKA Me II SP1a, is [...] simply a warmed over Vista", furthering confusion as he discusses the inevitable failure of the first service pack of an operating system from almost a decade ago.

Put it this way, I don't think he has the reader in mind when he writes articles.

a workaround solution (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796715)

has been proposed:

buy ati.

Lead-based solders 3 years after RoHS deadline? (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796743)

Why is NVidia using lead-based solders at this late date? The European RoHS deadline for lead-free components was back in 2005. The NForce and 8800 parts were RoHS compliant years ago. Are these NVidia parts even exportable to Europe?

Re:Lead-based solders 3 years after RoHS deadline? (4, Informative)

XanC (644172) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797035)

I would say it's because lead-based solder actually works properly, but according to this story that doesn't seem likely to be their motivation.

Re:Lead-based solders 3 years after RoHS deadline? (3, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797191)

rohs has exceptions for very fine pitch stuff iirc.

Re:Lead-based solders 3 years after RoHS deadline? (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797269)

Are these NVidia parts even exportable to Europe?

Very likely not.

Re:Lead-based solders 3 years after RoHS deadline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797493)

Leaded solder has several advantages over lead-free solder. First off, lead-free solder is more subject to the formation of whisker-type formations that "grow" out of the solder and can form shorts given enough time.
a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisker_(metallurgy)" title="wikipedia"> [wikipedia]

I for one am glad they are trying to avoid yet another potential failure mode.

Hmmm (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796795)

Even though I am an ATI fan (obviously I want nVidia around to drive competition), and I have seen the Inquirer pull off great reports in the past, I still take this with a grain of salt.
First of all, I am not aware of any panic about failed products in the various fora. In cases such as the Red Ring of Death, the Deathstar etc you could not visit a tech forum without having hundreds of people complaining. So maybe the problem is not that big.
Also, the article centers around the fact that they switched from high-Pb solder to a non-lead one. Well, maybe they are switching to environment friendly?
Of course, switching materials a month after launch is highly suspicious. Also, maybe there are failures not at such an alarming rate and also still within warranty so users don't make a big fuss - which would be an indication that a couple of years down the road we might see more failures and out of warranty ones, so it really is a big deal...
Oh, well, we'll just wait and see.

Inq? I'll believe when there's more proof (5, Insightful)

JohnnyBigodes (609498) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796797)

Yeah, because the Inquirer is such a steady and accurate news source.

I'll believe this when I see more proof.

Sounds to me like (1)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 5 years ago | (#24796983)

The whole thing may well be pretty much balderdash. Then again, we shall see... What really is the point of speculating? Some guy's blog someplace doesn't particularly seem like the height of reliability, then again corps often try to hide dirty laundry. Who knows?

what the hell is with these reports? (2, Interesting)

JernejL (1092807) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797101)

Okay, i hear about supposedly deffective nvidia GPUs all the time now, but why are we not seeing forums crowded with people with these failed graphics cards? i believe this issue is being overblown substantionally out of it's actual proportions.

Did they hire people from Weitek? (4, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797109)

To make matters worse, NVidia has a mound of unsold defective parts that they are going to bleed out into the channel along side of the (hopefully) fixed parts.

This sounds very similar to what finally took down Weitek, back when there were a bunch of graphics chip companies competing hotly and being shaken out if they screwed up.

Weitek had built a very fast and powerful chip. But they had goofed: While it had the mandatory basic VGA mode for acquiring the Microsoft certification, there was a bug in it.

QA told management that the bug was there and would fail them. But Software told them a driver could work around it and people would want the chip because it was so fast on graphics rendering. (Of course it could not - because to get the cert it had to work with the stock bootstrap stuff, before a custom driver could be loaded.)

So they went to production with the bug. And the customers got their prototypes, found the bug, and demanded a fix. Eventually they did a fixed version - but had maybe a couple million of the buggy ones on hand and wouldn't sell the fixed ones unless the customer bought some buggy ones, too. So nobody bought and the company folded.

Not an issue, ATI/AMD is better anyways (0, Flamebait)

gweihir (88907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797139)

In
  - Driver quality
  - Hardware quality
  - Performance/cost ratio
  - Linux support
  - Compatibility

Just do not buy Nvidia and you should be fine.

Re:Not an issue, ATI/AMD is better anyways (2, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797513)

- Linux support

Really? [nvidia.com] .

Also, I use FreeBSD. Unless something has dramatically changed with ATI drivers on FreeBSD in the past year, the drive quality argument goes right out the window.

Re:Not an issue, ATI/AMD is better anyways (1)

gweihir (88907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797535)

Have a close look at the Nvidia Linux support. It sucks.

An, yes, something has dramaticvally changed with ATI in the past year. Was pretty much all over the tech-news too.

Warrenty (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797281)

I'll be bookmarking this one, as I can use this information should my 8800GTS fail within it's first two years of life.

I have no idea how the warranty works in other countries, but here in little old Denmark the producer have the burden of proof the first 6 months (normal warranty) and the user the burden to prove that the unit was defective from the beginning the next 18 months after that. This story is pretty much a carte blance for a replacement on nVidia cards. if they fail in any way :-)

Selling known defective parts (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797303)

SHOULD bankrupt them.

Re:Selling known defective parts (1)

Grimwiz (28623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797495)

Changing solder does not mean parts are defective.

It's not too hard to overstate... (5, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797365)

It is hard to overstate how bad this is.

This will end all life on earth.

That wasn't hard.

NVidia needs to "just fix it". (1)

bugfreezer (1088369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797403)

Quoting kdawson: "Until NVidia comes fully clean on this fiasco, lists all the defective parts, and orders boxes clearly marked, you can't say anything other than just avoid them. Then again, since doing the right thing would likely bankrupt them, we wouldn't hold your breath for it to happen." I don't suppose the fact that we are now warned of this will have any effect on NVidia's bottom line? I won't be in a hurry to buy an NVidia unit if: a.) there is a good chance it will fry, and... b.) there is a good chance the replacement will fry as well. They need to recall and fix the problem, or they will get bankrupted.

Not widespread (2, Interesting)

cgadd (65348) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797411)

Based on personal experience with the 8800 GT boards, I think this problem is vastly overstated... Running 4 of them in my house, and three friends also running them in SLI config, and no failures. That's with the boards overclocked by a bit.

Additionally, failure rates based on NewEgg reviews seem very low (and we all know people love to post a nasty review if they get a bad one).

The cards do run nasty hot, at least until you set the fan to turn on at something under 180F.... who the hell came up with that turn-on temp?

I'm willing to risk a card failure, IF... (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797435)

I would be willing to risk a card failure, IF Nvidia open source's the software.

If they open source the soft, I will STFU if my card blows up and even if it kills my Main Board as well. I don't want Nvidia bankrupt.

I am even willing to pay the full price.

I just want to NOT have to go through all the crap to install 3D support in debian. Go ahead and snicker ubuntu...

Let's look at 500GB drives, who hasn't been though the crap shoot on those? 500Gigs of data being lost means someone probably lost 300-400 Gigs of data (Who keeps their drive full) How many times have you had a new 500G drive fail in less than a year? For some reason the 120G's didn't have the same failure problem.

Anyway my 2cents

Lifetime warranties rock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24797453)

That's why I bought XFX cards with a lifetime warranty :)

Sheesh, is it such a big deal? (2, Informative)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797509)

The Intel 486SX was a defective 486DX who's numeric processor was dead or not working.

Most very very large scale integrated chips have defects. Depending on the nature of the defect, they simply categorize the part differently.

A chip is not fast enough for a high speed gaming system? Us it in an embedded device.

Buy it, if it fails, return it. Just because nVidia has issues you know about, don't think for an instant that ATI doesn't.

Faulty? (1)

Grimwiz (28623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24797533)

Changing solder does not prove a chip is faulty. The parts obviously work to the point that everyone testing them had one that functioned correctly.

There are plenty of reasons (e.g. cost, RoHS) that the change could be made.

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