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Nvidia Problems Hit HP Desktops

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the realm-of-the-plausible dept.

Bug 141

Barence writes "HP has revealed faults with 38 different models in its slimline PC range, sparking speculation that Nvidia's faulty GPU problems have spread beyond laptops. HP's official statement says the problems are 'attributable to the computer's motherboard" and that affected machines 'may not boot or may not display video' — the same kind of terminology used to describe the previous faults with laptop GPUs. Both HP and Nvidia have declined to comment. But in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this year, Nvidia admitted 'there can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other MCP or GPU products.'" Note: the linked story (updated since this submission) says that Yes, the problems are now confirmed to be rooted in the Nvidia GPUs.

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Don't worry. (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367333)

I'm sure it is confined only to HP desktops, no desktops from other manufacturers are affected. It was true last time, why not now? *snicker*

Re:Don't worry. (0, Redundant)

PIBM (588930) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367713)

In their original filing to the sec they clearly state 'There can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other MCP or GPU products.'. Also, they do not specify a closed list, but just that so far notebook MCP/GPU have been found detective, thus if they've used them in their slimline pc range, it's not really any news...

Re:Don't worry. (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368543)

Fair enough. The SEC filing, while somewhat vague, was honest as far as I know. I was referring to the original claim, back when this story was starting to show stress fractures, that only certain HP notebooks were to blame(with vague intimations that HP engineering had fucked up). That was before Dell admitted problems, and just recently Apple put out an advisory [apple.com] to the effect that Nvidia had told them that all was well; but they had determined otherwise.

I strongly suspect that Nvidia did their best to not lie to the SEC, given the potential penalties for doing so; but they haven't exactly overdone the honesty elsewhere.

Re:Don't worry. (2, Funny)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368697)

Does anyone not remember that Intel sold a lot of processors that couldn't divide correctly either?

Re:Don't worry. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369151)

At least the problems with those processors didn't tend to turn the computer into a breeze block.

Re:Don't worry. (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25372235)

The Pentium fdiv bug... According to Intel, the calculations were wrong in one case in billions or so (only floating point operations). Even the most critical estimations showed one error in 42,000 or so cases (using Excel spreadsheets with multiple calculations per run).
      This compares favourably with totally broken computers.

Re:Don't worry. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367719)

To be fair, they are a "slimline" range, and therefore probably use notebook components.

Re:Don't worry. (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368499)

I don't worry too much, after all I can get an ATI 4670 for around 80 Euros. So it would suck if my MSI GeForce dies but I can afford to replace it.

Re:Don't worry. (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25372265)

Good luck replacing the integrated video chipset with that ATI board

Re:Don't worry. (1)

Trevin (570491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370625)

Interesting... I've been having a similar problem on my desktop PC ever since I put in that new GeForce 8600GT. There's about a 50/50 chance when I boot (cold or warm) that it won't display any video at all until it switches from text to graphics mode (which is very annoying when I have to change CMOS settings), and about a 1-5% chance that it won't even display video in graphics mode. Since I had that problem from day 1, I just thought it was some kind of compatibility issue between the video card and motherboard.

It's not enough to make me switch back to ATI though. I was a loyal ATI user until earlier this year, but when my Radeon X1900XT started flaking out with symptoms of overheating, I found that ATI's technical support was incredibly lousy.

who... (2, Insightful)

cosmocain (1060326) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367383)

...would have thought.
brbut still: information on this fuckup is hard to find, non-concrete statements everywhere. why not have a tool that reads the s/n of the GPU, checks it and warns if your gpu is faulty? i'm owning a dell notebook which, according to dell, is not affected. but nevertheless dell put a bios-update online for my modell which obviously changed something concerning ventilation. being vague is not always the way to go.

Re:who... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367537)

but nevertheless dell put a bios-update online for my modell which obviously changed something concerning ventilation

Errmmmmm....uhhhh....what? How does a BIOS update affect ventilation? Or do you mean 'fan control'?

Re:who... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25367711)

Captain Linguistics to the rescue!

"something concerning ventilation" is a hyperonym of "fan control" (which, in this case, is the hyponym). Your intervention is equivalent to saying "wtf, how will higher gas prices affect road vehicles? Or did you mean 'cars'?".

tl;dr: fan control qualifies as "something concerning ventilation".

Re:who... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368123)

You know that "ventilation" is not necessarily passive, right?

Re:who... (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367697)

S/N is not necessary, it would appear that if it is nVidia based and under 2 years old, it may fail at any time. A few weeks ago I read about this issue here on /., and on that day, my GeForce 8800GTS died. It is somewhat disconcerting to hear all your hard drives making click sounds in a machine that refuses to POST.

Re:who... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370021)

The only good Nvidia GPUs are the 8800 GTX, the 7xxx series, and prior.

The G280s should be fine, but we really don't know.
Nvidia is also pumping out G260s and such that are really rebranded 8xxx cores. All of the 8xxx cores being sold as a G2xx should be fine (since they finished updating their manufacturing process), but they have NOT had thorough testing (by Nvidia themselves) or any updates to the power distribution (which is dangerous since they've changed bump and solder materials).

Re:who... (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367937)

I have a dell Vostro that is affected, and the warranty ran out at the end of last month.. The BIOS update only changed the way the fans run. Previously they would run at whatever speed was needed at the time to cool the laptop, now, they run at full speed regardless. To me, that is not much of a fix, my laptop still runs incredibly hot, to the point I suspect it will fail soon.

I am hoping for a recall, but I doubt that will happen, it is the only true way to resolve the problem, but it would be costly, and I am guessing that the cost to replace all the faulty units would exceed the bad press and the cost to replace those few units that certain people will make a huge stink about and get replaced, the rest of the people will probably just go out and purchase a new laptop.... Thats my guess anyways.

Re:who... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370057)

My girlfriend went off to teach English in Japan for a year.
I'm so glad I picked out the embedded Intel crap instead of the Nvidia 8400 or whatever the next cheapest option was.

Oh, so that's why (1)

Edweirdo (449577) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367393)

I have an HP laptop and my video card died 5 days before my warranty ran out.

Then it happened again a year later.

Re:Oh, so that's why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25367535)

I had a compaq laptop and the entire motherboard died few days after warranty ran out. Luckily mine was extended. However they always return the system in such crappy beat up condition.

Re:Oh, so that's why (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367615)

This is really too bad. I'm sure that I am like everyone else (right, everyone has hair in funny places?) where you have your brands that you like. Ive always been a Nvidia person (well, after 3dfx), and it's really disappointing to see this happen. I guess I know its going to get better, they will make sure that in the future they dont have this problem. There will be those people that will never use Nvidia again because of this. I do know, that my next laptop, will be a Dell, and it will have a sweet ass Nvidia card in it. Im keeping faith in them.
for everyone that had a laptop die. Sorry bout your luck, um, HP DOES suck, and Nvidia will come through, hopefully they will make things right with their consumers, otherwise there business is going down faster than my karma rating.

Re:Oh, so that's why (2, Insightful)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368737)

I do know, that my next laptop, will be a Dell, and it will have a sweet ass Nvidia card in it. Im keeping faith in them.

Faith is usually misplaced with companies. Most of them have sucked at one point or another. All you can do is do some research about current products and hope there is no hidden problem brewing.

When I last bought a graphics card it was an NVidia 8600GT because of ATI's still-questionable Linux support at the time (the Open Source driver project was announced but nothing delivered yet). Now I can only hope that card does not die on me.

Based on ATI's improvement in drivers and NVidia's current problems I would get an ATI now. But that is not set in stone either and may be reversed a few years from now.

Re:Oh, so that's why (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369031)

This is true. A big selling point for me is the linux support. Im still not sure how ATIs driver base stands with linux, could someone fill me in? I still feel the Nvidia is a better card, and is better built (Quite down back there!), But parent is true, If i did get my new laptop and my card was bad, Dell and Nvidia would hear from me ... but i guess im not getting a new laptop for a another year, so hopefully everything will be ok by then :)

Re:Oh, so that's why (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369249)

AFAIK, right now the closed source NVidia drivers are still better than ATI's, either open or closed source. But I expect the Open Source stuff to catch up and the proprietary drivers to break sooner or later.

For my NVidia 8600 GT, for instance, there are no current Windows 2000 drivers available anymore. You can get an old version from the MSI website, but the system was never quite stable under Windows 2000. After switching to XP and current drivers things are fine - but it required changing the OS.
Similarly, vendors tend to drop support for old cards from their proprietary drivers. But if the hardware is not extremely rare, Open Source drivers in Linux are supported for a looong time.

Re:Oh, so that's why (1)

Deag (250823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367665)

Yeah my hp laptop died also, was only 4 months old so they fixed it with no hassle. Might get the extended warranty now though.

nVidia is being sued by their shareholders? (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367409)

For "covering up" the faulty GPUs? Hey, if they signed contracts with the OEMs on these chips leaving the announcements to them, then that's the brakes -- they can't talk about it. What would you expect them to do?

Re:nVidia is being sued by their shareholders? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368145)

You can't sign such things away.

Company Press Conference:
"Oh I'm sorry we didn't announce that we lost $72 billion last month due to [insert asset price collapse here], but we signed a contract with those other guy over there leaving it to them so legally we couldn't do so. Pardon? I fail to see what me selling all my stock last week has to do with any of this, next question."

And I expect them to meet the SEC requirements for being a public company.

Re:nVidia is being sued by their shareholders? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368277)

They don't have to reveal anything until they release their 10Qs.

ARGH! (1, Informative)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368281)

Look, I know this is offtopic and all, but the expression is "That's the BREAKS". NOT BRAKES!

Brake(s)
1. a device for slowing or stopping a vehicle or other moving mechanism by the absorption or transfer of the energy of momentum, usually by means of friction.
2. brakes, the drums, shoes, tubes, levers, etc., making up such a device on a vehicle.

Break(s)
1. Informal.
a. an opportunity or stroke of fortune, esp. a lucky one: That's a lucky break!
b. a chance to improve one's lot, esp. one unlooked for or undeserved: Thanks for giving me this break.
2. the breaks, Informal. the way things happen; fate: Sorry to hear about your bad luck, but I guess those are the breaks.

Sorry to go offtopic, but I see that misuse is so many otherwise intelligent arguments. The worst part about it is that it utterly ruins the argument because it makes the person writing the argument appear ignorant.

So please, get the expression right.

/grammernazi

Re:ARGH! (0, Redundant)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368611)

I for one welcome our "grammernazi" overlords.

Re:ARGH! (0, Offtopic)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369047)

How did I get a -1 Troll mod?? I thought my post was at least civil. It's not like I was insulting the OP or anything. Now, if you want to give me a -1 offtopic mod, ok; Then that would at least be correct.

If you are going to mod, please mod properly. Otherwise, what's the point?

Re:ARGH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25369837)

>If you are going to mod, please mod properly. Otherwise, what's the point?

You must be new here.

Re:ARGH! (0, Offtopic)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370995)

My guess is that your post seems to be tinged a bit with anger or frustration, so the mods interpreted it to be hostile. On top of it, some folks here really dislike grammar nazis for some reason.

I didn't take your post that way, but I see how some might.

As an aside, if you're going to be grammar nazi, you should really learn how to spell grammar. ;)

Re:ARGH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25371651)

grammernazi

Ah, irony, d3ac0n is thy name...

Hint: It's "grammar", not "grammer", Sparky.

it makes the person writing the argument appear ignorant

You tell 'em!

HTH. HAND.

AMD/ATI? (4, Interesting)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367417)

This is a great chance for ATI to get some market-share. If you don't know what nVidia cards are affected, are you going to chance it? I know I wouldn't. If ATI doesn't take advantage of this with price drops or something, their marketing dept. should be taken out back and finished off of-mice-and-men style...

Re:AMD/ATI? (5, Interesting)

kazade84 (1078337) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367471)

This gives me another reason to recommend AMD/ATI over nVidia. The first one being that nVidia refuses to release their card specs, unlike AMD and Intel.

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367747)

Can you provide more details on this?
I always thought that nVidia had excellent drivers and open platform, while ATI was pain in the ass for several years.

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367803)

Have you used an nVidia card on Linux? The drivers are fine, but they come as a binary blob.

ATI has always had crap drivers, but they recently started releasing specs. I don't know what affect this has had on the driver situation, since I don't have a current ATI card.

ATI Linux Support == Total Crap (3, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367919)

It's hardly affected it at all.

ATI Linux drivers are still total crap compared to NVidia's.

I would rather have a funded, supported binary blob that works over a bunch of unsupported unfunded drivers and open specifications any day.

Try to use any modern ATI card in an Linux-based HTPC that has to support HD video, and see how far you get.

Re:ATI Linux Support == Total Crap (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367981)

I agree with you.. Also not to forget about various SDKs that nVidia has, stereo drivers etc.
ATI is total crap software and driver-wise. If nVidia has serious problems, nobody wins.

Re:ATI Linux Support == Total Crap (3, Insightful)

Creepy (93888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368347)

My peeve with ATI is lack of OpenGL Windows extensions (which extends to Linux). ATI tends not to add EXTs even when the card supports the hardware (for instance, geometry shaders, which are supported in DirectX but not in OpenGL, and likely won't be supported in OpenGL until they become ARB, knowing ATI, so maybe OGL3.1).

I think ATI has a better scalable design and better heat properties (in SLI they rule the roost in power consumption, heat dissipation and throughput). Shader performance is still fairly poor on ATI cards, but they make up for it by massive amounts of shaders. ATI has had memory bandwidth issues in the past, but I haven't checked lately.

So basically, from a DirectX Windows only perspective, ATI is one of the best routes to go. From an OpenGL Linux, Windows, or MacOS X perspective, I prefer nVidia because they tend to support the latest public extensions (EXT is the agreed upon name and likely ARB - vendor only extensions have a vendor code like _ATI or _NV).

Re:ATI Linux Support == Total Crap (2, Informative)

vally_manea (911530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368341)

I totally agree about the binary ATI drivers - they suck bigtime, but the open source one is progressing quite nicely, more info here http://www.radeonhd.org/ [radeonhd.org]

Re:ATI Linux Support == Total Crap (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25368485)

You do know that ATI/AMD have been releasing full documentation to their GPUs and hiring key Xorg driver developers - so the binary blobs may not be an issue soon? There is even 3D support already for the R5xx series.

Re:ATI Linux Support == Total Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25371071)

The R5xx series is fucking old and I'm not gonna buy a new ATi just so I could use it three years after because it takes freetards three years to make anything working.

You know, when you buy a new graphic card a part of your money is used to pay for the driver developers. I'm gonna make use of this instead of playing the freetard card of using aging hardware.

Previous Post == Total Crap (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369245)

I have used ATI products under Linux since their Mach64 chipsets, and I have never had problems installing ATI drivers or getting 2D and 3D acceleration to work under X.

ATI drivers weren't as easy to install as nVidia's, but they worked just fine.

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367527)

And to think, just a few years ago I swore by AMD CPU's and Nvidia graphics cards. Ah but how the wheel keeps turning.

Re:AMD/ATI? (2, Funny)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367779)

So you are telling us that you are now swearing to Intel CPU's and AMD/ATI GPU's ? :-)

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368951)

Weird how it worked out that way, huh? Maybe AMD was thinking strategically.

Re:AMD/ATI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25367651)

You have no idea whether ATI should increase or decrease their prices, but they have to do something!

Re:AMD/ATI? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25368451)

How about a barrel roll?

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367763)

the problem is that ati cards have even more problems without being broken

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367767)

I'm certain that I'll try to push for an ATI card as a replacement for my GeForce 8800GTs that just died, with well over a year left on the warranty.

I've been a loyal nVidia customer since their GeForce256 card, and nForce chip sets, sadly I'm done with nVidia for the time being. I simply can not risk spending money on hardware that appears to have this high a risk of failing.

Re:AMD/ATI? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25368287)

This also becomes a big concern for people buying Mac laptops if the rumors are true that everything other than wireless and processor in the newly released Macbook/Pros is Nvidia.

It's not an unsubstantiated claim anymore that NVidia GPUs have problems as Apple and now HP has confirmed.

More over, the Intel's chipsets (used by Apple until now) have been rock solid but the same cannot be said about NVidia.

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368975)

in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this year, Nvidia admitted 'there can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other MCP or GPU products.'"

At least they are being honest? It's not like they are denying claims and trying to hide it (not that ATI does, but you have to respect honest companies).

Anyone know if physics processing is now being done on ATI cards, or is it Nvidia only?

Re:AMD/ATI? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369343)

Does ATI make any integrated graphics solutions that are not tied to the AMD bus?
An Atom running on an Intel version of the 780G would be really handy for people building lower power systems.
Of course I actually like AMD still. They make CPUs that are fast enough that are very cheap. Combine that with the 780G and you have a great low cost solution.

more importantly (for me, at least)... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25367629)

has Nvidia fixed their problems for their current products? i bought a dell laptop with intel graphics specifically because of these problems (too late to change that, obviously). my son wants/needs a new graphics card for his desktop; i strongly recommended against Nvidia but i wonder if they'll have it fixed by Christmas when i plan on getting a new card for him; hopefully it'll be an historical footnote long before then but i haven't seen anything indicating they've fixed their problems and their products are now safe to buy. any articles/links that can verify one way or the other?

Re:more importantly (for me, at least)... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370407)

i wonder if they'll have it fixed by Christmas when i plan on getting a new card

Your problem will be that while fixed chips will be out there, so will the remainder of the unfixed ones. Telling the difference will intentionally not be easy.

Bring on the nVidia Macbooks! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367701)

I'll bet Apple are glad that nVidia are around so people still have something to complain about when they unveil their new machines. Especially the Macbook Pro - now it'll have two failure-prone components, built right in. ;)

Previous HP system failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25367751)

HP has had another recent service enhancement officially starting around November 2007.

The primary symptoms were no video / no boot issues and lost wireless connectivity on specific notebook models. The effected models expanded to several other models by early/mid 2008.

The issue was also determined to be a motherboard issue showing primarily with AMD systems with NVidia cards.

HP's official limited service enhancement for this issue: Here [hp.com]

Re:Previous HP system failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25368083)

I had one of those laptops...I sent it back about 2 or 3 months ago and I'm still waiting for its return...

I'll never buy HP again...worst customer service ever. Even when I called up to see where it was at in the process.

OK EU, the blanket Pb ban had the best intentions (3, Insightful)

distantbody (852269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367759)

...The RoHS demonization of lead had the best of intentions and all, but the results are in, and some things just kinda crap out (including, big, expensive and very dangerous things) without it. Thanks EU, but we're gonna have to wrap this avoid-lead-at-all-cost show up right about now...

Re:OK EU, the blanket Pb ban had the best intentio (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367973)

I wouldn't call the Xbox 360 GPU failures (which don't seem to have affected any other ATi products) or the nVidia notebook GPU failures (which don't seem to have affected any other nVidia products) "big, expensive, and very dangerous things". Certainly the very specific nature of the problems suggests it has nothing to do with the switch to lead-free processes themselves (which nVidia and ATi themselves are using in other products without issue). I'd welcome other examples of course, as there could be low-profile problems which I've overlooked and show this to be a more general issue. Of course there are many new theoretical failure modes introduced by lead-free components and soldering, I'm just pointing out that from where I stand it's not yet an issue in the real world.

Re:OK EU, the blanket Pb ban had the best intentio (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367991)

(On a related note, "big expensive and very dangerous things" are excepted from the eagle eye of RoHS. You can produce gear carved from giant blocks of lead if it's for medical use.)

Re:OK EU, the blanket Pb ban had the best intentio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25367993)

...The RoHS demonization of lead had the best of intentions and all, but the results are in, and some things just kinda crap out (including, big, expensive and very dangerous things) without it. Thanks EU, but we're gonna have to wrap this avoid-lead-at-all-cost show up right about now...

the problem with nvidia cards is that they use Pb solder while ATI uses Sn.

Not following RoHS made this happen, not the other way around.

Re:OK EU, the blanket Pb ban had the best intentio (3, Informative)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368367)

"Los Angeles (CA) â" A tiny material issue in Nvidiaâ(TM)s GPUs has cost Nvidia $200 million so far: The problem boils down to the solder bump material, in Nvidiaâ(TM)s case high-lead that was used in all of the firmâ(TM)s GPUs that were produced until late July , and we still do not know how serious the issue really is. According to our sources, Nvidia has switched to eutectic solder bumps in recent weeks and there is now a new, apparently independent research report, that claims that eutectic solder bumps, which are used for example by AMDâ(TM)s ATI unit, may live much longer than high-lead versions. Of course, switching to eutectic isnâ(TM)t the entire solution, as the material has a much lower melting point than high-lead."

http://www.tgdaily.com/content/view/39506/135/ [tgdaily.com]

Re:OK EU, the blanket Pb ban had the best intentio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25370595)

According to the Inquirer, the problem bump material was high lead, and the problem is being fixed by replacing the material with eutectic (i.e, mix of lead and tin) solder.

See for example this [theinquirer.net]

So I don't think RoHS can really be at fault here.

Re:the blanket Pb ban had the best intentions (3, Insightful)

Seraphim1982 (813899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370691)

...The RoHS demonization of lead had the best of intentions and all, but the results are in, and some things just kinda crap out (including, big, expensive and very dangerous things) without it. Thanks EU, but we're gonna have to wrap this avoid-lead-at-all-cost show up right about now...

The failing solderbumps were high-lead solder. The solution was to switch to a eutectic solder, which has less lead. So why would RoHS anti-lead policies be to blame?

buy EVGA and get a LIFETIME warranty (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25367853)

but you MUST register the video card or mobo or prostitute with them within 2 weeks of purchase otherwise you have the standard warranty coverage. I have a G92 8800GTS/512, and a backup G80 8800GTS/320 which was my warranty replacement for a 7900GT which had a prolonged illness, then a slow death, after two years of use. If the G92 fails, I get whatever is comparable NOW, which would probably be . . . I don't like any of the current crop of GPUs because they use up too many watts for what I want . . . I'd get whatever I got but switch to ATI/AMD. IF the G92 goes tits up. I'd still be using the 7900GT if it was still working. My TOTAL system with the G92 uses 160W at idle (comprising an AMD X2 2.5GHz c.2005, secondary PCI video, X-Fi PCI, 2GB DDR, 4 HDs,,,,), almost the same as it was with the 7900GT. The current crop of GPUs ALONE would use that much power.

Re:buy EVGA and get a LIFETIME warranty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25371927)

but you MUST register the video card or mobo or prostitute

WTF?!

Implied Warranty - Look into it in your state (1)

daoine_sidhe (619572) | more than 5 years ago | (#25367885)

I've seen so many notebooks (mostly HP dv6000 and dv9000 series) being hit with this lately that it's unbelievable. And yes, HP did release an extended service offer for a few specific models; it tacks one year to the end of your current warranty. Even if you have an HP notebook that is one of the affected models, they won't touch it unless it fails within that 24-month period. Month 25? Sorry, time to shop for a new one.

Well, in my state there is an implied warranty law that applies here: Consumer Law Guide [maine.gov] . Check it out if you live in Maine and you need it, or look into similar laws in your own state/province/territory/etc. All of my customers who are hit with this issue get a copy of the implied warranty section printed when they go.

I have an new HP Desktop (1)

onionlee (836083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368119)

I remember this. I had this problem too. It wasn't necessarily the GPU, because my GPU is running great, hitting great benchmarks (8400 GS). It's actually a problem with the mobo. First, some background. The computer has HDMI, DVI, and S-Video output. When I first got the system, it had big problems switching between different outputs when I shutoff the system. Then it came to a point where gfx just didn't work on boot. I called the HP service guy (very bad idea). He wanted me to send in my system (wtf no). I just eventually found a manual for the mobo and reset cmos. Solved the problem.

Re:I have an new HP Desktop (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368275)

I remember this. I had this problem too. It wasn't necessarily the GPU, because my GPU is running great, hitting great benchmarks (8400 GS).

The nVidia PCB problem has not had anything to do with performance hits either. It's a matter of quality and how long it is expected to last before the hardware gets knocked out.

This may not have been the case here, but still, performance hasn't had anything to do with it.

Woe unto all we Greenies! Repent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25368155)

Time to turncoat from Green to Red!

My 9600GT is running still, but for how long?

I used to pro-NV, but now I think I'll return to ATI. Never had an ATI card mysteriously stop working. Had 2 older NVIDIA cards stop though, a Ti200 and a 6800LE. Both had scrambled output but seemed to boot. I even saw a similar thing last year on a Latitude laptop I was working on at work that had a Geforce MX, but this thing had totally erratic behavior.

Makes you wonder how far back the problem goes or if there are other problems that may have arisen that haven't been discovered.

Has anyone had these kinds of problems with ATI?

Possible Recall? (4, Funny)

d0n0vAn (1382471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368293)

I am a recall coordinator. My job is to apply the formula. A new laptop built by my company overheats and the video card dies. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of laptops in the field, A. Multiply it by the probable rate of failure, B. Multiply the result by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A x B x C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

Re:Possible Recall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25368419)

How about stuff like goodwill (and badwill :) )?

Re:Possible Recall? (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368903)

There is a problem with your math there,you see you forgetting about Y,which is how many customers turn on your company after you burn them and tell all their friends their horror story so they never buy your product either.

Let me give an example: A former teacher USED to go to Walmart all the time. It wasn't far from his home,and since he was a DIY type he often spent 500-$800 a month there. They burnt him on a $40 battery that was less than a week old because he couldn't find his receipt,even though it is a brand only sold at Walmart. Since that was 3 years ago and he hasn't been in since at the minimum $500 they have lost $18000 for the price of a battery. He also has several friends who trust his judgment and are now going to Target like he does. Add in the money they would have spent and you can easily double that.

You see,I learned a little rule a long time ago: Give a customer a good experience and they'll brag on you to three to five of their friends. Treat a customer like shit and they'll go out of their way to tell everyone they know how you suck and should be avoided like the clap. It would cost HP next to nothing to keep some comparable spares in a warehouse and simply change out the HDD when a customer sends in a bad one. Give them even the tiniest of upgrades at the same time and you will have a customer that gushes about your service. Burn that customer and he/she'll make DAMNED sure to let everyone know what a lousy POS company you are. And considering that Dell and Acer is out there happy to take their business that really doesn't sound like a smart move,does it?

Re:Possible Recall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25369117)

Ever read or seen "Fight Club"?

Re:Possible Recall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25369307)

It was a Fight Club reference. Duh.

Re:Possible Recall? (0, Troll)

oPless (63249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25371249)

I suggest you watch the film fight club.

Seriously whoever modded you up needs shooting.

I should know better. I've been here a while.

Re:Possible Recall? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25371349)

Woooooosh - right over your head...

Who is Tyler Durden?

Re:Possible Recall? (1)

Banzai042 (948220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369099)

Could you explain that using cars?

Re:Possible Recall? (1)

oPless (63249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369293)

Are there a lot of these kinds of problems? What manufacturer do you work for ?

Re:Possible Recall? (1)

d0n0vAn (1382471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369755)

Are there a lot of these kinds of problems? What manufacturer do you work for ?

A major one.

Re:Possible Recall? (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370125)

A new laptop built by my company overheats and the video card dies.

The laptop battery then explodes, trapping and burning coworkers in several nearby cubicles.

I have an HP, No problems (0, Redundant)

UncleMantis (933076) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368513)

I have a HP tower. I remember i could get either the onboard or the external video. I choose the later and no problems here.

No problems for me (yet) (1)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368751)

I'm surprised I haven't had any issues yet. I'm running an EVGA 780i Nvidia chipset motherboard with x2 8800GT. I only started having heat issues recently because the back fan on my case went out.

Actually, thinking about it I think the Akimbo coolers on my video cards are what are saving me. Nothing like doubling the width of your video card for a GPU cooler to save you from heat damage I guess.

Re:No problems for me (yet) (1)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369235)

I had seriously considered getting an HP Pavilion desktop with the nVidia graphics chipset but I fortunately thought better of the idea. That's why I have a Pavilion a6400f with the Intel G33 graphics chipset--not the most capable but at least it's reasonably stable. :-)

This is disappointing (1)

sdemjanenko (1296903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25368875)

Well this NVIDIA issue has been out for a while and its a major disappointment especially since I bought a 9600gt like 2 months ago which will suffer the same fate. However, this issue is agravated by temperature changes in the graphics card. So this is agravated in laptops which are cycled on and off frequently. Seeing as I leave my desktop on most of the time and that I use the graphics card for long sessions but also do not have heavy, frequent loads I expect this to be a non-issue with my setup. I got the card to do CUDA while waiting for the next generation of NVIDIA cards to come out.

So yeah, this should not be a huge issue if you are not temperature cycling the card like mad. Its much more important on a laptop for that reason.

Re:This is disappointing-More Disappointing (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370495)

Well this NVIDIA issue has been out for a while and its a major disappointment especially since I bought a 9600gt like 2 months ago which will suffer the same fate. However, this issue is agravated by temperature changes in the graphics card. So this is agravated in laptops which are cycled on and off frequently. Seeing as I leave my desktop on most of the time and that I use the graphics card for long sessions but also do not have heavy, frequent loads I expect this to be a non-issue with my setup. I got the card to do CUDA while waiting for the next generation of NVIDIA cards to come out.

CUDA stresses your card as much as throwing it into full 3D rendering, so you chip is still going to run hot and cold as you switch between idle and CUDA processing. You may not be as safe as you think you are.

My HP Slimline card failed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25368897)

My father had the 9600gt fail in his 2 month old HP slimline tower. Hmm....

Mod me up, this is what is going on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25369063)

The GPU's are overheating. Just like with the Xbox 360's, as time goes on, the lead-free solder joints break due to mechanical stress caused by to expansion/contraction cycles that weaken the joints; this is initiated by heating/cooling cycles.

How can you tell? Pop open the bottom of any DV8000 or DV9000 series laptop; you'll notice the pink or black stuff around the GPU. Microsoft did the same thing; they epoxied the chip on. The cooling is insufficient; its the reason why they have issued BIOS updates. BTW, best way to do one; put the laptop up on its side with the lid open at a 90 degree angle. It gives the air intake and output ports 100% flow.

The slim-line PC's have a similar problem. There are 2 theories to cooling a PC case; the open method and the wind tunnel method. The Slim-lines use the open method; air is drawn onto devices that need it. The GPU gets no airflow cooling and on some models, got a dinky little heatsink. I've fixed these by drilling holes into the side of the detachable plate and installing a 90MM fan 40CFM with a Sata-power to Molex attachment, blowing cool air directly onto the default heatsink. $40 of parts, the thing works like its new.

HP updated their site, as have several manufacturers, with information pertaining to the problem but nobody is going to say what is going on. Mainly, because resoldering chips onto boards is expensive. Out of all the vendors I have done business with, HP has the best warranty service. They've fixed several laptops for me out of warranty under this program, so they're being responsable.

More than likely, Nvidia did stringent tests on their GPU's (as always) and handed HP a spec sheet that miscommunicated what the chip can take, and HP designed out of tolerance without knowing it. Updating the BIOS fixes the problem pretty solidly, as does pulling the fans and upgrading them (I've done upgrades to gaming laptops to do that, makes em' work like a charm).

Re:Mod me up, this is what is going on. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25369263)

Wrong. If you read all the articles on this, this is a C4 bump problem, not a BGA problem which is what the epoxy addresses. The C4 bumps are leaded, not lead free, so this issue has to do with another failure mechanism altogether. You're right though, that it is temperature-related, and keeping things cooler will prolong the life of the device.

hp tx1000 laptop mobo problem saga (1)

sevenseven (75320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25369699)

wifi card disappears from the hardware list, only mobo replacement can bring it back.

unfortunately it happens about 12-14 months into the life of the laptop, when normal warranty is expired.

there are hundreds of posts on the internet related to this, and new ones are added each day.

and yet HP fails to admit that there is a systemic problem that they are responsible for.

see my particular account here:
http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/showthread.php?t=19208

The symptom is not the cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25369797)

I had a no-display problem during configuration, with a new machine using an nVidia board and was lucky to have a second identical nVidia board to test with. The problem was with the mobo. Replacing the motherboard repaired the machine and it has not had a hint of failure since then.

Slimline = laptop graphics (1)

2ms (232331) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370257)

Unless anyone specifically knows it to be otherwise, it's pretty safe to assume that these GPUs are the same ones as used in laptops. "Slimline" computers generally use laptop graphics and other components.

In other words, this isn't actually news, basically.

Nvidia Lies - So What's New? (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25370359)

So Nvidia has lied about the extent of the problem and Charlie Demerjian over at The Inquirer has been right about the full extent of this all along. By now none of this should be coming as a surprise to anybody actually paying attention.

HP dumping Nvidia desktops (1)

nixman99 (518480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25371623)

I picked up a cheap "debranded" HP desktop at geeks.com a few weeks back. Just noticed today that it has an integrated GeForce 6500LE.
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