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  (Source: Parkoz Hardware)
HP and Dell break out a list of defective NVIDIA GPUs in their respective notebooks

NVIDIA was recently forced to defend itself against allegations that it was preparing to exit the chipset business.  In addition, the company reported weaker than expected earnings, thanks to a charge of $150M USD to $200M USD to cover "defective GPUs" on its mobile offerings.

When this news broke many were curious -- which GPUs were affected and what exactly is the problem?  Well the answer to the latter is relatively simple -- a number of NVIDIA mobile GPUs had extremely poor thermal tolerances thanks to defects.  This leads to early chip death and faulty behaviors, such as artifacting, as chips start to fail.

The answer to the first question -- how many -- is just now becoming clear.  It appears appears that NVIDIA's mobile offerings are much harder hit than initial conservative estimates.  Dell and HP, the two largest computer manufacturers have just released lists of what computers have defective chips.

It turns out virtually all the NVIDIA mobile chips are defective.  NVIDIA tried to brush off the issue stating that the issue was a "previous-generation" problem.  However, it turns out that virtually all 8400M and 8600M chips are defective.  These chips make up the bulk of NVIDIA's higher end graphics offerings.  While NVIDIA started to roll out the first of its 9 series mobile chips, the 8 series represents the flagship line of its mobile offerings.

The low to middle end chips are also virtually all defective.  Among the defective lines are the GeForce Go 7000 and 6000 lines, as well as the Quadro NVS 135M and the Quadro FX 360M.

In order to respond to the problems HP is offering extended warranty support.  Information is available here.  Dell offers a driver fix which attempts to deal with the heat issues by pumping up fan speed, on top of its standard warranty support. 

According to Dell, signs of GPU failure include multiple images, random characters appearing onscreen, lines on the screen, or no video at all.  Dell claims the updates will not affect battery life.  Its new Vostro line of notebooks is shipping with the fix preinstalled.

While Dell's solution may provide a decent stopgap to carry chips outside the warranty, it seems unlikely to be able save the chips from a shorter than average lifetime.  In the end both with Dell and HP the warranty charges will eventually be passed on to NVIDIA.

Also, the fact that the bulk of its mobile GPUs, a major source of business, are defective is also extremely troublesome for the giant.  However, as ATI/AMD showed with its latest series of GPUs, in the graphics industry you can never rule out a comeback.

For those with mobile GPUs from other manufacturers, please refer to their respective pages as many of them have posted or will be posting information on the problems.

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9 Series
By GoodRevrnd on 8/4/2008 2:24:56 AM , Rating: 2
So is the 9 series immune to this? I was seriously considering getting a Vaio Z, but that is way too expensive a laptop to risk a serious defect like this.

RE: 9 Series
By crystal clear on 8/4/2008 2:58:05 AM , Rating: 1
Form 8-K for NVIDIA CORP- states the following-

There can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other MCP or GPU products.

RE: 9 Series
By Spoelie on 8/4/2008 5:12:32 AM , Rating: 2
And this tells us what exactly? That no part is guaranteed to be without defects? What manufacturer will guarantee such a thing?

At least the same exact problem should not be there, at least not publicly acknowledged.

RE: 9 Series
By crystal clear on 8/4/2008 6:38:52 AM , Rating: 3
Portion of the article as quoted below-

It turns out virtually all the NVIDIA mobile chips are defective. NVIDIA tried to brush off the issue stating that the issue was a "previous-generation" problem. However, it turns out that virtually all 8400M and 8600M chips are defective. These chips make up the bulk of NVIDIA's higher end graphics offerings. While NVIDIA started to roll out the first of its 9 series mobile chips, the 8 series represents the flagship line of its mobile offerings.
The low to middle end chips are also virtually all defective. Among the defective lines are the GeForce Go 7000 and 6000 lines, as well as the Quadro NVS 135M and the Quadro FX 360M.

It took them 6 months to acknowledge the defect/problem publicily & a complete product lineup....defective.

How can you trust them ?

I am of the opinion-

"Its not manufacturing issues rather design issues ..."

I do not believe the company can dramatically fix it in one or two quarters.

I know you will not agree to this opinion, but I do not acceept the official explaination.

RE: 9 Series
By masouth on 8/5/2008 1:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
That no part is guaranteed to be without defects? What manufacturer will guarantee such a thing?

Is it really asking much of a company to guarantee that a product line, within it's expected life span, isn't experiencing more than the acceptable/expected failure rate?

From my perspective, by NOT stating a certain line is free from all but the expected failure rate, nVidia is indicating that they are NOT confident in those products at this time. Maybe it's just the bean counters/lawyers preventing them from making a more firm statement of support. Either way it reflects lack of confidence.

This is starting to remind me of the battery recall. It started out small and seems to keep getting bigger the longer it went.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a guarantee. Most companies guarantee products. Next time you buy something try reading the packaging/included documentation instead of just setting it aside once you've gotten the shiny, new toy out. You'll usually find a guaranteee someowhere in there or a warranty which is, in effect, a guarantee that a product will work as intended or it will be rapaired/ replaced/ refunded per the warranty specifications.

RE: 9 Series
By FITCamaro on 8/4/2008 5:49:42 AM , Rating: 4
Irregardless of the GPU being defective, you've still got issues if you're considering a Viao. Overpriced and underpowered. And typically lacking in expandability.

RE: 9 Series
By JonnyDough on 8/4/2008 6:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
The same however can not be said about a Camaro. It's a stripped-down not-a-shred-of-luxury semi-affordable sports car.

Right FITCamaro?

RE: 9 Series
By theapparition on 8/4/2008 7:41:00 AM , Rating: 2
What the hell does a Camaro have to do with nVidia? or Vaio's?

Reguarding the Camaro, I'd suggest waiting for a released version and accompaning reviews before passing judgement.

It's a stripped-down not-a-shred-of-luxury semi-affordable sports car.

Stripped down? I think you'll find it comes with most every option that it's competitors come with.
Not a shred of luxury?
What do you define as luxury? Leather seats and navigation used to be called luxury, now they are commonplace, and will both be offered in the Camaro. Stripped down to me means no AC and no radio. What does it mean to you?
Sports car? Technically, it would fall in the pony car class, autocross class F. Far from being called a "sports car"

The Camaro was designed in Austrailia by the same company that brought us the G8 and GTO. If you've ever driven in either, you've found that they are very well balanced. I'm speculating that the Camaro (built on the G8 platform, BTW) will be similar.

As for the Camaro's interior, the only word I can say is hideous.

Now back to nVidia's latest flub....

RE: 9 Series
By Cunthor666 on 8/4/2008 7:33:21 AM , Rating: 1
You're kidding right? Best screens, most durable batteries, hybrid graphics card (on-board + dedicated)... But you know better, no?

RE: 9 Series
By Polynikes on 8/4/2008 2:21:08 PM , Rating: 2
I dig my SZ. Light but relatively powerful, very thin. Hybrid graphics is great, and if you buy one (or any Sony laptop) from Portable One ( you can get them without the bloatware and a recovery DVD. My SZ came with the neoprene protective sleeve for free, and Ivan (the owner of the store) even gave me a free upgrade from a T8300 to a T9300. :)

RE: 9 Series
By z3R0C00L on 8/4/2008 5:54:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually Sony notebooks are not even near being the best.

The most Durable are the Dell Inspiron series (particularly the military grade units).

The best screens are on the Dell XPS lineup (M1730 for example).

As for choice of graphics... well that's a tough one between Dell XPS, Alienware and VoodooPC.

Sony make nice overpriced units.

RE: 9 Series
By z3R0C00L on 8/4/2008 5:57:14 PM , Rating: 2
Now as for your claim of the most durable battery. Well that's laughable since Sony (Samsung and Hynix) are the companies that supply batteries to OEM's.

And that Dell unit catching fire that is so famous... that was a Sony battery catching fire. The same things has been observed time and time again with Sony batteries heating up and catching fire (even on a Mac).

By Rodney McNaggerton on 8/3/2008 10:25:49 PM , Rating: 5
However, as ATI/AMD showed with its latest series of GPUs, in the graphics industry you can never rule out a comeback.

So what you're saying is Nvidia's next line of mobile GPU's could be less faulty, thus: a comeback. My post is terrible, rate me down.

RE: Comeback
By TheSpaniard on 8/3/2008 10:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
well... I don't know about Nvidia making a comeback. HP switched their 12" tablet from go6150 to HD2300...

on a side note I wonder if the 6150s are part of the bad lot... seeing as the tx1000s were not listed on that site I guess not.

RE: Comeback
By TheSpaniard on 8/3/2008 10:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
check that... they changed to the 3200

RE: Comeback
By neothe0ne on 8/3/2008 11:43:25 PM , Rating: 2
My dv2312us is covered in the lists, and it has a 6150. I was also emailed, and I tried to get my laptop replaced because a DIFFERENT part wasn't working (the multimedia card reader). Now that I think about it, if heat breaks the wireless adapter which is in the bottom left corner, the media card reader also in the bottom left corner would likely bork too. That spot is boiling hot to touch when the bottom right corner (disc drive) feels relatively freezing during operation.

That said, I've had a screen blackout once and am having CONSTANT problems with booting and wireless functionality so +1 to defective NVIDIA GPU list.

RE: Comeback
By TheSpaniard on 8/4/2008 12:50:42 AM , Rating: 2
well if you have a 6150 and my laptop has a 6150... maybe they'll take it back since it is having issues with the USB ports back next to the GPU fan!

RE: Comeback
By StevoLincolnite on 8/4/2008 10:25:44 AM , Rating: 2
Drats! My Second Laptop with a Mobility 9700pro is made by ATI, I guess that rules out for a replacement/upgrade. xD
Still, 4 years and still going is pretty good. (It's an Acer).

My Current Machine is a Toshiba with a Mobility 3650 - Not a bad machine, I was going to get a Dell with the 8600GT, but the 3650 handles everything I need at a cheaper price anyway.

What makes me curious... Did Laptop Manufacturers change Battery Companies when the Sony Batteries went west? If they did, would we see a shift in Mobile Graphics Companies once again, As several years ago, it was impossible to find a machine with an nVidia GPU as ATI was dominant.

RE: Comeback
By Spoelie on 8/4/2008 5:04:50 AM , Rating: 1
The problem is not that the GPU is giving out excessive heat/more heat than normal - it is that the GPU cannot tolerate the heat it was designed for, i.e. the heat produced during normal operation, due to defects introduced in the actual manufacturing.

If other chips start to die because of excessive heat, then this is a laptop/oem design issue.

RE: Comeback
By bongsi21 on 8/4/2008 11:22:58 AM , Rating: 2
So the true face of NVIDIA appears . their putting their hardware to the extreme and monopolize the price of their graphics card of which compromises the consumer and the market.

I hope the other sleeping company wakes up soon and challenges NVIDIA for the benifit of free maket and for all

RE: Comeback
By JonnyDough on 8/4/2008 6:45:23 AM , Rating: 1
I think they all missed the boat on what you were trying to say. Let's see if I get it right, or if I just drown.

Dear DT,

This article is about NVidia, not AMD. AMD is not NVidia's only competitor in the graphics space. We get that both Via and Intel are not true competitors in the high-end notebook graphics market.

We don't need to compare companies all the time - save that for articles designed to do that. Instead of trying to talk one up or another down, just give us the news brief.

How did I do?

RE: Comeback
By xti on 8/4/2008 2:02:21 PM , Rating: 2
who else started singing in their head, "momma said knock you out", when you read this?

Don't call it a comeback...

RE: Comeback
By yacoub on 8/4/2008 6:03:19 PM , Rating: 2
Don't call it a comeback if they've been here for years.


I think they've known this for a while
By gerf on 8/3/2008 8:59:37 PM , Rating: 3
I have an 8600m that I bought last year in the fall. When I got it, after 5 minutes the screen gave me a big fat yellow vertical line through the screen. I assumed that it was of course the screen, and called in my warranty.

They proceeded to go through several steps with me to check if it was the video card or not, which I thought was a bit odd at the time, but let it slide. Well, apparently there was a real reason for them to check the video card first.

Well, at least I have a 3 year warranty on this sucker.

RE: I think they've known this for a while
By GodLovesPunk on 8/3/2008 9:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
Weird.. I have a Dell notebook with an 8400GS I bought last August but I haven't had any problems with it.

By GoodBytes on 8/3/2008 9:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
Probably the batch of bad GPU's are finished, and you got the good one.

RE: I think they've known this for a while
By jonmcc33 on 8/3/2008 10:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
My work has a ton of Dell Latitude D630 laptops all with nVIDIA Quadro NVS 135M's in them. Makes me worry since it is on Dell's list.

By Creig on 8/4/2008 9:04:55 AM , Rating: 2
Ugh. Our office just received eight D630's to replace our D610's. Looks like we would've been better off keeping the old machines.

By gerf on 9/13/2008 8:33:05 AM , Rating: 2
I guess I didn't elaborate. It was the screen. I just thought it was strange that they'd check the video card at all.

By feelingshorter on 8/3/2008 10:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
I have a HP 21** series and the screen blacked out. I called the tech support and they said that "its a common problem." It was a nvidia 6000 series GPU. The thing is that it just died right before the 1 year manufacture warranty ended. I wouldn't hesitate to buy HP brand again though. The way they handled the repair was fast and painless.

By GreenEnvt on 8/5/2008 8:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
Thankfully I've been lucky.
I have a Toshiba with a 7600 go, and it's 2 years old. I haven't had any video card problems (except when my wife uses it on the couch and her blanket blocks all the exhaust ports, doh!).

Old News
By Flunk on 8/3/2008 8:50:33 PM , Rating: 5
HP has had those pages up for at least 6 months, not only that they emailed everyone who registered their affected system (at least the 5 people I know with affected systems were emailed).

This is not exactly a conspiracy, I think they are handling this quite well by reporting it and extending warranties.

RE: Old News
By neothe0ne on 8/3/2008 11:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
The issue is that the symptoms can appear at a later date; which is very true for me, as I was emailed months ago but haven't been having issues breaking usability of my laptop until recently.

RE: Old News
By MikieTImT on 8/4/2008 9:17:55 PM , Rating: 2
Not only has the webpage been up for months, but the HP Update utility that checks for hardware updates periodically refers to it, as well as their hardware diagnostic webpage. My HP Pavilion dv6000z was sent in twice not very long after it was purchased in July of 2006, once for the WiFi adapter completely disappearing from Device Manager, and once for the graphics disappearing with purple vertical lines appearing on the screen. No amount of driver updating with HP Support on the phone got either resolved, so mine was replaced twice. Be aware that the replacement will have the same defect. They are only buying time until their "extended" warranty period expires, which is next July in my case.

A collection of comments
By crystal clear on 8/4/2008 1:55:37 AM , Rating: 5
Here’s just a small selection of comments left by Dell customers on the Direct2Dell blog:

“IMHO having the BIOS activate the fans sooner to compensate for a defective chipset is a band aid solution.”

“Well, since this BIOS update won’t mysteriously change the die packaging material, the only real thing you can do is to extent warranty or premium support to the amount of years you wanna use the computer, and still then live with the fact that your computer could die on you any time.”

“So rather than replacing the faulty parts you are going to just turn up the fans, at the expense of battery life and noise. I would rather just leave the bios as it is and get a proper fix if the problem occurs. Even if the problem occurs out of warranty I think there is a strong case for Dell fixing it for free since there is an admitted manufacturing defect.”

“With this solution, you try to push the issue outside the customers warranty-time.. but what’s after that time? will you repair the notebooks for free?”

“nice to see that a hardware issue is fixed by software update. how is a physical defect suppose to be fixed by software? time to step up to the plate dell and start offering a replacement device.”

“I tend to agree with some of the other comments. A bios update to turn on cooling fans is not the appropriate response when I have spent approx. $2000 on an XPS that I now fear will have a shortened life span.”

Time for a recall ? to wait & see...starts with a drizzle then comes the thunder storm....

By crystal clear on 8/4/2008 2:05:39 AM , Rating: 1
Yes the comment below is not related to Nvidia but still I post it, just for information purposes-

Intel plans to detail the architecture of its upcoming Larrabee chip at the SIGGRAPH conference on Aug. 12.

Dammit I bought an XPS 1530!
By myou066 on 8/4/2008 7:07:52 AM , Rating: 3
Knowing this factory fault will indeed plummet the used laptop prices. I was meant to sell mine off and get a x300 but guess that isn't happening anymore.

Owning and knowing that your laptop is indeed defective really hurts and Dell is exacerbating the problem by only trying to push the computers out of their warranty period to point the flak at Nvidia and deny further responsibility.

The A09 patch for this comp is a joke. I installed it and compared to the previous bios update, it sounded like a jet engine on when you are merely browsing the internet. I since used a roll back driver and used a laptop cooler instead.

The chips I think are defective in the sense that with the repeated cycles of hot and cold on the chips as you do your business on the laptop creates thermal fatigue on the board and wiring architecture. These laptops although not guaranteed to fail will have a higher than average failure rate. And if you are like me, you enjoy playing the odd game here and there since you bought a laptop with these specs.

This as a Dell customer has really disappointed me especially whenever I call and wait for 40 minutes on the help line only to be told after explaining faults with no posts and blank screens 'Oh we didn't know that' and playing coy pretending they haven't heard customers complain about their services already.

That leaves me to the question - Should I sell off at a huge loss and get something without the defective chip, or pay another $450nz ($330US) for three more years warranty with returns and annoying callouts?

I feel my anger can drive me to create a whole hate site...But I'll leave it there...

Shame on you Dell, Shame on you.

RE: Dammit I bought an XPS 1530!
By myou066 on 8/4/2008 7:12:54 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry the defect is actually a weak die/packaging material set according to the Dell site..


By voodooboy on 8/4/2008 9:57:23 AM , Rating: 2
Wait a sec; Why is it that HP extends (or "enhance" as they say it) the warranty for the affected laptops and Dell gets away with just a BIOS "fix" ??

And I don't know why my Inspiron 1520 with the 8600M GT isn't listed on that page, while the 1420 is...Likewise, I don't understand why my GF's Vostro 1500 isn't listed while the 1420 and newer 1510 are. If GPU's dating back to the GF6xxx/7xxx era are affected, how come they've selectively listed just a few models there?

RE: Huh?
By neothe0ne on 8/4/2008 10:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
HP is also recommending users to update their BIOS which I did (that didn't stop my laptop from artifacting several times one day, then random failed posting a week or two later and a random screen blackout). If Dell isn't "enhancing" their warranty in any way like HP is, that truly would turn me off from ever considering Dell...

A the truth
By JSK on 8/3/2008 8:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
... shall set you free.

About time this is "confirmed". The dirt sheets have been reporting this for some time.

By ksherman on 8/3/2008 11:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
Wonder how long before Apple acknowledges this problem. I have noticed some artifacting on my screen, but had assumed it was a drivers issue... My MacBook Pro has the 8600M.

So what is the fix? Swap the chip? Replace the motherboard? Give a newer gen chip?

whats the solution ?
By crystal clear on 8/4/2008 2:39:12 AM , Rating: 2
"In most cases, customers who are impacted by this specific
issue will likely need a motherboard replacement,"

Article picture...
By Spoelie on 8/4/2008 4:56:44 AM , Rating: 2
As in "not worth a dime" ?

What about the Quadro FX 570M?
By dickeywang on 8/4/2008 9:20:36 AM , Rating: 2
Is it affected by this problem? I think both HP and Lenovo have models that uses the 570M GPU.

By TheSpaniard on 8/4/2008 11:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
After reading this article I decided to check on my HP laptop (tx1000) and see if it was going to be covered by the extended warranty. It was not listed on the HP site as getting the "enhanced" warranty but it did have the same GPU as some of the other systems that were. Also they have included for my system the same BIOS revision that they are pushing to all the other systems!

By zshift on 8/4/2008 11:44:01 AM , Rating: 2
i had an asus g1s-x1 from best buy and that thing heated up LIKE CRAZY after 4-5 mths of use. the gpu temps would always reach at least 95-96C within a minute of any 3d-rendering, be it HL2 or the cheap benchmarks used in pc wizard (by cpuid).

so sad...
By swizeus on 8/4/2008 12:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
So sad...
when nVidia finally mass produce their graphic chips and when finally I can get something cheap and powerful
...this tragic comes

Information is available here

Where ? No Links ? What do you mean ?

By Byte on 8/5/2008 2:57:23 AM , Rating: 2
They only design the chips and can't forsee the future. I see GPUs die left and right, not just nvidia chips. GPUs run so hot i'm pretty amazed they put such powerful ones in laptops with such success. It would be nice to see the actual number of defective chips they are getting back.

changeable video card
By GoodBytes on 8/6/2008 6:11:22 PM , Rating: 2
You see, if laptops manufacture like Dell and HP, didn't decide to have the video card attached to the motherboard and not removable because they don't want you to change the video card and rather change the whole laptop, this problem could have been simplified.

Example, a company can make a recall for the broken video cards but keeping the laptop to the user. Granted the laptop would be useless. However, it will make shipping a lot cheaper, and drastically cut labor costs to have someone open the laptop and change the motherboard and put everything back in.

Then for those who are are "scare" in opening the video card panel of the laptop, they can offer a paying service which cover these labor costs.

Ok, I am sure it's not an ideal solution, but you can't ignore the fact that it would have been much simpler and cost less.

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