Over a month ago NVIDIA came forward and announced that they had shipped some faulty graphical processing units (GPU’s), and that it would cost them between $150-$200 million to cover the damages done. They didn’t announce specifically what cards were affected, but the cause of the issue was a weak die/packaging material that could fail because of temperature fluctuations.
To try and correct the issues the laptop manufacturers were advised to release new BIOS updates that would trigger the fans to turn on more frequently in hopes of lowering the heat. Dell is actually the first one that I’ve seen come forward, admit that some of their laptops are affected, and have already begun taking steps to correct the issues.
So what Dell laptops are affected by the NVIDIA GPU failures? Here’s a list of the models along with any updated BIOS drivers that should be downloaded:
- Precision M2300 (BIOS Update)
- Precision M4300
- Precision M65
- Inspiron 1420 (BIOS Update)
- Latitude D620
- Latitude D630 (BIOS Update)
- Latitude D630c (BIOS Update)
- Latitude D820
- Latitude D830
- Vostro 1310 (BIOS Update)
- Vostro 1400 (BIOS Update)
- Vostro 1510 (BIOS Update)
- Vostro 1710 (BIOS Update)
- XPS M1330 (BIOS Update)
- XPS M1530 (BIOS Update)
The BIOS update won’t do any good if you’re already experiencing the symptoms of a faulty GPU (multiple images, random characters on the screen, lines on the screen, or no video), and you’ll have to contact Dell to have the notebook repaired. They also plan on offering “modified service terms” which likely means they’ll extend your warranty in case you become affected by the problem later on down the road.
The thing that I find the most interesting is that the comments on the Dell blog regarding the faulty NVIDIA GPU’s are people saying that they’ll be purchasing from a different manufacturer next time if Dell doesn’t replace their graphics card… regardless of whether they’re having the problems right now. I understand their frustration, but these people need to realize that Dell isn’t the only one affected by the failures. I haven’t seen any other companies, like HP, come forward saying they’ll replace all of the graphics cards that could cause problems. It’s rumored that all NVIDIA 8400M and 8600M series cards are affected, which also means Apple could be in the line of fire.
Kudos to Dell for stepping forward with information on the faulty GPU’s. It’s apparent that many manufacturers aren’t brave enough to do the same thing.
Update: Dell has announced that they will be offering extended warranties to cover the issue. Thanks Claus for pointing it out!