back to article Dud Nvidia GPUs tip up in Dell laptops

Dell says ten laptop models have been sucker-punched by the GPU problems affecting Nvidia chipsets. The company said on Friday that Dell laptops including Inspiron, Latitude and XPS models, could suffer glitches from a weak die/packaging material set that may fail with graphic processing unit (GPU) temperature fluctuations. …


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  1. Si

    "flash [the] system BIOS to help reduce the likelihood of GPU issues"

    Or to put it another way, flash the BIOS so it runs the GPU fan at full tilt all the time to try and keep the cards running until the warranty period has passed and to hell with the customers who have to put up with the fan noise...

  2. Colin


    Most importantly will they extend the standard 1 year warranty for customers who experience problems ala Microsoft on Xbox 360 ring of death?

    I can see my XPS m1330 packing up a year and a day after purchase...

  3. Andrew Tyler
    Thumb Down

    Nothing like...

    ...a software patch for a hardware problem.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Oh the memories...

    My XPS M1330 had what I think was exactly this problem, lines on the screen, odd characters all over the screen, general screen corruption - and this after having it for only 4 months. Dell, to give them their due were very good and sent an engineer out - they replaced the mobo and the lcd (for good measure - was obviously only the mobo at fault, as the external vga showed exactly the same problem).

    That's 2 engineers in 4 months - one after 2 months to replace the keyboard - half the letters had rubbed off!

  5. Simon Wilson
    Thumb Down

    Toshiba had problems too

    A similar thing happened with my old Toshiba 5105 laptop - there's an entire support group devoted to people who had their BGA chips desolder themselves due to heat damage.

    The fix is indeed to run the fan at full tilt, though the unsoldered BGA chips have to be reflowed too.

    Never saw any compensation for that, so I won't be spending my cash on nvidia mobile GPUs any more.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Who makes them?

    HP don't make their own laptops. Do Dell use the same far eastern manufacturers (Compal springs to mind, but I could well be wrong)?

  7. Martyn Breckenridge


    Surely they should be replacing the GPU's, instead of jimmy-rigging it so it doesnt completely die.

    Surely selling a faulty product means i can get a replacement, instead of a BIOS update

  8. robert colborn

    Same issue w/ ATI card

    I have been through 3 ATI Mobility Radeon cards in less than 2 years on an xps m2010

  9. david flacks
    Thumb Down

    Support, what support?

    My M1330 died on Friday with this exact problem.

    Supposed to be 24/7 next business day support but emails to Dell aren't being answered and the live chat has been closed since Friday.

    I have 12 days left on the warrranty. So much for their support.

  10. Aitor

    ATi too

    Funny thing is, it affects ALL their product line, not just mobile GPUs. And it also happens to ATI GPUS.. after all, we all know that a GPU, after a year or so of heavy use can start to fail.. not my current ati one, but my previous ati and nvidia ones failed just like than, and my laptop is failing just like that.. I hate those cheapo manufacturers..

  11. GF

    OK, I'm fed up with this. My Vostro 1500 has a deffective card and I am NOT EVEN OFFERED a power hungry BIOS update!! I don't want to prolong the life of a deffective machine beyond the warranty period, I want a new one!

    I hate the culture of litigation but the only way to punish these companies is through these tools. Please join me in my effort and visit my newly minted blog:

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Dell is supplied by Quanta Computer

    @ Anonymous Coward

    I'm fairly sure that most of Dell's laptops are made by Quanta Computer in Taiwan.

  13. Juillen

    @Martyn Breckenridge

    UK Consumer protection law protects you on electronic goods up to 3 years (or more if there's a good reason to believe that the goods were faulty at manufacture).

    I'd say this little fiasco would be covered by the 'faulty at manufacture' argument, as long as the fault is GPU related.

  14. jason

    I condsider myself lucky.....

    .....I was going to buy a Dell 1530 a few weeks ago but a little voice in the back of my head said "just hold on a little!".

    Thanks little voice! Oh and well done Reg for reporting a story thats been going on for a few months now.

    Nvidia really need to read the ex Intel CEO's book "Only The Paranoid Survive" it goes into great detail how they dealt with the Pentium bug. Essentially when they found out it was big they just decided to replace the lot no matter what and move on as quickly as possible. Situation sorted and reputation still intact even though the wallet took a hit.

    Nvidia are looking very very cheap and cowardly right now. Someone will lose their job over this. They obviously dont spend much on PR folks there.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RE: Support, what support?

    this is what i've heard about and witnessed with Dell consumer support.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RE: Support, what support?

    Regarding chat support, in my experience it does not exist for XPS, I have tried numerous times since I got an XPS last year, and it has never worked. I notice the chat page does now say 'Dell Chat currently supports: Dimension, Inspiron, Optiplex, and Latitude product lines.', but if you enter an XPS service tag it only says it is currently busy. Why Dell exclude their premium XPS customers from online chat support I don't know!

  17. alan

    BIOS "upgrade"

    Either they'll run the fan at top speed as was mentioned earlier, or they'll fudge the clock speed of the GPU so it runs nice and slow. Upgrade indeed, lol.

    Hope everyone gets sorted with warranty issues.

    Mine's the one with the RMA sheet sticking out the pocket.

  18. John Browne

    Toasty chips- Yummy

    Nvidia are claiming that the problem is only isolated to certain batches of G84 and G86 GPUs and doesn't affect everything. (In response to allegations from (I promise never to mention that publication again!))

    If this is the case then it should be real easy to know who got what. Nvidia would track the lot number and know which computer manufacturer got what lot. The manufacturer in turn should know by the service tag which customer got a dodgy graphics card. Should be nice and easy.

    However Nvidia haven;t released any info on this only the vague statement of "Die/Package material set weakness". If it only affected a limited number of lots then they should be able to tell us how many and the precise nature of the weakness so we can tell if it's a genuine concern or not.

    I think there's probably two chances of that happening though.

  19. david flacks
    Paris Hilton

    ....still waiting

    Finally got a reply to warranty request email, (timed 4.30am) gave them all the info that they requested and still no reply.

    The email states I must be available at the address stated for the next two days betwee 9 and 5.

    So much for same business day response to email, so much for Next Business Day repair.

    Paris... because even she can figure out what Next Business Day means.

    Oh.. for anyone interested... the ^&^*&^*&* at Dell charge £70+vat for a 2 year extension to the XPS 1330 warranty but if you have an account with them it's only £60. Took them 36 hours to quote me for that.

  20. MikeWW
    Paris Hilton

    RE: Support, what support?

    My experience of Dell support:

    1 bad work-related experience out of innumerable calls over many years at 3 different employers.

    3 bad 'home purchaser' experiences out of 3 calls related to one purchase including the immortal phrase "you were misled" which basically meant "the person who dealt with your order but refused to answer your calls or emails after failing to do what he promised to do shouldn't have promised that anyway and didn't get authorisation as he claimed".

    What was I promised? That my personal purchase would be delivered to my work address at the same time as the 4 laptops and 3 desktops I had ordered for work that morning. Thankfully my account manager for work was an absolute angel and sorted it out for me but even she was surprised when I asked her again 2 weeks after the original request if she could help. She had been assured after the first time that it had all been resolved and the delivery redirected as promised.

    Paris 'cos she'd know how to keep the customers happy EVERY time.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Just maybe they should take the hit and replace all the dud GPUs?

    Had this problem with a laptop at work - phoned Dell: they insisted that I update the BIOS/NVIDIA drivers - a couple of days later problem returned - phoned them up again but I couldn't match the symptoms on their script so this time we had to reinstall the OS (they couldn't find anything else wrong with it) - waiting for it go wrong again: at least this time they won't have an excuse (I hope).

    At least the guys in phone centres do seem to know about this issue...

  22. Simon


    Took them THREE MONTHS to recognise my XPS had a problem enough to repair it! THREE MONTHS of constant harassment and calls. When they eventually replaced the GPU it worked fine (its been replaced twice). It still occasionally goes weird but works again if I close the lid and open it again.

    I had to buy another laptop during that time because I needed a computer. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! My next computer will be a mac!

  23. Graeme McKeague

    RE: Support, what support?

    If you have a XPS ring the xps support line, mine died about a month ago now on a sunday night, rang on monday, engineer was out replacing the mobo and LCD the next day. I've never trusted email, always too slow for people to reply

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