Burned by a defective graphics chip? Relief might be in sight

A few years back, Nvidia distributed what turned out to be a bad batch of graphics chips to notebook makers. If you bought a notebook containing one of these chips (in the G84/G86 family) from HP, Dell, or Apple, there’s a good chance it overheated and perhaps even failed. Nvidia acknowledged the problem in a 2008 statement, blaming the issue on "a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of its previous generation GPU and MCP products used in notebook systems." According to that statement, "Certain notebook configurations with GPUs and MCPs manufactured with a certain die/packaging material set are failing in the field at higher than normal rates."

I know this problem well, because I experienced it firsthand with a Dell XPS M1330 notebook that had to be repaired multiple times.

Not surprisingly, the problem ended up in the courts, where it looks like relief might finally be in sight. Under the terms of a settlement I learned about last week, if you own (or owned) one of the affected notebook models and experienced this issue, you can file a claim. Depending on the manufacturer and model, you are eligible for reimbursement for repair costs, replacement of the defective part, or a replacement system.

If you’re eligible for a chunk of this settlement, it’s important that you register soon. You can get more details from the NVIDIA GPU Litigation page. The list of affected notebooks is here.

3 thoughts on “Burned by a defective graphics chip? Relief might be in sight

  1. Thank you so much for the heads up Ed!

    I went through 3 mainboard replacements with my XPS M1210 and had to pay $300 for out warranty extension on the 3rd one. We all new it was the nvidia chip due to the thermal temp readings but Dell would never listen or acknowledge it. I had to finally get some Artic-5 Thermal adhesive and place on the core itself for it stop overheating as I knew it would only be a matter of time.

    The worst part was that Dell finally owned up to it partially but excluded the M1210(the 1330’s predecessor) when they offered free warranty extensions which incensed me. I’m glad to see that the M1210 is included in the settlement as well.

    I still use a fan control program to make by fans run on full every time my system crosses 75 degrees.

    Again, thanks for the heads up as I’ll be keeping an eye on the final settlement.

  2. I have a XPS M1710 machine that I burned up the nVidia chip in. Fortunately under warranty. I ended up giving the machine to my father who will never play games, so I figured it was safe now. But still, I’m glad to see this litigation come around. I’ll still file for the compensation in expectation of the chip once again failing.

    I also own another laptop with an nVidia chipset on the MB. That laptop too has experienced a long list of issues.

    Basically at this point I will never own another nVidia based piece of hardware as long as I live. nVidia is obviously no longer hungry for perfection, and only designs components for selling, not for using. Their past actions of patent trolling seems to

  3. Well so much for my Everex 5000XT. They went out of business a while back. Still, it at least had an okay 17″ display. I guess if you don’t have name brand systems like Compaq, Dell or Apple you’re pretty much out of luck. Good luck to all of you who have afflicted system, but I think this is likely only a very small number of systems that were ruined by Nvidia GPU failures.

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