According to our sources, the failures are caused by a solder bump that connects the I/O termination of the silicon chip to the pad on the substrate. In Nvidia’s GPUs, this solder bump is created using high-lead. A thermal mismatch between the chip and the substrate has substantially grown in recent chip generations, apparently leading to fatigue cracking. Add into the equation a growing chip size (double the chip dimension, quadruple the stress on the bump) as well as generally hotter chips and you may have the perfect storm to take high lead beyond its limits. Apparently, problems arise at what Nvidia claims to be "extreme temperatures" and what we hear may be temperatures not too much above 70 degrees Celsius.Major laptop manufacturers like DELL, HP has accepted that there are some issues with laptops shipped with a NVIDIA graphics cards.
What supports the theory that a high-lead solder bump in fact is at fault is the fact that Nvidia ordered an immediate switch to use eutectic solders instead of high-lead versions in the last week of July.source
According to NVIDIA, these affected GPUs are experiencing higher than expected failure rates causing video problems and it is because of weak die/packaging material set, which may fail with higher GPU temperature fluctuations.
If your NVIDIA GPU fails, you may see intermittent symptoms during early stages of failure that include:
* Multiple images
* Random characters on the screen
* Lines on the screen
* No video
* Black Screen
DELL agreed that some of its laptop models namely Inspiron 1420, Latitude D630, Latitude D630c, Dell Precision M2300, Vostro Notebook 1310, Vostro Notebook 1400, Vostro Notebook 1510, Vostro Notebook 1710, XPS M1330, XPS M1530 are facing the issue and released a BIOS upgradation to minimize the effect of the GPU failure problem and new systems are being shipped with the updated BIOS revisions.
DELL is offering an additional 12-month limited warranty enhancement specific to this GPU failure issue. For all customers worldwide, DELL plans to add 12 months of coverage for this issue to the existing limited warranty up to 60 months from the date of purchase for the given list of systems.
DELL's BIOS fix is simply turning on the laptop fan much more than usual as a result laptop battery is drained. The 'fix' keeps the fan on much more and destroys battery life.
HP also identified a hardware issue with certain HP Pavilion dv2000/dv6000/dv9000 and Compaq Presario V3000/V6000 series notebook PCs, and has also released a new BIOS for these notebook PCs.
HP says"This service enhancement program is available in North America for 24 months after the start of your original standard limited warranty for issues listed below; otherwise your current standard limited warranty applies. Customers who already have a 24 month or longer warranty period will be covered under their existing standard HP Limited Warranty."Apple is also facing the same problem with the macbook pro's.
Apple says, NVIDIA assured Apple that Mac computers with these graphics processors were not affected. However, after an Apple-led investigation, Apple has determined that some MacBook Pro computers with the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT graphics processor may be affected. If the NVIDIA graphics processor in your MacBook Pro has failed, or fails within two years of the original date of purchase, a repair will be done free of charge, even if your MacBook Pro is out of warranty.Customers are really angry as the OEM's are not providing a permanent solution to the GPU problem and also not including some of the laptop models that are facing the same issue. Even some of the customers sued NVIDIA to repair their laptops with faulty graphics cards.
We can see still DELL is shipping laptops with defective NVIDIA graphics card.