Dell Issues NVIDIA GPU Update To Laptop Owners

In a business update call earlier this month, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang went on record detailing the impact of certain NVIDIA notebook GPU failures that have been reported and the one time charge the company would have to take against the cost of revenue for Q2 of this year.  The blank check was estimated at the time to be in the range of $100 - $150 million for coverage of anticipated warranty, repair and replacement costs of failed product with major notebook manufacturers.  As a result, as we reported, NVIDIA's stock tumbled hard on Wall Street to the extent that some analysts were calling it a buy opportunity. 

Further, NVIDIA's Huang noted on the call, "This has been a challenging experience for us. However, the lessons we've learned will help us build far more robust products in the future, and become a more valuable system design partner to our customers. As for the present, we have switched production to a more robust die/package material set and are working proactively with our OEM partners to develop system management software that will provide better thermal management to the GPU".

Fast forward to this past Friday and at least Dell appears to be taking initiative on the matter, assembling specific calls to actions for their customers in an effort to offer proactive support.  Dell Chief Blogger, Lionel Menchaca noted the problems observed on certain Dell machines were, as follow:
  • Multiple images
  • Random characters on the screen
  • Lines on the screen
  • No video
Menchaca goes on to note that Dell is offering a BIOS update that will modify the system's "fan profile" thus mitigating potential for GPU failures in the future.  Menchaca also pointed out however that these BIOS updates would not resolve GPU anomalies that were already being observed.  Here's a quick list of the available BIOS updates from Dell:

Source:  Dell

So in short, you have the option of updating your BIOS, which will likely turn up your fan speed and potentially make your notebook slightly louder, in hopes that you don't have issues down the road. Otherwise, you can have your system repaired or replaced by Dell if you're still in warranty and are seeing anomalies.  We'd suggest being aggressive about getting that notebook serviced by the factory if you're still in warranty, rather than hoping that down the road, you don't have issues, which of course always happen at least two days beyond warranty coverage.  All of this just means that the pain will continue to flow back down hill towards the good folks at NVIDIA as well.  Buy low, sell high.  Isn't that what they say?  

Tags:  Nvidia, Dell, Update, GPU, laptop, Date, PDA, Sue, issue, AP, id