HP Slimline Desktops Hit With Nvidia GPU Defect

It was just a matter of time, but the defective Nvidia mobile GPUs that keep coming to light in a growing number of laptops models have finally made the unfortunate leap to desktops. Hewlett-Packard (HP) is reporting that 38 different models in its Slimline Desktop PC line are potentially affected by possibly defective Nvidia-based GPUs.

HP reports that the affected models "may not boot or may not display video," and has implemented a "Limited Warranty Service Enhancement" that "provides for a motherboard replacement at no charge for 12 months from the date your one-year Hardware Limited Warranty expires or until December 31, 2009, whichever is sooner." Owners who have already paid for repairs directly related to this problem are instructed to contact HP for reimbursement. As the defective graphics chip is integrated into the motherboard, the entire motherboard needs to be replaced.

 HP Pavilion Slimeline S3200C
(Credit: HP)

Nvidia's Director of Public Relations EMEAI told PC Pro, "It is slimline, notebook-like design but there is no conclusive evidence that the failure mechanism is the same as the notebook issue we announced in July... We are working very closely with HP to determine if/how the Nvidia chipset is involved in the failures." We're not sure what is worse: that Nvidia might have two separate defective chip problems, or that the problem that was previously just relegated to laptops is even bigger than Nvidia first admitted.

Which isn't to say that Nvidia didn't already know about the full extent of the problems. PC Pro also reported back in August that Nvidia hinted that it was forced to limit the full disclosure of the problems by its partners. An Nvidia spokesperson told the following to reporters:

"The truth is, our obligations to our partners limit what we can say. We need to leave announcements to our partners like Dell and HP... I know there's frustration, and it would make my job easier if I could give out the facts that I know, but we have obligations to our partners. We discuss it constantly, and the company would like to be more upfront about this--but we can't be."

Which leads us to the conclusion that this drama is far from played out. We're betting that more manufacturers of desktops with integrated Nvidia graphics chips will be coming forward in the coming weeks and months with similar announcements of potential problems and product recalls.
Tags:  Nvidia, GPU, sli, HP, Desktop, desktops, ECT, slim, IM, id, K