Dell extends laptop warranties to cover duff Nvidia GPUs
12 months more added
Dell has extended the warranties on certain laptops that incorporate Nvidia GPUs by a further 12 months.
The scheme, announced yesterday, covers owners of Precision M65, M2300 and M4300 workstations; the Inspiron 1420; Latitude D620, D630, D630c, D820 and D830; Vostro 1310, 100, 1510 and 1710; and XPS M1330 and M1530.
All of these notebooks contain Nvidia GPUs identified by the graphics chip maker as at risk of failure.
"For all customers worldwide, we plan to add 12 months of coverage for this issue to the existing limited warranty up to 60 months from the date of purchase," company employee Lionel Menchaca wrote o the Direct2Dell website.
Nvidia admitted the problem back in July, when it confessed it will have to take a $150-200m hit to cover picking up the tab for PC vendors who've had to deal with punters sending back laptops with multiple images, random characters and/or lines on the screen.
Nvidia initially said the problem was limited to HP machines, but Dell quickly said it had uncovered bad GPUs too.
The fault is blamed on "a weak die/packaging material" which can cause the graphics chips to malfunction when they're exposed to temperature fluctuations of the kind experienced when users fire up 3D apps.
Dell has already posted Bios updates for machines that have yet to display the symptoms of imminent GPU failure. The software modifies the operation of the machines' cooling system to minimise the risk, but if it proves ineffective or your laptop's picture is already up the spout, you should contact Dell for a replacement.
Good on yer Dell!!!
Finally it's nice to see a 'big' corporation take the responsibility for a fault, up-front, and not have to be goaded into doing something by their disgruntled customers, even though, as in this case, the actual fault is that of a supplier!
My only dissappointment is that my particular Dell model isn't mentioned. I have a Vostro 1700 (purchased in March 2008) which has the exact same nVidia GeForce 8600M GT graphics card that the Vostro 1710 has in it. Also my system was purchased and so built by Dell within what must have been the period that nVidia were supplying the duff GPUs!!!
I'd love to know exactly how nVidia and Dell have come up with a list of the models that are likely to be effected, especially as nVidia initially only admitted to supplying the duff GPUs to HP!!!!
Thankfully I've so far seen no problems on my particular system and I already have the extended (3 year) warranty, so hopefully if anything does go wrong it'll be within that time frame!!!