Dell issues update for Nvidia graphics chip glitch

Dell has issued an update for a well-publicized Nvidia graphics chip glitch.

Update on July 27 at 10:00 a.m. with additional information

Dell has issued a system update for a well-publicized problem with Nvidia chips.

The company said Friday it has posted BIOS updates for an Nvidia graphics chip glitch affecting laptop computers. Citing Nvidia information, Dell said the "affected GPUs (graphics processing units) are experiencing higher than expected failure rates causing video problems."

"The issue is a weak die/packaging material set, which may fail with GPU temperature fluctuations. If your GPU fails, you may see intermittent symptoms," the Dell blog said.

Dell said the symptoms include "multiple images, random characters on the screen, lines on the screen, no video." But added this caveat: "if you are already experiencing video-related issues like the...points above, updating the BIOS will not correct them. Dell will provide support for customers who have experienced GPU failure according to the terms of the system warranty."

Dell laptop systems potentially affected by Nvidia glitch with update file name
Dell laptop systems potentially affected by Nvidia glitch with update file name Dell

Dell is recommending that users flash their system BIOS. "Each of these BIOS updates...modifies the fan profile to help regulate GPU temperature fluctuations," Dell said.

New systems are shipping with the BIOS update, according to Dell.

On July 2, Nvidia said it would take a one-time charge of between $150 million and $200 million to cover "anticipated warranty, repair, return, replacement, and other costs and expenses, arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of its previous generation GPU and MCP (multi-chip package) products used in notebook systems."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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