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NVIDIA GPU Update for Dell Laptop Owners


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Found this over here

NVIDIA GPU Update for Dell Laptop Owners

Fri. Jul. 25, 2008

Earlier this month, sites like Ars Technica and ZDNet blogged about NVIDIA?s statement regarding a potential issue with some of NVIDIA's Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) used in notebooks. According to NVIDIA, these affected GPUs are experiencing higher than expected failure rates causing video problems. Though this issue is not unique to Dell, some of these affected GPUs are used in certain Dell laptops. That's why I wanted to take a few minutes here to explain the issue and to let customers know what to do next.

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 during early stages of failure that include:

* Multiple images

* Random characters on the screen

* Lines on the screen

* No video

Dell recommends that you flash your system BIOS (see links in the table below). Each of these BIOS updates listed in the table below modifies the fan profile to help regulate GPU temperature fluctuations. Note: if you are already experiencing video-related issues like the bullet 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.

These BIOS updates will help reduce the likelihood of GPU issues. New systems are being shipped with the updated BIOS revisions. Here's the list of the latest BIOS versions. Click on the links below to download them


Update: As Direct2Dell reader foduekid noted, the A09 BIOS update for the XPS M1530 was made available yesterday after I published this blog post. I've updated the table above with the link.

Update 2: I'm getting e-mails and comments that are similar to those of Direct2Dell readers like Customer, fr and barryd. Like I mentioned in one of my responses, this will not be the only blog post on this topic. When I have new details to share, I will share them here. Several of you have expressed concern over potential battery life issues. The reality is that these BIOS updates will not have any noticeable effect on battery life or overall system performance. These updates do not make the cooling fan run all the time. The fan may cycle on more frequently, but when it does, it will run at half or quarter speed.

Update 3: Since Kara Krautter unveiled the Vostro 2510 on the Small Business blog yesterday, we've gotten some questions about it since it uses an NVIDIA GPU. Take a look at some of the comments in the Vostro 2510 Engadget post to see what I'm talking about. The Vostro 2510 will ship with the latest BIOS updates.

If you need help flashing your system BIOS or experience any of the video-related issues listed above, please contact Dell Technical Support. Our teams are committed to working with affected customers to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis.

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