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Thread: Nvidia Laptop issues?

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    Nvidia Laptop issues?

    Appolgies for this horrendously long post... but I'm trying to find out the truth and see if this is the bigger issue that i think it is. And after 2 weeks of being stonewalled by Acer. "Please reload from your original DVD's and then contact us again" I'd like some more creative input.

    Facts. Laptop was bought in November 07 from Tescos. Its an Acer 5920G. It blue screens with Nvidia driver errors. (New drivers have not helped). We bought a new wireless access point and now she using the wireless the laptop at times craps out and either bluescreens or fails to see the wireless point at all. Now it can also see the point with very low power but it doesnt see the SSID and so requires you to put in the id. Rebooting sometimes works and it fires back up but the only real way we can keep it going properly is propping it up so more air gets to the underside. Interestingly it also helps with the blue screening too.

    Which leads me to this... Are Nvidia chips too hot for notebooks and hence causing issues. (Their 200mil "we have to fix chip issues" announcement tipped me off and i started hunting for answers)

    I have tried several times with Acer and they either fail to read the mail or go back to the "reload the os and bug us later" or give me the "heres how you connect wireless" So i'm obviously hitting 1st line support who either dont care, dont know, dont want to know.

    Anyway I've included some of my posts from a few other forums. Irritatingly my attempts to find out more via hardocp got locked as the starter of the thread got it locked by an admin. :-/

    Just a heads up to ppl. I've discovered some rather disturbing issues regarding Nvidia GPU laptops. Some of you may have seen their 200mil hit to profits. Well here's what i've dug up so far. I suspect that some of you do have laptops with these chips in. Certainly worth looking at if yours is playing up.

    It could potentially be ALL g84 and g86 based chips. (GeForce 8x00M "mobile" and 8x00 graphics cards)

    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1032735870

    I have posted there to see if Steve can find out more.
    Quote Originally Posted by mercyground View Post
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...1087277&dlc=en - Hp's note.
    http://hpnotebooksettlement.com/ - HP settlement.
    http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquir...ia-g84-g86-bad - article that tipped me off.
    I know the Inq doesnt particuly like Nvidia but with their annoucement and all the other info... Its not looking to far fetched.
    From the other thread.
    Its not just Inq having a go. A class action suit on HP. Dell are replacing motherboards. There is something definatly not good in green land.
    Quote Originally Posted by mercyground View Post
    http://www.bit-tech.net/news/2008/07...ailure-rates/1

    The news is spreading. Seems alot is still under wraps. Nvidia know that announcing that all 84 and 86 are shafted wont do them any good. Given that HP lists all the ranges of its laptops and some checking showing that Macs will be affected too... I'd not be happy as a Nvidia shareholder.

    Wonder if Steve could do some digging? I'd like to know the real story. Cause if Inq have it right... Nvidia is about to have 2yrs of hell. (up to 6 in the uk. We can return "not fit for purpose" goods. I did it for my busted caps motherboard. Had to threaten to take my CC company to court for it but got there in end)
    Shamelessly copied from the other thread. I had no idea that [H] didnt know about this issue. I've been looking into it as my other half's lappy is making odd bluescreens. It started with nvidia drivers and now its getting worse and randomly bluescreening. It is dumping out rather alot of heat too. I've contacted Acer and am awaiting their response on the issue. (Her lappy is a 5920G)
    G84-400/403/405 a.k.a. GeForce 8600GTS
    G84-300/303/305 a.k.a. GeForce 8600GT

    G86-300/303/305 a.k.a. GeForce 8500GT
    G86-303/305 a.k.a. GeForce 8300GTis

    There are 3 revisions of the chips apparently. The last revision A03 bumped the power envelope up from 1.3V to 1.375V (12%)
    The original thermal envelope for these chips was 20W. They are actually 25W parts.
    Nvidia stuffed OEM's by promising ~20W but only delivered 25W parts.

    Its a horribly messy and not nice situation. Nvidia is blaming faulty bonding process and OEMs etc. Basically anyone but themselves. This makes ppl unhappy.

    Its thermal cracking. The hot cold cycles eventually crack the chip off the motherboard. Its basically a cooling issue.

    Its all chips. Just not showing up on PC cards as they cycle less frequently. Laptops get turned on and off alot more.

    Nothing went really wrong. Nvidia just pinning blame on anyone but themselfs. Its purely down to hot chip in tight space with insufficent cooling. They promised a 20W envelope and OEM's designed for that... then dropped a 25W chip into it.

    http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquir...ia-g84-g86-bad - More here.

    The short story is that all the G84 and G86 parts are bad. Period. No exceptions. All of them, mobile and desktop, use the exact same ASIC, so expect them to go south in inordinate numbers as well. There are caveats however, and we will detail those in a bit.

    Both of these ASICs have a rather terminal problem with unnamed substrate or bumping material, and it is heat related. If you ask Nvidia officially, you will get no reason why this happened, and no list of parts affected, we tried. Unofficially, they will blame everyone under the sun, and trash their suppliers in very colourful language.
    The official story is that it was a batch of end-of-life parts that used a different bonding/substrate process for only that batch. Once again, the trusty INQUIRER bull**** detectors went off so loudly that the phone almost vibrated out of my hand. More than enough people tell us both the G84 and G86 use the same ASIC across the board, and no changes were made during their lives.

    When the process engineers pinged by the INQ picked themselves off the floor from laughing, they politely said that there is about zero chance that NV would change the assembly process or material set for a batch, much less an EOL part.
    The other problem is the long tail. Failures occur due to heat cycling, cold -> hot -> cold for the non-engineers out there. If you remember, we said all G84s and G86s are affected, and all are the same ASIC, so why aren't the desktop parts dying? They are, you are just low enough on the bell curve that you don't see it in number that set off alarm bells publicly yet.

    Laptops get turned on and off many times in a day, and due to the power management, throttle down much more than desktops. This has them going through the heat cycle multiple times in a day, whereas desktops typically get turned on and off once a day, sometimes left on for weeks at a time. Failures like this are typically on a bell curve, so they start out slow, build up, then tail off
    If you look at the HP page, the prophylactic fix they offer is to more or less run the fan all the time. Once again, for the non-engineers out there, fan running eats a lot of power, so this destroys the battery life of notebooks. Basically, people bought a machine with a battery life of X, and now it is Y to prevent meltdown from a bum part. It doesn't fix anything, it just makes the failures take longer, hopefully past the warranty period, at a huge battery life cost. Fire up your class actions people, you got shafted.

    Back to the engineering, we intoned that this was a cover-up of engineering failures by Nvidia. We also said that they probably knew what was happening. Think we were kidding? Read this, twice, linked again here for those that can't move their mouse to the left, it is that important.

    If we knew a year and change ago that these exact parts had heat problems, think Nvidia did? Think the voltage difference between A02 and A03 is coincidence? This is a classic example of not meeting engineering goals and overclocking through brute force (voltage bump in engineering terms) to compensate.

    HP and the others were blindsided by this, it happened far too late in the design cycle to compensate, and it looks to have been covered up hastily, badly, and eventually fatally. Blaming suppliers, OEMs and users is completely unfounded and says that NV is unwilling to properly address this issue, only hide from it. NV knew, they made silicon changes to fix another problem that directly lead to this problem.
    Wrong Chips...C51 is the culprit
    The GPUs aforementioned are not the issue here.

    It is the mobile C51 chip that gets overheated. There is no fan (overheat protection) on the chipset and there is no thermal diode that shuts down the PC in the bios.

    The C51 PCIe interface overheat easily. That's why the GPUs and the Wireless cards are affected (PCIe interface)...

    Also, let it be know that it is not due to packaging material set. It is definitely a chip/system design issue.
    posted by : Lolento, 10 July 2008
    Now this is interesting as we've started noticing her lappy drop off the wireless when she is on the sofa or in the bedroom.

    Raising the lappy off the table to let more air get at underneath seems to help alot.

    I was having issues with the graphics and the wireless. The wireless worked intermittently and finally gave up.
    I raised our laptop off the table and propped it up. after 10mins or so... I disabled and renabled the wireless... and it instantly saw the wireless and connected without issue.

    Signs it going fubar? It looses the wireless... Then a rescan shows an UNNAMED wireless connection and asks you to provide the SSID. Bit longer and it just totally looses wireless and says it cant find any wireless signals.

    Now i didnt reboot or do anything other than raise the lappy off the table about an inch. (Two Starwars novels under it. The Han Solo series )

    Definate heat issues. Now if this solves the problem with her gfx as well... then we know that the damn thing gets too hot. Question is if we can get the lappy replaced / fixed? If they come back to me with "Run the fan constantly" then i'll belt em and we'll be getting our money back.

    Irritatingly its been fine for ages and now shows signs its going bad. Bluescreens getting worse. Wireless crapping out. We've only noticed this recently as i got a new router with wireless (stops me killing self going to loo in night and tripping over the damn cable otherwise)
    In summary. If the horrid conspiricy is correct we have the following issue.

    Nvidia are using chips that get too hot in a thermal design that was never designed to dissapate that much heat (25W of heat in a 20W design limit). Combined with faulty solder/faulty chip proccess and thermal cycles inducing cracking... and we start to see why this is being kept quiet and Nvidia blames everyone but themselves? Also if the guy who posted the comment about the bridge chips being too hot is correct then we have a solution.

    HP's solution fix? Run your fan at max speed and try to keep laptop cool. Result. Crappy battery life. Hence the class action suit against them.

    Dell is replacing laptops. One lucky sob got his p4 2.8ghz lappy replaced with a C2D with Ati graphics.

    Anyway. Has anyone else seen these issues. Has anyone else got their laptop replaced? How far did you have to go to get a response.

    My worst case is basicaly returning the laptop and getting money back for it. (under year warrenty and definatly not fit for purpose)

    However i'd like it fixed and returned really as she likes her laptop.

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    Sooo... no one got any issues with nvidia based laptops?

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    A few people have posted problems with their laptops, but not many. I don't know how big the problem is, but if I were you I'd get a laptop cooler for £15 and pester Acer on the phone about selling you a duff product: you're protected by law so they have to pay up

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    if it`s under warranty, get them to sort it. This is nothing new with nVidia, check out the problems people have had with the 6800 laptop graphics fitted to Fujitsu/Alienware & others. Pretty much the same issue - excessive heat is believed to have fried the memory chips on these. You get artifacts on screen, BSODs etc. Eventually it becomes terminal. Usually the cost of repair equals the value of the laptop. If you can, take out an extended warranty.

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    Warrantees mean nothing, just another way for manufacturers to make money; you're protected from faulty products by the Sale of Goods and Services Act anyway (I think that's what it's called) so mention that (check its name first lol) and Acer will know you mean business. You're eligible for a full refund, repair or replacement. Might wanna throw in some charges for wasted time as well (time counts as a resource, like money and goods) so you can sue for damages too! Consumers are so well protected but most people don't even know about it!

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    all that is stopped in the limited warranty terms and conditions, they limit the warranty to as little as 30 days if they want, and state that they will have no liability for anything except the product they make, so if you lost £100 million pounds of softare, with no way of recovery, or wasted a year of your life taling to customer services before they replaced it, they would replace your laptop and look smug that their legal fees payed off

    anyway, definitely sounds like a heat issue, so rma it if possible, and if not get a cooler

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    Keep it sexy Zhaoman's Avatar
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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    Too many business exams lol!!! Limited warranty does not mean limited liability; a warranty is just a clause in a contract, by breaking the warranty you are not breaking the contract: they are still responsible for selling you something that wasn't fit for purpose and under law they have to get it working for you. It doesn't matter what the "warranty" says

    Didn't someone here in the forums gets something replaced under the heading "not fit for purpose"? I think all consumers should be made aware of their rights coz we get it so good here in the UK

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    I have before. I got my old Nforce one board replaced due to faulty caps. Took me about 9months but cos i bought it on my CC they eventually refunded it.

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10000353-64.html

    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.
    oh goodie. Now Dell have admitted issues with G84/86 based lappies.

    Storm brewing folks. Lets hope nVidia takes the warning and does something. I'm betting they will bury head in sand and continue to blame others thou.

    Still in talks with Acer about the other halfs laptop... sigh. I'll keep you posted.

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    ok. Acer now want the laptop back for "inspection"

    Dell and HP are now repairing and issueing Bios fixes. Aka... run your fan at full speed and kill your battery life.

    http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquir...vidia-problems

    If even part of that is true... Nvidia is burying this and the consumer be damned. It will also damn near bankrupt them.
    Last edited by mercyground; 01-08-2008 at 02:26 PM.

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquir...-pulled-makers

    And now ppl pulling their 790 board range.

    WTB: View of nvidia boardroom... thou i suspect its lots of paniced ppl with bums in air and heads in sand.

  12. #12
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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    I think we should just sit this one out and see what happens. There isn't anything we can do except buy the products that does the best job. It's the best way to tell companies what we think.

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    http://www.digitimes.com/mobos/a20080801VL203.html

    Looks very ominous indeed at the moment if the above is true...

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    Wow that is heavy news. nVidia chipsets might have been buggy but surely they can't be so terrible that they have decided to quit the business?

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    They won't quit the business purely as a result of a bad bunch of chips.

    But the chipset market has been narrowing for nVidia for a while - they can't product chipsets (yet) for new Intel chips, leaving them reliant on supporting AMD processors in the future.. but there's nothing nVidia would like more than to kill AMD off completely, so its a complete conflict of interests to remain in the chipset business.

    However, I think they will get a license for Intel some day, and I think they're also doing some stuff with ultra-portable boards/chips and I don't see them going bankrupt anytime soon. Some repositioning in the desktop motherboard market might well be a good thing anyway.

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    Re: Nvidia Laptop issues?

    http://www.custompc.co.uk/news/60455...ble/page1.html

    This should clear things up. It's always helpful to look from a variety of sources!

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