Dell Extends Laptop Warranty After Nvidia GPU Debacle, But Worse is coming

Nvidia's problems have gone from bad to worse after Dell yielded in to customers demands and offered an additional 12-month warranty to all those affected by Nvidia's GPU problems.

Affected notebooks include: Dell Precision M2300; Dell Precision M4300; Dell Precision M65; Inspiron 1420; Latitude D620; Latitude D630; Latitude D630c; Latitude D820; Latitude D830; Vostro Notebook 1310; Vostro Notebook 1400; Vostro Notebook 1510; Vostro Notebook 1710; XPS M1330; and XPS M1530.

The fault, it is acknowledged, comes from the fact that Nvidia shipped "a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of its previous generation GPU and [media communications processor] products used in notebook systems" which exhibits signs of strains and failure when subjected to a wide range of temperatures.

Symptoms of impending doom include multiple images, random characters on the screen, lines on the screen, or worse of all a blank screen and have apparently been present in the laptops since November 2007.

The GPU manufacturer has already earmarked USD 196 million to deal with what can be called a mobile GPU fiasco. A few weeks ago, another major Nvidia customer, HP, announced that it would provide with a similar "limited warranty service enhancement" package for its customers.

Nvidia has had an awful year as AMD/ATI has come back with a vengeance and series of popular GPU solutions based on the HD48x0 series, which undercut Nvidia's prices while offering faster performance.

Intriguingly though, the knowledge that the GPUs are bound to fail at some point in the future, plus the fact that Nvidia is only, in effect, delaying the inevitable by allowing its partners to offer extended warranties means that there's an even worse catastrophe looming ahead.