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What exactly is the Nvidia defect?
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Author:  Lapcure [ Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:38 pm ]
Post subject:  What exactly is the Nvidia defect?

What, you may ask, exactly is this Nvidia defect that everyone is talking about?

Here I will explain exactly what the defect is.

Please bear with me if some of the information here is obvious to you; we are trying to cater for both the computer novice and the computer professional.

So, how does this problem manifest itself?

Well, it can start in one of a number of ways.

One of the first signs of a failing laptop can be the loss of your wireless.

Your internet/network stops working and the wireless card is not detected in device manager.

Another way is no display to the laptop screen. The laptop power lights etc come on, but there is no display and the screen stays black.

Both the above problems can indicate a failing Nvidia GPU.

The term GPU refers to the Graphical Processing Unit or otherwise known as the video card

Every laptop has a GPU. Without one you wouldn't see any image on your screen.

Some GPU's are made by Intel, some by ATI and others by Nvidia.

To date, we have only had horror stories with the Nvidia GPU's.

The failures are caused by a solder bump on the underside of the GPU that connects the I/O termination, basically the "feet" of the silicon chip, to the pad on the substrate.

Image

If you look at the image above you can clearly see the upper and lower section of the chip.

The lower section of the chip (the one with all the dots) is the part that is soldered to the mainboard. The upper section contains the silicon chip or "die" and the green board is called the "substrate". The whole unit is called the GPU.

In Nvidia’s GPUs, this solder bump is created using high-lead.

Due to the extreme temperatures generated by these chips and due to the constant power cycling, defects between the die and the substrate has substantially grown in recent chip generations, apparently leading to fatigue cracking.

Fatigue cracking is where the solder bumps on the underside of the chip break away from the mainboard causing the loss of video.

Add into the equation a growing chip size (double the chip dimension, quadruple the stress on the bump) as well as generally hotter chips and you have the perfect scenario to take the solder beyond its limits.

Apparently, problems arise at what Nvidia claims to be “extreme temperatures” and what we hear may be temperatures not too much above 70 degrees Celsius.

This is not good news as we have reports of these chips reaching temperatures of well in excess of 100°C - NOW THAT IS HOT!!!

According to a report in The Inquirer, every single G84 and G86 GPU in the 8400M and 8600M series of cards is affected. Period. No exceptions. All of them!

The full text of that story is available here: http://tinyurl.com/ogshk3

That is also not good news as these chips are in hundreds of thousands of laptops.

Did you know that Nvidia were being sued for breach of the Federal Securities Law relating to this debacle?

The full text of that story is here:- http://tinyurl.com/kj689k

There is a wealth of information relating to the Nvidia defect across the internet.

Some of the information is very relevant and is written by credible sources.

If you are planning to take legal action against the retailers or suppliers of these defective laptops then I suggest you print and collate some of the information as it will help you greatly should you need to proceed with a Small Claims.

I will keep updating this thread with more links and information to help you all.

Best wishes

The Admin Team

Author:  evey [ Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What exactly is the Nvidia defect?

Great article & summary of the problem!

Author:  Solve My Maze [ Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What exactly is the Nvidia defect?

Hi Paul. From your experience of seeing the wrecked boards, is there any other damage to the mobo that could also potentially cause a fire?

Author:  Lapcure [ Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What exactly is the Nvidia defect?

Hello,

No, it is only the extreme temperatures emitted by the GPU that can, in certain circumstances, cause a fire.

Though these are few and far between there are reported cases of the laptops catching fire.

I personally haven't worked on a laptop that has caught fire, but I have worked on ones where the temperature has reached 125c

I hope this answers your query.

Please let me know if you have any further queries.

Best wishes

Paul
The Admin Team

Author:  Solve My Maze [ Sat Aug 22, 2009 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What exactly is the Nvidia defect?

Cheers Paul, thats ample information.Hmm, at 62*c just now while typing this:S

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