NVIDIA GPU Update: Limited Warranty Enhancement Details


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NVIDIA GPU Update: Limited Warranty Enhancement Details

This is my fourth post on this topic.

Update: 9-30-2010: I just published details regarding the NVIDIA class action settlement. For the latest information, please refer to that post. Below is a paragraph excerpt from it. To centralize the discussion on this topic, I've closed the comments on this thread. Please go to the updated post to comment. Clicking on the image below will also take you there. 

Since I first blogged about this back in July, I’ve received many comments from Direct2Dell readers. Before I share more, it’s important to note that many customers may not ever experience video issues related to this, especially if you have updated to the latest BIOS. In other words, just because you have one of the systems in the chart below with an NVIDIA GPU, does not mean you will have video-related problems. If you do experience them, however, we will support you.

Dell Product Name
Dell Precision M2300
Latitude D630
Vostro Notebook 1400
Dell Precision M4300
Dell Precision M65
Latitude D820
Vostro Notebook 1710
Latitude D830
XPS M1330
Latitude D620
XPS M1530

For those customers who haven’t read my previous posts, here’s the summary. My initial post defined the issue and explained that we published BIOS updates (hyperlinked above) that could help reduce the likelihood of GPU failures. In my second post, I published a list of systems that the issue could potentially affect. In my third post, I explained that we intended to offer a 12-month limited warranty enhancement specific to this issue.

Today, we’re moving forward with that intention.

Again, the limited warranty enhancement is specific to this issue and will extend coverage by 12 months from the date the original warranty term for the laptop expires. For example, one-year warranties will be extended to 24 months for this issue only. The maximum combined period for the initial warranty and the limited-warranty enhancement is 60 months. Systems purchased with 60-month warranties will not be extended. Customers whose warranties have expired will be eligible for this limited warranty enhancement from the date the initial warranty expired.

This table above contains the list of laptops that are eligible for this limited warranty enhancement. If your system is not listed, no action is required. Please note that because it is specific to this issue, the warranty enhancement will not be reflected in your overall system warranty that is listed on support.dell.com if you are logged in.

Over the last several weeks, we have been working with our service teams to ensure that we provide support for all customers worldwide affected by this issue. If your system contains an NVIDIA graphics solution AND it is experiencing one or more of the following symptoms, please contact Dell Technical Support for troubleshooting:

  • Intermittent video issues
  • Multiple images
  • Random characters on the screen
  • Lines on the screen
  • No video

Customers in the United States can use phone numbers on this page to contact Dell Technical Support.

Here’s the process for customers outside the United States:

  • Go to support.dell.com
  • At the very bottom of the page, select your country in the Choose a Country/Region field
  • Choose Contact Us on the left hand side
  • Click on the More Details link in the Contact Tech Support section
  • Click on the green Telephone button under the Call Tech Support section

If you still need help after contacting technical support for this issue, please let me know in the comment thread of this post. Thanks for your patience through this process.


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  • Lionel-

    Thank-you for providing this information, but two very important questions remain unanswered that need to be answered:

    1. Will the replacement GPUs be free of this heat cycling defect? If not, how does replacing a faulty GPU with another faulty GPU going to fix the problem?
    2. How can a customer know for sure if the GPU in his or her notebook is a defective GPU (i.e. the ones affected by the heat cycling problem), other than by the symptoms listed in your post? Even if my notebook does not display the symptoms as of yet, I paid a large sum of money for my notebook (M1530) and I expect it to be free of any and all defects. If it turns out that my GPU is defective (i.e. that it has the heat cycling problem), I at least except it to be replaced with a non defective GPU. As a college student, I am unable to wait and see if my GPU fails, because if it fails during the wrong time (such as when I have to write a term paper, a lab report, or such) I am screwed. I'd much rather get my GPU replaced if it is defective during a time that is convenient for me, rather than when I'm swamped with things I need my notebook in working order to do. I'm sure other customers face this same issue.

    Also, the BIOS update does nothing to fix the actual hardware, all the BIOS update does is provide a Band-Aid "fix" (it really is not a fix, just a cheap workaround hence the quotation marks).

    I look forward to your reply, Lionel.



  • So the Precision 2400 is clear? No flaw?

  • The Nvidia GPUin my laptop already died and was sent back and repaired. My laptop was a refurb and I hadn't even had it very long, but was out of warranty. Is there anyway to get it covered? It cost me 500 bucks.

  • Still waiting for an answer -

    Q: If I order a XPS M1530 (or one of the other notebooks listed in your affected product table), is it shipping with a GPU which is affected by this heat cycling issue?  Or, is it newly manufactured by NVIDIA and not subject to this defect?

    Would really appreciate an answer on this.


  • Brad: if your system is one that's on the list and the problem is related to this issue, then yes. Your system will be covered under the warranty enhancement for the GPU issue.

    Please either submit a comment with your service tag number (I won't publish it) or send me an e-mail with that information.

  • Thanks a lot, Lionel for this update... and some nice info on the warranty extension and the details... Its nice to know we'd be having 12 more months of limited warranty specific to this issue.. and covering the GPU... which is something better than nothing.

    Still as Joe said, the main question of which symptoms are affected still needs to be answered I guess.. Well for this, probably you'd say if your system is experiencing these systems, yes, then its affected. But the problem as Joe mentioned is we don't know when the system is going to start showing up defects. What happens if the symptoms start showing up when we are on the move? or when we are travelling around? So I guess this can be overcome with some info from Dell regarding the batches / dates between which systems were shipped with the defective parts.

    But having said that, still this is a pretty nice news from Dell, regarding the warranty extension, and thanks for all the contact details and stuff. Please keep us posted with more, as always :) Thanks a lot.

  • Reshin: Yes... the M2400 is not affected. Systems not on the list are not part of this.

  • Joe: Thanks for your comment. I can understand where you're coming from.

    The truth is that the majority of customers with NVIDIA GPUs will never experience any video-related problems due to this issue. Unfortunately, that means we'll need to troubleshoot before we replace any hardware.

    So if you do start to experience any intermittent video issues, contacting Tech Support is the right thing to do.

    Thanks again.



  • Customer: What I can say is this: regardless of when you decide to order  system, we will support you according to your either the system warranty or the limited-warranty up to 12 months after the system warranty expires.

  • Hi,

    I have a m1330 and I am experiencing intermittent video problems (white lines...).

    If I send back my laptop, will Dell replace my nvidia 8400M GS by another nvidia 8400M GS or will Dell change the card to one that is known not to have the design problem??? 






  • Lionel, the question remains:

    When you replace these boards that have the defective GPU on them, are you replacing it with a GPU that is guaranteed to not have this defect, or will the end user need to roll up to the latest BIOS once the board has been replaced?

    Also, what if the user suffers two, three, or more of these same failures in that one year extension? What happens in that case?

  • I want to believe that machines not on the list are not affected, but without specific GPUs, batches, and dates, and with the suspicion that Dell and NVIDIA are still shipping out hardware with the flaw, I have a hard time trusting Dell enough to put up new money for a machine that Dell says is OK because it's not on their patch list. No offense to Lionel, who seems to be saying what he can; I really don't trust Dell, because of its ongoing secrecy. My original choice of laptop was an M1330, but I am definitely leaning towards a new HP Elitebook with an ATI GPU now. I guess I'm delaying a bit hoping that Dell or NVIDIA will do something that really changes my mind.

  • I don't see how anyone could be happy receiving only a one year limited-warranty for a part under normal conditions should last five plus years.

    @Customer. If you did not understand how Lionel worded his responses to you. Let me clarify. Dell is still selling laptops with defective NVIDIA GPUs.

    Serious Lionel, when is Dell really going to offer a reasonable resolution?


    Financial reimbursement for defective goods


    Complete 60 month warranty at no cost to customer

  • I got a Vostro 1400 with 8400GS.

    Do we have to do anything to get this enhancement? Or it will automatically added?

  • My head must have been in the sand.  I ordered and XPS M1530 today as part of the UK 7 days of deals (Catalogue Number 20211 N09X5307).  SOO relieved to find this blog and the preceeding ones.  I still believe that this issue should be covered for a minimum of 3 years (ideally 4 as I think that most people would like a laptop to last this long) from the point of purchase absolutely gratis.  If most people will never experience this issue then the cost to Dell should be minimal and they should be seeking recompense from nVidia anyway.  As it stands Dell are still shipping laptops with a known issue. The workaround bios flashes are not a failsafe and leave the laptop operating in a state which was not the original build design.  Some people are reporting that their system fans are running continuously.  The only safeguard available to a customer, who intends their laptop to last more than two years, is to take out an extended warranty at some considerable cost.

    I cancelled my order tonight originally with the intention of re-ordering with an extended warranty, but after some thought I have decided to walk away from this.  I'm struggling to find another laptop as suitable with an ATI GPU at the moment, but I'm sure that they will come along.

    I was looking for a laptop as my current one (3 yrs old anyway) is a little flaky after spilling half a mug of coffee over it last wait, but I'm not going to replace one laptop that I cannot trust, with another laptop that I cannot trust.

    As a Chartered Engineer with over ten years experience in Silicon Design, I can assure you this issue is a time bomb.  Good of Dell and HP to come clean.  How many manufacturers are not?