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Report: all NVIDIA G84 and G86 chips are faulty

updated 05:45 pm EDT, Wed July 9, 2008

NVIDIA G84, G86 faulty

Despite NVIDIA's claims, the Inquirer reports all, not just a select batch, of the company's G84 and G86 chipsets used in GeForce 8400M and 8600M graphics cards are suffering from heat-related failures due to an unidentified substrate or bumping material used to help make the video hardware. They all share the same application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which is the source of the problems, in both notebook and desktop PCs. The chips have been failing since last year, and earlier this month, NVIDIA said the problems will drop the value of its shares to the tune of 25 percent, and is budgeting $200 million for repairs.

According to the report, NVIDIA itself is officially keeping quiet about the specifics related to the problems, sticking to a story about a batch of now-discontinued parts that used a different and faulty bonding process. Engineers The Inquirer talked to maintain NVIDIA would not change the assembly process or material set for a batch.

The report goes on to say the problem causes failures sooner when the number of heat cycles increases, which is why laptops equipped with the affected parts are seemingly failing at higher rates. The company's claims that only HP products are affected also doesn't hold much water, the source says, as Dell and ASUS PCs with the affected chipsets are likewise failing.

Finally, NVIDIA is accused of knowing about the problem for well over a year and not taking any effective actions to address it. The fix NVIDIA is providing to users is a driver that will keep the fans of PCs on to help manage the thermal issue, although critics say such a solution will prolong the inevitable failure and shorten the battery life of notebook models.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. derbbre

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2000


    MBPs as well?

    The MBP I'm using right now has a 8600M GT. Any word if Apples are affected?

  1. InfraredAD

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2001


    If it said "all"

    G84 & G86 chips, then I'm betting they are. I'm on a 17" with an 8600M GT as well - early Spring 08 model... not looking forward to what may come of this. I don't like the idea of possibly having my logic board swapped out... nothing ever gets reseated the same... just speculating at this point.

  1. MattJeff

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Aug 2006


    MBP issues

    Has anyone found out more about this?

    My MBP needed a logic board replaced already because nothing would show on the screen. Caused by this?

  1. derbbre

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2000


    Video Corruption

    I've had a bit of video corruption from time to time since I got this MBP two months ago. Usually shows up when I'm connecting or disconnecting an external display of waking from sleep. It's intermittent and I'm holding off on the trip to the Apple store to see if they've got a definitive fix coming down the pipe.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Apples are affected

    My friends and my laptop (MacBook Pro all have the 8800GT and they are continuously crashed (for one thing) and it just died a couple of days ago

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