updated 04:10 pm EDT, Fri July 25, 2008
Dell Fixes NV Video Bugs
Dell this afternoon provided a list of its notebooks affected by a chronic graphics chip flaw as well as a firmware fix that should reduce the risk of the problem. The company is the first known PC vendor to do so and says that its new updates modify the fan behavior on each of the notebooks to make sure they remain cooler than normal and thus prevent the heat problems that trigger the failures.
The sheet reveals systems that are largely using NVIDIA's GeForce 8400M and related video chipsets. Most are business systems and include the 13-inch through 17-inch Vostro business notebooks as well as the Latitude D630/D630c and Precision M2300 workstation. Three home systems are affected and include both the XPS M1330 and M1530 gaming notebooks in addition to the 14-inch Inspiron 1420.
Dell warns that the fix isn't guaranteed to prevent a breakdown and that anyone already experiencing signs of the problem, including patterns and other artifacts on the screen as well as an outright video failure, has to be taken care of under Dell's normal support program.
It's unknown when other notebook manufacturers will follow suit.