updated 10:30 am EDT, Tue October 14, 2008
NVIDIA Fails Apple and HP
The increasingly widening scope of NVIDIA graphics failures now includes certain Apple and HP desktop systems, according to a pair of reports. Officially, HP now says that several variants of its Pavilion Slimline mini-tower using certain GeForce video chipsets have had their warranties partly extended to address the same symptoms suffered by notebooks with the defective parts, including a loss of video output and occasionally a refusal to start up altogether. The PC maker is extending the warranties on these problems for an extra year or up until December 31st, 2009 and will replace the mainboards for free under the plan.
A related problem is also likely extending to Apple's systems as well, the Inquirer adds in a new claim. Citing alleged memos from an internal knowledge base at the Mac designer, the site notes that all NVIDIA's parts based on its G92 architecture sent to Apple have had to undergo the same change in bump material that applied to some notebook and desktop chips. The video hardware maker will reportedly keep shipping both improved and original parts until the latter runs out.
If found authentic, the leak would compound Apple's problems with its dependence on NVIDIA video hardware for some systems, though in not as widespread a fashion as for its MacBook Pro failures. The G92 hardware has been limited to the GeForce 8800 GT add-in card for the Mac Pro workstation as well as the custom GeForce 8800 GS option for the 24-inch iMac.
Apple's upcoming MacBooks, which are expected to use GeForce 9600M and integrated GPUs, shouldn't be affected by the same problems touching desktops and portables as they are likely to be built using the newer material.