Dell has released a number of BIOS updates for laptops running NVIDIA graphics on its blog: Direct2Dell. In the post it says that: “The issue is a weak die/packaging material set, which may fail with GPU temperature fluctuations. If your GPU fails, you may see intermittent symptoms during early stages of failure that include:
- Multiple images
- Random characters on the screen
- Lines on the screen
- No video”
The BIOS updates apply to the following laptops:
- Inspiron 1420
- Latitude D630
- Latitude D630c
- Precision M2300
- Vostro Notebook 1310
- Vostro Notebook 1400
- Vostro Notebook 1510
- Vostro Notebook 1710
- XPS M1330
- XPS M1530
However, the offer of BIOS updates comes heavily nuanced and is clearly far from a comprehensive solution to the problem. The blog post says: “Each of these BIOS updates listed in the table below modifies the fan profile to help regulate GPU temperature fluctuations,” and then adds: “Note: if you are already experiencing video-related issues like the bullet points above, updating the BIOS will not correct them.” Great, thanks.
This is probably just Dell trying to do its bit and putting a sticking plaster over an NVIDIA hardware problem. The ultimate solution would be for Dell to recall these models, ship them to NVIDIA, and get them to sort it out properly.
Of course this would incur staggering expense for NVIDIA and thus is probably something it’s keen to avoid. If some widely circulating rumours are to be believed, some vendors are not only agitating for notebook GPU recalls by NVIDIA, but desktop ones too, in spite of the fact that NVIDIA has insisted desktop GPUs are unaffected.
We would like to hear from any readers who have the above Dell laptop models or indeed any other PCs running NVIDIA graphics that have experienced any of the above symptoms. Also we would like to know how useful you think this BIOS update might be for anyone experiencing these issues.