updated 03:30 pm EDT, Tue April 28, 2009
HP NVIDIA Failures Ongoing
HP may overlooking widespread instances of NVIDIA's known graphics defect on systems that fall outside of the official recall list. Users on the company's support forums explain that many dv9000-series notebooks with GeForce 8M-series graphics chipsets are exhibiting the same problems as those covered under a warranty extension and eventually fail with a blank or visually corrupted display. The failure usually happens within 1 to 1.5 years and in many cases falls outside of the warranty.
Without the same extra warranty coverage as for other HP systems, owners are being asked to pay as much as $400 to replace the mainboard, which itself may fail again if it uses a similar-era GeForce chipset.
Despite the issues persisting for months, HP hasn't officially added the affected notebooks to the list. Engineers have reportedly been investigating the failures while technicians have been occasionally providing partial or complete refunds outside of policy, but no official solutions are available. A firmware update issued for some of the systems throttles back the graphics to minimize the problem but only delays the issue.
The flaw stems from a decision to use a particular type of low-cost contact material on certain GeForce 8-series graphics processors to join the chips to their circuitboards. Repeated use of the systems gradually heats the contacts past their tolerance points, gradually rendering the visual processor inoperable. Numerous systems from Apple, Dell and other PC makers are affected by the same problems. [via PC World]