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NVIDIA settlement forcing Windows replacements on Mac buyers

updated 02:00 pm EDT, Tue May 3, 2011

NVIDIA settlement pushes unwanted Compaq notebooks

A determination (PDF) by the court in the wake of NVIDIA's class-action settlement has left Mac users and many others angered at unfair treatment. Judge James Ware declared "without merit" objections from those who were told the only replacement option was an entry-level Compaq CQ-56 notebook. The sub-$500 notebook "meets or exceeds nearly all of the specifications" of the systems whose graphics failed, Judge Ware claimed, further believing that any missing components could be added in.

For most, Judge Ware's claims are openly false and ignore the class of system that was purchased. Affected systems were using either a GeForce 8400M or 8600M and in some cases still outperform the integrated Radeon HD 4250 graphics the CQ-56 uses. AMD's 2.3GHz Athlon V140 processor is also slow enough that some of the higher-end or more recent systems from the settlement period, which ended in September 2008, could still be faster.

The arguments have particularly frustrated MacBook Pro buyers covered under the settlement. Ware made no distinction between platforms and argued that a notebook with an "advanced operating system" like Windows 7 was enough, even if the user had bought a Mac. Critics have noted that, if users were required to use the settlement computer, they would have to repurchase hundreds of dollars worth of apps and might be locked out of certain apps entirely.

Systems have in some cases been covered by warranties. The inherent manufacturing defect that triggered the lawsuit could still mean some would have to buy entirely new notebooks to get an actual equivalent and has put attention not just on Judge Ware but on NVIDIA, which didn't take care to make a distinction between Mac and Windows users or the types of systems they bought.

by MacNN Staff



  1. gregrochedc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Absolute BS

    From start to finish.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thats just wrong

    More happiness for Microsoft and more licenses for the Windows monopoly.

  1. jtrues

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This article is completely wrong

    The settlement is not forcing Compaqs on Mac owners. In fact, only owners of HP machines affected by the issue are eligible for complete replacement in the first place.

    Mac (and Dell) owners are only eligible for replacement of the GPU in their affected system or reimbursement for repairs already completed.

    The reason why only HP owners are eligible for complete replacement is that the motherboard uses non-NVIDIA parts for which there are no longer sufficient supplies to provide repairs, so NVIDIA agreed to provide entirely new machines.

  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wow. Total hit count headline.

    Not even close to accurate. I guess this marks the last time I come to MacNN or affiliate sites for news. I bailed on MacNN months ago when I kept getting malicious code warnings, so I guess their second chance was a bust. Later, gators.

  1. facebook_Andy

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2011


    I second that this is completely wrong

    I've had three 15" MacBook Pros repaired under the class action settlement. In all cases, the logic board was replaced (which is what's necessary on a Mac laptop in order to replace the GPU). I also could have opted for reimbursement of costs incurred due to previous repairs related to the class action issue (I had none). The terms of the settlement are very clear that only HP notebooks will be replaced by another machine:

    If you are an HP/Compaq consumer and filed a claim for a replacement computer:
    If you own an HP Pavilion Tx1xxx tablet computer, you may select either the Compaq Presario CQ56-115DX or an Asus EEE T101MT-EU37-BK computer as your replacement. The instructions for making this selection will be sent to you on your replacement authorization form. If you have lost this form or need assistance with making this selection, please call 1-877-440-7557.
    If you own a model other than the Tx1xxx tablet computer, your computer will be replaced with a Compaq Presario CQ56-115DX notebook computer.

    Please click here for information on these two computers.
    Your returned HP computer will not be returned to you, so please make sure you send in the computer identified in the Claim Form and take steps to preserve or wipe any data that you may wish to keep. You will not be asked to pay any shipping costs, but please do not send your computer anywhere until after your claim is approved and you receive shipping instructions.

    I agree that suggesting that any machine not made by HP could potentially be replaced by a Compaq (or Asus, see above) POS is tantamount to trolling for clicks.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Facts and hard data.

    I agree that on investment of hardware (and arguably software), this really sucks for Mac customers.

    However, if you're arguing performance, it's probably a wash because it's not a stretch to assume a $500 notebook today is as fast (if not faster) than a approx. 3yr old top-of-the-line notebook.

    Although I haven't been an Apple customer for a while, I don't blame Apple on this one--it's Nvidia's blunder 100%. However, if Apple wants to dip-in and make things right for its customers, offer a trade-in or up-sell, it would be great PR for them. (I doubt it though).

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