When life gives you lemons, make lemonade: that’s obviously NVIDIA’s motto, as the company is apparently using GPU failures in their previous generation products to encourage manufacturers to adopt their new range. According to a memo obtained by VR-Zone, NVIDIA “strongly recommends that customers transition to this latest revision of the NB8E-SET GPUs as soon as possible” in order that OEMs and ODMs aren’t affected by the GPU substrate issue that can lead to systems overheating.
Full memo after the cut
“NVIDIA is committed to providing our customers with quality products that push the edge of technology and also continuously improve product quality and reliability. To help improve the product quality and ensure smooth and uninterrupted product supply during the current “end stage” of life cycle, NVIDIA strongly recommends that customers transition to this latest revision of the NB8E-SET GPUs as soon as possible. These latest revision units utilize “Hitachi” underfill packaging material that improves product quality and enhances operating life by improved thermal cycling reliability” NVIDIA memo to OEM/ODM partners
The NB8E-SE GPU – which is commonly found in notebooks advertized as using GeForce 8700M GT, GeForce 8800M GS or GeForce 9650M GS video cards – has been found to overheat and fail, causing either total loss of graphics capabilities or visual artifacts. NVIDIA has blamed the issue on the GPU underfill, and responded by switching to a new material – sourced from Hitachi – for the otherwise very similar NB8E-SET GPU.
Of course, you can see NVIDIA’s motivations (beyond selling more chips) in wanting customers to be transitioned to a more stable product line and thus reducing warranty repairs. However their tactics will likely come as little reassurance to those users stuck with affected GPUs and for many of which NVIDIA will not even admit that there’s a problem.