Bad Nvidia chips may now be failing in desktops

Soon after Nvidia owned up to abnormal mobile chip failures, some sites started spreading rumors that the failures weren’t just confined to notebook parts. Nvidia stuck to its story, but as The Inquirer points out, HP has now let slip evidence that Nvidia’s desktop chipsets could indeed be going kaput.

You can find all the dirt in this page, entitled “HP Pavilion Slimline Desktop PCs – HP Limited Warranty Service Enhancement.” Without mentioning anything about Nvidia, the page says 38 HP Pavilion Slimline desktop models “may not boot or may not display video” because of a motherboard problem. Customers with affected systems can get free mobo replacements up to two years after their purchases or until December 31, 2009, depending on which date comes first.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because HP set up a similar warranty extension for notebooks with bad Nvidia chips. And as far as we can tell, all of the potentially faulty HP desktops have motherboards with Nvidia GeForce 6150 LE integrated graphics. This particular problem could have some other cause, of course, but both the timing and description certainly give credence to the rumors.

Journalists and Asian moles aren’t the only ones spreading these rumors, by the way. Neil McLellan, AMD’s director of packaging and interconnect technologies, told us in a conference call earlier this month that Nvidia’s desktop parts have the same manufacturing weaknesses that lead to failures in notebook systems. Desktops that are often switched on and off may meet the same fate, he predicted.

Comments closed
    • Dagwood
    • 12 years ago

    I have an 8 year old Dimond viper 770 (TNT2), a two year old HP with a 6150 IGP chip set in it, and a 8 month old Dell Vostro with a 8600GT in it… and ALL of them still work.

    Now, I would not go so far as to say that Nvidia does not have a problem with the mobile G84 and G86 chips, but Nvidia last gens’s IGP chip set?, this chipset is what? four years old? and Cyril wants to draw a conclusion based on HP’s idea to extend one year warantee to two years? You did not even get a statement from HP!

    Cyril If you want Nvidia to take you seriously and provide striaight answers to you then you should just link Inquirer stories on short bread instead of commenting with a paragraph of your own nonsense.

    • randomly
    • 12 years ago

    A friend and I both have HP DV2100 laptops with GO7200 Nvidia chips. Both have failed. Won’t boot, give One long, two short beeps which means Video chip failure. HP won’t support those models and want’s $400 for repairs.

    Best to just avoid anything with Nvidia chip in it until further notice as I have no idea how many defective chips are left in the supply chain.

    • Rdavis
    • 12 years ago

    This problem does not seem to be isolated to HP desktops. I service computers all night and day long, and lately, I’ve seen this problem coming up on Dells and Gateways as well. The problem seems to surround the MCP51 and MCP61 series chipsets, easily identified as GeForce 6100/6150 LE/SE graphics controller. It doesn’t seem to be related to any dedicated graphics solutions (actual graphics cards). To the posters that are worried that their new 8xxx, 9xxx, or 2xx series nVidia cards, it’s not related, but given what’s been going on with nVidia lately, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of those going bad, either.
    The faulty chipsets seem to be affecting graphics, network, USB connectivity, and SATA drives, both optical and hard variety.

    • VILLAIN_xx
    • 12 years ago

    I thinking thats why my girlfriends Gateway died with no video and no post.

    Im pretty sure it’s the 6150 chipset theyre naming here, but ive already chucked the motherboard and used the rest of the components for upgrading other peoples computers. Her memory, harddrive, and cpu all are fine.

    Wish i could be 100% sure instead of 90% it was the 6150 chipset.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    ยง[<http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/230097/has-nvidia-problem-hit-hp-desktops.html<]ยง confirmed Nvidia at faultg{<.<}g

    • thermistor
    • 12 years ago

    #38…Dang, you’re 100% right. It was a 7600GS. Faulty memory – my own.

    #48…Fair enough. Previously it was limited to immature Nvidia Vista drivers. Hope you get to the bottom of it.

    • tocatl
    • 12 years ago

    I have the GeForce 6150 chipset, and its working fine for my nettop…

    • pogsnet
    • 12 years ago
    • thermistor
    • 12 years ago

    #16…Sorry to burst your bubble, but the ‘NVLDDMKM’ error started the day Vista was released. I had a copy of Vista Ultimate and an 8800GT and I would get constant crashes, sometimes making the system almost unusable…

    Finally 12/2007 NV released a driver that FINALLY made the problem go away. 100%. Before driver constant problems, after driver 0 problems.

    Not every system, even with practically identical specs, was effected. There were ‘fixes’ all over the place, undervolting, underclocking, etc. I read 200 pages of the NZone web site desperately looking for something over the period of 2 weeks. Every ‘fix’ that I read (over 200 pages worth) got re-posted with ‘sorry…that didn’t actually work’ comment.

    It was just NV consistently released drivers for almost a year that DID not fix the problem. I still have my 8800GT and it is a fine card (now). I game relentlessly and really do like it and it is stout…let’s assign credit/blame where it is due.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      how amusing you say it started the day Vista release and then the only proof is with a video card that released 10 months later.

        • A_Pickle
        • 12 years ago

        Owned. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • TechNut
      • 12 years ago

      This is NOT specific to that December 2007 driver problem. I’ve been following the “NVLDDMKM” for quite sometime. I never had this problem in 2007 (this card is from 1H2007), and it only began in about May this year. I update my drivers regularly, and I can say that the current WQHL drivers from September 25, 2008 do NOT solve this problem for me. I’ve even gone so far as to reload Vista 32 and 64 bit// plus XP. It still happens. I used to be able to play HD content in Vista as my background.. now I can’t… It’s usable as a desktop display but even sometimes playing full screen Quicktime video (I have a 24″ display @ 1900×1200) will cause the stuttering and crashes.

      As has been found by the major PC builders, you know you have a bad GPU when you launch a game or HD content and you immediately get snow all over your monitor. The Vista driver will crash, but after it comes back, the snow is still there. The “normal” NVLDDMKM issues are simply glitch, restart. As a test, I popped in my old 6600GT into here and the problems went away, with NO driver changes. So, this is related to some kind of 8500GT problem and NOT software.

      This is exactly why the NVLDDMKM problem has been so hard to nail down. NVidia has faulty hardware out there, and with the Vista launch complicated matters. Now that Vista is relatively stable, we can separate the noise from signal and see there is a pattern.

        • swaaye
        • 12 years ago

        My bro with a 8800GT has had problems with BSODs. He eventually RMA’ed the card and the problems went away. I think he’s started having trouble again though, with a recent BSOD with Crysis Warhead.

        I haven’t had problems like that with my 8800GTX.

        These problems are hard to diagnose though because it could very well be caused by the rest of the system being unstable. I’ve put his comp through hours of Prime95 and Memtest though.

          • TechNut
          • 12 years ago

          Totally agree with you there. I went the passive cooling route because I do not game much and I really just need a large display for editing documents, running Excel, etc. I’ve had too many GPU cooling fans die on me with the “grrr” noise or the fan would just quit. After I ran into RMA problems with BFG (they would resend me a AGP cards when I sent them in a PCI-e one!!) I decided to go passive and remove that issue.

          I’ve been running NVidia GPU’s for the last 10 years exclusively since the drivers and boards where of so much better quality (to me at least) than ATI. I’m seriously rethinking and wondering if I should get my hands on one of the 4670’s the TR guys reviewed as a replacement.

    • glacius555
    • 12 years ago

    Well, I wouldn’t say that my 9600GT is dying, but i have speculated that nv4_disp would be stuck in a “deadly” loop sometimes, resulting in BSOD. Strangely, this happens during video playback or gaming. Previously, i thought that it was my Leadtek TV card, it uses some sort of MPEG2 smoothing engine and 9600GT is also involved in video playback. I have uninstalled the TV card, but the problem stays and ruins my online UT3 matches sometimes..

      • Hdfisise
      • 12 years ago

      I used to get nv4_disp errors on my old PC but a PSU upgrade sorted it. I would recommend making sure your PSU is up to the task.

        • glacius555
        • 12 years ago

        Sounds quite interesting, never thought about it. Certainly, but built-in Antec Sonata II 450W PSU is up to the task, the system’s consumption at load is never higher than 300W. But I would never think that THIS is the problem, it is not even 2 year old yet..
        Anyway, thanks for the tip, any ideas what else it could be?? PSU upgrade solution sounds quite expensive..

          • Hdfisise
          • 12 years ago

          Ages ago when I was having said problem (7600gs) there was a website with a list of problems that seemed to cause the error. One of them was PSU not being good enough and as I was on a 230watt PSU I thought that could be the case and luckily it was. I’ll see if I can get that website again but don’t hold out much.

    • Silus
    • 12 years ago

    This seems to be a completely unrelated problem (if there is a problem), so I don’t think it’s right to link this to the known problem with some laptop chips.

    Still, the fanboys come out of the woodwork, as they did with the poll.

    Nothing to see here, move along…

    • PRIME1
    • 12 years ago

    So no idea of how many even had a problem with the Motherboard. No mention of what the problem was or even if it involved a NVIDIA GPU.

    Next the Inq will step in poop and say that all shoes have poop on them.

    Using the Inq for news is like using a screen door on a submarine.

      • toyota
      • 12 years ago

      hey my right shoe has poop on it…

      • Damage
      • 12 years ago

      No, that’s 38 different models of HP desktop PCs, if I read it right.

        • PRIME1
        • 12 years ago

        So nobody knows how many have failed, what failed, how they failed or why….

        I will edit my post to reflect the model numbers issues. Although it looks like country codes to separate the same models.

        • eitje
        • 12 years ago

        looks like a lot of them are just regional variations, though.

    • Forge
    • 12 years ago

    The story here for me is that the failing parts are GeForce 6150 LE. Those are not G86 nor even G84.

    HELL, THEY’RE NOT EVEN THE SAME PRODUCT GENERATION!!!

    Nvidia needs disclosure on this. If it turns out that every one of their products over the last X years is affected, that’s both damning (LOTS of potentially bad parts) and reassuring (took this long for anyone to notice).

    I’m just thinking back to an AGP 6800Ultra that went black one day without any preceeding problems, a PCIe 6800GT that went black screen one day, a PCIe 6800Ultra that just went black, a PCIe 7800GTX that suddenly died for no reason… The 7950GX2s both lasted to a normal retirement and seem to be OK. My 8800GT has been really solid and issue-free. Maybe NV straightened it out already.

    Normally I would dismiss all of this and think no more of it, but if a 6150LE can be affected….

    Also, there’s an 8600GT in a friend of mine’s system that I gave him. It’s been acting up more and more lately, at first I thought it was nothing, or airflow, or his PSU, but now we’ve checked all those and it still crashes to a black screen occasionally. I think maybe he’s got an RMA in his future.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      O man we made the same point at the same time.

      • ludi
      • 12 years ago

      bump.

      • PRIME1
      • 12 years ago

      r[

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 12 years ago

    You people, or at least your French employee, are becoming as credible as Tom’s Hardware became. This is obscene and pathetic. Where the hell is the owner/editor?

      • srg86
      • 12 years ago

      It seems to me that these reports are only confirming the problem rather than simply spreading more rumors.

      Still if you don’t like the reporting here, view somewhere else. There’s plenty of options.

        • nerdrage
        • 12 years ago

        q[

          • Cyril
          • 12 years ago

          q[

            • PRIME1
            • 12 years ago

            And the AMD guy talked bad about NVIDIA? Hold on while I recover from the shock.

            • SnowboardingTobi
            • 12 years ago

            haha — you made me giggle

            • eitje
            • 12 years ago

            q[

            • Cyril
            • 12 years ago

            q[

      • TechNut
      • 12 years ago

      Tell that to someone who has a G86 based system (8500GT) and these problems. I own a passively cooled 8500GT that in the last 3 months mysteriously has lost it’s ability to playback any HD content. If I put on a 720p or 1080p video, it stutters and then nVidia video driver crashes with the error “Display Driver nvlddmkm stopped responding, has successfully recovered.” I can put on a fresh install of Vista or XP and with this board, and it will crash.

      Passively cooled 8500GT’s are in the same boat as the mobile 86 series of chips. When ASIC’s (like a GPU) die from heat stress, they start losing functionality. As an example, I owned one of the first A8N-SLI boards from ASUS with that crappy little fan (instead of a real heat sink). When the fan died about 3 months into owning it, I just ran the system as was. Over time things started to die. The integrated audio went first, if I put the volume over 50% no sound would come out. Slowly, but surely USB ports went wierd. The board finally died a little over 3 years of almost daily use.

      So moral of the story, this IS affecting G86 desktop parts. Do a Google for “Display Driver nvlddmkm” and read about all the problems people are having. The G86 problems are certainly real. If I could find a 4670 cheap enough in Canada I’d replace this in a heartbeat.

      • Damage
      • 12 years ago

      Ahem. I’m right here. We are following up with Nvidia to get its comment on this particular story and on the ongoing GPU failures story. They haven’t been quick to answer queries related to this larger story lately, but we’re certainly interested to hear what they have to say. Stay tuned.

        • 5150
        • 12 years ago

        I’ll save you the trouble.


        We here at NVIDIA are pleased that you have selected a NVIDIA branded product and appreciate your patronage and continued business. All of our GPU’s are indeed defective, however, to replace the wonderful, defective NVIDIA products that you have enjoyed over the years would be detrimental to our business and cause us to stop giving you more spectacular products in the future. Therefore, you as the consumer, should bend over and take it in the arse. We cannot be responsible for our responsibilities.

        We look forward to serving you in the future,

        NVIDIA

        That is basically going to be there comment, although they may use more words to say the same thing.

      • cegras
      • 12 years ago

      What? There is a link from HP, sounds like that’s enough for speculation.

        • srg86
        • 12 years ago

        It seems to be to me too. This is coming from one of the major companies to use one of these chips in their products.

      • ludi
      • 12 years ago

      You either need a lot more coffee or a lot less!

      • 5150
      • 12 years ago

      What do you mean, “You people…”!

        • willyolio
        • 12 years ago

        what do YOU mean, “you people?”

          • kvndoom
          • 12 years ago

          Funniest movie I’ve seen in years. Can’t wait for the DVD.

    • nerdrage
    • 12 years ago

    q[

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 12 years ago

    my brother has a 7600 gs, that he thought was starting to go bad.
    It made everything on the screen fuzzy/static.
    He stopped leaving his pc on overnight, and it cleared up though.

      • Meadows
      • 12 years ago

      I don’t think it’s the same issue if it “cleared up” just like that.

    • eitje
    • 12 years ago

    I went to look at HP’s website, and I don’t think I’m ready to start calling in the shenannigans.

    The latest slimline from HP (not on the affected systems list):
    ยง[<http://www.shopping.hp.com/series/category/desktops/s3600z_series/3/computer_store<]ยง It's plainly a micro or mini system, which will be using the same exact parts as the notebooks. It's also in a heat-sensitive situation, given the thermals that typically occur in tiny cases like that. I'm not being an Nvidia apologist, here. It's still bad parts they're shipping, but I think that Nvidia's probably right about what types of systems this will affect.

      • data8504
      • 12 years ago

      Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and second that.

        • yogibbear
        • 12 years ago

        Pretty much agree. As soon as i read “slimline” i thought a notebook in a box pretending to be a desktop…

    • Pax-UX
    • 12 years ago

    Looks like we found the tie-breaker on the ATI / nVidia debate! Nothing to separate them, I think not?

    • Walkintarget
    • 12 years ago

    I bought an HP de-branded PC from CompGeeks for my Father-in-law a few months back and it had the 6150LE video chipset, which was a step up from his old setup, but I was surprised to find a graphical glitch in that every now and then it wouldn’t display video.
    I do hope I don’t have to deal with that PC anytime soon, but odds are now slightly against me after reading this one.

    • Jigar
    • 12 years ago

    Jesus, i just sold a 6150LE mobo to my friend a month ago ๐Ÿ™

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      why would Jesus care?

        • Jigar
        • 12 years ago

        How come you know him ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • lycium
        • 12 years ago

        apparently that’s his job description

          • derFunkenstein
          • 12 years ago

          well, yes, but I doubt he’s all that interested in computer hardware Jigar sold a month ago without knowledge that it might be faulty. Jigar make it fail on purpose so it’s most likely forgiven.

      • moshpit
      • 12 years ago

      Jesus cares. For every Nvidia chip that fails, an angel gets it’s wings :p

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 12 years ago

      Hang on just a second here, folks. I thought that the die-packaging problem was strictly confined to the g84 and g86 parts. IIRC the GeForce 6150 LE is an IGP that is NOT based on either of those two parts. In other words, I think people may be drawing conclusions to quickly.

        • Silus
        • 12 years ago

        Precisely. The G84 / G86 mobile parts were the only ones confirmed to have problems, so I again don’t see why this was connected to that piece of news. This seems to be completely unrelated.
        The fact that this is based on the info of some AMD guy makes it almost less credible than reading a Charlie article…

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