Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

Summary: The Inquirer is reporting that in addition to the NVIDIA G84 and G86 GPUs being bad and failing due to thermal issues, the G92s and G94s are also affected.If you haven't been following the story, the short version, up till now, is that all G84 and G86 chips are bad.

TOPICS: Hardware, Processors

The Inquirer is reporting that in addition to the NVIDIA G84 and G86 GPUs being bad and failing due to thermal issues, the G92s and G94s are also affected.

If you haven't been following the story, the short version, up till now, is that all G84 and G86 chips are bad. Nvidia is blaming everyone under the sun, but denying they have any hand in the failures. While this may sound plausible, technical analyses by people intimately involved in the requisite semiconductor technologies tell The INQ that it is a bunch of bull: NV simply screwed up. Badly. If it was a problem with the suppliers, NV would not be paying out more than the chip cost, much less gagging OEMs: it would simply be passed along.


A little digging revealed what this, and more, is all about, and it's far uglier than just the 'notebook' version. It seems that four board partners are seeing G92 and G94 chips going bad in the field at high rates. If you know what failures look like statistically, they follow a Poisson distribution, aka a bell curve. The failures start out small, and ramp up quickly - very quickly. If you know what you are looking for, you can catch the signs early on. From the sound of the backchannel grumblings, the failures have been flagged already, and NV isn't playing nice with their partners.

Hmmm ... G92 GPUs are used in 8800GT, 8800GTS, 8800GS, and some mobile versions of the 8800, while the G94 is the GPU powering the 9600GT. These, in addition to the G84s and G86s, amount to a LOT of GPUs that are potentially affected here.

What I'm seeing is stonewalling all round. Beyond the statements that have already been made, companies aren't willing to go any further to help clarify things. I've had a number of people come to me off the record but proof, in the way of documentation or hard numbers, isn't forthcoming. However, this is to be expected. Contacts inside the chip industry I've spoken to say that it might take NVIDIA months to get to the bottom of this problem and isolate the true cause of any failures.

However, if you prowl around support forums and tech help sites (as I do), you can't help but notice a huge increase in what seems to be GPU-related issues (screwed-up display, jumbled-up display, lines and other artifacts on the screen, or no display at all). There's also more than a hint over on Apple's support forums that the MacBook Pro, which has a 8600M GT GPU, is also affected by this thermal issue.

I think that the biggest issue here is that there hasn't been a clear, concise statement from anyone as to which GPUs are affected, and that is making owners uncertain. Over the past few weeks I've had dozens of emails from people which go something like this:

I own an XYZ notebook which I think is fitted with a 123456 GPU. Is my system going to do a China Syndrome on me?

Truth is, I don't know. One thing is for sure, customers are getting tired of being kept in the dark and aren't too happy about being offered a software patch to fix what seems like a hardware issue, and to be honest, I can understand that. If I’d shelled out $1,000+ on a notebook and discovered that the GPU was potentially dodgy and it could go dead at any time, and all I was being offered was a BIOS patch, I think it’d get pretty emotional about it.

I feel that this story has a long way to go before it plays out to a conclusion.

Background to this story here, here, here, here, and here.

Topics: Hardware, Processors

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  • Uncertaintity is the biggest issue

    and i must say i am really beginning to wonder whats going on. For example, Dell and apple are still offering the 8400/8600 series card. On the dell blog site people are asking if the "new" dell notebooks with 8400/8600 card are ok (not defective)..dells response...silence. HP and apple are also offering these cards still...are the current cards they are offering still defective. I dont one knows as nothing is being said. Be nice to have some clarity as to whats going on as there is a lot of uncertainty.
    • Absolutely ...

      ... that's a lot of uncertainly to swallow for such a pricey purchase.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • The only certain thing now...

        ...are the AMD/ATI mobile chips. I'm sure that will be more and more emphasized by the marketing people over at AMD, I know that's what I would be doing. nvidia needs to let people know if it's fixed, what models are affected, etc etc. I don't want to have to run my laptop GPU fan at full speed all the time and decrease power to the GPU in order for it to have a longer shelf life and it sounds like that is all Dell did with their "patch". Keep it running and get it through the warranty, in 6 months the mainstream will have completely forgotten about this and no one will care.
    • RE: Uncertainity is the biggest issue

      I would say, when in doubt, take a conservative approach.

      A friend mentioned that he was intending to replace his laptop; and this subject came up. I told him to "be smart"; do not chance getting a bad system.

      Vendors who can not find the integrity to provide you with a straight answer do not deserve your business.

      Vote with your $$$$.
    • Business Ethics is the issue

      They (Nvidia's management) should be open in their dealings with customers and if they can't manage that, their employees should be blowing the whistle on them - loudly.
  • RE: Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

    i have a inno3d 8800gt 1gb and i had to put a thermaltake duorb to run it on stock clock without it overheating and freesing for 5 secs then distorting all textures(tho this can be fixed by going to windows and clicking on the game again like say CoD4) tho if u do that it takes atleast 1 minute. and also u cant overclock it because it stays like it permanently from even a 3% overclock. IT annoys me alot. cause wtf how is it overheating at like 35-40 degrees celsius on full load. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO COOL IT ANYMORE unless i had watercooler or liquid nitrogen.

    also at stock with the thermaltake duorb it still overheats and does that freese thing each hour roughly. with a room ambient temperature of 18 degrees. this is bs..... omgg lol
  • Does this problem affect desktops or only notebooks?

    I just bought a desktop with an 8800GT so I'm understandably curious. :)
    • Open and Honest

      If they were open and honest about the whole issue you wouldn't have that worry... err curiosity.
    • No one knows... (nt)

  • RE: Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

    I've got an 8800GT in a desktop computer, what temperature is the GPU supposed to be under normal desktop working. At the moment I am connected to the Internet with firefox running and my GPU temperatures are: GPU temperature 51C
    GPU ambient 41C.
    concrete lamposts
  • RE: Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

    I would not touch a new Nvidia GPU with a ten foot pole right now.
  • RE: Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

    That's painful. These things are pricey, I know more than a few people that would break down and cry if their GPU failed.
  • RE: Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

    Best advice is to stay well away from NVIDIA until they come clean.

    If that means getting an AMD so be it.

    Not real good news for linux users either. It is my understanding they get better support for NVIDIA though I could be wrong about that.

    The older chips and cards that have been around for a while would seem to be okay.
  • Was this before or after the article on batboy's love child?

  • RE: Are NVIDIA G92s and G94s failing prematurely too?

    Having a older MacBook Pro with a ATI 1600 turns out to be
    a good thing I guess. I have been reading for quite a while on
    MacBook Pro's with Nvidia graphics having strange problems.
    But most blamed driver problems. Now we know the rest of
    the story. Hopefully Apple steps up and takes care of MBP
    owner's. I wonder if this is heat issues or if heat is just a
    secondary problem?