Dell extends warranties after GPU fault

The company has announced a limited international warranty extension of one year, after Nvidia admitted flaws in some of its graphics-processing units

Dell has added an extra year's warranty to an extensive range of its laptops, following the discovery of a fault in the Nvidia graphics-processing units in some of those machines.

The worldwide extension of the warranties was announced on the Direct2Dell website on Monday. Nvidia revealed the fault — "arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of its previous generation GPU and [media communications processor] products used in notebook systems" — at the start of July. Although not all these GPUs are affected, they have a higher-than-normal failure rate, exacerbated by fluctuating temperatures.

According to Dell's chief blogger Lionel Menchaca, symptoms could include multiple images, random characters on the screen, lines on the screen, or simply a blank screen.

The affected notebooks include the following models: Dell Precision M2300; Dell Precision M4300; Dell Precision M65; Inspiron 1420; Latitude D620; Latitude D630; Latitude D630c; Latitude D820; Latitude D830; Vostro Notebook 1310; Vostro Notebook 1400; Vostro Notebook 1510; Vostro Notebook 1710; XPS M1330; and XPS M1530.

"Dell will offer a 12-month limited warranty enhancement specific to this issue," Menchaca wrote on Monday. "For all customers worldwide, we plan to add 12 months of coverage for this issue to the existing limited warranty up to 60 months from the date of purchase for the [listed] systems."

More details of the service plan will come in the upcoming weeks, Menchaca promised. In the meantime, users of the affected laptops are being urged to visit the Direct2Dell website, where there are links to recommended Bios updates for some models.