Friday, August 1, 2008

Dell, HP Release New Firmware for Notebooks to Fix Issues with Nvidia Graphics Chips

Dell and HP, two of the world’s largest producers of personal computers, have released new firmware versions in order to try to fix the issues with potentially faulty Nvidia GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs) for mobile computers. While according to Dell and HP the new firmware should fix issues associated with overheating, end-user experience may actually be compromised.

The new BIOSes (basic input/output system) for various notebooks shipped by Dell or Hewlett Packard use more aggressive cooling algorithms, in particularly, it makes cooling fan spin at a higher speed prolonged amount of time that should ensure any lack of dangerous overheating of graphics processor and consecutive breakdown of GPU packaging, which causes mobile computers to stop working, showing image on display or show other symptoms of malfunctioning.

While improved cooling may help to avoid sudden failure of Nvidia GeForce graphics processors, it will cause notebooks to produce more heat and consume more energy, which means that the fix compromises end-user experience. Dell, however, insists that BIOS update should not significantly affect battery life of increase noise levels of the notebooks.

Both Dell and HP promise to solve all the issues with notebooks featuring potentially faulty Nvidia GeForce graphics processing units on case-by-case basis, thus, those who have already experienced problems with their computers should call technical support of their PC vendors.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.

Customers interested to find out whether their mobile computers are affected by the issue should visit appropriate pages at Dell’s and Hewlett-Packard’s web-sites.

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