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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2nd October, 2008, 04:44 PM
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M1330 going to Hospital =(

Been about a year since it was delivered, but my Dell XPS M1330 has to go in to the hospital now...

Apparently Nvidia shipped some bad mobile gpus that were degrading over time with use.

NVIDIA GPU Update for Dell Laptop Owners - Direct2Dell - The Official Dell Blog
Latest on the NVIDIA GPU Issue for Dell Laptop Customers - Direct2Dell - The Official Dell Blog

Thing is its undercooled, with a fairly gimp fan, and that fan wasn't very reliable, with it sometimes hitting 80-90C+ CPU temp, and probably much higher on the GPU.

The new bios that supposedly fixes the overheating issue isnt much of a fix... it just basically turns the fan on high constantly. So it makes my quiet laptop noisy. To fix a design defect.
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Old 2nd October, 2008, 07:20 PM
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Get one of those laptop caddy things with the fans on it.

Work great on the higher end lappys that get hot.
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Old 2nd October, 2008, 07:34 PM
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Sorry your luck wasn't better on this one. endless delays and a hot spot of decay!
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Old 4th October, 2008, 11:12 AM
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Do you do a good bit of gaming on yours? Mine seems to be fine so far, but I got mine several months after yours arrived.
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Old 4th October, 2008, 11:27 AM
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I do a bit of gaming on it.

After talking to the tech support guys their opinion was that the majority of M1330s have the defect, but if you update the bios it probably won't show up unless the laptop gets hot a few times (like 60C++). Mine has hit 80+ before when the fan wasn't operating so I have no doubt that did it.

The guy said that even if you do this, it will delay the problem rather than solving it. It is Nvidia's fault and will be fixed under an extended warranty though.
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Old 4th October, 2008, 11:32 AM
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All NVIDIA 8400M / 8600M chips faulty? - Engadget
All Nvidia G84 and G86s are bad - The INQUIRER

This is the problem.

The interim solution from OEMs is a new BIOS that runs the laptop's fan non stop while removing power management. So my previously quiet laptop that used to power down its GPU to stay cold and turn its fan off now runs the GPU non stop and with the fan on in order to prevent a design defect being noticed.

Its pretty piss weak to be honest.
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Old 4th October, 2008, 11:57 AM
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Will they be fixing it properly, eventually?
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Old 4th October, 2008, 12:05 PM
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Hmm... so will they fix this even if there aren't any real symptoms showing? Additionally, any idea how long the window is to send the computer in? When my unit redeploys to the states, my desktop will once again become my main computer. I really wouldn't have any problem sending this notebook away for a few weeks to get repaired (and hopefully cleaned out a bit because the sand here gets everywhere.)
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Old 4th October, 2008, 01:17 PM
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Mate, if you use it heavily, and you don't have the A10/A12 bios, and its an M1330. It is going to die. Its just a matter of time and heat cycles.

If you want to get it over and done with, install the GPU2 client and crank it / cool it. Technically that isn't doing anything other than using it as intended (to the extreme). When you start getting graphical artifacts and lines on the screen, you're there.

They will NOT fix it until it starts showing symptoms. They will merely install the new BIOS which runs the fan flat out and (I suspect) disables power management for the gpu in order to stabilize your temps, resulting in lower battery life and much more heat and noise.

What model is yours btw?
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Old 4th October, 2008, 03:50 PM
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Says it's model #PP25L, Rev A01.

I don't want to kill it right away, as it won't be serviced and shipped in a timely manner out here. I'll wait until I get back to the states and use GPU2 to kill it.
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Old 7th October, 2008, 12:48 AM
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Just talked to the Dell guy that's servicing it today.

Firstly, the problem is NOT fixed. What he will be doing is replacing the motherboard, GPU, heat pipe, heat sink, and fan with brand new ones. He will use more thermal grease on the GPU than normal to try to control the problem, and the BIOS will still run the fan non stop due to the fact that the GPU, while it will be replaced, will be replaced with another defective GPU chip.

Apparently in the USA NVidia is fighting it out with OEMs, the OEMs argument is that NVidia's mobile chips /should/ be designed to handle heat cycles without dying. NVidia's argument is that the chips were not installed correctly and as a result is not fixing the design.

So this new chip will probably die again in 6-12 months at which point the motherboard/gpu/heatsink/fan will need replacing again. Then again after that, then again after that.

Makes me glad I took out the three year warranty.
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Old 7th October, 2008, 10:15 AM
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Dell guy did the motherboard changeover today, only took him 20 minutes to do a complete teardown of the laptop to base components and rebuild it with a new motherboard and heatsink.

Laptop is running much cooler now, and interestingly the high pitched ringing noise that this laptop always made is now gone. Fan sounds much healthier too, probably fresh bearings making that difference noticeable.

This one will probably fail in time too but by then nvidia may have fixed the problem. The guy that did the repair said that he's a contractor that's been doing almost nothing but nvidia gpu based motherboard replacements since he started last year in October.

Apparently a local hospital here has had on average 5-10 Dell D630 laptops have their gpus die per week for several months now.
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Old 7th October, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Well...if they can't make it good, at lest they keep making it! ":O}
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Old 10th July, 2009, 02:25 PM
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Well... on a year or so, the heatsink turned out to be cactus and was replaced, as was the palmrest and underside (paint had peeled from excess heat), and finally like 10 days ago the hinges on both sides were cracked, which needed fixing.

So Dell came out and did it, bless them, when I came to the following realization.

Replaced:
LCD panel
LCD hinge / frame / back
entire casing
motherboard
cpu
gpu
battery

Not replaced:
hard disk
RAM
keyboard
optical drive
remote control

Its almost a completely new laptop as of 2009.

How do Dell make money out of these things? The GPU is going to fail again, its only a matter of time, meaning that the motherboard is going to be replaced again.

The warranty I took out covers accidental damage (which is what the hinge was) and yea, they've basically given me 1.8 laptops by now.

I give them a bit of crap for some of their design defects (the heat, the bad cooling system, the bad nvidia chip) but I must say, the 3 year XPS completecare warranty was worth the extra $400 it cost. Still a year left, with the option to pay to extend it.

People like me never let their laptop's leave their side, I'm sure Gizmo is much like that, maybe Aidan as I figure he travels a bit. Old school Thinkpads built like tanks could stand that but I doubt any modern laptops are designed for that type of heavy computer user, constant use, constant travel abuse. When I'm home, the laptop stays on 24/7 just so I can hear when I get an email or message while I'm sleeping. Does Dell know people like me exist? And do they know that people like me are the reason the $400 warranty costs them probably $1500 to service due to the computer not being up to it?
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Old 10th July, 2009, 05:56 PM
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Laptops seem to be far short of where I had previously imagined them to be...
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Old 13th July, 2009, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsio View Post
Old school Thinkpads built like tanks could stand that but I doubt any modern laptops are designed for that type of heavy computer user, constant use, constant travel abuse. When I'm home, the laptop stays on 24/7 just so I can hear when I get an email or message while I'm sleeping. Does Dell know people like me exist? And do they know that people like me are the reason the $400 warranty costs them probably $1500 to service due to the computer not being up to it?
Dell knows that people like you exist. That's why they honour their warranties even when it's obviously going to cost them money in the long run, due to their design defects.

As far as old school Thinkpads go, don't forget the wonders of the T30. The design where one of the memory slots would fail within a year...
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Old 13th July, 2009, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán View Post
Dell knows that people like you exist. That's why they honour their warranties even when it's obviously going to cost them money in the long run, due to their design defects.

As far as old school Thinkpads go, don't forget the wonders of the T30. The design where one of the memory slots would fail within a year...
Yea, there are always some lemons, the R40 springs to mind as one of the more solid ones though. Some of the early X series ones were remarkably well built for ultra-portables too.

I just really wish there were some premium laptops (even if an extra $2000 was on the cards) that could bring the build quality up without having to resort to things like the Toughbook range of military grade laptops.

Looking at this laptop, the aluminium frame cracked. Why? Its aluminium but it cracked like glass when dropped. The underside is plastic and feet are rubber, why isn't the whole thing magnesium with some heavy duty, high grade aluminium on the hinge? The M1330 is a high end unit, but it could be better and I guess that's what I'm willing to pay for.
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