View Full Version : Is your G92/G94 card failing?

08-13-08, 04:11 PM
Well, The Inquirer claims that they are starting to see G92 and G94 cards fail. Based on the name of the site, and the majority of the cards that people have here, let's test this and see if the are correct, or just plain full of ****.

Here's the article:

NVIDIA IS IN DEEP trouble over the defective parts problem, and from what we're being told, this is only the tip of the iceberg. NV still insists on stonewalling and spinning because the cost of owning up to the problem could very well sink the company.

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.

In any case, the official story is that there was a small batch of parts given only to HP that went bad. That was comprehensively proved wrong when Dell, Apple, Asus, Lenovo and everyone else under the sun also had problems. NV AR recalled the parts and recanted the story about it only being an EOL test run. Bad fibbers, no cookie. They still stuck to the story about it being only laptop parts, and that it was under control.

If you think it is under control now, the following is part of an email sent Monday by a very tech-savvy reader. "We just got our first casualty from the Nvidia mobile graphics [expletive deleted]. Laptop used by one of our senior engineers started acting up this past weekend. Won't boot except in SAFE mode. Called Dell, they tried a few things, gave up, stated it was the graphics module, and said that because they were SO swamped dealing with that issue, they were just going to send a completely new laptop!"

There are two messages here which have echoes in earlier emails received over the past few weeks. First is that Dell is replacing full laptops over this, contrary to what they claim (read the comments here and here for more). The second is that the small 'under control' problem is far from that. If they had a handle on it, they would not be so far behind and drowning in backorders. Anyone want to bet Dell isn't going to get stuck with the bill here?

To make matters more laughable, the fix that NV is forcing on Dell, HP and everyone else does not fix the problem, it simply makes it less likely to occur during the warranty period. With HP now offering an extended warranty period, and Dell looking likely to do the same, this will only multiply the cost. Add in the fact that Nvidia is sending out defective parts as replacements (there are no good ones), and you have a recipe for a long and expensive tale.

That is where we stand now - NV is simply stonewalling everyone and the costs are adding up. How adult of them. The question of why still remains though, and with another little tidbit of information, it becomes quite clear. There was a digitimes article on July 25, here if you are a subscriber, that said: "Due to Nvidia not clearly explaining the details of the faults reported in its notebook GPUs, some channel vendors have demanded graphics card makers issue a recall for desktop-based discrete graphics cards using the same GPU core, according to sources at graphics card makers."

Reading that, it sounds a mite odd: why would Nvidia keep the partners in the dark like that? They have to be told what the real story is for business reasons, right? When you see stories like these, it is very likely that they are not what they seem, and that the story is simply a nice face-saving Asian 'hello' applied with a backhand.

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.

Why wouldn't they? Well, the G92 chip is used in the 8800GT, 8800GTS, 8800GS, several mobile flavours of 8800, most of the 9800 suffixes, and a few 9600 variants just to confuse buyers. The G94 is basically only the 9600GT. Basically we are told all G92 and G94 variants are susceptible to the same problem - basically they are all defective. Any guesses as to how much this is going to cost?

From the look of it, all G8x variants other than the G80, and all G9x variants are defective, but we have only been able to get people to comment directly on the G84, G86, G92 and G94, and all variants thereof. Since Nvidia is not acknowledging the obvious G84 and G86 problems, don't look for much word on this new set either - if they can bury it, it will drop their costs.

In the end, what it comes down to is that the problem is far bigger than they are admitting, and crosses generational lines, process lines, and OEM lines. Nvidia is quick to point the finger at everyone but themselves, but after a while, the facts strain those cover stories well past breaking point. There is a common engineering failure here - this problem is far too widespread for it to be anything else. The stonewalling, denials and partner gagging is simply a last-ditch attempt at wallet covering.

With OEMs extending warranties, Nvidia is going to have to cover a lot of laptops for a long time. Desktop boards are going bad as well now, contrary to the statements of Nvidia PR and AR, and the hole keeps getting deeper and deeper. I wonder if they can ever come clean and survive

08-14-08, 09:04 AM
NVIDIA's response:

Myth 1 - NVIDIA has denied responsibility for the failures and is blaming suppliers and partners.

In our announcements accept responsibility for the failures. We DO call out the material failure but we also acknowledge that our suppliers and notebook designs because this is true and we need to disclose this in our official statements to the SEC. We would not go on record with the SEC making such bold claims if they weren’t true. See our Form 8-K statement below.

Myth 2 – There is an “official story” that the problems were limited a batch of a few bad parts for HP.

We have never issued a statement like this. See our publics statements below.

Official communication about the notebook chip material failures.

Quarterly Business Update Press Release – July 2

“Separately, NVIDIA plans to take a one-time charge from $150 million to $200 million against cost of revenue for the second quarter to cover anticipated warranty, repair, return, replacement and other costs and expenses, arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of its previous generation GPU and MCP products used in notebook systems. Certain notebook configurations with GPUs and MCPs manufactured with a certain die/packaging material set are failing in the field at higher than normal rates. To date, abnormal failure rates with systems other than certain notebook systems have not been seen. NVIDIA has initiated discussions with its supply chain regarding this material set issue and the Company will also seek to access insurance coverage for this matter. “

Form 8-K – July 2

“On July 2, 2008, NVIDIA Corporation stated that it would take a $150 million to $200 million charge against cost of revenue to cover anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other consequential costs and expenses arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products used in notebook systems. All newly manufactured products and all products currently shipping in volume have a different and more robust material set.

The previous generation MCP and GPU products that are impacted were included in a number of notebook products that were shipped and sold in significant quantities. Certain notebook configurations of these MCP and GPU products are failing in the field at higher than normal rates. While we have not been able to determine a root cause for these failures, testing suggests a weak material set of die/package combination, system thermal management designs, and customer use patterns are contributing factors. We have developed and have made available for download a software driver to cause the system fan to begin operation at the powering up of the system and reduce the thermal stress on these chips. We have also recommended to our customers that they consider changing the thermal management of the MCP and GPU products in their notebook system designs. We intend to fully support our customers in their repair and replacement of these impacted MCP and GPU products that fail.

We have begun discussions with our supply chain regarding reimbursement to us for some or all of the costs we have incurred and may incur in the future relating to the weak material set. We will also seek to access our insurance coverage. We continue to not see any abnormal failure rates in any systems using NVIDIA products other than certain notebook configurations. However, we are continuing to test and otherwise investigate other products. There can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other MCP or GPU products.”

Press statement – emailed to press July – 15

“NVIDIA’s highest priority is to ensure complete satisfaction and delight for all of our customers. We fully stand behind our products and are cooperating with our partners to resolve the recently announced notebook field failure issue.

Please remember the following:

1) The issue is limited to a few notebook chips only; we have not seen and don't expect to see this issue on any NVIDIA-based desktop systems.

2) Only a very small percentage of the notebook chips that have shipped are potentially affected, and the problem depends on a combination of environmental conditions, configuration and usage model.

3) We continue to work closely with our partners and have taken the necessary steps to ensure that all NVIDIA chips currently in production do not exhibit the problem.

As a result, it is very unlikely that your NVIDIA-based notebook product is affected.”

Financial call transcript – August 13


Jen-Hsun Huang

“We also noted that we would be taking a non-recurring charge against cost of revenue to cover anticipated customer warranty, repair/return replacement and other associated costs resulting from a weak die/packaging material set in certain previous generation GPU and MCP products using notebooks. Although the failures are only seen in a small percentage of all the chips we shipped with this material set, the repair cost of a notebook can be expensive. In total, we took a charge of $196 million. We will continue to support on OEM partners on responding and resolving end customer issues.”

Jen-Hsun Huang – in response to whether we expect to incur additional charges beyond what we set aside to assist notebook makers with repairs

“We’re not expecting more write-downs in the future. When we scoped out the problem, we had -- we felt we had enough data to project out the anticipated failures from the various platforms that are out there. This doesn’t happen to all of our chips and it doesn’t happen to most of the notebooks that are out there. There are only a few examples of them and of all the notebooks that have shipped. So we think we have a pretty good handle on the situation but -- and we thought that we were relatively conservative but we’ll see how it goes.”

Jen-Hsun Huang – in response to a question about how this impact future orders from notebook makers

Frankly, on the work that we are doing supporting our OEMs to help them repair and to support their end users, frankly all of our engagement with all of our OEMs, they have been just delighted by the work that we are doing. Obviously this isn’t something we absolutely need to do but we stepped up to do it because we think it’s the right thing to do. And so each case is a little different, so we have to look at each case carefully but our open-minded approach and our good partnership approach is welcomed by all the OEMs. And so if this is going to be anything at all, it should be a positive.

Where is source for that?

Myth 3 – NVIDIA is forcing a fix on notebook makers

The idea that a supplier like NVIDIA can dictate a fix to the world’s largest PC makers is preposterous.
The truth is the notebook makers determining their own course of action and we are supporting them.

Where is source for that?

Myth 4 – NVIDIA is trying to cuts our financial liability.

We put aside $200M to help partners solve this problem for consumers. As far as we know NVIDIA is the first and only chip maker to help fund the cost for repairs.

Myth 5 – This affects desktop chips, G92, G94, etc.

We have only seen this problem on notebooks. We just reiterated this during an official financial call. Once again we would not say this if it wasn’t true. Note we have not disclosed the specific GPUs but we have stated this impact previous generation GPUs and that current gen GPUs are not in production.


Charlie has an obvious bias against NVIDIA and he has no sources to back up his claims. Out of all of the hundreds upon hundreds of notebooks models designed with NVIDIA chips in the last few years, only a small number of these have experienced the problem. Within this small number of models, only a small percentage actually experience the chip failure. It is highly unlike a notebook user will experience the problem. And we have never seen this problem on desktop.

08-14-08, 09:16 AM
No, my 9800GTX is fine.

08-14-08, 09:32 AM
come on on vin, why even post that BS

08-14-08, 09:35 AM
come on on vin, why even post that BS

Most likely if anyone does a google search about these failures this thread will come up.

It'll be good to have a poll that shows 96% of people having no issues.

The 9 series is probably of the most reliable graphics cards in a while. I can't remember reading any recurring complaints about them at all.

08-14-08, 10:15 AM
come on on vin, why even post that BS

It's in response to another thread in the rumor mill. He added a poll to get a first hand count of users experiencing any issues. so far it's 19:1.

08-14-08, 10:25 AM
darn, I guess they found an editor.

08-14-08, 06:55 PM
come on on vin, why even post that BS

CaptN was right on. i know that the BS the inquirer pumps out makes it to google and what not. so, i wanted to start a thread like this (since google hits up nvnews a lot too) and i want people to see this thread where you can see that practically no ones cards are failing, at least not at the rate the inquirer says they are.

i knew desktop cards werent failing, i just wanted people to see it themselves.

EDIT: a google search for "G92 failing" returns this thread as the fifth entry, above the inquirer's article :D

08-14-08, 07:11 PM
CaptN was right on. i know that the BS the inquirer pumps out makes it to google and what not. so, i wanted to start a thread like this (since google hits up nvnews a lot too) and i want people to see this thread where you can see that practically no ones cards are failing, at least not at the rate the inquirer says they are.

i knew desktop cards werent failing, i just wanted people to see it themselves.

EDIT: a google search for "G92 failing" returns this thread as the fifth entry, above the inquirer's article :D


08-14-08, 11:30 PM
how high do the 8800GTs overclock...I got a pny 800gt xlr8 today and tried setting it to 700/1000 and it ran hot and crashed.

08-14-08, 11:38 PM
my superclocked is set at 650/950. yours was turned up pretty high, especially if you have stock cooling.

08-15-08, 10:03 AM
My 8800 GT is running like a champ for me.

08-18-08, 12:20 AM
Mine's been working fine for months now, and it's a super-clocked edition, no less!

08-18-08, 01:08 AM
8800GT, doing fine sofar.
The first revision of the cooler with a slightly smaller fan.

08-18-08, 01:45 AM
Yes it is, cause Charlie said so... :headexplode:

08-21-08, 02:51 AM
Been running fine for months, first at a mild overclock with stock cooling and fan affixed to 50% speed, then 729/1782/1036 with an Accelero S1 and two quiet 12cm fans. Now we'll see how long it lasts with vGPU, vMem buck, and OCP mods (drunk)

08-21-08, 09:17 AM
Wooh! At least I don't go there no more, too much bs information!!!

Fanboism over there it seems like, that's not journalism or reporting the news in tech!?!:thumbdwn:

08-21-08, 10:06 AM
725/1800/2000 still running strong,with an Arctic Cooler 5 attached,no ran sinks.It does hit high 60's now though(prolly dirty cooler):cool:

08-23-08, 01:43 PM
lol well we are at 96% saying that their cards and fine and two people have said that they have artifacts and high temps. no one has said their card has died yet.

awesome story inquirer :rolleyes:

08-23-08, 08:31 PM
8800GT and a 9800GTX+ both going strong.

buicks suck
08-23-08, 09:23 PM
my 8800 gt has held up perfectly, core oc'd to 650 memory uc'd by 20 mhz effective. fan stays at 100% and it runs pretty cool. never goes above 43 c idle and never gone above 63C full load, in a 74 F room.

running 24/7 no physical/pcb problems.