If feedback from customers is any indication, HP is still receiving a number of complaints stemming from faulty Nvidia 8-series video chipsets in a number of different laptops.
According to the official HP Support Forums, many HP laptops owners are still experiencing video-related problems, the likely cause of which is a faulty Nvidia GeForce 8M-series GPU. In a thread entitled "hp dv9500 screen problem," multiple customers have described video failure in a number of different HP laptop models. All the models are part of the dv9000 series, and all the laptops in question are equipped with an Nvidia G84 or G86 graphics chipset.
HP and other laptop manufacturers have addressed the Nvidia chipset problem with free extended warranties and free repairs. However, many of the dv9000 series laptops are not included in HP's free 24 month warranty extension that is offered to owners of other HP laptops that are experiencing the same problem. A quick scan of the 30-page long forum thread shows that the majority of laptop owners who are complaining about the video issue and HP doing nothing about it own an HP laptop from the 9500 or 9600 model line.
According to PC World, some of those who have posted in the thread or similar threads on the forum have approached HP about a warranty extension or repair. Matthew Hilsenrad, an HP laptop owner who posted in the thread, said HP initially wanted $400 to replace the motherboard on his 9500 series laptop. After some haggling, he got the number down to $215. An HP Case Manager said these 9500 and 9600 series laptops could be added to the extended warranty list, at which point any person who shelled out cash for a related repair would receive a refund. However, with this thread now several months old and no word on extended warranties, it looks like HP is leaving some of its laptop owners to foot the bill.
The Nvidia video chipset problem was discovered in August of last year, with owners of Apple, Dell, and HP laptops reporting video problems. The problem stems from the solder used to keep the Nvidia GPU attached to the motherboard. After repeated use heated up the low-quality solder, the GPU would come loose from the mobo, resulting in artifacts, muddled images and eventually a completely blank screen. Apple provided all of its affected customers with free laptop repairs while HP followed suit with warranty extensions. HP and Dell also released short-term solutions like BIOS updates that kept GPU fans running faster and longer in an attempt to keep the chip from overheating.
We called HP to get word on the situation that users have been having, but HP did not provide any answers at the time of publishing.
Hopefully, HP will tune into this latest string of Nvidia chipset-related problems and help out its customers. If these unlucky customers are left out in the rain, HP may find the loyalty of its laptop owners in serious jeopardy.