Revised design should stop the NUC from freezing up due to heat
Intel's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) is an intriguing device. The NUC is a mini PC built around an incredibly small 4-inch by 4-inch by 2-inch chassis that Intel would like to see become the standard for miniature systems that pack a punch. Though it's small, it offers residence to a 1.8GHz dual-core, Hyper-Threaded Core i3 processor, two SO-DIMM RAM slots, mSATA SSD slot, and a built-in Wi-Fi card. That's a lot to cram into such a tiny device, and as it turned out, first generation models had a problem with overheating.
U.S. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel dismissed a lawsuit filed last summer alleging Apple's iPad overheats when used in warm weather or in direct sunlight, ComputerWorld reports. The lawsuit accused Apple of fraud, deceptive advertising, and running afoul of California's consumer protection and unfair business practices laws for marketing and selling broken tablets.
Nvidia this week released new GeForce driver (version 197.13) the company claims resolves recent fan speed issues, and apologized for the incident.
"Nvidia apologizes to any GeForce owners that installed the 196.75 driver and experienced quality issues," Nvidia said in a statement. "For the small number of customers that did experience problems, in almost every case reverting back to our 196.21 driver immediately resolved their issues. We continue to work closely with our add-in card partners and PC manufacturers to help resolve any additional customer issues not solved by reverting to the earlier driver. Any GeForce owner who has questions about their board as a result of downloading the 195.75 drivers should contact their board supplier."
Earlier this month, Nvidia pulled the 196.75 driver release after complaints began surfacing that the buggy driver flubbed the fan controls, causing videocards to overheat. Users reported a number of associated issues, including dropped framerates and even motherboard damage.
There’s something not right at the moment in the NVIDIA universe, and that something has now extended to Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris users. It appears that some versions of the GeForce drivers are causing what NVIDIA says are “fan speed issues”, and recommends that all users immediately discontinue their use.
It started with the GeForce 196.75 WHQL driver, which was pulled last week. The driver ‘recall’ has been extended to include versions 195.36.03 and 195.36.08 *nix drivers. NVIDIA warns that overheating issues are occurring for some users, and these issues pose real threats to user hardware.
There's more trouble brewing in the Nvidia camp, this time over a driver release that may not have been ready for prime time. According to Tom Hernandez over at IncGamers.com, several StarCraft II beta testers have complained tht their videocards have gone belly up after installing Nvidia's 196.75 drivers.
"Some players were blaming the StarCraft II Beta client's latest patch, but a Blizzard Tech Support representative quickly explained the issue is caused by the latest Nvidia 196.75 drivers," Hernandez writes. "Blizzard recommended to uninstall the Nvidia 196.75 drivers, and to downgrade to the previous driver version: 196.21."
Apparently this isn't limited to just StarCraft II. The issue, says Blizzard, relates to the fan control in Nvidia's latest driver, which is leaving videocards prone to overheating while running 3D applications. This has also led to lower than expected framerates, and even motherboard damage, according to reports.
My 5-year-old computer—Windows XP, 2.4GHz Pentium 4, Antec server case, 430-watt PSU, Seagate HD, and two 256MB Corsair DIMMs in an Asus P4P 800 Deluxe motherboard—no longer boots. It was fine until the day my son used it without opening the door to the cabinet that it’s stored in. Now when I try to start it, I get an error saying “CPU Test Failed” and the machine won’t boot. I’ve switched the CPU out with a known good 2.8GHz Pentium 4 (tested in a second PC), to no effect. I have no way of checking the RAM as the second machine we have uses different RAM. Is there a way to check the motherboard? Or is there a way to check the power supply with a multimeter? I’m on a very tight budget so I’m going as cheap as possible.
Read the Doctor's advice for Harry after the jump.
Is it getting hot in here, or is it just your Dell laptop? Many are complaining it's the latter, with what looks to be hundreds of owners of E6400 and E6500 series Dell notebooks complaining of performance issues, including throttling down by as much as 95 percent under normal operating conditions, Engadget reports.
The problem appears to be due to an oversensitive BIOS prone to dialing down clockspeeds and bringing notebooks to a near screeching halt at the first sign of heat. It's something that's been brought to Dell's attention long ago, but according to Engadget, the OEM has been censoring some posts on its forums rather than fixing the issue.
One user who went by the name Tinkerdude (and is now banned) even went to far as creating a 59-page PDF describing the problem in all its gory detail.
Further reading (be patient - links have been slashdotted):
Is your ultraportable overheating while surfing the web? As odd as it sounds, the culprit could be Firefox rather than a hardware issue. No, really, check out what one of Mozilla's support pages has to say on the matter.
"At times, Firefox may require significant CPU resources in order to download, process, and display web content," Mozilla states in a document titled "Firefox consumes a lot of CPU resources."
As CNet notes, this is a real problem that users are reporting, such as this Dell Mini9 owner. So what's the solution? Short of switching to a different browser, Mozilla recommends downloading and installing the latest version of the Flash plugin, which might help with Flash heavy sites like YouTube, and installing Flashblock, which allows end-users to selectively enable and disable Flash content.
Depending on when and where the high CPU usage kicks in, Mozilla also recommends updating the Adobe Reader plugin, configuring Firefox to open PDF documents outside of Firefox, and installing NoScript.
Have you noticed any unusual CPU activitiy or overheating woes while running Firefox? Hit the jump and let us know.
I’m stuck with a Dell laptop that now fails to boot after just two weeks of normal use. I can accept the fact that I will probably fight with Dell technical support for six months before they do anything to help. What I can’t accept is that I can’t figure out what is wrong with this box.
Quite simply, using the laptop for an extended period results in incredibly slow performance, which leads to a lockup or blue screen, which leads to Windows no longer booting on the next cold restart. The ensuing error messages are varied and too numerous to list. After a clean install of Windows, every single diagnostic from the Dell CD comes back perfect. Memtest86 returns no errors.
I’ve swapped out hard drives and CD drives. But after two weeks, the result is exactly the same: no boot. I’ve tried other “unsupported operating systems” (read: Ubuntu), but they crash and burn just the same. If a Dell technician tells me to reinstall XP Home one more time, I may go postal!