I knew this was going to happen the moment the BIOS notes hit my desk…
Long story short, a rumor hit the web that all of the Nvidia GeForce 86M (aka the GeForce Go 8600M) were defective. They would all overheat and die. Now, I knew that wasn’t true, because I’ve put my successive MacBook Pros through the worst-case scenarios… and they came out just fine.
However, Dell finally stepped in and explained the issue. Turns out, some of the 86M chips are bad, but only fail when there is high levels of heat over a long period of time.
So, what’s Dell’s fix? Rather than recall the chips upon failure, and issue a warranty extension (that’s the Apple way)… they issued BIOS updates which crank the fans up to run quite constantly. At least they’ve learned from Toshiba’s woes earlier this decade, and didn’t secretly underclock the 86M… Apple did that with first-gen MacBook Pros and took quite a bit of heat (pun intended).