A major cause of frustration in the Nvidia notebook GPU fiasco—where "significant quantities" of notebook graphics cards are packaged with "weak" materials leading them to overheat and fail at a "higher-than-normal rate"—is that Nvidia is declining to identify exactly which chips are bad, as the WSJ notes today. So you've gotta find out from your notebook maker if you're possibly stuck with a time bomb. Dell is extending its limited warranties by a year to deal with the issue in the following notebooks:
Even if, as Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says, that different notebook configurations and designs affect how the flameout will rear its head, it doesn't really excuse not disclosing the exact chips affected—widely believed to be of the G84 and G86 variety—and this effective silence is largely why rumours that most of their mobile GeForce 8 series is bad are able to gain traction, despite Nvidia's protests. Some actual information would go a long way in quelling them.
In the meantime, a BIOS fix that will simply delay or reduce the chance of the onset of the problem by kicking on the cooling fans earlier is an incomplete solution. We hope Dell is "going to take care of [their]customers" as promised. Ideally, since they (presumably) have the information about which specific configurations are at the greatest risk, they would notify those customers and offer to replace the card entirely, otherwise those customers are basically waiting for their cards to die. [WSJ, Dell]