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Is Alienware trying to screw me by swapping my video card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 10, 2006 12:27:30 PM

Just purchased a new Alienware Area51 M770 a few weeks ago. Have had problems with it since it came out of the box. Display has lines through it, and about half the time it will fail to boot up. Alienware says this may be due to a bad video card, and are sending me a new "NVIDIA GO 7600 256MB MXM2 HYBRID" instead of replacing the "NVIDIA 42M 6800FXGO WITH 256MB MODULE". I need to know if this is a step up, down, or are the cards the same and just have 2 names.
April 10, 2006 1:21:09 PM

Just like to say that while the 7600 may technically be a better chip, supporting newer technologies etc... it doesn't mean its faster then the 6800. Altho it may very well be...


I have not had experience with either chip, nor have i seen any benchmark comparisons. But I'm pretty sure someone here will know which is better.

Just saying, as i knew this one guy who sold a top of the line Geforce 4 Ti for a Geforce FX 5200, cos it was newer... I can tell ya,, I was crying for him! 8O
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April 10, 2006 6:08:51 PM

Well, since the 7600 GT is faster than the 6800GS in most situations, it would only make sense that it is faster in this application again. Its core also is manufactured using a smaller die, so it is cooler and consumes less power than other chips.
April 10, 2006 7:09:44 PM

I tried to find as many spec I could in a short amount of time (I'm at work).

The specs I could find on the go6800 are from THG's Mobility Guru and nVidia's site:

go6800 specs from THG:

12 Pixel Shaders
5 Vertex Shaders

go6800 specs from nVidia:

Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GBps) Up to 35.2
Fill Rate (pixels/sec.) 3.6 billion
Vertices/Second 470 million
Memory Data Rate 700 MHz DDR/DDR2
1100 MHz GDDR3
RAMDACs 400 MHz

The specs for the go7600 aren't as detailed and are from nVidia's site:

go7600 specs:

Memory Interface 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 16
Fill Rate (Billion pixels/sec) 3.6
Vertices/Second (Millions) 550
Memory Data Rate (GHz) 1.0
RAMDACs (MHz) 400

I would say the go7600 is a step down because the 6800 has twice the memory bandwidth and the memory speeds between the two can be nearly the same depending on which chip you had, but I'm not an expert at these things (ahem....Cleeve??) and info on the go7600 is hard to find because it's new.
April 10, 2006 7:41:16 PM

Honestly, the GeForce 6 Go cards were pretty unreliable IMO as a whole. Haven't dealt with the 6800xt specifically, but I know that there is a pretty high rate of failure with the original 6800 Go chips. They just consume too much power and get too hot, no matter how they make it--because the Laptop cards are forced to fit into a much smaller space.

IMO just based on the fact that the 7600 Go is less power hungry--your system will last longer than it would have using the 6800. Always beware of killer video cards in laptops. Once they have been around for a couple months, start searching the forums and look for problems. Almost every "top of the line" mobile video chipset has significant problems with the early models. The 7600 Go might be the newest but it is basically a trimmed down 7800GTX Go, making it the best thing for you (as it is slower than the "older" 7800GTX Go cards).
April 10, 2006 8:01:14 PM

Quote:
Just purchased a new Alienware Area51 M770 a few weeks ago. Have had problems with it since it came out of the box. Display has lines through it, and about half the time it will fail to boot up. Alienware says this may be due to a bad video card, and are sending me a new "NVIDIA GO 7600 256MB MXM2 HYBRID" instead of replacing the "NVIDIA 42M 6800FXGO WITH 256MB MODULE". I need to know if this is a step up, down, or are the cards the same and just have 2 names.


Alienware tries to screw you, no matter what, just to get more $$$. I'd return the laptop and get a Dell Inspiron XPS M170.
April 10, 2006 8:23:30 PM

Trade a Alianware for a Dell? are you high or somthin. Dell support is bad it somthing ever goes wrong.
April 10, 2006 9:06:37 PM

Quote:

Alienware tries to screw you, no matter what, just to get more $$$. I'd return the laptop and get a Dell Inspiron XPS M170.


And here I thought they were the same company nowadays... maybe thats because they are.

"2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz 2 Dimm [add $225] "

Theres a deal, 1 GB more of ram for 225 (last I checked this fits under rip-off).
April 10, 2006 9:26:34 PM

Still just wondering which one is the better card. I have the P4 3.6mhz chip, 2G of ddr2 on an 800Mhz FSB, and this damn video card. I have gotten nothing but problems from them since I ordered this thing, I think since I was overseas at post they thought I would just lie down and take it dry. Ive been through their entire complaint process, and even filed a complaint with the BBB in south Florida. All to no avail. Alienware was supposed to have the "best service in the industry", but so far, they sure havent given it to me. Any additional help is appreciated, as I have to decide if I am going to call them back and demand the same or better video card. I would like a little knowledge to back up my assertions.
April 10, 2006 10:51:17 PM

Quote:
...I have the P4 3.6mhz chip...


Fact: 70% of the hardware failures I receive calls for deal with P4 3.0GHz or faster systems. 3.2GHz or above is really the biggest jump in reliability. Building a PC? 3.6GHz cpus are fine, but any brand-name system that comes with a 3.2GHz cpu or faster is going to have problems withen the first couple of years in almost every case--Dell, HP, Alienware, Acer, or whatever. Just my experience.

Your system gets too hot and therefore the system ages exponentially faster than the same system with a 3 GHz or slower cpu.

Regarding the video card: Paper specs may or may not show you are being screwed. Based on experience, though, unless the first batch of 7600 Go's are flawed, this video card will be better than the other one. That 6800 would have *likely* failed withen one or two years anyway.

EDIT: OMFG, you have a 3.6GHz in a LAPTOP??? Yeah, you're screwed either way. I'd return that sucker in a heartbeat.
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