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Dell XPS 710 red system - still no Vista?

Last response: in Windows Vista
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May 8, 2007 9:41:14 PM

Hey all, so here is the deal. I am a student, and I get a ridiculous discount at dell (were talking around 25% off). I know what you are thinking, DELL IS CRAP! However, I am still getting around $1500 off on this system, so I cant say no. Anyhow, I wanted to get this L33T dell computer to game on. It's the dell XPS 710 red. Here are the stats:

- Intel Core2 Extreme processor QX6700 (2.66GHz,1066FSB) w/Quad Core Technology and 8MBcache
- 4GB DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz
- Dell USB Keyboard
- 24 in (24.0 in viewable) 2407FPW Wide Aspect Digital Flat Panel Display
- 768MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
- 1TB Serial ATA II Hard Drive (7200RPM)
- Dell 13 in 1 Media Card Reader
- Dell Optical USB Mouse
- 48X Combo drive
- 7 Slot BTX motherboard
- 16X DVD+/-RW
- Soundblaster X-Fi PCI Sound Card,Vista
- 1KW Power Supply

Let's be honest, its a beast of a system.

But do you see a compatibility issue with the above stats and Vista? I don't.

So here is my question: why does this system STILL not come with vista from Dell? If you go to Dell's XPS 710 site at:

http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/cto_......;cs=19&

you will see that all of the 710 systems can be configured with Vista except the one all the way to the right (with the 1 KW power supply and the ability to have a QX6700 cpu) - which is the computer I quoted you above - the one I would like to get.

If you go to http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/04/12/11407... a Dell representative explains that the reason some of the 710's dont have Vista (especially the water-cooled 710 H2c which comes with two 8800GTX's in SLI mode) is because of a driver issue with the SLI and Vista. However, why would this be a problem on the one I want to get above (the 710 red).

I am assuming that it is a problem with the site because the one I have configured (the configuration all the way to the right) ALSO allows you to configure the system with SLI - and Dell doesn't have the drivers yet; whereas the other 710 configurations do not allow you to add twin GTX's as an option, so they can come with Vista.

What do you guys think? To make a long story short, I convinced a dell salesman to let me have the system with Vista, and I want to make sure I am not buying a system that will have configuration or compatibility issues. Do you see any?
May 8, 2007 10:03:16 PM

There are issues people are having with Vista and the 8800 series cards (SLI or not). However, nVidia is (still) working on optimizing their drivers, so I wouldn't let that stop me.

However, in order to use the 4GB of RAM, you are going to have to use the 64-bit version of Vista - so check to make sure that every peripheral (printer, scanner, etc) has a 64-bit Vista driver - since you can't use an old XP driver. Don't assume that all new equipment will work with 64-bit Vista - go to the manufacturer's website and check.

Also, at one point there was a problem with the X-Fi cards and Vista. I know there was a workaround, but you may want to Google around to see if it has been fixed (or ask Dell).

Your product link doesn't work, but does it really have a BTX motherboard?
If so, it might be clearanced - so while Dell will support it, I doubt they'll be doing much to update it.
May 8, 2007 10:44:42 PM

exit2dos, what other form factor besides BTX would they use for the motherboard? I just checked at it is a nvidea 590 SLI chipset.
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May 8, 2007 11:23:48 PM

Most all motherboards are ATX (or micro ATX). BTX was a format that Intel was trying to get everyone to switch to back in the P4 days (before the Core2 chips).

The P4 (Prescott) CPUs ran very hot, so Intel developed a completely new motherboard layout to try to improve airflow, and keep the computer cooler. Not only are the motherboards custom, the cases had to be custom made to accomodate the "flipped" PCI slot orientation. In short, very few BTX cases were ever made. With the introduction of the Core2 CPU (which run much cooler than the P4s), BTX was no longer needed - so Intel discontinued it.

The 590 chipset is also dated. It predates the Core2Duo chips. While it does support them, it wasn't designed especially for them - like the current nVidia 680 chipset. You can read an overview of the 590 here:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2786

In short, if you are getting an unbelievable deal on the system, and you aren't going to try to "push" it (major overclocking, etc - things which Dell probably wouldn't allow in their BIOS even if the chipset supported it anyways) I say go ahead and buy it. Just understand that itis already "dated" so you probably won't see too many performance BIOS updates. Also, with a BTX formfactor, you'll be stuck with the original case (not a factor for most users) and your cooling options are limited - not just for things like watercooling, but if your CPU fan dies in a year or two - you'll probably have to go on ebay to find another. (Again, no big concern - just something to keep in mind.)
May 9, 2007 12:29:53 AM

I'll toss another issue in here - just to make it interesting... Its one thing to buy an obsolete dell but to buy a specially modified obsolete dell is a different animal -

you'll have a heck of a time getting any support if you ever need it. You will call that smiley guy (in India) and tell him your model and serial number; and then what your particular gripe about Vista is; and he's going to tell you to go away... dell never released that product with Vista... just my $.02 - ymmv.

I haven't followed the links, how much are you going to pay for this obsolete monster?
May 9, 2007 3:48:37 AM

I am getting the computer for $3,900 total (including tax and shipping) with the components I specified (plus the logitech 5.1 500 watt speaker system) and the 24" dell monitor... and 4 year accidental damage coverage..


Price that on dell.com alienware.com gateway.com - this is the cheapest. Yay student discount - how can I turn this down guys?
May 9, 2007 6:07:30 AM

That dell game-box looks ok and their student discounts are nice but for that same $3100 that you are spending on the box (that's sans $800 for the monitor and speakers which you can get anywhere), you can build a machine that will most likely spank its butt (same or faster CPU, faster HD (same size) , and faster memory).

The only problem is that you would have to assemble it yourself and then install your own OS, Vista 64 if you want (I guess the only deal-breaker might be is that it wouldn't come with MS works pre-installed).

If you can wait a bit, you could wind-up with a current generation hardware system (bearlake and penryn) for probably a very little bit more money, maybe the same.

good luck with your new top-of-the-line dell...
!