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Is Dell's XPS M1710 The Fastest Graphics Notebook Computer Ever?

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April 18, 2006 12:57:49 PM

Dell's super cool XPS M1710 features a range of components designed to make it a graphics notebook superstar. Over the next week MobilityGuru will pull back the curtains on the M1710 to see if it is indeed the fastest graphics notebook ever.
April 18, 2006 2:00:00 PM

I want one and I want one now lol. It looks like a beast of a laptop. First off, its not made of plastic! (mostly) It already has a 7900GTX, nice Core Duo (still 32 bit but ya know whatev)

OK it is a Dell but I like them, they are very good at what they do. I don't think I would buy a laptop from anyone else. I have yet to find another company who pairs the fastest true mobile (not these desktop types) processor with a UXGA screen and a pimpin video card. I have found companies with 2 of the 3, but no one else with all 3. Feel free to prove me wrong, im just givin Dell Props for a job well done on this laptop.

Rock on! cant wait for part II
April 18, 2006 2:10:40 PM

I just bought a system from xvxonline.com. The Monstruo-m™ A650.
Priced 4500 shipped.
It came with AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 Dual-Core Processor and dual 100GB 7200RMP Raid 0 and dual DVDRW+-. I also got both 3-year on-site and accidental damage warranties. With an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 GTX PCI Express 256MB DDR3 w/ Digital and TV Out and 17" WUXGA, I am sure that gaming won't be an issue.

I would like to see Tomshardware do a comparision. It would seem on paper that the xVx is a much better value. To see the performance numbers to back it up would be really nice.

Here is the complete system order:
ORDER DETAILS:
Item: Monstruo-m A650
Quantity: 1
Description: xVx Monstruo-m A650
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 Dual-Core Processor w/ HyperTransport Technology - $884.00
Memory: 2GB Dual Channel DDR at 400MHz - 2 x 1GB - $202.00
Hard Drive: 200GB (2 x 100GB) Serial ATA 7,200 RPM - $407.00
Optical Drive One: 8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo - $55.00
Optical Drive Two: 8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo - $120.00
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition w/Service Pack 2
Video: NVIDIA GeForce Go 7800 GTX PCI Express 256MB DDR3 w/ Digital
and TV Out
Mouse: None
Sound System: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS - $92.00
Speaker System: None
Modem: 56K V.92 Performance Pro Modem
Warranty Program: 3-Year xVx Luxury Warranty w/ Lifetime 24/7 Toll-Free Phone Support and Onsite Service
Power Protection: None
All-In-One: None
Motherboard: VIA K8T890 + VT8237A Chipset
Additional Storage: External USB 3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive Network Adapter: Integrated High Performance Ethernet Adapter
Bluetooth: None
Additional Peripherals: 110V/220V Autoswitch AC Adapter and Power Cord - $105.00
TV Tuner: None
Five-Star Care: 3-Year xVx Five-Star Care
Accidental Damage Service - $280.00 Media Center Enhancements: None Display One: 17" WUXGA (1920 x 1200) Wide-Screen Display w/ Super Clear Glossy Surface - $80.00
Mobile Stransport: Standard Carrying Bag Shipping Method: FREE FedEx Ground Delivery - 3 to 5 business days Monstruo-m
A650 - $2290.00 Price (each): $4,515.00
Item Total: $4,515.00
_________________________________________

Subtotal: $4,515.00
Shipping (null): +$0.00
Grand Total: $4,515.00
_________________________________________
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April 18, 2006 3:29:31 PM

The real question is - is it? Can it handle top of the line games, Apps etc.
I think with the combination of the T2600, 7900GTX, 2GB Ram, and 7200Rpm drives, its pretty capable. Comparing it to what I like to refer to as hybrids - desktop conversions, it might be a little lacking, like with The Monstruo-m™ A650 and Alienware m7700. Alienware touts the FX-60, Same type of monitor as the M1710, 7800GTX, 2GB DDR400, 7200rpm drives and gets 200+ points higher on the CPU test, 600+ on the memory test. No info on the other tests yet. Both come in at the Sub $5000 range unless you add extras. For the price I think they both can do everything equally well. Who's fastest at it I would bet the Hybrids would win that battle.

In reguards to the article and reviews to come, what kind of temps are being produced by these top of the line machines. Im insterested in CPU, GPU temps and temps measured at the bottom of the case. Its not everyday that you'll be sitting with this on your lap playing an hour of BF2, but sometimes you might just get the urge too. Also how does it handle programs like 3DMax, Maya etc. that could utilize the Dual Cores?
April 18, 2006 5:32:49 PM

You made a good buy. I was looking at the same system from hypersonic-pc.com. They have some nice custom paint jobs on their units.

The Dell is a nice machine, not bad, that is for those who haven't looked around elsewhere.

I'm sure core duo is the next step, but I would still put my money on a clevo based system with an fx-60. They will upgrade to the 7900 gtx any day now.

It would be good to see this new Dell go head to head with your machine too. I have a reserved opinion which will win!

Enjoy your new rig! :D 
April 18, 2006 5:54:11 PM

It is supposed to arrive Friday. I will be interested to see how responsive it is. Maybe I will do some benchmarks. <grin>

It is replacing my zd7000. It has served me very well for the last two years.

The only thing lacking in the system from xVx, was 4gb max ram. That would of made it perfect for me.

As for the Dell system, I have a strong feeling that with coupons/deals, you will be able to get a smoking deal. So, I am confident that the 4k system as tested will sell for 2k at some time. At that price, the Dell system is a tough bargain to pass up. Oh well..
April 18, 2006 5:54:25 PM

I have the XPS2 with 7800GTX OC to 440. I'm hoping we get some inside shots and temps in part 2 of this review. I get no artifacts, but my temps get close to 80C on the GPU, a little to hot IMO. The heat pipes work well enough, but the fans do not spin fast enough to get the extra air needed. I wonder if they changed anything??
April 18, 2006 6:03:03 PM

I checked out hypersonic-pc.com. I remember looking at them when shopping for my rig. I liked the fact that you could get it without an os. They also have some awesome paint customizations. A similarly configured system cost 400 more on their site ... and ... I was really turned off by the fact that you spend ~5K on a system and they want to charge you an extra 100.00 for a dead pixel gaurantee!?

If I had the extra cash and I wanted an awesome customized paint job, I would of definitely bought my system from them.
April 18, 2006 6:30:39 PM

I am actually using a zd7000 right now. I just upgraded my ram last month and was looking to swap out my hard drive. The dvd burner is screwed though, for some reason the firmware doesn't like dvd+rw media.

You might be happy to know that the 7900 gtx will be offered as an upgrade for $350. I got this info from xVx just now. You'll need to send your unit in for them to do it however. They also let you do custom paint jobs from Smooth Creations without voiding the warranty.

You are right, $100 does suck for dead pixel insurance, but they do seem to have a solid warranty and tech support, and they have always offered the most options for customization that I have seen.
April 18, 2006 6:31:46 PM

Very nice laptop.
April 18, 2006 7:07:05 PM

This is Barry Gerber. I wrote the M1710 story. Thanks for your input up to now. We'll do temps for sure. We're a little limited in games by what we've already tested (so we can do comparisons), but we'll do our best to challenge the XPR and the Go 7900. As for inside shots. Sure. We've been trying to get some of the hot alternatives, but most of the vendors aren't cooperating. As good as their products might be, some are probably too small to have a whole machine free for testing and evaluation. :-) Anyway, keep the comments coming.
April 18, 2006 7:13:40 PM

The zd7000 is an awesome machine, IMHO. I upgraded to 2Gb too. I am really impressed that they are still holding their value on ebay.

I am glad to know that they upgrade to 7900. I will definitely consider it in a few months <grin>.

Has anyone noticed a difference in performance running Raid 0 on 7200 laptop drivers? I have upgraded my laptop progressively from 4200 -> 5400 -> 7200 and everytime I have noticed the difference.
April 18, 2006 7:15:48 PM

I don't like it when my laptop's fans start to scream either, but after about a year I opened up my unit and did some cleaning - lucky, the vent holes had some blockage and the fan blades were full of dust. Can of air fixed that.

No problems since.
April 18, 2006 7:22:06 PM

Barry, vXv have a 30 day free trial offer on their products. You can get a top clevo system from them and do a shootout!

Just get your boss to approve the p.o. 8)
April 18, 2006 7:23:33 PM

My MAIN objection to other brand laptops, as a previous poster referred to as hybrids, is that they lack battery life. Ok i realise most ppl who purchase these intend to be teathered to a wall most of the time, but I want to be able to roam for near 3 hours on a battery. Last I heard top end hybrids die off around 90 min, for me thats unacceptable.

Other than that I give them an A+ for mixing a FX60 in a mobile chassis.
April 18, 2006 7:37:08 PM

I agree with your point about poor battery life. The new dell Latitude D620 looks really nice as a powerhouse with good battery life and decent weight (6lbs). It supports max ram of 4gb. I have not found a cheap source for 2gb single stick ram. 2K for a 4gb upgrade from dell.
April 18, 2006 7:47:50 PM

You are lucky if you get 90 minutes with one of those, doing what I suspect one would be doing - my machine gets an hour tops on battery before windows elegantly shuts it down.

Then again the only time I am ever "on" battery is when I happen to get a brownout or a power sap 8)
April 18, 2006 8:00:15 PM

it's 9lb, why not just getting a desktop. that'll be cheaper and lighter :idea:
April 18, 2006 8:05:21 PM

Maybe because I don't want to be stuck to a desk
April 18, 2006 11:31:54 PM

Thanks! Maybe even throw in your old 6800U/7800GTX Go info into the charts??

I use ATItool to get my GPU temps up there, even though it's just a little window, it really stresses the GPU and checks for artifacts. I use stressPI for the CPU.

I get ~7300 in 3d 05 with my setup...
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=1825401
April 19, 2006 9:50:24 AM

I currently own a Inspirion 9300 from Dell with 1.89GHz Pent M, 6800 GT 256, 1gig 433MHz ram. I dont know if they offer this kind of setup on Dell laptops anymore with out going with the XPS, but I was able to get a faster CPU and more RAM/HDD space by choosing the Inspirion series and just upgrading the parts.

Yeah sure I dont have the cool lights or custom case like the XPS, but who really needs that other than for showing off.

I cant really get more than 1.5 hours of battery life out of mine and if I remember correctly I have the larger 12cell battery. Battery life is hardly extended even with no USB connections and screen brightness turned to low, etc.

I love my laptop. Although I would love the new XPS even more! But really, who wants to pay $4300 on a new laptop that has current top end technology today, but tomorrow is eating the dust of newer and faster systems/games? I just now paid off mine and it is already almost obsolete and i paid less than half as much...
April 19, 2006 10:40:46 PM

Marauder, I wouldn't say that setup is almost obsolete. Many laptops are upgradeable with more RAM, faster CPUs, bigger/faster hard drives. The only exception being GPUs(at least from OEM) due to the proprietary sockets/cooling solutions. If you plan on any upgrades for games, a newer GPU would be your best bet, the 1.89/1gig is not the limiting factors, but the GPU is. You may also try overclocking that card, it will have to be done with a BIOS flash as Dell locks everything from overclocking :evil: 
April 20, 2006 10:21:43 AM

Do you know of any place where I could get an upgraded GPU? I looked on PriceWatch.com and could not find anything.

The only things that I think needs to be upgraded would be the GPU and HDD. And yeah when i was refering to my laptop being behind the times I mostly meant gaming since thats the main usage and seemingly the only bump in the road for performance when it comes to the newest games.

Also do you know of any good reference material i can read up on for flashing the bios for overclocking and getting information on if its possible to replace the GPU in my model?
April 20, 2006 6:47:45 PM

Please remove the 6800 ultra card on the xps gen 2 and replace it with the 7900 nvidia card from the new laptop and then run the tests again on the gen 2. I would like to see 1) if the new card works on the xps gen 2 as an upgrade and 2) how the performance compares with the gen 2 and the new dual core laptop with the same video card. If anyone has the skills and resources to help the Dell xps gen 2 users through this it must be the TG folks. One of the touted benefits of the video card slot in the xps laptop line was that it could be upgraded. Please prove to us that this is the case and rerun the tests. I realize that this is going to be a complete pain in the ... to do but please please please consider swapping the video cards and run some more tests. THANKS.
April 20, 2006 10:44:49 PM

The upgrade will quite probably need to come from Dell, I don't think the XPS follows the few laptop standards there are.
I can't quite remember the program names that I used...I'll update when I get home...but there are two...one to read the default BIOS and edit it..the other to flash using a bootable disk. It says that you shouldn't use the CDROM to flash, but about 6 times with 0 problems.

The only way I upgraded was that my bud ordered a Gen2 that DIDN'T want the 7800 upgrade, I paid the difference and we swapped cards. I think Dell wants to do the upgrade themselves...warranty issue maybe?? It's not hard, just allot of small screws.

It would be cool to get some gaming @ the native 1920x1200 res, the 7800GTX isn't quite up to it, I don't think the 7900 will be either, not with everything turned on anyway. Oblivion plays OK @ the 1280 widescreen res with everything but grass shadows(tends to slow things down allot).



UPDATE: OK the programs I used are Bit Torrent V2.7 to edit the BIOS, and NVFlash to write it to the cards BIOS. I used ATITool to verify max tems and to search for any artifacts the overclocking may cause.
April 21, 2006 5:16:22 AM

8O First off didn’t you see the SLI Laptop from Rocket Direct and Sager? It is the fastest gaming laptop hands down and it doesn’t cost 4500+, the sager is around 3000 I belive, phrenlee nice laptop but over priced and the SLI laptop would leave it in the dust with its DUAL 7800GTX’s. and maybe its me but why give a laptop such a high rez? They are already slower then desktops and most people I know with gaming desktops never run or can’t do 1920x1200.

The SLI Laptop is the King of gaming lappys and that’s what the Dell needs to beat. For Fastest Graphics Notebook Computer Ever Title…

Compare the Dell vs the Sagers SLI…

Chief.
April 21, 2006 2:52:32 PM

I purchased a Dell 1705 and would like to see how it compares. I'm also wondering if the GPU can be upgraded. My 1705 came with the Go 7800. I'd like to see if there's that much difference in the machines. The 1705 has been able to handle Battlefield 2 without a problem. I thought with the 7800 the battery life would be poor but It's held up quite well.
April 21, 2006 9:26:33 PM

I would like to see how this compares to the 19' dual graphics notebooks with AMD Turion and Nvidia SLI announced by Alienware, vodooPC, evesham, etc...
April 22, 2006 5:19:44 AM

SWEET A LABTOP THAT HAS A 20MIN BAT LIFE :D 

OH AND I CAN GO SLI??? AND GET 10MIN??? NO WAI!!!!


the point of a labtop is to be portible.....sheesh
April 22, 2006 9:21:39 PM

The SlI laptop is a DESKTOP REPLACEMENT, its still vary portable as in you can pick it up to take it somewhere but it’s made for GAMING.

Most gaming laptops don’t ever get unplugged except to take them to a lan party, then there right back plugged in. If you want good battery life get some 15in pos that you can only type on.

Chief.
April 23, 2006 6:38:03 AM

k.orrr what i was looking at an abs G4 Revolution
2.0ghz p4
6600Gt 256
1 gig DDR2 Ram

but sure if i can only type on it

i find it to be a waste to buy a desktop replacement labtop, you cant o/cem cuz they heat up and it defeats the purpose of a labtop..por
April 29, 2006 6:55:39 PM

Is this notebook Dual-Link DVI-D capable???
May 2, 2006 4:08:20 PM

Yeah, latop is pricey...

I looked at the sli performance numbers and they are about 60% faster than the single solution.

I paid extra for the dual fx60 and the 2x100(7200) raid 0 config. They also had the sli 7800 config available. I preferred the dual-core with higher screen res due to the fact that I do alot of development. I use vmware extensively with sometimes 4 VMs running. The higher resolution is very helpful in those situations.

I would agree that the dual sli config with lower screen res would be a better gaming machine.

btw: Anyone know what happened to xvxonline.com? They have been unvailable for a week now.
May 8, 2006 11:11:22 PM

Warchief Ryan... I think you may need to read into this laptop a little more, check out the benchmark results in this review

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=2887&r...

but if your not bothered reading that, here's an extract from one of the tests...

"Half-Life 2: Lost Coast HDR Demo

Settings: 1920x1200 resolution, maximum settings, Full HDR (High Dynamic Range)
8X AF: 55FPS

Half-Life 2: Lost Coast is probably one of the most demanding games (it is actually a demo for HDR) to run at full resolution due to the High Dynamic Range. It is incredibly stressful on the GPU, and equally so on the processor. The XPS M1710 doesn't even break a sweat playing the demo -- the lowest FPS observed was 39, during the very beginning scene. Playing at such an extreme resolution is, for lack of better words, awe-inspiring."

The laptop seems to be able to handle 1920x1200 with ease. Its quite amazing.

FatFunky... try reading the review too. The laptop has a very respectable battery life for a machine of such power.

"With the screen brightness at 6/7 (near maximum, keep in mind), wireless at full power, and while surfing the Internet, I clocked the battery power to be two hours and five minutes. That's not bad at all. You could certainly add more time if you turned down the brightness."

Also, the arcitechure of the motherboard in this laptop was totally redesigned to acount for its heat. The two main generators of heat in a laptop are the CPU and the graphics card. They are now placed at opposite sides of the board displacing the heat. From all the reviews i've read on sites it seems one of its comendable features is its LOW heat.

Being a DTR, its bound to be at the heavier end of the market. but weighing in at 8lbs (10 including the power cable) its a laptop i could easily carry around. When i was younger and in school my school bag and books weighed around twice that. That much power at 8lbs is hardly a complaint.

Lastly, Marketed as a gaming laptop the XPS does not get the credit for its other great abilities. As someone who uses 3D Studio max and Cinema 4D alot such a power graphics card that is also portable is of great use to me.
May 12, 2006 11:33:09 AM

What has your post got to do with supreme notebooks ?
Did you feel you just had to tell people about your DESK TOP pc that has not actually arrived yet ?


wasteful post..
May 12, 2006 12:06:40 PM

Reply to e23.

Well .. I am just curious about how the dell stacks up against the other laptops on the market. The laptop I got is based upon the CLEVO D900K. Alot of companies sell this exact same laptop under their re-branded name.

I was just hoping my post would encourage comparisions. Some people are moving away from desktop gaming rigs to laptop gaming systems. Anything that helps all of us make a better buying decision, especially when spending close to 5K, is very helpful. I like to get the most for my money, as much as possible.

My laptop did finally arrive. It is very, very, very fast. I am addicted to RAID 0 on a laptop now. I am very impressed by the system. I, as of yet, have not played any games on it.

Unfortunately, the company that I bought the system from, has disappeared. I am at a loss and highly disappointed about that. I really hope they overcome the challenges they face and reappear.

I would recommend this particular CLEVO based system to anyone considering buying an extremely fast laptop. Due to the heat generated by it, I do not feel that it is usable laptop without an external mouse. The top of the laptop can get very hot. It is best mounted on a laptop stand, preferable one with some usb ports on it. With a good external mouse and keyboard, it makes for an excellent portable DESKTOP.

I would only buy this if you had the extra cash to spend, otherwise save your money for retirement.

It is my opinion, after having used the CLEVO, that the DELL is probably a better choice if you still want to use your DTR as a laptop (without external keyboard and mouse). Dell is also an established company with better support. Dell's are also easier to sell on ebay. That is important when you want to get rid of your machine in one year to get the LATEST and GREATEST!

e23: You have a right to your opinion, but, posting a short message that does not really contribute to the content of the thread, can be construed as wasteful. I am very sure that you are capable of creating constructive content, and I look forward to reading those kind of posts from you! BTW: It is not a desktop PC. It feels like one, but the lcd is connected to the the keyboard, touchpad, and the rest of the system components. Just like other laptops! <grin>

If anyone has insight into what happened to xvxonline.com, it would be highly appreciated.
May 16, 2006 1:25:54 AM

For everyone who is getting a laptop that support 4Gb of RAM.

Apparently XP Pro supports 4Gb of ram. Using the /3GB switch in the boot.ini file, you can force the OS to use 1GB for OS operations and 3GB for apps. This is contradictory to all of the other posts I have read. I hope someone finds this useful.

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)WINNT="????" /3GB

Follow the link for details from Microsoft.
Memory support on Windows.
May 19, 2006 4:35:40 PM

Im not saying the Dell is slow but the SLI Lappy is faster at gaming, and the Dell is definitely not fast with the new Alienware SLI Laptop that has Dual 7900GTX’s!!!!
!