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Dell Vostro 3700, worth getting?

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  • Dell
  • Vostro
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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March 10, 2010 12:20:23 PM

I'm thinking of getting the Dell Vostro 3700, with the core i5 430m and 4GB of ram. I'm interested in this laptop because I think it has a lot of computing power for the amount it costs. And the GT 330m will be good for gaming, and for 24" monitor i plan to use with it.

Can anyone say if I should go ahead with this laptop at around $900, or are there better laptops/notebooks out there for my budget that i should consider?

More about : dell vostro 3700 worth

March 10, 2010 12:22:53 PM

Oh, forgot to mention that I would use CAD software on this laptop, which is why I chose the i5 and 4GB ram over the i3 and 2GB ram
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a b D Laptop
March 10, 2010 3:39:47 PM

Maverick4396 said:
http://www.xoticpc.com/asus-k52jra1-p-2753.html

Better choice IMPO. More hard drive space and more memory for less money.


Yeah, but it comes at the price of the GPU. The GT 330M is faster than the HD 5470. The HDD and RAM can be upgraded later, but it is very rare for the GPU to be upgradeable in laptops.
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March 10, 2010 3:45:54 PM

lostandwandering said:
Yeah, but it comes at the price of the GPU. The GT 330M is faster than the HD 5470. The HDD and RAM can be upgraded later, but it is very rare for the GPU to be upgradeable in laptops.



Except that the GT330M is still a DX10 chip. As a matter of fact the GT330M is the same chip as a GT130 and GT230M just rebadged. The HD 5470 is a DX11 capable card.
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March 10, 2010 4:05:09 PM

Thanks for the replies. That notebook does look quite tempting, although it might be better to have a faster GPU, as only a few games so far support DX11.

I should have posted this first:

1_What is your budget?
$800 - $950

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15" screen or greater

3_What screen resolution do you want?
720P or greater

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Closer to a desktop replacement then a portable

5_How much battery life do you need?
Doesn't matter

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Team Fortress 2, L4D and Supreme Commander, on medium settings. I have an extra 24" monitor that I use occasionally, and it would be good if I could play these games on that at 1900x1200 without having frames at less then 30fps.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
CAD design software, light audio and photo editing, watching movies.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
Doesn't matter, as I have an external drive which I store everything on.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.
None

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
4-5 years

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD writer

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Any brand.


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March 10, 2010 4:12:42 PM

I would call dell and make sure that they are using the GDDR3 model of that GT330M because there is a GT330M that is GDDR2 and that would be slower than the 5470.

Either way at that resolution you would be lucky to get either card to run playable frame rates.
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a b D Laptop
March 10, 2010 4:13:31 PM

Maverick4396 said:
Except that the GT330M is still a DX10 chip. As a matter of fact the GT330M is the same chip as a GT130 and GT230M just rebadged. The HD 5470 is a DX11 capable card.


That feature really doesn't matter since the 5470 is probably not powerful enough to play DX11 games (the few that are even out). Features are nice, but if you can't use them......
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March 10, 2010 4:36:01 PM

lostandwandering said:
That feature really doesn't matter since the 5470 is probably not powerful enough to play DX11 games (the few that are even out). Features are nice, but if you can't use them......


And yet he wants to be able to keep a 900 dollar laptop for 4-5 years, so you might think that it would be a good idea to at least think ahead a couple of years and realize that by then even DX 11 is going to be an old API so supporting it might just keep his laptop lasting longer.

BTW if it were me I would try and save a bit more money up and try and get something like this to try and lengthen the time before you need a full machine again due to the upgradability of this one.
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 20, 2010 10:33:15 PM



A friend just spent £800 on a Dell Vostro 3700 for use with professional Firewire audio hardware and programs. The capabilities of these computer systems handling real-time data streams properly is extremely poor.
When connecting the Focusrite Saffire Firewire audio hardware the computer did not seem to be able to stream sound from the device.

I was advised to run the DPC atency checker programme on the Dell Vostro to see what the performance was like.
http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

The realtime graph showed huge red spikes when the machine was in idle mode. NOT GOOD!
I then came across a thread on a message board with someone who had the same problem with another audio device - he was also getting no sound or terrible drop outs.

It turned out to be related to the battery and the software that manages this. When removing he battery and running on mains power only then the problem was solved and sound was working through the Focusrite Saffire audio Firewire device. Pro audio software was working again.
But this is still a problem, which means you cannot have the battery attached to the Dell Vostro's if you are thinking of using them for audio work or using as a DAW (digital audio workstation) - as they are draining the system performance greatly.

I suggest you DO NOT buy these machines until Dell fix the problem. This problem could even effect watching movies/DVD/games etc. The 4 pin Firewire port is also badly placed and the connection comes loose if moved slightly. So not recommended for people wishing to connect their DV cams or other Firewire hardware. A 6 pin Firewire slot with screw fixings should have been implemented in these machines.
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 24, 2010 9:48:46 PM

Quote:
A friend just spent £800 on a Dell Vostro 3700 for use with professional Firewire audio hardware and programs. The capabilities of these computer systems handling real-time data streams properly is extremely poor.
When connecting the Focusrite Saffire Firewire audio hardware the computer did not seem to be able to stream sound from the device.

I was advised to run the DPC atency checker programme on the Dell Vostro to see what the performance was like.
http://www.thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml

The realtime graph showed huge red spikes when the machine was in idle mode. NOT GOOD!
I then came across a thread on a message board with someone who had the same problem with another audio device - he was also getting no sound or terrible drop outs.

It turned out to be related to the battery and the software that manages this. When removing he battery and running on mains power only then the problem was solved and sound was working through the Focusrite Saffire audio Firewire device. Pro audio software was working again.
But this is still a problem, which means you cannot have the battery attached to the Dell Vostro's if you are thinking of using them for audio work or using as a DAW (digital audio workstation) - as they are draining the system performance greatly.

I suggest you DO NOT buy these machines until Dell fix the problem. This problem could even effect watching movies/DVD/games etc. The 4 pin Firewire port is also badly placed and the connection comes loose if moved slightly. So not recommended for people wishing to connect their DV cams or other Firewire hardware. A 6 pin Firewire slot with screw fixings should have been implemented in these machines.


I bet you just need to turn off the power management features esp. the cpu thottling to be able to work without removing the bttery ;) 
Did encounter bad audio latency on several laptops with power saving cpu features. Turning them off always helped.
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July 4, 2010 3:53:04 PM

I just bought a Vostro 3400 with i5-520M. The packaging was so bad and they put a masking tape on top of the panel. The plastic covering the keyboard was so oversize and have several sections cut which I do not know for what reasons.
My mind said the laptop is not purely "new" and was shipped to me from a returned product maybe.
I have contacted the Dell, and they said the masking tape was for user to remove the plastic layer suppose to protect the panel, and they never come to me with an answer for the oversize plastic sheet covering the keyboard.

Found also the USB ports too loose and very hard to detect your external hard disk.

The keyboard is too soft and you sometimes missed typing words, and overall the physical of the laptop is too fragile.
I do not recommend anyone to buy this product. Better buy Lenova which comes with extraordinary sound system, and extra fast running on Win 7.
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
October 17, 2010 6:29:51 AM

TomD_1 said:
I'm thinking of getting the Dell Vostro 3700, with the core i5 430m and 4GB of ram. I'm interested in this laptop because I think it has a lot of computing power for the amount it costs. And the GT 330m will be good for gaming, and for 24" monitor i plan to use with it.

Can anyone say if I should go ahead with this laptop at around $900, or are there better laptops/notebooks out there for my budget that i should consider?


I hope you didn't go ahead and buy it. It is admittedly a fast machine but if there is anything wrong and you want to return it you will enter Dell hell! I wish I had read reviews of Dell on various business review websites before I bought it. You will have to deal with customer service based in the Phillipines and they are a nightmare. I am still getting nowhere after more than 2 weeks despite various defects.

Another thing that you should bear in mind is that if you wish to run any XP applications, the available memory under the Windows 7 virtual machine that runs XP apps is very small. On my model that had 3GB RAM, there was only 500MB available for running XP apps.
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November 3, 2010 5:42:36 AM

Various Defect? omg, m planning to get one of these also.

i read somewhere that the DVD always eject when we touch it. thats serious.
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November 3, 2010 11:42:14 AM

is this really such a bad notebook if considering playing games on it. if read that the the Nvidia Geforce GT 330M 1g isn’t such a bad card after all. have any one of you benchmarked this laptop on any modern game on different settings and resolution? isn’t the 17'' gonne give low fps?
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
November 12, 2010 3:20:50 PM

I have had a Vostro 3700 for about 6 weeks. In roughly 40 years of being around computers, this is absolutely the worst experience I have ever had. The Dell Hell service remarks are all true. You can't return the thing. I have had the motherboard replaced twice as well as the Nvideo card. When the tech came out to replace the boards, he was the definition of not caring and he broke the keyboard which then had to be replaced. I have wasted roughly seven full days of my life on the phone with tech service to no avail. The remarks are true on downgrading to Xp. Plus, of four graphics cards available on this machine, only one has XP drivers. If you have a different card, it just defaults to VGA. After all this, the machine still runs maybe 30 minutes and you get the blue screen of death. This computer is so bad that I abandoned it - at only six weeks old - and bought a HP Pavilion, a brand which I have owned before. In the same environment (business) the HP just flat works. No glitches, no problems. I will never own another Dell until they fix their customer service issues. I informed Dell of all this and although they are very sorry, they are not going to do anything.
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December 15, 2010 5:55:12 AM

Just thought I'd update you guys, and for the sake of anyone else who reads this thread. I went ahead and got the Vostro 3700 with the i5 430m and 4Gb of ram. So far I can happily say that I've had no problems at all within the past 8 months. I've been more than pleased with its performance, although battery life could be better.

My only minor complaints would be that the headphone jack is located in the wrong place (front of the laptop) and that the left side of the laptop gets considerably hot under load. If you have any further questions feel free to ask away.
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December 29, 2010 3:17:02 AM

TomD_1 said:
Just thought I'd update you guys, and for the sake of anyone else who reads this thread. I went ahead and got the Vostro 3700 with the i5 430m and 4Gb of ram. So far I can happily say that I've had no problems at all within the past 8 months. I've been more than pleased with its performance, although battery life could be better.

My only minor complaints would be that the headphone jack is located in the wrong place (front of the laptop) and that the left side of the laptop gets considerably hot under load. If you have any further questions feel free to ask away.


How do u find the GT 330M for gaming? It's decent or not?
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February 4, 2011 5:55:08 PM

TomD_1 said:
I'm thinking of getting the Dell Vostro 3700, with the core i5 430m and 4GB of ram. I'm interested in this laptop because I think it has a lot of computing power for the amount it costs. And the GT 330m will be good for gaming, and for 24" monitor i plan to use with it.

Can anyone say if I should go ahead with this laptop at around $900, or are there better laptops/notebooks out there for my budget that i should consider?

my wife plays eq2 on hers and loves it graphic are great speed is good there is no lag in game so i say go for it
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February 15, 2011 11:29:52 PM

TomD_1 said:
Just thought I'd update you guys, and for the sake of anyone else who reads this thread. I went ahead and got the Vostro 3700 with the i5 430m and 4Gb of ram. So far I can happily say that I've had no problems at all within the past 8 months. I've been more than pleased with its performance, although battery life could be better.

My only minor complaints would be that the headphone jack is located in the wrong place (front of the laptop) and that the left side of the laptop gets considerably hot under load. If you have any further questions feel free to ask away.


TomD_1,

I am curious, how has your CAD experience been on the 3700?

I am looking at the 3700 as a cheaper alternate to Dell's M6500. I am planning to run AutoCAD 2011, photoshop, etc.

Can it handle 3d models at all?
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February 16, 2011 5:39:13 AM

jamess21037625, I would say its decent. It will never replace any desktop, but its definitely better than my friends laptops with the intel graphics chipsets.

johnt7225, I have tried out a few CAD programs on it and they all seem to work ok. I have only been using fairly small models on AutoCAD and Solidworks, so I cant really say much more.

The down arrow key stopped working for about a week, but then mysteriously started working again...
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February 16, 2011 1:42:18 PM

THe Vostro 3700 is the unit I had that just got stolen:
same basic specs as the one referenced here,
It was great with Adobe CS4, AutoCAD 2011, navisorks, quite a lot of heavy software.
the only problem I had with it was it had an x900 display. needed higher resolution was the only drawback I had-
Would buy it again if I could get a high res pannel.
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February 16, 2011 3:57:13 PM

randomstar said:
THe Vostro 3700 is the unit I had that just got stolen:
same basic specs as the one referenced here,
It was great with Adobe CS4, AutoCAD 2011, navisorks, quite a lot of heavy software.
the only problem I had with it was it had an x900 display. needed higher resolution was the only drawback I had-
Would buy it again if I could get a high res pannel.


randomsatar, Thanks for sharing your CAD + graphics experience. The x900 resolution is a concern of mine too. I am leaning toward the Sony Vaio 16.4" that has a 1900x1200 option, spec'd the same otherwise with slightly less screen real estate.

The Dell m6500 is $2k more spec'd as a real desktop replacement (i7-840, 8gb ram, nividia 3800, 1900x1200). But way out of reach for me right now.
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June 8, 2011 6:03:49 AM

I have to disagree on the Dell Vostro V3700 statements about sound. I have one and I find it all round fantastic. Why are you using the firewire in the first place? Personally I have had no problems with the Firewire port. There are Firewire to USB adapters out there that won't cost much and solve all your problems. I do some heavy online gaming as well as using it as a media station and it out performs all other computers I have had. I have only added RAM to the machine as the wmpnetwk.exe was hogging the RAM but now she is perfect. For your budget and with the Dell 3 year warranty, you can't go wrong.
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June 8, 2011 6:29:24 AM

wykus said:
is this really such a bad notebook if considering playing games on it. if read that the the Nvidia Geforce GT 330M 1g isn’t such a bad card after all. have any one of you benchmarked this laptop on any modern game on different settings and resolution? isn’t the 17'' gonne give low fps?



Don't let these comments put you off. This is one awesome laptop. I have the Dell Vostro V3700 i7 and it has 1 g DDR5 dedicated video RAM and it is great for gaming. I play Crysis 2 online and it performs alongside the guys running really expensive riggs and I rank in the top 5 every time (and I don't play too well). No lag and with just 6 G RAM it is really great value for money. I only added a external SSD and that is all. I play on a 42 inch LG plasma screen and still runs great. You won't be sorry buying this beast and with a three year warranty from Dell, what more do you want :bounce: 
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June 8, 2011 6:32:08 AM

Quote:
I have had a Vostro 3700 for about 6 weeks. In roughly 40 years of being around computers, this is absolutely the worst experience I have ever had. The Dell Hell service remarks are all true. You can't return the thing. I have had the motherboard replaced twice as well as the Nvideo card. When the tech came out to replace the boards, he was the definition of not caring and he broke the keyboard which then had to be replaced. I have wasted roughly seven full days of my life on the phone with tech service to no avail. The remarks are true on downgrading to Xp. Plus, of four graphics cards available on this machine, only one has XP drivers. If you have a different card, it just defaults to VGA. After all this, the machine still runs maybe 30 minutes and you get the blue screen of death. This computer is so bad that I abandoned it - at only six weeks old - and bought a HP Pavilion, a brand which I have owned before. In the same environment (business) the HP just flat works. No glitches, no problems. I will never own another Dell until they fix their customer service issues. I informed Dell of all this and although they are very sorry, they are not going to do anything.



Dude, 40 years around computers and you can't even fix your own thing? I seriously doubt your statement is justified here at all (if true that is). :pfff: 
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June 8, 2011 6:56:41 AM

Dell Vostro i7 V3700 benchmark score is 7.9 and that is damn impressive for a standard laptop with no upgrades at all. What do you say to that?
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September 29, 2011 1:31:17 PM

Well i own a dell vostro 3700 i7.....

standard the score is only 5.9

processor 7.1
RAM 5.9
graphics 6.5
G graphics 6.5
HDD 5.9

upgraded ram: 2x 2GB kingmax 1333mhz - 2x corsair 4GB ddr3 1666 mhz
upgraded hdd: wd 500gb hdd to corsair 640 GB ssd

processor 7.1
RAM 7.1
graphics 7.1
G graphics 6.5
HDD 7.9


added usb 3.0 expansion module

benchmark still not 7.9!


sure it is fast but its only worth it becuase you have to restart every 20 mins if you do hard graphics on it.
the "m330 1gig gddr5" graphics memory isnt as good as m200 series 256 mb DDR3 for only 1 reason the memory needs to get utilized via nvdia driver instead of being part of gpu itself in other words the machine has virtual 1gig ram routed to gpu as opposed to ram on gpu itself.... this equals major heating issues

I use it for adobe photoshop cs 5.1 extended....

I do 3d logo design for independent film makers....

resolution is only 1600 x 900
nvidia sterioscopic 3D capable but not worth it as full HD 3d requires resolution 1900 x 1200

heavy delay on m-audio interface's (battery removal seems to improve it a bit though)

not a good machine if you want to record using pro tools

the gpu overheats and the memory usage is never under 1.8gigs....
try benchmarking with 3d mark max or any gaming benchmark utilities.....
4.1 on standard machine.....

that is dissapointedly what i have to say about that...

it just isn't as good as any other competing class laptop....

it is pretty looking though....
nice for students maybe....
or as a gift...
but it sucks....

sorry...

get a mac!!!!
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September 29, 2011 7:42:15 PM

cebenswan said:
Well i own a dell vostro 3700 i7.....

standard the score is only 5.9

processor 7.1
RAM 5.9
graphics 6.5
G graphics 6.5
HDD 5.9

upgraded ram: 2x 2GB kingmax 1333mhz - 2x corsair 4GB ddr3 1666 mhz
upgraded hdd: wd 500gb hdd to corsair 640 GB ssd

processor 7.1
RAM 7.1
graphics 7.1
G graphics 6.5
HDD 7.9


added usb 3.0 expansion module

benchmark still not 7.9!


sure it is fast but its only worth it becuase you have to restart every 20 mins if you do hard graphics on it.
the "m330 1gig gddr5" graphics memory isnt as good as m200 series 256 mb DDR3 for only 1 reason the memory needs to get utilized via nvdia driver instead of being part of gpu itself in other words the machine has virtual 1gig ram routed to gpu as opposed to ram on gpu itself.... this equals major heating issues

I use it for adobe photoshop cs 5.1 extended....

I do 3d logo design for independent film makers....

resolution is only 1600 x 900
nvidia sterioscopic 3D capable but not worth it as full HD 3d requires resolution 1900 x 1200

heavy delay on m-audio interface's (battery removal seems to improve it a bit though)

not a good machine if you want to record using pro tools

the gpu overheats and the memory usage is never under 1.8gigs....
try benchmarking with 3d mark max or any gaming benchmark utilities.....
4.1 on standard machine.....

that is dissapointedly what i have to say about that...

it just isn't as good as any other competing class laptop....

it is pretty looking though....
nice for students maybe....
or as a gift...
but it sucks....

sorry...

get a mac!!!!


:hello:  Sorry to hear about your bad experience man :cry: 

I had overheating issues and also the restarting problems in the beginning but, and that is a BIG BUT, when I called Dell and reported the problems, they where extremely honest in admitting the fact that there was a flaw in the GPU design and immediately sent a techie out to replace my whole motherboard complete with a new design GPU, fan etc. :sol: 

Now it is running 5 times better than it was before. I don't know why you got under 7.9 score but maybe your laptop was one of the faulty ones.

Everyone has a different experience and mine was just great. :bounce: 

:pfff:  As for your comment "Get a mac" :non:  I'm sorry but I like a machine that is universal and compatible across the board. I am sure it is a great machine for you but NOT for me. :kaola: 

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