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Dell Tries to Help Customers with Misleading GPU Info

By - Source: PC Pro | B 53 comments

Company says it never meant to mislead anyone.

If you're not one to keep up with the latest trends and technology developments, buying a computer can be pretty stressful. While you might be able to offer a friend in need some helpful advice on what kind of computer they need, not everyone has a friend they can turn to in times of tech turmoil, such as choosing a graphics solution. For these folk, Dell is doing its best to make the process easier, however, the company is apparently misleading customers instead of helping them.

Over the weekend, PC Pro pointed to a Reddit post that highlighted a pretty startling error on Dell's UK website. The page uses the following image in an attempt to demonstrate the difference between a 'standard graphics card' and a 'high-end graphics card.'

The monitor on the left, supposedly connected to a computer with a standard graphics cards, shows a desktop that is blurry and washed out. The monitor on the right, which is apparently displaying an image rendered by a high-end graphics card, shows the same image, but with sharper lines and brighter colours. PC Pro points out that Dell's apparent use of identical monitors in this illustration would suggest that the company is implying that your choice of graphics card will affect how even something as basic as your desktop is displayed.

Of course, though the difference between a 'standard' graphics card and a 'high-end' card is noticeable in many applications, an idle desktop is certainly not one of them. Dell presents this image alongside a choice of either the AMD Radeon HD 6350 or dual Radeon HD 6450 for customers purchasing the Dell Optiplex 790, but notes that the picture is for demonstrative purposes only. However, whether unintentional or not, the graphic is clearly misleading. If my sister, for example, were to look at this page, she would assume that everything, from desktop to web-browsing, would look awful if she were to choose the cheaper option. In reality, my sister, a person who uses her computer for mostly casual activities, would have no need for the pricier graphics solution.

Dell responded to PC Pro's article apologising for the confusion and insisting that it was never its intention to mislead customers. The company went on to say that the image had been removed from its global sites, however, the Verge reported that it was still available Monday morning and had been all weekend. At time of writing, we were unable to access the image, but Dell hasn't yet explained why it took three days for the image to be removed, even after it issued a statement to say it was already gone.

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Top Comments
  • 43 Hide
    hotchrisbfries , November 29, 2011 9:09 AM
    This is what happens when your marketing department doesn't understand the hardware they are selling.
  • 30 Hide
    mayne92 , November 29, 2011 9:50 AM
    Andy_NewtonFor instance: the new HP Envy. It's brings elegant & honest design. Unlike those uncreative liars at Apple who copy HP Envy's design.


    Andy_NewtonDell is averagely $800 cheaper than macbook pros. No wonder it comes with GPU that gives blurry screens.


    ...I read both and couldn't believe it was from the same person :-P
  • 27 Hide
    Zeh , November 29, 2011 9:27 AM
    Someone probably asked "what's the difference between standard and high-end graphics", and someone else must have answered: the image is better.

    And so this image was created.
Other Comments
    Display all 53 comments.
  • 21 Hide
    pwnorbpwnd , November 29, 2011 8:47 AM
    Sad thing is, alot of companies mislead the general consumer that USUALLY is not correctly informed on what they are buying.
  • 8 Hide
    pangedit , November 29, 2011 9:03 AM
    I love how the widgets on the right side were blurry too hahaha XD
  • 43 Hide
    hotchrisbfries , November 29, 2011 9:09 AM
    This is what happens when your marketing department doesn't understand the hardware they are selling.
  • 27 Hide
    Zeh , November 29, 2011 9:27 AM
    Someone probably asked "what's the difference between standard and high-end graphics", and someone else must have answered: the image is better.

    And so this image was created.
  • 21 Hide
    darkguset , November 29, 2011 9:31 AM
    Same thing happened with Apple when it showed on its commercials the iPhone in fast forward, supposedly in normal usage, misleading the customers. When people complained about it and threatened to take them to court they apologised and removed the ad. Sure at the bottom it said "video for illustrative purposes", but in font size 2 you could only read it with a telescope from 3 meters away...
  • 25 Hide
    uruquiora , November 29, 2011 9:49 AM
    we live in a world of lies. period.
  • 30 Hide
    mayne92 , November 29, 2011 9:50 AM
    Andy_NewtonFor instance: the new HP Envy. It's brings elegant & honest design. Unlike those uncreative liars at Apple who copy HP Envy's design.


    Andy_NewtonDell is averagely $800 cheaper than macbook pros. No wonder it comes with GPU that gives blurry screens.


    ...I read both and couldn't believe it was from the same person :-P
  • 8 Hide
    mrpijey , November 29, 2011 9:53 AM
    Quote:
    Dell is averagely $800 cheaper than macbook pros. No wonder it comes with GPU that gives blurry screens.


    I have an old 512KB Cirrus Logic ISA card at home. It wouldn't be able to even draw a Windows desktop today, but it still gives me as sharp image as with the most expensive videocard today... unless you got an analog screen and a bad videocable you won't see any blurry image with a modern videocard and DVI/HDMI/DP since it's a digital signal, the only thing that happens with a bad cable is signal loss.

    A cheaper videocard won't give you a more washed out image, only a slower rendering rate at games and most intensive desktop applications.

    These ads are in my experience written by idiots that couldn't tell the difference between a computer and a fridge, and they are put in a position to make an ad that guides the unknowning consumer to get the best product for their needs...

    It's sad really.
  • 5 Hide
    nordlead , November 29, 2011 10:09 AM
    that is the advertising department for you. They have no clue what they are actually advertising :D 
  • 2 Hide
    Darkerson , November 29, 2011 10:10 AM
    Way to clear that right up, Dell! :/ 
  • 2 Hide
    nordlead , November 29, 2011 10:12 AM
    whysobluepandabearLine this dude, along with the new idiot in charge of Netflix, up so I can repeatedly kick them in the balls. Just throw the guy in jail for 3 months - I'm seriously sick and tired of these lying bastards.

    except it isn't a lying bastard. It is a advertising person who knows nothing about computers. Not many companies get the engineers involved in anything other than engineering work. Lay off the nerd rage for a minute and think about it.
  • -7 Hide
    de5_Roy , November 29, 2011 10:51 AM
    ppl must buy the pc with the sharper display cuz it is better. my heart goes out to dell the awesome company who is helping the customer using photos to demonstrate how a blurry display is the proof of weaker system. if anyone thinks that the left one is not as weak as dell wants you to believe, you're thinking about it wrong!
    the irony is in thy name, dell 'Opti'plex.
  • 3 Hide
    alidan , November 29, 2011 10:51 AM
    they couldnt show a game like crysis, on lowest, and than on highest setting?

    so you know, crysis is the only game i know of that has such a huge difference between lowest setting and the highest, others add a bit of detail, but crysis is basically a different game.
  • 12 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , November 29, 2011 10:56 AM
    nordleadexcept it isn't a lying bastard. It is a advertising person who knows nothing about computers. Not many companies get the engineers involved in anything other than engineering work. Lay off the nerd rage for a minute and think about it.

    What kind of business doesn't review their own advertisements? I get that they usually hire some 3rd party, but for you to not actually review what bullshit they tried pulling, is beyond unacceptable.

    Dell should've assigned competent people to actually validate these claims - because any idiot could've caught Waldo on this one.


    Seriously, this is how it should go: 1.) Hey, make some advisement's for us Mr. 3rd party. 2.) Awesome - now let Dave who is the run of the mill tech around here see how this sizes up to reality. 3.) What's that?! Dave said that you have no clue what you're talking about, and are purposely trying to deceive those without a brain.


    It would've taken Dave, the run of the mill tech guy 5 seconds to spot this BS out. You're telling me they don't have the time, or money to pay someone who knows what they're talking about, to validate this sort of stuff?
  • 20 Hide
    g00fysmiley , November 29, 2011 11:26 AM
    hmm so... reccomended gtx 560 or better for a clear background... you're going to need 580's in SLI for web browsing though


    thanks dell didn't know that
  • 1 Hide
    feeddagoat , November 29, 2011 11:40 AM
    Dell do nothing to solve confusion. don't they even get "special" models of GPU's made for them on occasion? I'm thinking like the way the 9600 had many different variations of "gs" with different memory and shader combinations that where in that family. Heck their page bases their GPU options on memory size! WTF? 1GB HD4650 with DDR2 is not faster than a 512mb HD4650 with DDR3 for example. Its easy to load a card up with slower memory and pretend that size matters. That doesnt help, alol you need is a general "first digit is generation, second digit is performance" then a link to notebookcheck.net
  • 0 Hide
    bobusboy , November 29, 2011 11:43 AM
    alidanthey couldnt show a game like crysis, on lowest, and than on highest setting? so you know, crysis is the only game i know of that has such a huge difference between lowest setting and the highest, others add a bit of detail, but crysis is basically a different game.



    there are lots of games which vary greatly between the high and low settings
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