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Guest Timboj

Dell M1730 8800M GTX SLi

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Guest Timboj

I'm not sure if this topic has been started elsewhere (I had a quick look and didn't see anything obvious), but I was always of the understanding that the 8800M GTX was non-inclusive of the whole 'junk' chips? That kept me sleeping soundly at night... Well about a month ago, mine died (definitely the video card).

Honestly I found Dell really satisfying to deal with in regards to this problem. I called them on a Sunday, and in no longer than about a 10-15 minute conversation they told me they'd have a tech out no later than Thurdsay to replace the card (2 GPUs on one board). On Tuesday I got a call from the tech to say he could install it that day, which he did. BTW, to the guys wanting to swap their video cards out themselves, I'd only do it if it was absolutely necessary to do it yourself. It looked like a horrible job.

So, it worked and everything was back to normal. UNTIL about a week ago when they s**t themselves again. Yep they died in under a month again.

Back on the blower with Dell with an even shorter conversation this time. This time they said they'll swap out the motherboard too. They told me the same sort of time for the tech to come out. Only problem is, I called back today (it's been about 4 business days) and they've told me that nVidia is replacing A LOT of these cards at the moment and I'll have to wait for at least another week before MAYBE there's a card for me... that was a tentative maybe.

SO, I'm not blaming Dell here- they seem to be doing the right thing by me, but back to my original statement... 8800M GTX included or not included in the junk chips? If you own one of these, you might be looking at a similar breakdown/replacement soon. Yay.

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Guest Vagrant Guest

The root of the problem is the lack of driver support for the GPUs here not necessarily faulty cards....as with the 8400/8600Ms.

The 8800M GTX is clocked fairly high as far as laptop GPUs are concerned, but it took until late 2008 before official drivers with proper power management features were released for them, up to that point in time, my GPUs were constantly running at maximum clock speeds and temperatures...when the 175.xx series drivers came out this was fixed and my GPUs could adjust its clocks to reflect the operating environment and idle operating temps were generally reduced by 25% depending on your setup.

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Timboj

The root of the problem is the lack of driver support for the GPUs here not necessarily faulty cards....as with the 8400/8600Ms.

The 8800M GTX is clocked fairly high as far as laptop GPUs are concerned, but it took until late 2008 before official drivers with proper power management features were released for them, up to that point in time, my GPUs were constantly running at maximum clock speeds and temperatures...when the 175.xx series drivers came out this was fixed and my GPUs could adjust its clocks to reflect the operating environment and idle operating temps were generally reduced by 25% depending on your setup.

Maybe so, but I've been fairly up to date with the modded drivers from this site and ended up being pretty happy with the 185.81 release. I've never overclocked because it's such a stressed GPU already either. I mean, I haven't stuck with Dell's pitiful drivers (I think it's something like 167.55 for x64, which is what I use) since I bought the laptop and the first card took just under 12 months of usage (lots of gaming too) to die. Like I said, this one did it in less than a month with a much lower average of intensive and regular usage.

It sounds like it's probably more than temp management to me. But thanks for the input.

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Guest Araghius

Good evening,

I have the same problem with the same laptop, I started with a Dell XPS M1710 3 years ago, and all was fine untill the system started to show artifacts, ( Geforce M 7950 GTX ) . After about 4 months of errors, parts being replaced, the system just wouldn't run right.

The major problem was the tempatures. The system just couldn't cool itself and after even more artifacts, and another burned gfx card, Dell decided to recall the system, and replace it. Since the '' older '' m1710 parts were hard to get for Dell, they gave me a M1730 as a replacement instead.

Since I upgraded my M1710 with the GTX gfx card, they gave me the 8800GTX in the new system. I was pretty happy with the support and the system ran just fine for 6 months. Untill 1 of the cards started to show higher than usual temps. 1st card 120-135 degrees celcius, the other card 80-100.

I'm now writing this post from my older Dell desktop, since 4 weeks ago, 1 of the 2 gfx card chips, burned down. The System still worked, as long as I choose single GPU use instead of the SLi. When enabled, I got a BBOD upon entering Windows.

Called Dell and they made an appointment to replace the gfx cards. The technician asked me to test the sytem when the gfx cards were replaced, and so I started WoW.... Not good, artifacts everywhere, worse than using the other gfx card. The technician told me to call Dell again next morning, for some extra support. New gfx card, again, and new motherboard. The techniician didnt show up, instead the next day, calling me, to apologise he didnt make it, because the parts needed weren't in stock. Like you said above, Dell got alot of problems the last few months with the 8800 GTX series.

I can't use my system, after the bios screen, the system just shuts down, showing massive artifacts. Planned techician in 2 - 3 weeks.

Dell can't give me any support in the meantime, just have wait.

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Guest noobiewoobie

for me i get massive screen tearings on my external screen with the same graphics cards on xps 1730. on my laptop screen alls well but sometimes i get the feeling my framerates arent exactly what i paid for. l4d sli enabled all high 1920x1200 2x aa 2x af only 40 fps? wtf?! tried multiple drivers as well. the fpses fluctuate at times i think its becos of the heat. i peak around 98 degrees

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Guest Chief ule

Hmmmmmmmmssss

Very interesting to hear all these problems you all are having. It is making me scared now because i never knew that all these problems existed with the 8800M GTX SLi card in the DELL XPS M1730 notebook.

I have owned my M1730 for over 1 yr and a half now and it is still going strong, however i did get the gfx cards changed earlier this year because one of the fans was annoying me with clicking sounds. However i never experienced any heating problems or artifacting and the like. Since recieving the new card i can see that one of the fans have been changed to a better one and the clicking noise is no longer troubling me.

I'm just curious to hear other stories about burnouts and other problems people are experiencing. I still have a year or so to go with my complete cover warrenty and hopefully nothing goes wrong between now and then or more importantly after the warrenty expires.

I was currently looking into purchasing the 9800M GTX SLi cards for the notebook but they seem to be very scarce and quite expensive as well. All the reviews i have been reading and the response i get from uses whom have upgraded to the 9800 card have told me that it is a good upgrade especially since they had experienced burnouts or other problems with the 8800M cards.

i wanted to know what other particular problems other people are experiencing? Are the problems just showing up by themselves one day out of the blue or what is happening? I think if they really are that bad then we should be entitled to a free upgrade or something? Also i wonder if updating the BIOS for the gfx cards would help any?

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Guest chief ule

Hi theres agains people

I was just also wondering What SLi performance setting people are using in the manage setting nvidia control panel. I find it very hard to tell when i play games which particular setting is the best overall.

So was just wondering what setting you guys all out there are using?

I'm currently using the default Nvidia recommended setting for SLi. and set to single display performance.

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Timboj

@ Chief Ule - Both times it's come right out of the blue. I've never really had to deal with constant tearing or even fan issues or something like that. The first time I had the problem, it would only boot into windows in safe mode. The second time, it set itself back to 'standard VGA adapter' and would boot into windows, but trying to enable it or change drivers would give me a blue screen.

As far as settings, I flick it to SLi and physX and leave everything else the hell alone. I just don't trust the hardware enough.

Yeah, I've been considering the whole 9800 thing, but are they really that much different? I'd heard around the grapevine that they were basically just 8800s with a new name (could be entirely wrong, though).

I've got just under a year now before my complete coverage is up, so I'm hoping Dell/nVidia can iron some bugs out so I don't have an expensive brick not long after then.

Anyone else having similar experiences?

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Guest Araghius

Quick update,

Laptop got repaired, alot of parts were replaced including another gfx card ( 2nd time ) , new mobo, new memory, new fans ( 2nd time ).

Upon Startup, my laptop had to install the new mobo, and needed to restart, after the restart, my laptop worked.. really well.

When I entered World of Warcraft, I noticed a huge FPS increase of about 25 FPS. Sli worked better than I have ever seen before.

Tempatures went down do 70 degrees celsius stressed. instead of the 85 after the first repair.

Only thing what happened was that the technician broke my esc-button while putting things back to place, getting a new keyboard tomorrow.

Will my laptop finally show me some performance for the costs it has made?

Araghius out!

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Timboj

Nice. I just had mine fixed 2 days ago. Refurbished mobo and gfx card. I haven't exactly beaten the death out of it in testing yet, but it's working and that's more than it was doing before.

Here's hoping.

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Guest Araghius

Nice. I just had mine fixed 2 days ago. Refurbished mobo and gfx card. I haven't exactly beaten the death out of it in testing yet, but it's working and that's more than it was doing before.

Here's hoping.

Hope it works for you. My laptop broke down again. The technician that broke my keyboard didnt show up untill now. Called Dell after 3 days, and said they made a mistake replacing some parts. Got another technician inc this monday. I have no idea what they will do, replacing even more parts seems difficult, since every screw in this thing is already replaced by another one.

The system did run fine. Untill the temps went sky rocketing. Back to the old 114-120 degrees Celsius. Seems Dell replaced the wrong heatsinks and fans.

Anyhow, I'm getting fed up with this system. I hope it breaks down when the technician turns it on next time, instead of happening after 1 day.

Araghius out.

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Teknobry

Guys you need to read through this thread (a fair bit of reading, but it contains answers to alot of your questions)

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=386258&page=147

There is a real problem with the 8800GTx chips by the looks of it, alot of them are going wrong, and the replacements being sent out are most of the time used cards which seem to go wrong in a very short space of time!

The performance leap from 8800 to 9800 really isn't worth the price, plus the card architecture is so similiar, I wouldn't be surprised if (when) the 9800's start faulting as much as the 8800's.

If you have NBD warranty, then don't let Dell fob you off with 'oh we'll have the parts in 3 weeks' thats not what you've paid for! Kick up a fuss, document EVERY phone call and keep every email, as there is already 1 person who's laptop has been swapped to the new M17x as his m1730 went wrong a few times. (plus alot of hassle with the useless tech support people).

Next time the tech guy is round to swap parts, have a look at them first. From reading through that other thread, there are pics of 'new' parts with bent pins, covered in dust and even rusty contacts! Not new, not even refurbished. Apparently Dell have been sending out cards as refurbs, which were actually faulty returns.

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Timboj

Thanks for the reply, mate. It was an interesting read. It almost makes it worth it to have all the problems if you were to get an M17x as a replacement (obviously he had pretty specific circumstances, though).

Mine's 'so far so good'. I think I'll throw Crysis on it and see what happens...

Guys you need to read through this thread (a fair bit of reading, but it contains answers to alot of your questions)

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=386258&page=147

There is a real problem with the 8800GTx chips by the looks of it, alot of them are going wrong, and the replacements being sent out are most of the time used cards which seem to go wrong in a very short space of time!

The performance leap from 8800 to 9800 really isn't worth the price, plus the card architecture is so similiar, I wouldn't be surprised if (when) the 9800's start faulting as much as the 8800's.

If you have NBD warranty, then don't let Dell fob you off with 'oh we'll have the parts in 3 weeks' thats not what you've paid for! Kick up a fuss, document EVERY phone call and keep every email, as there is already 1 person who's laptop has been swapped to the new M17x as his m1730 went wrong a few times. (plus alot of hassle with the useless tech support people).

Next time the tech guy is round to swap parts, have a look at them first. From reading through that other thread, there are pics of 'new' parts with bent pins, covered in dust and even rusty contacts! Not new, not even refurbished. Apparently Dell have been sending out cards as refurbs, which were actually faulty returns.

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Guest imblo

I've had my xps m1730 for a year and a half now... started playing up after 15 months (2 yr warranty thankfully) - wouldn't boot in high res and wouldn't load the nvidia drivers. Dell techs came promptly and replaced the card. After just a weekend, vista stopped recognising one of the 8800m gtx's (no SLI). Phoned Dell - by the time they got around to a repair, both cards had failed and the laptop wouldn't boot up at all. The replaced the card a third time.

The computer ran fine for about a week, after which I started getting numerous nvlddkm errors. Used rivatuner to check the temps - they seemed normal, never exceeded 85ºC even while gaming. However, started experiencing random slowdowns in games. Finally, under two months since they last replaced the card, windows stopped recognising the card and refused to boot the drivers. I'm currently running in 1900×1200 mode, but without the nvidia drivers and it is slow as hell.

It's been a week since I first contacted dell about the most recent problem. They are looking to find replacement cards, but they couldn't give me an ETA. If you're keeping count, the next 8800m gtx sli card will be my fourth :)

Interesting to see other people have had similar issues, and the comment about Dell 'refurbishments'. I'll have to scrutinize the card next time the tech comes around.

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Guest Slammin

Hi there. Slammin here from NBR and Whirlpool.

1730, 9500, 8800gtx sli, 4Gb ram.

I have also had my 6mth old system do the whole crappola with the GPU's. Temps were always good........ but then again they were always cycling 49c-75c over and over at idle. Low and behold one GPU failed, the system still ran non Sli. New cards took 4weeks to get,if Dell tell you it's a 2 day wait they are joking..

I beleive the issue is not driver related but system BIOS as that is what is telling the fans to come on at 75c and cool them back down to 49c. That's a huge variation for such minute amounts of solder etc etc. At this stage it seems to affect owners with non x9000 oc'ed cards. The x9000 oc'ed owners don't have the same failure rate as they have their fans on full and their idle temps are a lot more stable.

If you want to have say about your failures and vote for a bios check this out.

Dell Ideastorm Bios for 1730. Vote NOW

the more votes the better and if you can add your tale of woe then maybe we can shame Dell into action on this.

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Teknobry

My laptop is a year old now, it feels like I'm playing a waiting game for it to go wrong :)

Just got hold of GTA IV now as well, no doubt it'll be overheating pretty soon, lol.

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Guest Harps

Hey all, I'm having some issues with my 1730 as well, due to overheating.

Well, I say issues... its dead. Its been dead for 3 weeks now, after a new motherboard replacement and something else replaced (it was a bit vague and I'm not very technically minded) I've been told the GFX card is dead, in my case 1GB nVidia SLI Dual GeForce 9800GT. Its been two weeks since the last engineer came out and I've been chasing as much as time allows. Dell have told me 'there's a worldwide shortage of these gfx cards and nothing can be done to speed it up'. All I can do is wait, apparently.

Anyone had any luck with something similar? I use mine for work so its been a huge pain not having the laptop for so long and I'm at a loss as to what to do. Are there any newer (ie, more likely to be in stock) alternative cards?

Cheers for any advice, I'm at the end of my tether!

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Timboj

So as an epilogue to this whole ordeal, my video cards died AGAIN after the cards were replaced from the beginning of this post. This time I'd had enough and after Dell had told me time and time again that all they could do was replace the cards (again), but this time the cards had a new parts number!!! Wow, now I feel totally assured!

Anyway, long story short, I kicked up a massive fuss and spoke to Fair Trading about the situation and they gave me the ammo with which to deal with Dell. I probably had about 6 or 7 phone conversations with various departments and about 10 emails (and honestly it wasn't even as bad as that sounds, most of those were just to hurry the process), one of which included a very detailed letter explaining that I'm fully aware of the manufacturing problem, that Dell has for other customers replaced their m1730s with Alienware m17xs and also that I was going to let Fair Trading intervene if they didn't either give me a full refund or give me an m17x as a replacement.

It took about 2 months from when my laptop died, but I'm now writing this post on my brand new m17x. They didn't skimp either. I got the dual 280M setup with 1TB of storage and BD ROM. I realise that the R2 revision is out now, but I'm not complaining.

Be persistant and don't take any crap from the staff at customer support.

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