Rampant Speculation on the XPS 700


Several of you have been asking specifically about the NVIDIA 590 chipset and the XPS 700. Other recent forums entries like Tom’s Hardware and CNET contain some misinformation that needs to be cleared up.

What’s driving some of this speculation? For starters, our chipset had been identified incorrectly by two different utilities available to the public, nTune and CPU-Z. These screenshots from a Dell Community Forum user show what I’m talking about. Bottom line, we’ve fixed the error with NVIDIA and we’re working with NVIDIA to ensure future applications identify the chipset correctly. Regarding third-party utilities such as CPU-Z, we’re looking into why these applications are misreporting the chipset. Also, contributing to this speculation is that a Dell rep allegedly gave customers erroneous information about the chipset. I wasn’t able to verify that actually happened. If it did, the information shared is incorrect.

Here’s the deal: the XPS 700 utilizes the NVIDIA 590 chipset. The reports about it being a hybrid version are all wrong, period. One of the main performance enhancements of the 590 chipset is that it offers two full-bandwidth, 16-lane PCI Express links to ensure maximum graphics performance. The XPS 700 fully supports this. Is it our own implementation? Yes. What does that mean? Just like NVIDIA’s Brian Del Rizzo said in the Tom’s Hardware post, we chose not to support some of the core features NVIDIA built into the media and communications “southbridge” controller. Why? To ensure standardization across our product line, we replaced NVIDIA’s DualNet and FirstPacket communications technologies (two features of the on-chip networking solution on the chipset) with the networking solution that we use on all our products to ensure better compatibility across different product families. Another example, we chose not to implement NVIDIA’s SLI-Ready Memory feature because Extended SPD supported memory was not available when XPS 700 was in development as it is proprietary and not yet an industry standard. See NVIDIA’s nForce 590 product page for more explanation of these features and more

For folks that are concerned about future upgradeability, note that the XPS 700 is the first system we’ve introduced that was designed to support an industry-standard BTX system board down the road. This means if you want to swap out the system board down the road, to accommodate future technology, you can. Some custom cables are required for certain connections.

Several of you are also asking how the SoundBlaster X-Fi card that we sell differs from the retail version. From a hardware perspective, it doesn’t. Speculation around this varies: that we don’t offer hardware support for Dolby Digital, that we only support it via software, or that we don’t support it at all. The real answer: we do support Dolby 5.1, we don’t support DTS.

Why don’t we use the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi’s retail software package for Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS? Because of compatibility issues between Creative’s retail package and Sonic’s playback software. Dell supports Dolby Digital 5.1 playback through Sonic CinePlayer. This means that customers with an appropriate speaker setup and the X-Fi card can listen to a Dolby Digital 5.1 source automatically. Dolby Digital 5.1 does not need hardware acceleration features enabled by the Sound Blaster X-Fi. Hardware acceleration for games that enable EAX, CMSS-3D, and 24-bit Crystalizer are all supported, just as they are with the retail card. DTS is not currently supported by the Sonic CinePlayer.

On that same CNET post, there was a question about our XPS Support queue. Can’t speak to the issue directly since it doesn’t share many details, but I can say that the XPS Support phone queue is available 24/7. Customers who purchase three or four year at-home service contracts with their systems can opt for night and weekend on-site support. See this link for more details.

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61 thoughts on “Rampant Speculation on the XPS 700

  1. Quote:

    "This means if you want to swap out the system board down the road, to accommodate future technology, you can. Some custom cables are required for certain connections."

    Please expand on the "custom cables!" How exactly do we get them, or do we already have them? Upgrading the motherboard was one of my main concerns.

    Thanks for the update, but it should have been posted sooner.

  2. Are you going to refund me the $500 that I spent on Corsair 800 EPP/SLI C4 memory? What you just said in this post made my stomach turn. Literally. I have worked my rear off to try and get sound answers from Dell. I verified directly with the resolutions team that the memory would be supported. Because of massive Dell delays and poor advertising, delayed publications such as this one you’ve just dumped on us, and incorrect information coming out of the XPS 700 resolutions team, I am out $500. I TRUSTED Dell. I TRUSTED you to produce a machine that matched every advertisment. This kind of thing happened to me before, and it cost me $1200 dollars in the wrong graphics card based on Dell advice. I felt that this time because of the boasting of this machine by Dell public relations people, that the xps 700 was highly expandable, and very upgradeable, and that it "leverage" the nVidia 590 chipset, I felt that you wouldn’t get it wrong. Do you realize how hard I have worked to try and get answers to very simple, and extremely important information? No one would ever want to go through and experience like this again. How can Dell ever think that I would be able to trust you. I have documentation for the memory. I have documentation for the 590 chipset. I don’t care who and how , but I do care why it was so hard. And I do care why it was to misleading and wrong. I strongly suggest that someone contact me personally. Someone that can answer my questions honestly and some one that has the authority to to take care of me. If I have to, I will claw my way right to the founder, Mr Dell. I am still believing that he does value me. This Blog post sounds more like a DEFENSE of Dell instead of compassion and care for the poor customers that have literally suffered. Some for an entire summer, and some like myself, since January 17!! Why is it that I can almost guarantee, that I will not get one ounce of assistance as a result of this post?

  3. Obviously, the XPS 700 supports dual 16x PCI Express link and its not because its an Nvidia Nforce 590, if you look closely the previous Nforce 4 SLI X16 supported this feature as well so proving that this feature is special to the 590 is not really fair. Many advancements have come from Nvidia regarding chipsets and this still shows that the name is only classified as Nvidia 590 but when you look at specs compared to the Nforce 4 SLI X16, dell solution should have been called the Nforce 4 SLI X16.

  4. This would be good news, however my order was cancelled even after specifically telling DELL not to do so. I cannot get a straight answer from the sales rep on whether a new order will be put at the end of the queue or back where I was (supposed to get the system in early September.)

    Do I get a system with the equivalent price breaks I did with the original?

    If I call their XPS 700 line – I get the privilege of leacing voicemail. Let’s see if I get a call back…

    Very Irritated Customer

  5. you touched on everything except overclocking.

    why is the overclocking features SEVERLY crippled on the XPS 700?  Even the xtreme processor doesnt allow o/c via the BIOS – and the software options are SEVERLY limited

  6. I’m sorry to nit-pick at wording, but I’d like it to be as clear as possible.

    “Dell supports Dolby Digital 5.1 playback through Sonic CinePlayer”

    Why doesn’t Dell support the Creative’s own software? Why must we be dependant on Roxio’s CinePlayer software and not be given the choice or ability to use Creative’s?

    “This means that customers with an appropriate speaker setup and the X-Fi card can listen to a Dolby Digital 5.1 source automatically.”

    “Appropriate” as in up to 5.1 speakers and Dolby Digital 5.1 capable, or does it mean something else? imo, the sentence is basically reiterating the point that as long as the speakers are capable of handling Dolby, it will be played through CINEPLAYER automatically; meaning, we’re forced to use the Roxio program if we want Dolby whether we like it or not. In other words, the wording here is spun around making it sound like it’s a good thing, but maybe I’m interpreting it incorrectly.

    “Dolby Digital 5.1 does not need hardware acceleration features enabled by the Sound Blaster X-Fi.”

    Doesn’t “need” it? Does that mean it *could*? If so, this too is another spin on words saying that using cpu processor resources rather than hardware decoding is better.

    “Hardware acceleration for games that enable EAX, CMSS-3D, and 24-bit Crystalizer are all supported, just as they are with the retail card.”

    “Supported?” Through what? Through CinePlayer, Creative software, another program not mentioned anywhere on Dell’s site, or maybe it means that EAX, CMSS-3D, and 24-bit Crystalizer are done through hardware (and not software)? Is that what you mean by “hardware acceleration?”

    What Matt pointed out is also concerningly vague. Which cables to what connection and are they also something other BTX motherboards can support for the XPS700? I’d like to assume it’s just for the case, but if there’s other things that this relates to, please elaborate.

    Although I do apologize that I might be sounding a bit too critical, you should understand that the XPS700 orders have not been a smooth ride; and, now that many buyers have their full attention on Dell, putting it under the microscope, we’ve learned that it’s better for us to be safe than sorry.

    Thanks for reading.

  7. Dell,

    You have no one to blame buy yourselves for this "Rampant" speculation.  Your customers have called out to you for months for explanations of this computer, and yet no clear information was provided.  Your employees led to much of this speculation by providing convenient excuses whenever people would call up and want information about the delays.  Dell did not provide any concrete information for it’s employees to provide, or they weren’t providing it, either way something needs fixed.

    A couple weeks ago one of your representatives refused to call this a "Debacle" in an interview with Toms HW guide.  I don’t know what you should call ignoring your customers for weeks on end, and just feeding them lines.  Why can’t your Communications team  just be direct and honest the first time, it makes it much easier in the long run.  

    The market you are targeting for the XPS 700 is not going to be mislead, most of these customers have technical backgrounds and for the most part they are just as or more knowledgable about PCs than your sales and marketing team.  They purchased this machine because of the spec’s Dell implied, since there wasn’t a clear explanation of what wasn’t there.  Dell should learn from this and just be clear up front what the machine will do or won’t do.  If you are marketing a performance machine, I don’t know how you can justify removing features for cost.  People are buying it for these features that nVidia said it would support, Dell didn’t say it wouldn’t support the 590 features.  In fact to the contary you marketed the fact it was a 590 chipset, but didn’t broach the subject that features were disabled.  At least with the X-Fi card you had a (D) next to it, but you didn’t even provide a complete explanation of this until today.  I think many of your enthusiest market would of preffered a different DVD player if Sonic doesn’t support the high end card, instead of removing support for the feature from the card.  

    Dell needs to seriously consider the employement of the people who make these types of decisions, it is leading the company down the wrong path.

    Sincerely "another" concerned and bitter Customer…


  8. Not sure why I am having such a hard time getting this comment approved but here goes again.

    The reason you will not be able to get windows XP to see 4GB of ram is that it is a 32bit operating system. Its a limitation of the OS. If you want to see 4GB of ram instead of 3 or 3.xxxGB you must TURN OFF the PAGEFILE (not recommended). Or you can switch to Vista (when it releases).

    Dell has no control over what windows shows you. The bios will show you four gigs of ram. (except for certain nvidia chipsets, and i’ve yet to figure out why)

  9. Im with matt, This is a GREAT post and I thank you for clearing up this stuff. Makes me feel much better about my computer, but I do wonder what these "Some custom cables are required for certain connections" are. They arent the ones from the case are they?

  10. "we chose not to support some of the core features NVIDIA built into the media and communications “southbridge” controller."

    If you don’t support its ‘core’ features, then how can you honestly call it a 590?  Why were things like removed support for 800mhz ram not disclosed to us before the sale?  The only thing you seem to have left intact out of the entire feature list of the 590 is the x16 lanes.  That just seems amazingly dishonest.

    "To ensure standardization across our product line, we replaced NVIDIA’s DualNet and FirstPacket communications technologies (two features of the on-chip networking solution on the chipset) with the networking solution that we use on all our products to ensure better compatibility across different product families."

    Why do you say ‘replaced’ rather than ‘removed’?  What did you ‘replace’ DualNet and FirstPacket with?  There’s only one ethernet port (so obviously no DualNet) and there’s nothing equivalent to FirstPacket.

    "Why don’t we use the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi’s retail software package for Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS? Because of compatibility issues between Creative’s retail package and Sonic’s playback software."

    So you totally disabled DTS on us because.. Sonic CinePlayer couldn’t use it?  Why not remove Sonic and ship the actually functional solution from Creative with both DD and DTS like we all expected to receive?  Do you not understand that if the real X-Fi supports both DD and DTS but what you sold us as a real X-Fi doesn’t, that you were dishonest about what we were actually buying?

  11. Quote:

    "we do support Dolby 5.1, we don’t support DTS"

    "DTS is not currently supported by the Sonic CinePlayer"

    If that’s the case, maybe Dell should choose another player, which supports DTS.

    Another point, if the Sonic CinePlayer doesn’t support all points the X-Fi card provides, maybe the better decision would be to choose everything (DD5.1 and DTS) from the X-Fi software and to remove the Sonic CinePlayer part (DD5.1). If that’s not possible because of compatibility issues between Sonic CinePlayer and the X-Fi, Dell shouldn’t choose that player. I don’t know any other player that has compatibility issues with DD5.1 and DTS provided by any Soundblaster card.

    If I’m wrong with my thoughts about that, then please explain it to me.

    Anyway I’m also interested what the "custom cables" are and where people can get them.

  12. I just wanna know one thing: Is the XPS700 *quiet*?

    I tell ya, I don’t care if the machine is faster than a bullet and looks cool; if it makes as much noise as my Dimension 8200 (think vacuum cleaner) it’s completely useless. Noise levels have been like a lottery with my Dell machines…

    Inspiron 8200: Very loud for a notebook, unpleasant jittery fan noise that makes you nauseous.

    Inspiron 8600: Shuts up most of the time (thanks to Centrino), but then the fan surprise jumps at you by shock revving up to 110%.

    Dimension 8200: Unbearable noise from power on to power off.

    Precision M65: Extremely gentle and quiet fan, very pleasurable to work with.

    XPS 700: Indulge me. I know it’s designed for cooling in mind. I know it comes in a sweet aluminium enclosure (which is why I spontaneously ordered an XPS700, to celebrate Dell’s first departure from the mandatory, cheap, wobbly plastic – OK, 5+ years after Apple but at least you finally smelled the coffee). But is it quiet?

    Might seem trivial, but hey, people actually rate cars by the sound of the doors closing…

  13. I cancelled my order a week ago.  I waited 8 weeks with no information from Dell.  Since I am from Canada . . .I literally mean NO INFORMATION.  

    When the issue with the Xfi came to light . . .and the first inklings of  crippled motherboards appeared, it became clear that there was NO WAY that Dell’s coroporate culture would be able to deliver a product for enthusiasts.

    I am so glad now that I was smart enough to cancel.  I will order a new computer through a local enthusiasts shop, secure in the knowledge that each componenet is exactly the component I wanted (including my 800mhz ram btw).

    I spoke to a manager for over 30 minutes the other night with many of the concerns that have been expressed here.  He, as Lionel, agreed about the many areas Dell will need to improve to cater to enthusiast buyers, and has promised these points will be heard in the upper echelons.

  14. Lionel,

      I have respected your posts so far because of their general truthfulness and straightfowardness. However, this last post is undermining my trust towards you and Dells attempts to fix its customer issues. You say Dell CHOSE to "replace" 590 features with Dell solutions. Well… Why was I not informed of this when I ordered my XPS 700, and how are you going to make this right? What exactly did you "replace" the second ethernet port with. How would you like it if I sold you a BMW but "replaced" the fourth gear without telling you!

    So Lionel, What are you going to do for dell customers who were misled. No where on Nvidia’s website does it indicate that these 590 features are optionally enabled and neither did dell indicate that when I ordered.

  15. Im not a CPU tech. I am trusting you Dell. You have said it is upgradable. When im ready to purchase an upgrade is Dell going to have it? Because if anyone knows this machine it would be Dell. Or are you expecting us to use other companies? Can you PLEASE answer this???

  16. Blanco,

    I believe you mean it does not have a DVI port, because there isn’t anything called an SVGA port.

    The standard VGA port supports SVGA resolutions, it even supports UXGA resolutions.

    I know some people swear by DVI.  Personally, I cannot tell the difference between a digital monitor on a DVI connector and an analog monitor on an VGA port.  Then again, I have a pretty basic digital monitor and video card.

  17. I’ve been on the fence in regards to buying an XPS 700. All this bad mojo between the XPS700 customer and Dell have really made me think twice about ordering one. I hope that Dell realizes that with computers becoming more and more of a comodity item, what really helps companies stand out is their service and how they treat cutomers. For example I recently ordered a 3d scanner thats about the same price as XPS700. The company took preorders in April, and promised to deliver in July. July came and went and no scanner. Within a week I got an clear answer from that company. They found a bug in testing and were correcting it & also had some issues with UL testing. OK thats good solid communications. I didn’t have a million sales rep telling me something different every time.

    Two weeks later they sent me a little gift.. a 1G USB stick and a letter saying how sorry they were for the delay. Now that probably didn’t cost them more than $20, but it was a good jesture!

    I guess the point I’m trying to make is that Dell you need to be more proactive in your customer responses. Right now It seems like your always on the defensive and not trying to get to the root of the problem.

  18. Kaz,

    I probably shouldn’t butt in here, but how many more people bought the XPS 700 that that 3D scanner?  

    I may be way off base on this but my guess it quite a few.  

    Dell needs to get things back on track, but it is a lot easier to contact 500 customers than it is 50000.

    Yes Dell should be able to do it, but we know they are having problems and working on them, give them time to get it worked out.

  19. Lionel,

    My computer went into production ("build") already (or so says the webpage) and I never received a call regarding the upgrade and the processor listed is the Pentium D 960.  I am a Latin America customer — Puerto Rico.  The order page reflects that the computer will be shipped on November 16, 2006.

    Is there anything I can do about this?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,


  20. Lionel ‘Posting Soon’ Menchaca asked:

    What’s driving some of this speculation?

    The main factor driving speculation is lack of timely information from Dell.  C’mon Lionel, these questions are weeks old.  Do you think people are just going to wait around until you get your act together?  No, your customers are a resourceful bunch.  They’ll dig and dig and try to find the answers to their questions in the face of nothing but deafening silence from Dell.  They’ll invariably get some technical detail wrong, and now you have to deal with not only the original questions, but all of the mis-information your silence has spawned.

    If three weeks is the best you can do to respond to customer questions in a social-media forum such as this, Dell should do themselves a favor and shut it down right now.

  21. All, First off: wanted to apologize to David M. and any others who feel like this post does not reflect compassion to our XPS 700 customers.  My intent was to address these issues as clearly as possible.
    I understand many of you have been seeking answers to these questions for a long time, and agree that it’s unacceptable. We’ll continue to issue updates via this blog and the Dell Community Forum as soon as humanly possible.  (Not an excuse but please know there are many moving parts to coordinate.)  I understand there are many more technical, order and shipment questions we have left to answer, will do my best to diligently address them. However, more than anything, I know that many of you have waited a long time for this product.  More updates coming soon.

    I want to personally thank every XPS 700 customer.  I appreciate your passion for this product.

  22. Are you EVER going to tell me why people who ordered and reordered after my dates are getting their systems built and shipped BEFORE mine?

    That’s unfair, isn’t it?

  23. "Here’s the deal: the XPS 700 utilizes the NVIDIA 590 chipset. The reports about it being a hybrid version are all wrong, period.

    "To ensure standardization across our product line, we replaced NVIDIA’s DualNet and FirstPacket communications technologies (two features of the on-chip networking solution on the chipset)"

    Argh! So it *is* a hybrid. Did you think maybe the DualNet and FirstPacket stuff was put there for a very specific reason? That’s classic Dell for ya, compromises and bottlenecks to adhere to the lowest common denominator. Hurrah, better compatibility with the rest of the product family. Like, oh, entry-level Dimension garbage. That’s really important to the customer… NOT. It’s only important to Dell, so that there can be one less thing for the support staff to remember. This compatibility obsession is getting on my nerves. Like, why does my spanking new Precision notebook have a friggin’ 9-pin serial port that nobody has used for a billion years, leaving no room for an SVGA port? So that the 3-4 luddites out there still insisting on using serial 9-pin peripherals won’t complain? OK. Thanks. :-S

  24. Blanco,

    Serial ports are found on business and professional laptops because lots of hardware, such as switches, servers, storage, etc require a serial interface to connect to and configure / troubleshoot those products. Also, some software packages require a dongle attached to serial / lpt ports to function properly as well.


  25. To Spoon,

    When you initially turn on the XPS 700, it sounds like a jet engine for a split second, and then dies down to the point of no noise at all.

    In fact, during normal use I can’t hear it at all, and it didn’t make any noise during my 3D Mark 05 benchmark either. I have it sitting next to me,  nearly at my level (it’s on a table) and I can’t hear it, but I CAN hear my fan that’s upstairs that I’m using to cool off my bedroom.

    To be honest, having done any gaming yet, but it only seems to make noise outside of a Windows enviroment, and it seems the noise comes from the PSU fan itself.

    It’s a beaut, and it’s heavy as well, but, I don’t plan to take it to any LAN parties.

    To Lionel:

    Thank you for answering my question concerning the upgradability of the motherboard. Do you plan to have adapter cables for various Dell parts so they ‘agree’ with a retail motherboard? I appreciate your time for doing this, and hope to receive an answer soon, this system is exceptional, at least to me.


  26. I’m sure there are many others who have submitted comments and are waiting to see them posted, but as there is only yet a single comment that has made it on the blog I will voice something that many of us would like to point out.

    "What’s driving some of this speculation?"

    Are you kidding me? What causes speculation? Lack of information! Dell had only provided answers when they feel they have to. Customers have been kept in the dark about everything from problems shipping their computers to actual hardware specifications. Should we have been able to find the information you’re giving about the hardware somewhere before you posted it? Was it available and we just didn’t know it? If the information wasn’t made available, then what can we do other than speculate?

    It’s actually quite surprising to me how much of the speculation that’s been going on has been proven accurate. People speculated about the delays continuing into August, and they have. They speculated about Dell needing to provide Core2 Duo processors in order to keep the machine current. Over the past three months we have gotten to know the REAL Dell quite well and seem to be more well equipped to speculate than the representatives employed by Dell who don’t seem to be able to give a straight answer most of the time.

    I sincerely hope that the information you’re giving on the hardware specifications is the first of many disclosures and marks a turning point in Dell’s attitude. As many others have noted, if you’re going to sell to the geeks you’ve got to be prepared to provide lots of details. These are not your average customers who are going to accept lies and misdirection blindly.

  27. I have to agree with Joe Lowe on what is driving speculation.  For instance, someone posted today in the forum that XPS 700 production is on hold, again.

    "That is what the website showed today … so I called CSR and they said the XPS 700s were on "production hold" and so my order was not going to be completed."

    Then I see this about a new shrink of the Core 2.


    So I wonder are orders sitting in production because of the chips?  If production is "on hold" it would be nice to know in advance.  Do not wait until production resumes to tell us!

  28. I think Dell should offer to trade straight up an equivalent Alienware system that will support the features Dell took out of the XPS 700 since Dell witheld that information about the major changes to the 590 chipset from its consumers.

  29. @Lionel-

    Can you PLEASE get us more information on upgrading motherboards and these "cables" that you speak of?

    I don’t know if you understand how critical this info is.

  30. While I’m no tech-head, this looks to be the type of specific, clear information we XPS 700 buyers should have been given MONTHS ago.

    Assuming it’s all accurate, thank you Dell.  

    It’s sure relieving to be able to type those three words after so long.  There are certain to be other questions of this type.  Please don’t make us resort to "rampant speculation" before making the issues clear for us.

  31. Here is an easy question for the XPS team.  Have you stopped building XPS 700s again?  It appears that there have been little to no reports of systems going into kitting since Tuesday.  This leads us to "speculate" that Dell has stopped production AGAIN.  Simple communication to us would stop any speculation on our part.

  32. Try again:

    Serial ports are on business and professional notebooks because many customers might use an app tht requires a dongle attached to the serial port. Also, lots of equipment and controls such as switches, servers, storage, custom devices require a serial console connection for administration and management, inculding initial setup of a web management port. That is why on a Precsion notebook you will have serial and parallel ports. It does have a VGA port, but no DVI port. I believe the docking bay has a DVI capability though.

  33. More speculation…

    I’ve been in production over a week with no change in status… Does this mean that XPS 700 Production is halted again?  If so, what for this time, if not, then why isn’t the status changing..

    From what I can tell on the forums, many people have been stuck in production status since August 17th with not changes.  

    Did Dell just put everyone’s orders into production so people would think progress was being made?  What gives??


  34. Motherboard Upgrade??

    Please, this is THE most important issue for me at this time. As dell has crippled the nvidia bios, whatever the motherboard is, I want to replace it. I like the rest of this comptuter, for the most part. Please tell me, dell, where I can find a BACKWARDS motherboard to put into my xps 700. Where in heaven can I find a motherboard to fit into this thing? Nowhere, except possibly from dell.


  35. Brandon,

    Part of the problem many of the current XPS700 customers have had with Dell is that many of the features listed on Nvidia’s site are not available on the XPS 700.  I suggest reading the blog’s here and the threads in Dell’s community forum about the XPS 700.  While Dell is using the 590 Chipsets, they have also made decisions to replace or remove features.  Based on this, I would not recommend using Nvidia’s Specs to determine what the XPS 700 will be capable of.

    One good thing I can say about what Dell is doing now, they are finally clarifing some of the XPS 700 specs with regard to the 590 and X-Fi (D) card.  It would have been nice if they could of clarified them from the start, some might have thought that Dell was being intentially vague .  I can only hope Dell has learned more about there targeted XPS 700 customers and will be use this to do better in the future.  They clearly have a long way to go.



  36. Hey I just read David Marshall’s comment and wanted to say something. All this trash talk is annoying. I was looking myself for the right memory to put in my XPS 700 byo. All I did to make sure I got the right thing was go to Nvidia’s website and look at the specs for the 950 chipset (which Is the best for gaming on the market right now). It clearly says that it supports up to 667mhz memory. I wish people would stop whining when they can’t even use their own brain and figure things out for themselves.

  37. Based on what I have seen in relation to the XPS 700 you guys would not be permited to do bussiness on E-Bay.  You advertise a product you don’t have, can’t build and if you get a couple out there not as described.  This is the worst online transaction I have ever been involved with.

  38. Lionel,

    Is it possible for us to enable DTS or DD on the Dell version of the X-fi card?  Is it merely a jumper or configuration setting?  I sure hope so– after all, the Logitech Z-5500 speaker system I bought from Dell proudly features and promotes DTS, THX, and Dolby Digital as key features…I bought the speakers with the false knowledge that they would be able to interface properly.  Can you please let us all know if we can enable anything on the X-fi card…AND for that matter, can we enable any of the features on the motherboard?  Or is this a solder job?

  39. I gave up due the projected October 19th ship date (Original ship date was to be 1st week in Aug).  I got tired of waiting. I am very pleased though that some are actually starting to receive their XPS 700’s I went with one of the other "Boutique" builders and I am very satisfied. No OEM parts, all Retail. It may have been slightly more expensive than the XPS 700, the case isn’t as cool looking but I ordered on Aug 14th and my Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme processor X6800, dual 2.93GHz cores, 1024MB eVGA™ NVIDIA® GeForce™ 7950 GX2, PCI-Express, 2 x DVI machine was on my doorstep on August 22nd.

  40. Lionel,

    My computer has shipped.  No upgrade call, no gift-card call.  Order date was June 13, 2006.

    In a prior post, you stated:

    "2. How will Dell make it up to customers who have been waiting patiently for their XPS 700 orders to ship?

    Due to the delays many of you have experienced, we will provide an option of either a free upgrade to a Core 2 Duo processor or a Dell gift card for all those who have ordered systems as of up until July 18, 2006.  We ask for your continued patience as we roll out communication to our customer care and sales teams.  Customers should wait until Dell contacts them regarding the status of their orders."

    Since neither took place, what should I (and customers similarly situated) do?



  41. Can you please clarify what it means to be "In Production" without any movement on substatuses such as "Kitting", "Building", etc, and why a large number of our machines seem to be stuck in this phase?  (Ten days and counting for me; others have been stuck there for longer periods).


    (Responses may be sent to janney.1 (at) osu.edu).

  42. After my 2 reorder, can I get a real estimate on my ship date. Thank you, my original order was June 8th. Thank you Lionel

  43. Well, when I first saw this post I just decided to take a 5 minutes walk as it was so arrogant and way out of the line. I decided not to comment as it would have been completely undisplayable.

    I hoped that Dell (Lionel) is going to comment and apologize. It happened but only partly.

    I think even if we forget the 3 months delay about the XPS-700 shipments the missing features would have benefited from a more honest and polite answer from Dell.

    I’m not going to debate if Dell has the "right" to exclude things, and also how they advertise the product (big letters vs. small print).

    All I’m going to say is what I have said before: this whole XPS story is a shame and even after 3 months Dell does not seem to learn from the past and day by day just puts more oil to the burning fire.

    I was part of it. Thanks God I WAS! I’m typing this message from the computer I built on my own after I cancelled my XPS-700. The delay provided me with plenty of time to research, negotiate and find the best sourcing points. So I managed to pull it out cheaper.

    I have a motherboard with 2 Gigabit ports

    I have an original retail SoundBlaster X-Fi card with all DD & DTS

    I have all the missing RAID and other features

    I’m happy. Probably happier than I would have been with  the XPS-700. It’s just too much "blood" and "tears" are attached to it. Every time I look at an XPS-700 picture I recall the past 3 months, the lies and deceptions. and now I’ll remember Lionels post about the "rampant" speculations…

    One thing is for sure:

    Dell does not know how to build a true enthusiast machine

    Dell does not know how to handle customer complaints

    Dell only knows how to send loyal customers to the competition.

    Excellent business strategy!


  44. Just answer me one simple question Dell.

    I ordered 2nd week in June in the UK, and never got a call about the cpu change over. I ordered with the PD 930.

    Will there be a Core 2 Duo in my XPS 700 when it gets delivered on Tuesday, or am I going to be disappointed?

    Has Dell lied to all the internationals, and got their hopes up?

  45. Lionel,

     I have been really patient. Where is my order? Why did you modify the Nvidia components. I have been waiting so long for technology that is getting outdated by the hour. I swear this is going to cost dell alot. I will not cancel my order, but if I am forced to wait too long I will refuse shipment. It seems as though Dell does not care in the least. Thats what really hurts. I don’t understand why I don’t have a personal e-mail from my dell rep expressing her sorrow and keeping me updated as to what is taking so long and where my order is. Why is it every time I e-mail dell I get a form reply. Fix this Lionel. I am starting to hate Dell.

    Where is the post from Michael Dell, personally taking some time to express his regret to people who have spent thousands of dollars on a machine. Are we really not that important? Is Dell so big a company that we don’t matter. If so, I am sure that there are small companies who would prefer our money.

    This does not cut it. If anyone asks me what I think of Dell (and I get asked about computers all the time) I am going to tell them to go with another compay. Is this what you want?

  46. Lionel

    Those Nvidia 7950 cards are on the Canadian Dell web site as an graphic option. as of Friday Aug 25, the option is for the Quad 7950 configuation . I ordered those, however I’m not going to hold my breath. We will see what happens. Cheers peter

  47. I’m reading comments and e-mails to me, and several of you have said that the speculation is a result of us not communicating as fast as we should have—I agree.  We’ll continue to use the Dell Forum and our blog to communicate details as quickly as we can. Sometimes we made mistakes… one example: at launch, we inadvertently offered more configuration options for graphics and multimedia than our PCI slots could support. We’ve since corrected the webstore. I realize we should have been more timely with updates, and we’re focused on improving on that front. To that end, I’ll post an update on the NVIDIA 7950 issue soon.

    Thanks to everyone for their continued patience.

  48. In regards to previous speculation in the past, it’s truly done, in the past. However, Lionel, you state you’ll get answers to us as quickly as possible, but several of us have asked about your mention of motherboard upgradeability. You mention that we can upgrade the motherboard, swell, but you also mention custom cables would be needed.

    I’m not the only one who has asked this. I realize that the past is in the past, and now it’s time to worry about the present. Some people have not got their orders yet, I understand that’s being worked on, as evident by those getting their machines, but what about the present issues?

    I understand if you don’t have an answer right away, but perhaps you could mention that you’re working on a solution, however you would think that the XPS 700 engineering team would already have an answer to this, including ‘custom cables.’

    Thanks again.

    Michael Tucker

  49. LIONEL,

    When can we expect another update?  On August 25 you mentioned you would be posting an update soon.  I was just curious when we can expect it since based on reading these comments there are still a lot of clarifiying questions remaining.  My XPS 700 C2D has been in Production since August 10 so I’m definitely wondering why it’s taking so long (that was 19 days ago!).



  50. 1. Cross Platform compatiblitiy. Thats the 1st part of the nightmare.

    2. Product line competition is the other nightmare. (XPS 600 vs XPS 700 vs XPS 800 and so on)

    3. 3rd party licence agreements is the final nail (hopefully) in Dells coffin when it comes to "Ultimate gaming rigs"

    For one. For Dell to publically admit that a High End $3500 + machine must be crippled to allow a $499 machine to be "compatible" is INSANE.

    They have lied, mis-led and ignored thier customers to keep this INSANE business strategy in motion.

    For another. The Dell XPS 600 CAN AND WOULD support the C2D AND the 7950GTX AND the 800Mhz bus as easily as a bios update.

    Why are they leaving the XPS 600 users in the cold?

    Not because its an EOL product. NONONONONONO

    Its because if they allow the XPS 600 to fully realize its potential, then the need for XPS 700 becomes MOOT.

    Plain old greed is the culpret here.

    Finally, Dell has an agreement with Sonic.  And many others.

    For dell to cripple retail componets purely to keep thier "SOFTWARE" partners happy is, once again…INSANE.

    I want my XPS 600 (and you 700 customers) to be able to realize the FULL UNCRIPPLED functionality of our very expensive systems.

    Will it happen? I doubt dell will help at all.

    But rest assured, there is progress being made by some folks that will allow a Bios update on these systems. How would you like voltage control on the Nforce4? The C2D is very much a possibility on the XPS 600.

    7950 support? Not sure yet.

    Ntune support? Yep.

    Stay tuned…..

  51. Fred: Please re-issue a comment with your order details and e-mail (not to be published).  Thanks.

  52. Like Fred , i feel cheated by Belgium’s Customer care service of Dell.

    Ordered the XPS 700 system back on 28 june and been reordered with 2 core Duo upgrade to "accelerate the process of shipping" saying the girl of customer service i’ve got on phone.

    Shipping date was this 8 september and yesterday the date changed to 30 october !!

    People who have ordered at 11 august get their comp working on the 26 august and i’m still in preprod !!

    How can a guy order month after me get his computer before me ?

    Dell is clearly playing the lottery with the queue system

  53. CacheSyntax,

    You said to spoon that "it dies down to the point of no noise at all". Mine arrived yesterday and clearly it’s either something wrong with it or we have very different definitions of "no noise at all", but I find the noise ABSOLUTELY UNBEARABLE AT ALL TIMES.

    I’m not just talking about the shockingly loud jet engine hurricane you get whenever the nForce drivers are not loaded (I sat through hours of that while reinstalling Windows last night), but the idle sound as well. It’s not loud, but it’s a nauseating subsonic hum mixed with an annoying whirr that drifts in and out of sync. You can actually feel a slight vibration through the desk and floor.

    The XPS 700 product manager said: "our engineers spent two straight months doing acoustic testing". So, two months, and the end result is a sound that at worst sounds louder than an old vacuum cleaner, and at beast just leaves you feeling slightly sick?

    The performance of this thing is really the only good thing about it, but that’s thanks to Intel and NVidia. Dell’s contribution was a noisy and heavy fridge for the components. I can’t even begin to describe how disappointing it was to wait for 3 months and pay through the nose only to get this NOISE. NOISE. NOISE.

  54. What exactly makes the Dell nforce 590 NOT eat 800mhz DDR 2??
    I seen plenty of reviews with nforce 590 boards and PC6400 memory in the test setup.
    Why Dell? can you explain?

  55. I have bought a total of 4 Dell PC’s in the past.. and have had problems on and off but trusted Dell’s service. Now I am planning to purchase the XPS 700 and hear about all these negative comments …so subsequently I am having second-thoughts about my initial decision. Out of all honestly, I like the look of the XPS 700, I like the possibility that it is almost silent,, and the performance test reviews from other pc mags over here in aus dont look all that bad. All i think is that Dell should lower the price, seeing as one can simply but a full functioning system for the same price. Dell really needs to reconsider what they want to give to the consumer.. and if they honestly want to lose a segment of their consumer market then whatever… their loss. Make it cheaper. Be nicer to your customers…

  56. concerning custom configurations, has anyone attempted to turn on/off the front headphone/mic jack? when i removed the xfi card and corresponding cable, the front jacks no longer work. there is nowhere for this cable to plug in to the board. also, on a friends system with intg sound, he doesnt even have this cable. i have the same cable on mine that connects the front I/O to the board. is there a jumper/switch or a software switch to change this?

  57. Dell, if you treated your corp. customers the way you treat your retail customers, you would be out of buisness before you could say “customer service”. I placed my order 3 months ago, and after waiting for 2 months, I ordered the same system thru my companys sales rep, and guess what.., I received the system ordered thru my companys sales rep yesterday, and my retail order is “in production”… Sad commentary for a company that sells themselves as a customer orientated manufacturer.

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