A Beast of a Card for a Beast of a Laptop


You may remember my last post on Direct2Dell, where I had announced the imminent arrival of the GeForce Dual 8800M GTX upgrade kit for existing XPS M1730 customers. In fact, we’ve been talking about this for quite some time. Back in January, Lionel blogged that Dell was offering the 8800M GTX to new customers. Last month, he said we’d be offering this upgrade to existing customers. For customers in the United States, that day has finally arrived!

The card can now be purchased from our Dell.com, either as a stand-alone part for the slightly more adventurous, or with an installation service for folks that don’t want to do it themselves. I would recommend seeing what is involved in changing your video card before deciding which option is best for you. The service manual for the XPS M1730 can be found here, and we’ll soon post a vlog with Louis Bruno that walks you through the installation process.

Update: Below is the vlog for customers who will install the 8800M GTX card themselves. If you would like to see a larger version, click on the links to download or view the Windows Media Video file or this version for QuickTime/ iPods and the iPhone.

Update 2 from Lionel: Like John mentioned in this comment, we have heard from several customers that the links to the upgrade offers on Dell.com were not working reliably. Our teams have worked to fix the issues that caused the breakage. We apologize for the inconvenience. Here’s the link for the standalone card, and here’s the link for the standalone card with installation service.

Also, if you are a customer who has ordered the upgrade, but are having problems through the support process, please share your details via a comment in this thread. I won’t publish any personal iformation like e-mail addresses or service tag numbers. What I will do is connect you with someone who can help. As a reminder, this upgrade offer is for customers in the United States.

For those of you who opt to buy the installation service, here is what you should expect. After you place your order, a work order will be sent to a service provider in your area, who should contact you within 48 hours after you place the order to set up a service appointment for the installation. When the day of the service appointment arrives, your service technician should once again contact you to make sure you’ve received the parts from Dell, after which the technician will arrive at the appointed time to do the installation. After the work is complete, the technician will leave you to enjoy your new video card.

Also of note, M1730 customers with version 3.3 of MediaDirect will have to install version 3.5 for MediaDirect to work with this new card. The catch? The MediaDirect partition has to be enlarged for the new installation to work, requiring that users repartition their hard drives, and then reformat their Operating System partition and reinstall Windows, drivers, software, and Dell QuickSet. MediaDirect 3.5 will be included with the upgrade kit for this purpose. If you opt for the installation service, the MediaDirect reinstallation will not be done by the service technician. If you want MediaDirect functionality, you’ll have to do the MediaDirect 3.5 installation yourself.

Despite the complications in bringing this to you, this beast of a video card boosts performance over the older Dual 8700M GT cards by up to an astonishing 49%, and is capable of up to a 13,496 3DMark ‘06 score. Since I’m not a benchmark junky myself, I have to ask, what does this mean for real performance?

The answer is astounding. Dell Labs noted an average of 43 frames per second in Crysis as opposed to 30 frames per second on an identically configured XPS M1730 with a Dual 8700M GT, and 21 frames per second on an XPS M1730 with the single 8700M GT. The answer, simply put, is that the difference this card should make is DRASTIC.

So, all of you hardcore gamers out there that jumped on the M1730 when it launched, now you can upgrade your video card and make your machine truly worthy of the nickname “Beast”.

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155 thoughts on “A Beast of a Card for a Beast of a Laptop

  1. There are apps out there that will allow for reparitioning of active drives while keeping the data intact…much easier than reinstalling, etc…

  2. @John Blain

    John, I am sure you realize how misleading the earlier statements regarding "upgrade program" were.  We, early adopters, understood that an upgrade program would allow us to purchase the card at a reasonable price reflecting our dedication and loyalty to Dell.  What we see here is a spare part offer with an inflated price tag.  

    By the way, regarding that "stand-alone part for the slightly more adventurous", what kind of warranty does it come with?  Is the warranty going to be any different with an installation service?  Is the warranty going to match the laptop warranty or rather be a stand alone spare part warranty?

    Oh, and hardly anyone really cares for MediaDirect as you must have red after the Jun.13th announcement.

  3. So you guys are actually expecting us to pay $1100 for a graphics card upgrade when we've already dropped probably around $5000 on this thing already?  If I had a spare $1100 for it and could spend that much money without thinking, I would do it, but unfortunately, MOST of America will not and do not have that ability!

    So, $1100 for a new graphics card that will be obsolete in less than a year probably because NVIDIA, you (Dell) and whoever else responsible had to delay this upgrade program for almost 8 months…

    Sounds like a great plan to me!  … or not.

    Maybe when you guys reconsider the price… maybe to $300 or less, I would even consider it.  DO REMEMBER that this exact card was supposed to be in my laptop in the first place.  The 8800M GTX was planned for this "beast" on release, you do know.  And now you're asking us to fork over 1/4 to 1/5 of what we paid ALREADY for something that was supposed to be in it already?  I don't think so.

    Another point to make… I bet you my 8800 GTX 768MB in my desktop could come very close to or has the exact same performance this upgrade offers.  Oh wait sorry … for how much?  $409 on NewEgg.com.

    I do realize that we're talking about notebook parts here, they are more expensive, but please Dell… If you want ANYONE to even consider this upgrade program, lower your price like… ALOT.  I could buy a decent laptop from you guys for that much.  A WHOLE LAPTOP… and $1100 for ONE part?  Seriously, I had to click on the link to the page on your site a second time to see if it was the real price.

    Thank you for reading my rants and disappointments.  Please be wise and consider them for the sake of keeping a die-hard Dell fan.

  4. Ouch…I thought there was going to be some sort of trade in discount or something when I bought this laptop. Watching the video on youtube and hearing that guy talking about a program…that's a little misleading in my opinion. Buying a replacement part at full price isn't necessarily a program, that's just normal, and an extremely high price at that. What can we do though, if we want the power we have no choice….which is why Dell can kill our wallets.

    And what's media direct anyway…..

  5. Daniel-

    3.5 isn't mandatory, but the media is included in the kit. MediaDirect won't
    function unless it is upgraded. The older version of MediaDirect isn't
    compatible with the drivers for the new card…

    it's definitely a dual card. No ETA on release outside the US as of yet.

    of note, Crysis runs problematically no matter which card you have. It's
    pretty much been the observation of the community (you should check my forums
    to see) that this game and several others (as you've noted) are pretty much
    coded for video hardware that doesn't exist yet. I'd be willing to bet AoC
    would give you the same performance issues you're having now :-(. I'm in the
    same boat, and I have an 8800GTX 768MB card.




    about the price, as I realize it isn’t cheap, but that's the low end
    of the going rate on this card. It's bleeding edge notebook graphics
    technology, and unfortunately isn't an inexpensive upgrade. A $300 price point
    for dual high performance video cards in a notebook form factor isn’t really
    possible. Two 8800GTX cards for a desktop would ring in at over $800. You get
    them on the same board, miniaturized for notebook implementation, and the price
    starts to climb even further. =(




    I believe this card comes with a
    90-day warranty, or the remaining warranty of the system, whichever is longer.

    And for those who don’t care
    about MediaDirect, they’ll have an easier time with the upgrade 😉

  8. O.K. DELL:

    You did exactly what I projected you would do. So you deserve what you are going to get as a result – a bunch of previously loyal Dell early adopters who will do everything they can to spread the word on how your mistreat your early adopter customers.

    May I say that whoever came up with this lame excuse for an upgrade program deserves to join the DELL personnel who have been laid off as a result of a burgeoning number of computer purchasers who no longer believe that DELL aligns itself with quality products, fair treatment and good customer service.

    You should be ashamed of how you treated loyal clients for 8 months. We waited almost 8 months for an opportunity to buy a spare part that withheld from us until your inventory caught up to your demand. Well my demand for you, your products and your graphics card just ended.

  9. @John Blain

    Let be honest here. I think we would have accepted your "bleeding edge notebook graphics technology" rhetoric if it was presented in January (that's 6 months ago John). But to withhold the card from early adopters for 6 months so DELL could satisfy their other customers and then come up with that explanation is a transparently shallow.

  10. So the reward for early adoption is a $1000 price tag….

    I see no "upgrade kit" – I see the option to buy a spare part, or buy a spare part + its installation.

    I see nothing whatsoever that specifically links this "part" in terms of an "upgrade program" to the existing 8700 owner base, aside from the fact that the part fits our machine.

    What an awful, awful attempt to badge a "spare part release" as an "upgrade program".

    This is a real kick in the teeth for all the early adopters.

    I hope you have a good supply of nomex overalls – something tells me you're going to need them.


  11. I guess, I'll be stuck with these 8700's until my next laptop…

    ..I've had Dell XPS laptops since the Gen2, it may be time for a change….

    I never even upgraded my M170 due to the fact that Dell is still selling the Go7800 Ultra for $770.99 (stuck with the Go 6800 Ultra )

  12. To add wood to the fire…

    I ordered the Nvidia 8800m Part Number 320-6973 only to have the date revised a week later because its BACK ORDERED!! What?? How do you release an "upgrade program" (I wouldn't even call it that) and not anticipate people are going to order it?

    Supposedly, after a long phone call today I will get it for sure next week. Of course dell has my $1100.00 (which they took out of my account within minutes!) and I have no way to assure I will get my card next week.

    Get this,

    I talk to Tech Support and they have 15 XM888 (Refurbished) 8800m's in stock. So I ask well how much is that card, thinking it was going to be less… I was quoted $2000!!!

    So I am still boggled and wondering if the additional 1 week wait will only result in the cancellation of my order.

    1 week down, 1 more to go

  13. And another thing….if you are using your dell preferred account, you aren't allowed to use the gift card you received from your M1730 purchase to begin with.

    So, it's not a program at all, contrary to what has been stated for the past 8 months or so AND the incentive of a gift card from your original purchase can only be used if you are paying cash or cc.

    I won't even go into their memory prices (newegg has 4gb for $80).

    So why did we purchase this laptop early? For the promise of an upgrade "program" and $200 off the price of the new 8800's using our gift card, at least those were my reasons.

    Awesome Dell, thanks a ton.

    This is the second brand new xps laptop I've purchased and in all honesty will probably be the last. It's also the first time I've been really really disappointed in Dell. Either they broke their original promise or were misleading us to sell machines, either way we got the short end of the stick.

  14. John Blain, Consumer & Gaming Liaison

    As the "Liaison" between us and people like Louis Bruno – the Program Manager "responsible" for this ghastly decision, can you assure us that our comments are being passed to these "non customer facing" DELL employees for consideration? (for whatever "consideration" is worth…)

    The sentiment from all the comments above (and those to come – I have no doubt) should be as clear to you as getting slapped in the face with a 20lb Salmon John.  It would be useful if you would acknowledge this….

    The early adopters of the M1730 deserve not to have to pay $1000+ for this "part".

    I wont even bother to mention upgrade program any more, because this offering, as everyone is consistently and repeatedly pointing out to you, is NOT an upgrade program, is it merely the release of the spare part for horrendously overpriced purchase.


  15. Not much of an "upgrade" program if you ask me.  It appears to me to be a full price replacement part.  Heck your own cost to upgrade a new PC from dual 8700's to 8800's is only $700.  How about charging us $700 and taking back our old unwanted 8700's?  Now that would be an upgrade.  And eat the labor costs while you're at it for making us wait so long. 


  16. Andrew-

    The GTX280 benchmarks are somewhat higher than an 8800 Ultra, though not “double the performance”, as you say. The card this blog is about is a Dual SLI 8800m GTX, a dual graphics card for a notebook with arguably more power than the 8800 GTX or the 8800 Ultra, and is in a notebook form factor. These are apples and oranges we’re comparing here. I’m sorry you don’t agree with the price, but this was the price we were able to get it down to.


    So yes, we’re still offering this card for $1100, and we had to pull some strings to get that on the table. I’m sorry that this isn’t what you hoped for, but this card retails for nowhere near the $300 price point you mentioned, and likewise retails nowhere near the retail of a single GTX280 for a desktop.

  17. Pilot-


    This is currently the best graphics card available for a notebook. That isn’t rhetoric, it’s the truth. As far as notebook technology is concerned, this card is simply amazing, and I’m sure that the people who opt to purchase it will be very pleased with the results.

  18. Full price for a replacement part?  That's an upgrade program?  Heck I'd be more interested in paying the $700 difference you charge "NEW" customers for the same part upgrade from 8700 to 8800…and you can have my 8700's back.  Generate more goodwill by paying the labor for the tech as well, since you made us wait so long for essentially a non-deal. 

    As it stands, I'll probably shop more vendors before settling on Dell again.

  19. @Chris

    Well Chris, as you can tell, DELL lost me as well. Oh, I forgot, they lost my company as well, for DELL is no longer an authorized computer. Poor customer service and less than expected quality.  What a shame.

  20. I have a 3 year warranty… If I install this card myself, will the warranty stay at 3 years for my system as a whole?  I would really like clarification on this.  I asked this question before and it did not get posted.

  21. James-

    Installing the card yourself will NOT void your warranty. No worries. Your three-year warranty will still be valid after you do the installation.

    Also, your new card will be covered under that warranty, as well.

  22. Why this upgrade isn't yet available outside the US?

    Here in France, we haven't ANY upgrade for M1730 (even RAM or bluetooth modules…)

    And with the weird change rate that dell apply between euros and dollar, I have already spent 5 963 dollars for this laptop here in france!!

    For Dell 1euro = 1dollar, but in real life 1 euro = 1.5 dollar!!!

    Please Dell stop acting like this or you will loose a lot of clients!

  23. @John Blain:

    Would you please direct me to a Dell web page where I can get a reliable information regarding warranty dual 8800M GTX comes with?  Not that I am going to buy one now because this card must be nearing its life expectancy on the market anyways.  After all this months I will wait a little longer for a new crop of video cards and inevitable price reduction for existing ones.  I will reexamine my decision when the price tag is below $700 mark.

    You might not be aware of this but there are rumors on various forums that self-installation of this card as offered by Dell would void the warranty.  And here is what you wrote earlier on this page as the answer to my question: "I believe this card comes with a
    90-day warranty, or the remaining warranty of the system, whichever is longer".
       With all due respect, this is not a religious debate and what you believe is irrelevant to the issue.  I need a very specific answer to this question since quite a number of dual 8800M GTX cards as reported by users has a serious heat problems and don't last very long.

    Also, in case you would like to refer me to someone else as is a standard procedure at Dell, please note that relying on Dell Customer Care for the answer could lead to more misunderstandings since these people seem to be trained mainly in how to say "no" in 1000 ways to any simple question.  Provided, of course, they understand what the question is referring to in the first place.

  24. Awhile ago I put in a suggestion for a single 8800MGTX upgrade for the M1730  it might be a wizard everyone to promote that item!


  25. @John Blain:

    Can we address the subject of an UPGRADE program with some logic please.

    When one currently desires to purchase one of your XPS M1730s, one is given the option to UPGRADE the graphics card to an 8800 SLI for an additional $700.00.

    Now this scenario assumes that DELL wishes to receive $700.00 more than what it would make if the unit was equipped with an 8700 SLI graphics set-up.

    For the life of me, can you please walk us through how DELL, who promised and publically notified us of a graphics UPGRADE program is attempting to get us to put out $1200+ for the same scenario described above.

    Please follow me now, I know this is higher mathematics, but please follow me and please reply with an explanation of where I have make an error.

    If DELL offered us the option to UPGRADE the graphics card to an 8800 SLI for an additional $700.00, wouln't this be the same courtesy they are extending to their current prospective customer base? Remember now that the current customer base is offed the 8800s as an UPGRADE from the base 8700 configuration. Please note the words in bold typeface are the same.

    In this scenario, it is understood that DELL has already made their profit on the 8700s we were stuck with in the first place so the fact that we would be getting two SLI systems shouldn't really not be an issue. I think the general public would agree that  the 8700s are worthless anyway (why some even suggested that they were used to merely bridge demand until the 8800s — which were the original design card for the "beast" — became available). If you think the 8700s are really worth anything, we'll all be glad to send ours to M. DELL personally (or have the technician pick them up following successful installation).

    I hope you will post this and that a reply is offered. I really haven't heard much applause from your program yet. Does DELL offer bonuses for programs that the consumers hate?




  26. I'm in Australia and have 3 questions.

    1. Firstly do we have an eta when this card will be available for us? and if not.

    2. Can I order this card from the US and will it work on my M1730?

    3.  How would this effect my warranty?

  27. The whole situation is a real shame.

    The point Dell seems to be happy to ignore is that at the price of the original laptop the gamers who were likely to buy are not just gamers. We make decisions regarding hardware for our employers, businesses and usually provide advice to friends and family with regard to hardware purchasing.

    By upsetting loyal Dell customers with the exceptionally shoddy way of dealing with this issue Dell will not just loose the support of few hardcore gamers but all the business they refer as well.

    It’s not just a case of lost sales but more importantly the seriously damaged public reputation of Dell, which had in my mind, until this fiasco been improving.  

    Unfortunately it appears that customer service in this instance didn’t enter the picture as the push to sell more boxes was pushed to the fore.

    Well I like many others who bought this laptop as an early adopter will take the view that Dell may no longer be trusted. It’s a shame that nowadays that also means Alienware is off the buyers list.

    Goodbye Dell, keep this up and you won’t have any gamers, hardcore or otherwise, to sell to

  28. @John Blain

    I understand that you guys are doing what you can, and I appreciate the effort.  Just a couple questions:

    Why is there no trade-up program in which you take back our existing cards?  Ideally for slightly more than the price of changing from 8700M SLI to 8800M SLI on a new build.  Unless you're taking losses on the new laptops, I don't see the reason for a $400+ difference in price between the upgrade on a new build and the upgrade kit for an existing system.

    What is the value of the upgrade kit?  A few months back I talked to Dell replacement parts and was told I could purchase a new 8800M GTX SLI for $1000.  I decided to wait for the upgrade kit in hopes of a better price, hopefully some kind of trade-up program, but the kit is now available and costs even more than the replacement part did.  I'm sure there's an explanation beyond simply "bleeding edge notebook graphics technology."  I cannot think of such an explanation apart from something akin to cashing in on early adopters.

  29. Dell,

    This is unacceptable considering that many users paid upwards of $5,000 for this "beast" of a notebook. From day one, it was understood that the XPS M1730 was supposed to ship with dual 8800M GTs, NOT dual overclocked 8600s, 8700M GTs. Many customers loyal to the XPS brand purchased the XPS M1730 under the notion that the 8700s were a temporary option in light of 8800 availability issues. It's obvious from the beefy heatsinks and oversized power supply that the XPS was always intended to be used with dual 8800s.

    That said, I waited for three months, and then an additonal two, to get my XPS with dual 8700s. The performance has been less than stellar considering that this thing cost approximately $6,000. It's hardly a "beast" at all, except for the price tag and level of frustration. I've always loved Dell, I've always purchased XPS, and many people who buy XPS are enthusiasts who know what they can get/build.

    For that reason, charging $1,099.99 is a slap in the face, nay, a blow below the belt, to customers who have already dropped upwards of 5k on this thing. I hate to utter it, but I'd expect to get this sort of treatment from some low-tier OEM like Compaq or Toshiba, but not the likes of Dell.

    What's really ironic is that this was supposed to be available around February when you first posted. Yes, you used the words "around the corner" in that post. I've rarely heard those words used to describe the span of multiple months without ANY news. Tack on a backhand to the slap in the face. You've mistreated the customers who mean the most, these are the enthusiasts who sell and recommend your computers to family, businesses large and small, enterprises, research labs, and finally their personal use.

    I love spending two hours on the phone with your XPS reps, only to find out that they don't know about the upgrade program (this was a few months after you announced that the program was just around the corner), and then get quoted a whopping $2000 for the then "out of stock" XM888 part. Now, you've basically taken it down a bit, slapped it on your website (without even a photo, I mean, just amazing considering it costs $1100) and released it SO late in the game that it'll be obsolete as soon as I get it installed.

    Great going Dell. Depreciate 8700 drivers (which were unstable BTW to begin with), neglect the early adopters who cared the most, and now slap them in the face with a ridiculious price and release date.

    Thanks, but I can build a Geforce GTX 280-based system at this price. Next notebook I'll be getting will be something light and portable, and NOT a Dell. Heck, I already told a friend of mine who was considering the XPS M1530 to get a mbp, because at least they won't slap her in the face to upgrade something. Best of all, she did.

    Thanks again. /sarcasm

  30. Let’s not forget that the part that is a supposed upgrade is BACKORDERED for 2 1/2 weeks now!! (could be longer but I did not see the product become available until it showed up on line 2 1/2 weeks ago)

    Dell this is unacceptable! Not only do we have to pay $1099 but you don’t take into consideration that maybe some people may pay this ludicrous price (me) and actually want the product. I was hung up on 5 times today and when I finally did get someone on the phone to check status on my order "sorry sir our systems are down and we recommend you call back in 2 hours" I finally get a hold of someone and they tell me my order for the upgrade video card will be delayed AGAIN! It was suppose to be shipped tomorrow.

    So I ask you this, WHY? Why do you wait 6 months to come out with an upgrade program only to have the product go back order?

    I called an accessory company and they sell the stand alone video card for Sager (Same as ours, 8800m SLI GTX 1gig) for $700!!! They have 42 available!! Come on Dell… This is absolutely not acceptable.

    Please resolve the issue of supply for the 8800m's


  31. John Blain,

    I am curious on how this issue is any different from the XPS 700's that you shipped out with faulty mother boards?  Those of us that bought that machine were given the chance to upgrade the motherboards to a XPS 710 board at no cost.  You also gave a chance to purchase a better CPU at a huge discount and even sent a tech to install all the parts at no cost.

    I am a Dell Tech myself and I work for a university that is a full Dell shop.  I must say in the past year I have been very disapointed with the full line up of computers from your company.  With the issues from of the 700's and now the kitten of all laptops the 1730.  I don't even recomend to our students they buy Dells.  Its is sad that a xps 1330 can out perform this 1730 I paid over 5k for.

    I agree with the above posts that the upgrade should be reasonable.  Your company has done it in the past why not now?

  32. I will never ever buy another Dell computer again.  I wish I can send the XPS 1730 to Dell (even though it's way beyond 21 days) and get a credit on my Dell preferred account.

    The reason why I want a return:

    1.  Driver support is poor and I should not have to go and get "hack" drivers to make the system perform at acceptable levels.

    2.  The computer is buy no measure a "beast" as advertised by Dell.  I though this computer would performed as advertised, however it has not.

    3.  You "upgrade program" is nothing more than a slap in the face to earlier adopters of this computer.  I have spent $$$$$ and to advertise the upgraded card to 1,100 + is just insane. 

  33. On another note,  I think I found where all of our hard earned money went.

    "Dell today reported record fiscal first quarter revenue of $16 billion, a 9 percent year-over-year increase, and earnings of $0.38 cents per share, a 12 percent increase. The results were driven by better-than-industry growth of commercial and consumer products and services, and lower operating expense as a percent of revenue."

    Glad to be able to help the bottom line.

  34. I'm not so technical, and i have some questions that hopefully can be answered here.

    1.how much will this new card increase performance? (compared to my 8700gt's with a total of 512mb)

    2.and is it worth it for the money?

    thanks for the info guys.


  35. @Chris:

    Yes Chris, I noted the same absence of both Big Bad John and Lionel. They miust be recovering from the massive celebration M. Dell threw for the department following the successful introduction of their M1730 "Upgrade" (or is it downgrade?) Program.

    This overpriced spare part program presented as the promised upgrade program is one for the ages isn't it? Unfortunately for many of us, it signals our farewell to DELL.


  36. I don't know where you got that figure. On a new system, an upgrade from a single 8700 to this card is $1000, putting the value of the card around at least $1200 alone.

    Needless to say, the price offering is at a discounted rate. When you consider that the only Dell machine this card can be installed in is the M1730, there's little doubt that this offering is aimed at existing M1730 owners. I've been told that these cards when sold from spare parts are considerably more expensive.

  37. Might as well add my name to the list, Dell make it $700 and appologise ASAP.

    Now for that X9000 upgrade…  Check THIS article peeps.


  38. as rgunner notes the links are broken for both standalone and installation parts (as I write this of course).  I hope Dell's rethinking their pricing…though I really don't expect them to. 

  39. @ John Blain,

    i think that all we are asking is for a little more respect from Dell.  Your company led us to believe that we could purchase a cutting edge laptop and when it was available we could upgrade "not purchase a spare part" the video card to what it was supposed to have in the first place.  I am one of the early purchasers that signed up for the option to buy the day it was available.  When speaking to the reps on the phone I was assured numerous times that I would be able to upgrade the video card to the m8800 as soon as it was available for a SMALL fee.  I see know all of you were just telling us what ever it took to get the sales.  It's too bad Dell has such a poor business model.

    On the college campus I work for we have always bought Dell computers (300-400) a year.  I will do my best to now to make sure our purchasing dept. finds other options.   Not just because of this instance, but for the whole lack of quality and professionalism the past few years.  You promise one item and then at the last moment it is no longer available but you are eager to up sell the replacement.





  40. It would be remarkably easy for Dell to give a special discount or rebate on the 8800M upgrade to those who purchased the M1730 BEFORE the 8800 was offered.  I am sure we would be happy to return our Dual 8700GTs in the box the 8800 came in.  At least Dell could recoop a tiny bit of the expense



  41. i like how Andrew Merskin  said BRAND NEW GeForce GTX 280s is only $650 but that only price for one card right. that card u buy from dell 8800 gtx is that dual sli  card?..lmfao

  42. I think the resounding sentiment of the commenters encompass the sheer frustration that many users have experienced in purchasing "the beast." After purchasing the XPS Gen 2 and now the XPS M1730m before the 8800GTX SLI upgradfe was available, I will honestly never purchase Dell again and will echo this feeling to all my friends and clients.

    $1100???? What about the availability in Canada? What would be fair is $700. Not a penny more.

  43. Pilot, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. If you're not willing to pay that much for the card, by all means, abstain.

    The truth of the matter is that this stand alone part offering is below market value for this card, and the card can only really be used by M1730 customers. Comparing this dual mobile card to single desktop cards is confusing and misleading. They really can't be compared like other commentors are doing here.

    Taking shots at me or Lionel doesn't really help your cause. We both fought to get it lowered to the price it is today, and fought tooth and nail, I might add. We and others went back and forth for weeks on this to get this offering on the table.

    I'm sorry you're not happy with the offer. I wish there was more I could do, but unfortunately, that's not the case.

  44. Well I see this "service part" has been pulled.

    Dell, are you watching the ball?

    /signed stockholder and corporate IT purchaser

  45. @John Blain

    Sorry you were personally taken back by my comments on your absence from the forum. My comments regarding you and John were made to get you back into the discussion — which I guess worked.

    However, you are a liason and we want you to get involved in the discussion. I really don't think we're talking about a "cause" here. You should be receiving our comments as they are meant to be interpreted — our response to your announcement.

    Now, if you honestly believe that the overall response (not just me) to the upgrade program has been positive, then I might suggest another review of comments made by other people who have spent a rather large amount of money on the M1730 laptop only to experience a trailing edge laptop compute that has not performed to what was suggested in your marketing/sales materials. Further, you might consider the promises of an upgrade program might have lead many purchasers to expect somewhat of a better offering than DELL has presented.

    I do notice that you are now referring to the announced upgrade program as the "stand alone part offering." Certainly a step in the right direction. At least we know we're not getting an upgrade program.



  46. This is as bad as the waitress bringing the Ketchup to the table after it has already been 25 minutes waiting on your food.  I think the "You can order the 8800 cards now" is just Dell bringing the ketchup to the table to make us think the food is on the way.  Of course I bet I will not see this card before they try to cancel the order again.

  47. I think this is one for the Harvard Business Review. We can title it, The DELL Business Model — Revisited!

  48. This is not an 'upgrade program'. The failure to set the price point at the same level as simply opting for the 8800 cards at system build has ensured you've lost a customer.

    What greed.

  49. Well DELL, is this the old carrot on the end of a stick trick?

    Don't you feel you owe it to your customers to get someone on the blog who can tell us what has happened to the "stand alone part offering?"

    WOW! The appeal of the program keeps rolling along doesn't it?

  50. @John Blain

    Is this upgrade available in Canada? I've spent quite a bit of time on the phone with dell and nobody seems to know about it.

  51. Still no word from DELL?

    Well it looks like they must be spending their time talking with Nvidia about Nvidia's admitted problems with graphic cards prior to 8800s.

    See link for info on Nvidia's admission of problem on July 2, 2008.


    Apparently there are some overheating problems. Now if we didn't use drivers outside of DELL's most recent (September, 2007) and we didn't monitor our fans and just left to the M1730 system, then I wonder what the temps woul;d be with the 8700s?

    We may have a replacement program insead of a spare part program in the future.

    But we sure could use some communication from DELL………

  52. Dell, from what i heard a few months ago the upgrade from 8700m GTX to 8800m GTX costed $700.00 USD. On your website,  I see the 8800m GTX for $1,099.99 USD. My question is when you first offered the upgrade it was a simple " trade in my old 8700m GT for a 8800m GTX for $700.00 USD. "

    Now I am wondering, is the trade in still availible for $700.00 USD or do we have to buy the 8800m GTX for $1,099.99 USD or is it that horrible that we have to TRADE IN our 8700m GTX and PAY another $1099.99 USD for the card? I hope not.

    Hopefully you will respond to this because if you are still doing the $700,00 USD with the 8700m GT trade in, I still find it buyable because who needs an 8700m GT laying around when they have a 8800m GTX in their XPS m1730?

  53. Huang-

    No, this is not a "trade in". This is an upgrade option, just like you would upgrade a desktop's video card.

    The $700 price point is the difference between the 8700 and the 8800m at point of system purchase. Those customers never receive the 8700, so it's a different process and price altogether.

  54. So basically if I purchase the  upgrade on the dell website I will have an extra 8700m GT laying around at home?

    Also as Pilot44 stated above that Nvidia has announced that they sent out many graphics cards with overheating problems. Can Dell ensure the ones they sell for $1099.99 USD on their upgrade/part website will not have the overheating issue?

  55. Huang-

    Yes, you will keep your existing video card. You could either keep it as a spare, or potentially sell it to someone who has a graphics card failure out of warranty.

    About the overheating, if you notice any problems, the card comes with a 1 year warranty, or adopts the warranty remaining on the system, whichever is longer. You can have the card replaced within that time if a problem develops.

  56. if i own a m1730 bought in singapore, and i purchase this card and install it myself. will it be competible as well? i've been waiting for this upgrade…

  57. >>No, this is not a "trade in". This is an upgrade option, just like you would upgrade a desktop's video card.<<

    However, it should be a trade-in for those of us who did NOT have a choice when we purchased the system.  We all know that the leftover Dual 8700s that we replaced are of no use to the us.  There is no one who will buy them at least Dell could render them for their components or metal and sell that.  Please remember that we would have willingly selected the 8800M if we could have and that we were told an upgrade path would be available. 

    Perhaps if Dell gave us the option to purchase ones that only had one working video chip then we could both be happy.  Dell would have an outlet for otherwise unusable parts and we would still have our 8800m at a resonable price.  After all one 8800m is better than  2 8700GTs.



  58. Any ETA on this reaching Canada?   I don't like to ask, but finding the upgrade on the Dell.com in the US is hard enough without going through this blog for the link, so even if it were to show up I'd probably never find it.

  59. John,

    I understand everything you have done for us Dell customers and would just like to thank you for replying on here.  A lot of people are angry with you because of the price but I completely understand.  Thank you for being honest.


    Dave from Toronto (PS When in Canada?)

  60. Well I don't know when it will reach the rest of the world.  I know I have had an order in since 6/17/2008 and it still has not shipped.  Dell has my money but I am still empty-handed.  Go figure.

  61. Well i am not going to cry about the price i think its worth the money as long as it delivers the power but….. the only question i do have is when this upgrade option will be introduced to ather countries like Czech Republick and if there is no eta on that when will we know , and why isnt it on high  priority couse i believe we deserve same treatment as any ather dell costumer and we did pay same or higher prices for that machine.

  62. This is the first time I have heard of Vaporware used to describe hardware.  Put on delay again.

  63. I ordered a card on 6/17 and is there a realistic ETA on when these cards will be available for shipping instead of a (seemingly) automated script that adjusts the ETA by 1 week every week? Even if it's end of September, would just like to know. Thanks.

  64. @John Blain:

    John, could you please address the growing issue of defective Nvidia 8700 (and other) graphic cards and chips and how this will affect the upgrade/spare part offering from DELL.

    I make reference to the following:


    This article states that 8700s are potentially defective. Now we're not in an upgrade/spare parts issue, but a bona fide repacement environment. WHAT IS DELL'S POSITION. You answer hard questions such as when will Singapore be offered the program. Now we want you to answer the question, "What is DELL's position on REPLACEMENT OF OUR 8700 CARDS (that are potentially defective) with 8800 cards. The costs shoudl now be FREE.


  65. Pilot44,

    There is too much speculation in that article, but I wouldn't be suprised if it was all truth. After all I did have my GPUs replaced on my m1730 three times in less than half a year. If that's the case then the free upgrade is definitely in order and Dell could bill Nvidia for that.



    say something, it's been more than a week since I posted my question on ETA in the UK.

  66. Has anyone use Dell Customer Service and received good results?!

    I have had the most dreadful experience with Technical support.  I have spent hours from February 2008 to July 2008 trying to get a new laptop fixed with no avail. 

    I need assistance with this or I am taking legal advice as well as take it to media.


  67. Alexei,

    I concur with your point that the article is speculative. I am however, disappointed that John is not addressing issues that could clear up the confusion and soothe frayed nerves.

  68. @John Blain:

    As David L pointed out in post (http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2008/06/17/a-beast-of-a-card-for-a-beast-of-a-laptop.aspx#89961) I think you have done a stand up job sticking it out in the thread and trying to explain whats going on. 

    As a 8800m owner, I'd like to ask, when will see an updated driver?  I think most people purchasing the 8800m to replace their 8700m would like to see an up to date driver as well.  Having to go to a hacked driver website is rediculous. 

    I would like to see Dell update this driver and provide timely future updates as they are released. 

    Several times I have heard the response from XPS Support that driver releases are determined by NVIDIA releasing a driver to Dell for testing. 

    The Quadro in the M6300 is up to 174.75.  I think an update to the 8800m and 8700m cards is in order.

    Thanks for looking into this!

  69. @ laurel

    Yes, I had a good experience with Technical Support.  I don't know where you are located but I dealt a few times with Technical Support people in Kanata, Ontario.  They were always very professional and very helpful.  For example a graphic card (refurbished) has been sent to a remote village in Michigan and I had it in my laptop in less than 24 hours from the time I made a phone call.  It would be hard to do better.

    But I had a horrible time with Customer Care, regardless of where they were located.  I bought this laptop with 2-year warranty but in the specs it stated it had only 1-year.  I noticed it a few days later, didn't have time to call though since it usually takes more than a few minutes to go through all the hoops.  Finally I talked to the Senior Sales Associate who sold me the computer, he remembered the case well and sent internal email to rectify it with a copy to me.  Well, Customer Care people decided that the purchase specification was the binding one and did not allow that second year of warranty.  They made a liar of their own senior guy and me, a customer.

    Btw, I am not sure if this will be posted so I am making a copy for future reference.  My last message was not posted.  No reason given.

  70.  I am from Puerto Rico and also purchased the M1730 recently with 8700's thinking it would be just as what DELL marketed it to be, A BEAST of gaming. Nope, not at all. I am INCREDIBLY disappointed. And I have been a DELL fan ever since my first DELL Desktop lasted me more than 5 years with nothing going wrong; i just simply retired it.. Before the m1730 disaster of a buy that I commited, I wouldnt have thought in any other company when buying a computer. Next time it will be very hard to think about DELL first after the lack of trust that this company has created on me. I simply cant trust your products or you guys on anything anymore. And not only was I a DELL fan, I was a dell advocate, I told everyone to get DELLS.. My family members, my friends, EVERYONE that talked about computers I would always say that I was a proud DELL owner and wouldnt have it any other way; not anymore.

    Dell, I think you need someone to take you to business class again and teach you the basics. DELL should take SOME KIND of hit $$$ wise in order to please the costumers because after all we did take a very high $$$ hit ourselves. I think DELL gains more taking some kind of loss by dropping the price to $700 by regaining the faith of many of its costumers, costumers that are usually enthusiasts that are some of the most valuable to a computer company. Its as simple as that, is it better for dell to actually make a profit out of this debacle and have people sick and tired of dell or is it better to take a loss and please your costumers so that they will come back in the future? Or, is DELL thinking that their mistake was so monumental that they probably wont be getting those costumers back so might as well squeeze another 1000 out before they leave? DELL is really spurring very reputation damaging questions amongst their costumers. This is the kind of stuff you should avoid at all cost because it ends up hurting you more than taking a little $$ loss.



  71. @ laurel

    I had a good experience with Dell Technical Support. They are very good as long as you are asking the right questions and their ability to send an engineer to fix your computer within 24 hours (at least here in the UK) is quite impressive. There is however a huge quality gap between call centres you're redirected to with Scotland and Canada being my favourite.

  72.  I think DELL is asking of its costumers to do something they are not willing to do: to have complete disregard for money. Why do we have to pay $1,100 more for this and yet DELL cant give us some kind of substantial discount? We have already handed out multiple thousands of dollars for this system which simply does not fulfill what DELL tricked us into beleiving when we purchased it. It is DELL who should be asking for forgiveness and doing some kind of deal to repair its reputation amongst these disgrunted costumers? Dell, take a loss and show that you really care for gods sake. Every move you move to try to fix what you did ends up making it worse.

    I for one will NOT purchase this upgrade until its cheaper. Show some kind of responsibilty for your mistakes DELL.


  73. It is even worse for those of us who purchased it before the 8800M was released as we had no choice and the unit was just as expensive as it is now with the 8800s.




       On some positive notes; because even though my posts reflect that I am very mad, which I am, there is still some positive to see: I am very glad to hear that DELL decided to include the 8800's into one's warranty plan if we ever did this "upgrade". I think that is a very good move in the right direction to ensure that your costumers regain some love for DELL. I for one would never even consider buying this upgrade if my warranty didnt cover it fully. I always purchase 4years warranty and I do not want to have any part in my computer that is not covered for those four years as well. It is a liability that DELL could easily take advantage of and just point to the video card whenever something bad happened to the comp. Its just something I do not want to get into. So kudos to DELL for that. In addition, I think its a step forward to actually decide on selling these over the net for us unfortunate costumers who purchased the computer with 8700's. Now, if you would only work on the pricing! ><

    Again, I aint buying them till I see a significant price reduction. Im talking about $400-500 taken off that thing.

  75. OK, I know nobody wants to hear this again.  My order has been delayed again.  I do not ever expect to receive this card.  At least Dell is making interest off the money I sent them without even doing anything.  This is unbelievable. John… will this card actually ship one day before my 4 year warranty is up?

  76. James,

    How can this be? The website says it usually ships in 1-2 weeks.

    I'm certainly sorry for yor situation James, but you probably know it comes as no surprise to anyone who has written in on this forum.

    Why do you want to give Dell anymore interest on your money? Why don't you cancel your order and wait until you are sure that they are really supplying cards? Are you afraid they are running out of cards? Hey, you're dead last on the totem pole my friend.

    Well now we can refer to this whole situation not as an upgrade program, not as a spare part program, but as a PHANTHOM program.

    Nothing yet has convinced me that any program of any kind is real! I have a 4-year service agreement and believe me, I'm not going out to buy any expensive coolers, etc. I'll just let the quality of the "beast" run its course. At least I'm having some fun having IT personnel laugh at the performance of the 8700s.


  77. Pilott44,

    I agree, as I said before it is the first time I heard the term Vaporware used to describe hardware.  I know the people who are buying the new systems are of course the most important, until they buy it.  I also know Dell does not have any emotion what-so-ever concerning those customers who have already purchased EXPENSIVE machines from them.  We can call, complain, scream, and at the end of the day they just say, Next.  I will say if you actually get XPS support they are good, really gamers, and do help.  Customer service on the other-hand is at the bottom of the list compared to the numerous companies I deal with.  They have IQ's below 100, no personality, and offer no creative solutions to any problem or situation.  It is like they read from a flow chart and give answers that only benefit Dell.  What ever happened to creative thinking, win-win, make the customer happy…. oops sorry… I said make the customer happy.  I really hope Dell stands up and says, ok lets make these customers we already have happy too. 

  78. @John

    It was delayed…. AGAIN!!!!!  I wish I could find the words to relate my anger and disappointment with Dell at this point without cussing and causing my post not to even be looked at.  Please….Find out what is going on. Why release this news, make the product available, and let people order it and not even bother to ship a single one.  I would be willing to bet not one customer who has ordered this card has received it.  You have my email address if you care enough to contact me to the my order details ti investigate. This is totally ridiculous.

  79. Well I just view the mass of emails from customers upset about the faulty GPUs Dell/Nvidia have put upon the unknowing public.

    As we have stated in this forum for months now, don't expect DELL to do anything. I don't consider the BIOS update to be a solution for the customer, only for DELL. Keep the computer alive until the warranty is over.

    Have you noticed the complaints that eh warranties have skyrocketed. Only DELL could figure a way to make money on the problems encountered by their customers.

    I will continue to wait out DELL. I have 3.25 years to go on my warrantly and am confident that the 8700s will not hold up. Gave my cooler to my brother for his HP. I'll just run the stock DELL cooling for the time being.

    Give our antique driver — yes, the one that has not been updated since September, 2007 — that should escalate problems as well.

    Oh, I'm sure that this forum will not receive any attention from DELL personnel until they resolve the other fire in the DELL mansion.

    If you want a good laugh, just use the forum link Jason was kind enough to provide. I sounds like this forum. Does DELL have ANY satisfied customers?  Not for long.

  80. Has anyone ordered and RECEIVED this upgrade? I curious if DELL is just jacking us around with an offer than doesn't exist.

    How about you James. Did you ever get your "upgrade?" You were one of the first on this forum to indicate you ordered.

  81. Yeah this so called non existant upgrade program is a slap in the face.

    I bought my laptop back in January…about 2 weeks before the 8800 were released on the website. I called in to return my laptop and was told they were on back order anyway and they have an upgrade program coming out soon just hold off.

    Wow they threw in a extra yr warranty and now want me to pay $1200 for a so called UPGRADE  when building a system is only 700 more…

    Take back the 8700's we don't want or need them…they were supposed to be a means to an end…

    Have to say …sure glad you aren't GM or Dodge would hate to see you passing off a sports car with a 4cyl engine when it was prommised with a 8cyl then find out you have to pay more to get what you were expecting in the first place…..

  82. I ordered a card on 6/17 and have had the ETA bumped each week. The next ETA is 8/6/2008, but I fully expect that to get bumped another week as well (but keeping my fingers crossed). I was initially hoping to have the card delivered and installed for the July 4th weekend, but now I honestly don't think I'll have it by Labor Day. It's frustrating in that there are many games I have been holding off on to play till I upgraded (i.e. Mass Effect).


  83. @Pilot44

    You have got to be kidding… I do not expect to receive the card.  I expect Dell one day to say we can not ship this card, cancel the order and then give us another option to order the same card but with a different part number.  This way they can just keep delaying us, and delaying us.  Just think it we had received the card first and delayed on paying them, what would happen?  Maybe they can not ship the card because they are involved in talks with Nvidia regarding the bad parts and must somehow make it right with us.  At this point, with no one from Dell giving us any information, anything goes. Then again maybe the moon is really made of cheese.

  84. @James

    Well, if DELL
    can't logically figure out how to handle the M1730 upgrade program in a
    reasonable manner, can you imagine how bad they will handle the defective GPU
    problem that confronts them.

    Lionel and
    John must be spending all their time on the other forum because I haven't heard
    them respond to you issues or others for quite some time.

    Wait a minute.
    Lionel hasn't responded to, shall I say, a boatful of complaints and questions
    on the other forum either. Must be the new DELL SOP for handling sensitive

    DELL is revealing just how bad their current state of customer service really
    is. This has got to put a real dent into their current and future sales. But, my
    sympathy for DELL has eroded to the point where I really don't care about DELL
    anymore. I just monitor the forums to see how deep a hole DELL will dig for
    itself. This could get
    very messy. This situation may knock that chip off their shoulders that they have  been  carrying  for  several  years now.

    Maybe we can
    figure out how to get some 8800s from another manufacturer if DELL can't even
    provide their good customers with some of their precious

  85. Well, as expected, I have been placed on delayed for another week. I wonder how much interest Dell has made off our money since we sent it to them. I expect no word from John or Lionel as they do not have anything to say that would make me/us feel better to keep waiting. Of course as bad as the customer service I have received from Dell so far I fully expect it to continue with this problem as well. Like I said i do not feel they care. I have not received a single word regarding my order except it was unfortunately delayed again (which could mean anything from we do not value you more than our new customers to we do not have any cards in all of our warehouses that we can send you). I really hope Dell has some wonderful news to make me feel better about all of this. If money were no object I would have already taken my computer and left it with the receptionist at Dell HQ and just turned and walked away. But I can not afford to do that. So Dell needs to step up to the plate and give us some news.

  86. I placed my order for these cards in the first couple of days following the release. Since then, the order has been delayed every week, and canceled twice, even after contacting Dell.

    I have a very nice customer service rep helping me out and I can hear the pain in his voice every time we talk. Just today I received a call stating that these cards are end of life and MAY no longer be available.

    What in the world is going on with these cards? What is going on with Dell and has anyone even received one yet?

    Of course, if you purchase ANOTHER new m1730 you will get the 8800's. As far as I see it, selling my laptop on ebay or locally to a coworker is the only solution that is viable right now. Not only are the cards not being shipped, they are being canned and we are being left with exrtremely bad cards and game performance. The whole idea behind early adopting was the availability of the 8800 in the future.

    I really hope Dell comes through with my cards. It won't restore faith but at least I won't have anything to complain about.

  87. @John Blain:


    Sorry John, I forgot this was your blog. Can you reply to what James said about the 8800M SLI cards not being available. I think alot of us would like to know if the upgrade program really exists. It is somewhat important inasmuch as the status of the 8700s (a.k.a. overclocked 8600s, a.k.a. G84) continues to drop further in the toilet as a result of the defective GPU issue.

    John, we could use a little more interactivity here as well as in the GPU update forum. Unfortunately, DELL is loosing a bunch of loyal customers due to lack of communication.

  88. @Lionel


    Well Lionel, would you care to reply to what James said about the 8800M SLI cards not being available. Given all the problems DELL is having with GPU cards, I would think you would like to get the issue of your "upgrade" program resolved.

    Do you have 8800M SLI cards available for your announced upgrade program or not? This is flat out ridiculous.

  89. @James:

    I believe we have lost John and Lionel once again. They always seem to be MIA when the heat is on. I know the question is difficult — do you have 8800s to fulfill requests for teh upgrade program? — but come on, let's man up and take a shot at answering something.

    Boy, the true colors of DELL are coming out.


  90. @DEAN:

    Geeze, after reading your experience, I doubt if either Lionel or John will have the guts to get back on this thread.

    However, if you've read the previous posts, you'll see that several of us predicted the failure of this ridiculous upgrade program and still others suggested that the program really didn't exist.

    I think we're coming pretty close to a real case of deceit, misdirection and frankly, other seriously poor business practices. How can DELL still have the 8800s listed with their "usually ships within 1-2 weeks."

    The comedy continues…


  91. Latest Info that I got in the past 24 hours from both Dell Customer Service and the Rep that I originally placed the order with:

    I've been following this thread on upgrades for the past few months.  I probably should have gotten the 8800 GTX when I ordered my 1730 earlier this year.  Decided back on 7/15 to order the 8800 GTX card.   Waited for the past 3 weeks.  Just got email yesterday that my order has been cancelled – that I didn't ask for the cancellation.  I've been extending my order each time the email notice shows it was delayed.  Spoke with the Dell Rep who told me that they have only 22 cards but 57 orders – hence the cancellation.  They did offer me to get a Refurbished card that sells for $2000 but with a $500 discount.  The sales agent tells me that the refurbished part – part #  XM 888 is a NVIDIA card which is much better than the GeForce 8800 GTX SLI 1 MB Card that I originally ordered (Part # P402H).  Personally, I didn't believe the guy since when I pull up the info on NVIDIA's website, the video cards for notebooks are called "NVIDIA GEFORCE".  He tried to convince me that the refurbished card is better than the one I originally ordered but I wouldn't bite.

    Bottom line – although the card is still selling on Dell's website – I don't want anyone to get disappointed as I have been – the part is not available to order from what the Rep told me.  Also – I felt like I was being treated like an idiot that I don't know the difference between a "Geforce 8800 GTX card" and an "NVIDIA video card" for the M1730's – THEY ARE THE SAME CARD!   I'm totally upset at the way this entire situation has been handled!

  92. Come on people it is not fair to pick on John or Lionel it is not their fault.  They didn't make the policy and I suspect any lack of response is also not their fault.  What I would like to see is a response from someone who actually has some control over the situation.  After all we are not the ones who are buying the $499 specials but rather we are the ones who buy the high profile and high profit units. The sales of the M1730 may be a lot lower but the product and users are also a lot more visible.


  93. I think the way the whole process is handled is poor on Dell's part.  First of all you spent alot of money purchasing a product that was to perform as advertised, in my opinion it has not.

    Secondly, we (XPS 1730 owners) were promised an "upgrade program" to the 8800 cards when made available.  Finally Dell has released the part, however the "upgrade program" is not really an "upgrade program" rather it is a spare part that costs $$$$$.  Think about this, you probably invested 3,000 + dollars on a machine and you have to shell out an additional 1,100 + dollars to have your machine operate as advertised?  I though (as I'm sure many others) that the cost of the part would be no more than $700.  The way the whole "upgrade program" was handled is very very poor in my opinion and bad business practice.

    Thirdly, my dual 8700 cards were giving me problems (artifacts, washed out colors, etc).  I found out through research that these cards are defective.  Dell has also identified this issue but no mention of the 1730.  What is Dell solution to the problem, update the BIOS!  On the Direct2Dell blog it mentions that they (Dell) will take it on a "case by case" basis.  One question I have is this:  If it's been identified that these parts are defective (which it has) why don't you replace the cars and not say we have to look at it on a "case by case" basis?  I feel that it's just being "cost effective".  Oh and another thing why are you still selling these cards if they are identified as defective.  Check out this website: 


    In closing I had this laptop for a period of four months and I have spent a large sum of money on it.  On there website you can purchase an XPS 1730 with Dual 8800 SLI cards, a better processor, and larger hard drive space for what I paid for mine.  I can't comment for other people but this is very disturbing.  I have pushed to have my XPS 1730 returned to Dell, however it has fallen on deaf ears.  Based on this experience I will never purchase a laptop from Dell again.

  94. James,

    I'm sorry for that.  There had been a question in my mind about the use of the word "suckers" in your post and I was trying to confirm whether it was a violation of out Terms of Service.

    I tried to email you to discuss the issue but emails to the address you posted have been bouncing.

    If you want to check that email address and repost another comment I can see email addresses even if they're not posted publically and I'll contact you to discuss.

  95. @Todd Smart, Community Laison:


     Todd, I think a lot of what is being posted is out of frustration. Your mention Terms of Service.  Early in your Terms of Service is the following:

    Rules of Engagement for Direct2Dell Readers

    1.  Direct2Dell is all about conversations.  You
    are encouraged to speak in an honest, informal voice and to foster
    productive, candid dialogue that can help us learn from each other. 
    We’ll listen, as well as post, and ensure we engage in two-way
    Our intent is to provide a timely and accessible
    alternative to more formal, one-way channels of communication.

    Our frustrations often occur because since we haven't heard from a DELL person in over a month, that should be a violation of you Terms of Service as well. I think Dell personnel are falling short of your rules to "ensure we engage in two-way conversations."

    I'm sure we would all appreciate a little less focus on semantics and a little more attention to someone from Dell addressing issues surfaced in this forum.

  96. @Todd Smart, Community Laison:

    Todd, perhaps now that Lionel has issued his 12-month warranty extension for Nvidia GPUs, he may be willing to answer a simple question on this thread — namely, does DELL have sufficient 8800M SLI cards to satisfy those who wish to upgrade their 8700 (far less than a beast) cards.

    This has been an underlying question every since the "phantom" program got started. Can you find out who can answer this very difficult question?

  97. The new vaporware anonymous meeting notes.

    Hello my name is James and it has been over three months since I ordered my last video card update from Dell.

    I know everyone will not believe this… My card HAS NOT shipped yet.  It was delayed again.  I wonder if Vegas has odds on this card actually shipping.


    It is time to make me feel better about doing business with Dell.

  98. Well I went on Dell's site today and they have removed the upgrade again.  What is going on John?  Why do you ignore me? 

  99. @Bob Walters

    Bob, I know that you don't want us to pick on John or Lionel, but could you suggest who might answer our questions on this thread?

    This is not interesting. It is  painful — painful to  customers and painful to  DELL , inasmuch as they  have done everything possible to  put  a bad taste in everyone's mouth over  their  "upgrade program."

    And to not speak to our questions in over a month is ridiculous. I don't care if they're busy wioth the Nividia debacle. We've been waiting for nearly 8 months now.

    And to think we are venting our anger in a thread designed to announce "A Beast of a Card for A Beast of a Laptop." The very program that John and Lionel "bent over backwards" to get for us poor (former) customers. So why don't they address the situation?

    So Bob, forgive me if I get upset with John and Lionel — the very people assigned to keep us updated. Are you happy with their performance in this area?

    I think we would have appreciated a "we're looking into it" response. But nothing.

  100. This gets more and more interesting.  For awhile there were 3 variants of the 8800M GTX shown in parts.  There was the one with the installation, one without the installation and last one for about twice as much as the others.  Oddly enough this is the only one that appears to be in stock.  Now only the $2000 part is listed. It is probably not intentional but this now becomes bait and switch.  Unfortunately, bait and switch is illegal.


  101. I wonder what Michael Dell thinks about all this?  Does he really read these things I know I would if I were in his place.  There are actually a couple of things that could be done depending on the direction they wanted  to take the XPS line that would be greatly advantageous to us M1730 owners and to Dell.   As to Dell's Blogmeisters, no offense, but I doubt they have any authority.  They do not appear to be department heads, Manager, Vice Presidents or whatever.  They are just PR people trying to do their jobs.  What we really need is a way to show the Dell powers that be that they could turn this to their profit.

  102. James I think you need to start calling people at DELL to give you your money back. If they dont, you should contact some kind of institution where you can complain about cosumer rights. Theres something here in Puerto Rico for that kind of thing; when the costumer's rights are violated. You probably have one like that in the US no? Cause, this is unacceptable. We are talking about 1k dollars here and months and months of waiting!!!

    -Alejandro Lopez-Araujo

  103. Well… It was delayed yet again.  Dell, how about a $1000.00 gift card for my troubles.  It is the least you can do for lying and stealing from me for so long.

  104. @Lionel / John:

    So where is the ugrade program? Come on now, give us an answer.

    The time is now. We're not going to forget how we're being treated!

  105. @Alejandro Lopez-Araujo

    I appreciate your suggestion; however without the upgrade the laptop is nothing more than an overprices boat anchor.  In order for me to be somewhat happy with this purchase I need that card.


    Any one home? DELAYED AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!


    Come on, throw us a bone.  Give us some info.  Treat us with respect.  Send me the card already.  It has been long enough with this blatant lie. I see your company won another human rights award… I am human too.  I am a customer of yours.  I made a big purchase, compared to other home buyers.  I deserve your attention. 

    I wonder if I check the Remember Me? checkbox below this entry area will make you pay more attention?  Remember Me?

    Lets start over with this relationship.  I order a computer, and you bill me.  Lets see how that goes.

  106. Guys – Is the upgrade for real or no?

    Unlike many on here (who of course have the right to feel how they do) I thought the price was fair, and I didnt feel I was getting a raw deal.

    That said, I am feeling like this whole upgrade process is a mess and Dell has gone silent.  Did people hating the price kill it?  NVidia chip issues?  I really dont care, but I would like to know if it exists or not.


  107. Card shipped last night and will be arriving today (the upgrade, not the spare part). It was delayed over 2 months, but at least I finally got it (for better or worse).Still am very disappointed it took this long.

  108. Just to let everyone know, Lionel and I are aware that the links have been killed, and we're looking into the cause. I would guess that it has something to do with part availability, but I can't say for sure.

    I'll chime back in as soon as I get something solid to report.

  109. Parts should be available after all the XM888 is in stock and I really doubt it is much different from the one that was listed prior to this.


  110. Got card last night. Followed video above, and was able to get card swapped out in about 30 minutes (was easier than I originally thought). Using 3dMark06, saw about a 40% increase in performance score, can probably get a little higher once I tweak it a bit. I wish there was a program to turn in the old card for a small refund or credit, since it's still perfectly good.

  111. @James

    Scores look pretty good to me. Seems to me that they are in the range you paid for originally. But what the heck, a grand more and you're in the game.

    I expect we'll find out what's the scoop with the removal of the "upgrade program" when John or Lionel get back to us. I heard they were going to discontinue the 8800s, so that's probably when we will be offered the Beast for the Beast.

    All I know is that my beast just lays around and acts like it's got rhumatoid arthritis. Those 8700s are just "a 'hummin." It's a sheep in beast's clothing! Almost as good as my 4-year old PC. I'm so proud. I show it off to as many future DELL buyers as possible. No DELL buyers to date. I just tell them that this is what DELL can provide you for a mere $4500.00. Sort of a goodwill ambassador.


  112. 8700 card was getting P997 3DMark Vantage (DX10) score (CPU Score 7453 – Graphics Score 769) and 3DMark06 (DX9) score of 8917.

    8800 is getting a 3DMark Vantage score of P6401 with a significantly better graphics score (6056) and a 3DMark06 score of 12395.  This makes the notebook perform more like it is supposed to.

  113. >>8700 card was getting P997 3DMark Vantage<

    I can see why you are unhappy.  I do not understand why your score was so low. My M1730 with dual 8700GTs gets P2196 with a graphics score of 1783.


    I'd suggest that you did not have SLI enabled but in order to get a 3DMark2006 score of 8917 you have to have it on. Very Strange.  BTW – for all and sundry –  NVIDIA has very recent drivers available for the M1730 on their website.  the current one is 175.32 and while it is not the 177 series it is still current. I stopped depending on laptop vendors for current drivers a long time ago.  You can also download newer NVIDIA PhysX software and use it with the on board PhysX board.


  114. @Pilot44

    You are right… it should not have been this additional cost involved in order to get it working from "The Chipmunk" to "The Beast".  Even thought I did purchase this notebook, and waited for Dell's Performance Drivers to make the 8700 cards what Dell advertised them to be, Dell should have been up front in their decision to deceive us with these 8700 cards.  They should have said something like… These 8700 cards are not up to our original specs and if you wait till the end of the year the 8800 cards should be ready. I know upper management was the decision makers saying "Hey lets just put these 8700 cards in, even though the original specs were to use the 8800 cards."  You see the 8800 cards were going to be delayed and Dell wanted to release the M1730 for the Christmas rush so their numbers would look better for the years closing.  You do not want to disappoint the stockholders. I guess they were hoping no one would notice.  And if they did, what could they do.  I mean we fell for it and here we are today.  Like I said before, I have four years with dell.  This notebook better last every single minute.  Well let me rephrase it… This notebook will last every single minute.

  115. >>I think it has to do with the fact that 3DMark Vantage uses DirectX10 whereas 3DMark06 uses DirectX9.  That may be the difference.<<

    But my 3DMark Vantage score is twice yours and I have the same GPUs.

    >>Do the nVidia drivers for the PhysX do better or is it just becasue they own it now?<<

    That is a really good question.  To be honest I'm not sure that PhyX does anything other than play its own demos.  For example I played Gothic 3 on my old XPS Gen2 notebook and now I am replaying it on my M1730.  It is supposed to support hardware physics and but that part of the game does not seem that much better.  Sure the graphics are faster but the dual 8700GTs are much faster than the 7800GTX go and there is no comparision between my old CPU and the new one.  I also played the downloadable UT3 PhysX content and I am just not impressed.  Oh well


  116. @Bob

    I think it has to do with the fact that 3DMark Vantage uses DirectX10 whereas 3DMark06 uses DirectX9.  That may be the difference.

    Do the nVidia drivers for the PhysX do better or is it just becasue they own it now?

  117. Very soon it will be a year since I bought this "beast" and Dell stil isn't providing a 8800 upgrade for non-US customers… Is Dell ever going to provide it?

  118. @Alexi

    Don't feel too bad Alexi. I'm not sure DELL is providing a 8800 upgrad for US customers either.

    I'm not really sure, but I don't beleive that DELL ever provided a new 8700 driver either.

    Eventually, DELL will pay a big price for thier disregard for good customers. As the number of disenchanted customers rises, they will each point out to 25 of their friends how bad DELL products/customer service has decayed.

    Can you beleive how DELL has handled the GPU situation? We can hear the crying in Austin all the way down here in Houston. But nary a concern on our part, I can assure you. It's just become something enjoyable to watch.

  119. I had no trouble installing the new drivers from NVIDIA as they are written specifically for certain laptops. This is somewhat unusual as NVIDIA normally does not offer mobile drivers.  Just make sure you pick either 8800M or 8700M from their drop down depending on what you have.  One can also download drivers from laptopvideo2go along with updated inf files so the drivers install although you might run across a few quirks so your mileage may vary.

    If you were still using 156.61 I can see why you had problems as most of the Crysis fixes did not find their way into the drivers until 169 something.  When I was playing Crysis I played at 1280×800 with most of the settings set to high and I did not see any perform ace issues. 


  120. @Bob

    I was also using only Dell's drivers with my 8700.  I was able to play Crysis on 1680×1050 last night everything on high (Dell 174.31).  Before with the 8700 I was only able to play at 1024×768 all on medium.  This does make a difference.

    Well it took a long time to get these cards, I am sure it will take even longer to get good drivers.  I try to stay with Dell's recommended becasue when I call for support they always ask.  Even if I tell them I am using the additions driver selection from their site (ie.. recommended 156.61 for the 8700 compared to Dells Performance drivers 174.31) I was unable to get support installing the 174.31 because the support person said they do not fully support those drivers and he would not be able to assist me.  So for my 8700's I was only able to use the 156.61 drivers.

  121. the above is exactly the reason for why dell should get out of the gaming industry and stick to mainstream computing.

    leave the advanced, high-end, staff intensive sector to alienware.

    can't even sell a promised upgrade, nine months down the line…

  122. In all fairness Alienware has traditionally been just as slow to provide drivers as Dell.  I have found one tends to be on one's own when buying a gaming laptop. 



  123. I see both of the 8800M boards are again showing in the parts section.  I still say there is no difference between the part that lists for 2 grand and the part that is $i000 and when I have asked about it no one can tell me any differences.


  124. How long till these cards are offered in Latin American sites like Puerto Rico? Right now we cant even build a new M1730 with 8800's. I think DELL needs to allow us to build new M1730's with 8800's…. and also allow those who were unlucky enough to get the M1730 with 8700's get the chance to upgrade to 8800's.

  125. Well guys, I just came out of Hurricane Ike and was without power for 10 days! The good news is that without power, I couldn't use the "beast" because of it's less than satisfactory battery — resulting in the best performance I've had with this heavyweight cow patty since I bought it. 

    BTW, Bob Walters is right. If you think that DELL is bad, Alienware is a shade worse. It would appear to be a match made in heaven.

    I did take me some time to wade through all the insightful comments from Lionel and John. But after about 3 seconds, I'm up-to-date.


  126. What is the link I need to buy the upgrade from the UK?

    Or id it still only available to the US?





  127. You guys do know that you can buy the part on ebay  from Sotalaptops? I'll bet he ships to other countries.



  128. @Barry:

    How long do you think it will take to get an answer to your questions?

    Unfortunately, the time frame Dell chooses if too often, the 12th of Never.



  129. It is a new Dell part so there is still a one year warrenty on it and you can always pay for the tech to install it.  But believe me I understand where you are coming from.


  130. Yea, I know you can get it through ebay. But ofcourse if god forbids something happens to the video card noone will be there to respond for me. Not to mention if I put that in and something happens to my comp (tech wise) DELL will be in all the freedom of simply pointing to the alien video card and saying it was the video card's fault.. So, thats a vulnerability I do not want to be in, especially since its worth 1000 dollars and even more so after seeing how DELL has treated their costumers through this blog. I just cant trust DELL with that kind of stuff anymore.

  131. @ Pilot44

    @ Barry


    Yeah I've asked that question back in July (more than three month ago) and I'm still awaiting the answer. Personally I'd prefer them telling us that "it would be available soon" or "we don't know"  than being ignored for so long…

  132. hei guys,

    This is probably the dumbest question. 

    Is there any chance that i can just go to a Dell store in U.S. and buy the videocard and the upgrade installation service.

    I dont live in U.S., but i am going to visit U.S. end of this year for holiday, so might as well stop by Dell store to get the upgrade.

    I used to live in US and purchased this laptop when i was there, but i move out from US back to Japan not long after i bought the laptop.  I kinda feel  I got cut out from all Dell support now T_T and i cant find any dell store in Japan that sell and support this product.

  133. cant we find other duel 8800 sli cards and make or buy some new kinda edge connector? the clevo, sager, nvida sells them i think some kinda edge adapter could work right?? 

  134. I'm new to the post, and I have read about 90% of them.  Ending up with disgust!  With the POSTER, NOT Dell.  Where do most of you get off coming to the "realization" that Dell OWES you anything, other than the warranty that YOU paid for?  Hello reading!  Get this people, the world, nor does DELL evolve around you.  Most of you whiners act like Ritalin addicts.  This is my 5th Dell, and I am POSITIVE it won't be my last.  I did "RESEARCH" before buying my first & last cpu.  I made an informative purchase when I bought mine.  I knew that Dell would have some issues getting this card out.  Wait a little while guys.

      Bust out that game that DREAMT of this hardware configuration and BLAZE away!  I dual booted and BF 2'd with XP Pro, and guys it ROCKED!

      I knew that most of the rumors were that excactly,… RUMORS!  About 200.00 trade ins of old video cards.  Cheap prices for the cards.  Come on people, if you can afford to lay down 4k for a system, then you MUST be able to do so for video cards.

      How many of you price/age whiners are 1st Gen iPhone owners I wonder!  It's the price you pay, for paying the price.  If you cannot afford it, get a better paying job.  Or get another one delivering pizza.

      Personally,… I cannot WAIT to call and order my new video card.  Congrats James,… I know your having a great time.

    ,………………  my opinion anyway.

  135. Sorry for shouting,


    Tks, for listening, a response would be appreciated as well.

Comments are closed.