A few months ago, Lionel blogged that Dell had added the NVIDIA Dual 8800M GTX to the XPS M1730. This raised a lot of questions from existing M1730 owners, as you can see from the comments to the post, mostly regarding the possibility of an upgrade program. Given how absolutely amazing this card is, I’m surprised it didn’t generate more churn than it did.
As the gaming/consumer liaison for the Dell community, I was able to take some of these questions to those in the know and get a few answers.
First thing’s first: an upgrade solution is in the works, and will hopefully be released later this month. From what I’ve seen, there will be two options, one with an installation package, and one do-it-yourself kit for those die-hard techies. Considering the number of screws holding this beast together, most people will probably want the installation, but the do-it-yourself kit will be appealing to people like me that like playing with computer innards. The price of these upgrades is yet to be determined.
So what’s taking so long? The core issue is that MediaDirect 3.3 is not compatible with the driver for the NVIDIA card. This incompatibility means that the Media Direct software needs to be upgraded. Unfortunately, the upgrade will require a reformat and reinstallation. Beyond that, it will also require you to repartition the hard disk to make room for the new version of MediaDirect, which is a bit larger. Data loss has been a major concern for the engineers working on a solution. At this point, it would appear that there’s really no way around wiping the drive to make the upgrade work with every feature.
Since this card is obviously “the r0x0r”, I would think people’s inner gamer would be perfectly fine with a reinstallation in order to make this card work. This card is just that cool.
I know this upgrade has been long in coming, and I know it's caused some frustration. We're sorry this is taking so long, and are working to get this card into your hands as quickly as possible.