Beauty Is Skin Deep

Those interested in getting a better look at the M1730 should appreciate the following images. Note that you can click on any of the laptop images in the article for a high-resolution photograph. Rather than spending a great deal of effort describing what each image shows, we will let the pictures do the talking.

System Overview On the outside Looking In


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  • hyperealism - Monday, May 19, 2008 - link

    Are there any stats available showing how much power is saved by using the single video card compared to the SLI? I am buying one and I want to know if its worth getting the SLI version. It would be nice if you could disable one in the bios.

    Thanks in advance!
  • xantha - Monday, March 17, 2008 - link

    Just in case there are any Aussie readers that aren't aware but a gaming notebook can be more affordable than you think.

    You can get the XPS 1730 nicely specced for around AU$4300 (includes bluray, tv tuner, dual 8800, T9300, 4G) If you have the ability to salary sacrifice then that $4k+ starts dropping - lots :D

    First you don't pay GST so its now AU$3900. Then its taken out in pre-tax dollars so depending on what you are earning thats another 30-40% off. Making the XPS only AU$2340-$2730 effective cost. And its like 12mth interest free cause the payments are spaced out over the FBT year.

    Thanks Mr Taxman for a half price gaming notebook every year :D
  • docjon - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    I'm just curious, With the new drivers is there still a large performance difference between Vista and XP? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, March 03, 2008 - link

    The short summary is that I found no reason to even want to run XP on this system. It works great as is. Time constraints do not permit me to test every option, unfortunately.

    As you can imagine, given the number of tests run, all of the testing was done with the system as shipped (after uninstalling any Internet Security Suite of course - PUKE!) It is possible to order certain models of the M1730 with XP, but at this point I see little reason to buy a DX10 SLI setup only to run XP. I believe that the focus on driver optimizations for 8800M SLI has been primarily on Vista as well.

    I'm sure there are instances where XP is still slightly faster (and likewise others where Vista is faster), but the last time we took a close look at XP and Vista graphics performance those situations were very rare and generally not a serious concern. I mean, if we're talking about 30 FPS vs. 40 FPS that would be a serious issue, but when it's 180 vs. 190 I'm not too worried.
  • Scottyboy99 - Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - link

    Am a bit gutted reading the article. I have dell xps m1730 (Core 2 duo 2.4 ghz, 8800m gtx sli & 4 gig ram - Vista Home Premium) & my 3d mark 06 are nowhere near the scores shown. I have 3d mark 06 basic demo version (I can only run half the tests & stuck at resolution 1280*1024) and my single gpu score is 8700 whilst my sli enabled score is 10750 ish. So I am 2000 points at least shy of the systems tested here. My drivers are dell stock 167.55. I did try out 174.16 from laptop2go & my scores went down by a few hundred so went back to 167.55.

    What am I doing wrong?

  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - link

    Well, outside of overclocking, at stock speeds with the official 176.55 drivers I got 12859. My guess is that you might have a bunch of other software still installed that is affecting performance. I clean out all the stuff I don't want (i.e. McAfee Internet Security Suite or whatever it's called - Norton/Symantec is just as bad - and various other programs; I shut of Dell QuickSet as well as most other system tray icons/utilities), so that might be the problem you're having.

    The CPU score is going to be a factor, of course. I tested with Penryn 2.8GHz and got the following:

    2.8GHz 3DMark06 Scores:
    3DMarks: 12859.000000000
    SM2.0 Score: 5971.000000000
    SM3.0 Score: 6559.000000000
    CPU Score: 2554.000000000

    Bumping up the CPU speed to 3.2GHz (the same 400MHz gap that your system has relative to the test system) yielded:

    3.2GHz 3DMark06 Scores:
    3DMarks: 13920.000000000
    SM2.0 Score: 6337.000000000
    SM3.0 Score: 6969.000000000
    CPU Score: 2893.000000000

    So that's ~1000 points right there, and potentially I have a 6MB cache chip vs. your 4MB chip (T7700?). That could account for another ~1000 points or so. Also, the 174.20 drivers dropped Futuremark performance, but they dramatically improve gaming performance.
  • Scottyboy99 - Tuesday, March 04, 2008 - link

    Ok thanks mate. Yes mine is T7700 cpu. You are probably right in that I should shut a whole bunch of stuff off. I do have the McAfee security suite running so maybe I should re-bench without that on (if I can work out how to close it down without disabling it at start up!!!). Based on what you have said I lose 1000 based on my cpu & the cache might be almost another 1000 so perhaps my score isn't so bad after all. Having said that I expect I should be able to eek some more performance out of my rig and maybe go past 11,000 marks. Will post if I get any joy.

    Thanks again
  • flatron85 - Saturday, March 01, 2008 - link

    **** - **** - **** - **** - ****
    the last B could be an 8 the rest is readable.
  • mark3450 - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    In Feburary 2005 Dell released the "Dell XPS/Inspiron Gen 2", which was the equivilant of the one machine reviewed here at the time. I own one.

    The last video driver update for this machine was November 2005. That means that Dell continued to the video drivers for this machine for LESS THAN ONE YEAR after it's release.

    I have attempted to update to various unofficial drivers without success (machine boots and runs but then crashes after a few minuites of use), and have been forced to return to the Dell blessed ones.

    Overall it's a nice piece of hardware, but the lack of driver support that was given too it makes me leery of buying the M1730.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, February 29, 2008 - link

    Would these by chance help?">

    I don't see any Vista drivers for those notebooks, unfortunately, but maybe I'm just not putting in the correct search criteria.

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