Originally Posted by drumguy00
While I don't have any frustrations over the delay of the m9750 because i haven't ordered one, and at the moment, am not planning to, I have to wonder about AWs practices of late....
I remember when I first got into AW, and they talked about how not only did they make killer systems, but they had arrangements with companies to get the best new tech on the market before everyone else....
Now in the last year, it seems like other companies are catching up to AW. There are other companies who have SLI systems, granted not an Intel/SLI system. Other companies have launched models with GeForce 8xxx cards, Santa Rosa systems, just to name a few. Meanwhile, AW seems to have dumped all their resources in the m9750, without and idea of when we can expect the m5550 to get Santa Rosa, or a long overdue overhaul of the Sentia.
Why is AW falling back with everyone else?
The m9700 was the first 17" SLI platform on the market, so they're not exactly falling behind... They were also one of the first two companies to market with quad SLI systems...
They used to be launch partners with Nvidia and ATi back before companies like Dell bought exclusive rights to new hardware releases like the ATi 9800 series and later cards. I believe they're still launch partners with a lot of new hardware, but AW has never simply installed new hardware and shipped it. They have an internal certification program to prevent issues they had in the past with new hardware that caused them issues.
For instance when they introduced the original m5500 with the p4 desktop processor, the base platform manufacturer told them it supported hyperthreading (HT), so AW advertised it as such. When AW finally got some finalized versions of the platform, they found enabling HT caused instability, so after their testing, they ended up releasing the platform with HT disabled in the bios. Though the benefits of HT were minor, this caused lots of whining, some legit, that the feature didn't work. AW eventually took it upon themselves to fix the HT issue, and was the only company that sold that platform that made sure all of their customers had HT capable laptops, in some cases even replacing the motherboards or other components at their expense.
Recently, Dell bought AW, and that no doubt has had some impact on their development process. They've eliminated several lines of systems, and their numbers of sales for the remaining lines have increased, so not only does AW have to make sure the hardware in new releases works and is compatible with the rest of the components in the system, they have to be sure they can maintain an adequate supply of components to fill their orders.
Also, AW has recently started working directly with manufacturers to offer platforms that other companies don't offer. You won't find the Arima/AW m9750 platform anywhere else in the US, while other companies rebadge and resell Clevo or Uniwill platforms.
The desktop market is different than the laptops though. I think you'll still find that though AW delays new hardware until it passes their internal certification, that the desktop lines generally offer the latest hardware much faster than they're able to offer in the laptops.
The m9750 has several new components, from fully blown gtx vid cards that require much more robust cooling than the m9700's 7900gs cards. It also has the C2D processor that until recently didn't support SLI, so the bugs are still being worked out. Throw Vista into the equation, and you've got a lot of variables that need to be finalized with Arima before the platform ships.
Obviously, it would be a disaster for AW financially if they shipped systems with issues as they'd have to support/repair everything including shipping, labor and parts, so try to think of it as AW offering unique systems now that require a bit of extra work to make sure the systems are as stable as possible before we can get our hands on them.
In the case of the m9700, it worked out great. I've never used a more stable laptop, not even considering the power of this system. Hopefully the extra work they're putting in on the m9750 prior to release will be reflected in solid performance and stability for the customers.