Price was about 1050 after -300 coupon. I got T7500, Nvidia 6800M GT, Vista Home edition, 120 GB 7200 RPM harddrive, the 1650 by 1050 screen, initially 1 gig memory but I simultaneously ordered a 50 dollar 2 gig stick from newegg so it was really 2.5 gig. So I thought I got a good deal.
I ordered it monday morning. It arrived Thursday afternoon o.0 so far so good... I actually wondered how they could move that fast.
I stripped off the software options and included just one thing.... "Yahoo Music Jukebox" because I was already a subscriber.
So Thursday comes and my dell gets here. I am at my office and the very first thing I do is open yahoo music player and attempt to stream a radio. It doesn't work.... gets stuck on opening and then becomes unresponsive.
Probably the most negative thing about this post is going to be that a dell software option ~shipped~ without being able to perform its primary function.
I downloaded yahoo messenger and went to stream music through there... doesnt work. I got to launchcast.yahoo.com and try to stream music directly through WMP and it doesnt work. Note both yahoo messenger and yahoo music
player use WMP to do their audio work. Same story freezes in a failed opening.
It is worth noting that variations of this story are on the internet. So I contacted dell support, and they seemed to think they could fix the problem. It seems my laptop had shipped without the latest drivers from the Dell. *rolls eyes*. I installed the newer audio drivers but they didnt correct the problem. The tech said uninstall everything including music player and the drivers. Reinstall the drivers than music player and it should work. It didnt. I ran out of patience now.
I dont think the tech appreciates the scope of the problem. 3 different variations from yahoo are installed and fail in a similiar manner and all involve streaming DRM protected files. Now through this all and this includes yahoo music player. I can download the DRM protected music and play it just fine. I just cant stream it. I think this is some wierd interaction of Vista Home, DRM changes between XP and Vista, and Dell audio drivers or other "dellness".
If you stop reading here I would just avoid Vista at the moment, because otherwise my experience is very positive.
And it is not because "Vista" is slow. I have since tweaked my vista pretty good. I disabled superfetch which is the primary philosophical difference between XP and vista. Turned off all that desktop crap. Reverted the windows style to oldschool look. And turned off all that stuff related to "do you want to do this" and "Windows is checking to see what the problem is..." If you do that Vista doesnt feel bloated at all. It seems very XP like and very responsive.
But the problem is in these interactions. You know I installed my copy of Visual Studio 2005 Pro on the vista machine and a popup came up "This software has a known issue with this version of windows" And I thought are you kidding? Not even microsoft can get its stuff straight with vista... laugh.
And that is the problem... But vista i disagree that its slow.
Oh as far as my dell experience other than what is caused by vista issues.
The monitor was the highest quality sort and its one of the ones from LG. It is silky smooth and sexy. I do hear a little white noise in the earphones. But nothing horrible.
I only have one other note. I got a bluetooth microsoft mouse. I thought all the gamers were wrong. It was crisp and precise. Until I started gaming.... the bluetooth mouse is prone to lagging while your framerate is just fine. It feels like sliding on ice. Take a pass on a blue tooth mouse unless your interest is only office software.
I did benchmarks after all my tweaking with NO overclocking:
Main Test Results
3DMark Score 3122 3DMarks
SM 2.0 Score 1241 Marks
SM 3.0 Score 1145 Marks
CPU Score 1698 Marks
Detailed Test Results
1 - Return to Proxycon 10.114 FPS
2 - Firefly Forest 10.565 FPS
CPU1 - Red Valley 0.487 FPS
CPU2 - Red Valley 0.947 FPS
1 - Canyon Flight (SM 3.0) 10.241 FPS
2 - Deep Freeze (SM 3.0) 12.668 FPS
Components Your System
Processor Intel Core 2 2195 MHz
Physical / Logical CPUs 1 / 2
MultiCore 2 Processor Cores
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
Graphics Driver NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT
Linked display adapters No
DirectX Version 10.0
System Memory 2560 MB
Disk Space 114.47 GB
Motherboard Manufacturer Dell Inc.
Motherboard Model 0KY768
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista
Main Test Results
System Test Suite 5654 PCMarks
CPU Test Suite N/A
Memory Test Suite N/A
Graphics Test Suite N/A
HDD Test Suite N/A
Detailed Test Results
System Test Suite
HDD - XP Startup 8.62 MB/s
Physics and 3D 196.35 FPS
Transparent Windows 2952.03 Windows/s
3D - Pixel Shader 130.44 FPS
Web Page Rendering 2.4 Pages/s
File Decryption 62.22 MB/s
Graphics Memory - 64 Lines 880.91 FPS
HDD - General Usage 6.3 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 1 / Audio Compression 2115.31 KB/s
Multithreaded Test 1 / Video Encoding 391.57 KB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / Text Edit 134.25 Pages/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Decompression 29.15 MPixels/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / File Compression 5.07 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / File Encryption 28.26 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / HDD - Virus Scan 47.17 MB/s
Now I did overclock the graphics card to see. It is very very overclockable; however I was uncomfortable with the temp over 70C. On a desktop if you shorten your graphics cards life you say it was worth it and slip in another. On a laptop... your screwed right? So after benchmarking it I reverted to the defaults used above saying "maybe next year"
Multithreaded Test 3 / Memory Latency - Random 16 MB 8.57 MAccesses/s
All and all I think its the best 1100 dollar laptop money could have bought (specially since I dodged the monitor bullet)
But man... can anyone fix my vista, dell, streaming DRM issue? I think I will just have to wait and let enough people get annoyed by it that dell figures it out. I hope its not an issue that only Vista HOME has... I would kick myself if it was... At this moment I wish I had gone with XP but I dont think Vista is as crappy as people say. I think its just developers migrating from XP to Vista that is making it crappy.