I'm sure this has been asked about before, but here goes.
I bought this "M17 - R1" Jan 2009. It doesn't have a Dell service tag. I've called Alienware's tech support, and they told me apart from memory and HDDs, they can't help because I have a Legacy system. I'm looking at upgrading the GPUs, CPU and RAM. I currently have Dual HD3870s Crossfired, a Q9000 CPU and 4Gbs RAM.
I'm not sure what this thing tops out at as far as CPU upgrades.
As for GPUs, I remember there was an option to get HD4850s or HD4870s, I'm not sure which. After doing some reading, I know there is a physical difference between the two (MXM 2.1 vs. MXM 3.0?). When I look in the case, I can see that one card socket (the outer one) looks like it fits the 2.1 style only, but the other card socket (in the middle) looks like it might fit something else as well as a 2.1 card. Both of my HD3870s are the 2.1 style card - I think - the pins do not go all the way across the card.
Does a BIOS upgrade allow the system to use 8Gbs RAM or do I have to switch to a 64bit OS.
Also, I do have the "stuttering" problem from time to time, when playing Oblivion and Fallout3, and when listening to iTunes.
I'd like to upgrade the system, so I can play some of the newer games coming out (like Skyrim) without any hitches. I'm also thinking of getting Windows 7.
I mostly use this system for gaming, music and movies.
Thanks for any help