I read about the NoDvd problem. It seems to be common. It is no fault of the notebook, although it took a long time to get it uninstalled. I'm going to try to reinstall it again and see what happens.
Far Cry is now running perfectly after creating a new account in windows and running it through that.
I redownloaded the cpu driver from the AMD website and now cpuid and cpuz are reporting the speed at 2.2. I still have to download some benchmarks and see how they come out.
On to a more thorough review:
Purchase and Customer Care:
I purchased the G3 from ABS on Mon and recieved it on Fri. I didn't order it through the website, rather I called and talked to a sales rep. He was very friendly and was able to give me $50 off 2 day air because I am a student. He also threw in the free Far Cry...alot of good that did me. The service so far has been excellent. I called tech support to ask them if they knew of this problem with Far Cry, which they did, and a few other questions. I was on hold for just a minute or so when a woman asked for my name and info and a number the tech person could call me back on. I recieved a phone call about 5-10 minutes later from tech support.
The system is very solid. Much more so than any of the Dell's I've played around with at the kiosk in the local mall. I don't feel any flexing what so ever, even when picking it up from one of the corners. It is heavy I guess, but 10lbs. is 10lbs. and I'm not a little girl with no strength. I plan on using my NorthFace backpack to carry it around, so the wieght really is not bad.
The keyboard has a very solid feel to it, and I don't have any flexing here either. I'm still getting used to writing on a notebook keyboard and all of the different button placement. The placement of the Fn key is a little bit of a pain, but I'm getting used to it. No problems here. The powerbrick plugs into the notebook right next to where the DVD player is, causing the wire to get in the way of the tray operation a little. I solved this with strategic placement of the powerbrick. I just keep it on the left side of me and the cord wraps around the back of the notebook, allowing for free travel of the DVD tray.
The screen is very nice. Great viewing angles. I am pissed about the 2 dead pixels I have on the far left hand screen. There is a red pixel and then a green one about an inch under the red. I can see them very clearly on dark backgrounds. Still not sure if this is a deal breaker or not. I should have spent the extra $51 for the 30 day no dead pixel garantee. Other than that the Widescreen is comfortable to look at. I was hesitant to get a Widescreen but I don't think I will be again. I still haven't loaded any games on here so I can tell you about how graphics are yet. I think the WXGA is a fine resolution, in fact I think anything smaller might be a bit too small for my eyes. Plus when playing games the 9700 should be able to push this res a bit faster than SXGA or more, so I am not dissapointed at all.
Yes there is heat under the left palm rest. No it has never gotten close to unbearable. But, as I have already said I have not yet gamed on this notebook so I don't know how hot it will get. My left palm gets a little sweaty but no big deal. The bottom doesn't seem to get too hot either. The fan is constantly running though, but this is probably due to having it set on Desktop mode. I have yet to use it on battery so I have not seen dynamic fan settings much.
I have not yet used it unplugged from the wall so I will have to update this section.
All benches were done with the latest Omega drivers with no overclocking at Core: 445.5, Mem: 216. I will try overclocking later on, but I believe these scores are good enough, and I am able to run Far Cry with everything on Very High at 1280x800x32, Trilinear, and AF 4, with no hiccups or slow downs that I can tell. I think its the game play that speaks for itself.
The heat of the notebook after running all of these benches back to back is still normal compared to playing Far Cry...alittle warm but not HOT under the left palmrest and almost no heat on the bottom.
The fans never turn off even when only surfing the web or at idle...only during while sleeping.
The speakers are what I expected, tinny and underpowered. My dad has a Compaq with JBL speakers, and these can not compete. I plugged in my Harman/Kardon speakers I got with my Dell 4yrs ago and the sound is good. I still have to play around more with the settings. I'm not too fond of haveing the speaker cords coming out the front of the notebook, but its not a big deal, just doesn't look as nice.
I am still trying to figure out the best setup for my external speakers. I have black, yellow, and green colored adapters that have corrisponding receivers on my desktop's old Soundblaster Live card, but I don't know what the correct recievers are on this notebook. I can attach either the black or the green adapter into the S/PDIF plug and get OK sound, but plugging either of the other two in don't seem to do anything at all. Still trying to figure it out.
Well I am receiving a replacement G3 from ABS. I called and talked to Customer Service about the now three dead pixels (I think the large Red and Green ones are actually 2 dead pixels in size each). After a 10-20min wait on hold (always get someones ext. number if you can) I was able to explain my case and said I would either like a replacment that doesn't have dead pixels out the door or I would spend my $2500 elsewhere. FedEx will be here tomorrow to take back this current notebook, and by time I'm back in CT the new one will be well on its way there. I am very happy with the service and the notebook, and hope nothing goes wrong in the future.