August 9, 2006 4:17 PM PDT

Dell's XPS 700 still stuck in neutral

Shipments of Dell's oft-delayed XPS 700 PC hit another snag this week, but the company says it believes it has fixed the latest issue.

Dell has shipped only a few units of the most powerful desktop in its lineup since the XPS 700 was introduced in May. Last month, the company announced on its new blog that shipments were set to resume. But those shipments were halted earlier this week due to a problem with the unit's cooling system, said Liem Nguyen, a company spokesman.

The issues have since been fixed, and shipments are slowly resuming as Dell makes sure the systems are ready for customers, Nguyen said. Customers who placed early orders for the system, however, are still looking at a backlog of four to eight weeks, and customers who order today will probably have to wait until mid-October, according to Dell's site.

It's probably safe to say Dell has had better years. The company's financial performance over the past few quarters has disappointed Wall Street, especially the most recent news that Dell will miss its financial earnings targets by 10 cents a share. Image problems from poor customer service and a sequence of exploding laptop batteries have forced executives into damage control stations, and now even its vaunted manufacturing operation has run into problems with the XPS 700 introduction.

The few customers who received XPS 700 systems before the cooling- system problems were discovered should contact Dell if they have any questions about their systems, Nguyen said. The problem that was discovered occurs only in rare situations, he said, declining to state the exact nature of the glitch. Returns or refunds will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

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21 comments

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I'm not sure it ever got out of PARK
A few moments ago, an anonymous post on Dell's own blog www.direct2dell.com, a person claiming to be a Dell engineer said the cooling problems had been resolved and that a software issue with the Core 2 Duo had in fact been the culprit. Wierdly enough, the post was deleted as quickly as it was posted. I guess only time will tell what the real cause for the delays are.
Posted by deadites (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what are the XPS 700 real specs?
Because they keep changing with each delay:

What are you really buying?

Is it the 590 chipset or is it leftover nForce4?
Why only supporting 533 and 667MHz memory (the 590 chipset specs represents 800MHz capability)?
Does it support RAID 5 & 10 like the other 590 chipset motherboards coming out?
Does it have two 1Gig Enet ports like the other 590 chipset motherboards coming out?
Will it support C2D Cpu overclocking?
Does the SB X-Fi have all the functionality of the retail?
Why is Dell forcing SB X-Fi on all configs when the 590 motherboard has 7.1 sound integrated?
Is the Dell's current top of the line 7900 GTX video card really leading edge of technology?
Is the 7950 GX2 video card going to be leading edge technology when Dell finally ships these systems in Oct or maybe even Nov?
Did the customers who have waited for months really get a "free upgrade"? Or did they just get what they paid for (top of the line Intel processors at current market value).

Will the XPS 700 be customer upgradable as shipped? to Kentsfield quad core? to 800MHz memory? (without a motherboard change!)

Is it really a "cooling problem"? Why then are they changing optical drives? Removing XP x64? Removing ATI 1900? Why aren't they shipping, at least, single 7950 GX2's like everyone else?

What about all the other "minor" problems? Plastic flimsy front panels, power button, cracking paint, bluetooth kybd/mouse and whatever else the public doesn't know about.

What is Dell selling? What is the XPS 700? Better yet, how can Dell start charging several thousands of dollars for something they refuse to define, with specs, for months?
Posted by xps700mirage (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple's Mac Pro is the best high-end PC at this time
With Quad 64-bit processors, and lots of go faster goodies, the new Mac Pros are priced even lower than similarly configured high-end PCs from Dell.

Don't use Mac OS?

The Mac Pro IS a PC, a really nice and fast PC. Just purchase and install Windows XP or whatever PC operating system you like.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/macpro/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/macpro/</a>
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Reply Link Flag
not a pc
a mac pro isent a pc its a mac
Posted by superman9956 (15 comments )
Link Flag
not a pc
a mac pro isent a pc its a mac
Posted by superman9956 (15 comments )
Link Flag
not a pc
a mac pro isent a pc its a mac
Posted by superman9956 (15 comments )
Link Flag
Bad Comparison
The Mac Pro is not meant for Joe Blow consumer, it is Apple's professional PC meant for CAD work and the like.

You can't compare the Mac Pro to the XPS 700 because they are both meant to be used for different things.

The description, cpu, and graphics configuration all tell you that the Mac Pro is in the same category as the Dell Precision.
Posted by Bryan Bartlett (14 comments )
Link Flag
And yet...
It has overheating issues as well. Makes you wonder if they're worth it, hmm??
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
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Intel Mac uses EFI not BIOS, NOT PC...
The Mac while using Intel architecture also uses the extensible firmware interface (EFI) instead of a standard BIOS. So without compatibility software you can't flatten a Mac and insert a Windows CD and expect it to load.
Hence it is not a PC.
I am not bad mouthing the Intel Macs at all, I think they are great and with Vista coming and Dell going down the tubes I may wind up with one.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So, when PC's make the switch to EFI....
So, when PC's make the switch to EFI...they'll cease to be PC's? Get a clue.
Posted by anarchyreigns (299 comments )
Link Flag
Boot Camp allows XP to run on any Mac natively
Boot camp sets up the environment for Windows XP to load on Mac hardware.

It's not emulation software, just an integrated bundle of utilities to help XP feel at home on Apple's Intel hardware.

It's a little more complex than some PCs bios configuration utilities which optimize bios settings for Windows or Linux, but from a user perspective, it's does the same thing.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Link Flag
Dell is in over their heads....
Dell should leave the high end PCs to those that have historically made them best and stop making themselves look bad. Most higher end enthusiasts would have built their own and had it working long ago. They would also not be commited to proprietary parts when they go to upgrade. Dell's idea of an upgrade is buying a new system.
Posted by fred dunn (793 comments )
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Stuck in Neutral
It seems like it's more in reverse than neutral. Forward motion would be great for a change.
Posted by StuckInARut (9 comments )
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