Dell 710, Vista, memory, NVidia, and more!
So much to cover in a single quick post. Well, my new 710 H2C is here with shiny dual NVidia 8800 GTX video cards, x6800 overclocked processor (@3.49GHz), and a 30″ widescreen flat-panel. Wow, what to do now? Well, to begin, the 3007WFP was DOA (dead on arrival). It’d run through the self-test just fine and stop testing when plugged into a computer; however, after trying three computers (the 710, my M170 laptop, and my Gen4 XPS), nothing would detect it. A word of wisdom–ALWAYS call XPS support. They speak English, unlike LCD support. A new one is on the way, so I’m using my old 20″ for now. Next, I attempted to install Vista RTM? Why? Every piece of documentation says Vista won’t work on the Dell 710 series due to conflicts. There is, however, nothing noted on the ‘conflicts’ and I had mixed experiences with my Dell Gen 4 (worked beautifully) and Dell Preision 670 (died a horrid death due to an installer error). I tried anyway. 🙂 Off the bat, I recieved an error very similar to the one on my Precision 670. Thankfully, a bit of Googling found me the answer this time (I haven’t reattempted the Vista install at work in a while):
When you try to install Windows Vista, you may receive an error message that resembles the following:
STOP 0x0000000A (parameter1, parameter2, parameter3, parameter4) IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL This problem occurs if the following conditions are true:
• The computer uses more than 3 GB of RAM. • The computer uses a storage system that is running the Storport miniport driver. • The computer uses a controller that uses 32-bit direct memory access (DMA).
The quick solution?
The box has 4GB of RAM; pop 2GB out, install, install the fix from the support article above, and pop the 2GB back in. Cha-ching, it works like a champ.
Perhaps, soon I hope, this update is slipstreamed into the installaton media. I’m gonna give this a try on the Precision 670 when I get some time and see if that remedies it too!
Next came my NVidia graphics cards–what about all of the performance snafu’s regarding the cards? Well, with the latest 100.65 drivers, things went like a breeze for performance in EQ2 and the desktop. I am having an issue that I cannot enter the NVidia Control Panel–even with elevated permissions (runas Admin); odd deal. The only true issue I found occured due to an error in EverQuest 2. EQ2 doesn’t seem to unload the textures as you travel from zone to zone… after zoning from South Qeynos into my home (a 5 room with close to 500 items), EQ2 was pulling down almost 2GB of memory. It then crashed.
It’s documented in several locations that this is a known ‘issue’ (via EQ2 Players forums); but the CSRs have not provided any resolution. I managed to play on High Quality for quite a while and didn’t have any issues. *sigh*
Beyond that, Visual Studio 2005 SP1, Virtual PC 2007, EQ2, Paint.NET, and my standard apps are all installed and humming along. The 710 H2C itself is nearly silent (in contrast to the helicopter sound of my Gen4) and seems to perform beautifully. It does tend to hiccup here and there–the hard drive will run like crazy and things just jitter. I’m not sure if that’s the PC or Vista being less than cooperative, but it’s not enough to make me go back to MCE2005.