Home > Gaming, Hardware and Software, Windows Vista > More XPS 710 follies…

More XPS 710 follies…

May 28, 2007

I’m reaching a point of frustration with the 710.  The Internet is full of forum posts and general complaints regarding the 710–from the video card to it’s compatibility with Vista (the Beta drivers surrounding the Creative Labs, nVidia cards and the 4GB memory issue).  If I didn’t really want to use Vista, I would have kissed it and the 710 long gone.

I noticed today… it’s ironic that a 720 is already available using a totally different chipset and is supposed to be “faster, better, and more reliable” than the 710.  That got my blood boiling and a kind email has been sent to my Dell rep.

Anyway, yesterday’s (this morning’s) post… yeah, ignore that.  I didn’t want to delete it, but somewhat add what has happened since then.  Overnight, FFXI and EQ2 updated.  When attempting to play this afternoon, I noticed a bug–performance was like a 486 with the power cord unplugged.  0-10 FPS and jittery movement in FFXI and Extreme Performance in EQ2 barely made Neriak movable (the zone has LOTS of reflection and glow points).  The one that really got me was PlayOnline (FFXI’s loader)… it jittered… once a second, almost like it was hanging and releasing every second… the news scroller would jump rather than scroll.  Ehh?

I can’t even recall everything I’ve done to troubleshoot.  I went as far as remove the second 8800 GTX to ensure SLI wasn’t causing an issue, disabled the onboard sound card again, took out 2GB of memory (and then the other) to make sure a pair of memory sticks weren’t having issues, and then, much to my dispair… rebuilt again.  I installed Vista, then the NVidia video drivers, the NVidia motherboard drivers, then PlayOnline (since it was the smallest install and quickest to troubleshoot).  Worked like a champ.  Installed FFXI and all expansions–not a problem, everything ran perfectly.  Next up, EQ2.  Smooth and flawless gameplay in Neriak at High Quality (Extreme Quality still crashes out to memory errors).  I left those to update, came back, played a bit of FFXI (read: spent all of my money on two spells, thus walked around moaping), and then left to go read.

When I got back… the system had reboot.  Goodie… what now?  Oh, Windows Update.  It kindly installed a dozen or so new updates that were “critical”.  OK, that’s fine.  Let’s get into EQ2 and do some questing.  Log in.. and boom.  It was nothing I could do to get the camera to pan to the ground so I could hit and escape out–back to 0 FPS.  What… the… ****?  So, pegging Windows Update, I uninstalled ALL of the updates.  Still not fixed.  GRR.

So, right now, I’m on my laptop and reinstalling again… FFXI is updating, but isn’t jittering and EQ2 (which I did first), plays like a dream.  I’m also setting custom restore points after each install and test… just to be safe. Windows Update is also DISABLED for now.  I’ll eventually test each update one-by-one and see what it does and … probably Ghost my PC before I even start.  But, for now–I’m staying far, far away from Windows Update.

[Update: Everything is installed EXCEPT updates–and not a single hitch.  *sigh*  ReadyBoost is reactivated, all 4GB of memory (and the needed update, manually installed), FFXI, EQ2, Office, Virtual PC 2007.  Now, to start the long and painful process of testing each and every update.]

  1. Nick
    June 8, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Out of curiosity, are you running the 32 bit version of Vista? I can’t get my XPS 710 to see more than 3GB of RAM in Vista, even though there’s 4 installed.😦

  2. June 8, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    No, I’m running the 64-bit. The 32-bit won’t see more than 3.2gb due to the addressing limitation of 32-bits. 😦 If you purchased Ultimate edition, there should be both a x86 and x64 edition DVD in the box. The other editions are supposed to be able to order the x64 edition from Microsoft for a nominal fee.

    You can auto-upgrade your edition through Microsoft at:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/windowsanytimeupgrade/overview.mspx

    Though, unfortunately, I don’t see where the x64 upgrade can be found. A bit of googling (or just calling MSFT’s free sales support line) may help.

  3. shreads
    August 9, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    How did you get the Creative Soundcard that comes stock in the 710 to work under Vista 64 bit? I’ve been struggling with this for months and finally restored my (thankfully) Ghosted preinstalled XP.

  4. August 9, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    There are a few posts here that I found various drivers that actually would work from CreativeLabs; however, I eventually just yanked the card out of the 710 and use the onboard Intel HD card. The sound works VERY well at 5.1 and there’s no popping, crackling, or performance issues.

    I raised the issue with Dell, but even though they said it could have come pre-installed with Vista, they couldn’t explain or fix the issue. They recommend I purchase a 720 (even though I was calling in regards to the 710 I purchased a month prior…).😦

  5. joe
    August 21, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Well in that case you should have offered to part trade your 710 for the new , faster , better 720 (as they put it ) Im just waiting to take delivery of my 710, if i have issues with it ill stop paying my payments on it and wait till they take me to court for non-payment THEN i will let the judge hear why i aint paying towards it, .

  6. joe
    August 21, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    also, incase you didnt know, ive heard you can upgrade the internals on the 710 to same spec as 720. They cost a bit but least u will have same mb and chipset.

  7. August 22, 2007 at 5:34 am

    I hadn’t heard you could ‘upgrade’… that’s quite annoying. I’ve got something to torment our Dell rep about now–thanks!

  8. Gimpy
    September 13, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    Just to let you know that I found on the dell website that they are giving free upgrades to the 720 motherboard for all 700’s and 710’s purchased before june 07. Hurry if you want these, they are only available until oct 10th 07.

  9. September 14, 2007 at 5:47 am

    Yeah, the upgrade for 700->720 is free, from 710->720 is 250$.

    http://www.xpsupgradeprogramdell.com/Pages/Default.aspx

    I put in to have them call me. When I purchased my 710, I “talked” myself into a higher end proc at no charge–if I do the swap (and PAY for it), I still want my speedy proc. (^_^)

    Still kinda pains me to consider 250$ out the window to simply catch up on boards.😦

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