I'm on full day 3 of my M17x-R4. There's a LOT I like about it, but I'm running across a lot of bugs. I did a clean install of Windows 8 Pro when I got it...I hate 8, but don't know that it's the problem, since it's really just the third release of Vista in terms of the core OS, so I wouldn't think it would introduce tons of bugs...
I should mention, I'm running a Geforce GTX 680 with Optimus DISABLED, wanted to avoid switchable graphics nonsense. Minimal extra software, but installed Dell's Creative Labs drivers, the Alienware On Screen Display, and AlienwareFX control thingee. Running off my own Crucial M4 512GB SSD (which rocks!)
I also run with an external 24" 1080p monitor connected as my main display.
Anyway, here's stuff I've noticed and haven't found a solution to:
-I lock my system when I walk away from it. Multiple times now I come back to my system and my main screen (the external monitor) won't display anything but black. It's still getting a signal, my secondary monitor (the build in display) works, but I have to either reboot or manually disable the external monitor and then reenable it in order to get it working again. I've NEVER seen this before on any PC or OS. Also, Windows 8 sleeps the monitors really fast when it's locked, ignoring my sleep settings, but that's not a huge deal and I don't know that it's related to the main monitor just displaying black.
-I've had my system appear to completely lock up-the mouse won't even move. Control-Alt-Delete instantly brings up the screen where you can pick task manager, etc., so the system wasn't actually crashed at all, but SOMETHING was making my user session appear completely locked up, right down to the mouse cursor. I've never seen this on a system either (save for a 4 year old notebook with hardware that's dying actually locking up for real from time to time).
-Multiple times when shutting down I see one program or another give a memory exception error...also something I've never seen from Windows NT. Explorer did this once even.
-One time Explorer was showing 12% CPU utilization for no apparent reason. I killed it and restarted it and it went back to 0.2% or whatever. Never seen this either.
-At least once (when I was monitoring it, so could have happened more than that) Intel's TurboBoost monitor showed my CPU holding at either full normal speed or even a few hundred MHz higher, even with nothing actually running that should be having it do that. I triple checked the task and resource monitors, and could find no reason for it to be doing that.
-I've had the "AlienFX" lights just go out, with a disabled message on the task bar thingee...this appears to be an issue with the software or else all Alienware notebooks though, and if the worst thing about the system was that AlienFX failing that would be okay with me (I just want some backlighting, don't care beyond that).
Oh, also for some reason my company's automatic registration system for new PCs wouldn't work for this thing's Ethernet. Don't know if that's an actual problem or not though, or a Windows 8 thing or what. They had to manually add it (works fine now that that's done though).
Any thoughts on all this? I'm sick of the PC search, want to be done with it, and (other than my model lacking Blu Ray, and it being a pain to add) this is a fantastic system for me, but all these bugs I'm seeing in just a few days has me worried. I see fewer bugs like this with Windows typically in multiple YEARS of use, let alone 3 days. People ranted about Vista, and I literally saw 2 minor bugs (much more minor than any of these) in a year and a half of heavy daily use...