I've read myself silly with forums, posts and support pages on this issue, so let me cut to the chase with helpful details for you. the 8 beep code is an "LCD error" which, with Dell's InsydeH20 BIOS (I belive that was the name, or close to) is added into the POST check sequence. LCD errors can fail POST and cover the GPU, display cables, and the panel themselves.
My R17x is third hand at least, coming from my friend, who recieved it from a colleague at work. My friend investigated the 8 beep issue, bought a new GPU for the device (I'm assured it was the same GPU as was initially installed, a 675M.) He recieved it, installed it, and then returned it faulty and recieved a new one. That - I believe - is what I have now. It's on a green PCB, so i'm assuming that's the case given that even the RAM is blue inside this thing.
I've removed the CPU/GPU, removed/replaced the display cables that I can find, and swapped RAM for different modules for the sake of the GPU borrowing system memory. No cigar.
Many, many repair reccomendations hint that this is a GPU issue in the overwhelming percentages, but given that the GPU has been changed three times in total, I'm not so sure. I don't have a lot of cash to spend, and I see no reason to try my own purchased GPU.
The warranty is long expired, and the device wasn't bought by me anyway. It's service period of 4 years in Australia would have ended last year (2013 - 2017) and I can't afford, and don't see the need, to spend premiums on new LCD panels, motherboards, or GPUs. I am willing to find a display cable, if they can still be bought, as I don't suspect that will cost much. This is more a project than a necessity to fix, so i'm sure you'll understand if I don't go bagging it up to ship off to Dell for a full repair.
Has anyone out there had the octa-beep of doom and come out the victor, whom can shed some light on this? Or am I mostly wasting my time with a machine that is most likely carrying a dead MB or panel?
I can't get the thing to boot into even the BIOS, so I couldn't tell you the exact specs, but I'll assume it's the 3D 120Hz version since that seems to be the worst player with GPUs. F2, Fn, and clearing CMOS did nothing, and a CMOS clear only gave me a reboot to five beeps (process/CMOS error, makes sense) before rebooting to 8 beeps again.