I bought a pair of identical XPS 630i that I use for gaming, and they have served me well. Now that the AMD ATI HD 4850s are getting long in the tooth I upgraded them to NVidia GTX 660 SCs, not a issue right?
Turns out my pair of Identical XPS 630i are not, it appears the that one Mother Board has a bad PCI-E x8 slot. Why did it take so long to find out? In the video card upgrade I observed the SoundBlaster X-Fi cards were mounted in different slots. with a pair of graphic cards installed it should have been installed in slot 3 (the PCI-E 8 slot) and it was in PC-2 but in PC-1 it had been squeezed into slot 2 the PCI-E x1 slot right up against the Primary ATI HD 4850, where it worked.
Bottom line up front: After 30 hours of trouble shooting and diagnostics it is painfully obvious that the PCI-E x8 slot in PC-1 is bad, thus causing endless BSODs, system errors, and incompatible issues with the Sound Card being installed in the correct slot.
Oh, yes... PC-2 purrs like a kitten without issue after the upgrade...PC-1 well out of warranty will now scare my heart on Dell for years to come.
So how do I fix the issue?
Replace the Motherboard?
Forget about using the Sound Blaster X-Fi sound card?
Try to contact dell about out of warranty replacement parts? ... I'm still waiting after weeks on the Dell Tech to get back with me on a replacement Front Bezel for a Dell Alienware Area 51 ALX, that he said he would call me and give me a price and delivery date.
I have lost count of the number of Dell Computers (mostly XPS branded models) I have purchased and this last couple of months is the first time I have ever been disappointed by Dell.
So, I ask... has anyone else had this issue and how did you resolve it?
Thanks for your time.