XPS 700 BIOS Update Coming Soon

It’s no secret that we continue to get questions from XPS 700 customers from the blog and on the Dell Community Forum. Sorry for the delay in getting details out for folks who have been asking. Later this month, Dell will introduce a BIOS update for XPS 700 that will enable the following: Update: Version 1.1.6 of the XPS 700 BIOS is now available for download. It enables the following:

  • Virtualization Technology (VT) – The new BIOS will allow users to enable or disable the feature.
  • Windows XP 64 support – We won’t sell the operating system as an option, but the BIOS update will allow customers the ability to install the retail version of the operating system.

As most of you know, Intel’s Core 2 Extreme QX 6700 Quad-core processor will ship soon. Several of you have asked if this new processor will work on your existing XPS 700 motherboard. I’m still working through some details on this—will have a more extensive update on this soon.

Update: Here’s what our development team had to say. Based on Intel’s current design guidelines, the Intel Quad Core Extreme Processor should work on the XPS 700 motherboard. However, Intel revised the design guidelines for boards to be compatible with this quad core processor to decrease the signal impedance of the front side bus. This is different from the board specifications on the XPS 700. Also, Intel specifies that the Quad Core Extreme Processor needs 4 GTLREFs (GTLREF is reference voltage to the CPU front side bus to recognize signals as high or low for data coming to the bus) and the XPS 700 board has only two references. Intel’s revised design guidelines for the signal impedance change and the requirement for two additional GTLREFs to support its Quad Core processor caused Dell to make system-level board changes that have been implemented with the new XPS 710. With those changes, Intel’s new quad-core processors are fully supported on the XPS 710.

Here are the legal disclaimers:

  • Intel quad core processors may have stability/life expectancy issues when used on the XPS 700 because it lacks the required GTLREF support, or they may not work at all.
  • If you attempt to upgrade an XPS 700 with an Intel Quad Core Extreme Processor, we can’t guarantee that the Intel Quad Core Extreme Processor will work, nor will it provide support for quad core processor-related issues.

Readers have also asked about SLI memory support—no change at this point. We’re investigating making changes to the BIOS to enable this support but currently, we only support memory up to 667MHz, but it can be overclocked via nTune. I know we’ve only covered the Automatic overclocking portion of nTune up to this point. In the future, we’ll cover advanced overclocking on the blog.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca