XPS 700: 10 Questions

Everyone, thanks for your patience regarding the XPS 700.  We’ve received a lot of questions asking for more information.  I answer some of the most common ones below.  We can’t always give you all the details, and when we can’t, we’ll tell you. 

Before doing that, wanted to confirm that we began building Pentium D and Pentium Extreme-based XPS 700 systems a few minutes ago.  We do have a backlog to work through, but production is happening as we speak.

1. Will the XPS 700 support Core 2 processors? If I ordered an XPS 700 with a Pentium D processor will I be able to upgrade it with a Core 2 processor later on my own?
Yes, all XPS 700 motherboards will accommodate Pentium D, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors.  Customers just need the new processor and a BIOS update, which will be available on support.dell.com.  Upgrading the processor from a Pentium D to a Core 2 Duo or Core 2 Extreme will not require a motherboard upgrade.

2. How will Dell make it up to customers who have been waiting patiently for their XPS 700 orders to ship?
Due to the delays many of you have experienced, we will provide an option of either a free upgrade to a Core 2 Duo processor or a Dell gift card for all those who have ordered systems as of up until July 18, 2006.  We ask for your continued patience as we roll out communication to our customer care and sales teams.  Customers should wait until Dell contacts them regarding the status of their orders.

3. If I accept Dell’s offer to upgrade my order to Core 2 how will it affect my shipping date? 
Unfortunately, this option will extend your wait time—due to contractual arrangements, we can’t provide a specific delivery time at this point.  We apologize for not being able to give you a ship date at this time.

4. What specifically caused the delay on the XPS 700? 
The delay in shipping the XPS 700 resulted from a combination of issues that came to the surface soon after launching the product.  For competitive reasons, we can’t go into specific details.  We can say that the issues were not related to many of the rumors you may have seen in the blogosphere, such as a processor inventory issue. 

We have always intended to offer this system with Pentium D processors and we’ll continue to support Pentium D  after Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme are available. We did not want to compromise on quality or performance and we did not want to ship a system to customers until it passed our tests.

5. When will customers receive their XPS 700s?
We are currently ramping production on XPS 700 systems with Pentium D and Pentium Extreme processors.  This week, a centralized Dell team will begin contacting customers on the dates they should expect to receive their XPS 700 systems. 

6. If I ordered my system with a Pentium D processor, which Core 2 Duo processor will I get in exchange?
We plan to upgrade Pentium D orders with different tiered Core 2 processors.  However, specifics will vary depending on individual orders.  The Dell customer rep will provide the processor options to customers. We will make those calls as quickly as we can.

7. How much is the gift card?
We haven’t determined that yet, but you’ll get details from your Dell customer rep.

8. Can a customer upgrade their Core 2 processor to an higher clock speed processor at additional cost?
Yes, you can discuss the details with your customer rep.

9. Is the system warranty voided if I install my own Core 2 processor later on? 
Upgrading is optional and recommended using parts purchased from Dell.  Should customers choose to upgrade using parts, components or accessories not purchased from Dell, problems caused by using them are not covered by Dell’s warranty.

10. Can I overclock the processor on the XPS 700?

Yes, you can.  Customers can overclock the processor areas of system performance via applications like
nTune, but we will not ship the system overclocked.   
All processors we support (Pentium D, Pentium Extreme, Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme) can be overclocked by the user.  Graphics solutions
can also be overclocked via applications like nTune  

The XPS700 system is overclockable via applications like the nTune application.  Specifically, Dell allows users to performance optimize various key parameters such as: Front side bus speed (results in reported increase in CPU speed without changing the multiplier); system memory timing and voltage; PCI Express bus speed; graphics processor speed (when used with nVidia graphics cards); and graphics memory speed (when used with nVidia graphics cards).

We believe this enhanced system level control will provide performance enthusiasts the ability to individually tune and profile key characteristics to enhance their system performance.

In addition, just so you are aware of Lionel’s comment about the callback process, he noted earlier this afternoon:

Your processor transition options will depend on what you ordered.  I’m reading lots of questions that will vary by user. 

Here’s how the callback process will work:
using a centralized team to handle all callbacks—it’s the most
efficient way to ensure that you talk to reps who can provide all your
options.  That’s why some of you who have called Dell have reached reps
that don’t have the answers. 

hope to begin callbacks by tomorrow; they will be done in order of your
original order date.  No way I can provide individual ETAs for
callbacks—but we will work through them as quickly as we can.

Please wait for a callback from Dell.  We know it’s important to you, and we appreciate your patience.

About the Author: Mary Joseph Miller