Sunday, 13 April 2008

My monster Dell 1730 with 8800M GTX SLI arrives

At the start of this month (April), after deliberating over whether I should get a laptop or a desktop, I took the plunge and went for the Dell XPS 1730. I need to move the laptop around the house (depending on where my daughter Heidi is), so I decided on the slightly more mobile option.

The real question was about what model I should get. Should I import from the US or buy locally? Some guys on newsgroups (e.g. at had recommended importing some of the quad-core capable laptops made by Clevo like the Metabox M57RU (aka Rock in the US and UK). However, I took the plunge when Dell Asia Pacific offered a generous 15% discount on all Dell XPS machines. My last 4 laptops have been Dells and I have no major complaints about Dell thus far.

I had a very pleasant surprise on Friday evening - I received a message from Mai at the Oakton office in North Sydney that my new "baby" Dell 1730 (or "behemoth", take your pick) had arrived safe and sound - about 10 days early.

I was very keen to get my grubby little hands on it so I rushed out at 17:45 to grab (or lug) the beast home (with 2x200GB 7200rpm drives, 4GB RAM, running a Core 2 Duo T9300 @ 2.5GHz) I'm about 2kms from the office so it was a bit of a stretch to carry the overly large box back home.

All safe and sound, I unwrapped the package. Even my daughter Heidi was excited. As I would expect, a few of the golden oldie games that I've been playing in my fairly limited spare time with a Dell Inspiron 640m (a 15 incher) ran as smooth as silk - at twice the resolution. Crysis at Very High Settings with Blood (VSYNC off of course) and at 1280x1024 ran at a reasonable rate with minor slowdowns when in combat. It is truly a gorgeous game; from all the horror stories I've heard about the steep system requirements for Crysis - I can't say I've got any complaints with my new SLI setup. The only issue is with heat dissipation or lack thereof - the fans at the back of the laptop are like a blast furnace after playing Crysis for an hour. Just don't try to use this baby when your sitting at the service station. You have been warned.
Assassins Creed was just released for the PC 3 days ago. This machine can handle it for sure... so bring it on...

Some piccies of the Dell XPS 1730 inline. Just mind you don't drool on your keyboard!

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