Inside the Dell XPS M1710 and Upgrades
Upgrading the Dell XPS M1710 is somewhat limited if you’re accustomed to a more barebones type system found in other models, but this shouldn’t be a surprise to you since Dell has never placed emphasis on upgrading in the first place. But as we see shortly, what Dell says and what they do are sometimes completely different.
What is easily upgradeable by the user are: WiFi and modem controllers, two SODIMM slots, the SATA hard drive, and the CD Rom. Dell gets bonus points for making both RAM slots accessible easily. Dell just recently announced the availability of 802.11n WiFi cards for their notebooks, so expect to see that upgrade available when configuring your XPS M1710.
Now just because the CPU and other components are not accessible from the base, it doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade those too! Conveniently in the M1710 manual, they show you directions on how to open the laptop to access the innards. While the documentation concerns replacing the BIOS battery, the more adventurous user can go ahead and replace their CPU and perhaps even upgrade the video.
In the image above, on the right you can see the GeForce Go 7900 GS video card with two heatpipes connected to the left and right cooling fans. The onboard GeForce Go 7900 GTX and 7900 GS are upgradable but only by using the proprietary Dell upgrade module. Occasionally Dell will release a graphics upgrade part for customers if the company feels that the life between cycles is too short, during these times (like during the transition from Go 7800 to Go 7900) so you can buy these upgrades and install it yourself.
Looking at the interior of the laptop, it’s conceivable that you can upgrade the CPU as well since it uses the standard Socket 479. Whether or not a CPU upgrade will work in the M1710 will be determined by both the chipset and the BIOS provided by Dell.