Impressions and Conclusions

The Dell XPS M1710 we reviewed today is a worthy update to the M1710 we originally reviewed a year ago. Though not much has changed in its design, Dell did make a few improvements to their product to keep it feeling new. The big notable improvements are the addition of a Blu-Ray drive, an overclockable CPU, and a few other cosmetic changes like the music reactive LEDs.

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Overclocking the T7600G CPU proved to be a great success with computation performance improving drastically, though it did very little to improve game performance. Since the XPS M1710 is a gamer’s notebook, it’s a pity that the extra price paid for the T7600G doesn’t do very much. I suggest sticking with the normal T7600 CPU and putting that money towards more RAM or a better hard drive.

The Blu-Ray drive is an interesting option as it gives your XPS M1710 access to HD movies, but the M1710 itself lacks HDMI, so you will have to use the DVI connection or the analog VGA connection.

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Gaming performance was a mixed bag with Vista. Half-Life 2 ran really slow when it shouldn’t have, but Prey did not appear to have any problems. This is the first time I’ve ever had problems with these games, and the only change is the operating system from XP to Vista. Looking around the Internet, I keep reading about people having problems with various editions of HL2 (regular, Episode 1, etc.) on Vista, so perhaps it’s best to stick with an XP configuration in the short term.

Overall, the Dell XPS M1710 is a real fast performer with the top-end T7600G CPU and the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7950 GTX GPU. The price of the XPS M1710 is surprisingly competitive if you go with a more basic configuration (i.e. no Blu-Ray drive, and the T7600 CPU), but this doesn’t mean you have compromised on performance. The XPS M1710 is a great gaming notebook for those of you who can’t afford something as expensive as a notebook with SLI yet still want something that’s fun to own and play with.

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