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Is Dell ripping me off?

This discussion thread has 19 messages.

#1
Hi all, I would really appreciate an opinion from those of you (probably most of you!) who are more knowledgeable about computers than I am. I am concerned Dell is trying to give me the runaround because I am a girl and not super technical.

A little background: I bought a new laptop from Dell in January (NEVER again will I buy from Dell.) In July, the hard drive started clicking and grinding and then failed. I got the error when restarting "Internal disk not found." Dell sent me a new hard drive. Two days later, it happened again. They sent me another one, it happened again. They sent me a box to ship it to them with the promise that they would troubleshoot and repair the system. They sent it back with a note that the had replaced the hard drive and everything else was fine. No surprise, that one failed within a few days. I sent it back again, with them promising to replace whatever ELSE might be causing the problem (now there's logic for ya!). They replaced the hard drive and motherboard. It died AGAIN (though this time it just turned off and wouldn't turn back on, which was different from before, but that's neither here nor there.)

So finally after 2 months of angry calls, waiting on hold, yelling, emails, and lots of tears, they sent me a new laptop. They promised it would be a comparable or better system, but I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure my old laptop had 6 GB of RAM and this one has 4. It also looks like the newer one has a slower processor than the old one. That said, the Windows Experience Index is much higher on the new one (5.2 versus 4.3) but I'm doubtful that's actually relevant. SO, if someone could be so kind as to compare the important components and tell me if the new laptop is inferior to the old one, I would appreciate it SO much.
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#2
Old laptop - XPS M1330

System Summary
System Type: XPS M1330
Ship Date: 1/2/2009
Dell IBU: Canada
Quantity Parts # Part Description
1 G200C Module, Palmrest, Red, W/FPRDR M1330
1 DW953 Assembly, Palmrest, Red, W/FPRDR M1330
1 HR824 Ship Group, Notebook, United States, XPS-M1330, Dell AmericasOrganization
1 01323 INFORMATION..., NO ITEM
1 J2551 Cord, Power, 110 Volt, 3F, ALTERNATING CURRENT..., 3W P65, UNITED STATES...
1 RW491 Guide, Owner, Extreme Performance System, M1330 English
1 RW506 PLACEMAT..., GETTING STARTED..., EXTREME PERFORMANCE SYSTEM..., M1330, DAO/EMEA
1 Y870G TECHNICAL SHEET..., INSPIRON..., EXTREME PERFORMANCE SYSTEM..., DAO/EMEA/BCC
1 YK181 Guide, Product, Information Client, DAO/BCC
1 JM295 Module, Adapter, Alternating Current, 65W, Delta - Ac Adapt World Wide, M1330
1 XK850 Assembly, Adapter, Alternating Current, 65W, 3P, Delta - Ac Adapt, M1330
1 RU245 Module, Keyboard, 86, US-ENG Single Pointing, Dell Americas Organization
1 MU194 Keyboard, 86, United States English, Single Pointing Barents, Light
1 U226C Service Install Module Software, Red, XPS-M1330
1 X246C Module, Card, Drop In Box, Red M1530/M1330
1 NU985 CARD (DOCUMENT)..., WELCOME-CUST, A2010, DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION...
1 X251C Base, Notebook, CPEN, T9300, Red M1330
1 P219D Processor, T9300, 2.5, 6MB, Core Penryn, C0
1 DR464 Module, Label, Microsoft, WindowsVista Os, Premium, Inspiron
1 UM234 Module, Battery, Primary, 56WHR 6C, SANYO
1 FW302 Battery, Primary, 56WHR, 6C Lithium, Sanyo
1 JM048 Module, Dvd+/-rw, 8X, Ide 9.5, M1330
1 RW194 Assembly, Dvd+/-Rw, 8X, Panasonic9.5, Slot
1 D850M Module, Dual In-Line Memory Module, 6G, 800, DDR2, 1X2G/1X4G
1 NY687 Dual In-Line Memory Module, 4GB800, 512X64, 8K, 200
1 TX760 Dual In-Line Memory Module 2GB, 800, 256X64, 8K, 200
1 PN039 Module, Assembly, Base, Notebook Discrete Video, M1330
1 2864D Screw, M3X3, K SCREW HEAD..., MICROSOFT..., BLACK OXIDE...
1 U8042 ASSEMBLY..., BASE (ASSEMBLY OR GROUP)..., DISCRETE..., 128M, M1330
1 MX059 Module, Liquid Crystal Display Notebook, Red, Dummy, M1330
1 F363C Module, Cover, Liquid Crystal Display, RED PROJ, 2M, M1330
1 KP618 Assembly, Camera, 2M, Integrated Liteon, M1330
1 XK074 Bezel, Liquid Crystal Display Plastic, 2M, Camera, M1330
1 RW489 Module, Liquid Crystal Display 13.3WX, Stand, Au Optronics Corp, M1330
1 MM357 Bracket, Support, Left, Metal, V2 Liquid Crystal Display, M1330
1 R738G Liquid Crystal Display 13.3WXGA, True Life, Video elec.Stds Assoc., AU OPTRONICS CORP..., V3
1 RW488 Assembly, Cable, Coaxial, V2 Liquid Crystal Display, M1330
1 XK078 Bracket, Support, Right, Metal, V2Liquid Crystal Display, M1330
1 WP875 Module, Hard Drive, 320G, 5.4K SMSNG-M6, Inspiron
1 NW587 Hard Drive, 320G, Serial ATA, 9.55.4, SMSNG-M6
1 CM132 Module, Software, Mcafee, 9, 30DAYEnglish, Across Line Of Business
1 P349J Module, Software, Adobe, Reader 9.0, Multi-language
1 PU575 Module, Remote Control Notebook, Mobile 2008
1 FW331 Kit, Remote Control, Notebook Mobile 2008, Philips
1 WK528 Module, Software, GOOGLE, Search Consumer
1 XM544 Module, Software, PC-RESTORE Transactional Line Of Business
1 CY416 Module, Software, Dell Media Direct, 3.5, Operating System
1 CY418 Module, Software, Dell Media Direct, 3.5, THURMAN
1 TR250 MODULE..., SOFTWARE, DELL MEDIA DIRECT3.5, KIT, DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE..., EXTREME PERFORMANCE SYSTEM...
1 F988H Kit, Software, Dell Media Direct, 3.5, Digital Video Disk Drive, W1, EXTREME PERFORMANCE SYSTEM...
1 CN819 Module, Media, Digital Video Disk Drive, Resource Dvd XPS-M1330
1 W914C Module, Software, Dell Computer Corporation, CHAT, M09
1 J019D Module, Software, DELL-DOCK Consumer
1 JP927 Module, Software, DELL-WELCOME Transactional Line Of Business
1 K811H Module, Software, VHP64SP1, CNB England, D/B
1 M434H Module, Software, Quick Fix Engineering, VHP64SP1, Latitude Cpt
1 P166F Module, Software, VHP32 Certificate Of Authenticity
1 U264H Module, Software, VHP64SP1 Digital Video Disk Drive, MUL5 D/B
1 N172H KIT..., Software, VHP64SP1, Digital Video Disk Drive, Multiple, 5
1 UM061 Module, Card, Network DW1505, Inspiron, Rest Of World
1 MX846 Card (circuit), Wireless Minicard, DW1505, B1
1 X012J Module, Information, Royalty VHP, Red, M1530
1 T013C Module, Software, Works, 9 English
1 R020C Kit, Software, Works, 9, English
1 C912C Module, Label, Intel, Notebook Core Merom, Core Penryn
1 P108X Module, Software, Data Safe Online, 1.1, English
1 T190H Module, Software, Data Safe Online, 2GB-PAY
1 RN536 Module, Card, Network, Bluetooth 355, Thurman And Uma, Dell Americas Organization
1 CW725 Card, Wireless, Internal Bluetooth, 355, Windows Vista Os
1 MM911 Assembly, Heatsink, Notebook, MEROM, Discrete Video, M1330
1 RW683 Assembly, Cover, Hinge, Plastic W/Flexible Printed Circuit M1330
1 RW486 Assembly, Cover, Liquid Crystal Display, V2, Red Magnesium-alloy, M1330

---------------------------------

New laptop - Studio XPS

System Type: Studio XPS Laptop 1340
Ship Date: 8/27/2009
Dell IBU: Canada
Quantity Parts # Part Description
1 H681H Module, Shipping Material System, JOLIE, Dell Americas Organization
1 K637D Ship Group, Notebook, North United States, 1340, Dell Americas Organization
1 01323 INFORMATION..., NO ITEM
1 R859D KIT..., DOCUMENTATION..., BINDER..., ENGLAND/ENGLISH..., 1340, DELL AMERICAS ORGANIZATION...
1 U943P TECHNICAL SHEET..., DRIVER DOWNLOAD, ENGLAND/ENGLISH...
1 W108P TECHNICAL SHEET..., NVIDIA..., DOCUMENTATION UPDATE..., ENGLAND/ENGLISH...
1 X836K TECHNICAL SHEET..., SOFTWARE..., FI-BACKUP-WEBSITE, ENGLAND/ENGLISH...
1 M412C Module, Cord, Power, 125V, 1M, C5 E, United States
1 FX429 CORD..., Power, 125V, 2.5A, 1M, C5 E, United States
1 P434C Service Install Module Software, XPS NB, 1340
1 U057D Module, Keyboard, 86, United States, English, XLSB, Dell Americas Organization
1 R266D Keyboard, 86, United States England/english, Xps Liteweight Single Pointing Backlit
1 U160D Base, Notebook, Core Penryn P8600, M1340
1 F811K PROCESSOR..., P8600, 2.4, 3MB, CPEN, 25W, R0
1 X444H Module, Shipping Material System, JOLIE, BULK
1 DR464 Module, Label, Microsoft, WindowsVista Os, Premium, Inspiron
1 P916C Module, Dual In-line Memory Module, 4GB, 1067MHZ, DDR3, 2X2G
1 H299F Dual In-Line Memory Module, 2GB1067MHZ, 256X64, 8K, 200
1 P888C Module, Battery, Primary, 56WHR 6C, Samsung Power Division
1 P878C BATTERY..., PRIMARY..., 56WHR, 6C, LITHIUM..., SAMSUNG POWER DIVISION...
1 X749D Module, Dvd+/-rw, 8X, M1340 Hitachi Lg Data Storage
1 P834C ASSEMBLY..., DVD+/-RW..., 8, Serial ATA..., 1340, HLD
1 W738G MODULE..., INFORMATION..., LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY..., COVER..., PAINT..., RED..., 1340
1 W733G Module, Information, Liquid Crystal Display, Wide Extended Graphics Array, CCFL, 1340
1 K182D Module, Assembly, Base, Notebook Discrete Video, 1340
1 2864D Screw, M3X3, K SCREW HEAD..., MICROSOFT..., BLACK OXIDE...
1 K183D ASSEMBLY..., BASE (ASSEMBLY OR GROUP)..., NOTEBOOK..., DISCRETE..., 1340
1 M636F Cover, Right, Capacitor, Rear Base, 1340
1 N825F Cover, Left, Capacitor, Rear Base, 1340
1 U806D MODULE..., LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY..., 13.3WXGA, PAINT..., RED..., CCFL
1 J537G ASSEMBLY..., LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY..., 13.3WXGA, PAINT..., RED..., CCFL
1 U974D Module, Media, Digital Video Disk Drive, Resource Dvd, 1340
1 HW426 Module, Adapter, Alternating Current, Delta - Ac Adapt, 90W 3P, World Wide
1 WK890 Adapter, Alternating Current 90W, Delta - Ac Adapt, 3P, World Wide, M09
1 WH0CN MODULE..., LABEL..., INTEL..., NOTEBOOK..., C2D, RBDG
1 P178G Module, Hard Drive, 320G, Free Fall Sensor, FJTSU-A160 Inspiron/xps
1 K683F Hard Drive, 320G, Free Fall Sensor, 9.5, 7.2, FJTSU-A160
1 P349J Module, Software, Adobe, Reader 9.0, Multi-language
1 N547M Module, Software, Mcafee SAPPHIRE, 36MTH, Multiple User Interface
1 N566M Module, Software, Mcafee SAPPHIRE, Kit
1 P469M Kit, Software, Mcafee, SAPPHIRE Multiple User Interface
1 XM544 Module, Software, PC-RESTORE Transactional Line Of Business
1 JP927 Module, Software, DELL-WELCOME Transactional Line Of Business
1 J206C Module, Software, Dell Connect 2.1, Dell Americas OrganizationEMEA, Brazil Customer Center
1 T013C Module, Software, Works, 9 English
1 R020C Kit, Software, Works, 9, English
1 W914C Module, Software, Dell Computer Corporation, CHAT, M09
1 J019D Module, Software, DELL-DOCK Consumer
1 JP927 Module, Software, DELL-WELCOME Transactional Line Of Business
1 K811H Module, Software, VHP64SP1, CNB England, D/B
1 M434H Module, Software, Quick Fix Engineering, VHP64SP1, Latitude Cpt
1 P166F Module, Software, VHP32 Certificate Of Authenticity
1 U264H Module, Software, VHP64SP1 Digital Video Disk Drive, MUL5 D/B
1 N172H KIT..., Software, VHP64SP1, Digital Video Disk Drive, Multiple, 5
1 DR624 Module, Software, 6-CHAN, DOLBY PowerDVD, 7.0
1 M017R MODULE..., SOFTWARE..., POWERDVD..., 8.3, DIGITAL VIDEO DISK DRIVE..., TT, FACTORY INSTALL...
1 D282K Module, Software, Data Safe Basic, 2.0
1 Y425G Module, Software, Dell Remote Access, 1.0
1 T257H Module, Software, Roxio, 10.2-0 Dell Edition, Extreme Performance System
1 M239M Module, Software, LTG DELL-DOWNLOAD-FLAG
1 Y720M Module, Software, DSPRT-CTR 64BIT, 2.0
1 W871N Module, Software, WINDOWS-LIVE Consumer
1 P641P MODULE..., SOFTWARE..., CRTV, CAMERA..., CONSUMER..., 1.2, FACTORY INSTALL...
1 F977H Module, Card, Network, 370 Foxconn, Consumer Notebook Dell Americas Organization
1 P560G Card, Wireless, Bluetooth, 370 FXCN, 5DB, No Bios
1 J857C Module, Card (circuit), Network DW1510, Inspiron, Dell Americas Organization
1 PW934 Card, Wireless, Half Mini-card, DW1510, 4322
1 U836D Assembly, Heatsink, Central Processor Unit, Memory Controller Hub, Notebook, 1340
#3
XPS M1330 Specifications link
http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/sy...s.htm#wp1102222
Studio XPS 1340 Specifications link
http://www.dell.com/content/products/pro...s=19&l=en&s=dhs
look at this link as it compares the 2 cpu's
http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=33917,35568,
#4
Hey, thanks so much for the links. I wish I had a better understanding of this stuff. Would you agree that they have sent me an inferior system?
#5
Giving someone the technical reference links when they pretty much already had them?... not that useful.

No, Dell is not shorting you on any of the major components with this replacement.

Both systems have 6 Gigs of memory, with your new system actually being 1067 speed vs. the older system using 800 speed.

The hard drives are from different manufacturers, but are the same size and speed.

The processor is still an Intel mobil Duo Core 2 low power, just like the dead unit, but is just barely faster now -- 2.5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz before. One benefit of the newer T9300 processor is double the L2 internal L2 cache memory of 6Mb... always a bonus and can make some processes faster. So, this is definitely an upgraded chip.

Same screen sizes, same battery size and Watt-hours...

So, they didn't downgrade any of your major components, spec-wise, and actually stepped you up a level on both memory and processor speeds.

Now, if they'd only improve their customer service. Remember, something to try is to call during normal US daytime hours, and ask the service tech (in India usually) for a service manager. Claim you cannot understand them with their heavy accent...whatever. Many times you will be transferred to a US representative with actual authority that isn't just reading a service script. It's always worth a try.
#6
bryguy12, links are always useful. his new cpu is slower by 100mhz & has half the cache of the old cpu.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Sep 2009 @ 0:14
#7
Oh thank you so much for your help!

To clarify, the T9300 is in the old system (old is M1330, new is Studio XPS), not the new.

Honestly, I don't want to return this computer because I am so sick and tired of being without my own computer, ya know? But I refuse to let them rip me off because they think they can. I "built" the new system in the online store, and it is coming in at much cheaper than my original laptop.

The Canadian tech support line is usually routed through a different call center, I believe. I seem to always get the Phillipines, no matter what time I call. This is embarrassing, but it was actually my mom who screamed loud enough to finally get me a new laptop. I was getting so upset about it I couldn't talk to them anymore without getting hysterical (and I am a grown woman!) Computer stuff is so frustrating.

Thank you again SO MUCH for your comments. I feel so dumb when it comes to this stuff.

Edit: the new system shows only 4 GB of RAM in the system properties in control panel. Am I missing something?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Sep 2009 @ 0:13
#8
what does the bios show? are you using 32bit vista or 64bit vista?
#9
Originally posted by ddp:
bryguy12, links are always useful. his new cpu is slower by 100mhz & has half the cache of the old cpu.
This is what I thought. (Not that it matters, but I'm a she. :))

Originally posted by ddp:
what does the bios show? are you using 32bit vista or 64bit vista?
I'm using 64bit, which I got in the first place because I wanted more RAM. The bios shows this:

System Memory: 634 KB
Extended Memory: 3838 MB
Memory Speed: 1066 MHz

So it looks to me like there's only 4 GB of RAM and a slower processor -- i.e. Dell is trying to rip me off.
#10
the cpu is both faster & slower at the same time. faster in the fsb but slower in ghz by .1ghz & half the cpu cache. the difference in ram amounts might be easy as 1 stick(2gig) of the 2(2nd is 4gig) is jared loseso is only showing 4gig or there is 2-2gig sticks not 1-2gig & 1-4gig. where in canada are you as i'm in ontario south of barrie?
#11
I see what you mean about the processor being slower but faster. I wish I know definitively which one is better. I guess it's possible some of the memory is loose, I will check that. Otherwise I am really on the fence about whether to make a stink with them or not. I am just so sick of dealing with them, you have no idea!

ddp, I'm in Vancouver -- pretty far from you!

I so appreciate all the time you guys have taken to respond. I also welcome other opinions. I love this forum!
#12
make a stink about it
#13
Ah, crap!.... got my handwritten notes confused: yep, you're right about my screwing up which system, old or new, had which processor.

Slap me silly and call me names...

And I agree on the memory problem. It definitely sounds like only one of the modules is responding, or was installed. I am confused by the amount you say bios is showing -- it adds up to 4472 meg of memory, which is about 400 more than a 4 gig stick alone should show, or am I missing something here people?

I wouldn't concern myself with the .1 Mhz difference in the cpu, since the faster FSB more than makes up for that...but definitely having only half the L2 cache loses that advantage. Sounds like this cpu swap is a 50/50 thing.

Any chance you paid for your original Dell unit with a credit card? If so, I'd suggest bumping yourself up the service call chain to a supervisor with the threat of, "I am returning the unit and contesting the CC charge -- you sold me a lemon and have failed to make good on the system. HP and Acer would love to sell me a working system." And if having your mother make the threats worked before, ask her again to play 'tough' for you. You have to do something to get the script reader off of the page and actually dealing with your problem as a personal matter.
#14
Oh how do I wish I had paid with a credit card! I would have sent it back and disputed the charge ages ago. Unfortunately I am on monthly payments with Dell so I have no recourse.

I opened it up and, despite what the specs above say, there are only 2 x 2 GB sticks of RAM in there. edited by ddp

I am going to live with the processor since it seems it is pretty much equivalent (am I understanding that correctly?) I will be insisting they send me a 4 GB stick of RAM, however!

Thanks again guys for your feedback -- I appreciate it so much!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Sep 2009 @ 21:58
#15
post edited. if get 4gig stick then might be able to sell 2nd 2gig stick.
#16
Apologies, I didn't realise swearing was against the rules.

As much as I'd like to make a little money off this situation, Dell always insists on getting old parts back when they send a new one.

My next computer will be a Mac, no question!
#17
I'm a Dell field tech and, yes, that's an upgrade. A big one. (I'd trade my XPS 1530 for a StudioXPS 1640 in a heartbeat.)

1. I work on a LOT of 1330's. There are a few problems (mostly heat-related) with the XPS 1330 that have been addressed in the StudioXPS 1340. If you had kept the 1330, you would be calling tech support again anyway.

2. The video card that comes standard in the 1340 is significantly better than the one in the 1330. Remember that everything else is upgradeable (memory, processor, hard drive, optical drive, even the display), but the video is not.

3. The keyboard on the 1340 is illuminated (and is not on the 1330). It's not a cool factor, it's a huge help when trying to use the computer in a dark room, or a car, or sitting in bed at night.

3. The faster FSB will MORE than make up for any difference in the core clock of the processor. That said, unless you are running 3D CAD or bleeding edge games, you won't notice the difference between the processors in the real world anyway. [RANT ON: Nobody surfing the internet, playing Farmtown on FaceBook or forwarding emails will ever touch the capabilities of their processor. People get SO hung up on their processor speed, but honestly, it's just about the least important 'piece' in the 'make-it-faster' puzzle. If you want your computer to run faster, close out all the garbage running in the background, upgrade memory and video card and slide in a faster drive. Move to a 64-bit O/S, a faster FSB, and a Quad core processor...but forget the speed. It's really just NOT that important. RANT OFF} By the way, you CAN upgrade your processor. Actually, you can take the T9300 out of the 1330 and put it into the 1340, if you want. It takes about 5 minutes.

About the memory: You may need to re-seat it...double-check that the guy who put it together put both sticks of memory in there. The build sheet called for it...but people put these things together, and sometimes, they make mistakes. Dell isn't trying to rip you off...they don't make loyal customers (or money) like that. But, somebody COULD have screwed up the build.

The Windows Experience Index numbers ARE valid, because of the video card upgrade and the faster FSB (hence, faster memory)...these are the two biggest speed bottlenecks in most people's computers anyway. (Well, after you get all the junk that runs in the background of windows cleared out.) The .1Ghz drop in processor speed is insignificant.
#18
Ceeanton, thanks for your perspective, it is really appreciated.

The processor was important to me because I do use the laptop for gaming and other resource-heavy programs. And obviously 4 GB RAM /= 6 GB RAM so that was an issue (whatever the cause, there was only 4 GB in there.)

I agree that the backlit keyboard is nice, but I don't use the laptop much at night, so I wasn't over the moon about it. Better video card is definitely a bonus.

All of this is moot now because Dell agreed to upgrade the processor to better than I had before (T9600) and swapped out the 2 GB stick for a 4 GB. I definitely have a better laptop now than I started with. Since I was without a working laptop for almost 3 months, I kind of feel like I earned it. :)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Sep 2009 @ 21:45
#19
good for you on the upgrades.
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