Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dell Laptop Owner's Beware

If you have an Inspirion 9400/e1605 chances are you video has went on you. It's not new news anyone with an nVidia card either be Go 7800 or 7900 GS will fail. The 7900GS has a far higher failure rate with most of these cards dying from artifacts that look like lines going up and down the screen.

If Dell offers to extend your warranty DO IT! I'm already on my 4th card.

My first card was a Go 7800 by far this card lasted the longest as it worked fine in my system for the first 2 years.

Upon failing the Dell service depot did not have any of the parts in stock, so they substituted it with a Go 7900GS video card. I was happy that I got a free upgrade to a slightly faster card but unfortunately after 2 months this card failed.

The third replacement was again a 7900GS this by far was the shortest lifespan as within 1 month and 1 week it also died (you can confirm this by searching the archives).

Now I'm on my 4th card, I'm a bit disappointed that Dell replaced my last fancy Go 7900GS with the older Go 7800 which generates a lot more heat and performs weaker. That said after contacting Dell several times to get this remedied I just decided it was too much hassle and most likely this Go 7800 judging from how much heat it generates will just go up in smoke before the 1 year warranty is up anyways.

Video cards for the dell Inspiron 9400/e1705 are becoming ridiculously expensive on ebay now with prices now well into the $400 CDN range. If you were to upgrade to a 7900 GTX or a 2500M be prepared to shell out at least $500 now. That said I've heard that the 7900 GTX has much better cooling and will not go up in smoke like the Go 7800 and 7900GS.

For those that are interested I'll be sure to update the blog the next time this video card goes up in smoke, I'd also like to hear any horror stories you might have had as this is very a very common design flaw. Maybe if anyone has a solution to this it would be nice as well.

Right now I just needed to get this down for those of you wondering if you just got a lemon of a laptop. Let's just say all Inspiron 9400/e1705 are like this and you should expect to have to have your video card swapped out regularly.

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