I received my brand new (from outlet store) Aurora R4 yesterday. I turned it on to find Windows would only see 4GB out of 8GB. I opened it up to find 4 X 2GB slots. At this point I noticed the SLI bridge was connected to only one GPU. I connected the bridge to both GPUs, booted to windows and checked the SLI was working from NVIDIA control panel.
Next, back to the RAM problem, I booted to the BIOS and it only saw 4GB.
I powered it off, then took out the RAM chips at DIMM slot 3 & 4. Booted back to the BIOS to find that 4GB was visible.
I powered it off again and removed the RAM in slot 1 & 2 and put the RAM which had been at 3 & 4 into the 1 & 2 slots. When I booted into the BIOS this time 4GB was visible. So not a problem with the RAM chips....
I then put 2 RAM chips into slots 3 & 4, leaving slots 1 & 2 empty. When I powerd the PC on, I got beeps. This to me signifies that the RAM slots 3 & 4 could be faulty (basically the motherboard). I decided to give clearing the CMOS via jumper a go. No luck here either. Booting back to BIOS still shows only 4GB.
I ring Dell support, explain to the guy what I have experienced. He decides I need a replacement motherboard and says that on Monday I will have a repair man turn up to install the part. I actually think this is pretty quick considering the time it took to receive the product initially.
Anyway. So I decided that I would power the PC up and make do with 4GB RAM and test out the R4 with a game of Company of Heroes. I cranked it all up to ultra and got ready to be impressed. For at least 1 maybe 2 games I had great FPS and graphics were amazing. On the 3rd game I noticed some weird Graphics artifacts which I had never seen playing before. I was forced to exit the game because everything gradually became mangled so much that I couldnt really play. Back to the main menu and everything was rendered fine. I decided to try another game, but different level and sure enough Graphics artifacts appeared again. I think the type of artifact I experienced in these occasions is called an "unexpected spike". (in 3D apps GPU ram can be used to hold the three dimensional position of things in the scene - from what I can gather bad RAM can shift these positions to another spot).
Thinking that the GPU might be overheating and that this was causing it to artifact I check the ambient temps mid another game. There was nothing above 40C...
I rebooted the PC and then tried running the game at lowest settings. It worked fine until at the end of the game when I noticed a few odd graphics things, however this time very minor....
The PC seems to run Win7 quite well though, in that I havent noticed any GPU related issues as yet.
Anyway, getting to the point.... What I would like to know is whether it is likely I have bad GPUs as well as the motherboard, or is it more likely to be that the motherboard is what is making it appear like the GPUs are also faulty.?
Also does anyone know of any way I could test all the motherboard components and the GPUs for errors.?
Maybe I have been sold a lemon and I should bite the bullet and return the R4 asking for a refund?
Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated. I am new to Alienware and this is not the best first impression.
Thanks for reading.
If you have all this problems, don't hesitate to claim for a refund and if possible to trade computer for computer, so you give them the old when the new arrives, not sure if that is possible but I think it should have to for all the trouble this gave to you.
I would get a refund since you are in the 21 day return window. If you go past that you will be plagued with repair calls if issues keep coming up. I had problems with my Aurora ALX and it took almost 6 months to get sorted out to Dell standards not mine.
Aurora ALX - Bios A11 - i7 CPU 975 @ 3.33GHz - 12 gigs PC3-10660 (1333 MHz) - HL-DT-ST BD-RE BH30N - PLDS DVD+-RW DH-24AAS - ATI 5970 -Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth Module- Creative SB X-Fi - Hard Drive,1TB - Killer Xeno Network card - 875w Power Supply
M17X-R1 - Core 2 Duo @2.40GHz - 4 Gigs 1066MHz - DVDRWBD Bluray - Dual Nvidia GTX 260M
If you just received it don't let them "repair" a brand new system. Tell them to send you a new build (it is their obligation), it may take a little while to get but the one you have may have other issues you are not aware of yet... good luck.
I also had problems, and 2 complete replacements. The third system works fine though it is configured with a different video card. It's your dime, and their image and reputation. I can understand your frustration, but I think your best bet is a replacement if the service call leaves the situation unrelieved.
I'd also recommend that Dell do some investigating of their assembly plant south of the border as these things need to clear customs so I was told. The volume of problems with these machines is getting out of hand and is costing them more money. So if the cheaper labor south of the border coupled with the service call and replacement parts costs isn't enough to dissuade them from using inferior labor, perhaps they should consider bringing back the manufacturing to the USA.
Thanks for you input. Very appreciated. Luckily perhaps, the problems I was having are all sorted now, I think. I will need to push the R4 a bit harder later to see if it tips over, but I am more confident.
The engineer turned up and replaced the motherboard yesterday so all RAM chips are visible, whoo hoo.
The GPU issues were related to the motherboard and the lack of RAM. The games I play tend to eat RAM for a pastime. Once they consume the RAM they work on Virtual RAM on the disk. When all that is eaten up you can get (lack of resource) blue screens.. Anyway I am still within my 21days so I will hopefully have pushed it hard enough to have confidence in its reliability by then.
On a side note, the engineer (who incidentally was very good) reckoned that since Dell have moved manufacturing from Ireland to Poland that the problems haven't increased and that they are at the same sort of volume. I suppose given the increasing amount of people that choose Dell, the amount of problematic deliveries might increase also but they probably keep the percentage of success to failure the same (maybe this needs a bit of work).
Thinking about it, in the past I have had an iMac which had troublesome RAM and a screen that ended up with dead pixels covering it like a rainbow. I also had a defective iPhone.. My Mackbook pro also kissed goodbye to its DVD drive. Although it was only the iPhone which had issues out of box, I suppose problems can arise with whoever you choose. I think what worried me is the lack of personal support & reassurance that I am used to with Apple. You can simple walk in to an Apple store and they can offer a transfer/repair while you wait.
I think that as mentioned, Dell need to seriously improve their quality control, in that less of these Out Of Box issues should occur and also think about maybe having some kind of aftercare support like Apple perhaps.?
Although I have an R4 for less than £1000 which has nearly £2000 worth of parts if I built it myself, I think my whole experience purchasing from Alienware made me feel uneasy. DELL : - YOU NEED TO REWARD YOUR CUSTOMERS BY INSPIRING CONFIDENCE, MAKING THEM FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE DEFINITELY MADE THE RIGHT DECISION CHOOSING DELL OVER YOUR COMPETITION - THIS MEANS A BETTER SUPPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND QUALITY CONTROL.
Thanks again for any input..
My opinion is that from the moment that you bought the PC and till the moment that your guarantee expires you can ask for refund, replacement, repair or whatever from these you want. You are giving your money for something that is brand new and it is really annoying to receive something that doesnt work properly and its called brand new! I have my M17x repaired from dell now with a new graphics card so i will see if it works properly its fine if it doesnt work (again) and freezes then i will demand a replacement with another one brand new. As long as the guarantee is on you have every right to demand refund and replacement. I agree with everything you told GEEK_2012.
Thanks for your post I just ordered a R4 and I will do every check and test in the book the first few days and month. I am starting a check list with all the post I read about problems and will look for every single issue when I get my rig. I will leave no stone unturned and I will run the hard test I can find.
What Profanity did I use?
Can someone help me with my problem? I recently bought a Asus Maximus V Gene and since I installed it I cannot control my AlienFX. I tried uninstalling and re-installing, but when trying to re-install I get an error saying 'This installation package is not compatible with this platform'. I believe everything in my MIO board and motherboard is hooked up properly, but if anyone has an idea I would love to hear it.