Hi. I am trying to
configure an XPS8300 system that I intend to purchase soon. I’m not too happy with the response time of
the sales agent… probably due to the time difference between USA and India or whatever place is
outsourced to. Anyway, I hope the
community forums has some information.
Here’s what I have thus far:
Windows® 7 Professional, 64Bit, English
i7-2600 processor(8MB Cache, 3.4GHz)
Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
AMD Radeon™ HD
1.5TB - SATA-II,
3Gb/s, 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache HDD
Add 2 USB 3.0
No Dial Up
16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
X-Fi Xtreme Audio
(Speakers are required to hear audio from your system)
Wireless-N PCIe Card
Productivity Software (Pre-Installed)
Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads. No PowerPoint
3 Year Good
Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
Old Dell or Non-Dell Branded Equipment at No Cost With The Purchase of a New
for Windows® 7 Professional OS, 64bit, Eng.
1. Do I still get six USB2.0 ports and the 10/100/1000
Ethernet port even though I chose the option “Add 2 USB 3.0 ports”?
2. Does purchasing the computer system with WIN7 and then
upgrading to WIN7-PRO void warranties or services?
3. Is there an official or verified place where I can go for Dell online discount coupons?
AKMARK5000http://webportjunctionforum.forumotions.com/ "Ask me again and I'll deny everything."
Dell XPS8300; Win7 Pro [64Bit];
Intel i7-2600 [3.4Ghz]; 12Gb RAM; AMD/ATI Radeon HD6770; 1.5Tb HDD [7200Rpm];
Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme; Dell IN1920 18.5' HD Widescreen
1. It looks like its just a PCI Express x1 card that they have added. Seems two at the back from the image they provide. However this is a sample image only and looks to be misleading.
Look at the video review here (seems one is added at the back and one is added at the front). Giving you 4 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 at the back and 4 USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0 at the front.
Note you won't have any PCI express slots left as you will have the soundcard also. Graphics card will occupy the PCI express x16 slot and cover one of the PCI express x1 slots. Soundcard will cover one PCI express x1 slot and USB 3.0 card will cover the final one. This is fine unless you want to insert another card.
2. The warranty covers hardware and not software. As an aside you can use Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade this will preserve your factory settings but change Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit to Windows 7 Professional 64 bit. I done the same on my XPS 8300 with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. However as I installed my own soundcard and had some strange conflict with the graphics drivers I done a clean install subsequently.
3. Unfortunately I have not found such a site. However there might be one.
Also if you want internal bluetooth, add it now as it is hard to get the parts to manually upgrade it later. (that was my plan but I add to get a Bluetotoh USB dongle instead). Its a great machine, I really like mine.
No problem, I looked at this system and similar systems for a few months before deciding to buy it. I have also been looking in depth at possible upgrades. Particularly ones I can do myself later down the line for much cheaper.
• Looked for best processor/motherboard as its generally the most costly parts to upgrade/replace yourself.
• I first didn't bother with the soundcard as I thought the integrated audio would suffice. I changed my mind as soon as I used it, it sounded worse to me then the integrated audio of my 5 year old laptop. I am not too fond of realtek devices. I upgraded it myself to a Creative Soundblaster Xi-Fi. Therefore I recommend getting the card, like you are getting.
• I thought I could upgrade the bluetooth manually as I did in my laptop, then found I needed a whole chassis and cable to add the card. I could not purchase this in the U.K. and so settled for a Belkin Bluetooth USB dongle with probably better range.
• RAM I upgraded from 6 GB to 12 GB using crucial was much cheaper, might upgrade to 16 GB down the line.
• I added a second 1 TB hdd just looked for the part and screws on amazon.
• Looking at bluray drives for the second optical drive, might do so once they get cheaper.
• Looking at the USB 3.0 ports for the back of the computer.
1. I am actually looking at a post adding a USB 3.0 Card to a new Dell XPS 8300 to see if I can do it on mine. This option wasn't available in the U.K. It seems that a USB 3.0 PCI Express x1 card can be used. Looks to be easy but I am slightly concerned about the power cable so am not 100 % sure about it yet. I am not sure if I will be able to have 2 hard drives, 2 DVD drives and this USB 3.0 device all together.
Also it would be good to have one at the front and one at the back let Dell semm to do as preinstalled but cannot find an easy cheap way to that for the U.K.
If you look the black back panel with the ethernet port, 4 USB won't be affected. (Integrated audio and integrated graphics will be blocked off in your case). Since you have dedicated graphics and dedicated sound. You don't remove the ethernet card, it is part of the back panel.
The first two PCI express card slots will be occupied by the graphics card. The bottom one by the soundcard leaving you the third one free for USB 3.0 (purchased with the system or at a later date). Again I need to see about the power cable and an adaptor for the power cable.
2. Purchase the recovery media for Windows 7 aswell, it should give you the option on the XPS.
What you are buying is essentially the exact configuration I have just now including the upgrades I have manually made so far. You have a better graphics card however (ATI HD6770 vs ATI HD5770). If you are getting the Creative Soundblaster Xi-Fi then you have the same soundcard as me also. I am happy with my system, its fantastic however of course if I find the upgrade parts for cheap, I will upgrade it.
Yes I removed McAfee, the first thing I did was uninstall it reboot, then used the McAfee removal tool. Also removed bing bar, ebay shortcut and a few other things. Then I installed the standalone Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Standalone Internet Explorer 9 (hopefully they both should be preinstalled).
I use Microsoft Security Essentials (free) along with Windows 7 Firewall Control (64 bit free version) and finally the full version of Mawarebytes (£20 no expiry with realtime protection or free version which only runs/updates when told). This security configuration is more than sufficient. I see no need to pay for anything else. I use Google Chrome with the free Adblock extension as my internet browser.
As I am always recommending software on this board and to friends, I wrote a wiki on the software I find useful and hence recommend. Most of it is free, if not the price is listed. Download links are available at the top and a more detailed description of what some/most of the programs do are listed below.
Thanks! You are very knowledgeable compared to me. I talked to you before in other forums topics.
1. Looks like I will go with the USB2.0 +Ethernet option because now that I really think about it, I do not have 3.0 devices and probably won't for a few years... I can add them in if I take out the Ethernet card, correct?
2. No worries because I am going to purchase Win7 Pro and sound card with the system.
3. Boogers... oh well, never hurts to ask. I have found a couple websites, but I think they might be not authentic.
Thanks again Natakuc4.
Once again, great descriptive information!
I went ahead and placed my order. I
think I made pretty good choices for the total purchase price. Thanks for your information. It was very, very helpful in my final
Genuine Windows® 7 Professional, 64Bit, English
Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor(8MB Cache, 3.4GHz)
12GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz - 4 DIMMs
Dell Consumer Multimedia Keyboard
No Monitor (ordered separately and saved on the total purchase)
AMD Radeon™ HD 6770
1.5TB - SATA-II, 3Gb/s, 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache HDD
Dell Laser Mouse
USB 2.0 ports + Ethernet (may look into 3.0 later)
No Dial Up Modem Option (really?, not a concern)
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
Single Drive: 16X CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) w/double layer write capability
Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio
No speakers (I have a set and I use headphone sets all the time)
Dell 1501 Wireless-N PCIe Card
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed)
Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads.
No PowerPoint or Outlook
McAfee Security Center,
Hardware Support Services
3 Year Good Service Package
Windows® 7 Professional, 64Bit, English, Recovery Media
DataSafe 2.0 Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
One of the things that I do not like is the preinstalled McAfee Security
Center. I will most likely uninstall it and replace
it with some other anti-virus else like Avir or Windows Essentials; until I can
get a real anti-virus software like Kaspersky 2012. Another annoyance is the video chip
option. I would have rather gone with NVIDIA, but the only medium range option was with AMD-ATI.
Anyway, I hope the shipping goes ok. I have heard of “out-of-box” broken or faulty
Nice Wiki article (link in your signature).
Thanks I have actually been trying to get Dell to improve some of its software services on Dell Idea Storm. To make it much easier/reliable for the end user. The more votes I get the more likely they are to look into them. I would appreciate it if you would make an account on Dell Idea Storm and promote the following 5 ideas on Dell Idea Storm. You should be able to log in with you're forum account.
• Make Dell Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 .iso Files Available to Download
• Print OEM Product Keys for Windows 7 and Office 2010 in the BIOs setup
• One Dell Quickset for All Dell Systems
• Drivers and Downloads Page: List Drivers in Recommended Install Order
• One Software Installation Location
Has you're system arrived yet, how is it if it has?
The monitor arrived Tuesday and XPS8300 computer system arrived Thursday. I am still setting it up and installing programs.
Finding 64Bit software (or compatible) is a little difficult with since I'm acquainted with 32Bit software. The "Program Files" / "Program Files (x86)" will take some getting used to also.
The monitor is not that great... it operates flawlessly and has good picture clarity, but I do not like wide screen formats.
I'm not too thrilled about the XPS8300 color, but it is under my open-air desk though. I expected it would be black or grey. It's black in the front only; gray in the rear and white on the top and sides.
The placement of the USB ports is awkward for me, but at least there's eight of them. It works out since 1 of 2 printers is not operating and my older USB HUB (circa 2003) will not work correctly, but to be fair it was not listed on the Win7 64Bit Hardware Compatibility List.
The XPS8300 runs a bit hotter in the rear when playing games or photo/video editing, but I guess that is due to the duel graphic card setup.
It is indeed a bit louder than expected when the CD/DVD-RW is in use or when playing games or photo/video editing.
The Win7 backup feature really sucks, but that's a Windows 7 64Bit issue. I'm looking for a 3rd party backup solution... maybe the free versions or Macrium Reflect or Paragon.
The McAfee is the worst. I uninstalled that and replaced it. I'm using Avir Antivir Personal (free edition) and Malwarebytes (free edition) until I can get Kaspersky Internet Security.
The Win7 uninstaller is less than adequate (no surprise there). I'm trying to find a really good one that does a great job like the free Revo Uninstaller did.
I'll be sure to sign up with the idea storm and support the ideas that you listed.
Use the McAfee Removal Tool.
I never got a monitor with mine, just been using 2 older Dell 176FP monitors, which are not wide screen.
I thought the style was quite nice but its the least of my worries with a computer.
Yeah I hate the placement with the 2 beside the headphone port. Quite awkward if you have it in you're desk. Currently I occupy the 4 at the back and usually only use the other 2 at the front.
I haven't really noticed the noise on my CD/DVD-RW then again I usually just use it to install the games and then apply a no CD/DVD fix and never really video edit.
I generally backup things manually as I don't trust such programs.
The useful software link below may also help you. Everything listed will work under Windows 7 64 bit except the ones listed under Windows XP.
In general any software that works on Windows 7 32 bit will work on Windows 7 64 bit. It may just be Windows 7 compatibility. If you have any problems with specifics list the software you are trying to install. What is you're printer?
I did use the McAfee removal tool and Avir Antivir Personal (free edition) and Malwarebytes (free edition) until I can get Kaspersky Internet Security.
I got one printer to work... it was easy (HP Officejet 6310 divers and software download). The other (HP Photosmart 7350) is giving me a difficult time. There are no drivers or software and the alternative drivers do not seem to work. The HP Photosmart 7350 is from 2003, so because of its age I think it is pretty much futile.
I'm still looking around for a Win7 Uninstaller replacement. I'm trying to find a really good one that does a great job like the free Revo Uninstaller did... only specifically for Win7 64Bit. I might have to by one.
Anyway, I found a nice little utility for BIOS and driver analysis. BIOS Agent Plus is a nifty utility that lets you know about out of date BIOS and drivers.
I compared BAP results to the Dell XPS8300 downloads. I found that BPM said my BIOS was out of date. So I investigated and found that the XPS8300 comes with an OEM of the A03 BIOS and therefore caused BPM to register a false claim. I still say it is a good utility for the free analysis part.
Looking around I found this. To install your HP Photosmart 7350 printer on Windows Vista, follow these steps:
1) If your printer is connected to your computer, disconnect it by disconnecting the USB cable from the back of the computer.2) Go Start > Control Panel > Hardware & Sounds3) Then click on "Printers"4) Click "Add a Printer"5) Click on "Add a Local Printer"6) Check off the "Use an Existing Port" check box7) In the drop down list, select "LPT1: (Printer Port)" as your existing port.8) Click the Next button9) Under "Manufacturer", select "HP"10) Under "Printers" choose "Deskjet 5550"11) Click the Next button12) In the "Printer Name" text box, type "Photosmart 7350" (without the double quotes)13) Click the next button14) You should get a message saying that the printer was successfully added. At this point, you can reconnect your printer to your computer by plugging the USB cable back into the port on your computer.15) A "Found New Hardware" box should show up. Click on the "Cancel" button to close the box. If more than one box shows up, click Cancel on all of them.16) Go back to the printers folder. If you closed it, you can get back to it by going Start > Control Panel > Hardware & Sounds > Printers17) Right click on the Photosmart 7350 printer icon and select "Properties" from the context menu that appears.18) Select the "Ports" tab.19) Change the port from "LPT1" to "DOT4"20) Click the "Apply" button.
The same steps should apply to Windows 7 as the two OS are very similar.
Revo uninstaller works on Windows 7 64 bit I have used it. See here. Thats the pro version however, you do get the 30 day free trial of it should you need to use it. $40 price for 1 computer or $60 for 3. Its a nice program although don't know think I would pay that for that program, don't use it often enough.
This BIOs agent Plus has really bad reviews on CNET based on the reviews I would steer clear of it/not trust it.
As for drivers the Dell site is generally okay. However it is worth getting the drivers for the graphics card/sound cards direct from ATI and Creative. Everything else is fine.
Was Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Internet Explorer 9 preinstalled on you're system?
Note some users experienced degraded performance after installing these, some conflict with the drivers I think. Their system would periodically freeze, mine on the other hand just crashed some games etc. I fixed mine by installing windows myself from the DVD and then installing the following in order:
Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (standalone) windows6.1-KB976932-X64.exe
• Internet Explorer 9 (standalone) IE9-Windows7-x64-enu.exe
• The two chipset drivers R284334.exe & R284362.exe
• Video from the AMD website
• Broadcom driver R282233.exe
• Wireless WLAN 1501 R283152.exe
• Creative Xi-Fi Soundblaster from the Creative Website
• Card Reader R281588.exe
• Dell bluetooth 365 R283190.exe
I tried one again to install the Photosmart 7350... no go. Oh well. I give up.
I forgot to say that yes, Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Internet Explorer 9 came per-installed on my system. I think the customization configuration may have forced Dell into installing the latest software and drivers.
So its running pretty stable/you're happy with it?
I'm happy with it so far... I just have to become comfortable with the system..