I plan to buy an XPS laptop (17") and would like to include an SSD, but only if the SSD has sufficiently superior performance to a HDD. I can find no info online as to which brand / model is used if I select the only option provided (dual drive with 640GB HDD with 256 GB SSD). However, Dell does offer a wide variety of SSD's onlice as separately-puchased options.
a) which model / brand of SSD does Dell use in the canned "Customization"
b) can I substitute a different brand / model from the inventory?
c) has anyone purchased the "standard" SSD option and if so, are you happy with the performance?
I can answer your last question (C). I purchased a Dell Studio XPS 1645 laptop w/128 GB SSD last February and believe me there is a BIG boost w/performance versus a 7200 RPM SATA HDD or even w/(2) HDDs using a RAID 0 configuration.
The SSD also weighs less than an HDD, which helps make your laptop more portable.
If possible, I recommend going w/the 256 GB SSD.
IMO the advent of SSD technology provides a great leap forward w/desktop/laptop performance.
I heard the Alienware uses Samsung SSD...I think crucial SSD is considerd the best, but theres a lot of opinions out there.
I highly doubt you can pick which SSD you want on the assembly line. Falcon northwest or a company that really gives you personal service would probably be able to do that, but Dell is a system that probably cant be changed.
I see a lot of standard SSDs on the enthusiast forums (AW M15x, 17X) and they seem happy with it.
Give Dell sales a call or do Dell chat and ask away. Just be sure to get what you want.
Alienware Aurora (Legacy P2) Phenom II X4 2.8 Quad Liquid Cooled, 2GB ATI 4870 X2, 4 GB RAM @800mhz, 300 GB 10k Velociraptor, Lightscribe drive, Blu Ray Read/Writer drive, Vista Premium, 24" Dell Ultrasharp 2408WFP.
Apple Macbook AIR 13" 1.86 C2D, 4GB 1066, 128GB SSD (2010) Apple Macbook PRO 15" (2008)
Previous Systems: Dell XPS Gen 3, Dell 600M, Dell 8100, Dell 8200, Dell 4600, Dell Lattitude, Dell Studio
FWIW, I came across a detailed customer review of the SSD drive in their Dell system here (click 'Customer Ratings'). I recall it was a Samsung SATA-2 SSD drive. Of course, that's just 1 person's experience.