Revive that Windows Vista Laptop – Dell XPS M1710 – Epic Laptop Lives Again!

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There are way too many great laptops that have been left to die thanks to crappy, broken Windows installations. I say NO MORE!
Today I’ll show you how you can breathe new life into that old laptop with a software or hardware upgrade. LONG LIVE EPIC LAPTOPS!

Check out our sponsor, System76: for great Linux PCs and a fantastic Linux community!

SSD used – OCZ Trion 150
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Laptop Shown: Dell XPS M1710

Solus Linux:
Lubuntu:

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Edited w/ Premiere Pro CC:

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23 COMMENTS

  1. I paid a pretty penny for a shiny red example back in the day. T7200, 4GB, 160GB HDD. I still have the wee beastie. My first and biggest gripe was the total lie about the maximum RAM, 4GB means 3.25GB due to chipset weirdness. Nothing you can do about it, that's it. My biggest turn on was overclocking built in by design, the speakers, and the oh so definite lid-clip. So far I have resisted the urge to buy the requisite overclockable CPU ==> T7600G (note the G). They are rare and expensive (100 USD). The LED bling got turned off in the first 5 minutes. I guess each to his own.

    It has had multiple updates over the years: FX-1600m (works great), various HDD, SDD. I am soon to do it's final (he says) upgrade: FX-3600m, T7600 (not G 🙁 )

    It's currently running ArcoLinux (Absolutely recommended) and boots to awesome in around 30s.

    I was going to call it quits on the upgrades, but then I discovered that Nvidia were discontinuing driver support. Basically that meant you had to either anchor the kernel (sucks), or use Nouveau. Now Nouveau is ok, but it does not support "reclocking" the FX-1600m (or earlier) power / performance modes. So you end up with your GPU running in the lowest power / performance setting. This doesn't quite cut it for full screen youtube / netflix etc. HD playback. You either have to go to lower resolution or smaller window…

    I did a lot of digging around. The Nouveau driver currently supports reclocking from Tesla G92 core upwards. The FX-3600m was one of the first G92 cores so there's a possibility that it can be reclocked via the experimental (read not user friendly) kernel interface. Even if it doesn't I hope that it will "just work" since it's low power mode is double the performance of the FX-1600m.

    The T7600 offers a minor performance boost over the T7200. We're talking around 13% here, so no flying to the moon. But it was way cheaper than the T7600G.

    Here's hoping I can squeeze another 7 years out of the ol girl. That'll make her 20 and due for retirement or maybe a rebirth. Who knows!

  2. I had/have an M1710 and I adored it. Unfortunately, the graphics card died (there is an oven-baking fix apparently) and one of the screen hinges broke. This thing was a rocket in its day and I wish Dell would make a new XPS17.

  3. I'm curious, why you don't mention that if you upgrade the CPU, Graphics card and RAM you can play Crysis on medium settings but on low resolution. Yes, I'm serious. Upgrade the CPU to the intel T7600 overclocked to 3.16GHZ, upgrade the RAM to 4 gigs and upgrade the video card to the Nvidia Geforce GO 7950 GTX and go to the NVIDIA control panel and change ALL SETTINGS to high performance. This requires disabling antisoptric filtering, reading all the boxes before checking them and then apply your settings.

    After that go to a program called system configuration(search this up in search bar) and disable bootup programs you don't need to save RAM. And, then you're ready to go to play Crysis 1 at 35-75 FPS. No, I'm not making this up. Crysis can run surprisingly decent for this machine if you optimize the control panel settings and bootup settings and the upgrade all the parts. It works ! 🙂

  4. In windows, the leds flash to the beat of music in winamp or windows media player. you also need windows for dell mediadirect.
    I ll stick with Vista or 7 or 10. Anyone out there with a copy of mediadirect 3 for xps install disk for sale. i m buying

  5. For anyone with the question of, what SSD will work in this?
    VERY IMPORTANT, this chipset will NOT allow AHCI, so ANY SSD will suffer.
    That said, it is still faster in IDE mode with an SSD, but NOT ALL SSDS WILL WORK OR EVEN BOOT.

    I found the cheap Crucial BX500 model (after some trial and error) works well in IDE mode, NO Evo 840 bloated price point SSD required. The results, even in IDE mode are substantially better than with a HD (especially random writes). AND even better, TRIM is supported.
    DO NOT BUY KINGSTON, my experience was it did NOT work.

  6. I got this Laptop like 2 months ago , and sold it cause I smelt a burning smell. It was the graphics card , they are known to fry. I had the core duo 2 model with an ssd and 3.5 gb of ram, and bought a higher end battery . This thing was pretty quick but I didn't want to put a new graphics card in it, cause I already put too much money in it.

  7. So why have we been told by Dell and most of the forums that our XPS M1710 will only run using the windows XP that it was shipped with ? And the Media Center direct-X would have to be installed or nothing will work ? And Dell does not support XP anymore but finding any software is next to impossible !!!! OK now I will have to look at this from a completely different approach and learn the Linux way ! thanks

  8. Vista was ahead of the cheaper costs of hardware and strong hardware. Service Pack 1 then 2 made Vista run well. Computers were more expensive before.

    Windows Millennium Edition was abandoned and there was politics at Microsoft. The manager or management team did not understand Windows ME. They put more time and effort into Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows 2000 (mostly due to Windows 2000 having Network Technologies (NT) and server type of stuff. Then Windows XP was rushed like the other OS's.

    Windows XP sucked at first and had very little software or game support. There was also the Service Pack 1 (or SP2?)virus directly on Microsoft's download web-page. I cannot find any articles at this time.

    Windows 7 was "Windows Vista SP3". Windows 8 was "Windows 7" and Windows 8.1 was "Windows 7 SP2". Windows 10 was "Windows 8 SP2 or SP3".

  9. Just to let you know, because I have the same laptop and its running win 7 with an ssd 4gb of ram (maxed) and GTX 7950 512mb. It was a beast at its time. Now is nothing impresive but I'll keep it! I'm able to play LoL and Cataclysm on Max Setting without shadows and anti alising with avrg of 60fps! I moved to a gaming I5 and GTX 970 but still it's a good dell.

  10. Should have upgraded the ram and gave win 7 a try, only using linux on these older gaming laptops is a waste as they will run games that are not compatible with win 10. Even got two XPS M1730s and they are still very nice laptops.

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