Precision M4500 Owner's Lounge

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Miriad, Mar 31, 2010.

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  1. tom_bell07

    tom_bell07 Notebook Consultant

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    I couldn't get those latest nvidia verde drivers to install on my 1800m .. anyone able to get them to work?

    I know that the laptopvideo2go drivers with the modified .inf will probably work - but i don't care to use them.
     
  2. scrap

    scrap Newbie

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    geneo696 - I placed my order on 4/28. Estimated delivery was 5/17, but it now shows that it shipped on 5/8 with estimated delivery of 5/13.
     
  3. VeryOldGuy

    VeryOldGuy Notebook Consultant

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    Hi Everyone. Received my M4500 yesterday. I am now officially an owner. :D

    Arrived two days ahead of Dell's original delivery schedule. Played with it for only a few hours since then. While everyone has different priorities, here are my first impressions:

    Pros:

    - My system was configured with an i7 quad core processor and the FX880M graphics adapter. Performance-wise, the hardware seems very capable. Hopefully this system will simultaneously run Windows Server 2008 R2 and a Win7 x86 client under VMWare with the Win7 x64 as the host OS (for use in a software testing lab). When prices come down and capacities go up, the relatively slow hard drive will be replaced with an SSD or two.

    - 1600 x 900 HD+ display is sharp, bright, colorful, and readable at wide viewing angles. Very pleasing to the eye. While the FHD display had lots of bling appeal, 1600 x 900 is my limit for daily use on a 15.6 inch display. Anything smaller (i.e. higher res on the same size glass) causes eye strain. Unlike many other laptops, the text scaling modes (e.g. 125%, 150%) look spiffy too.

    - Some degree of portability is important to me. The M4500 seem likes the perfect balance between higher performance, durability, and portability. While more display area would be nice, the M64xx/65xx models are too big and too heavy.

    - Generally solid construction. Seems well built. Except, the DVD writer seems fragile.

    - Keyboard backlighting: very, very, very nice.

    - The eSATA port makes for fast backup to an external hard drive. Used Norton Ghost 15 to make a cold backup of the factory software load on an external drive, even before booting into Windows for the first time. :D

    - The radio on/off switch: very handy. Less radiation = good.

    - To me, the speaker sound is good. A pleasant surprise.


    Cons:

    - Not really a first impression, but: Wish the M4500 could accommodate 16 GB of RAM instead of 8 GB. My only real complaint on the design. :(

    - Unlike other laptops I've used, heat radiates up from the keyboard; I'm not used to the sensation on my palms and wrists. Quite a bit of heat. Hope it is not the keyboard backlight.

    - The factory configuration includes too much useless software:

    The Intel storage software; what's that all about? :confused:

    Dell Control Point software; while not hard to use, the user interface is not intuitive, is buggy, and is at times sluggish.

    The audio software: what is it for? :confused:

    Seems like every miniscule little Dell function needs three services and four listeners running. Good grief!

    No big deal to me; re-installing and re-configuring the system was in the plan. But all this junkware is definitely not in Dell's best interest. I'm also satisfied with the decision to not buy the contactless SmartCard and FingerPrint readers.

    - Several seconds after logging in, the display blinks off for 1/2 second; annoying.

    - Too bad the 9 cell 90W/hr battery extends out the rear of the case; it detracts slightly from the appearance. Not a big deal. Looks like a new carry case will be needed after all.

    - Loose the ugly, gothic black Dell desktop theme.

    - This laptop is too way too upscale for those lame Intel/Windows 7 stickers...

    Hope this helps someone. I'll report back after it gets configured for its role in the lab.




    Edit 20-May

    W7 was reinstalled on the M4500 from scratch; many items in the Dell factory configuration did not "make the cut". As a result, the display "blink" problem was eliminated.

    I'm getting used to the heat which radiates up from the keyboard.

    The display auto dim BIOS feature is nice too.

    A bit more progress preparing the M4500 for its role in the testing lab:

    VMware Workstation 7.0.1 installed with Win 7 x64 as host OS.
    (All the necessary settings for hypervisor support were present in the BIOS and factory enabled.)

    Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64 only) was installed as a guest OS under VMware.

    Windows 7 x86 Enterprise and Pro were installed as guest OS's under VMWare.

    Windows XP Pro x86 was installed as a guest OS under VMware.

    Still looking for a good Linux distribution which does not break this hardware. Advice welcome.

    With 8 GB of RAM, the performance seems OK running the W7 host OS, one or two guest OS's (W7 and/or XP) and a guest server OS (e.g. Server 2008 R2) simultaneously. Bear in mind this is mostly for functional testing and not load testing!

    All things considered, the result is very good. Plenty of CPU available. The hard disk can be easily overwhelmed, but this seems manageable and not a major issue for me . The guest virtual machines are started/stopped sequentially to avoid bogging down the drive.
     

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  4. scrap

    scrap Newbie

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    The backlit keyboard on my E6400 does not generate any heat. It should be same keyboard as the M4500.

    Thanks for the first impressions. So far it sounds pretty good except for the heat. I'm getting a quad core too.
     
  5. rhinos

    rhinos Notebook Enthusiast

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    just heat and M4400 keyboard.
    To blame is the overheating of the system - power components in a small body and a lack of cooling.
    M6400/M6500 this problem does not.
    Verified by parallel testing of M4400 and M6500
     
  6. c#ad

    c#ad Notebook Guru

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    Are any of you using a docking station with your 4500? Last week my screen had a dark spot on it...about 1/2" above the dell logo. I didn't think much of it and Dell replaced it. But I just took it out of the dock and the same spot is back after using it in the dock for several days.

    I use this in a dock with a monitor stand most of the time so the lid is closed. I wonder if the heat is destroying the lcd screen...

    Any thoughts would be appreciated....I imagine dell will get sick of replacing lcd's at some point...

    chad
     
  7. skazarian

    skazarian Notebook Enthusiast

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    My computer is now sitting at the local fedex location as of this evening, will try to rescue it tomorrow AM.

    I am reviewing several external monitors for use with the E-dock - want a WQXGA screen. Anyone have any experience with the Dell 3007WFP vs. the Dell 3008WFP? Looks like the only difference between the two is displayport support on the 3008 - but the 3007 uses a DVI dual link only, which is 'rated' the same res / bw. Any real world difference?

    Street price diff on the two is significant - ~$700 for the 3007, $1150 for the 3008. Wouldnt use it anywhere else so the HDMI + other inputs would be a waste.

    Thanks....
     
  8. welt

    welt Notebook Guru

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    I also got this - with the Latitude E6410 - what is it???
     
  9. Pirx

    Pirx Notebook Virtuoso

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    If I remember correctly, it was Dell's ControlPoint System Manager that's causing this (not entirely sure, it's been a while). Try disabling the related startup programs, and see if the blinking is gone.
     
  10. Intoxicate

    Intoxicate Notebook Evangelist

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    Even if you substract the CPU benefit, the difference isn't that much as e.g. ATI cards with GDDR3 vs. GDDR5 memory. ATI Cards can be up to ~20% better with GDDR5. The memory of the FX1800m seems to be no bottleneck.

    The latest Driver from HP is 189.33. I compared that one, the older one, the 197.16 directly from NVidia and the newest 197.88 from laptopvideo2go. The difference between those drivers were around 1% (!) I think you can neglect this. BTW. 189.33 is even newer than 197.59. The number doesn't reflect the actuality of the driver, you just can compare in one series (189.xx with 189.xx not 197.xx), you find a good overview on laptopvideo2go.com.

    While performancewise all drivers worked pretty equal, I saw some rendering problems with 197.xx so I stayed with the original 189.33.
     
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