Long story short, I’ve given up pursuing Dell in regards to getting the actual laptop I ordered, I called, I wrote emails, I even wrote an actual letter on paper, real dead trees and no response whatsoever. The next step is to lodge a formal complain with the Department of Fair Trading but I’ve already spent more time than it’s worth to chase this and I think that Dell’s policy of being pretty fucking useless until the customer eventually gives up has succeeded in this instance, go Dell! (I mean it, go Dell, to Hell).
So after giving up that angle I called up tech support to have the motherboard replaced to fix the graphics issue, the guy came out the next day (wow!) and replaced the motherboard only to find (or CAUSE?) another unrelated issue which means the LCD screen now needs to be replaced…oh, and the new motherboard suffered the same graphical glitches but some further investigate revealed:
- The issue only happens when running the desktop in Aero (this happens on both Vista and Windows 7 RTM)
- The issue only happens when two sticks of RAM are inserted, it doesn’t matter which stick (so it’s not the RAM that is bung) it just matters when both RAM slots are filled.
I would suggest that the issue is with the RAM being shared with the on-board GPU and the two not playing nice together and unfortunately this would suggest a severe design flaw in the motherboard of this particular Studio 17, most probably the one which doesn’t have a webcam or fingerprint scanner (ironic that this isn’t the one I actually ordered?). So, this particular configuration which was materialised especially for me is completely broken and when the next engineer appears with another motherboard and the new LCD screen and the issue still happens, that is when I’m going to have to demand a complete replacement or refund, god help me.