768GB Raid 0 (3x256GB SSD) + 256GB mSata SSD Storage Drive

mckibbip

New Member
Jun 20, 2013
1
0
Ohio
Wow..

I've been trying to order the high end 18 with the drive configuration listed above since June 20th.

I'm on my third attempt to get the order processed and I have to say, I am NOT impressed with Dell or Alienware at this point. I've spoken to numerous sales, tech and customer service folks and they have no clue whats going on.

My first order that was submitted on June 20th, was the top model 18. It was to be delivered on July 25.
On July 20th, I got a phone call from a Dell rep that my order had some issues and had to be cancelled and resubmitted.
I asked what was wrong, but no one that I spoke with could give me any kind of answer that explained the need to cancel and resubmit.

I relented and did as they requested.

My new order, for the exact same configuration, was then created July 20th with a delivery date of August 1st.

On July 31st... Dejavu... I get a call from a Dell rep, there is a problem with my order and it has to be cancelled and resubmitted. Again, I complain and ask WHAT was wrong. No clear answers.

So again, my order is cancelled and resubmitted.

New order setup on July 31st with a delivery date of August 20th.

I did a little research on my own and tried to recreate my order exactly as it was on June 20. BUT, that configuration is no longer offered. At least not via the website. I can get a close copy, but the drive configuration is not available. Everything else is exactly the same.

So my real question is, has anyone else ordered an 18 with this drive configuration?

768GB Raid 0 (3x256GB SSD) + 256GB mSata SSD Storage Drive

If this is the reason for my order being cancelled so many times, why wouldnt the sales, tech and customer service folks that I spoke with over this whole ordeal, know that this drive configuration is the problem?

Very frustrated with this whole process.

Here is my official part list associated with my orders for those interested:

210-AAOW Alienware 18 BTX Base Mod
370-AANP 32GB Dual Channel DDR3L at 1600MHz
580-ABEK English Keyboard
490-BBHW Dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M with 4GB GDDR5 - NVIDIA SLI Enabled
658-BBOD Broadcom 4352 Driver
400-AASE 768GB RAID 0 (3x256GB SSD) + 256GB mSATA SSD Storage Drive
619-ACJX Windows 8 Pro, 64-bit, English
817-BBBC Not Selected in this Configuration
555-BBEQ Broadcom 4352 802.11 ac 2x2 and Bluetooth 4.0
470-AAKG US 125V Power Cord
340-ABEU Documentation, English
421-1723 Soft Contracts Dell In-Home Hardware Agreement for Alienware
950-3337 1 Year Limited Warranty
950-9797 No Warranty, Year 2 and 3
994-3730 Warranty Support, Initial Year
995-6083 Dell Hardware Warranty Plus On-Site Service, Initial Year
995-6103 In-Home Service after Remote Diagnosis, Parts and Labor On-Site Response, Initial Year
951-6520 Accidental Damage Service, 1 Year
338-BCIC Overclocked 4th Gen Intel(R)Core(TM)i7-4930MX Processor (8MB Cache, up to 4.3GHz w/ Turbo Boost)
391-BBDS 18.4 inch (467.36mm) WLED FHD (1920 X 1080) TrueLife Display
451-BBCB 8-cell Lithium Ion (86 wHr) Battery
450-AAKK 330W A/C Adapter
640-BBLG Alienware Command Center 3.0
320-BBDZ Anodized Aluminum
328-BBEK Shipping Box Alienware 18
658-BBOI Resource DVD
800-BBEV Thank you for Choosing Dell
340-ADGB Placemat English
332-1530 Dell.com Order
332-1530 Dell.com Order
658-BBNW Additional Software
630-AAAU Software: Microsoft Office 2013 Trial
817-BBBP None Required
730-5460 Thank You for Choosing Dell
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,090
125
Adelaide, Australia
Honestly I would go for the basic HDD package and then upgrade the SSD's yourself later. You will save money and you will be able to put in better SSD's. I think they use Samsung 840's but you should be able to get 3 x 840 Pro's and an mSata SSD for a fair bit less.
 
finally someone else feels my pain . lol. dude it took me three days to order my system. Same setup except i went with the 500gb msata ssd and 700gb 7200rpm drive. same type of run around i was getting. it was insane. i couldn't believe a company that was about to make over 5 grand off me was so useless and clueless. That being said, on top of the $250.00 gift card. I got another $150.00 coupon card because i complained to dell for all the head aches i had to put up with while ordering.

Im using that $400.00 towards the samsun 840 pro 512gb SSD. Dell is selling it for $599.99 (new egg has it for $520 maybe even $500.00 on sale) complained about the price difference and they took $50.00 of the price of the hard drive!!! lol.

SO its costing me $149.99 for the Samsung 840 Pro 512G SSD drive!! not bad for complaining. Granted i did spend seriously a couple hours on the phone over a two week period. The samsung drive is worth it though, its insane!!
 
I tried ordering the same config and then it disappeared.. They apparently had a problem with that configuration and scrapped it.. I went with the same one you ordered and adding the 2 SSD's myself.. They are working on another configuration to add more SSD's but adding them yourself will be a money saver.. Got mine today and it's amazing!
 
Instead of going with the 2 SSD configuration in Raid 0, which slows the boot time while RAID loads both drives, I am going the route of Samsung Evo 1TB SSD using Rapid to almost double the SSD read speeds, and has Trim support. The Evo is on pre-order because it is not out until Aug 20th. The disadvantage is you can't do Raid on the Evo using Rapid because it is piggybacking off the (32GB) or (16GB) ram off the M-Board. If Dell tries to Raid 0 three SSD's like it tried with the Quad Play that might be marginally faster than the Evo with Rapid, but it will cost a lot more and not be as reliable for fault tolerance on the SSD's. I ordered my AW-18 today without mSATA because it reduces the cost for the order and you can save that money to buy the doubly fast EVO drive.

If I was Dell I would want to form an mSATA triple SSD in Raid 0 like the MSI Dragon Extreme so the thing will boot to desktop in under 8 seconds, but not sure it there is a copywrite infringement on the design, slowing down the innovation curve on the newer systems that are almost obsolete by the time they are stabilized and ready to ship on new tech. Also the lack of Trim support for that configuration could bottleneck the entire system.

The reason Dell couldn't put the Evo drive in their system was because it wasn't invented yet. Welcome to the future.
 
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Now it's all starting to come together. I had exactly the same experience, and I'm sorry to say the incompetence and delay I got handed was even a fair bit worse than yours.
I originally bought an m18xr4 back in December. By late january i discovered that somehow, there was malicious firmware on the system ( google (rakshasa malware) .. which basically means BIOS + all attached PCI / Option ROMSs, are loading a rootkit, and unless all firmware is flashed simulteanously (pretty well impossible without taking chips off the mobo), the system effectively had managed to ship with permenanent and unremovable rootkit, that loads as a hypervisor at post, effectively the local system the user interacts with is a virtual machine from BIOS splash, right off of firmware, and mapping host filesystem to local memory, by very quiety booting off of iPxE ethernet (on the hidden host hypervisor) while i watch Windows Load unawares that its already virtualzed.

That was a nightmare. Getting their support, L2s even L3s and L3 Managers to first wrap their head around what the problem actually was (admittedly a rare and devastating scenario) took about 3 weeks of calling 1-2x a week. Any day i tried to call, i had to dedicate a good 1.5-3hrs to the call attempt. On average I'd start to explain to one or two ppl, whod either not get it, try to tell me im wrong with out even following, and invariably - a couple long transfers ensue and they play hot potato, typically during this phase i get hung up on at least once sometimes twice. Then the manager comes and i explain the whole thing to him again, citing white papers, evidence, news articles about a phenomenon he insists wrongly is impossible. After spelling it out several different ways, maybe an hour long conversation, he follows, and tellms me software isnt convered on the hardware warranty. I repeat, its not software, you can throw the drive in the sea and start fresh, its in the chip, it's a firmware issue. But i thought you said its malware? Yes, it is! but its malicious firmware ...

eventually he says hell look into it, and call me on monday, the following friday i track him down again and he has nothing new to report. Eventually after threatening to Litigate, they agree to honor their warantee.. but they just want me to send it in. The Pickup order got lost. so that added another 2 week delay.
When they got it at their service center, my notes included with the machien repeateldy emphasised the whole system would have to be swapped. or at least every component with non volatile memory firmware / option Rom ( so sound card, GPU, HDD, Optical, USB controller, BT, etc. ... and that the system needed to be replaced entirely.
They disregarded this and 3 weeks later i got it back, only thing they did was swap out the motherboard, meaning that the moment i booted it up the attached Option ROM would reflash the BIOS the and reinstate its full persistence.

Then over March-April I repeated the process of calling 1-3 times a week to say I told you so, after trying it their way, - and to get the RMA done. They refused. citing the tech said I had opened the computer, and that I had fiddled with the bios (when i attempted to blind flash it on the phone with alienware support, at their recommendation).. after threating to sue and move my IT Clients to Lenovo going forward. and writing several emails they finally agreed to replace it.

On april 20th, the first order was placed for a replacement m18xR4, for some reason, it got cancelled 3 times over the proceeding month. Id check its status every few days, and usually the third time i'd check it would no longer exist. a couple days later the rep handling it would get back to me and inform me he's reordered it. In May it got cancelled twice more for no explicable reason ..

Then in june he contacted me as the expected delivery date was approaching a week overdue, saying it was cancelled again because theyd swtiched to the m18 line, but i'd get an m18 as the rma on the xR4 which i was happy about.
But then... twice more it was cancelled, once allegedly because i was not authorized to authorize orders on my own account? and the final time.. god knows why probably just for good measure.

So at last on August 15. I received the machine (after it was sent to my old address, rerouted, and then sent back to my old address before reaching the new one), after approximately 8 months (and probably about 50 hrs on the phone or writing emails to them about it) since first calling in in early January informing them of a hardware defect that i said then was clearly going to require a complete RMA. w/ ample technical documentation to support and prove it, in hand ). Its an awesome machine... But i wont likely be buying anything alienware again... I'm getting pretty tired of Dell's Business solutions too .. SonicWall is the only asset they own that is unmatched by any rival

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I honestly felt like they were intentionally being thick / losing the workflow repetedly in an attempt to run out the clock on the 1yr warranty... and they in fact run out 3/4 of it before i got the replacement, when i called about it and identified the issue to them just a couple days past a month of having received it.

Companies that are run like that, deserve to go out of business.