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Dell pledges free CPU upgrade to waiting XPS 700 buyers

Conroe instead of Pentium D

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Dell is to offer a free Core 2 Duo processor upgrade to anyone who's been waiting since 18 July or before for one of the company's new XPS 700 gaming PC. The pledge follows increasing frustration on the part of buyers who've been waiting what seems like an age for their system to ship.

Dell launched the XPS 700 late in May this year, in both the US and Europe. The flagship specification included a Pentium Extreme Edition CPU clocked at 3.73GHz, an Ageia PhysX card and a pair of Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS SLI graphics cards. However, the system was offered with a range of processors and other components.

More than a month and a half on, and the XPS 700 still hasn't shipped, though plenty of gamers appear to have ordered one. Late last week, Dell claimed to have finally begun building the systems, though at the time it couldn't say when they will ship.

It did say that buyers will be contacted and offered a free upgrade to a Core 2 Duo or a Dell gift card - amount unspecified - to customers who ordered on or before 18 July. There's a catch: taking the manufacturer up on its offer will "extend your wait time", the company told customers - presumably it's waiting for Intel to announce the CPU family's ship date, hence Dell's reference to "contractual arrangements".

Dell denied processor inventory problems were behind the delay in getting the XPS 700 out the door, but it refused to specify the reason beyond "a combination of issues that came to the surface soon after launching the product".

Which Core 2 Duo chip customers will get will depend on which CPU they originally ordered. ®

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