Question Dell is putting me thru hell on a Brand New Workstation

dan99t

Member
Nov 29, 2011
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3
71
Hi,
I badly need help. I am 71 years old.

I bought a brand new Dell Workstation 3660.
It arrived on July 2nd & was installed on July 7, 2022 by Dell appointed engineer.
Right away after installation I told him that I wanted to check & make sure that system boots & all peripherals are working because I had paid for installation. Right away I found that Microphone was not working & he tried with no success. He was in a hurry & wanted me to sign the papers & just put a remark that microphone is not working & he said Dell engineer will call back. I refused to sign papers & he talked to his boss & left without my signature.

This is a multi-monitor system with 2 NVIDIA T-600 GPUs running 8 Monitors. Over the weekend after July 7th,
I found that resolution on Two monitor is different. These are the same monitors that I am working with another Dell system for many years & still do, so that ruled out that monitor was not the problem.

On following Monday July 11th 2022 a Dell engineer called & remotely worked on my system for almost two hours without success & he hung up. ( May be Dell has a time limit, I don't know ) I wrote to Dell that they should replace this system & give me brand new one that works. Instead they said that they will send parts & I said no as this is a brand new system that has not worked out of the box.

2 days later on Wednesday another Dell engineer called & worked online for 2 hours with no success.
Every time they want to log on the new system, I have disconnect 8 monitors from my current system & connect them to new system & back to current when they are done.

So after 3 engineer's unsuccessful attempts, they said we will dispatch a senior engineer ( From subcontracted Company ) for full day who came on Saturday & spent full day with no success so I raised the issue & told them that I am done.
So they asked the opinion of the engineer who worked twice & he called me & told me that it is not going to work because of lack of 2 full X16 PCIe slot ( They have put second card on X4 slot ) & he has conveyed that message to someone in charge of workstation.

So I thought that now they will make things right & waited another week but didn't hear from them.

So I wrote them again last Friday, July 29 & told them that they have wasted one month of my time & their time & gave them 3 choices :
(1) Send me a new system in working condition without any issues.
(2) Send me another model that has two full length PCIe X16 slots with similar configuration.
(3) Give me my money back.

I got a reply from my sales guy that they have escalated the case to the next level to look into the issue.

People who are using Dell system & those who are not or have used in past kindly help me as to what can I do ?


Thank You all.
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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I did not use credit card. I paid online thru my bank.
Never pay for things with cash. Especially high ticket items.

Keep pestering them daily and if you have the stamina bug them more than once daily. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Open a BBB case as well and a consumer protection case to get them off their ass to fix the issue. Nothing like complaints to make companies do something when there's some additional oversight watching. When they're being held accountable and tracked they tend to not drag things out.

It doesn't make sense they would configure a system for dual GPUs without dual x16 slots. Most consumer boards have 3.
 
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Aapje

Senior member
Mar 21, 2022
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People who are using Dell system & those who are not or have used in past kindly help me as to what can I do ?
This is not Dell-specific, but you should give them a deadline to make things right. Two weeks seems more than reasonable after a month with no resolution.
 

dan99t

Member
Nov 29, 2011
94
3
71
Keep pestering them daily and if you have the stamina bug them more than once daily. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. Open a BBB case as well and a consumer protection case to get them off their ass to fix the issue. Nothing like complaints to make companies do something when there's some additional oversight watching. When they're being held accountable and tracked they tend to not drag things out.
Great advice.
It doesn't make sense they would configure a system for dual GPUs without dual x16 slots. Most consumer boards have 3.
 

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Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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Ok, so they used some proprietary board layout.

I would force a return and build one yourself or find a local PC shop that will.
 

Aapje

Senior member
Mar 21, 2022
603
668
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It doesn't make sense they would configure a system for dual GPUs without dual x16 slots. Most consumer boards have 3.
This is not true, btw. There are very many boards with one or two x16 slots. With the increasing number of M.2 slots, there is less room for PCIe slots & with PCIe 4 & 5, long PCIe traces are more expensive (especially when they need repeaters).
 

Aapje

Senior member
Mar 21, 2022
603
668
96
Ok, so they used some proprietary board layout.

I would force a return and build one yourself or find a local PC shop that will.
There is actually a previous thread where this same person asked us for help. This was suggested there already and he had his reasons to choose this.
 

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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@Aapje

I wasn't on that thread and don't dig into previous posts for each OP to see what's been discussed prior to a thread being created.

With the increasing number of M.2 slots, there is less room for PCIe slots & with PCIe 4 & 5,
I have a board that has 5 slots and 3 of them are x16 w/ 3 x M2 so, this might just be a budget board they're using for this particular setup but, not the norm.

Now, if you went with Gigabyte boards no the current Z690 platform this would be a 3 slotter as most of their current boards are in a trade off due to the number of PCIE lanes vs leveraging DMI to support a full 5 slots.

Dual GPU's on a half ass board though just means there wasn't enough investigation into the board / components prior to ordering. Still, Dell should have flagged this as an issue in the configuration wizard when selecting the options to be built. The last time I bought something that wasn't custom was back in the 90's. Laptops excluded of course due to the nature of everything being a tight fit and embedded into the MOBO other than RAM / drives / wifi / etc. There was a period in which you could swap the GPU as well on laptops with MXM but, that has since faded into the past like dinosaurs for the most part though you can still pay up for the option but, you don't get the latest CPU options in most cases.

Given the changes that came with ADL and beyond in the board designs there's always going to need to be a closer eye on the specs if you have some niche needs that need to be folded into the PC. There's a lot to not like about some of the vendors boards when it comes to maximizing the options you can use them for if you're into loading it up with different things.

There's always the option of going AMD though as well for more niche features but, you pay 50% more for the base components to get there. When building my current system with ADL it was a long process to sift through all of the options of the boards based on my needs and desires. I was able to rule out Asus / GB / MSI pretty quickly though and that left ASRock and of course there's other niche OEMs in this space but, they're usually geared towards ultra high end or bottom of the barrel features.

When scoping things out though too it's important to look at the chipset differences as there's 4 different levels with Intel on each release to consider.

1659457427215.png

If OCing isn't a requirement then the H670 would be the best option for a WS. This offers you multiple PCIE slots that meet the needs of the dual GPU setup without compromising the speed of the GPUs in Gen5/Gen4 slots splitting to X8/X8 still provides enough bandwidth for each of them to function at full speed. Also, with DMI4 you having 8 lanes @ 16GB/s is plenty to move data around even with a ton of SATA spinners and other items slotted into the other slots. With the 660/610 that means you get 8GB/s through the PCH which is still ample enough.

Now if you wanted to max out the X16 slots 4 would be the niche here https://pcpartpicker.com/products/motherboard/#s=40&h=4,8&sort=price&page=1

I wouldn't personally go with either brand but, it's an option if you need the slots for tons of GPUs for something like a monitoring system that needs tons of monitors.
 

Tech Junky

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Jan 27, 2022
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@Aapje so, going into this knowing that there was insufficient slots and still doing it is just not the right move. I can see the frustration you're having here rehashing things again. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and sell it for something proper / custom to the OP's needs is where I'm ending this then. If OP doesn't want to listen to reason then that's fine too. If OP wants something that meets their needs they need to see the above posts and go custom to make sure every need is met.
 

nOOky

Platinum Member
Aug 17, 2004
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So the issue is only the microphone if I'm reading through all of that correctly? There are no options to add a USB microphone and be done with it?
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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@Aapje
I have a board that has 5 slots and 3 of them are x16 w/ 3 x M2 so, this might just be a budget board they're using for this particular setup but, not the norm.
You are confused between form factor and the number of lanes the slot actually has.

There is no way you have three slots with 16 lanes unless you are running a dual thread ripper system or something. Having GPU's that only use 4-8 lanes is 100% normal. And if you are running dual GPUs, even on a high end board with a consumer CPU, they are both running at a max of x8. If you have three, one of them is probably at x4.
 
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Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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Hi,
I badly need help. I am 71 years old.

I bought a brand new Dell Workstation 3660.
It arrived on July 2nd & was installed on July 7, 2022 by Dell appointed engineer.
Right away after installation I told him that I wanted to check & make sure that system boots & all peripherals are working because I had paid for installation. Right away I found that Microphone was not working & he tried with no success. He was in a hurry & wanted me to sign the papers & just put a remark that microphone is not working & he said Dell engineer will call back. I refused to sign papers & he talked to his boss & left without my signature.

This is a multi-monitor system with 2 NVIDIA T-600 GPUs running 8 Monitors. Over the weekend after July 7th,
I found that resolution on Two monitor is different. These are the same monitors that I am working with another Dell system for many years & still do, so that ruled out that monitor was not the problem.

On following Monday July 11th 2022 a Dell engineer called & remotely worked on my system for almost two hours without success & he hung up. ( May be Dell has a time limit, I don't know ) I wrote to Dell that they should replace this system & give me brand new one that works. Instead they said that they will send parts & I said no as this is a brand new system that has not worked out of the box.

2 days later on Wednesday another Dell engineer called & worked online for 2 hours with no success.
Every time they want to log on the new system, I have disconnect 8 monitors from my current system & connect them to new system & back to current when they are done.

So after 3 engineer's unsuccessful attempts, they said we will dispatch a senior engineer ( From subcontracted Company ) for full day who came on Saturday & spent full day with no success so I raised the issue & told them that I am done.
So they asked the opinion of the engineer who worked twice & he called me & told me that it is not going to work because of lack of 2 full X16 PCIe slot ( They have put second card on X4 slot ) & he has conveyed that message to someone in charge of workstation.

So I thought that now they will make things right & waited another week but didn't hear from them.

So I wrote them again last Friday, July 29 & told them that they have wasted one month of my time & their time & gave them 3 choices :
(1) Send me a new system in working condition without any issues.
(2) Send me another model that has two full length PCIe X16 slots with similar configuration.
(3) Give me my money back.

I got a reply from my sales guy that they have escalated the case to the next level to look into the issue.

People who are using Dell system & those who are not or have used in past kindly help me as to what can I do ?


Thank You all.
Ok, if I am correct, the only two issues is that the supplied microphone doesn't work, and then the two monitors are at a different resolution?

Assuming you have tried changing the resolution in windows, what happens if you plug both monitors into the primary GPU? You certainly do not need two GPUs for two displays. And the number of lanes has zero impact on supported resolutions. You can have them running at x1, and they would still support the same resolutions for regular desktop usage.

For the mic, I would try another one. It could just be a faulty mic. No need for an entire system replacement.

EDIT: I see you are running eight displays. What is the resolution of these displays? Sounds like you have gone over the max supported resolution for those GPUs. They will only support so many displays at a given resolution. It may be like 4 at 1080P, but only 3 at 1440 and the last at 1080. Or maybe only two at 4K. There is no way around this. Every single GPU has an upper limitation.
 
Last edited:

Aapje

Senior member
Mar 21, 2022
603
668
96
I have a board that has 5 slots and 3 of them are x16 w/ 3 x M2 so, this might just be a budget board they're using for this particular setup but, not the norm.
There is a 285 euro board for sale in my country right now, that has 'only' two full size slots. And as I explained already, at a certain point you run out of real estate, which is not so much a matter of cost, but more of form factor. Most people don't want an EATX motherboard.

Also, this is Dell, so they are not using an off the shelf motherboard. They made their own motherboard for a specific number of use cases. As always with prebuilds like these, they are targeting a broad audience and aren't optimized for specific use cases.

@Aapje so, going into this knowing that there was insufficient slots and still doing it is just not the right move. I can see the frustration you're having here rehashing things again. Chalk it up to a lesson learned and sell it for something proper / custom to the OP's needs is where I'm ending this then. If OP doesn't want to listen to reason then that's fine too. If OP wants something that meets their needs they need to see the above posts and go custom to make sure every need is met.
You are just rehashing the previous thread. This has already been discussed and I suggested a custom build with a motherboard that has three slots that each get PCI Express 4.0 x8 bandwidth to a full sized slot, although now that he downgraded to 8 monitors instead of 12, he could also use a motherboard with two slots that get x8 bandwidth each. But the topicstarter put high value on professional support and there are no companies in his area that provide such support for custom builds. So he decided to trust Dell to deliver a system that works for him at relatively modest cost. I personally wouldn't trust them, but it was his choice and he had good experience with Dell before.
 
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Aapje

Senior member
Mar 21, 2022
603
668
96
EDIT: I see you are running eight displays. What is the resolution of these displays? Sounds like you have gone over the max supported resolution for those GPUs. They will only support so many displays at a given resolution. It may be like 4 at 1080P, but only 3 at 1440 and the last at 1080. Or maybe only two at 4K. There is no way around this. Every single GPU has an upper limitation.
His monitors have a fairly modest 1920x1200 resolution, which is less than 1440p. The NVIDIA T600 cards can each run 4 monitors at 4k @ 120Hz, so they are plenty powerful for his monitors. I think that the 2nd PCIe slot (which is x4 sized) just runs out of oomph on the second card. Keep in mind that the T600 is a PCIe 3 card, so that's only half the bandwidth of the same number of PCIe 4 lanes.

So I don't see a way around this, unless the 2nd slot only gets 2 lanes or so and you can change this to 4 in the BIOS. But I have no idea whether 4 lanes of PCIe 3 is enough bandwidth for those 4 monitors.

For the mic, I would try another one. It could just be a faulty mic. No need for an entire system replacement.
Yes, I agree that the mic isn't a real issue.
 
Last edited:

Tech Junky

Golden Member
Jan 27, 2022
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You are confused between form factor and the number of lanes the slot actually has.

There is no way you have three slots with 16 lanes unless you are running a dual thread ripper system or something. Having GPU's that only use 4-8 lanes is 100% normal. And if you are running dual GPUs, even on a high end board with a consumer CPU, they are both running at a max of x8. If you have three, one of them is probably at x4.
I didn't say lanes I said physical slots.
 

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