Dell has stopped taking orders for one model of its high-end desktop PCs, citing issues related to overclocking quad-core processors from Intel.
Dell's XPS 720 H2C is a US$5939 computer designed to boost video game performance by combining two Nvidia graphics cards with Intel's Core 2 Extreme chip, "overclocked" by Dell to run at a higher frequency than Intel intends. The computer uses a liquid radiator to dissipate the extreme heat generated by the setup, a more expensive design than standard air-cooled PCs.
Dell has told customers it would no longer accept orders for the "bin +3" version of the computer, which runs Intel's QX6800 Extreme Edition processor at 3.73GHz instead of the 2.93GHz it was designed for.
"We apologise for having to do this, [but the] truth is that we do not have a line of sight to enough supply of QX6800 processors that can tolerate the Bin+3 overclocking," Dell's digital media manager, Lionel Menchaca, said on a company blog.
"At this point, our engineering team is doing everything they can to get more Bin+3s out of our original supply but this is expected to be a slow process," he said.
Dell asked its customers to cancel their orders and choose an XPS 720 PC with a slightly slower QX6800 chip or with a slightly less powerful QX6700 chip running at the same speed.
Intel stressed that there was no shortage of the chips themselves.
"Last week, our backlog forecast started to pass our best estimates for finding Bin+3 chips. It just did not make sense to take any additional orders when we couldn't tell when we would be able to fulfill them."
This is the second time in recent months that Dell has delayed shipments of PCs in its gaming and enthusiast section. In August 2006, the company stopped shipping the similar XPS 700 model while it fixed a design mistake in the cooling assembly.