Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

Dell Precision M4400 opinions

W500/W510/W520 and W700/W701 series specific matters only
Post Reply
Message
Author
ctorange
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#1 Post by ctorange » Sat May 16, 2020 12:32 pm

I've recently found out about the Dell Precision M4400, which appears to be the Dell equivalent to the W500. I see one big advantage over the W500: it takes quad cores. Granted, pre i-series, but still. It has a 1920x1200 display like the W500, but has an RGBLED option. The only disadvantage I see it has over the W500 is DDR2 instead of DDR3. While usually I prefer the Thinkpad style chassis, I must admit that the M4400 looks pretty nice. I'm thinking it would be a fun project to find a cheap M4400 on ebay and upgrade it. Just thought I would share this here and see if anyone has experience with this laptop. The next iteration, the M4500, also looks nice, being essentially a W510. 16:9, but can take the i7-940XM. The M4500 appears to go for a fair bit more money on ebay, however.

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#2 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat May 16, 2020 1:47 pm

ctorange wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 12:32 pm
I've recently found out about the Dell Precision M4400, which appears to be the Dell equivalent to the W500. I see one big advantage over the W500: it takes quad cores. Granted, pre i-series, but still. It has a 1920x1200 display like the W500, but has an RGBLED option. The only disadvantage I see it has over the W500 is DDR2 instead of DDR3. While usually I prefer the Thinkpad style chassis, I must admit that the M4400 looks pretty nice. I'm thinking it would be a fun project to find a cheap M4400 on ebay and upgrade it. Just thought I would share this here and see if anyone has experience with this laptop. The next iteration, the M4500, also looks nice, being essentially a W510. 16:9, but can take the i7-940XM. The M4500 appears to go for a fair bit more money on ebay, however.
The W500 series also take quad cores as far as I know of, but you need to upgrade instead of buying one with it as no factory quad core options are available for W500.
The M4400 is also based on a Latitude E6500 in its chassis so many parts are interchangeable with that and thus it is a little thinner than the W500. It also uses all E series docking solutions and supports Serial and Parallel via e-legacy port.
The downside to using DDR2's is that 4GB sticks are extremely expensive.
I don't have the M4400 but I have the M4300. The M4300 is totally different but still.
The M4400 has significant design changes from the M4300 to make it look more sleek and elegant, however the magnesium covers on the M4400 are thinner than the M4300. One thing to note with M4400 along with E6500 however, is that the coloured finish (depending on which colour you ended up getting) can be easily scratched off as it ages and can look pretty bad if you have a black one.
Alternatively, the M6xxx series are 17" workstations like the W7xx. and the M2xxx series are 14" workstations but doesn't quite have the punch of the 15" units.
What are you using this thing for? My suggestion is between these Precision models and the W models buy whichever one you can find for significantly cheaper.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

ctorange
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#3 Post by ctorange » Sat May 16, 2020 2:37 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 1:47 pm
The W500 series also take quad cores as far as I know of, but you need to upgrade instead of buying one with it as no factory quad core options are available for W500.
The M4400 is also based on a Latitude E6500 in its chassis so many parts are interchangeable with that and thus it is a little thinner than the W500. It also uses all E series docking solutions and supports Serial and Parallel via e-legacy port.
The downside to using DDR2's is that 4GB sticks are extremely expensive.
I don't have the M4400 but I have the M4300. The M4300 is totally different but still.
The M4400 has significant design changes from the M4300 to make it look more sleek and elegant, however the magnesium covers on the M4400 are thinner than the M4300. One thing to note with M4400 along with E6500 however, is that the coloured finish (depending on which colour you ended up getting) can be easily scratched off as it ages and can look pretty bad if you have a black one.
Alternatively, the M6xxx series are 17" workstations like the W7xx. and the M2xxx series are 14" workstations but doesn't quite have the punch of the 15" units.
What are you using this thing for? My suggestion is between these Precision models and the W models buy whichever one you can find for significantly cheaper.
I have a W500 currently, I might replace it with an M4400, though. Unfortunately I believe the W500 cannot take a quad core without physical mods to the socket and/or CPU, which I have no interest in doing. I already have 8gb of DDR2 from another computer... it probably wasn't worth the money, but I have it now and could use it in something like the M4400. 15" is the sweet spot for me, especially given that 14" screens tend to be lackluster on laptops of that era (in my limited experience). Point taken regarding the paint peeling issues. Cheers.

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#4 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat May 16, 2020 5:06 pm

ctorange wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 2:37 pm
I have a W500 currently, I might replace it with an M4400, though. Unfortunately I believe the W500 cannot take a quad core without physical mods to the socket and/or CPU, which I have no interest in doing. I already have 8gb of DDR2 from another computer... it probably wasn't worth the money, but I have it now and could use it in something like the M4400. 15" is the sweet spot for me, especially given that 14" screens tend to be lackluster on laptops of that era (in my limited experience). Point taken regarding the paint peeling issues. Cheers.
Apparently you are right about the W500 having no support for quad cores. Im disappointed tbh.
Well one thing to note though is that to upgrade to RGB LED display on a M4400, you also need to swap out the lid, bezel (if you have the CCFL version), LCD cable (So the entirety of the display). They can be found like new on parts-people but the costs really add up.
https://www.parts-people.com/index.php? ... em&id=7934
https://www.parts-people.com/index.php? ... em&id=8238
https://www.parts-people.com/index.php? ... em&id=6166
If you want a guide for disassembly the manuals (Dell calls them Service manual instead of HMM) are up on Dell's support pages.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

ctorange
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#5 Post by ctorange » Sat May 16, 2020 7:24 pm

I've found a RGBLED WUXGA on ebay for $30 w/ shipping. I think its the real deal:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Dell-Preci ... 3772178003

I've also found a new motherboard with new palmrest and base:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Dell-Preci ... 4081108092

This has given me the idea to buy that and everything else I would need to complete the system. This would basically be like making a brand new one. This might be biting off more than I can chew, but it would be neat.

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#6 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sun May 17, 2020 12:37 am

ctorange wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 7:24 pm
I've found a RGBLED WUXGA on ebay for $30 w/ shipping. I think its the real deal:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Dell-Preci ... 3772178003

I've also found a new motherboard with new palmrest and base:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Dell-Preci ... 4081108092

This has given me the idea to buy that and everything else I would need to complete the system. This would basically be like making a brand new one. This might be biting off more than I can chew, but it would be neat.
Ah I saw that listing for motherboard + base right before you sent this lol.
It would be like these two + RGB LED cable and lid, and then go local on Craigslist and find a really beaten up latitude E6500 with LED backlight and discrete graphics so you can use the heatsink speakers etc. as well as the LCD bezel
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

ctorange
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#7 Post by ctorange » Fri May 22, 2020 1:58 pm

So, I bought

-a "for parts" M4400 sans RAM or HDD, for misc. components such as the heatsink

-RGBLED screen

-appropriate back cover

-appropriate bezel

-new base and motherboard

-new keyboard

-new batt


I got the parts unit from UPS today, and guess what? First of all, it wasn't actually dead, it booted fine with a stick of RAM. (Which I expected) But it has the RGBLED WUXGA and a T9800! T9800's alone go for more than what I paid for the system. The overall condition is quite good too considering how it was sold. So, if anyone wants an RGBLED screen I'd happily sell it to someone here. And when all is said and done I'll have plenty of useable M4400 parts, too, if anyone wants them. And a T9800, if I get a QC for it.

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#8 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat May 23, 2020 12:35 am

ctorange wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 1:58 pm
So, I bought

-a "for parts" M4400 sans RAM or HDD, for misc. components such as the heatsink

-RGBLED screen

-appropriate back cover

-appropriate bezel

-new base and motherboard

-new keyboard

-new batt


I got the parts unit from UPS today, and guess what? First of all, it wasn't actually dead, it booted fine with a stick of RAM. (Which I expected) But it has the RGBLED WUXGA and a T9800! T9800's alone go for more than what I paid for the system. The overall condition is quite good too considering how it was sold. So, if anyone wants an RGBLED screen I'd happily sell it to someone here. And when all is said and done I'll have plenty of useable M4400 parts, too, if anyone wants them. And a T9800, if I get a QC for it.
Oh nice you hit a jackpot! What was the listing that you bought it from? If the service tag was visible you most likely can see it coming. How is the condition of the used WUXGA RGBLED display you received with the parts unit?
Reminded me of when I paid just C$20 for a Dell Latitude C840 (basically price of e-waste) but then with some RAM it booted up with a pristine looking UXGA Ultrasharp display!
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

ctorange
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#9 Post by ctorange » Sat May 23, 2020 9:05 am

This was the listing for the parts units: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Precision ... true&rt=nc

As you can see they didn't have any pictures of it open, so my hopes hadn't been high for the screen or keyboard. (Let alone it being the WUXGA.) I tried to make out that service tag, but it was just a tad too blurry for me. Sure enough, I've plugged in the serial now and it shows up as configured with those goodies. I've only seen the screen display the bios so far, but so far so good. Its a bit dusty from shipping and has only 3 small smudges. Besides that it looks great. I think when I clean it up it will look new. Here is a pic: https://imgur.com/a/KajzULp

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#10 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat May 23, 2020 11:58 am

ctorange wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:05 am
This was the listing for the parts units: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Precision ... true&rt=nc

As you can see they didn't have any pictures of it open, so my hopes hadn't been high for the screen or keyboard. (Let alone it being the WUXGA.) I tried to make out that service tag, but it was just a tad too blurry for me. Sure enough, I've plugged in the serial now and it shows up as configured with those goodies. I've only seen the screen display the bios so far, but so far so good. Its a bit dusty from shipping and has only 3 small smudges. Besides that it looks great. I think when I clean it up it will look new. Here is a pic: https://imgur.com/a/KajzULp
Actually if you try a few times you can make out the express service tag being 36588054529 (The service tag and express service tag only differs by the latter having only numbers, both will uniquely refer to a single unit)
And sure enough Dell did record the specs of your laptop down to each dell Part number used (if you expand these things on the website):

Code: Select all

430-3361 : Intel WiFi Link 5100 (802.11 a/g/n 1X2) 1/2 MiniCard for VPRO Latitude E/Mobile Precision
430-3090 : Dell Wireless 370 Bluetooth 2.1 Minicard for Latitude E/Mobile Precision
421-0536 : Cyberlink Power DVD 8.3,with Media, Dell Relationship LOB
420-8780 : Vista Business 64-BIT Service Pack 1, with media, English Mobile Precision
420-8010 : Roxio Creator Dell Edition,9.0 Dell Latitude/Mobile Precision
341-7070 : 320GB Free Fall Sensor Hard Drive 9.5MM, 7200RPM, Dell Mobile Precision MX300,Factory Install
330-1652 : Documentation (English) Latitude E-Family/Mobile Precision
330-1525 : US - 6 FT, 3-Pin Flat Power Cord for Mobile Precision
330-1152 : Intel Centrino 2 Core Duo Processor
330-0894 : DisplayPort to HDMI Adapter for Latitude E-Family/Mobile Precision
330-0892 : DisplayPort to DVI (Single Link) Adapter for Latitude E-Family/Mobile Precision
330-0886 : Intel vPro Technology Advanced Management Features for Latitude and Mobile Precision
330-0834 : 130W 3-Pin, AC Adapter for Mobile Precision
330-0832 : Resource DVD with Diagnostics and Drivers, Dell Mobile Precision M4400
330-0830 : Neo Premium Sleeve 15.4 for Mobile Precision
330-0825 : Internal Backlit English Keyboard for Mobile Precision
320-7047 : 15.4 inch Wide Screen WUXGA RGBLED LCD for Mobile Precision M4400
320-6998 : Black Wide Screen WUXGA RGB-LED LCD for Latitude M4400
320-6719 : 512MB NVIDIA Quadro FX 770M Precision M4400
313-6831 : Microphone only for Mobile Precision 4400
313-6798 : No web cam w/ microphone for WUXGA LCD for Mobile Precision M4400
313-6461 : 8X DVD+/-RW for Mobile Precision
313-6453 : No Modem  for Mobile Precision MX400
312-0730 : 9-Cell/85-WHr Battery for Latitude E/Mobile Precision
311-8816 : No Fingerprint Reader for Mobile Precision M4400
311-8808 : 4.0GB, DDR2-800 SDRAM, 2 DIMM for Dell Mobile Precision
310-8758 : You have chosen a Windows Vista Premium System
310-0173 : Airborne Documentation, System Exchanges,Factory Install
224-4683 : Precision M4400, Intel Core 2 Duo T9800, 2.93GHz, 1066MHz 6M L2 Cache, Dual Core
You also have a backlit keyboard, which is not something that comes with every M4400 as far as I know of
Also these machines have excellent serviceability. Unlike the predecessor M4300 which you have to tear the system down to bare mobo + base cover to get to CPU, this one you just need to remove the hard drive and bottom panel to get to the CPU
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#11 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:00 pm

ctorange wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:05 am
As you can see they didn't have any pictures of it open, so my hopes hadn't been high for the screen or keyboard. (Let alone it being the WUXGA.) I tried to make out that service tag, but it was just a tad too blurry for me. Sure enough, I've plugged in the serial now and it shows up as configured with those goodies. I've only seen the screen display the bios so far, but so far so good. Its a bit dusty from shipping and has only 3 small smudges. Besides that it looks great. I think when I clean it up it will look new. Here is a pic: https://imgur.com/a/KajzULp
Well I am bringing this post up again because I recently got a pair of Latitude E6500 and E6400 also in excellent shape with backlit keyboard, discrete graphics, WUXGA and WXGA+ screens and a T9900 for just C$120! I guess this isn't as good of a deal as that M4400 as this WUXGA is a dual CCFL one and not a RGBLED one, but at least the screen is really bright.
Now I am planning to redistribute them to my friend's friend and my friend's friend's friend for their use of a reliable laptop on the cheap.
So I am asking how is your experience with the M4400 currently. Again since the M4400 is essentially a discrete GPU version of E6500 with higher end options, what your experience is mostly applies to this too.
Unfortunately though it seems like any of the quad core CPUs will only work on that M4400 and not the E6500.
Gotta say the design of these E series and the precision counterparts look stealthy and cool when it is in such a good shape, along with the backlit keyboard that will potentially add a wow factor to the first impression.
And here I thought getting the correct Touchchip driver for the D830 and the ThinkPad T530 that I have under Windows 10 was a huge hassle (I had to browse through the Windows update catalogue and found one dated mid 2013).
Getting the Broadcom fingerprint reader on the E6500/6400/M2400/4400 working in Windows 10 with Windows hello is an absolute chore!
First the fingerprint reader is built onto the security system Dell called the ControlVault, so there are versions of these drivers with the full ControlVault utility, some utility and barebone driver. And then there are two versions for each of E6500, 6510 and 6520, and there are also firmware update that you might need to perform.
What makes things even more complicated is it turns out there are two drivers you need at the same time: the ControlVault proprietary driver and the standard Biometrics driver that Windows Hello recognises.
Took me 2 whole days to get one to install in Windows 10 and Windows Hello actually adds and remembers the fingerprints properly.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

ctorange
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#12 Post by ctorange » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:48 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon Jun 22, 2020 10:00 pm
ctorange wrote:
Sat May 23, 2020 9:05 am
As you can see they didn't have any pictures of it open, so my hopes hadn't been high for the screen or keyboard. (Let alone it being the WUXGA.) I tried to make out that service tag, but it was just a tad too blurry for me. Sure enough, I've plugged in the serial now and it shows up as configured with those goodies. I've only seen the screen display the bios so far, but so far so good. Its a bit dusty from shipping and has only 3 small smudges. Besides that it looks great. I think when I clean it up it will look new. Here is a pic: https://imgur.com/a/KajzULp
Well I am bringing this post up again because I recently got a pair of Latitude E6500 and E6400 also in excellent shape with backlit keyboard, discrete graphics, WUXGA and WXGA+ screens and a T9900 for just C$120! I guess this isn't as good of a deal as that M4400 as this WUXGA is a dual CCFL one and not a RGBLED one, but at least the screen is really bright.
Now I am planning to redistribute them to my friend's friend and my friend's friend's friend for their use of a reliable laptop on the cheap.
So I am asking how is your experience with the M4400 currently. Again since the M4400 is essentially a discrete GPU version of E6500 with higher end options, what your experience is mostly applies to this too.
Unfortunately though it seems like any of the quad core CPUs will only work on that M4400 and not the E6500.
Gotta say the design of these E series and the precision counterparts look stealthy and cool when it is in such a good shape, along with the backlit keyboard that will potentially add a wow factor to the first impression.
And here I thought getting the correct Touchchip driver for the D830 and the ThinkPad T530 that I have under Windows 10 was a huge hassle (I had to browse through the Windows update catalogue and found one dated mid 2013).
Getting the Broadcom fingerprint reader on the E6500/6400/M2400/4400 working in Windows 10 with Windows hello is an absolute chore!
First the fingerprint reader is built onto the security system Dell called the ControlVault, so there are versions of these drivers with the full ControlVault utility, some utility and barebone driver. And then there are two versions for each of E6500, 6510 and 6520, and there are also firmware update that you might need to perform.
What makes things even more complicated is it turns out there are two drivers you need at the same time: the ControlVault proprietary driver and the standard Biometrics driver that Windows Hello recognises.
Took me 2 whole days to get one to install in Windows 10 and Windows Hello actually adds and remembers the fingerprints properly.
Hi, nice find with those Latitudes. My M4400 project is on hold for the moment because I ordered a new bezel to go with a new webcam, but I got the wrong bezel much to my annoyance. So currently the M4400 sits partially disassembled. However, before I attempted that webcam upgrade, I had used the machine for a while. Overall experience was quite positive. The RGBLED was a pleasant experience, much better than most business laptop screens from, say the T420 era. The good colors, high resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio made for a nice experience. I've ran Windows 10 and Linux Mint, both worked quite well. I think the drivers were quite straightforward. Mine didn't have a fingerprint reader, so nothing to deal with there. I didn't upgrade to a Qx9300 as I wasn't sure how much I actually would use it. The T9800 seemed to work fine. It's no speed demon, of course. In Windows I actually tried one game, Trackmania, from 2008, which worked fine. Hopefully someday I'll get the right bezel, and probably donate the laptop to someone who really needs it. I just bought 3 for-parts T420's as my next project, so that should keep me occupied for a while.

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#13 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:34 am

ctorange wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:48 am
Hi, nice find with those Latitudes. My M4400 project is on hold for the moment because I ordered a new bezel to go with a new webcam, but I got the wrong bezel much to my annoyance. So currently the M4400 sits partially disassembled. However, before I attempted that webcam upgrade, I had used the machine for a while. Overall experience was quite positive. The RGBLED was a pleasant experience, much better than most business laptop screens from, say the T420 era. The good colors, high resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio made for a nice experience. I've ran Windows 10 and Linux Mint, both worked quite well. I think the drivers were quite straightforward. Mine didn't have a fingerprint reader, so nothing to deal with there. I didn't upgrade to a Qx9300 as I wasn't sure how much I actually would use it. The T9800 seemed to work fine. It's no speed demon, of course. In Windows I actually tried one game, Trackmania, from 2008, which worked fine. Hopefully someday I'll get the right bezel, and probably donate the laptop to someone who really needs it. I just bought 3 for-parts T420's as my next project, so that should keep me occupied for a while.
Well annoyingly for the E6x00 and E6x10 series the bezel has zero screws to hold it together - only clips. And if they break, game over.
Unfortunately for the LCD bezel there are like 12 different options and only one of them will suit your needs.
There are differences between LED/RGBLED, CCFL LCD and Dual CCFL LCD options; there are differences between webcam or no webcam, and there are differences between microphone or no microphone options!
However the bezels are interchangeable between a E6500 and M4400 provided they are of the same screen webcam and microphone options.
What doesn't help is many eBay sellers don't put a part number for you to know for sure.
Here is a bezel from parts-people that is 100% guaranteed to work with the webcam and microphone.
https://www.parts-people.com/index.php? ... em&id=8156
It is a little expensive though.
Also why are you trying to upgrade to the webcam? Strangely enough both my E6500 and E6400 come with webcam but the E6500 has a VGA webcam while the E6400 has a 720p webcam (records in SVGA)!
VGA webcam is almost unusable unless you are in a very nicely lit environment.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

ctorange
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:21 pm
Location: Bar Harbor, ME

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#14 Post by ctorange » Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:02 pm

Thanks, I'll nab that bezel and see if it works. I wanted to get a webcam just for the sake of having it, and it might come in handy yet.

wujstefan
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1277
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:38 am
Location: Tarnow, Poland

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#15 Post by wujstefan » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:20 am

ctorange wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:02 pm
Thanks, I'll nab that bezel and see if it works. I wanted to get a webcam just for the sake of having it, and it might come in handy yet.
Well I like the discussion here, as M6400 is my personal favourite system, even though it is super-fragile.
I did not mention M4400 here, but it too could be taken into account. However, it costs the same while being far inferior to M6400.

W500 is a nice system, but - unfortunately - far behind in terms of raw power and display if unmodded.

M4400 with top GPU and CPU runs _HOT_
M6400 with top GPU and CPU runs cool. Very cool in fact. (72C on CPU and 70C on GPU with QX9300 and ATI 7740m - this is my config).

RGB display on M6400 is great, but I have never seen one in M4400 - it definitely needs other inverter and cable. And the orange chassis color is crazy :D This is, Dells have their weak spots though!

1. Poor keyboard, with poor trackpoint.
2. Speakers very prone to failure.
3. Motherboards like to fry with no real reason.
4. REALLY expensive batteries and PSUs.
5. Hinges tend to loosen (on screw connections fortunately - hinges themself are very strong).
6. Service is terrible. To get to the CPU one need to disassemble everything. Literally.

If choosing between M4400, W500 and M6400 (added by me), the choice reason should be:
1. W500 is the cheapest, has the best keyboard and is the most servicable of all. Runs hot on top specs
2. M4400 is far more expensive in service, and motherboards are just temporary (was working on one 3 years; had its motherboard replaced 4 times only during warranty period!)
3. M6400 is great but huge and heavy. It weights pretty much the same as African elephant and you can easily substitute a 6-people family dinner table with it. This thing can be super-powerful, easily outperforming top-specced W701.
Too many thinkpads not enough time!
(stable under reduction)

kfzhu1229
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1654
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Dell Precision M4400 opinions

#16 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:04 pm

The M4400 uses the exact same cooling solution as the Latitude brother, the E6500 (With discrete graphics). In the case of latter with a T9900 and a NVS 160M it actually runs pretty cool (But the palmrest might heat up). But I suppose stepping up to the big guns the same cooling solution might no longer be sufficient. The E6400/M2400 has much worse cooling solution.
The M4400 keyboard went for looks than function (because it has a cool backlit option and brightness can be adjusted with a smooth gradient too) and is much worse in feel than the M4300.
The older Latitudes have speakers prone to failure, but that's back in the Latitude C series days which ended with the C840 in 2002.
PSUs are not expensive at all for the M4x00 series. Unlike the M6x00 series, regular 90W and 130W chargers with the big barrel plug are all going to work for these. You can grab a Dell G5 or G7 charger and it will still work perfectly fine on the M4x00.
For this reason I can find 130W chargers for as low as C$25.
The M4400 and M4500 series have a removable bottom panel with just one screw. CPU replacement on those are by far the easiest. One screw releases the bottom panel and 3-4 more screws undo the heatsink, and then the CPU socket is totally exposed already. However if you wanna remove the palmrest then yes you have to disassemble the entire unit.
On the older M4300 series however, yes you will need to take off the screen and the palmrest to get to the CPU.
Also the keyboard connector on these things are tucked underneath the palmrest and the keyboard plugs in like an ISA card. That connector can oxidise and then give you problems where traces of keys stop working. Both my E6400 and E6500 developed that problem. I was almost gonna order keyboard replacements until I take it out and then realise that contact cleaner solved the problem.
The M4400 will have stiff hinges though. In that my E6500 has hinges that require two hand operation to open. This is completely by factory and not by wear.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad W500/W510/W520 and W700/W701 Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests