swilliams2
2 Bronze

XPS 8930, Thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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Hey folks,

Wanted to share some thoughts about the new XPS 8930, as so far Google searches of first-hand accounts (outside of reviews) are pretty barren. I used to build my own systems until I picked up an XPS 8700 refurbished for a great deal about four or five years ago. I was pretty impressed by the build and performance, so when a few coupons and other deals lined up for the 8930 a few weeks ago, I jumped on it.

I maxed out quite a few features with the i7-8700k and GTX 1080. One of the first things I wanted to do was to replace the 480w power supply with something a little beefier, just to ensure that I wouldn't run into any power problems when adding more accessories down the road. There's plenty of data that the 480w supply should be enough, but I wanted to be sure, and PSU's aren't too expensive.

Lo and behold, though the PSU upgrade looks easy as it sits on a swing-out arm, it is not. I didn't notice until I was about to do the switch that one of the motherboard power connectors runs behind the processor heatsink, and literally plugs in with almost zero clearance behind the offset processor fan.  Replacing the PSU looks like it would require completely removing the motherboard from the case, and then removing the heatsink/fan from the processor to get to the plug, re-applying thermal paste on reinstall, etc. This is not a procedure I care to perform on a brand new, in-warranty system, so I guess I'll live with the 480w PSU.

Under load while gaming, both the GTX 1080 and the i7-8700k tend to top out around 82-85c or so.  This is a little higher than I expected, so I'm going to look into adding a fan to the front of the case to draw in more cool air. I'm a little disappointed by the very small amount of clearance between the PSU and the processor fan, though, and I think that adding another case fan will probably benefit the GPU more than the CPU given those clearances. There is an internal grill area that looks like it might take a 120mm fan. Going to try that and report back. In the meantime, if any intrepid folks go to the trouble of adding water cooling, I'd be interested to hear the details.

One annoyance is the top-mounted exhaust fan. It tends to spin up and down slightly pretty regularly, almost sounding like it's 'wheezing'. I'd much prefer it to just stay on a constant low speed. Perhaps this can be changed in a BIOS update. I tried SpeedFan to see if it could control it, and it does not show anything.

Anyway, just wanted to try to start a discussion with other new 8930 owners.  Thanks!

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swilliams2
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 8930, Thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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I'm fairly sure that the 8930 takes a standard power supply, so if it's an ATX12V form factor I believe you'll be okay.  If it's a super high-wattage, extra-long 1200w power supply, you won't be okay.

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Koeven
3 Argentum

RE: XPS 8930, Thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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Hi - I replaced it with a Corsair RM650i - it fits perfectly in the swing-out arm.  I didn't overly love their modular cables and upgraded to the individually sleeved cables - they are easier to manage and look better.  I also like that with the modular cables, you only install those that you actually need.  Finally - the power connector on our internal DVD drives is not a standard desktop power connection.  You need to get an adaptor.  I bought this one:  MicroSata 6 Pin Slimline SATA 15 Pin SATA Power Cable.

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28 Replies
timberwolf1991
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 8930 thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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Hello there!

Thank you for this post. Been looking for this for quite a while.

Is the top fan controlled by any particular sensor? E.g. does it come on or spin up more if the CPU is being used hard? Will it stay on for a period of time if the CPU or GPU stays at a constant, 100%?

Thanks! I was hoping there would be something in the bios for this, but I can live without it.

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swilliams2
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 8930 thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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The top fan does spin up and down with load (as in temps).  Thus the mentioning of the 'wheezing' as it spins up and down with very slight increases in load.  When at full load, it is blasting, and does remove quite a bit of hot air.

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timberwolf1991
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 8930 thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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Hopefully, as you said, a bios update fixes this. Do you find the fan fairly noisy compared with the others in the system? Looking for something that can run reasonably quiet under a load.

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salucchi
3 Zinc

RE: XPS 8930 thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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I agree with swilliams2, the system is a a bit cramped internally. I received my system on 10-31-17 and on 11-5-17 it was on its way back to Dell. This PC is advertised as Whisper quiet... quite the contrary, it is loud. Right on boot up the top case fan spins quite excessively. Also, was not pleased with packaging, the XPS was fully exposed (not even wrapped in a bag of some sort so when the box handles are pushed in to lift by the carrier the Desktop is exposed. Also the DVD burners....really really flimsy. Yes I'm very picky and not happy with all the corners being cut by OEM's especially when the price tag of just the tower is 2K (as configured by me).  By the way I noticed my PSU fan was a Delta which I know was problematic with XPS models 8910 and 8920...makes me wonder why these are installed on the XPS 8930? I'm not here to bash Dell since I have been a loyal Dell customer for close to 2 decades just want to state what I encountered with the XPS 8930.  Just my thoughts.

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swilliams2
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 8930 thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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Thanks for the comments, Salucchi.  While the 8930 is a good looking box, I think I'd have preferred something the size of the 8700 boxes to give just a little more space and airflow.

I also find it kind of weird that all of the review sites praised the accessibility and how easy this is to work on on with the fold-out power supply (which certainly helps), but the only thing to 'work on' is to add a second hard drive.  As mentioned, something that's typically fairly basic such as replacing the power supply requires a complete disassembly.  Not looking forward to the OEM PSU going out just after the warranty is up.

I may or may not still return mine.  With coupons, Amex Offers, and a few other tricks, I got mine w/ i7-8700k and GTX1080 for effectively ~$1200 which is quite a bargain and certainly a factor.  We'll see.

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DELL-Chris M
Community Manager
Community Manager

RE: XPS 8930, Thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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swilliams2,

The Dell parts page for the XPS 8930 only list a 460w PSU, not a 480w?
WC1T4 460w, 240v, Huntkey Electric Co Ltd, E-Star, RoHS Compliant, AFPC (Active Power Factor Correction)

List your PSU part number for me.

The XPS 8930 Service Manual instructions for removing the PSU are on pages 56-59. Please read through it and notate any errors.

 



 

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swilliams2
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 8930, Thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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Hi Chris,

You are correct, it is a 460w and not a 480w.  Of course that just concerns me more.

The error in the manual is that the pictures do not represent what my heat sink looks like.  The heat sink on the 8930, at least with the i7-8700k, is shaped very differently, and part of it is offset.  Underneath the offset part is the CPU power cable that plugs into the board.  It does not look possible to reliably remove and replace that cable without taking the motherboard out and likely removing the heat sink.  Which means reapplying thermal paste, etc., and I'm sure invalidating a warranty.

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swilliams2
2 Bronze

RE: XPS 8930, Thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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Hello again Chris,

Just to clarify my point, here's a photo.  The red arrow is pointing to the CPU power connector (a little out of focus, but it's that white thing), which is underneath the offset heat sink.  So there is literally no way to replace the PSU without removing the heat sink from the processor.  So if anything is wrong with the manual, it's that the instructions on pages 56-61 fail to mention this.  It's also as if the manual was only half updated for this new version of the 8930.  For example, the picture on page 85 shows the correct heat sink and fan assembly, whereas other pictures such as on page 94 show a much smaller and more generic heat sink and fan assembly.

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Koeven
3 Argentum

RE: XPS 8930, Thoughts and minor mods/upgrades

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In the 8930 manual it indicates you can remove the heat sink assembly and replace it, reusing the thermal paste.  On page 95 it says:

NOTE: The original thermal grease can be reused if the original processor and heat-sink assembly are reinstalled together.

I replaced my power supply on my 8910 and was just very careful reinstalling and never had a problem with over heating issues.  It only took about 15 minutes to remove the heat sink assembly, replace the CPU power cable and then reinstall the assembly.  The 8910 also had the pictured fan and heat sink.  You have to remove the fan first (3 screws), then you can get at the heat sink screws (4 screws).

The difference in pictures that you see in the manual relate to whether you have a K processor or not.  The K processor unit has the bigger case fan and the processor cooling unit pictured in your post.  If you get a non-K unit it has the smaller case fan and a smaller fan and heat sink assembly (which you don't need to remove to upgrade the power supply).

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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