*Please note that by moving everything out of your current XPS case, you will void the Dell warranty. My warranty was already up, so I went for it anyways.*
Recently I decided to upgrade the graphics card (which I will continue to call a GPU from here on out for those who don't know what that is) in my XPS 8920 SE from an AMD Radeon RX 560 to the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Duke. When I purchased the 1070 Ti, I did not look at the dimensions of the card and realized once I got it delivered that there was absolutely no way that it was going to fit in the XPS case. This is not the same situation for other cards out there, but this specific GPU was massive. So, I decided to take on the idea of buying a new aftermarket case and moving everything inside of the XPS 8920 to a new home. Being a budget gamer, the NZXT H500 seemed perfect because it was a $77 case (which you can find cheaper, but was the price on NZXT's website and have actually gone up) that came with a ton of inside room, a tempered glass side panel to view the inside of the case, and two extra exhaust fans already mounted in the rear. So, after finding out how easy it was to move everything over, I have had a couple of people ask me to do a step-by-step on how to move everything over. I really hope to not miss anything since it has been about a month now since I moved everything, but it is super simple and only took a little bit of my time.
First, let's start by saying what you will need to have for your build be absolutely done at the end of all of this:
Now that you have all of your stuff together, your first step is to unplug everything from the back or front of your XPS case and open up the right side/bezel of your case using the tabs on the back of the case like it suggests on pages 19 and 20 of the XPS manual. Try to avoid doing this on carpet, especially if you wear only socks to avoid any static shock from frying any components. When removing any part of your case, try to always be touching the metal part of the case in some way to keep yourself grounded. From there, get ready because we are about to get started removing everything out of your XPS system:
It's not as hard as you might think. It's just tedious work and requires some time.
With all your stuff to one side, get your h500 case ready by opening the side glass panel and the other side panel and setting them to the side. Remove the two rear case fans on the case to make putting in the mobo much easier. Not necessary to do so, but it makes things easier in the long run. Now we will go through what you need to do to set up your XPS system inside of the new case. Read through the instructions that came with the h500 case and it will explain how to place everything inside of the case. Even then, I will go ahead and describe how to do it by also suggesting the easiest and (in my opinion) best cable management options.
You are now done with the transfer of your XPS system to the NZXT h500 case. Before you plug in your PSU to a wall outlet or power strip, make sure that it has the power switch on the PSU in the "off" position to make sure that there are no surges when it is first plugged in to a power source. Go ahead and plug in all of your peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor, headset, etc.) before turning everything on. Now, flip the switch on the PSU and push the power button on the top of the h500 case. As long as you plugged in all of your drives and such in the same exact spots they were in when they were in your XPS case, your computer will boot and act like normal!
*If you upgraded your GPU from the original one in your XPS case, remember to uninstall all of the original display drivers associated with the old GPU and then install the necessary drivers for your new GPU*
**If you intend on swapping out the stock CPU cooler, the mounting bracket on the back of the mobo does not remove, but can be used instead of the brackets that come with any LGA1151 style coolers out there, so you shouldn't have too much of an issue**
I have hopefully covered everything you need to transfer your XPS system to a new case. Let me know if something is unclear (which is very likely) or if you have any questions. Worst case scenario, I am an amateur PC builder (even though I still run my XPS system due to budget constraints) and will be willing to work something out and build it for you for a reasonable price and shipping costs.
I am not responsible for any harm done to your PC or any of its components due to mishandling or any other reason. Everything I have listed is to be done carefully and with the assumption that you have read up on proper safety and handling of PC parts. The idea is to move your XPS system in an almost mirrored fashion from the original case to the NZXT h500 case specifically. If you failed to connect things such as drives exactly how they were originally on your mobo, that is your fault. Moving your components over was your personal decision, I only give you the means and proper way of doing so.
I would have added pictures, but I was unable to do so. If I can, I will do this at a later date.
Zeus, upgrade on the XPS 8930 little trickier than the XPS 8910 and XPS 8920 using the NZXT case and a Meshify C-Mini.
Link to post here:
Info on motherboard connectors here with updates:
From XPS 8930 case swaps into both a NZXT H500 case and Fractal Designs Meshify C Mini:
The NZXT case comes with a breakout cable you have to use to get individual front panel connectors. Otherwise you will not be able to jump pins 5 to 9.
Zeus, you lived up to your name! King of the gods! I followed your parts recommendations and guide and just finished a case swap from the 8910 to the NXT H500. It worked!
As a newbie, I had never done a build or case transfer, and found your instructions really clear and easy to follow. Also watched some Youtube videos on installing the CoolerMaster CPU sink and builds on the H500 (there are tons) that were good complements. LOTS of PC build videos on Youtube, who knew...
So I ended up doing a case swap (initiated based on upgrading to a heavily discounted refurb 1080 GTX graphics card that needed a 8+8 pin from the PSU). Outside of the GPU, my purchases where the H500 ($50 on sale at Fry's), a 750W EVGA Gold modular PSU ($83 AR at B&H), and the CoolerMaster 212 Evo ($29 on Amazon), so all in was about $160. The PSU should set me up for a long while (future builds) so not a huge expense.
Knock on wood, the computer booted without a hitch after the transfer, and so far, so good (having some minor bluetooth issues I'm troubleshooting which could be an antenna issue). Front panel ports and power button work, fans spin, and computer boots...CPU temps are about 50% that of the Dell stock case, and (based on the GPU upgrade) I'm able to run games in ultra on my ultrawide monitor (not 4k but close).
More to come as need to see if any issues arise, but so far so good. With the 8910, no BIOS/start issues due to not using the same front panel I/O akin to the 8930 issues covered in another thread.
All in, this took me about 3 hours, maybe 4 including watching various Youtube videos. I could see someone with experience doing this in 1-2 hours.
One follow up question (assuming no issues arise):
I asked before about overclocking the 6700k and you said only if I upgraded the cooler (which I did to the 212). So now that I've done it, and the idle temps are low, how would I approach this on the 8910? Read a bit about this but less clear how you do this in the Dell:
Also, and less important, if you want to add 'flair' to the case and add RGB LEDS within the case, how would you do it with the Dell Mobo? Remember you mentioning that the 500i LEDs wouldn't function well as the Dell Mobo doesnt' support it...not critical but how would you add RGB effects? Some kind of hub? And if so, where/how would it connect.
Anyway THANK YOU for these instructions, it was a great act of good will and I hope karma repays you for this pro bono advice. So much of the internet is just garbage these days, it's nice to see people volunteering their expertise to help strangers. Gives me hope!
Here are before/during (putting on the 212 EVO)/ after of the build using Zeus' guide. The h500 really looks good, and is a great deal at $50.
The Dell stock BIOS does support overclocking but the options are very limited. The XPS 8910 supports both the 6th Generation Intel Core i7 and i7K.
There is always a risk with bricking the system by upgrading the BIOS but I don't think a physical transfer of system components from one case to another affects the BIOS.
I am not sure what the BIOS setting are for overclocking but there is a overclocking feature section under Performance Options in the BIOS. Because of overclocking limitations in the BIOS it has been reported that some have had success with Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility (Intel XTU).
I am so glad and happy to hear that your case upgrade went well! Congrats on your new PC upgrade because it really looks professionally done! The case upgrade will have no effect on your mobo unless you somehow shocked it or messed something up while transferring it. To answer some of your questions:
1. You are in fact able to overclock in the Dell BIOS and you shouldn't need to update the BIOS if you haven't really had any issues with your computer beforehand. You are always more than welcome to check on Dell's support page to see if they have released any updates regarding your MOBO, but even then, if there haven't been issues, no need to update.
2. As to how easy it is to do on the Dell mobo, I am unsure of. I have only ever overclocked on retail mobos since the CPU in my Dell mobo is a non "k" i7 7700 and I don't really do much that requires overclocking the CPU on that PC. Even then, any standard overclocking techniques you find on the web or youtube should help you get started. A lot of it is trial and error and may take a few hours for you to really find the threshold of where your PC gets the BSOD (blue screen of death for those who don't know) and where it is stable for everyday use. Go to Steam and download 3D Mark's free stuff to stress test your overclocks along the way. You can also use this to overclock your GPU.
3. From what I have seen, you shouldn't raise the voltage of your CPU too much to achieve higher clock speeds, if at all. A voltage of 1.35V seems pretty standard for your CPU from what I have seen. Sync your cores if possible, or just go through and input the same clock speed one by one. If you want to aim for the 4.4GHz, then try changing the speed to 4.2GHz, restart your PC, run the tests, and then see if it is stable. Run the tests two or three times in a row if necessary to make sure it really will stay stable. Then bump it by .05 GHz (if possible) until you reach 4.4 GHz if that is your goal. Some people can manage a 4.6GHz on a wtaer cooled loop, so you may be able to squeeze a 4.5GHz out of that 212 Evo as long as your ambient room temps are not too high and if the mobo can handle it.
4. When you boot into the BIOS, it should be super easy to see where the overclocking features are since the Dell BIOS is a rather simple looking setup. There are no advanced options aside from the overclocking feature. You also can't change fan speeds within the BIOS. If you want your 212 Evo to run at full speed to contain your overclocks (since I don't know what the fan curve is like on Dell mobos), you may need to purchase the SATA fan adapter I mentioned before and plug the fan in to the PSU directly. This will keep temps down even more when your overclocks are done.
5. To add RGB to your system, you will need to purchase a HUB and run that from your PSU because Dell mobos do not have RGB pins. The HUB may come with a controller that you can use to change the color of your LEDs. All you need after that are products with RGB addressable features. NZXT has one of the better HUBs out there, but a lot of other companies make good ones as well.
Your worst case scenario would be to purchase a brand new MOBO that can do everything you need it to do. The issue here is that you will have a very hard time getting your OS to transfer over. You have several options here to make that work. This starts getting out of the Dell space of things, so I'm not gonna post it here in a Dell forum, but you are more than welcome to contact me directly and I can explain what to do. Otherwise, the Dell mobo isn't too bad even though certain features are lacking.
My final thought is to plug your Dell fan in that bottom front spot to move air onto the fans of your GPU. It is the only temp difference I have been able to see a good improvement on when adding fans. It definitely helps if you are overclocking your GPU (which, why wouldn't you if you are gonna overclock your CPU for max performance). Aside from that addition, adding fans does almost nothing to overall temps.
Enjoy your new case!
I apologize for the blurriness. This is from my instagram and it did weird things. Also, the tape at the top of the case is where one of the antennae sit from the wireless card. I went for the all black because the rest of my desk uses a black theme with light pink accents from my keyboard and mouse. I like to call my current PC "FrankenComp" due to the mix of different brands of products within it. This kind of thing doesn't bother me because I go for budget/performance first, and looks second.
Thanks again Zeus. Very nice setup you got there. How are temps?
I just want to give a shout out to anybody who is interested in this topic that another brilliant case NZXT H400 is currently on sale for $69.99 ($40 off retail) from Newegg.
While H500 (ATX mid tower) is company's mainstream model, H400 (mATX mini tower) is more of a premium model. I am sure the same steps for H500 will also apply to H400 without any issue.
The main differences between H400 and H500 are
1. Form factor: 35L vs. 39L
2. Fan support: five (top 2 x 140 mm) vs. four (top 1 x 140 mm).
3. Double front side vents vs. Single front side vent
4. Full glass panel vs. 3/4 glass panel
5. 4 expansion slots vs. 7 expansion slots
6. 4 x 2.5/1x 3.5 storage vs. 3 x 2.5/3 x 3.5
7. 3x Aer F120 case version fans included vs 2x
8. MSRP $110 vs $77.
The more popular white version is sold out but the black one is still available.
If you prefer airflow, Meshify C white (not mini) is also on sale for $79.99