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XPS 8930, Case Swap, CPU Liquid Cooler temps, Upgrade summary


After a month of daily use of this machine, I want to share the outcome of this successful case swap into a Phanteks Eclipse P350X case.







Machine has been running perfectly with no startup, shutdown or sleep issues as a result of the required workarounds necessary for the successful case swap. 

CPU temps are typically around 30 C at idle and the mid 50 C’s under testing loads with the Corsair H60 CPU cooler and noise levels acceptable with the final fan configuration.  What is significant with this case swap was the decision to fix the speed of the fan on the CPU cooler radiator rather than connect it to the CPU FAN header and allow the motherboard to control the fan speeds and CPU temps.  The drop in CPU temps is significant with the fixed speed fan.

The cost of a case swap would be the cost of the case + USB 3.0 PCI-E card.  

The upside of the case swap is that you are no longer limited by the stock XPS 8930 chassis in regards to CPU cooling, GPU cooling, fan noise, and drive placement.

You have the ability to add an air cooled or liquid cooled CPU cooler of your choice, use additional fans for cooling, have multiple hard drive and SSD placements, and add optional LED’s to your liking. 

I have received PM's and not into doing videos.  So the steps to a successful case swap for the XPS 8930 are summarized here from the original thread where a lot of information was shared.  



Phanteks Eclipse P350X

Phanteks P350X.JPG




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Re: XPS 8930 case swap, successful upgrade, update


I did three case swaps to test different cases to see if the same issues arose with each swap


Fractal Design Meshify C Mini Dark TG

Test build using stock fans on the GPU rear exhaust and CPU upper intake cooler radiators, stock Fractal fans as lower intake and upper exhaust.  A 240mm radiator CPU cooler will fit in front as long as the GPU isn't much longer than the 10.5" GPU shown in this case. 




Test build using stock fans on the GPU rear exhaust and CPU upper intake cooler radiators, stock NZXT fans as lower intake and upper exhaust.  CPU radiator mounted in front of chassis under front bezel.  No issues with 240mm radiator CPU cooler in that front position.  A 280mm radiator will fit but the bottom part of the radiator will drop down slightly into the opening at the front of the lower shroud.  



Phanteks P350X

Initial test build using stock fans for the GPU rear exhaust and CPU upper intake cooler radiators. Stock Phanteks fan as lower intake.  Two Noctua slim 15mm fans (from XPS 8930 CPU liquid cooler mod) as upper exhaust.   Installing a 240mm radiator CPU cooler is no problem in this case.



With each case swap there are four specifics workarounds necessary for a successful case swap:

  • USB connector from the XPS 8930 top IO panel, both blue connector and black connector installed on the motherboard. Blue to blue connector.  Black to black connector.
  • SD card connector from the IO panel to the motherboard Card Reader header
  • Jumper on motherboard front panel header on pins 5 and 9.
  • PCIE USB 3.0 card with a 20 pin USB 3.0 header onboard. Connect the top panel USB connector on the new case to the USB header on the installed PCIE USB 3.0 card.  


On this closeup from the Phanteks P350X picture note:
-The two USB connectors entering the case to the right of the GPU for connection to the black and blue motherboard USB headers. The USB connectors are from the XPS 8930 IO Panel hidden under the PSU shroud. 
-The red PCI-E USB 3.0 card, under the GPU at the back of the case, connected to the USB cable from the top USB ports of the Phanteks case.  That two strand cable runs under the GPU to the opening at the lowest of the vertical cable entry slots.
-At the bottom of the motherboard, note the 4 connections located there.  From left to right, the HD Audio cable from the top of the Phanteks case, and the SD Card Reader cable from the IO panel under the PSU shroud.  The Power Button cable from the top of the Phanteks case and the yellow jumper wire on pins 5 to 9 are right next to each other and connect to the front panel header on the motherboard.  




Motherboard connectors info for the XPS 8930:

From first glance the motherboard connectors look to be industry standard Intel header connections.  However, unlike the XPS 8910 and XPS 8920, where the case swaps are straight forward and easier, the firmware of the XPS 8930 has specific requirements for connections to certain headers to avoid startup errors.

1) The PSU connections to the motherboard are standard. There is a 24 pin ATX connector to the right of the RAM slots (on the upper right) and the 4 pin CPU power connector at the upper left.

s-l1600 (1).jpg


2)  Two USB 3.1 headers (blue and black) look like standard 19 pin connectors.   On the XPS 8930, they are connected to the 3 USB 3.1 ports and the single USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port on the top panel.

They are marked F USB1 and F USB 2 on the motherboard.  The blue header is for the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port and the left USB 3.1 port.  The black header is for the right two USB 3.1 ports. 

The top panel USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port is only 5 Gbps, the same speed as the other 3.1 USB ports.   It’s just a different connector.  The higher speed USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type C port is on the real panel.



With a XPS 8930 case swap, one of the workaround is that both the USB connectors from the XPS 8930 IO panel from the top of the case need to be connected into the motherboard USB headers using their respective color connector.  Black to black, blue to blue.

Without both headers connected, you will get an IO front panel error at startup.

What this means is the XPS 8930 IO panel at the top of the chassis needs to be inside the new case as part of the case swap.  The large PSU shroud compartment at the bottom of the case is a convenient place to hide the IO panel.


Because the USB 3.1 ports on the motherboard are now no longer available for use by the USB front panel connectors on the new case, you will have to bypass the motherboard connectors and install a PCI-E USB 3.0 card on the motherboard and connect the USB connectors from your new case to the PCI-E card.



Be really careful when removing and installing the USB 3.0 connectors on the motherboard.  I hate the Intel design as the connectors are very tight and it is very easy to bend or even break a pin. Try to always go straight up of down with the connector.  If you wiggle is from side to side you risk bending/breaking a pin.


3) The front panel connector is a standard industry connector and Dell chose to use it only for their power button and LED.  Dell used a single connector with only pins 2 and 4 for the power button LED, and 6 and 8 for the power button.  There is also a yellow wire jumper between pins 5 and 9 on the connector.




With a new case you can use the pins on that header for the Power, Power LED, Reset, HD Power LED connections.  There is a diagram on the XPS 8930 motherboard that shows the configuration for the pins. 

F Panel.JPG

Excel Pins 2.JPG

On the XPS 8930 motherboard the pins on the  F Panel header are numbered like this.

2 4 6 8 10

1 3 5 7 9


Motherboard pins 2.JPG

Pic of Industry Standard Front Panel with the same pin numbering.


Standard Industry FP Pinouts.JPG


When doing the case swap, the Power button, LED, reset switch all work fine with a new case.  The small arrow you will see on a connector is the positive side of that connector.

However, a Jumper is necessary on the XPS 8930 motherboard front panel connector from pins 5 to 9 to prevent a startup power button error.   The jumper is a female to female connector for a 0.1" (2.54mm ) header,


4) The Audio connector is a standard HD Audio 10 pin connector with a pin typically missing at 8.  This header controls the headphone jack and mic jack on the upper IO panel.  


Audio Pins.JPG

Standard Audio Pinouts.JPG


5)   Dell uses a 6 pin connector for the Multi-Card Reader on their upper IO panel.  On the motherboard it is marked CARD READER.

Card Reader.JPG



With a case swap, it was confirmed by RWGordon that you will get a startup error with this header open on the XPS 8930.  Connect the card reader connector from the XPS 8930 IO panel to this header with a case swap.


6) Fan Headers

Fan headers.JPG

Fan headers:  Left is TOP FAN header, right is CPU FAN header.  Both are 4 pin PWM.   3 pin fans can be connected to them but they will run at full speeds.


Edit: 8/25/19   Added Alienware R7/R8 case swap information here.

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Re: XPS 8930 case swap, successful upgrade, update


 Phanteks Eclipse P350X case swap specifics

I looked at the darkFlash T120 (side airflow) and the Phanteks P350X case (front airflow) when looking for cases w/ RGB options. 




The XPS 8930 motherboard doesn't have built in RGB headers for LED lighting or a USB 2.0 header for a controller.   Without a motherboard dedicated RGB header, LED system lighting is typically added with a software RGB controller that uses a USB 2.0 connector. 

This Phanteks case uses built-in addressable RGB lighting with 5V 3 pin DRGB connectors controlled by  buttons on top of the case..  Addressable RGB means each individual LED is capable of a separate color vs non-addressable RGB lighting where all the LED’s are one color.  Note that there are also 12V 4 pin RGB systems which are not compatible with the built in 5v 3 pin DRGB controller on the P350X case.

The LED lighting is expandable by chaining add'l fan frames or strips. 

There are two connectors on each device.  One connects to another device in the chain for power, the other is a connector for the next device in the chain.  They are all controlled by the buttons on top of the case.  


Phanteks Halo 120mm Digital LED Fan Frame


Phanteks Digital LED Strip Combo



Things I needed for the case swap:


Before starting, have a M5 (5mm) or 3/16 hex driver for moving a couple of the motherboard standoffs.  This case does not have that hex tool in the screws kit.  


There are only 3 motherboard connectors in this Phanteks case:
-Power Switch connector 
-HD Audio connector 
-USB 3.0 connector from the top panel.

1) The POWER SWITCH on the Phanteks case connects to pins 6 and 8 on the motherboard front panel header. The small arrow on the connector is the positive side.  

2) The HD Audio cable is a standard 8 pin connector to the HD Audio header on the motherboard.

3) The USB 3.0 connector cable from the P350X top panel USB 3.0 ports reached the USB 3.0 PCI-E card at the rear of the case. I used the Inateck USB 3.0 non-powered PCI-E card again in this case.  WIndows 10 loaded the drivers and speeds are fine.


For the required front panel header jumper, I used a yellow jumper from this set from Amazon to jump pins 5 and 9. 


Motherboard pins 2.JPG



There are a few particulars about the disassembly of the XPS 8930.  Otherwise pretty straightforward.  There is a lot of room in the new case at the bottom PSU shroud and behind the motherboard.  Cable management is great.

Disassembling the XPS 8930.  Review the previous post first if you are unsure of the various connectors.  (Installation into new case would be to reverse this order)

-Remove the GPU (after disconnecting PSU power connector), use blue lever at the base.   
-Disconnect the two motherboard PSU connections, the large 24 pin ATX and small 4 pin CPU power connectors.
-Disconnect the PSU SATA power cable and SATA data cables to the HDD and slim optical drive. (careful as the SATA data connector on the slim optical drive is flimsy)
-Disconnect the two (blue and black) USB motherboard connectors (careful here again, pull straight up to avoid damaging the pins)
-Disconnect the power switch front panel connector, the SD card reader connector and the HD audio connector from their motherboard headers.
-Disconnect the fan connectors at the TOP FAN and CPU FAN headers.
-Remove the wireless card and disconnect the antennas (more on this below) 
-The stock CPU cooler, PSU in the swinging bracket and upper IO panel are then removed with just a few screws.
-The motherboard is removed using the eight screws at the locations of the white circles.   
-Leave the RAM sticks onboard. 


The top cover lifts off as you lift up and out on the side. The USB connectors and wires, SD card reader connector, and HD audio wires connected to the IO panel pull up through the large opening on the top of the chassis. 

Io Panel.JPG


Again, be really careful with the USB 3.0 connectors on the motherboard. Try to always go straight up of down with the connector.  If you wiggle is from side to side you risk bending/breaking a pin

-In regards to the PSU connections, as stated before, there are only two connectors from the PSU to the motherboard, the 24 pin ATX connector on the right next to the RAM and 4 pin CPU power cable in the upper left corner. The SATA power and data cables to the hard drives and the optical drive are the only other connectors. Just take pictures if not sure and refer to the online XPS 8930 manual for particulars.  

The screw locations for removing and installing the micro-ATX motherboard are marked by these eight white circles.  These should match up to the motherboard standoffs on the new case.  I had to move two standoffs for the motherboard to install in the new case.

s-l1600 (1).jpg

-The only tricky part is the wireless card to the left of the Dell logo on the motherboard.   You have to remove the wires from the card to pull them up through the opening on top of the case.  First remove the single small phillips screw to take the card off the motherboard and pull the plastic cover off the card itself to get to the antennas.   They snap onto the connectors which are color coded.  Easy once you figure it out.

Dell Wireless card.JPG

There are also clips on top of the rear IO shield that open to release the cables.  Pull them slightly sideways to release them, push down to snap them back in place.


Picture of wireless card and plastic cover you need to remove to uninstall wires


Wi-fi Antenna locations. Bring the antenna and wire up through the upper corner of the P350x case.  Antenna are tucked into tie down tabs.  


-You will need a SATA to SSD cable that has a straight connector on one end when mounting a SSD flat in the holder on the back of the motherboard. 

The black SATA cables are 90 degree angles on both ends for the factory HDD.
The red optical drive cable is 90 degrees at the motherboard, straight connector at the optical drive. 

So if installing a SSD,  use that red optical drive cable on the SSD on the backside of the new case.

Here is a picture of the the red optical SATA cable connected to the flat mounted SSD.  If you have more than one SSD, buy another SATA cable that has a low profile right angle (clipless) on one end and a flat connector on the other end.  


The two SATA cable connectors on the motherboard directly under the GPU need to be right angle at those headers. Flat flexible connector will work if you can fold them back.  SATA connectors with clips will not fit under the GPU, they need to have a low profile.

On the motherboard, the blue connector is the first SATA header, the tan connector second SATA header, the black connectors are three and four.  They all pass data at the same speed.  

In a final build the onboard NVME SSD is boot drive, with the red SATA cable from the blue SATA header connected to the SSD mounted behind the motherboard..   The black SATA cable can be connected from the tan SATA header to the hard drive bay for any mechanical drives used as storage.


-SATA connectors.JPG


-The Dell IO panel next to the hard drive cage.  I  put a piece of electrical tape on the mounting flange sharp edge.  Tie up the unused yellow HD Audio cable in that bundle.



Pic of initial test build.  As part of the workaround, note where I ran the two IO unit USB cables into the case to the motherboard headers so they reach from the hard drive area.   Also note the red PCI-E USB 3.0 Card on the motherboard below the GPU at the rear of the case with the USB connector cable from the case top panel.



-Mounting the Corsair H60 (2018) CPU liquid cooler is easy.  No modifications needed. The unit is set up for the motherboard LGA 1151 CPU socket mounting bracket.  Remove the four screws holding down the Intel CPU cooler assembly.

Bottom of heatsink and CPU with thermal paste.  This one was neater than most.


Clean the CPU with alcohol. Screw four double sided pins into the holes on the motherboard.  Then mount the cooler pump by placing the corner attachment brackets of the pump on the upper pins and tighten the thumb screws.  

You can see the mounting holes here:


Pictures of double sided pins in place and brackets.  Put the thumbscrews on the upper threaded part of the pin and tighten.


If you are using the stock SP120 4-pin PWM fan that came with the Corsair cooler, connect the fan cable to the CPU FAN header, connect pump power to PSU SATA connector and you are done.  It will run quietly with CPU temps in the 60's and fan speeds controlled by the motherboard ~650 RPM.   The other wire that comes off the pump is the tach cable.  You can opt to use that to monitor the pump speed if not using the TOP FAN header for the typical rear/top exhaust fan installation in your build.

The fan mount on the intake radiator can be done two different ways.  The fan mounted In front of the radiator is so the lighting from the Halo fan frame will show through the front of the case (pics below.).  Mounted behind the radiator, the Halo fan frame lighting is better seen through the side glass panel.   The fan will be quieter behind the radiator as the fan noise is muted by the radiator.

The Halo fan frames are optional.  The stock Phanteks case lighting looked really nice with just the front bezel lighting and single LED strip below the glass side panel. 

Pics from initial build for testing.  Shows the HALO fan frames lighting up the front of the case.  In this initial build, the stock Corsair white LED fan is on the Sea Hawk GPU radiator as the rear exhaust. In the final build, I did change that radiator fan to a black Noctua fan with the HALO fan frame installed to match the lighting in the rest of the case.  




-The PSU 4/8 pin CPU power cable (braided cable next to the PSU in pic below) connects to the upper left corner of the motherboard.   The best way to run that cable was to the back of the case next to to the PSU and then under the lip at the rear of the case behind the open SSD caddy and up to the opening in the upper rear corner of the case.



-Also the single 3 pin Phanteks case fan that comes with the case is reasonably quiet. (1200-1300 RPM if based on their retail PH-F120SP fan).


-It is really helpful to have this 3 x 4 Pin SATA fan adapter for any of these case swaps.  The fan leads are long and make any fixed fan connections very easy.  The molex to SATA connectors work but they have short leads and take up more space as would the additional molex modular cable from the PSU.


The other fan adapter you might want on hand would be a multi-fan hub or a 4-pin PWM Y adapter with 2 or more splitters if you choose to connect the rear and upper exhaust fans to the CPU FAN or TOP FAN header and want the motherboard PWM function to control fan speeds.  Any 3 pin fans using the PWM fan adapter to the header would run at fixed speeds. A typical install might have the rear exhaust fan or the two upper exhaust fans controlled by the motherboard using 4 pin PWM fans.

-If you are planning on using the Phanteks Digital LED Halo fan frames, they are very easy to install. They come with fan screws and radiator bolts for normal installations.  The only issue is installing the Halo fan frame in the front of the radiator fan at the front of the case to opt see the LED's from the front.  The 6/32" x 1 1/4" radiator screws use the recess in the fan frame.  But when installing through the flat front of the chassis they are too short and won't reach the radiator. You will need black 6/32" x 1 1/2" machine screws to install through the front chassis, the fan frame, fan and radiator.



Pics from initial build showing the screws can't recess into the HALO fan frame and why longer screws are necessary.  The fan frame can likely by installed in front of the chassis to avoid getting the longer screws.  Stock Corsair SP120 fan shown as part of the initial build for testing.  Fan was later changed to to a Noctua black fan in the final build.



-The IO shield on the XPS 8930 is built into the case so it is not removable to be transferred into the IO shield opening of a new case.

IO shield.JPG


With a case swap there is an opening in the back of the case. Should not affect case pressure or have any other effects.


However there is a seller on Ebay that has this mesh IO Shield that has adhesive on one side.  Use the foam template inside the XPS 8930 rear IO opening to create a new IO shield.







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Re: XPS 8930 case swap, successful upgrade, update


Testing and final configuration:

I also followed Alienblaster's advice and connected the 4 pin SP120 PWM fan on the H60 CPU cooler radiator fixed to the PSU at 1700 RPM for initial testing. 

In the prior two case swaps and with the XPS 8930 case and the liquid cooler, I never really had a problem with the i7 8700 CPU with temps in the 60C's normally under test load.  Those are great temps and the fan is very quiet and it would be fine to just use the stock H60 configuration with the SP120 fan on the radiator connected to the CPU FAN header and let the motherboard PWM function control the fan speed. 

But due to the conservative motherboard fan curve and the low CPU temps with the liquid cooling, the fan on the CPU cooler radiator never got above 650-690 RPM even under loads when connected to the CPU FAN header. Increasing the fan speed at a higher RPM should drop temps even further, but at the expense of fan noise.  At 1700 RPM, this fan in the new case is the loudest fan in my system, and noise levels are barely acceptable. But the drop in temps is what I am looking for.

When choosing a final configuration, changing to a quieter fan and lower fan speeds would drop the noise levels to acceptable levels.


Phanteks Elite P350X testiing

Initial testing with Corsair SP120 PWM fan on the CPU cooler radiator with fixed speed at 1700 RPM after case swap:

Windows 10 Home 64 bit
CPU  i7 8700
16GB stock Dell RAM
Corsair H60 (2018) CPU liquid cooler as upper intake, with OEM Corsair SP120 PWM fan, fixed speed 1700 RPM to PSU.  CPU pump tach cable to TOP FAN header 
MSI SeaHawk GTX 1080 Hybrid GPU with liquid cooler, as rear exhaust, OEM Corsair SP120 3 pin fan, fixed speed 1650 RPM to PSU. 
(2)  Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM slim fans, as dual upper exhaust, to CPU FAN header
Phantek PH-F120SP case fan, as lower intake, fixed speed 1300 RPM to PSU
Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850W PSU
Samsung 970 EVO 1GB NVMe PCIE M.2 2280 SSD as boot drive
Samsung 860 EVO iTB SATA III 2.5" SSD

***Prime 95 v2.66 CPU Torture Test, Small FFT, 12 cycles.  30 minutes:   
CPU temps at end of test run was 54C.  
Thermal throttling: NO
Clock speeds stable at 3391.6 mHz, max was 4291.6 mHz at 100% on all cores at start of test
Voltage stable at 1.004, max was 1.248.
CPU radiator fan fixed at 1700 RPM 

In the Prime 95 test, the difference in CPU temps from the previous XPS 8930 case using this new case setup and the CPU radiator fan fixed at 1700 RPM was -14C.  At the end of test, the highest CPU core temp was 54 degrees.   That’s a big drop in temps from the liquid cooled XPS 8930 case. 

The NZXT case temps were only 3-4C less than the liquid cooled XPS 8930 case.  But in that testing, I had the SP120 PWM connected to the CPU FAN header, and it never got above 670 RPM.  

I am certain that the higher RPM fixed speed radiator fan had a lot to do with these cooler temps rather than allowing the fan to be controlled by the conservative fan curves on the Dell motherboard. 

AlienBlaster’s recommendation of using a fixed speed fan on the CPU cooler radiator makes a noticeable difference, and would recommend making this change as well with the liquid cooled XPS 8930 case.  Then it would be a matter of balancing noise vs CPU temps by slightly lowering the fan speed or changing to a quieter fan.

On the Firestrike benchmark, GPU temps again were the same, as the GPU cooling radiator is now in an exhaust position and using heated air to cool the radiator.

Samsung 970 Evo NVME SSD temps at end of Prime 95 Test (HWInfo64)
Drive temp 1: 42C
Drive temp 2: 64C



Next step was to go to a quieter fan by swapping the CPU cooler radiator fan from the Corsair SP120 fan on the radiator to the quieter NF-F12 PWM Chromax Black fans (same spec as NF-F12 PWM fans).  1500 RPM / 22.4 dBA / 55 CFM.  MUCH quieter than the Corsair SP120 fan. 1700 RPM / 28.3 dBa / 57.2CFM

Windows 10 Home 64 bit
CPU  i7 8700
16GB stock Dell RAM
Corsair H60 (2018) CPU liquid cooler as upper intake, with Noctua NF-F12 PWM Chromax Black fan, fixed speed 1500 RPM to PSU.  CPU pump tach cable to TOP FAN header 
MSI SeaHawk GTX 1080 Hybrid GPU with liquid cooler, as rear exhaust, Noctua NF-F12 PWM Chromax Black fan, fixed speed 1500 RPM to PSU  
(2)  Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM slim fans, as dual upper exhaust, to CPU FAN header
Phantek PH-F120SP case fan, as lower intake, fixed speed 1300 RPM to PSU
Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850W PSU
Samsung 970 EVO 1GB NVMe PCIE M.2 2280 SSD as boot drive
Samsung 860 EVO iTB SATA III 2.5" SSD

***Prime 95 v2.66 CPU Torture Test, Small FFT, 12 cycles.  30 minutes:   
CPU temps at end of test run was 53C.  
Thermal throttling: NO
Clock speeds stable at 3390.9 mHz, max was 4291.6 mHz at 100% on all cores at start of test
Voltage stable at 1.007, max was 1.264.
CPU radiator fan fixed at 1500 RPM 

03/17/19  Changed H60 radiator fan to Noctua NF-F12 PWM fans, fixed speed of 1500 RPM.  CPU temps 53C, similar (-1C) but with noise drop  28.3.dBa to 22.4 dBA


Final configuration: To get a further drop in noise, installed the Noctua NA-RC7 Low Noise Adapter (50 ohm) on the NF-F12 PWM Chromax Black fan to drop the RPM from 1500 RPM to 1200 RPM. . 1200 RPM / 18.6 dBA / 43.73 CFM.  Nice balance of noise/performance.

Windows 10 Home 64 bit
CPU  i7 8700
16GB stock Dell RAM
Corsair H60 (2018) CPU liquid cooler as upper intake, with Noctua NF-F12 PWM Chromax Black fan, fixed speed 1200 RPM to PSU.  CPU pump tach cable to TOP FAN header 
MSI SeaHawk GTX 1080 Hybrid GPU with liquid cooler, as rear exhaust, Noctua NF-F12 PWM Chromax Black fan, fixed speed 1500 RPM to PSU  
(2)  Noctua NF-A12x15 PWM slim fans, as dual upper exhaust, to CPU FAN header
Phantek PH-F120SP case fan, as lower intake, fixed speed 1300 RPM to PSU
Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 850W PSU
Samsung 970 EVO 1GB NVMe PCIE M.2 2280 SSD as boot drive
Samsung 860 EVO iTB SATA III 2.5" SSD

***Prime 95 v2.66 CPU Torture Test, Small FFT, 12 cycles.  30 minutes:   
CPU temps at end of test run was 55C.  
Thermal throttling: NO
Clock speeds stable at 3488.9 mHz, max was 4291.6 mHz at 100% on all cores at start of test
Voltage stable at 1.021, max was 1.300
CPU radiator fan fixed at 1200 RPM 

03/25/19 Using Noctua NF-F12 PWM fan with LNA, reduced fixed fan speed fixed from 1500 RPM to 1200 RPM.  CPU temps 55C, similar (+2C) with noise drop  22.4 dBa to 18.6 dBA

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Re: XPS 8930 case swap, successful upgrade, update

When installing a 240mm/280mm cooler for K processors and overclocking, to utilize the full capability for fan control and lighting control you need a USB 2.0 motherboard header to connect a mini-USB or micro-USB cable to the pump for software control.


NZXT uses a mini-USB cable to 5-pin female USB 2.0 connector on their NZXT Kraken 240mm/280mm liquid coolers. 

Corsair uses a micro-USB cable to 9-pin USB 2.0 connector (that uses only 4 pins on one side of the connector) on their H100i  PRO 240mm unit.  

Corsair 9 pin connector that uses 4 pins on one row of the connector:


Corsair uses Cue, NZXT uses CAM for their software.  

The XPS 8930 motherboard has no such USB 2.0 header.

You can bypass the control of the fans by connecting them using a Y adapter straight to the CPU FAN header, but you lose control of the ability to change the radiator fan speeds manually and to change the lighting with the software. 

However, having the available USB ports on the IO panel inside the case can come in handy.for the lack of the USB 2.0 headers.  You can now use these USB 3.0 ports.



To create a single row USB 2.0 5-pin header in the case for the pump 5-pin / 9-pin connector use this cable and one of the available USB 3.1 ports inside the case (the arrow on the connector is the hot wire (red) on both sides of the connection, wires on both sides should match red-white-green-black)



USB 2.0 to USB 5 pin header.JPG



To create a standard USB 2.0 9-pin header you can use this cable connected to one of the USB ports on the IO unit in this machine.  This may be useful as there as some devices like the NZXT Internal USB Hub which uses a 9 pin connector for stability.




Instead of using the USB header for the pump connection, an easier workaround would be to use this USB cable since  the IO panel is already there inside the case with an available USB port to connect this 3' cable directly to the pump

To connect the pump for fan and lighting control if a mini-usb connector is required.


USB 2.0 to USB mini.JPG


For a micro-USB connector on the Corsair H100i Pro use this:




If you have any android devices at home, this is the typical connector used for charging..

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Re: XPS 8930, Case Swap, CPU Liquid Cooler temps, Upgrade summary

Helped with another Phanteks Elite P350X Case Swap over the weekend.  Went well and the machine is running great.  

We used a Corsair 240mm radiator AIO cooler even though the CPU is an i7-8700 non-k and 55C temps are achievable with the single 120mm radiator from a previous similar case swap.  We wanted to try a different build on this machine so those with a –K processor and overclockers should take note.  We used Noctua fans instead of the magnetic leviathan ML120 fans that came with the Corsair H100i Pro cooler as we wanted to fix the speeds of the quieter fans on the radiators.  We also used the Corsair RM850X as the PSU.













The Corsair H100i Pro unit uses iCUE software control for the speed of the ML120 fans, the speed of the pump head, and the color of the pump head.  The installation does require an available USB 2.0 header on the motherboard to connect the pump head.  We had a USB cable with a micro USB connector and connected that to the pump head and to one of the internal USB 3.0 ports on the XPS 8930 IO unit inside the machine.  The software saw the unit just fine.   You can see the USB cable attached to the left side of the pump head here:



The Corsair H100i Pro installation was very straight forward with no modifications necessary to install the pump head.  Remove the OEM CPU cooler, clean off the CPU area, install the 4 double sided pins onto the motherboard, attach the pump head and bracket and tighten down the 4 thumbscrews.  The pump is setup for the motherboad LGA 1151 socket so no back bracket changes are required.

The front radiator attaches to the front side of the chassis with eight screws and washers.  We opted again to have the lighting show through the front of the bezel so the fans were placed in the push position in front of the radiator.  This required the aforementioned slightly longer screws to attach the radiator, fan and Halo bracket to the chassis.  I had them on hand from the previous Phanteks build.

There is a single wire tach cable that reads the speed of the pump and that was attached to the TOP FAN header.  The pump power is via a SATA cable connected to the PSU.  There are two fan leads that come off the pump to attach the two 4 pin PWM fans that can be controlled by the iCUE software.  After trying different fan combinations we left those connectors open and chose to fix the two Noctua fans to the PSU using the CRJ 3 x 4 pin SATA fan power adapter cable we have used before.  

Once we got the software installed, the default quiet (~325 RPM at idle), balanced (~700 RPM at idle), and extreme (~1030 RPM at idle) settings of the ML120 fans seemed to work fine and were very quiet at idle, but the fan noise started to increase under Prime 95 test loads with fan speeds above 1300 RPM when coolant temps got past 28C (53C CPU temps).   In normal everyday use, they are reasonably quiet and noise levels are acceptable and will work fine with a non-K CPU.  CPU temps are in the low to mid 50C range under loads as the software allows you to control fan speeds much better than the conservative XPS 8930 motherboard fan curves.


Fan curves are adjustable via the software for different loads and seasonal temperature differences which would be more important for overclocking as you test the thermal limits of the AIO system. In those OC situations fan noise is less important than managing CPU temps and the higher RPM's are necessary.  I wouldn't hesitate to use this unit with the ML120 fans in those situations as they are nice static pressure fans that can ramp up to meet demands as needed.

With CPU and case temps under control, the goal of this build was to have the GPU onboard fan as the loudest fan in the case. Given the slight chance of future software bugs and the ability use the fixed speed Noctua fans to achieve the temps and noise levels we wanted, we didn’t use the ML120 fans with the software.  We also left the pump head speed at the default setting of Balanced which is 2100 RPM.  The Quiet preset is 1100 RPM and Extreme preset is 2900 RPM.  We found the coolant temps difference between Balanced and Extreme was negligible.

We did try the Noctua fans with the iCUE software but one fan reported at 450-600 RPM and the other at 1400-1450 RPM even when we tried different settings. We could not get both fans to change RPM’s for the different settings or even report the same RPM together.  So the unit must be sensitive to the ML120 amperages and power draw to work properly.  It could also be a problem with the Chromax NF-F12 fans as they do give erroneous fan speeds with certain fan speed programs. 

We also tried the ML120 fans (why waste them?) in the upper exhaust position and the power from the CPU FAN header barely made them spin and they ran at 330 RPM at idle.  The problem that we found was these particular fans didn’t start up at boot and they caused a CPU fan error from a hard boot.  There were no errors on restarts.

One thing I saw different on this case swap was the power cable connector cable on this particular XPS 8930.  My machine had an obvious yellow jumper that was between pins 5 and 9 on the connector at the end of the cable.  The yellow jumper was not part of the cable itself. 

This machine had two additional red wires inside the cable connected on pins 5 and 9.. There wasn't an obvious jumper on the connector at the motherboard and the two red wires looked to be part of the wiring inside the cable from the switch to the connector.  So instead of 4 wires (2 for the power switch, 2 for the LED), there were 6 wires coming from the end of that cable.  On closer inspection at the other end of the cable at the power switch itself at the top of the case, there was no red cable connections there, just the four wires for power and the LED.  So the red wires are indeed a loop inside the cable, it is still a jumper.   

We placed the jumper cable from pins 5 to 9 on this case swap and there were no start up errors.  Picture of the P350x power button cable on pins 6 to 8 and a purple jumper on 5 to 9 shown here.  I made sure I got a pic of that this time.


2 4 6 8 x

1 3 5 7 9


System Info:

Windows 10 Home 64 bit
CPU  i7-8700
16GB stock Dell 2666Mhz RAM
Corsair H100i PRO CPU Liquid Cooler as front intake, with (2) Noctua NF-F12 PWM Chromax Black fans, fixed speed ~1200 RPM using NA-SRC7 Low Noise Adapter to PSU.  CPU pump tach cable to TOP FAN header 
Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU Founders Edition
(2) Noctua NF-S12A PWM Chromax Black fans, as dual upper exhaust to CPU FAN header
Phantek PH-F120SP case fan, as rear exhaust fixed speed using NA-SRC10 Low Noise Adapter to PSU
Corsair RM850x Gold 850W PSU
Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1GB NVMe PCIE M.2 2280 SSD as boot drive

***Prime 95 v2.66 CPU Torture Test, Small FFT, 12 cycles.  30 minutes:   
CPU temps at end of test run was 52-53C.  
Thermal throttling: NO
Clock speeds stable at 3690.0 mHz, max was 4390.3 mHz at 100% on all cores at start of test
Voltage stable at 1.030, max was 1.175V
CPU radiator fan fixed at 1200 RPM 

Using (2) Noctua NF-F12 PWM fan with LNA, fixed fan speed fixed 1200 RPM.  CPU temps 52-53C.   Noise levels 18.6 dBa

***3d Mark Fire Strike Test for system at 1080P, ~ 7min.:

GTX 1070 GPU Temps: Max 76C
Clock Speed Max: 1911 Mhz
GPU Fan Speed Max: 2025 RPM

End result was as intended, with the Nvidia 1070 GPU onboard fan being the loudest fan in this case both at idle (1070 RPM) and under loads (2025 RPM).


Edit:  Added Corsair ML120  iCue software RPM speeds and CPU temps.

1 Copper

Re: XPS 8930, Case Swap, CPU Liquid Cooler temps, Upgrade summary

Estoy buscando un Motherboard XPS 8930. No quiero los demas componentes ya los tengo. Es que mi motherboard se cruso y no funciona el tarjeta de sonido integrado y aunque compre una tarjeta PCI no puedo usar los auriculares. 

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