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5 Tungsten

XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade

XPS 8930 Tower Special Edition

  • Motherboard Chipset Intel Kaby Point Z370, Intel Coffee Lake-S
  • 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i9-9900K 8-Core Processor (16M Cache, up to 5.0 GHz)
  • 64GB, DDR4, 2666MHz Samsung
  • 2TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Toshiba
  • nVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X: 3x DisplayPort 1.3 (1.4 Ready), HDMI 2.0, Dual Link DVI-D
  • 11ac + Bluetooth 4.2, Dual Band 2.4&5 GHz, 1x1
  • Windows 10 Pro 64bit English
  • Microsoft® Office 2019 Professional
  • 2 x Dell UltraSharp U2717D 27” InfinityEdge QHD Monitors

I will provide a lot of photos for beginners like myself (click photos to embiggen).

Acknowledgement goes to HanoverB for much information and assistance during this project.

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XPS 8930 SE with which most will be familiar; air flow starved small form case; swing-out PSU

My unit has 2TB SSD only; no spinners, so all the HDD cages are removed.

 

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My CPU came with the "upgraded" heatsink/blower fan. Unfortunately, the wizards at Dell "downgraded" the top exhaust fan from 120mm to 92mm. The mission was to swap the 92mm top exhaust for for 120mm fan. Initial research revealed that the CPU power connector from the PSU was inconveniently located under the heatsink. So I decided to also upgrade the PSU while I had the heatsink removed and access to the CPU power connector.

 

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Gain access to the internal organs by removing, in this order; side cover -> optical drive -> front bezel -> top cover (see service manual).

 

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Make sure you have a clean, suitable work area with space for tools and no clutter.

 

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Since I was changing out the PSU I took a lot of photos so I would have a record of which connection plugged in where and cable routing. I recommend you do the same if you are a noob like me, but in the end, it was actually very easy.

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Remove the graphics card.

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The CPU fan header is also inconveniently located under the heatsink, so when you remove the blower fan the cable will still be connected. Set it aside gently on the mobo until the heatsink is removed and you can access the fan header connection.IMG_3712.JPG

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Once the heatsink is removed you can see the two fan headers and the CPU power connector.

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Clean the thermal paste from the CPU and disconnect the blower fan from the CPU fan header.

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One screw to easily remove the top exhaust fan bracket and fan.

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Familiarize yourself with the location of the connections. Fortunately, they are well labeled.

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This system board power connector can be stubborn, so be very careful. It has a release clip on the back. This would ONLY need to be removed if you are upgrading the PSU.

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I went with a Seasonic FOCUS 850 watt fully modular PSU. I was originally going to upgrade the OEM 460 watt PSU to 650 watt, but I followed the recommendation of HanoverB and got the 850 watt PSU and I am grateful for that, for reasons that will become more clear in a subsequent thread. You will also need to purchase separately a 6-Pin Slimline SATA 15-Pin SATA Power Cable to re-connect the optical drive to the PSU.

6-Pin Slimline SATA 15-Pin SATA Power Cable

 

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The Seasonic FOCUS PSU is a perfect fit and a very simple swap (4 screws).

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For the top exhaust fan I went with the recommended 120mm Noctua 3-pin fan that will spin at a quiet 1,200 rpm. You will need to acquire the Aurora R5 120mm top exhaust fan bracket, which is available on the big auction site.

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This photo shows the substantial difference between a 92mm fan and a 120mm fan. There is approximately 70% more area with the 120mm fan.

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Slide the new bracket and fan in place and tighten the screw. Note in this photo that I have installed the new CPU modular power cable from the Seasonic PSU. These cables have a lot more insulation and protection than the OEM wires. The wires coming out of the CPU power connector must be bent at 90 degrees and tucked under the fan to provide clearance for the heatsink when it is re-installed. The top exhaust fan power cable must also be bent over and tucked under the fan.

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Since the CPU fan header is underneath the heatsink, after you have applied thermal paste to the CPU, you will need to thread the blower fan cable through the heatsink and plug it into the CPU fan header first, and then carefully install the heatsink.

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Route the blower fan power cable so it is not pinched and install the blower fan.

 

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Now we are looking to install two front case fans.

 

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Carefully install the system board power cable and drape it and the CPU power cable towards the back of the case and out of the way.

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For the front intake fans, again, Noctua 120mm 3-pin 1,200 rpm fans. The Aurora R5 front cooling case fan bracket (7M0F5) can also be acquired on the big auction site and makes installation of the lower front fan very easy.

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I experimented with several different types of gasket/weather strip material for mounting the top front fan and found this type to work best.

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Cut the weather strip and make a frame by pressing the glue side against the case.

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Wedge the fan into the weather strip frame making sure it is tight against the front case mesh, and add the final piece as shown to hold the fan in place. Note the position of the fan power cable.

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The bottom front fan simply snaps into place in the XPS 8930 case with the Aurora R5 bracket. Again, note the position of the power cable.

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Reinstall the graphics card.

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Start connecting the modular cables from the PSU. Since the modular cables need to be "universal fit" and the XPS 8930 is a small form case, you will end up with a lot of extra cable length, so cable management is imperative.

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Add cables slowly and neatly secure them with zip ties, regularly checking clearance and that there is no binding as the PSU swing-out mechanism opens and closes.

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I chose to power the two front fans off the PSU with an SATA fan splitter cable.

 

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For front fans I choses these 120mm ModRight filters. This design includes added relief due to the two-tiered construction and the concave nature of the screen material. I tried to use magnetic tape for mounting the filters, but it did not hold well enough, so I ended up using double-sided tape across the corners, as shown.

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I left some magnetic tape strips in the indented areas to smooth the surface for the double sided tape. Areas that were vented to the inside of the case were sealed off with Gorilla tape so that the fans are drawing air from outside the case. The top cover has also been reinstalled in this photo.

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The filters are installed with the double-sided tape. The significance of the aforementioned "relief" can be seen here as the lower filter screen clears the case protrusion such that no cutting is required.

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The inserts on the front bezel need to be cut with a Dremel cutting wheel.

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The front bezel is reinstalled.

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The optical drive is reinstalled and connected to power using the previously mentioned 6-Pin Slimline SATA 15-Pin SATA Power Cable.

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Re-connect your peripherals and enjoy.

 

Added link to follow-up thread

XPS 8930 SE - CPU & GPU Water Cooling; External Rad

93 Replies
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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade

I like the way you blocked all the holes around the front fans so air only comes from the 1/4" wide vents around the front and I like the weather stripping to mount the fans which eliminates vibration noise but I doubt if the top front fan was necessary. A large bottom one will pull plenty of air and give it that L shaped swoosh of air that goes back and up while the top one is blocked by sheet metal etc and may even upset the flow. I would like to see results of disconnecting that top front one. Did you take any advice from the thread I did on adding fans? Everyone else just throws them in there and hot air just circulates around and around them. You have to isolate the front vents and draw exclusively from them which it looks like you did. Also, I wonder why everyone in here uses those Noctura fans since they are all basically just a fan in a case with a motor. I'm not seeing any silver bullet there. My Arctic front fan addition does everything it's supposed to do and it's totally quiet.

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade


@546insp wrote:

 Also, I wonder why everyone in here uses those Noctura fans since they are all basically just a fan in a case with a motor. I'm not seeing any silver bullet there. My Arctic front fan addition does everything it's supposed to do and it's totally quiet.


The Arctic F12 3 pin fan is an excellent nice fan.  Especially for the money at 1/2 price of the Noctua.   The Noctua NF-S12A case fan has about 10-15% more airflow at a slightly lower RPM,  is a little quieter, uses a little less current (0.12 A vs 0.24A), and comes with some accessories like the low noise adapter, extension cable, Y cable splitter, rubber fan installation pins, rubber anti-vibration mounts, extension cable.  Both have 6 year warranty.   So if the other accessories aren't important to you and you are not into min/max, the Arctic F12 3 pin is a nice fan.   Arctic fan looks better for sure.  

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade


@HanoverB wrote:

@546insp wrote:

 Also, I wonder why everyone in here uses those Noctura fans since they are all basically just a fan in a case with a motor. I'm not seeing any silver bullet there. My Arctic front fan addition does everything it's supposed to do and it's totally quiet.


The Arctic F12 3 pin fan is an excellent nice fan.  Especially for the money at 1/2 price of the Noctua.   The Noctua NF-S12A case fan has about 10-15% more airflow at a slightly lower RPM,  is a little quieter, uses a little less current (0.12 A vs 0.24A), and comes with some accessories like the low noise adapter, extension cable, Y cable splitter, rubber fan installation pins, rubber anti-vibration mounts, extension cable.  Both have 6 year warranty.   So if the other accessories aren't important to you and you are not into min/max, the Arctic F12 3 pin is a nice fan.   Arctic fan looks better for sure.  


Low noise adapter? My Arctic PMW? fan came with the splitter and I like the use of weather stripping better plus there is always hype and it's just about who can hype enough without getting called on the carpet about it. It's kind of like saying my egg spatula is the best out there and it flips like crazy with never a problem. I'm just not buying the "extra" quality of something as simple as a little fan.

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade


@546insp wrote:

@HanoverB wrote:

@546insp wrote:

 Also, I wonder why everyone in here uses those Noctura fans since they are all basically just a fan in a case with a motor. I'm not seeing any silver bullet there. My Arctic front fan addition does everything it's supposed to do and it's totally quiet.


The Arctic F12 3 pin fan is an excellent nice fan.  Especially for the money at 1/2 price of the Noctua.   The Noctua NF-S12A case fan has about 10-15% more airflow at a slightly lower RPM,  is a little quieter, uses a little less current (0.12 A vs 0.24A), and comes with some accessories like the low noise adapter, extension cable, Y cable splitter, rubber fan installation pins, rubber anti-vibration mounts, extension cable.  Both have 6 year warranty.   So if the other accessories aren't important to you and you are not into min/max, the Arctic F12 3 pin is a nice fan.   Arctic fan looks better for sure.  


Low noise adapter? My Arctic PMW? fan came with the splitter and I like the use of weather stripping better plus there is always hype and it's just about who can hype enough without getting called on the carpet about it. It's kind of like saying my egg spatula is the best out there and it flips like crazy with never a problem. I'm just not buying the "extra" quality of something as simple as a little fan.


I think you just like to disagree, even when I say something where I agree with you.  

Pretty funny actually.

You need to do more fun stuff like this instead of watching YouTube videos on your  machine.

 

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Winchmaster Pikie

 

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade


@HanoverB wrote:

@546insp wrote:

@HanoverB wrote:

@546insp wrote:

 Also, I wonder why everyone in here uses those Noctura fans since they are all basically just a fan in a case with a motor. I'm not seeing any silver bullet there. My Arctic front fan addition does everything it's supposed to do and it's totally quiet.


The Arctic F12 3 pin fan is an excellent nice fan.  Especially for the money at 1/2 price of the Noctua.   The Noctua NF-S12A case fan has about 10-15% more airflow at a slightly lower RPM,  is a little quieter, uses a little less current (0.12 A vs 0.24A), and comes with some accessories like the low noise adapter, extension cable, Y cable splitter, rubber fan installation pins, rubber anti-vibration mounts, extension cable.  Both have 6 year warranty.   So if the other accessories aren't important to you and you are not into min/max, the Arctic F12 3 pin is a nice fan.   Arctic fan looks better for sure.  


Low noise adapter? My Arctic PMW? fan came with the splitter and I like the use of weather stripping better plus there is always hype and it's just about who can hype enough without getting called on the carpet about it. It's kind of like saying my egg spatula is the best out there and it flips like crazy with never a problem. I'm just not buying the "extra" quality of something as simple as a little fan.


I think you just like to disagree, even when I say something where I agree with you.  

Pretty funny actually.

You need to do more fun stuff like this instead of watching YouTube videos on your  machine.

 

IMG_8245.JPG

 

 


Spending hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours to cool down one PC is funny...…..more like sad. How did you find time to catch that wimpy bass?      lol

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade

Actually using Gorilla Glue, duct tape and weatherstripping in your computer case is funny..........

Not all small, from last year, both caught on WInchmaster wood top water.

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Bottom is 43", 30 pound porker....nice fish on the west coast.....both released after pics were taken

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4 Tellurium

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade


@546insp wrote:


Spending hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours to cool down one PC is funny...…..more like sad. 

How did you find time to catch that wimpy bass?      lol


It’s more of a hobby, at the same time accepting a challenge, something obviously you don’t understand.

Doing something others said couldn’t be done, doing it right and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Doing it for the right reasons as well.  When you build a nice machine with your grandson, he thinks you are his hero.   Taking him fishing.    Sad?  Don't think so.

You focus too much on putting others down and belittling their efforts.  Ignoring evidence to the contrary of what you believe to be true and hanging on to it..  Now that's sad.

 

 

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Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade


@HanoverB wrote:

@546insp wrote:


Spending hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours to cool down one PC is funny...…..more like sad. 

How did you find time to catch that wimpy bass?      lol


It’s more of a hobby, at the same time accepting a challenge, something obviously you don’t understand.

Doing something others said couldn’t be done, doing it right and enjoying the fruits of your labor.

Doing it for the right reasons as well.  When you build a nice machine with your grandson, he thinks you are his hero.   Taking him fishing.    Sad?  Don't think so.

You focus too much on putting others down and belittling their efforts.  Ignoring evidence to the contrary of what you believe to be true and hanging on to it..  Now that's sad.

 

 


The work I did on my PC was a total success actually and quite simple. The mod will delete all this hoopla anyway...….that you started. Nobody cares about your fish, put them on the bass forum.

Dell XPS 8920 silver edition
7th gen i7 Intel CPU
Samsung 850 evo SSD for boot
Added front fan
16gb of memory
AMD video/graphic card
I buy a new Dell every 4 years for the last 25 years

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2 Bronze

Re: XPS 8930 SE, Exhaust Fan and PSU Upgrade

How do you remove the cpu cable from the metal or the routing guide. 

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