Description

This was my first build even though technically it was not a build from scratch.

I had a 2008 Dell XPS that was awesome in its day but now was falling very short. I mainly play World of Tanks and Starcraft 2. I had a tight budget and could not buy a new computer and since I did pay a premium back in 2008 I didn't want it to go to waste.

I got the Pentium G3258 and MSI Z97 PC mate as a bundle at Micro Center for only $90 and after mail in rebate it went down to $80. I was able to over clock the CPU to 4.0 GHZ using the stock heat sink. It runs very cool at 45C idle and 65C when gaming.

I used the case, optical drive, keyboard/mouse, monitor, and power supply from the XPS 630 since I love the look of the case and the power supply is 750W.

It was much easier than I thought to put it together. I now realize that since I got a Z97 mother board it gives me the option to upgrade the CPU in the future if I ever want to get into more serious games.

The only thing that was heartbreaking was that fire wire is no longer supported but, if I ever want to use fire wire I could just get a PCI card.

So the moral of the story is that you can give new life to an old PC.

Update 05/12/15

The original PSU that I was planning on keeping started to make a strange sound. Saw the XFX PSU on sale and jumped on it. Installed the PSU and was up and running right away. Cable management is a pain on this old DELL but, I was able to keep it somewhat tucked away.

I also added the Cooler Master CPU cooler. Now my temps run 30-35 C idle and 40-45 while gaming overclocked at 4.2 GHZ. I was going to overclock more but, after running the MSI program I saw that 4.2 was the sweet spot. As you can see in my picture the Cooler Master barely fits in my case but, it was well worth it. I replaced the stock fan and added two Cooler Master blue LED fans on push pull configuration, since the fans were dirt cheap. There is no speed control on the fans because they are 3 pin but, I don’t hear them at all.

I wanted USB 3 in the front of my case so I got the USB add on that fit in the 3.5 inch opening in the front of the case.

As you can see I bought 4 Cooler Master blue LED fans, 2 to replace the front fans and 2 for the CPU cooler. When I installed the fans to the front of the case, they were too loud. They looked cool but, I broke down and placed the old fans back. When I did take out the old fans, I noticed that they were of very high quality so no loss.

The cost that you see are after sales, discounts and, mail in rebates.

UPDATE 8/20/15

Found a fairly new EVGA GTX 960 for $100 on craigslist. Put that GPU in and now the games i play are all on ultra or maximum with a FPS in the 60's. I also put more effort into my cable management with the limited space the old DELL XPS case gives.

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Comments

  • 61 months ago
  • 4 points

great build, i would just pitch in that although the psu is 750 watt, the efficiency is more than likely poor, and could easily give out on you. Y'know thats not a big deal, but when it gives out it usually takes something with you (mobo, ram, gpu) so id recommend upgrading that ASAP. Great build by the way +1

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

Will keep your advice in mind.

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  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

that psu has 4 12v rails

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Is that a good or bad thing? I still don't understand psu specs

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

yeah me neither, i have seen 2 rails, but never 4

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Second to last picture you had me look twice, thought the entire PC was upside down. Nevertheless great upgrade you did there +1.

P.s. I don't think that you will be upgrading the CPU as by that time much better hardware will be available. The price for socket 1150 CPUs will be higher than newer CPUs at that time (classic price/demand ratio, have a look at DDR2 which is more expensive than DDR3 atm). With the games you're playing you won't even have to upgrade the CPU as this Pentium when overclocked is such a beast.

  • 61 months ago
  • 3 points

The mother board mounts upside down in the dell. My games now play awesome. This was a learning process for me and it was relatively inexpensive. I will definitively be building all my computers in the future, no more pre-made computers for me

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Good build! Reviving an older pc is alway exciting

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice work. I really liked the XPS cases back in the day

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Dude get a DELL!!!

That lighting actually looks pretty good, its it stock or did you do it?

I don't think you will be missing the firewire since nothing really uses it any more and its outclassed by USB 3.0/thunderbolt in everyway and outclassed by USB2.0 in some ways.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

The light is stock and the colors are controlled py the nvidea controls

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

How so, I have one and am working on upgrading it, how'd you change the colors? :)

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

It's like Dell wanted to keep BTX form factor but with ATX components. Hence the "upside down" motherboard

And as mentioned in the comments, yes that's 4 x 12v rails. Powerful psu.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

I know this is a late comment, but while building the PC with the previous XPS PSU, did you have any problems with plugging into all the ports of the motherboard? Is the XPS psu able to power the usb 3.0 plug?

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

it did plug in perfectly and was able to power the usb 3. I would have kept it but it was a bit old and the psu was a great deal

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Also another question, how did you do the connections to power up the case LEDS? All the guides I have tried to find have been outdated and no longer have pictures to do it.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

The case LED are powered by a separate card that itself is powered by a 4 pin connector. Controlling it requires nvidia's drivers. Go to my630i.com for link to the old driver add on.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Great information. Thanks for the post.

I'm curious: Are you able to close the case with the upgrade cool master cpu cooler? It seems to be a close call and I know that physical space can limit the type of heat sink/cooler that you can install in the 630i case.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes I can close the cover easily. It leaves little space but still retains great air flow. I have been thinking of getting a new case but I love the design of the 630i.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi i know this is a long time away but i'm trying to fit the same Mobo into my 630i and i'm skeptical about that 10th pin/screw holder from my old mobo hitting under the MSI... did it get in your way, or is it absolutely harmless ? Thanks

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I just took the 10th pin/screw holder off.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

were there an issues with the I/o board (power switch and front USB ports) I have a XS 630i and just want to make sure that I will retain full control of the case including fans and lighting.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

It was not an issue with my build. The lighting and fans were still controllable.