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 Post subject: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:41 pm 
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I've been noticing more people considering to swap the motherboards out of their XPS 630i. Well, I thought it would be cool to share something what I call, "The Awareness Factor". I know there are many who already understand the principles but there are others who want to understand. I am not doing this to offend anybody's expertise. I have great respect for all knowledge out there in this cyberspace...So this is what I decided to pour out the bottle for the ones who want to understand :) This info I am sharing is not encouraging you to swap your motherboard. I am sharing this info based on my experience when I had gutted my XPS 630i... So that being said, whatever you decide to do is your own risk.

1) Understand this before you proceed to swap motherboards…the current motherboard inside your XPS 630i is inverted or mounted upside-down. In most computer cases that are sold, the motherboard will be installed on the opposite side of the case when compared to the XPS 630i case.

2) Standard atx motherboards will fit inside the XPS 630i case but you should always double-check to be sure. The stock motherboard has (10) mounting screws, while there are some motherboards that will have only (9) mounting screws…Do not worry…It should fit, however, you should still double-check.

3) Be aware of your case connecting cables. You have a front panel connector, front fire-wire port connector, front audio connector, and (2) usb connectors. Your most important connectors are the front panel and usb connectors but there are some motherboards that will allow connection for all the case cables.

4) Some motherboards will make you question yourself if you need the front fire-wire port connector or front audio connector. For example, my mobo does not allow me to connect the front audio cable. No problem…I do not use it anyway. The same might apply to you.

5) So you have finally selected the motherboard for the swap…Need to make sure you can use the stock cooler. Whether you decide to use the stock cooler or buy another cooler here is the 1st Heatsink/Fan Cooler Rule of Thumb …Measure the distance from the face of cpu (where the heatsink/cpu cooler will contact) to the inner edge of the case where the case panel door will latch over. You should probably add another 1/4" (3/8” to be exact in my case but I decided to use 1/4" for allowance) but once again, double-check your case. This will give you the distance from the face of the cpu to the inner face of the case door panel. BTW…Do not forget about the strip of projected metal that extends horizontally across above the hook latch on the case panel door.

6) 2nd Heatsink/Fan Cooler Rule of Thumb ...Measure the distance from the center of the cpu to the bottom of the case. Understanding #5 and #6 will give you clarity in regarding how large your heatsink/fan cooler can be.

7) So you have selected a few heatsink/fan coolers to possibly be installed…Now this is the time you should go to the manufacturer’s website and check out the specifications and diagrams (if available). If diagrams are not available, you can actually request tech support to email you a pdf diagram or sketch. DO NOT GET EXCITED IF THERE IS A SECTION TO SEE IF YOUR MOTHERBOARD IS COMPATIBLE!!! It is basically verifying that the heatsink/fan cooler can be safely mounted without obstruction from the surrounding heatsinks on the motherboards. For example, the northbridge heatsink on the XPS 630i’s motherboard is an obstruction to the Xigmatek Dark Knight heatsink cooler.

8) Don’t know your metric system? Google the metric converter so you will know for sure if the heatsink/fan cooler you had selected will fit.

9) Double-check and verify your dimensions. The dimensions I had gathered from my XPS 630i case may not apply to your case.

10) Make a worthwhile upgrade. Honestly, the XPS 630i motherboard is actually not bad. It a decent overclocker and with the right cpu and graphic card, you can play any game without any problems. So, if you are not really interested in overclocking quad-cores into the high 3’s to mid 4’s, maybe you should only upgrade your cpu and graphic card and call it the day.

11) The last thing I will say to the newbies...do not attempt this unless you are totally confident and you fully understand what you are doing.

12) Here is a video on how to install a motherboard. It's a good reference for giving you an understanding on how to do this if this is your first time.



Well, this is all I can think of right now. Hopefully others will add their tips regarding their experience or elaborate on some of the tips I have provided. I'm always looking forward to learn more about our buddy...the computer :D Everybody stay cool 8-)

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Last edited by drBlahMan on Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Great Post! I started my current build w/ a stock 630i. All that's left of that are the cd drives and the video cards. I learned that you need to be ready to re-install the OS. If you have reinstalled it more than the amount allotted you can save a lot of hair pulling by calling your OS and getting the activation code in advance....so a backup of all your files and a list of all passwords and programs. Also, making sure the Dell PSU will work with the new board.
You can find some pretty good tech support on Craigslist I found out. I paid a very good tech $30 to install the 780i board in my 630i case. He came to my house and did the work in 30 min and spent another 30 explaining the hows and whys of the makeup of a comp. It was $$ well spent but make sure you are careful inviting strangers into the house and ask for certs if they have any.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:48 pm 
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If I am not mistaken, there is also a video about either swapping or installing a motherboard inside of the XPS 630i case (I believe somebody on this site had a link or probably I might be thinking about another site or maybe another computer :roll: ). I will have to search for that unless somebody else is aware of this link. It would be cool to have that link :)

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 1:50 am 
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Excellant job with the info, I hope the ones that decide to take the leap will read.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:52 pm 
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drBlahMan wrote:
I've been noticing more people considering to swap the motherboards out of their XPS 630i. Well, I thought it would be cool to share something what I call, "The Awareness Factor". I know there are many who already understand the principles but there are others who want to understand. I am not doing this to offend anybody's expertise. I have great respect for all knowledge out there in this cyberspace...So this is what I decided to pour out the bottle for the ones who want to understand :) This info I am sharing is not encouraging you to swap your motherboard. I am sharing this info based on my experience when I had gutted my XPS 630i... So that being said, whatever you decide to do is your own risk.

1) Understand this before you proceed to swap motherboards…the current motherboard inside your XPS 630i is inverted or mounted upside-down. In most computer cases that are sold, the motherboard will be installed on the opposite side of the case when compared to the XPS 630i case.

2) Standard atx motherboards will fit inside the XPS 630i case but you should always double-check to be sure. The stock motherboard has (10) mounting screws, while there are some motherboards that will have only (9) mounting screws…Do not worry…It should fit, however, you should still double-check.

3) Be aware of your case connecting cables. You have a front panel connector, front fire-wire port connector, front audio connector, and (2) usb connectors. Your most important connectors are the front panel and usb connectors but there are some motherboards that will allow connection for all the case cables.

4) Some motherboards will make you question yourself if you need the front fire-wire port connector or front audio connector. For example, my mobo does not allow me to connect the front audio cable. No problem…I do not use it anyway. The same might apply to you.

5) So you have finally selected the motherboard for the swap…Need to make sure you can use the stock cooler. Whether you decide to use the stock cooler or buy another cooler here is the 1st Heatsink/Fan Cooler Rule of Thumb …Measure the distance from the face of cpu (where the heatsink/cpu cooler will contact) to the inner edge of the case where the case panel door will latch over. You should probably add another 1/4" (3/8” to be exact in my case but I decided to use 1/4" for allowance) but once again, double-check your case. This will give you the distance from the face of the cpu to the inner face of the case door panel. BTW…Do not forget about the strip of projected metal that extends horizontally across above the hook latch on the case panel door.

6) 2nd Heatsink/Fan Cooler Rule of Thumb ...Measure the distance from the center of the cpu to the bottom of the case. Understanding #5 and #6 will give you clarity in regarding how large your heatsink/fan cooler can be.

7) So you have selected a few heatsink/fan coolers to possibly be installed…Now this is the time you should go to the manufacturer’s website and check out the specifications and diagrams (if available). If diagrams are not available, you can actually request tech support to email you a pdf diagram or sketch. DO NOT GET EXCITED IF THERE IS A SECTION TO SEE IF YOUR MOTHERBOARD IS COMPATIBLE!!! It is basically verifying that the heatsink/fan cooler can be safely mounted without obstruction from the surrounding heatsinks on the motherboards. For example, the northbridge heatsink on the XPS 630i’s motherboard is an obstruction to the Xigmatek Dark Knight heatsink cooler.

8) Don’t know your metric system? Google the metric converter so you will know for sure if the heatsink/fan cooler you had selected will fit.

9) Double-check and verify your dimensions. The dimensions I had gathered from my XPS 630i case may not apply to your case.

10) Make a worthwhile upgrade. Honestly, the XPS 630i motherboard is actually not bad. It a decent overclocker and with the right cpu and graphic card, you can play any game without any problems. So, if you are not really interested in overclocking quad-cores into the high 3’s to mid 4’s, maybe you should only upgrade your cpu and graphic card and call it the day.

11) The last thing I will say to the newbies...do not attempt this unless you are totally confident and you fully understand what you are doing.

Well, this is all I can think of right now. Hopefully others will add their tips regarding their experience or elaborate on some of the tips I have provided. I'm always looking forward to learn more about our buddy...the computer :D Everybody stay cool 8-)


This article need a sticky,strongly recommend for newbies. ;)
i forget this to tell .
please Webmaster make this to Sticky. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:59 pm 
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Great Post.

I think the ones who want to swap the mobo need to go through the step by step that they need to do and try to write it down in a piece of paper. Then virtually go through it one more time before you take the screwdriver and get the stock mobo out. All cable need to be label after you un-install it. At least you have an idea where it suppose to be or what is that cable you just pull out. And Do not drop your srewdriver into the mobo. :lol:

naya

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:05 pm 
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naya wrote:
Great Post.

I think the ones who want to swap the mobo need to go through the step by step that they need to do and try to write it down in a piece of paper. Then virtually go through it one more time before you take the screwdriver and get the stock mobo out. All cable need to be label after you un-install it. At least you have an idea where it suppose to be or what is that cable you just pull out. And Do not drop your srewdriver into the mobo. :lol:

naya

nice NAYA :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Yeah great post, blahman!

However it is also most important that anyone realize that they should expect a reinstall of their OS!!

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:20 am 
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What If I swap my MB, Can I still use vista 64bit ultimate from dell? or no?

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 5:59 pm 
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Yes you can but it will have to be a clean installment...the hard drive will have to be reformatted.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:55 pm 
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I'm looking at putting the xfx or evga 790i ultra in my 630 and I have a few questions before I buy it. First off if anyone has put this board in successfully that would be good news and if you can offer some info that would be great.

Anyway the biggest question I thought of when I was looking at it, is the rear ports aren't the same as the one in the xps. I'm having a hard time figuring out if that will affect it fitting in or not. They have a few extra things that would be below the usb's on the 630, and that's where there's the grill. Will the grill come out and will the new board have some other type of cover so there isn't any holes or gaps going into the back of the computer? Some pics of the ports (or just the back of the pc) on another motherboard install would be great so I can see what a finished version looks like. Also about the need to reinstall the OS. I bought a refurbished pc and it came with a few black discs, are those the cd's I need to reinstall it or do I need to do something else? If the OS is saved into the hard drive (unless it goes somewhere else, not sure) could I just reconnect it to the new board and have it ready to go?


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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:30 am 
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Bacara1138 wrote:
I'm looking at putting the xfx or evga 790i ultra in my 630 and I have a few questions before I buy it. First off if anyone has put this board in successfully that would be good news and if you can offer some info that would be great.


Since this concern has been clarified in another thread you had created, are you still considering the 790i mobo upgrade :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 6:19 pm 
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I posted this one earlier than the other one and it had been few days so I figured I would get a faster response if I created a separate one. I still plan on getting the 790i.


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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:06 pm 
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OK, going to throw in a couple of total noob questions, hope they are ok here. I was wondering what the benifit of a new MoBo is. I currently have 2x 9800gt cards in sli, had a 80gb ssd put in with the OS and a few games that I usually run ,and 8GB of RAM. I was looking at upgrading the GPU's but im wondering if I should upgrade the MoBo first for some reason. I dont understand all the tech stuff but Im betting there is a good reason to do this before I would put in a new nvidia or raedon card. Guess the big question is if I threw in a 5890 would it be bottlenecked cause of the MoBo. Thought these might be a few questions that could get out the reason why it might be a good idea to do this upgrade. Thanks for any info!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:57 pm 
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Just an obsevation without actually opening my case up to check, Aren't the connectors 'Dellified' so that for instance, the fan connectors have 4 pins whereas other mobo's have three and isn't there a difference with the P/S connectors as well?

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:28 pm 
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Maturecheese wrote:
Just an obsevation without actually opening my case up to check, Aren't the connectors 'Dellified' so that for instance, the fan connectors have 4 pins whereas other mobo's have three and isn't there a difference with the P/S connectors as well?


Nope. Everything inside the XPS 630 case is compatible with aftermarket motherboards, except for a small mod on the front panel connections, for ASUS boards only.

The Master I/O board is connected to all the fans and lighting, and the MIO board can connect to any motherboard also, as it is just a USB connection. All the power connectors are compatible, and you can even swap out the Dell PSU to a different one of your choosing, as long as it is ATX.

The most common boards to swap to are the GigaByte P45, EVGA/XFX 750i, 780i, or 790i.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:44 am 
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Hi guys! Great site with lots of info ive been looking for. This is my first post here and of course its a "I NEEDS HELPS" post. Im in the middle of a mobo swap and im putting in a xfx 750i. My problem is with the connections for the front panel. Im not really sure how im supposed to correctly connect them. Any help in pointing my into the right direction would be great.


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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:40 pm 
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LarryTaint wrote:
Hi guys! Great site with lots of info ive been looking for. This is my first post here and of course its a "I NEEDS HELPS" post. Im in the middle of a mobo swap and im putting in a xfx 750i. My problem is with the connections for the front panel. Im not really sure how im supposed to correctly connect them. Any help in pointing my into the right direction would be great.


Posted a diagram for you in your topic thread :)

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:05 pm 
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Ok I have decide to swap the board on my 630. I noticed in your instruction you said the board is upside down. Do I have do mod my case to make it fit? Also are there any pics or video out there that show the process before during and after? I was thinking about going to the 780 board so I don't have to change processor and ram. DO you have any recommendations? I have swapped out boards before but not dell to retail.


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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:54 pm 
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Losc wrote:
Ok I have decide to swap the board on my 630. I noticed in your instruction you said the board is upside down. Do I have do mod my case to make it fit? Also are there any pics or video out there that show the process before during and after? I was thinking about going to the 780 board so I don't have to change processor and ram. DO you have any recommendations? I have swapped out boards before but not dell to retail.


Your stock mobo is inverted (upside down) so all you have to do is install the new mobo upside down :) You can use basically any standard size atx mobo. The only mod you have to be aware of is if you swap for an ASUS mobo. The black front panel connector (main power) will have to be modded to be connected properly.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Hello, I recently found this site and have some questions. I have a 630i with a Q9450 processor and a now dead motherboard. I want to upgrade the motherboard to be more overclocking friendly, but I also want to be able to keep the case lights working. I would like something that required little to none wire modding. I can handle the wiring mods, I would just prefer not to have to do any. If possible, I'd like the motherboard to be able to handle true 16x sli (not 16,8 or 8,8). Even thought I dont need it at this moment, I may want to run some bigger cards in sli in the future (although the lack of a true 16x sli would not be a deal killer). Any suggestions, tips or pointers are welcome. I have built and repaired many computers thru the years, but this will be my first attempt at installing a non Dell motherboard in a Dell computer. Also has anybody tried swapping a xps 730 motherboard with a 630i? I dont know that this would be a real improvement as I am not familiar with that MB, only considering it to avoid having to go and buy a new os. Not a big really, just another $100 I could put into the upgrade. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:15 am 
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From what I understand, the 630i MB is an ATX MB, just mounted upside down. A lot of people have used nvidia 780 and 790 MB's. The 790's need different memory tho.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:20 am 
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elimister wrote:
I want to upgrade the motherboard to be more overclocking friendly...


EVGA 750i FTW (true dual 2.0 16x, SLI compliant only, good OC'er for quad core & excellent OC'er for dual core, OC'ing friendly, pencil mod info to make a better OC'ing mobo)

ASUS P5E3 PRO (true dual 2.0 16x, Crossfire compliant only, Google for site reviews to see how well it OC's quad cores & to see if OC friendly)

Gigabyte EP45 UD3P (single 2.0 16x;dual 2.0 8x, Crossfire complian only, excellent OC'er for dual & quad cores, very OC'ing friendly, hack mode available to make SLI complaint)

Also as mentioned you can go with the 790i Ultra (excellent OC'er for dual & quad cores, very OC friendly, (3) 2.0 16x for tri-SLI) but they're becoming harder to find.

ASUS mobos require a front panel connection (main power) mod.

elimister wrote:
Also has anybody tried swapping a xps 730 motherboard with a 630i? I dont know that this would be a real improvement as I am not familiar with that MB, only considering it to avoid having to go and buy a new os.


It has been done but there are still limitations using that mobo. Since you're interested in OC'ing, I recommend to buy a third-party mobo but that's your call ;) When swapping for a third-party mobo, you do not have to buy a new OS...a fresh installment is only needed.

KevinK37 wrote:
The 790's need different memory tho.


Tis true...that expensive ddr3 :shock:

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Last edited by drBlahMan on Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:41 pm 
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I have a completely stock 630i with Q6600 and ATI Radeon 3870's in crossfire (4GB RAM, Win 7 64 etc). I'm considering upgrading the graphics cards in it.

Would I need a new motherboard for crossfire compatibility in new cards? (e.g. Radeon 5770's in crossfire)

Would my system be compatible with a Radeon 5850?

Could I crossfire the old cards with the new cards?

Would there be any bottlenecks in my system in either of the aforementioned scenarios? Also, what kind of performance increase would I be looking at?

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Swapping Mobos in the XPS 630i: Some Tips for Newbies
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:14 pm 
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randomname wrote:
Would I need a new motherboard for crossfire compatibility in new cards? (e.g. Radeon 5770's in crossfire)


I do not think so but then again I can be incorrect. I know for sure a single 5770 or higher will work fine with the stock 630i mobo. I recommend you to create a thread topic here...XPS 630i - Upgrade / Modification / Overclocking Discussion asking if there's anybody that had swapped for the newer, third party ATI gpu's (4000 or 5000 series) and was able to run Xfire on the stock 630i mobo. There was an individual who had figured out how to run Xfire using 4890's...Here's the thread :thumbup:

randomname wrote:
Would my system be compatible with a Radeon 5850?
Could I crossfire the old cards with the new cards?


With a single 5850, yes. I personally believe you can only Xfire older ATI gpu's if they come from Dell. Then again, I can be incorrect. Blaze IIII had to manipulate some files in order to get the 4890's to operate in Xfire.

randomname wrote:
Would there be any bottlenecks in my system in either of the aforementioned scenarios? Also, what kind of performance increase would I be looking at?


Definitely, there will be bottlenecking if you're uisng the 4890 or higher but you will still have great performance with the upgrade. Here's an article that will give you an ideal of gpu scaling with the 5870.

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