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Dell XPS 630 Gaming PC review

Ardjuna Seghers



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When Dell took over Alienware in 2006, there was much speculation as to what would happen to Dell's XPS gaming range, and some relief when it appeared they would peacefully coexist. Recently, however, that future looked unsure, with rumours of the Dell XPS range's demise. Thankfully, these rumours were greatly exaggerated. I say thankfully not because Alienware's gaming PCs are bad, but because having the XPS range alongside them affords the customer more choice - and surely that can't be a bad thing.

Especially since the target customer group in this case is gamers, and gamers like their individuality. They're basically the reason PCs are no longer boring beige boxes, as at some point the industry in general copped on to the fact that people were investing large amounts of time and money on prettying them up, and decided to do it for them - at a premium, of course.

Dell, being the second-largest PC manufacturer in the world, has obviously got in on this action, offering custom looks across its entire XPS desktop and laptop range. And though personally I've not always found Dell's XPS desktop designs the most attractive, I must admit its current case line-up (420, 630 and the high-end 730) is rather gorgeous. What we have before us today is a 630, falling between Dell's budget and extreme lines. The 630 is quite attractive, despite lacking features like the LCD panel, front mounted video ports and rubberised recess that are found on its lower spec sibling, the XPS 420.

But before getting onto the case, let's first examine what you get. The core specifications are impressive, comprising a 2.4GHz Intel Quad Core QX6600, dual nVidia GeForce 8800GTs running in SLI, 2GB of RAM, twin 500GB hard drives striped in RAID 0 and a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer soundcard.

In the box you'll also find a full user manual in English, multi-lingual electronic safety instructions, and a full-colour quick-start guide. All of these are contained in a lovely leather XPS folder with pockets for 16 DVDs, two Velcro cable ties and a textured XPS cleaning cloth. You also get Roxio Creator DE 10.1, Microsoft Works 9, an OS re-installation disc, Dell drivers and utilities, and the SoundBlaster X-Fi CD.

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June 12, 2008, 7:00 am

Please review thic PC before you purchase it as I am quite certain you will not be happy with your purchase as every single other 630i owner is not. It does not operate as advertised. These links can help you with your decision to buy or not to buy.



I myself purchased this PC 6-4-08 and have had issues with the fans, I/O board, optical drive, USB ports, ESA software. I still cannot adjust my fans nor overclock for fear of burning up a component.


September 13, 2008, 12:32 am

The reason you could'nt find LightFX 2.0 on the system or available for download is because Dell have addmitted that it does not exist and never did. I have had this system for 5 months now and the deeper I look the more problems I find. The two PCIe x16 connectors have been hardwired with 8 lanes each, not a problem with todays graphics cards but I am certain will cause nothing but problems with the newer gear on the horizon. Dell have also addmitted that they have known the the system is not 100% reliable when using 4GB of SLI memory yet still supply systems to the customer with that ammount of ram pre-installed. To be fair the system can run either SLI or Crossfire, but if you do select Crossfire you will be unable to upgrade to the newer 64bit OS as Dell does not support/provide drivers for Crossfire. The 650i chipset was originally designated as not being ESA compliant by it's manufacturer, nVidia, Dell stated that the chipset did not need to be compliant for the system to pass certification as it was the Master I/O board included in the system that made the whole system ESA compliant. Not untill a great many customer complaints did Dell prevail on nVidia to change the matrix to show the chipset as now being ESA compliant. They really should make a truthfull statement and stick to it.

For more in-depth information I would suggest any potential buyer to have a look on www.My630i.com before making a final decission. To be fair Dell have offered to give any unhappy customer a full refund even if they are outside the 21 day cooling off period. A very generous offer indeed, but one that signals "If you don't like it, have your money back, and we don't want your custom".

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