A nice feature is that the XPS 630 features a cage containing four plastic rail-bays, which are easily removed by pressing two clips, and is rotated 90 degrees to ease installation. Hard drives can just clip in or out, meaning installation is completely tool-free, though the system does feel just the slightest bit fragile.
To go with its largely impressive other specifications, this configuration of the 630 gives you a gargantuan 1-Terabyte (1000GB) of hard drive space, made up of two 500GB drives in RAID 0. Unusually, Dell has gone with drives from different manufacturers, with one Western Digital Caviar and a Samsung Spinpoint. However, they offer similar specifications including 16MB cache, 7,200RPM and SATA3. Just remember that though the nVidia stripe 0 RAID offers the advantage of faster performance and is therefore ideal for a gaming rig, if one of the drives fails, you lose all the content on both, meaning you’ll want to keep important data backed up separately.
Compared to the advanced HDD bays, the single free 5.25in one seems positively primeval. It’s back to the days of slipping a drive into a metal enclosure and screwing it in, without any noise dampening measures. Thankfully, there’s already a TSST-branded SATA 16x DVD+/-RW installed.
There are two 120mm fans pulling fresh air in from the front of the case, one of them passing it over the hard drives and one over the graphics cards. Unfortunately, neither have a dust filter and when you are paying over £1,000 for a system, how much would a simple dust filter add? No more, surely, than the included (disposable) mouse and keyboard.
Another slight problem is that due to the 630’s design, the top fan is only given half an air intake. And, though there is a provision for a smaller 80mm fan at the rear of the case directly behind the CPU, one is not provided. So apart from the PSU, the two front fans are the only cooling for the case.
Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, as airflow throughout is generally good. There is only one pocket where heat tends to build, just behind the processor and cooler towards the back of the case. This is not a major problem, however, and can be easily remedied by installing the aforementioned 80mm fan if it’s a concern.
Unfortunately, the case does not feature a removable motherboard tray, but then you’re more likely to upgrade individual components than the entire motherboard and anyone interested in regularly updating their hardware isn’t likely to buy a Dell XPS anyway.