dell xps 630i upgrades for gaming in 2020

I have been given a dell xps 630i and since i have always wanted a gaming pc i thought I might be able to rebuild this computer into something that could handle what i would throw at it. I'm interested in playing games like GTA and various simulator games with mods.i dont want to get too crazy with the price.I'd like to kepp it at around 900 dollars and of course the less the better but without skipping quality and performance.


  • Ian
    Ian admin
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes 5 LOLs
    Greetings. Do you happen to have the service tag of this Dell PC so we can look it up and see what specifications it currently has? This service tag should be on a sticker directly on the PC itself. 
  • I just got an xps 630i as well. service tag f9d41g1. had to figure how to even get it to come on with no knowledge of pc at all. if you could give me some advise and tips to make it agaming pc even if its only gonna get lowgrade.
  • TSAustinM
    Greetings, so the Dell XPS 630i was released back in 2008/2009. Unfortunately due to how out of date the specs are I would recommend a complete rebuild. You would be able to reuse the case, fans, DVD drive and possibly the HDD. So you would need to get a new motherboard, processor, ram, power supply, and video card. I do recommend checking our site and using the system builder to get pricing-
  • BenDoesSpeedruns
    edited September 2020
    Heyheyhey it just so happens I'm doing the exact same thing. If you bought the 630i with a top spec CPU back in the day, throwing a spankin' GPU in could still give you decent performance. Issues are you're stuck with USB 2.0, DDR2 ram, and a host of other slow relics.

    Personally, I'm doing an overhaul. I've replaced the enormous Dell ATX board with an ITX board I had lying around from an old build (bit weird to have a tiny board in that huge case but it looks kinda cool). Going with an i5 CPU, also from the previous build, and a GTX 480 GPU, which I also had lying around. These are all old tech but for my purposes (Skyrim, Skyrim, and more Skyrim), they'll do fine. If I had some extra cashish on hand, I'd upgrade the graphics card and get a modular PSU (even with the extra space from the board it's a snake den in there), but right now I can't afford it, and the egg-cooker 480 & oversized PSU should get me where I need to get. Can't get 4K on it, but I'm playing on Xbox 360 right now and the 480 will still be a huge step up.

    A few interesting things I've bumped into while building...

    The 630i uses a separate board for all the ports in the front (and some of the drives I think). I have no idea what kind of compatibility my non-Dell motherboard will have with this IO board, but we'll see. It connects to a USB port on the mobo, but I'm a little worried I'm going to fry the port or my whole board, which would be awful. The alternative is ditching the IO board and running everything in front directly to my mobo, but I don't have long enough cables at the moment and I'm very lazy.
    Also, there's more chassis fans in the case than my mobo supports. If the IO board works, it's moot since the extra fans connect there, but if not, well, it's not. I sort of doubt I need 3 enormous chassis fans though, especially the one for the HDD tray when I'm using an SSD and have taken out the HDD tray assembly. I'm definitely not going to be able to connect the firewire port to my mobo, but, then again, I don't own anything that uses firewire. Pour one out for firewire. It'd be cool to replace the 2 USB 2.0 ports in the front of the case with USB 3 ports, but we'll get to that when we get to it.

    I'm making a video of my ill-fated escapade with this franken-pc and I'll be posting it on my Youtube channel in the coming week. Don't know if it's cool with the good people of Microcenter to post that kind of thing here, but I did buy all the parts from Microcenter, so there's that.
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