|The 630i Resource Collective: consolidated resources for Dell XPS 630i users
|updated: April 7, 2010 (generously hosted by My630i.com)
All feedback is welcome--please e-mail any suggestions or corrections you may have.
What's new? | Latest news | Issues | File a complaint | Drivers and firmware | Third-party utilities | Manuals
FAQ/Troubleshooting | Overclocking | Installation instructions | Reviews | Mods and recommendations | Links
New users: Click here for an important note regarding your 630i
It is very important to thoroughly test your 630i to ensure that:
- The Master I/O Board firmware is flashed to the latest version (v.22).
- The ESA control software for fans and LEDs works correctly via the Performance -> Device Settings portion of the Nvidia Control Panel.
- You try out each game and/or application you intend to use, and make sure they run to your liking.
- There are no:
- Blue Screens of Death or crashes.
- RAID or hard drive problems.
- Graphics problems.
- Audio problems with the optional Creative Labs X-Fi audio card (if you ordered one with your system).
- Any other problem or incompatibility that appears to be related to the 630i hardware.
- Lastly, it won't hurt to run a check on your system RAM, using a utility like Memtest86+.
Both new and refurbished 630is from Dell can, and occasionally do, arrive with problems, so it's important to check it all out thoroughly. The reason for this is that you only have 21 days from your Sales Invoice date in which to return your system. If anything doesn't seem right, don't hesitate to (first of all) call Dell and notify them of the problem(s), and then also let us know. Unfortunately, some 630is are just lemons, meaning that no matter how much hardware is repeatedly replaced or swapped out, crashes will still happen. If this describes your situation, and you're still within the 21-day return period (U.S.A.) or the 7-day return period (U.K.) from the date of your Sales Invoice, it is highly recommended that you contact Dell and arrange to have your system returned or get a full monetary refund.
The key difference/benefit in returning a system as opposed to having parts constantly replaced is simply getting rid of a lemon. There have been a number of 630i users (some examples here) whose systems were literally fraught with BSOD or other errors regardless of how many components were replaced...until they got a completely different 630i. Aside from poltergeists, no-one can explain how replacing all the components isn't successful, and a brand-new unit is--but it does work.
Click link(s) below to toggle archived news/notes:
- April 7, 2010:
- Installation instructions: Corrected ATI graphics card instructions to reflect the new single installation file used for one or more graphics card installations.
- Drivers and firmware: Bumped the Nvidia graphics card driver version to 195.62 from 191.07, as this seems to be one of the more stable releases of late. 197.13 still contains some GPU fan and lockup problems for many users.
- [Multiple pages]: Minor HTML clean-ups and link fixes/updates.
- November 29, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: [Item 23] Added a new entry suggested by My630i.com user devjonfos and originated by sandstorm and JDookie regarding upgrading to the EVGA 780i FTW motherboard.
- Mods and Recommendations: [Motherboards] Added this same helpful upgrade discussion (above) as a note/URL link.
- August 25, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: [Item 22] Added a new entry from My630i.com user fatterpuddytat's post explaining in detail how Microsoft Windows activation works.
- Overclocking: [General overclocking tips and links/Tips] Added stable voltage settings from user LordPhez for his 630i configuration: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Processor Q8200 (2.33GHz, 4MB, 1333MHz). If you have a similar system configuration, and are experiencing crashes, this post may be helpful to you.
- July 28, 2009:
- Issues: Removed the LightFX 2.0 entry since (for all intents and purposes) this has now been resolved via the newly available Softex Media Plug-in/AlienWare AlienFX. Kudos to whomever at Dell was responsible for seeing that this long-standing issue was finally corrected!
- July 27, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a solution for users whose bluetooth memory card reader stopping working and/or has disappeared. Contributed/suggested by My630i.com users lockwoodman/kearneybobs respectively.
- Drivers and firmware: Added the newly-released addition to Dell's 630i support site (Applications section) as of July 22nd. Entitled the Softex Media Plug-in (LightFX), this is what should have shipped as LightFX 2.0. Screen shots: Windows Media Player plugin | AlienWare AlienFX GUI. This works with multiple music players, including Windows Media Player, WinAMP, and iTunes. You can download it from the bottom of the Drivers and firmware page, or from here. Note that this plugin will not work if you've replaced your original nForce 650i motherboard with something else.
- May 21, 2009:
- Overclocking: Added an overclocking template for sharing of settings between users.
- May 20, 2009:
- Drivers and firmware: Posted the latest 1.0.13a BIOS update released yesterday. Thanks to My630i.com user Big K for spotting this. Changes are listed on the XPS 630i BIOS update release notes page. My630i.com user midKnight notes one apparent improvement in the new BIOS:
"For what it's worth, I tried the new BIOS and found that there's a significant fix for people like me who couldn't even unlock the FSB to RAM ratio with the previous installments [I'm using an Intel Core2 Quad 6MB Q9300 @ stock 2.5MHz]; looks like I'm in the minority with the cheapest 9xxx CPU and its problems. While I still can't find an FSB clock other than the stock 1333 that works, the RAM can now be over- and under-clocked! Not all imaginable numbers work, of course, so this is a trial-and-error deal."
- Also updated the ATI Catalyst display drivers release number to 9.5. Thanks to My630i.com user Alka5eltzer for the heads-up on this.
- May 18, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added an entry (item 20) with links to instructions for clearing/restoring the 630i BIOS. Requested by My630i.com moderator devjonfos.
- May 7, 2009:
- My630i.com user bignazpwns notes that:
"On the box, the XPS 630i says "Assembled in America". This is not the case, since Wayne Schmiesing, Dell's Corporate Case Manager, told me in his exact words "The XPS 630i is assembled in Malaysia, then packed on a pallet and sent to Dell in Texas for distribution.""
- May 2, 2009:
- Drivers and firmware: Added the November 17, 2008 firmware update (v7.12) for the Teac Bluetooth Card Reader (CAB-200). Thanks to My630i.com user psygnosis for spotting this.
- April 30, 2009:
- Posted My630i.com user callahan9119's startling note from Dell Engineering (via Dell Liaison Chris Mixon) in regards to his CPU being factory-set to an overvoltage of 1.45V (far above the Intel spec), thereby overheating his CPU for eight or nine months and shortening its life span:
"There is no one set voltage for any CPU, only ranges. The voltage is set by the CPU's VID (Voltage ID) and BIOS. The CPU selects its own voltage. The voltage varies but is usually around 1.2 to 1.4. Make sure you're running the latest BIOS. Also, many of the tools out there that are aftermarket or freeware/shareware that read CPU temp get it wrong for Dell CPUs. You cannot use Intel specification data for Dell OEM (original equipment manufacturer) hardware."
Notice that Dell is emphatically stating that the CPUs (and ALL equipment) they sell do not need to abide by Intel's (or the original manufacturer's) specifications. This brings up two very good questions:
- Why, and how, is Dell OEM (original equipment manufacturer) hardware different from normal manufacturer specifications?
- If their hardware is 'different', where are Dell's detailed specifications to inform their customers of the differences?
Dell is stating in no uncertain terms that since they have no accountability to the original manufacturers, they cannot be held responsible for any flaws or defects in their hardware.
- April 24, 2009:
- Drivers and firmware: Several long-overdue updates and clean-ups, including the addition of the December 17, 2008 Realtek ALC888 HD Audio driver release, and the latest stable Nvidia nForce driver release (v15.25).
- April 21, 2009:
- Links: Moved all utility applications to the more appropriate "Third-party utilities" page.
- April 17, 2009:
- [Multiple pages]: Revised and improved a single toggleable link with key information for new 630i users to the top of the "What's New?", "Drivers and firmware", "Issues", and "Installation Instructions" pages.
- April 11, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added an entry (item 19) detailing use of the Dell factory image restore for your Windows/system software configuration. Thanks to My630i.com user Daniel for the info.
- April 10, 2009:
- Mods and Recommendations: [CPU Cooler and Accessories sections] Added two recommendations from My630i.com user davidalindsey: the Zalman CNPS 9700 NT CPU Cooler, and Arctic Silver 5 (thermal compound/paste for CPU Coolers).
- April 9, 2009:
- Mods and Recommendations: [Case section] Added an interesting, and creative, right-side case cover mod (two exhaust fans) by My630i.com user drBlahMan. He also details how he replaced the stock case fan with a Xigmatek 120mm LED fan.
- My630i.com user pugger notes that Dell plans to offer an optional liquid cooling system for new 630i and 625 systems.
- My630i.com user fastrhoads continues to follow-up with Dell in regards to the inability to overclock Q9400/Q9450/Q9550 processors through the 630i's motherboard BIOS:
"Just an update to all Q9000 processor series owners; still in communication with Dell about the inability to overclock the Q9400/Q9450/Q9550 processors through BIOS. I have asked the engineers to write new BIOS allowing this function. Hopefully something good will result. Keep the fingers crossed."
- April 2, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a new entry (item 18) explaining the benefits and requirements of upgrading to newer graphics cards (post Nvidia 8800- and 9800-series models), such as the Nvidia GTX-series or later. This is still a work in progress--please don't hesitate to send your additions/corrections to make this as useful and accurate as possible.
- March 26, 2009:
- Installation instructions: (Display/graphics card drivers section, CrossFireX configuration) Added key information about how CrossFireX apparently works, and additional installation notes to the CrossFireX instructions. This should clarify things if/when CrossFireX fails due to the second ATI graphics card being listed as disabled. Thanks to My630i.com users billybigfoot and spacecase for this info.
- March 18, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a reference by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon (item 17) from August 6, 2008 to a post regarding Dell's warranty coverage of the 630i when a user replaces the motherboard with a third-party/retail one.
- March 17, 2009:
- Issues: Added a note (Section C) from My630i.com user davidalindsey, who reports that:
"Well, with my EVGA 780i FTW motherboard, the hard disk drive light still blinks like before, but it is not at all as bright as it was before. It is only bright when there is actual hard disk drive activity."
- March 16, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a workaround (item 16) for Blue Screens of Death when trying to do a clean install of Windows XP with SP2. Thanks to My630i.com user irios for this info.
- March 3, 2009:
- Issues: Added a new issue (Section B7) recently brought to light by My630i user caveman, who notes that no-one has been able to overclock Q9450/Q9550/Q9650(?) processors using only the Dell motherboard BIOS. Overclocking with these processors is apparently only possible with ESA software.
- Overclocking: Clarified the second item in the "General overclocking tips and links" (tips section) with the above fact that Q9450/Q9550/Q9650(?) processors cannot be overclocked using only the motherboard BIOS.
- February 22, 2009:
- File a complaint: Added a link to the State Attorney General for Maine (one of 10 states that have an 'implied warranty law'). Thanks to My630i.com user JTSmith for the link.
- Mods and Recommendations: Added two recommendations from My630i.com user runaway64: the Asus Rampage Formula (Intel x48) motherboard, and the Noctua NH-C12P 120mm SSO CPU cooler.
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Moved item 16 to the Dual ATI graphics card/CrossFire config entry in the Installation instructions page.
- February 21, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added an entry (no. 16) with instructions and screen shots for enabling CrossFire on systems with dual-ATI graphics cards installed. Thanks to My630i.com user ReverendTed for this helpful content.
- Mods and Recommendations: Added a recommendation of the XFX 750i SLI motherboard from My630i.com user drBlahMan.
- February 12, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated the AlienFX: Lite entry to reflect the January 6, 2009 update from Dell's support page (1.0.36v2, A04, R205652). Thanks to My630i.com user midKnight for the heads-up on this. This version includes support for 64-bit Vista. Also updated the Thermal Monitor to the January 7, 2009 release (126.96.36.199), though this still lacks 64-bit Vista support.
- February 9, 2009:
- Issues: Added additional evidence of the 630i's Ethernet port not supporting 1,000Mbps (or 1Gbps) connections. This issue originally discovered by My630i user Crashagn, and confirmed by Slider6303.
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a new entry (item 15) for collecting ideas toward trying to resolve Blue Screens of Death (BSODs) and/or other lockups in XP/Vista.
- February 6, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a new entry (item 14) for resolving Sleep Mode problems in 64/32-bit Vista. Thanks to My630i.com user Loch for the helpful post.
- February 4, 2009:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a new entry (item 13) for resolving Creative X-Fi driver problems with Vista. Thanks to My630i.com users Seabass7857 and hebus for the helpful links.
- February 1, 2009:
- Installation instructions: Rearranged items to reflect general order of upgrade importance (first to last), and added a note for new 630i users. Thanks to user Edward Lee for these suggestions. Also expanded the ESA control software section to include instructions for enabling the Performance items after installation of Nvidia System Tools with ESA Support. Thanks to My630i.com user billybigfoot for the helpful screen shots.
- January 29, 2009:
- Mods and Recommendations: Added some new hardware recommendations (including high-performance RAM, a CPU cooling option, and a supplementary power supply that fits in a 5-1/4 inch drive bay).
- January 24, 2009:
- Issues: Added new evidence from My630i.com user billybigfoot that the 630i mainboard temperature sensor is indeed faulty--stuck on a reading of 178°C. HWMonitor v1.13.0 and later clearly demonstrates this. Note that only 630i systems using BIOS versions prior to 1.0.3 will be able to see this, as new BIOS versions hide this faulty sensor from the user.
- January 18, 2009:
- Drivers and firmware: Changed Nvidia System Tools with ESA Support v6.03 link to the October 14, 2008 release, as the January 9, 2009 release may result in loss of the Nvidia Control Panel's Dynamic BIOS and control of voltages. Thanks to My630i.com users naya and JediWill71 for this warning.
- Installation instructions: Changed the Nvidia System Tools with ESA Support v6.03 link to a backup link of the October 14, 2008 release for stability reasons (as above). Also added a note to aid in locating and determining the Master I/O Board firmware version.
- January 13, 2009:
- Issues: Added the following workaround from My630i.com user billybigfoot for 64-bit OS users to the issue of 4+ GB of SLI RAM on the 630i's nForce 650i chipset:
"As long as you are running a 64-bit OS, set your RAM to "Unlinked" in your BIOS, and you should be good to go. As you probably know, SLI RAM has EPP settings "built-in" to each chip. On other chipsets, these EPP settings are used to set the timings automatically for you. All you need to do is run CPU-Z to find the best timings (on the SPD tab) and then set them manually."
- Mods and Recommendations: Renamed/expanded the "Mods" page to include user recommendations for hardware. If you have a hardware mod or recommendation you'd like to see included (such as a motherboard, RAM, CPU cooler, rear exhaust fan, etc.) please e-mail me (Greg Donner) with the following info: manufacturer, model number, links to notes and/or photos, and your name or My630i.com username.
- January 12, 2009:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated to reflect the "new" 6.03 release of Nvidia System Tools with ESA Support (released January 9, 2009). Despite the same release number as the October 14, 2008 release, the individual components (Nvidia Performance Group, Nvidia System Monitor, and Nvidia System Update) all have new version numbers.
- January 11, 2009:
- Installation instructions: Made corrections/added notes to all but the Motherboard BIOS section for accuracy, and to take into account the differences ATI graphics card users see as opposed to Nvidia users. Many thanks to My630i.com user ReverendTed for this feedback.
- December 31, 2008:
- Overclocking: Added step-by-step overclocking instructions (3.16GHz to 4.0GHz) for E8500 owners. Many thanks to My630i.com user gatattack for these steps.
- December 23, 2008:
- My630i.com user ben.peterson notes that Dell has finally added Vista 64-bit to the list of available drivers from their support page.
- December 18, 2008:
- Overclocking: Added an interesting note from My630i.com user 630beta regarding overclocking from within the Nvidia Control Panel and memory linking to the FSB.
- December 17, 2008:
- Posted step-by-step overclocking instructions (3.0GHz to 3.82GHz) for E8400 owners. Many thanks to My630i.com user Obijon for these steps.
- Posted step-by-step overclocking instructions (2.83GHz to 3.6GHz) for E8300 owners. Many thanks to My630i.com user gatattack for these steps.
- Merged My630i.com user Lil4cyl's E8600 overclock settings into the "Step-by-step instructions for overclocking" section for consistency.
- Drivers and firmware: Added links to optional software from Dell to change LED colors and monitor fan speeds (AlienFX Lite and Thermal Monitor respectively).
- December 16, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Added a link to a Bluetooth/media card reader driver (the Dell Wireless 355C Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR module - R152639) intended for multiple Dell systems, including the XPS 720/720 H2C. This driver works fine with the Dell-installed media card readers often shipped with the 630i. Thanks to My630i.com user billybigfoot for the info and link. Please note that this driver only supports Vista 32- and 64-bit systems.
- November 29, 2008:
- Overclocking: Posted step-by-step overclocking instructions (2.83GHz to 3.103GHz) for Yorkfield Q9550 owners. Many thanks to My630i.com user Jakeman66 for these steps.
- November 28, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Revised entry no. 13 to reflect recommended steps from Dell Liaison Chris Mixon (taken from the XPS 630 FAQ).
- November 27, 2008:
- Installation instructions: Added basic/illustrative screen shots for the "Master I/O Board firmware" and "Profiles and settings" instruction sets.
- Drivers and firmware: Added 'fallback' links (below version numbers) to older versions of drivers for the following: Motherboard BIOS, GeForce display driver, and Nvidia System Tools with ESA Support.
- November 26, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added entry no. 13: "The Chassis icon is missing in the Nvidia Control Panel. How do I get it back?"
- Third-party utilities: Added a link to O.C.C.T. (OverClock Checking Tool), a CPU stability testing program.
- Manuals: Clarified links to the Owner's Manual, Service Manual, and Setup Diagram.
- November 23, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added entry no. 12, with several steps to try if the Performance list item in NVIDIA Control Panel is missing.
- Issues: [Section B1] Removed all references to the PCI-E x16 slots being either v2.0 or v1.0, since both are version 1.0, according to Nvidia's Product Comparison Chart (PDF document, second page) of March 2008. GPU-Z (at least v0.2.8 and earlier) incorrectly reports the primary slot as v2.0.
- November 22, 2008:
- Issues: [Section B4] Clarified with a report from My630i.com CrossFire user Jakeman66 that Dell's proprietary drivers are not required to run a CrossFire configuration. The latest Dell System Utilities ESA (Master I/O Board firmware) must be installed for this to work correctly.
- November 21, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Changed nForce driver link back to 15.23, due to 20.08 being pulled by Nvidia (apparently due to network driver problems).
- November 20, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated the GeForce display drivers link to the new 180.48 release, and replaced the link to NVIDIA System Tools with ESA Support 6.02 with 6.03.
- Issues: My630i.com user tdogs630i reports that the official HDD LED replacement is a waste of time; Chris Mixon has replied with an explanation as to what P/N KW400 does (see Latest news for details).
- Overclocking: Revised and posted (rather than a link) the 2.4GHz to 3.2GHz overclocking steps for Q6600 owners. Many thanks to My630i.com user 630beta for the help and corrections in revising these steps to make them work.
- November 19, 2008:
- Overclocking: Added a link to a page (by 630i user tripknotix) with simple step-by-step instructions for overclocking the Kentsfield Q6600 processor from 2.4GHz to 3.2GHz. Link spotted and contributed by My630i.com user 630beta.
- November 17, 2008:
- Installation instructions: Updated to reflect latest available BIOS revision and NVIDIA System Tools with ESA Support software (currently recommended by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon over Dell's own ESA software).
- Overclocking: Added E8600 overclock settings from My630i.com user Lil4cyl.
- November 16, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Added more detail to the bios updates sub-page for BIOS updates 1.0.9 and 1.0.12, plus revision history for 1.0.10 and 1.0.11. Many thanks to Dell Liaison Chris Mixon for this info.
- November 15, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated link to new BIOS release 1.0.12. Thanks to My630i.com user DOA for spotting the new post on Dell's support website--it appears to flash just fine without hanging. To date, the only change noted by Dell in this release is "Enhance system stability".
- November 13, 2008:
- Overclocking: Started a new page with the intent of trying to collect general guidelines and suggested/optimal overclocking settings for each of the various CPUs used in the 630i. The first set of guidelines and steps have been contributed by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon.
- November 12, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Added the upcoming 1.0.9 BIOS changes to the bios updates sub-page. Thanks to My630i.com user CCABB for noting that 1.0.9 shipped with his replacement motherboard, and Dell Liaison Chris Mixon for providing the list of changes in this release. My630i.com user DemonicPumpkins notes that he was told by Dell that the new firmware download (assumingly for the BIOS, not the Master I/O Board) would be available November 17th.
- October 17, 2008:
- Issues: [Section D] Removed the issue with HWMonitor showing two negative temperature readings--they have been removed as of v1.11.
- October 15, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added entry no. 11, regarding Dell's support for 64-bit Vista configurations/upgrades (announced on October 6, 2008), and corrected/removed old information in several other pages.
- Drivers and firmware: Restored NVIDIA System Tools with ESA Support v6.02, as v6.03 apparently does not enable control of GPU fans. Also updated version numbers of the latest nForce Driver (20.08) and GeForce (178.24).
- October 14, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated NVIDIA System Tools with ESA Support to the latest version: 6.03. Thanks to My630i.com user naya for spotting this.
- October 9, 2008:
- Issues: [Section B4] Posted an (until now) unknown fact regarding CrossFire support in 630i (and 720) systems: Dell modifies the graphics card BIOS in order to enable their two 'choice' ATI cards (and only those cards) to work in that configuration. This helps better explain Dell's policies regarding CrossFire configuration, though some questions still remain unanswered. Thanks to My630i.com user CROSSFIRE for asking about this and following it up with Dell.
- October 8, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated the Master I/O Board firmware link to the correct/latest version. The file on Dell's support site is not the latest--here's an explanation why. Thanks to My630i.com moderator devjonfos for keeping track of this.
- October 7, 2008:
- Two significant new posts from Dell Liaison Chris Mixon (thanks to My630i.com users Xelkos and billybigfoot for pointing these out):
- October 2, 2008:
- Issues: [Section B4] Added a post from Dell Liaison Chris Mixon reiterating Dell's attitude towards 'non-Dell-approved' ATI graphics cards in CrossFire configurations (i.e. any graphics card other than these two: the ATI Radeon HD3870 X2 512MB, and the ATI Radeon HD2600 XT 256MB. Thanks to My630i.com user billybigfoot for pointing this out.
- September 20, 2008:
- Issues: [Section B4] Added another new restriction that has come to light in regards to ATI CrossFire use. The required Dell proprietary drivers that enable CrossFire to work only support a limited set of graphics cards (namely two at this point: the ATI Radeon HD3870 X2 512MB, and the ATI Radeon HD2600 XT 256MB) that Dell has tested. No other ATI card can be used in a CrossFire configuration until Dell updates their proprietary drivers.
- September 15, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated the nForce drivers to the latest release (v15.23).
- September 6, 2008:
- Issues: Added news of three separate posts (1 | 2 | 3) by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon regarding a pending part(s) replacement and option for disabling the hard disk drive LED are in the works. No time frame has been given.
- August 24, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Revised entry four regarding free 64-bit copies of Windows Vista, now that Dell (once again) allows them to be requested at no charge. Please note that this policy change unfortunately still does not apply to owners of Windows XP, and owners with an ATI CrossFire configuration will lose this dual-card capability if they upgrade to Vista 64-bit.
- Issues: [Section B1] Added a screenshot of Best Buy's incorrect specifications for the 630i from their sales page.
- August 22, 2008:
- Issues: Updated with Dell's attempts to explain most of the issues listed on the page, as relayed by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon.
- August 20, 2008:
- Installation instructions: Updated with installation steps from Dell Liaison Chris Mixon for CrossFire configurations. The limits remain--see section B4 of the Issues page.
- Issues: [Section F - Shoddy technical support from XPS Desktop staff] Added another customer's story (My630i.com user Rquired) of his experience with Dell XPS Support in Sweden.
- August 13, 2008:
- Issues: [Section F - Shoddy technical support from XPS Desktop staff] Added another customer's story (Eddie Alvarez) of his experience with Dell XPS Support.
- August 8, 2008:
- Links: Added a link to "Can You RUN It?" a free system performance rating website from systemrequirementslab.com. Thanks to My630i.com user devjonfos for the link.
- August 5, 2008:
- Mods: Added a link to a user's "see through" mod to the case's aluminum side panel.
- Issues: [Section F - Shoddy technical support from XPS Desktop staff] Added another customer's story (M Grant, M.D.) of his experience with Dell XPS Support.
- August 2, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Updated Dell's ESA driver set to the latest release.
- Issues: [Section B2, "Not ESA-certified"] Added two flow charts illustrating the typical implementation of ESA vs. that of the 630i. Compiled and submitted by My630i.com user Drange.
- File a complaint: Added postal and online contact information for Consumer Reports.
- July 30, 2008:
- Issues: [Section G - Contradictions, hypocrisy, and other failures] Added an example of ongoing false advertising by Dell for a customer who wanted to order an XPS 420 system with a Blu-Ray drive, but was told the ad was a mistake and did not include the special drive. Despite Dell's acknowledgement of the ad being false, it remains online. Also added a note and PDF file illustrating Dell's including an Elite XBox 360 with 630i purchases, while it still refuses to make amends to their 630i users with a motherboard upgrade.
- July 29, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added a new entry with information about getting a full refund from Dell after the 21-day return period (U.S.A.) or the 7-day return period (U.K.) (see question no. 10).
- File a complaint: Added three links for filing consumer complaints in Canada (see new section below "Links in the United Kingdom").
- July 27, 2008:
- Issues: [Section B2, "Not ESA-certified"] Overhauled this section, adding a screenshot and note that Dell somehow persuaded Nvidia to change their specification page (five months after the 630i's launch) to claim that the 650i SLI motherboard is ESA-certified, when Dell Engineer Patrick Desbois clearly stated earlier in June that the ESA architecture lies in the Master Input/Output (MIO) printed circuit board--NOT the 650i SLI motherboard.
- July 26, 2008:
- Issues: [Section F] Added a screenshot of the alleged "Superior service" technical support claim from Dell for the 630i. Note: if you've had a bad experience with Dell's XPS tech support (specifically in regards to the 630i) and would like it included in a text file to be posted on the "Issues" page, please e-mail me. Please include as much pertinent detail as possible, such as your first (and last name if you feel comfortable with that), dates(s) of call/calls, name and/or phone number of tech representative, etc. My goal is to provide as much of a 'sampling' as possible of the nonsense that has been taking place in the name of "Dell XPS support".
- July 25, 2008:
- Issues: Merged (and added) the first FAQ entry with the "Questionable BIOS updates" issue under the new "Temperature sensors/reporting" heading. Also added section letters for referencing purposes.
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Reorganized and added a list of linked questions at the top for easier reading/reference.
- July 23, 2008:
- Issues: Posted some PDF files (p. 1 | p. 2) of admissions posted on the Dell Community Forums by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon as to Dell's continued denial of the evidence highlighting their false advertising and misleading business practices, and confirms their ongoing attitude of ignoring the problems and issues many 630i customers have reported and brought to light.
- July 22, 2008:
- Installation instructions: Updated with the latest information and file links from Dell Liaison Chris Mixon for installing/updating BIOS, display drivers, nForce drivers, ESA software, and Master I/O Board firmware. Also includes steps to create fan and LED profiles.
- July 15, 2008:
- File a complaint: Added three links for filing consumer complaints with third-party advocate websites (see new "Additional links" section).
- July 10, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Added a list of the BIOS update changes as posted by Dell Liaison Chris Mixon.
- File a complaint: Added two links for filing consumer complaints in the United Kingdom (Consumer Direct and the BBC Watchdog).
- July 7, 2008:
- File a complaint: Added a consumer complaint document link for Massachusetts.
- July 5, 2008:
- My630i.com user KryttosArcadia notes that Dell is shipping him a replacement 650i SLI board, and not an nForce series 7 motherboard as originally believed. He has therefore escalated his complaint to Dell's legal team.
- Issues: Added a photo of the PCI-E SLI card switch; the likes/capability of which has been intentionally removed from the 630i's motherboard.
- July 3, 2008:
- My630i.com user KryttosArcadia reports that Dell is shipping him a replacement nForce series 7 motherboard at no expense to him, after he filed a complaint with his state's Attorney General.
- File a complaint: Added a consumer complaint link for Oregon.
- Issues: Added a short video clip illustrating Dell's advertisement for the 630i in what appears to be LightFX in action (see "LightFX on the 630i" at right of item entry).
- July 1, 2008:
- Issues: Added an admission by Dell Liasion Chris Mixon that points to the fact that Dell engaged in false advertising with their customers (see the "Dell admits false advertising" screen shot in the "No 16-lane PCI-E 2.0 bus support" section). Added BIOS screen shots and Nvidia evidence of the non-functioning SLI-Ready Memory options in the 630i BIOS. Also added a short video clip illustrating the ever-blinking hard disk drive light, and a screen shot of the recent and mysteriously-eliminated 178°C System Temperature reading in Nvidia System Monitor.
- June 30, 2008:
- Issues: Added a newly-discovered set of compatibility restrictions for 630i users wanting to take advantage of the advertised CrossFire dual-graphics card mode (see item no. 4 in the "Dell-modified Nvidia 650i SLI chipset/motherboard" category).
- Links: Added links to several new driver removal/cleaner and internet speed test websites.
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added an explanation to the 630i's listing on Dell's Driver download page as "XPS/Dimension 630i". Also added a link to an order form allowing users to request a new set of backup discs from Dell. For Windows Vista users, these discs should now include Service Pack 1 (SP1).
- June 29, 2008:
- Issues: Moved all pertinent data regarding known 630i issues/problems into this new page, and incorporated data from the now obsolete "Problems (and fixes?)" page.
- File a complaint: To improve organization, merged all issues-related data to new Issues page.
- June 28, 2008:
- File a complaint: Added a consumer complaint link for Ohio, and cleaned up much of the talking points wording/structure.
- June 26, 2008:
- Installation instructions: Added instructions for installing the v22 I/O board firmware update, as posted today by Chris Mixon.
- Drivers and firmware: Added the latest ESA firmware update for the I/O board, and firmware update links for the following three optical drives: HLDS GSA-H73N, PBDS DH-16W1S, and TSST TS-H353B.
- June 25, 2008:
- File a complaint: Added this new section for information on how to contact governmental agencies about problems with your Dell XPS 630/630i and false advertising about features and specifications.
- June 24, 2008:
- Drivers and firmware: Posted a link to version 6.02 (June 17, 2008) of the Nvidia System Tools with ESA Support.
- Latest News: Posted an update from Chris Mixon (Dell Liaison) who contends that Dell's 650i chipset is ESA-certified, and only their ESA software is flawed.
- Links: Added new links submitted by users billybigfoot and Drange of My630i.com.
- June 23, 2008:
- Latest News: Added an update from Chris Mixon (Dell Liaison) stating that it is Dell's ESA software that's buggy--not Nvidia's.
- June 22, 2008:
- Installation Instructions: Added official installation instructions from Chris Mixon (Dell Liaison), along with links to required software for both system and ESA operation.
- Problems and fixes: Added a note that references the hardwire-crippled x16 (sixteen lanes) to x8 (eight lanes) PCI-E 2.0 slots in the 630i.
- Mods: Added this new section to cover info regarding modifications to the 630i.
- June 20, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Updated with an official answer from Chris Mixon (Dell Liaison) addressing the question of whether or not there is a difference between the 630 and 630i.
- Links: Added a link to tweakguides.com (suggested by billybigfoot of My630i.com).
- June 19, 2008:
- FAQ/Troubleshooting: Added two direct contact phone numbers for Dell's USA XPS Hardware Warranty Support and XPS Specialized Care, and added a how-to link to a user who is water-cooling his 630i.
- Third-party utilities: Added a link to the Real Temp 2.60 utility.
visits since Sept. 20, 2008