The 630i Resource Collective: Drivers and firmware

The 630i Resource Collective: consolidated resources for Dell XPS 630i users
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Drivers and firmware

Note: As with any system changes, you need to educate yourself and weigh the risks of keeping things as-is (but being out-of-date) versus doing updates and potentially causing something to break. Your system, your choice. While the drivers listed below may not be the latest released version (as in the case of Nvidia GeForce display drivers), what is generally believed to be the latest stable version will always be given priority in the list below. As always, "your mileage may vary" in terms of stability, so when available, a link to older "fallback" versions is included.

New users: Click here for an important note regarding your 630i

It is very important to thoroughly test your 630i to ensure that:

  1. The Master I/O Board firmware is flashed to the latest version (v.22).
  2. The ESA control software for fans and LEDs works correctly via the Performance -> Device Settings portion of the Nvidia Control Panel.
  3. You try out each game and/or application you intend to use, and make sure they run to your liking.
  4. There are no:
    • Blue Screens of Death or crashes.
    • RAID or hard drive problems.
    • Graphics problems.
    • Audio problems with the optional 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.
  5. 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.

Item description Type Version (date) Needed for... Notes
Dell Motherboard BIOS 630i system ROM 1.0.13a (May 19, 2009)
[Fallback: older versions]
Latest fixes/updates for the 630i (BIOS update release notes | pdf copy) This release appears to flash just fine without hanging.
Nvidia GeForce display driver Graphics card driver latest version
[Fallback: older versions]
Basic system operation (though not required to boot)
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 512MB
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
ATI Radeon HD 4870
Graphics card driver latest version Basic system operation (though not required to boot) Catalyst drivers. Note that Dell's modified ATI display drivers are required for CrossFireX operation (details about this).
Nvidia nForce driver Motherboard chipset (650i)
latest version Basic system operation (though not required to boot) Vista 64-bit driver versions shown for fallback drivers.
Nvidia System Tools
with ESA Support
(contains the following):
Nvidia Performance Group
Nvidia System Monitor
Nvidia System Update
6.03 (October 14, 2008)
[Fallback: 6.02 (Dell's version of 6.02 here)]
Operation of ESA software (as currently recommended by Dell over their own software). Currently recommended over Dell's System Utilities ESA and ESA Performance software. Note: for Nvidia graphics card users only, this release requires the Beta 180.43 (or later) display drivers to enable control of GPU fan speed. The Jan. 9th release of 6.03 may result in loss of the Dynamic BIOS and control of voltages.
Dell System Utilities ESA (firmware) ESA firmware update for Master I/O Board Latest firmware update for the 630i Master I/O (MIO) board Though not on Dell's website, this is the latest version (here is an explanation as to why).
Realtek ALC888 HD Audio Driver for the onboard 630i audio 1.99, A01 (December 17, 2008)
a.k.a. R193582
Operation of onboard audio The onboard Realtek audio has been known to suffer from low audio output, but this is the latest available version.
Dell Bluetooth driver Driver for Dell-installed 630i media card readers
(Dell Wireless 355C Bluetooth 2.0
+ EDR module), A00 (August 21, 2007)
a.k.a. R152639
Proper operation of the Dell-installed 630i media card reader/bluetooth Works with the 630i, though intended for XPS 720/720 H2C systems. Supports Vista 32-bit and 64-bit systems only (not XP).
Dell Bluetooth firmware Firmware for the Teac Bluetooth Card Reader (CAB-200) v7.12, A01 (November 17, 2008)
a.k.a. R191223
Proper operation of the Teac Bluetooth Card Reader (CAB-200)
Dell Bluetooth keyboard and mouse driver Software drivers for Dell RAQ-DEL2 / GM952 hardware see this post (RAQ-DEL2 / GM952) Uses Logitech drivers, but should work fine
Dell AlienFX Lite
[screen shot]
Change colored LEDs in the 630i's four "zones" 1.0.36v2, A04 (January 6, 2009)
a.k.a. R205652
Optional software to
change LED colors
Dell Thermal Monitor
[screen shot]
Monitor 630i fan speeds (January 7, 2009)
a.k.a. R202118
Optional software to
monitor fan speeds
Doesn't officially support 64-bit Vista.
Alienware AlienFX Media Plug-In (Light FX)
screen shot 1
screen shot 2
Alienware AlienFX Media Plug-In, A00 | archived copy
(August 19, 2009)
a.k.a. R225195
LightFX lightshow on your 630i This plugin will work only if you still have your original nForce 650i motherboard installed in your 630i. It will not work with a third-party motherboard. It can only be used with Windows Media Player; not WinAMP.