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Dell XPS Special Edition ( i7-11700 + 3060 Ti 8GB (LHR) +16GB, 16Gx1, DDR4, 2933MHz) for $1649 ($750 off)

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 26th, 2022 1:22 pm
Member
Sep 6, 2009
354 posts
329 upvotes
To all the folks thinking they can either scalp the GPU or get a relatively affordable 3060ti LHR by selling off the system

No one is going to pay scalped prices for Dell OEM (especially LHR) because Dell does not warranty GPU by itself. They only warranty by full system (as sold) and they have been quite strict since the whole GPU scalping craze.

You are not going to get a lot of dollar selling off the system without GPU because again the system will not be under warranty without the GPU. There are a lot of sellers selling off the 11400 version and I doubt 11700 will get much love because of how thermal throttled it will be. People are looking for cheap budget desktops and will not give you more than 600 for the system without GPU.

Maybe I was unlucky because Dell OEM GPU seems to be poorly made as well. My 3080 from Alienware (the system itself which I sold very cheap to get a 3080) basically died within 6 months of non-mining use. Fans started to rattle under use and games would crash. I didn't have the system to warranty the GPU with so it became a $2000 paper weight until I sold it off as salvage.

Now...if you actually want to use the system yourself:
- You kind of have to sell off Dell's proprietary ram (Alienware came with Kingston but Dell proprietary Kingston) and get a dual channel kit (Maybe you will get 50 bucks and spend 80 bucks for decent dual channel kit of same capacity) $30
- You should upgrade the CPU cooler. Vetroo V5 is recommended because it can use the same mounting and screws. $45
- You should get a small 80mm or 92mm intake for the GPU. This is the minimal mod without the 3D printing for front 120mm intake. Noctua is good but expensive. You can get Arctic F8 for this but still need a PWM splitter on the CPU fan header. $12 for F8 and $10 for splitter?

All in all, you need to spend about 100 bucks on top to make the system somewhat decent for use.
Deal Addict
Oct 21, 2012
1416 posts
496 upvotes
Toronto
Thank-you for detailed and informative post.

I am not a fan of pre-builts, even less so when proprietary parts are used; however, options are limited with certain budgets.

I personally think if they offered the K option and two 8 Gb sticks instead of one 16Gb stick for $100 more, that would be worth the upgrade and should dramatically improve performance over 11700 with pancake fan and one stick of ram.

Unfortunately, I don't see a path to do that.
Jr. Member
Jun 20, 2020
134 posts
61 upvotes
I've been out of the PC game for awhile (still using a 3800x and 2070 super), but other than overheating, what's the biggest downside nowadays with laptops?

Seems like you can get a 3070 with 8 core cpu for under $1700
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 22, 2004
2128 posts
837 upvotes
Ottawa
TimApple wrote: Not necessarily as the OP’s default configuration already includes a 3060 Ti 8 GB which is noticeably faster than your configuration’s 3060 12 GB, non Ti.
Which can be substituted in the customized build for an additional $250, raising the price to $2100 vs $1649 in the OP's default configuration.

That's no longer a "deal", particularly when you should also upgrade the memory to dual channel 32GB for another $150 giving you the same computer I purchased just a few weeks ago for $400 less, directly from Dell with an anticipated 12% rebate through Rakuten of $221 bringing my cost down to $1624.
yadda, yadda, yadda
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 22, 2004
2128 posts
837 upvotes
Ottawa
beatusk wrote: To all the folks thinking they can either scalp the GPU or get a relatively affordable 3060ti LHR by selling off the system

No one is going to pay scalped prices for Dell OEM (especially LHR) because Dell does not warranty GPU by itself. They only warranty by full system (as sold) and they have been quite strict since the whole GPU scalping craze.

... yadda, yadda, yadda
Someone forgot to mention that to the five separate crypto miners that wanted to purchase my 3060Ti and I received another offer of $1200 for the card only a few days ago. You seem to be introducing presumptions as facts when my own experience proves otherwise. For the record, I did sell my GPU and the PC works fine for general use like web surfing, streaming movies, office apps, etc. using the integrated graphics built into Intel's cpu.
yadda, yadda, yadda
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 1, 2017
2358 posts
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pauldryan wrote: Someone forgot to mention that to the five separate crypto miners that wanted to purchase my 3060Ti and I received another offer of $1200 for the card only a few days ago. You seem to be introducing presumptions as facts when my own experience proves otherwise. For the record, I did sell my GPU and the PC works fine for general use like web surfing, streaming movies, office apps, etc. using the integrated graphics built into Intel's cpu.
Assuming you live in a province with 13% tax, that means you paid ~600$ for this system...

That's way too much.

Plus if what the other guy said was true and you lose the warranty by selling the GPU, then it's even worse value.

Don't sell the GPU. Especially at 1200$. There's won't be anything of real value in this pc left if you do that.
Member
Dec 26, 2008
346 posts
182 upvotes
Ottawa
Anyone in ottawa area want to buy the PC for GPU only? I can take the system while you keep the GPU. I don't game just need a PC.
Jr. Member
Jun 29, 2009
175 posts
52 upvotes
Mississauga
My 1st prebuilt and here's what you need to know for a great experience w/your XPS; expect to spend $50-175 to drop the thermals up to ~20-25 degrees, and reduce fan noise at full load. I bought the 'ready to ship' XPS prebuilt on boxing day and it arrived on the 6th. Don't be salty like I was at first... put into perspective, you'd be upgrading a DIY/build-your-own for the same reasons. The 2 things you can stay salty about are RAM not having XMP profiles & the Gen3 NVME ;). Less important, you can't overclock in BIOS but I never did before so I didn't care. For increasing RAM or going dual channel, just match it on Crucial's site and get the 1.2v 3200 MHz not 1.35v (you can, but it uses SPD profile which are lower than 2933. n.b. Intel 11700/K ram will run at 2933MHz.. people with 1.35v RAM are seeing 2133-2400... and this is expected but an oversight for most as this a JEDEC/XMP thing). Btw, If you have a single 16gb stick msg me, I have a brand new 16gb Micron module I pulled on arrival as I bought 2x32gb ahead of time. Anywho, aside from the theoreticals/benchmarking being higher, I honestly can't tell the difference yet.. I'm sure I will under some specific workload but for all my gaming & machine learning/#crunching workloads I just can't yet. So, overall I'm genuinely impressed with the performance/purchase(s) for the huge savings and I got myself a 3060ti :)

Here's what you should purchase regardless of 11700 or 11700K CPU (you can go non-Noctua to save $$ but it's negligible over the lifetime so just do the right thing for higher quality and zero regrets):
  • 1 Noctua NF-A9 92mm Fan to replace Dell's 80mm exhaust fan. It fits perfectly, Dell has 92mm holes on the exhaust area
  • 1 Noctua NF-A12x25 120mm Fan to add to the front/inside case in front of the U9S. You will move/remove the 3.5" HDD bay on the front. If you got a 3.5" HDD, you can just leave it in the cage and move the unit to where the top-mounted cage is
  • Optional 3D-printed fan bracket from anyone on Kijiji but don't spend more than $10. You can use zip-ties but let's keep it professional looking vs a janky fix ;). Here's the fan bracket https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4785786
  • Optional Noctua NF-A8 80mm Fan to add on the front/inside case below the 120mm fan for extra intake cooling, and it will blow directly on the GPU which is even better. Instead, you can use the Dell 80mm exhaust fan you upgraded above, or the fan from the Dell 80mm CPU cooler if you got the non-K CPU (which is what I did).. it has more blades and almost double the airflow of the exhaust fan.. i expected it to make more noise on full load but I can't tell quite yet.

If you purchase the 11700 (non-K), these are the additional needs but don't stress about it as it's kind of a wash... it costs $100 more to upgrade to the K-CPU variant but you're better off putting that money (+~$10) into these quality upgrades and since the non-k runs at half the wattage, you're likely saving money overall
  • 1 Noctua NH-U9S 92mm CPU Cooler to replace Dell's cooler/heatsink. People are using the Vetroo 5 with success at a lower cost and hassle as it screws directly into the Dell mounting spots. I went with the Noctua for the little extra cooling and it comes with their quality thermal paste in the box.
  • 4 M3 16mm Screws to mount the Noctua U9S cooler. Dell's mounting points are built on the case itself so you won't use the U9S backplate. These machine screws will mount the top-plate into Dell's mounting points and can be purchased from HomeHardware for $3.50 for a 5-pack https://www.homehardware.ca/en/5-pack-m ... /p/2122003
  • 1 VRM Heatsink. I can't say for sure but I believe the Deal4GO's fins are longer (better?) than Dell's as well and is what people are preferring. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08SWS ... le_o06_s01

What you can expect? Zero, nada, nothing on fan noise during general browsing/productivity apps/video's, it's eerily silent like something isn't right but open it up and you can see the fans spinning. Under high stress, fans spin faster and you're getting full-pop speed out of the CPU and no throttling!

Why do all this? Again, you can drop thermals by 20-25 degrees (crazy right?) which means your CPU won't hit its throttle threshold under full load. An intel CPU-safeguard is to throttle speed down once it hits 90 degrees... and you will hit that threshold in seconds without these upgrades as soon as you load a game.
  • The 11700 CPU is 65W TDP and comes with a pancake cooler/heatsink and no VRM heatsink.
  • The 11700K CPU is 125W TDP and K-CPU's get a VRM heatsink & upgraded cooler but at a cost of $100 to upgrade from non-K. This upgraded cooler is adequate and not as good as the Noctua for thermals but it'll work fine. The choice is really whether you spend $100 on this K-upgrade for Dell's cooler/vrm or put that $$ into the DIY with the U9S/M3 screws/Deal4GO VRM heatsink.

Other notes: Here's a great reddit post showing the process/pictures https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/ ... l_upgrade/
Ignore the grub screws, just get the ones from HomeHardware and you don't need washers. The grubs are hard to come by and cant find em in Canada (not easily anyways or you have to order them in for over $10) and the Traxxis ones referenced are for a radio control car to get a small pack of them.. I haven't seen stock on those anywhere, ever.

Update: DO THIS to increase your NVMe Performance. Update BIOS to 2.40 then go into BIOS (F2) and click Restore Settings, choose BIOS Default Settings (not the factory settings), exit. After this your onboard M.2 NVMe drive will get full speed.
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Last edited by Phisnarus on Jan 25th, 2022 3:02 am, edited 9 times in total.
Member
Sep 6, 2009
354 posts
329 upvotes
pauldryan wrote: Someone forgot to mention that to the five separate crypto miners that wanted to purchase my 3060Ti and I received another offer of $1200 for the card only a few days ago. You seem to be introducing presumptions as facts when my own experience proves otherwise. For the record, I did sell my GPU and the PC works fine for general use like web surfing, streaming movies, office apps, etc. using the integrated graphics built into Intel's cpu.

It could also vary by location because you can actually get a new AIB (like Asus, MSI, EVGA, and etc) 3060ti LHR for 1100~1200 in GTA.
I have my experience with trading GPUs as well. It's not a presumption because I have bought one during Black Friday (i5-11400 version) along with my friend (that's why I put in all the modifications I did for my friend)

Edit: Oh yes there is an exception if you managed to get the non-lhr version of the system that sold out quickly during BF sale. Miners would jump on that with premium even if it has no warranty but that's long gone. Also mining profitability is coming down as well. Also if you happen to have the contact info for the 1200 offer. I will take that. I will sell for 1200 shipped paypal g&s
Newbie
Jul 1, 2011
23 posts
2 upvotes
SCARBOROUGH
Assuming you want to have a future proof computer (5-10years) would this be worth it after upgrading the Ram & fans?

Assuming the Ram & fans will cost ~150 - would this be better than waiting for a sale on Newegg for one of the ABS prebuilts?
Deal Addict
Oct 21, 2012
1416 posts
496 upvotes
Toronto
Phisnarus wrote:
Thanks for awesome post. I am always all for better air flow, but I am wondering if you have any data with original fans except for CPU fan upgrade? I was under the impression that just a CPU cooler update was adequate.
Deal Addict
Oct 21, 2012
1416 posts
496 upvotes
Toronto
riffraff1414 wrote: Assuming you want to have a future proof computer (5-10years) would this be worth it after upgrading the Ram & fans?

Assuming the Ram & fans will cost ~150 - would this be better than waiting for a sale on Newegg for one of the ABS prebuilts?
How long a computer is viable is highly dependent on what you use it for. If you game, what resolution, which games?

I would say for 1080P gaming, you should be ok for 5+ years before needing to turn settings down. 1440P gaming, maybe 3+ years depending on games and concessions. 4K isn't really feasible with this card.

Hope that helps. I am not an expert.
Jr. Member
Jun 29, 2009
175 posts
52 upvotes
Mississauga
joey1234 wrote: Thanks for awesome post. I am always all for better air flow, but I am wondering if you have any data with original fans except for CPU fan upgrade? I was under the impression that just a CPU cooler update was adequate.
No, but reading a chit-ton of threads on the dell forum and reddit, after doing the exhaust and cooler upgrade alone the temperature dropped a further 5 degrees when the 120mm front intake fan was placed on.
I can't recall seeing if, by adding, the lower 80mm fan it did anything to CPU temp , I was only paying attention to people talking about it lowering the GPU by about 5 degrees as well. So, I figure if the ambient temperature in the case is lower as a result so would the CPU temp being lower than above
Member
Sep 1, 2006
303 posts
132 upvotes
Newmarket
rvs007 wrote: That's unfortunate then. Because even if one tries to add another 16GB later on, the system may have issues if it's not the exact same brand/spec.
This doesn't matter, since you will want to replace the Dell RAM regardless. It is undoubtedly using x16 modules, which benchmarks show is roughly 10% slower than x8 modules.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 22, 2004
2128 posts
837 upvotes
Ottawa
Phisnarus wrote: My 1st prebuilt and here's what you need to know for a great experience w/your XPS; expect to spend $50-175 to drop the thermals up to ~20-25 degrees, and reduce fan noise at full load....

Here's what you should purchase regardless of 11700 or 11700K CPU (you can go non-Noctua to save $$ but it's negligible over the lifetime so just do the right thing for higher quality and zero regrets):
  • 1 Noctua NF-A9 92mm Fan to replace Dell's 80mm exhaust fan. It fits perfectly, Dell has 92mm holes on the exhaust area
  • 1 Noctua NH-A12x25 120mm Fan to add to the front/inside case in front of the U9S. You will move/remove the 3.5" HDD bay. If you got a 3.5" HDD, you can just move it into the other 3.5 HDD bay
  • Optional 3D-printed fan bracket from anyone on Kijiji but don't spend more than $10. You can use zip-ties but let's keep it professional looking vs a janky fix ;). Here's the fan bracket https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4785786
  • Optional Noctua NF-A8 80mm Fan to add on the front/inside case below the 120mm fan for extra intake cooling, and it will blow directly on the GPU which is even better. Instead, you can use the Dell 80mm exhaust fan you upgraded above, or the fan from the Dell 80mm CPU cooler if you got the non-K CPU (which is what I did).. it has more blades and almost double the airflow of the exhaust fan.. i expected it to make more noise on full load but I can't tell quite yet.
....
Is that a typo? I can't find an "NH-A12x25" only an "NF-A12x25" .... did you mean the latter?

To obtain those temperature improvements which model is recommended? Speeds range from 1200 rpm to 2000 rpm with noise levels increasing commensurate with higher speeds
yadda, yadda, yadda
Deal Guru
Aug 26, 2002
14760 posts
6319 upvotes
Toronto, ON
pauldryan wrote: Is that a typo? I can't find an "NH-A12x25" only an "NF-A12x25" .... did you mean the latter?

To obtain those temperature improvements which model is recommended? Speeds range from 1200 rpm to 2000 rpm with noise levels increasing commensurate with higher speeds
Yes I think it's NF if it's purchased separately. I read somewhere that the NH-A12x25 (which comes with their heatsinks) is the same dimensions but can achieve a slightly higher RPM? But obviously you have to buy the heatsink with it.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 1, 2017
2358 posts
1603 upvotes
Phisnarus wrote: My 1st prebuilt and here's what you need to know for a great experience w/your XPS; expect to spend $50-175 to drop the thermals up to ~20-25 degrees, and reduce fan noise at full load. I bought the 'ready to ship' XPS prebuilt on boxing day and it arrived on the 6th. Don't be salty like I was at first... put into perspective, you'd be upgrading a DIY/build-your-own for the same reasons. The 2 things you can stay salty about are RAM not having XMP profiles & the Gen3 NVME ;). Less important, you can't overclock in BIOS but I never did before so I didn't care. For increasing RAM or going dual channel, just match it on Crucial's site and get the 1.2v 3200 MHz not 1.35v (you can, but it uses SPD profile which are lower than 2933. n.b. Intel 11700/K ram will run at 2933MHz.. people with 1.35v RAM are seeing 2133-2400... and this is expected but an oversight for most as this a JEDEC/XMP thing). Btw, If you have a single 16gb stick msg me, I have a brand new 16gb Micron module I pulled on arrival as I bought 2x32gb ahead of time. Anywho, aside from the theoreticals/benchmarking being higher, I honestly can't tell the difference yet.. I'm sure I will under some specific workload but for all my gaming & machine learning/#crunching workloads I just can't yet. So, overall I'm genuinely impressed with the performance/purchase(s) for the huge savings and I got myself a 3060ti :)

Here's what you should purchase regardless of 11700 or 11700K CPU (you can go non-Noctua to save $$ but it's negligible over the lifetime so just do the right thing for higher quality and zero regrets):
  • 1 Noctua NF-A9 92mm Fan to replace Dell's 80mm exhaust fan. It fits perfectly, Dell has 92mm holes on the exhaust area
  • 1 Noctua NH-A12x25 120mm Fan to add to the front/inside case in front of the U9S. You will move/remove the 3.5" HDD bay. If you got a 3.5" HDD, you can just move it into the other 3.5 HDD bay
  • Optional 3D-printed fan bracket from anyone on Kijiji but don't spend more than $10. You can use zip-ties but let's keep it professional looking vs a janky fix ;). Here's the fan bracket https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4785786
  • Optional Noctua NF-A8 80mm Fan to add on the front/inside case below the 120mm fan for extra intake cooling, and it will blow directly on the GPU which is even better. Instead, you can use the Dell 80mm exhaust fan you upgraded above, or the fan from the Dell 80mm CPU cooler if you got the non-K CPU (which is what I did).. it has more blades and almost double the airflow of the exhaust fan.. i expected it to make more noise on full load but I can't tell quite yet.

If you purchase the 11700 (non-K), these are the additional needs but don't stress about it as it's kind of a wash... it costs $100 more to upgrade to the K-CPU variant but you're better off putting that money (+~$10) into these quality upgrades and since the non-k runs at half the wattage, you're likely saving money overall
  • 1 Noctua NH-U9S 92mm CPU Cooler to replace Dell's cooler/heatsink. People are using the Vetroo 5 with success at a lower cost and hassle as it screws directly into the Dell mounting spots. I went with the Noctua for the little extra cooling and it comes with their quality thermal paste in the box.
  • 4 M3 16mm Screws to mount the Noctua U9S cooler. Dell's mounting points are built on the case itself so you won't use the U9S backplate. These machine screws will mount the top-plate into Dell's mounting points and can be purchased from HomeHardware for $3.50 for a 5-pack https://www.homehardware.ca/en/5-pack-m ... /p/2122003
  • 1 VRM Heatsink. I can't say for sure but I believe the Deal4GO's fins are longer (better?) than Dell's as well and is what people are preferring. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B08SWS ... le_o06_s01

What you can expect? Zero, nada, nothing on fan noise during general browsing/productivity apps/video's, it's eerily silent like something isn't right but open it up and you can see the fans spinning. Under high stress, fans spin faster and you're getting full-pop speed out of the CPU and no throttling!

Why do all this? Again, you can drop thermals by 20-25 degrees (crazy right?) which means your CPU won't hit its throttle threshold under full load. An intel CPU-safeguard is to throttle speed down once it hits 90 degrees... and you will hit that threshold in seconds without these upgrades as soon as you load a game.
  • The 11700 CPU is 65W TDP and comes with a pancake cooler/heatsink and no VRM heatsink.
  • The 11700K CPU is 125W TDP and K-CPU's get a VRM heatsink & upgraded cooler but at a cost of $100 to upgrade from non-K. This upgraded cooler is adequate and not as good as the Noctua for thermals but it'll work fine. The choice is really whether you spend $100 on this K-upgrade for Dell's cooler/vrm or put that $$ into the DIY with the U9S/M3 screws/Deal4GO VRM heatsink.

Other notes: Here's a great reddit post showing the process/pictures https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/ ... l_upgrade/
Ignore the grub screws, just get the ones from HomeHardware and you don't need washers. The grubs are hard to come by and cant find em in Canada (not easily anyways or you have to order them in for over $10) and the ones referenced are for a radio control car to get a small pack of them
Don't forget to download Throttlestop too if you've gone through the hassle of improving the CPU cooler.

Intel CPUs throttle down after 1 minute of turbo to reduce power usage. Throttlestop is just an Windows app that disables that.

I wouldn't do it if you bought the Dell with water cooling, since your vrms will probably burn up.

However a high quality air cooler should do a good job.
Last edited by PerformingAzura on Jan 17th, 2022 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jr. Member
Jun 29, 2009
175 posts
52 upvotes
Mississauga
pauldryan wrote: Is that a typo? I can't find an "NH-A12x25" only an "NF-A12x25" .... did you mean the latter?

To obtain those temperature improvements which model is recommended? Speeds range from 1200 rpm to 2000 rpm with noise levels increasing commensurate with higher speeds
Yep, typo, you just need the fan itself.. NF. And yep, the variable speed is king to have whisper quiet when you’re generally browsing or in your office productivity apps
Jr. Member
Jun 29, 2009
175 posts
52 upvotes
Mississauga
PerformingAzura wrote: Don't forget to download Throttles too if you've gone through the hassle of improving the CPU cooler.

Intel CPUs throttle down after 1 minute of turbo to reduce power usage. Throttlestop is just an Windows app that disables that.

I wouldn't do it if you bought the Dell with water cooling, since your vrms will probably burn up.

However a high quality air cooler should do a good job.
Good call! I forgot about Throttlestop

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