Dell XPS 8700 Side intake massive positive pressure case cooling solution


May 13, 2018
These are pretty common oem pc's but they have a flaw, the oem cooling is tragic, the rear 92mm fan is all it has, and the fan curve is very mild, and as with all things oem, you can't change it.

This is the stock Dell cooling, just the rear fan and psu, engineered around cost cutting and thermal throttling.

but once higher powered GPU's and extra drives are added, things begin to cook.
I added 4 hard drives, 3 SSD, and 1 MSATA, 9 drives total.

The 3 SSD's are hot glue'd together at the front with penny spacers.

and all the hard drives are actually secured with screws, 3 in stock mounts, and the 4th in the unofficial mount I discovered at the bottom of the case.

While not mentioned anywhere, those two holes actually match for a harddrive and are recessed.

The system was cooking, so I looked at what other's had done.



I found efforts to make a front intake were only partially successful, its too obstructed, to fit a 120 mm in the front they had to remove the stock drive cage, and I had already stuffed additional drives down the front so I had to go with a different solution

So I cut out two 120mm holes in the side panel over open-ish areas and mounted the intake fans externally.

To power the fans an external power adapter was used for ease of wiring, and side panel removal. To fit 9 drives I already had to carefully route the cables, the only place to hide them is behind the drive cage.

and now my case has such positive pressure it exhausts air out both the back and the front. There is a slight draft coming out of the flash card reader even.

The fans are Antec True Quiet 120 UFO's because of the integrated silicon rubber mounts and integrated fan speed switch. I do run them on high because they run quiet regardless.

No filters, I prefer air flow to worrying about dust, and with external power and fan wiring its no big thing to remove the side panel to give it a quick cleaning. Temps are now low 40s, sometimes 30's depending on ambient, the gpu fans are almost always idle, and the PSU's hybrid passive fan setting is likely always passive, I cannot verify this of course.

Anyways, with external power adding cooling to any oem is made easier.

And to give you an idea how cramped these cases are, the Arctic Freezer 33 E-sports cooler only clears the side panel because I omitted the wire fan clips, hence the zip ties;)

This is a good fan hole dremel guide. I managed two 120mm holes with a single disk following his directions.
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Oct 27, 2016

I put a 80mm down in the front intake on my XPS 8500. Helped a little bit, but this is quite a significant improvement.

Deleted member 88301

Speedfan does work on some Dell motherboards, like my T3500 X58 board.


May 13, 2018
what cpu fan setup is that thing is massive

Its an artic freezer 33 e-sports one, just barely fits ;)
Install is very easy though, just screws into the existing mounts.
Zip tie work around is removable as the L shaped bottom straps are held in place only tucked under the top band.

Speedfan does work on some Dell motherboards, like my T3500 X58 board.

Perhaps, I've not tried it because its asking too much of a single 92mm fan regardless.
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