1 Copper

X51 R3, question regarding factory mounting of radiator

Hello Dell/Alienware team & Dell community members,

I have a quick question regarding how the stock liquid cooler was mounted in the X51 R3 desktop from the factory. I recently upgraded a non-liquid cooled X51 R3 to an i7-6700k and installed the factory water cooler which I purchased online.

When going to install the radiator portion on the back of my X51 r3, I ran into a bit of an obstacle. I couldn't figure out where to screw in the radiator to the back of the chassis as there were no pre-drilled holes for it on my chassis. Being in a bit of a rush to get the cooler installed, I simply drilled some pilot holes in the back and mounted the radiator, just to find that I had drilled the holes too high and the side panel wouldn't close.

When going back and doing a bit more investigation online (I know I should have done this first lol, lesson learned), I noticed that the holes are pre-drilled in those two circular sections on the back of the case. Silly me, I should have looked first before drilling.

Here's what threw me off though. A while back, I was looking at this system for sale to determine the feasibility of upgrading a non lc cooled X51 to the OEM liquid cooler:

With liquid cooler, no holes 

Notice, he lists this R3 as having liquid cooling, but where are the holes in the back for the rad? Here's another one that was reviewed when the X51 r3 was new with the factory installed AIO:

X51-r3 WITHOUT holes 

Again, no holes.

Here is a factory shipped system, WITH the holes.

X51-r3 WITH holes 

This is what screwed me up, and of course banging my head after the installation lol, at least it worked:

Mangled R3 

So my question to Dell/Alienware or any knowledgeable members, how was the liquid cooler mounted without the screw holes on the R3? Just taped on the inside or some other mounting solution I can't see? Can someone with a factory-installed R3 AIO without the screw holes chime in?

I have tons of photos of this stuff, so please ask if I was unclear about anything and I will do my best to clear it up. In the x51 r3 service manual if you look closely enough at the "removing processor cooler" part for the AIO, you can see the pre-drilled holes in the two circular sections in the back, so how was it mounted without holes???

P.S.: Here's another weird thing. I have an X51 R2 laying around, after screwing up with the X51 r3, I decided, let me look at the back of the R2, and low and behold, it had the screw holes for the rad!:

X51-R2 rear - with rad holes 

So what's going on here guys? I know the x51 r2 can support the i7-4790k, so did some systems come with the option to add the R3 liquid cooler to the R2, because I thought the R2 never came with a factory-installed water cooling option?

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1 Copper

Re: X51 R3, question regarding factory mounting of radiator

bump, anyone?