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amosjun703
2 Bronze

Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Hello,

I had a quick question regarding GPU upgrades for the Alienware x51 R2.

I have heard many successful stories of people who have upgrade their x51 gpu to the GTX 970. However, dell has yet to approve this gpu.

So with that said, the new GTX 960 seems to be the perfect fit due to it's power efficiency. However, it's 128 bit bus and 2GB of VRAM is a bit disappointing. Should I forget the 960 and just upgrade to the 970? Keep in mind that I only play CS:GO and DOTA2, but I'm trying to play these at max settings with the highest FPS possible. Due to these games and their competitive nature, the higher the FPS in-game, the better your overall performance. I also plan on streaming and I know streaming+gaming at the same time will cut your FPS drastically. I want to create a cushion for myself so I am wondering if the GTX 960 will give me that cushion..

 

thanks so much

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richcz3
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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In_X51_Case_01.jpg

Added pics to show the fit in the case to show how short this model is. The card is also narrow so I adjusted the clamp tighter to keep it from moving. NOTE: it only uses one of the power pins. I've already Overclocked the card, No issues. Use either MSI Afterburner or EVGA's PrecisionX for overclocking. 

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richcz3
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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I already ordered the GTX 960 for my X51 - should have it by tomorrow. Considering the original card I had in my system was a GTX 550 Ti which requires 116 Watts. The 960 draws 120 Watts in comparison. I'm expecting little or no need to adjust the clock speed down. I currently have a  GTX670 FTW installed which I had to underclock to 70% to maintain stability because it draws 170 Watts.

In Upgrading to the 960 I lose 4GB down to 2GB in the 960 butI also get overall higher clock speeds. It will be interesting to see the effect of the 128Bit has. I've never run above 1080p anyway. As for FPS, it will be interesting to see how the 960 runs against an underclocked 670.

Anything running the modified HL2 like CS:GO shouldn't notice a difference, unless you are running higher than 1080P.  

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theAdamCurtis
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Fantastic news!

Been waiting for someone to take the plunge and order. Was going to do the same in a few weeks myself. Please please report back with your findings and stuff, definitely want to know how you get on and if it proves to be much of an upgrade as a 660 owner myself.

PS. Are you an R1 owner, or do you have the R2?

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richcz3
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Not sure if I'm an R1 or R2. I purchased mine in January of 2012.

What determines an R1 from an R2?

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richcz3
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Just did a search. I'm definitely using an R1 unit. All this means is, if it runs on an X51 R1, then it should almost certainly run on an X51 R2 unit.If I'm correct, some R2 units come with 330 Watt brick.

Again, the 960 draws 4 more watts than the 550Ti that came with mine. Keep in mind, I bought a baseline 960 for that reason. It is not OC'd and has one fan only. I want to avoid power draws that would crash the system. I'll know better when I get it installed.

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Game7a1
4 Beryllium

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Both the R1 and R2 had/have 330w PSUs depending on their configurations, but they have different power boards, which was key as to why the 90 series ran in the X51 R2 fine but not the R1. The power board on the R2 is more efficient and can handle more of a GPU power draw than the R1's power board (the R1 can handle about 170w, but anything over it might cause problems, whereas the R2 doesn't have this problem at such a threshold).

Currently owned computers:
AW13 R2 | i7-6500U | GTX 960m 4 GB + GA (R9 285 2 GB / RX 480 8 GB) | 16 GB 1600 MHz | 1800p Touchscreen | 2 x 500 GB SATA M.2 | Graphics Amplifier Performance Analysis with 13 R1
Desktop | i7-3770 | GTX 980 4 GB | 16 GB 1600 MHz | 120 GB mSATA + 960 GB SSD + 2 TB HDD | 600w PSU
Formerly owned computers:
HP Pavilion 15-n280us (given away) | Apple Mac Mini 2012 (sold)  | m15x (damaged mobo) | 13 R1 (death by unknown) | m14xR2 (Tradied In)

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richcz3
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Installed an MSI GTX 960 today in my X51 R1 and after two hours of play in Battlefield 4 I can say there has been no need to underclock just yet. The fan was just barely audible in some map areas. More importantly, the 960 only needs one of the 6 pin power cables to run it which shows how efficient it is.

As for any increased speed, on some BF4 maps there was a 6-12 fps increase, on others its pretty even. The 960 replaces a 670 FTW w/4GB that I had underclocked to 70%. I haven't tried to OC the 960 as I have to see if its stable in a variety of games before doing so. If you've already upgraded your card to something similar to the 670, even if you've underclocked it, the 960 could be considered a minor upgrade.

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SebSebSebSeb
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RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Are you using the 240w or the 330w power supply?

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richcz3
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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The power brick has a Dell PN: XM3C3 which when I looked it up is a 330w

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theAdamCurtis
1 Copper

RE: Alienware X51 R2 - GPU Upgrade (new GTX 960)

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Legend.

Thank you so much for coming back and letting us know.

How long is the MSI card? Its not available in the UK, we have offerings from Galax, Gainward and Palit instead (with the Palit being the shortest at 9.7")

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