Azka
1 Copper

Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

Nor am I sure how the data cables go.

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9 Replies
Azka
1 Copper

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

Alienware ALX ST: GVCRQL1

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Cass-Ole
4 Germanium

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

NVidia GTX 295 SLI + original 1100watt power supply

(for solo AMD Radeon 295 x 2, see follow-up post)

_______________________

Your SrvcTag says you have the 1100watt, those models are designated as 1.1 (as ordered):

  • Srvc Tags that say Standard (or STD) = 1000w (as ordered)
  • Srvc Tags that say 1.2 = 1200w (as ordered)

  • 1100w case harness = x3 Grfx cables (blu / ylw / blk)(x1 cable gets x2 connectors > primary 6 + jumper 6+2)
  • 1100w chassis = x3 12volt Grfx rails (18amps each = 216watts each)
  • each cable is on its own 12volt rail

when quantity = 2, desktop owner ordered SLI or XFire Grfx (when quantity = 1 = solo card orders) 

if you still have the original NVidia 295s, and if each Grfx card has x2 power ports, pretend:

  • the top card gets x1 connector off of the ylw cable
  • the bottom card gets x1 connector off of the blu cable
  • EACH card 'shares' the black cable
  • plug in x1 black 6pin into bottom card and x1 6pin into top card
  • x2 Grfx cards are running off of x3 12volt rails ( = 1.5 rails per card)

you're advised to use connectors 19 + 20(black) in card 1, 18 + 21(black) in card 2

Cass-Ole
4 Germanium

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

Radeon 295 x 2 + original 1100watt?

____________________

Elfiwolfe and I discussed what to try here: Area 51 ALX v1 with R9 295x2 ... synopsis below:

  • 1100w case harness = x3 Grfx cables > blu / ylw / blk = x3 12volt rails, one cable per rail

  • Y-split cables are used to reduce x3 rails down to x2 6+2 'mega cables'
  • 295 x 2 has a pair of 8pin ports > here powered by 3 cables > each 8pin port runs off of 1.5 cables

blu Grfx 6pin + ylw Grfx 6pin become part of the connecting scheme

Wolfie claimed success with this method, but ultimately decided to install Corsair Ax1500i in his Alien, using my hand-made PSU swap cable, a paid service (find me on eBAY, username = Drago_Bludvist, example search term / result = Alienware Area 51 power supply swap)

______________________________

Original 1100watt 295 x 2 Supplies ...

6pin to 8pin Y-Split cables

Typical eBAY search term: EVGA 6pin 8pin

example result: LOT of 2 w000-00-000143 EVGA 6-Pin (2x) to 8-Pin PCI-E Power Adapter GPU Graphic

EVGA Power Boost for original X58 motherboards

If you have the original J560M or XDJ4C X58 chipset motherboard, you would do well to buy / install the EVGA Power Boost (eBAY / EVGA.com / FrozenCPU.com etc) to augment 12volts directly to the PCI-E lanes

____________________________________________

Radeon 295 x 2 + original 1200w?

FYI: there's a small likelihood that the original optional 1200watt, part# VHM5V (not J297R) may, may be able to handle a solo 295 x 2 ... eBAY (or google / bing) search term = VHM5V, typical result:

  • NEW DELL 1200W POWER SUPPLY Alienware Area 51 VHM5V with Bracket KGTGV 
  • $100 / shipped = plug n' play / 5minute swap 'nothing needed'

VHM5V(+ KGTGV psu caddy) was paired to dual HD 6990s (375watts each) or dual 590s (365w each) as a factory option ... (1200w J297R was not approved for either Grfx config)

  • single 46Amp Grfx rail (12V3) = 550watts

Buyer Beware:

  • no owner input has verified if VHM5V can handle a solo 295 x 2 without shutting down (ie too much card)
  • it did manage dual-6990s (375w x 2) somehow as the only clue to its potential

Were it me, my 1st test scenario > (of course I would also use an EVGA Power Boost) > only use the Grfx cable pair coming from out of the chassis (wht + ylw) (ie do not use the case harness pair (blu + ylw)

these are the least resistive pair, since they're directly soldered to the inner board

shutdown? Test 2 = buy a pair of EVGA Y-split cables (from prior post), deploy all four Grfx cables (each 6pin connected into y-split 6pin receivers) and effectively reduce those x4 cables down to "two" cables (ie the 8pin / 6+2 ends of the y-split). Shutdown? Sell VHM5V and invest in an aftermarket single 12volt rail power supply; contact me here or eBAY for the swap cables you need

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Elfiwolfe
2 Iron

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

It worked.

I ran Battlefield 3 or 4  for 4 hours without a crash.

but I decided to upgrade the power supply and cable to future proof ability to change out the motherboard.

And the new power supply actually reduces the power consumed by the unit.

Alienware: Area-51 ALX
Processor:
Intel Core i7 975 Extreme @ 3.33GHz
OS: Windows 7 Professional, 64bit Windows 10, 64bit
HDD: 3 x 1.5TB SATA-II, 7200rpm, 32mb cache HDDs
Memory: 12GB Triple-Channel 1333MHz DDR3
Graphic: 2x ATI 5970 XFX R9 295x2
Sound: Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium
Mouse: Microsoft Sidewinder Razor Naga
Keyboard: G15 : AlienwareTactX
Media Card: 19-in-1 Media Card Reader
Optical Drive: 6X BD RW
Power Supply: 1.1 1.5KW Power Supply

Alienware: M11 Netbook

GSA 11 Information Technology Specialist

Azka
1 Copper

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

Thank you SO very MUCH for sharing your knowledge and assistance. It looks like I need to get some parts ordered.

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Azka
1 Copper

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

Thank you so very much for your input! I will certainly be in contact in the near future.

Cass-Ole
4 Germanium

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

"Nor am I sure how the data cables go" > u mean the SATA cables? 2 4 6 are on the outside, 1 3 5 are inboard, DVDs up top. Open the HDD bays door, the smoked acrylic trim - if you look carefully - numbers the drive bays from 1-6

Is that the info u needed

Azka
1 Copper

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

Forgive me, I majorly spaced out about what I was talking about. I have been out of the game for quite some time. For some reason I was thinking the power cables were data. Obviously the pci slots transfer data. Thank you very much for your help, please bear with me as I have more inquiries and issues.

I shelved this unit several years ago after I lost functionality of my SLI and had an inoperable stick of ram, college life began, things were quite hectic and money was short. I have been looking at getting it back up and running for a recently released Diablo expansion. I can't believe that the SLI worked at all when I received it considering it was only on a 1.1kw psu, though it only lasted a few years playing Fallout 3.

Unfortunately now the gfx card furthest from the processor (that's the 2nd card correct?), it's fan does not spin at all, it was just sitting there cooking so I removed it for the time being. I am unsure if it is the card failing (am I able to simply swap one out for the other to test that, with only one card installed at a time? Is there a master and a slave card?), the fact that I only have 3 gigs of ram in the mobo instead of the required system minimum of 4gb, if the psu is failing on me, if it is the bottle neck in the mobo remedied by the pci 12v power booster card (cpu-z says I do indeed have the 0j560m X58 chipset) , or if i simply have things misconnected.

One last question about how the cards are wired, in addition to the four power connectors, I also have a diminutive two pin red and black cable and I am unsure if it goes to the first card or second. I can take a pic if needed.

Oddly enough when I had both cards in attached by the sli bridge both gave me green lights in the back of the case though the furthest from the CPU wasn't cooling. It always bothered me how little room there is between the two cards for the furthest card from the cpu(second card?) to shed heat. Would it be possible to simply install them further apart and buy a longer sli bridge putting the 12v power card in between? I removed the plastic shroud that covers the gfx cards for the time being, is a a chimney for heat and should I put it back on if I get a stable sli combo running again?

I've ordered two of those 6 to 8 pin Y splitters, the 12v pci power card, and 12 gigs (mobo max) of the appropriately clocked ram. I will attempt to utilize the psu I already have in conjunction with the y splitters, ram, and 12v pci booster card when I receive them. I will attempt to uninstall the video card drivers and reinstall to see if that helps.

I will be purchasing the alienware OEM 1.2kw psu to see if that helps, but that purchase will have to wait a week or so. It is a shame that the corsair psu is so pricey. I will also be looking into a SSD in the near future as well for increase speed and decreased power consumption.

It may not be your area of expertise, however my alienware command center application also can not detect heat from the on board sensor (that may be because I upgraded it to the most current version, and my ALX is a first generation, or something else is having issues drawing proper power), and I no longer have access to all the fancy lighting this tower used to have.

Thank you for your time.

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Cass-Ole
4 Germanium

Re: Black Cables (P20, P21). I'm not sure exactly how they should be connected based on the table for the Dual 295's

I do not use nVidia cards, they either do or do not have a manual fan speed software setting in GeForce Experience. MSI Afterburner software is known to control fan speeds. If you try it out, crank the fan speed upto 50% > 75% etc, see if fan spins. Blow the fan out with compressed air, see if it was too caked up to spin. Buying a new fan / putting it in yourself to refurbish card may work or help test things.'Losing SLI' and a seemingly bad fan may indicate card failure. Maybe a driver / setting you needed to enable. You can test them one at a time to see if each produce video at least. I don't SLI and can not diagnose issues, maybe someone else can

Triple channel DDR3 1600Mhz in 3 x 2Gb or 3 x 4Gb could help the situation, given the prices all dropped on triple kits. Otherwise, if two memory sicks are installed of the same size they should still run in dual-channel mode without issue, ie 'work' in the time being. Seems like you just need to buy that 3rd stick of whatever type went bad on u

The 1100watt is rated for dual-294watt cards, your 295s are only like 285watts, I doubt it's a bottleneck power issue, though a $15 PowerBoost can help put an end to the mystery. Two cards should draw little power at idle, so, if they won't SLI just from turning the PC on and reaching the desktop, PwrBoost won't make SLI spring back to life ... it just helps the PC from shutting off under duress / gaming etc, large power loads

'simply have things misconnected' might be solved if photos were loaded. Red/Black wire you speak of rings no bells here, need photo 1st. Some ancient Grfx card may need such a wire-pair, but Alienware sold Reference cards, so a look into old 295 Reference reviews might let u know exactly whether or not it needs some dainty wire-pair to work. It may be a loose wire in the PC instead? 'Would it be possible to simply install them further apart and buy a longer sli bridge putting the 12v power card in between?'. Yes. Bottom card then runs imperceptibly 'slower' but 'cooler' in the process. (either x4 or x8 in the bottom PCI-E slot, not x16 speed in the middle slot).

Test GPU temps with and without plastic shroud, reinstall it if you prefer, based on results. 'no longer have access to all the fancy lighting'. Make sure AlienFx board's USB cable is plugged into motherboard and daughterboard - if so - burn and boot into Dell32bit Diagnostics and perform Master I/O board test, see what it says. Navigate the utility, there is no manual or instructions for it. AlienFx board should have Amber LED status light on, 10pin power plugged into it, USB_3 / MB_1 cable plugged in before it can even be on to communicate w/J560M and produce LED output.

Install CmndCntr 2.8.9, next find AlienFxTester.exe in the C drive, launch it, see if u get error = Board Not Detected

no lights will work in the above situation, board must be detected 1st

'Bad' AlienFx boards can be replaced, 3 part #'s for ALX, try eBAY:

  • FWKNT (v1.01) >< CR1KN (v1.01) >< 604GC (v2.0)
  • 604GC is a winner and these are good investment parts, always best to have a spare anyways for testing with
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