I keep reading conflicting information on whether or not the GTX 970 video card is compatible with the Alienware X51 R2. I even saw a video that showed that the Dell website said it WAS compatible, but the link included now doesn't work. So I'm at a loss. Also, I am wondering if it does work, do I need to buy a 500W fan as well? Does all of this fit in the slim R2 casing? Anyone who can shine a light on this topic, I'd really appreciate it!
there are many customers on the Dell website (this forum) that have been using a GTX 970 card since last year.
You should do a search to compile a list of cards that work, there are many different GTX 970 cards in the wild and some of them might be too long or require some modification to your case.
You shouldn't consider a non-reference design card, so I will say that about 2 out of 10 you see in the shops will work perfectly. So if you don't put some effort into doing your research, I would imagine you will run into some issues.
I remember reading some reports on this forum that some users of 970s on their X51 R2 were having problems with shutdowns months after initial install of the 970. It is possible that X51 R2 power supplies have problems with the 970 that manifest in the long term.
I would be a bit cautious of using 970 on X51 R2 in spite of the reported success of many.
At the time of its launch, the GTX 970 was a hugely popular card in the community.
So manufacturers took advantage of its efficient architecture by selling highly overclocked custom versions...these operate at over 150W TDP which is above what Dell officially supports
The reference design version by PNY sold by Dell has the standard 145W TDP and according to Dell that works with the X51. Most of the GTX 970 sold in stores are NOT reference design versions.