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2 Bronze

Want to Upgrade my X51 (current i5 2320, gt545, 240w psu)

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Hey all,

I've had my x51 about a year and a half now and have loved it.  It's def not a high end rig but it gets the job done.  Anyway the time has come where I'd like to get more out of it without replacing entirely.  I would love to buy a new system but upgrading my current one prevents my gf from realizing I spent more on my computer 

Here are my questions:

1.  I understand that the power supply sucks and that it is an "external" PSU which I'm not as familiar with than the traditional internal.  Is it as simple as buying the 330W adapter, plugging it in and presto!?  or is there some internal modification I will need to do as well?

2.  Assuming I can upgrade to the 330 PSU, I'd like to possibly upgrade my CPU, GPU, and maybe throw in a SSD, while keeping the HD since its a ton of storage.

From random searching I found these options, however I'm not sure how true they are...

  Motherboard - do all the x51's have the same motherboard? (just curious on this myself)

   CPU  - I've found threads saying I could potentially upgrade to a i7-3770?  I've also heard that with the x51 you can't overlock so it is not worth it to get the 3770k, is this true?

  GPU -  I've heard possibly being able to up this to a GTX660 or GTX670?  Would love to have a ddr5 1.5 or even 2 gig dedicated card if possible.

RAM - I believe i have 8 gigs now, would 16gb make a big difference for games like Battlefield, SC2...

3.  If the 330w PSU really isn't an option, which hopefully is not the case... what are the best upgrades with the stock 240 POS PSU

Thanks for reading and any suggestions!

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Hi Mikeb619,

To upgrade any desktop you would have to upgrade things like Power Supply, RAM, Processor and the Graphic Card. So with your Alienware X51 desktop you can make the following modifications. Dell has tested this system with the configuration below without changing the motherboard:

  1. Processor: Intel Core I7-3770 Quad Core 3.4Ghz, 8MB Cache
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, 1.5Gb as the Graphic card which comprises of DVI, Display port and HDMI port to connect to the monitor / TV.
  3. Ac adapter required will be 330W with the above configuration. No internal changes required. Just purchase one from Dell and plug it in. Done.
  4. RAM supports upto a maximum of 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333 MHz (4gbx2) which is more than sufficient for all the games as of today
  5. This computer has 3 SATA 2.0 ports, but however the chassis can house only 2 SATA drives at a time. So, if you want to plug an SSD drive then you may have to unplug the DVD drive and take it out if you have any. You can also purchase an external USB DVD drive for DVD playback/burning purposes if you really want to plug in the SSD.

We at Dell use just one type of Alienware X51 motherboard. Its a Mini-ATX form factor motherboard. I would recommend not to replace the motherboard, but just upgrade the components mentioned above.

Hope this helps and your girlfriend doesn't get to know about it..! 

Thanks & Regards,
Jyotpal F
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, order & dispatch status -> choose your region USA; India. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click here

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4 Tellurium

As long as the video card you are getting has the same 6-pin connector you should have no problem. The GTX 670 has the same connector as the GTX 660, but as I mentioned, it is not validated by our L3 crew.

Alienware-AlexanderJ
Dell | Alienware Technical Support & Community Manager Alienware Arena
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

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Hi Mikeb619,

You are welcome!

The GTX 660 , 660ti and 670 are all compatible with the X51. You can buy any of them. But if you have to choose between 660 and 660ti then I would recommend going for the 660 because the performance of both the cards is the same. Secondly, 660 draws 140Watts than 660ti which draws 150Watts. If you want to choose between 660 and 670, I would recommend going with the 670 because performance wise 670 beats 660 hands down and 670 draws 170 Watts. For more details, click here for the comparison between the two and the other cards. (select other cards from the drop down list)

In short, you can either choose between GTX 660 or GTX 670 (choose this if you wish to play games at very high resolutions like 2560x1440 etc. ) as both will work fine with the 330W AC Adapter. I would strongly recommend you to purchase the AC Adapter from Dell itself for the Alienware X51.

Reference Designs are basically original cards from the manufacturers itself like NVIDIA and AMD/ATI. Non-Reference Designs refer to third party companies collaborating with NVIDIA and AMD/ATI to manufacture their own cards for example ASUS collaborates with AMD to manufacture graphic cards. Similarly companies like Sapphire and MSI collaborate with both NVIDIA and AMD to manufacture graphic cards. Its upto you which card you want to purchase. Generally its better to get the cards directly from the manufacturer so that the card can perform at its best. For example GTX 670 manufactured by Sapphire will have different performance than that manufactured by MSI, could be lower or better. So best bet is to get directly from the maufacturers. (NVIDIA and AMD).

As far as Battlefield 4 is concerned, it will run smoothly with the 660 as well as 670

Hope this helps.

Thanks & Regards,
Jyotpal F
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, order & dispatch status -> choose your region USA; India. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click here

View solution in original post

10 Replies
Highlighted

Hi Mikeb619,

To upgrade any desktop you would have to upgrade things like Power Supply, RAM, Processor and the Graphic Card. So with your Alienware X51 desktop you can make the following modifications. Dell has tested this system with the configuration below without changing the motherboard:

  1. Processor: Intel Core I7-3770 Quad Core 3.4Ghz, 8MB Cache
  2. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660, 1.5Gb as the Graphic card which comprises of DVI, Display port and HDMI port to connect to the monitor / TV.
  3. Ac adapter required will be 330W with the above configuration. No internal changes required. Just purchase one from Dell and plug it in. Done.
  4. RAM supports upto a maximum of 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333 MHz (4gbx2) which is more than sufficient for all the games as of today
  5. This computer has 3 SATA 2.0 ports, but however the chassis can house only 2 SATA drives at a time. So, if you want to plug an SSD drive then you may have to unplug the DVD drive and take it out if you have any. You can also purchase an external USB DVD drive for DVD playback/burning purposes if you really want to plug in the SSD.

We at Dell use just one type of Alienware X51 motherboard. Its a Mini-ATX form factor motherboard. I would recommend not to replace the motherboard, but just upgrade the components mentioned above.

Hope this helps and your girlfriend doesn't get to know about it..! 

Thanks & Regards,
Jyotpal F
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, order & dispatch status -> choose your region USA; India. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click here

View solution in original post

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2 Bronze

Hey Jyotpal,

Thanks for your response, I wasn't expecting it to be answered so well!  Just wanted to double check 1 thing.

For the videocard, i found this link... alienware-x51.wikia.com/.../Alienware_x51_Wiki that talks about various components.  The 680 seems like it wouldn't be worth it because of the custom modifications to the case but how bout the 670 as opposed to the 660ti?  I want this to be able to handle BF4 as best as possible when its released.

And I see it mentioned twice there, a "reference" and "non-reference", do u know what that means?

Thank you so much!

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Hi Mikeb619,

You are welcome!

The GTX 660 , 660ti and 670 are all compatible with the X51. You can buy any of them. But if you have to choose between 660 and 660ti then I would recommend going for the 660 because the performance of both the cards is the same. Secondly, 660 draws 140Watts than 660ti which draws 150Watts. If you want to choose between 660 and 670, I would recommend going with the 670 because performance wise 670 beats 660 hands down and 670 draws 170 Watts. For more details, click here for the comparison between the two and the other cards. (select other cards from the drop down list)

In short, you can either choose between GTX 660 or GTX 670 (choose this if you wish to play games at very high resolutions like 2560x1440 etc. ) as both will work fine with the 330W AC Adapter. I would strongly recommend you to purchase the AC Adapter from Dell itself for the Alienware X51.

Reference Designs are basically original cards from the manufacturers itself like NVIDIA and AMD/ATI. Non-Reference Designs refer to third party companies collaborating with NVIDIA and AMD/ATI to manufacture their own cards for example ASUS collaborates with AMD to manufacture graphic cards. Similarly companies like Sapphire and MSI collaborate with both NVIDIA and AMD to manufacture graphic cards. Its upto you which card you want to purchase. Generally its better to get the cards directly from the manufacturer so that the card can perform at its best. For example GTX 670 manufactured by Sapphire will have different performance than that manufactured by MSI, could be lower or better. So best bet is to get directly from the maufacturers. (NVIDIA and AMD).

As far as Battlefield 4 is concerned, it will run smoothly with the 660 as well as 670

Hope this helps.

Thanks & Regards,
Jyotpal F
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, order & dispatch status -> choose your region USA; India. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click here

View solution in original post

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2 Bronze

Your the man! cleared up all my last questions

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Hi Mikeb619,

Am glad we were of help to you!

In case if you have any other questions or queries feel free to reach back to us and we will be more than happy to help you.

Take care and you are one step closer in deciding how to upgrade your Alienware along with keeping your girlfriend happy! Wish you all the luck.

Thanks & Regards,
Jyotpal F
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell’s products, services and drivers & downloads, order & dispatch status -> choose your region USA; India. For helpful Dell Support Videos, you may click here
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Hi I don't know if this is the correct place to post this as i see that this thread is old, but I have one more question having to do with the above posts. I have the same system as stated above and would also like to upgrade my GPU. Assuming I buy the power supply needed as well as one of the recommended GPUs. Is it required to upgrade the whole system CPU ram and all or can i get away with just the GPU and still have a stable system? I would appreciate a response on this old thread.

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2 Bronze
Hey Jeremy I have the same system as well, I upgraded a while back basically shortly after I got mine X51 (Dec 2012). I installed the EVGA 660ti 2gb. I paid about $250 then, but its hard to find the 660ti cards nowadays. You want to try and find a card that has the blower out fan like the EVGA cards. If you can wait for the 800 series from Nvidia I would wait for get the Nvidia 760 as the performance is on par maybe a little better in some cases than the 660ti, or get a cheap Nvidia 660, just remember that the 660 is starting to show its age while it still runs most games no issue not sure how much longer it can max games out. I can't max Titanfall with my Current GPU almost just the Textures I have to turn down from Extreme to High. My current system: Intel i7 3770 16gb Crucial Ballistic Sport @ 1600mhz 1Tb HDD 330w PSU EVGA 660ti 2gb
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4 Tellurium

Hi Mikeb619,

1. As you said it, as easy as buying the 330W AC adapter and plugging it.

2.1. Motherboards are the same on X51 R1 models.

2.2. The I7-3770 is the highest we support on this model.

2.3. The GTX 660 is the highest we support on this model.

2.4. To get all usable RAM, the best is to use Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8 Pro. They have better handling on RAM.

3. Unfortunately, you need to upgrade to the 330W AC adapter to get anything else upgraded.

If you need more information on possible upgrades, please visit this page.

Alienware-AlexanderJ
Dell | Alienware Technical Support & Community Manager Alienware Arena
#IWork4Dell
Opening your case does not void your warranty! Check out Alienware Artificial Intelligence
I can't always reply to PM's, if you need extra assistance visit: YouTube Logo Facebook Logo Twitter Logo

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2 Bronze

Can I do a 2gig GTX 660 or does it have to be the 1.5gig like mentioned on the 2nd post?

Thanks

Edit:  I checked the upgrade page and it didn't list anything about GPU's or CPU's... just RAM, SSD, and the PSU

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