Hi, I want to upgrade/fix my Alienware X51. I got the PC broken from Dell and their shitty service won't help me out. The hard drive, disc reader and LED lights were broken. They have switched the parts but it still doesn't work. After a year now, I've decided that I'll do it myself. But I need to know what can fit in there. I want to upgrade the processor (Intel Core i7-2600 CPU, 3.40gh), the RAM (8gb) I'm a real noob at this, so please help. I'm from EU btw. Price doesn't matter.
I actually have a few of those. Surprised they didn't get it working for you.
Take off the side panel and you'll see the space you have to work with. Most video cards will fit in there and it comes down to the wattage on the adapter you have plugged in. The highest one im aware of is 330w and the lowest that ships with an x51 is 250w.
So for the 250w youre looking at up to a gtx660 or 7850. The 330w ive seen people cram gtx680s in there with some modifications. A titan or hd7950/hd7970 is kinda out of the question.
Wide video cards will not fit but anything sub 30cm or so on length should fit
The motherboard in that system is an h61 with two ddr sockets. So youre looking at 16g max in a 2x8 configuration.
The mobo has 3 sata headers to use how you want. You can fit one 3.5 hard drive at any one time. Ive seen people do three ssds, two ssds and one optical, two ssds and one 3.5, ect and so on.
If you update the bios any ivy bridge or sandybridge cpu will be supported. However the jump is minimal performance wise and the thermals can go either way.
The lights are controlled by two cables that plug into a front io board that lead from it to the side panels. Software in windows controls how the lights do their thing.
One warning the power distribution board under the optical drive is not shielded at all. The capacitors are open and you can easily touch them which would be unpleasant.
I worked for Dell in the US and I realize how shitty their EU support is, however if you've had enough service calls its general policy to replace the entire system with a refurb/new and I might suggest emailing their customer care department with a list of your service calls and the fact the system still doesn't work. Be calm and professional and customer care can do damn near anything it wants but they will brush you off if you're acting annoying.
If you are looking to upgrade to anything above a GTX 660TI in regards to a 330w PSU system, I would suggest buying a second power supply, dc jack cable, and wire and cable heads for a 6 pinx2 pcie cable to single male out as a power bridge cable. Then you will be able to run 660w into this system with the largest mod requiring you to drill a hole into the case for the extra power supply cable to plug into. This solution does work and I will be trying to post some pics or a video on the mod soon.