Upgrades to gaming rig--are these compatible?

My son has an old Alienware Area 51 ALX system that he bought secondhand. He keeps having problems with various parts so I have decided to do an overhaul, salvaging the parts I can to try to keep the price down. He already has $600 into this computer and we are hoping to get him back online and with better performance for around $700 more.

Here are the parts I have picked out so far:
ASUS EAH5830 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX

ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

I have ordered Windows 7 home premium 64 bit.

We plan to reuse the Alienware ALX Full tower case which has an AlienIce 2.0 video cooling system with acoustic dampening. I don't know anything about liquid cooling except that it is supposedly better than air cooling. The reservoir at the top of the case has hairline cracks so there is leakage if the case is tilted or laid on its side. If I understand correctly, I will need an adapter to fit the new GPU. This system was made by Koolance. When I checked their website there are adapters for a 5850 and 5870 GPU but not the 5830 I have chosen. Any advice here would be greatly appreciated. Realizing that both the GPU and the CPU that I picked come with their own fans, could the liquid cooling issue be put on hold for a while until he saves up more money?

Other parts I plan to reuse include:

HD- set up as a system drive: extreme performance Serial ATA Raid 0 148GB (75GB x 2) Serial ATA Raid 10,000 RPM w/16MB cache and storage drive: extreme performance Serial ATA Raid 0 500GB (250GB x 2) Serial ATA Raid 7,200 RPM w/16MB cache

Optical Drive one: Lite-On 16X DVD 52X36X52X CD-Rom drive
Optical Drive two: NEC ND-3520 16X Dual layer DVD +/- R/W drive

Not including the new OS, the upgrades are now at $665 - $40 in mail in rebates. I am buying on Newegg unless someone can suggest a better source. My son is not being patient about this since his system has been out of commission since Tuesday, so I am planning to place the order tomorrow.

I would appreciate any comments, advice and suggestions anyone may have.

5 answers Last reply
More about upgrades gaming compatible
  1. $664.95

    ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 + AMD Phenom II X4 955
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB + Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W
    SAPPHIRE 100282-3SR Radeon HD 5850

    Can't help you with the cooling I wouldn't bother with water cooling.

    A quick googling and apparently that big case might take only mATX mobos, is that right? If that's true, here's some other combo:

  2. So you advise downgrading the mobo and power supply and putting the extra money into the GPU, right? Will the wattage of the Antec be enough if the cooling system is also active and drawing power?

    I don't know much about the memory you suggested, I had always heard that crucial was top notch. If this is solid, that would be great.

  3. Yep, the system will draw less than 400W and the GPU is the most important part for gaming.

    G-Skill is very good.

    Check what kind of mobo fits in the case and if a regular ATX PSU (5.9" x 5.9" x 3.4" is that Antec) also fits, these custom PCs use often different standards, might have to get a new case as well.
  4. I measured the mobo yesterday and it was 9.5 x 12". I didn't think about the PSU though -- thanks for the info.

    Appreciate the input:)
  5. It's ATX and ATX is better to get than mATX, get the first combo.
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