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.