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Alienware x51 modifying questions

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March 23, 2012 9:47:29 PM

Hi im a new member and i have been considerring getting a new computer this summer. i am currently very interested in the x51 however there are a few thing i would like to change about it. currently the x51 build im looking at is as follows:

Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
Alienware X51
Intel® Core™ i7-2600 3.4GHz (8MB Cache) with Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
8GB (2x4GB) Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz
Matte Stealth Black with Dark Chrome Accents
1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 555
1TB SATA 6Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache
DW1502 Wireless-N WLAN Half Mini-Card
Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
AlienFX Color, Quasar Blue
330W External Power Supply

i am interested in changing out the cpu to possibly a i7 2700k and overclocking it a bit. i also wanted to possibly change the 1tb to a ssd. i am curious as to whether i will be able to do this with the stock 330w since i hear the comp as is only supposedly uses about 200w. also if i needed to upgrade the power supply are there external power supplies that give more than 330w? any info is appreciated!
March 23, 2012 9:54:34 PM

Hi armenier.

I don't know why they put these crappy power supplies in these systems...

If you don't care about voiding your warrenty, go for it, however I personally would upgrade.

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March 25, 2012 10:58:47 PM

The Alienware X51 "mini HD gaming computer" has a unique selling point: it's currently the only small form factor (SFF) PC that can condense all the graphical grunt of a mid-to-high-end rig into a sleek, unobtrusive shell. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df-hardware-alienware...

I would not buy a SFF computer with intent to update the components. It's probably packed in like a swiss watch, with airflow mapped to keep areas from overheating.

The video card is a laptop card based on the gtx460 architecture -- i think. If you try to swap in anything that uses more power you'll probably get overheating issues in that case. TDP of gtx555 is given as around 150w, not sure if alienware under or over clocks their 555.

"interested in changing out the cpu to possibly a i7 2700k and overclocking it a bit. " Check the BIOS support. Remember that OC'ing drives more power and generates more heat and that case can't deal with either. Double check the chipset of the MB, not all i7-2600 MB chipsets allow OC.

From article above "However, you are limited by the form factor - the preferred setup of an SSD OS drive with a mechanical HDD for storage can't be accommodated. " So you go external disk plus SSD if you install an SSD (or you'll spend a fortune for a 400 GS ssd).

"since i hear the comp as is only supposedly uses about 200w." MAx on video is 150w, max on processor plus MB is around 125. They won't peak at same time, so 200w-250w max is about right, but OC'ing of video will add another 20-50w.
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March 26, 2012 12:02:26 AM

Consider building instead. Nice thing about a build is they can be customized to anything you want it to be. Also a 550 series card with an i7 is a bad combo. Better to go i5 with a better card. How much is this pc supposed to cost?

If you are paying the 1000+ they want, RUN!! Go with a custom with an i5 2500k and maybe a 560ti. Find a local shop if you are not comfortable building. But a custom will give much more flexibility long term. I've got a friend who has maybe 800 into his system, but he's got the amd 1090t overclocked to 3.8ghz, 8gb ddr3, 64gb ssd, 1tb drive, gtx 570, some other odds and ends but loves it. Runs anything, I'm pretty sure he maxes out skyrim at 1920x1080.

For example, my system is probably lower middle of the road, but it is about 5 years old, and I've upgraded psu, cpu, video, ram, optical, and hard drive over the years, even case, as you can see about the only thing not upgraded is the board lol. 5 years may not be typical for an old gaming rig, but it can still run about any game, and can always put a better video card in. Most likely later this year I'll rebuild and it will be an office machine for my wife.
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March 27, 2012 1:35:15 AM

Omg you annoying "build it yourself" people. Dude, listen; if you purchase the x51, you cant do much. You can upgrade the video card to a gtx 560 ti and in the future, maybe a little bit more when cards upgrade to be better with less wattage consumption. I don't know much about the PSU but on youtube, there are people with gtx 560 ti's running BF 3 at ultra settings with 50 + FPS.

Yea, its decently expensive with warranties purchased but if you're like me, who needs a small system to bring to college and does exactly what I need it to do, its a good purchase.
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March 27, 2012 1:57:56 AM

Then do what you want like people on YouTube, but don't come crying to us when it blows up the power supply after a year or so, and then you have no warranty and are stuck finding a proprietary power supply. Just offering a suggestion, but that alienware is an overpriced dell, and most computer repair guys tell you those systems are made to last 13 months, long enough to get you out of warranty. Oh well. If form factor is a problem, you do realize that they make those cases for customs?
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March 27, 2012 2:22:55 AM

Sorry I should not have been aggravated. Personally I have been a computer tech for about 3.5 to 4 years but also have a Bachelors for IT, and have been doing computer work/tinkering as a hobby for 10+ years. Don't get me wrong, Dell is better than many, but they are still a prebuilt. When you upgrade your video card, you may void the warranty, if you can find a 560ti that has the small form factor brackets. Also, a lot of manufacturers push the power supplies close to their limits. Yes it may run the new card but power supplies age, and after a while, may not be able to deliver their original voltages, if they fail they can take your motherboard, video card and or other parts with them. Plus like I said, you may void the warranty when you upgrade your video card. I don't want to see you spend over 1000 for your pc, and then have problems. It is up to you, but I can say I have done computer repairs, and see systems 1 & 2 years old come in with motherboards failed because of lower grade parts. That's another reason for the low prices, you may get a good processor and video card, but many times prebuilt companies are trying to cut costs, and may use lower grade parts. I know I used to work on macs for example, and sometimes start working on a laptop and seeing foxconn boards, most guys here will likely tell you foxconn is one of the cheapest boards you can buy. My point is look at what you are buying and make an educated decision. Most of us have been around this block a time or 2, and have learned by experience.
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March 27, 2012 2:28:35 AM

Consider an ITX build?
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March 27, 2012 6:18:11 AM

these are all good suggestions. i just found the x51 case size quite interesting because i am sick and tired of having bulky and heavy full tower computers and i liked how it didnt take up much room. are there any recommended cases that do a good job with managing airflow that arent gigantic? im looking to make a rig with a ssd for fast boot times and a good amount of ram/ cpu speed to run things fast.

- will be for gaming ofc
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March 27, 2012 7:46:23 AM

You could do ITX, as mentioned. I think I would suggest a Mini Tower. That way you don't have a full ATX tower, but if you can get one that will take a standard ATX power supply and bottom mounts, you should be good to roll. You would be limited to a Micro ATX board, but if you can load it with 8gb of ram and the i7, plus the 560ti you want, I think you would be happy for a while. Kinda late here right now, so I'll have to check and see what I can find.
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April 3, 2012 2:41:14 PM

armenier said:
these are all good suggestions. i just found the x51 case size quite interesting because i am sick and tired of having bulky and heavy full tower computers and i liked how it didnt take up much room. are there any recommended cases that do a good job with managing airflow that arent gigantic? im looking to make a rig with a ssd for fast boot times and a good amount of ram/ cpu speed to run things fast.

- will be for gaming ofc

Here you can buy the x51 motherboard for 48 euros all you need now is the case and PSU http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=14827259212
:bounce: 
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