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Alienware X51 Upgrades

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June 13, 2012 3:35:57 PM

Hey all, a little new to the site. I have browsed through Tom's Hardware a lot, just never posted on the forums till now.

I just bought a new Alienware X51 this weekend. I was needing to upgrade my old computer, and I know most people say to build your own for cheaper and more reliable parts. But the X51 fit what I was looking for in size and function and was easy for me to snag on a deal. I was able to get the new update which has Ivy Bridge installed, which I thought would come in handy since I've seen people saying that Ivy Bridge draws less power. And Dell is running a promo for $100 off that system and I found a promo code online for another $100 off. Which made the system right around $1,000. So I thought it was a good route to go.

Was wanting to know what people think about upgrades to the Alienware X51 (i.e GPU/graphics card, maybe other components.) Was wondering what people think the best GPU to upgrade to would be. My build that I have ordered from Alienware is such:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4GHz (8MB Cache) with Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
RAM: 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (2 DIMMS)

GPU: 1GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX555 (this is the big one, wanting to know what graphics card would be best to upgrade to. I have a personal preference for Nvidia, just because that is what I have used in all my old computers. But not against using AMD.)

HDD: 1TB SATA 3Gb/s (7,200RPM) 32MB Cache

PSU: 330W External Power Supply (this is bold just for the fact that this is what hampers upgrading my GPU. What is the best card for the value and also doesn't draw too much power for 330W?)

I think that's the major things. Also, wondering what else people think that would be essential to buy to set this up in the front room for couch gaming. Want to use this basically as my next gen console before the next gen. (i.e. wireless keyboard that works well sitting around 10 ft away from 42inch screen. wireless mouse and wireless gamepad.) I have surround sound and a good set up in my front room, just wanting to use this in living room as well as maybe swapping back to computer for use in other room.

Either way, just looking for suggestions and discussion about this system. Love to hear what people think.

Also, have been reading the NeoGaf X51 thread but can't post there. So figured I'd share my adventure here.

Edit: Just found out my computer has been shipped! Estimated delivery is 6/18, will update main thread if more people are interested with info and/or I feel like wasting the time.

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June 13, 2012 10:21:25 PM

The best you can do for a GPU upgrade at the moment is a GTX 670 or HD 7870, just make sure the card you pick doesn't have a huge heatsink otherwise it will be difficult to put in and may require you to cut some stuff out of the case and or gpu
June 13, 2012 11:41:51 PM

Yea, that's what I thought and what people on the NeoGaf thread were saying. I think I might hold out hope for the GTX 660 if it ever comes out. Thinking it will be a better value and better power consumption. There is a video of someone installing the HD 7870 on the NeoGaf thread and it is a little snug. Wondering if the GTX 670 is as tight a fit or worse?
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June 14, 2012 8:11:06 AM

Wait you bought a Alienware? Why? you could get a better deal on ibuypower or on tiger direct same hardware just not alienware name all you get in a alienware is the name.
June 14, 2012 11:40:21 AM

Got an Alienware for the small size X51, size, form factor and being able to replace graphics card and what not easily. Also without the hassle of building my own computer and not having someone that is knowledgeable near by in case it didn't post the first time. Also have a Dell preferred account, so I only paid $16.00 up front and paying the rest through their credit system. A nice, compact computer that can be hooked up like a 60fps 1080p console seems super sexy.
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