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Need advice on alienware x51

Hello everyone, I would like to know if you can replace the video card (nvidia geforce gt 545) on the baseline x51 alienware computer with a card like the amd radeon 7850 or 7870. I know their are psu and heat concerns and would like to know if its still possible.
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  1. So there's no way at all?
  2. what about if I used a 7750 or 7770? Would it work and if it did would the improvement over the 545 be worth the money?
  3. the cases width is 3.74". all high end cards will not fit that width most likely.

    edit: you essentially need a low profile card


    after doing a google search, there isnt alot of high end low profile gpus in the western side of the world, as the low profile 6850 exists in japan. and all the other low profile cards arent that much of an improvement vs the 545


    doing an ebay search on the afox 6850, that thing is priced at ~400$. better of buying a new base system at that rate.
  4. junk the alienware and salvage what you can from it: hard drive, ram, psu and fans and then build what you really need.
  5. This isn't my system, its my friends but i've seen people upgrading the higher up x51's with amd radeon 7870 and 7850 (on youtube) so i assumed the only problem he'd have with the lowest x51 is the lower psu (250 watt) vs the higher up x51's with the 350 watt psu
  6. Best answer
    essentially, if your friend wants to upgrade he needs to:

    Upgrade a PSU for a better card
    Upgrade the Case to a more sizable one(im makign the assumption you can take the mobo out of the case and move it.
    then buy the gpu if its mid to high end.
  7. dudewitbow said:
    essentially, if your friend wants to upgrade he needs to:

    Upgrade a PSU for a better card
    Upgrade the Case to a more sizable one(im makign the assumption you can take the mobo out of the case and move it.
    then buy the gpu if its mid to high end.



    Okay, well thanks for the advice. I'll have to talk to him and see what he wants to do.
  8. Best answer selected by thechuck11.
  9. Lol nobody on here knows nothing about the x51.

    The best graphics card that it can be upgraded to is the gtx 670 if you have the 330 watt psu. You just pop it in there. Easy as that.

    On the 240 watt psu like the one you have, a Amd Radeon hd 7770 is a good upgrade.

    Yeah also look at this vid. Guy put a gtx 670 in his. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCKom0NsPSY
  10. Norrec69 said:
    Lol nobody on here knows nothing about the x51.

    The best graphics card that it can be upgraded to is the gtx 670 if you have the 330 watt psu. You just pop it in there. Easy as that.

    On the 240 watt psu like the one you have, a Amd Radeon hd 7770 is a good upgrade.

    Yeah also look at this vid. Guy put a gtx 670 in his. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCKom0NsPSY


    do listen to this fool. if he is not trolling then hes of the lesser experience crowd.

    a 670 alone will pull anywhere from 175-200 watts plus you have fans, motherboard, wireless adapter, and lets not forget the cpu to feed. the cpu will prolly add another 100w but you havent told us what cpu you have so i cant be 100% accurate.

    a bare minimum system will pull about 325-350 with a 670 and that with a 330w psu might not even boot. there is a reason nvidia says a minimum of a 500w psu is required.

    on top of power requirements the x51 cannot fit a card longer then 9". a 670 is 9.5"(ref design) so you will have to be careful of which card you choose and make sure its under 9". so are some arent. i saw a few 7850's under 9" so look into them at the same time look into a new power supply
  11. cbrunnem said:
    do listen to this fool. if he is not trolling then hes of the lesser experience crowd.

    a 670 alone will pull anywhere from 175-200 watts plus you have fans, motherboard, wireless adapter, and lets not forget the cpu to feed. the cpu will prolly add another 100w but you havent told us what cpu you have so i cant be 100% accurate.

    a bare minimum system will pull about 325-350 with a 670 and that with a 330w psu might not even boot. there is a reason nvidia says a minimum of a 500w psu is required.

    on top of power requirements the x51 cannot fit a card longer then 9". a 670 is 9.5"(ref design) so you will have to be careful of which card you choose and make sure its under 9". so are some arent. i saw a few 7850's under 9" so look into them at the same time look into a new power supply
    I dont know where you get your myths about this machine from but it can fit a gtx 670. The system pulls around 250 watts with the gtx 670 in it (provided you have the 330 watt power supply). It can fit a card up to 10.6 inches.

    Come at me with your misinformation bro!
  12. when calculating power supply, you have to remember that a PSU cannot suply all the labeled wattage to a 12v rail, so in reality, the # should be a bit less. after watching an installation video on the card, it has a modified PCI-E mobo slot so it can fit cards, but is limited to certain legnths(that of I dont know). but regardless, I still wouldn't like to test a gtx 670 in such system though. I can agree with the original statement of the 7850 due to the fact that it can be a low form factor, and is power efficient overall(strongest 1 6 pin connector GPU besides the 7870 I think). The thing to watch out for is how the GPU is installed, because the entire case as a whole is a minibuild(Dell's purpose on building the actual machine was to make it as tiny as possible), which would limit air circulation throughout the case.
  13. dudewitbow said:
    when calculating power supply, you have to remember that a PSU cannot suply all the labeled wattage to a 12v rail, so in reality, the # should be a bit less. after watching an installation video on the card, it has a modified PCI-E mobo slot so it can fit cards, but is limited to certain legnths(that of I dont know). but regardless, I still wouldn't like to test a gtx 670 in such system though. I can agree with the original statement of the 7850 due to the fact that it can be a low form factor, and is power efficient overall(strongest 1 6 pin connector GPU besides the 7870 I think). The thing to watch out for is how the GPU is installed, because the entire case as a whole is a minibuild(Dell's purpose on building the actual machine was to make it as tiny as possible), which would limit air circulation throughout the case.
    The gtx 670 in the x51 gets around 70 degrees Celsius on load. No problem having one installed in the x51. A bunch of people have them installed in their x51. Its a recommended upgrade.
  14. Norrec69 said:
    I dont know where you get your myths about this machine from but it can fit a gtx 670. The system pulls around 250 watts with the gtx 670 in it (provided you have the 330 watt power supply). It can fit a card up to 10.6 inches.

    Come at me with your misinformation bro!


    plus the power supply comes with only 2 6 pin pcie plugs so your upper range gpus are out. and lets look at some power usage numbers.

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1925/13/

    http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-670-2-and-3way-sli-review/4
    "On your average system the card requires you to have a 500~550 Watt power supply unit."

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-test-review,3217-15.html

    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_670_Power_Edition/26.html

    some of those give just gpu power consumption so you will need to add between 150-200 to those totals minimum to get a power consumption that is realistic.
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