New poster needs some input

That is awesome info. I'm going to go ahead and get that Rampage III board for the time being and start keeping an eye out for a good complete R4 that I can get for a reasonable price and then restart the whole upgrade thing. It's become a passion to upgrade these systems. Weird to some maybe, but enjoyable to me.

Thank you so much for all your information. Seriously. I know that Alienware has this whole fan base, so to speak, but it has been a real pleasure and great learning experience to interact with someone who simply enjoys these computers for what they are.

I am curious, however, Ive read you mention phone activation a couple times. Im not sure what the COA label is with the 25 digit key. I have all my original documentation and original OEM alien win 7 disk. I won't bother you with questions about this until I actually get the new board. These rampages aren't exactly cheap new, hehe. Im a little unfamiliar with the COA label term or any phone number I would call to tell the automated voice "none" when asked about the new install. I'll do some research in the meantime on that.

Also, thank you for that link. That gave me some comfort and understanding that I can go ahead with the Asus x-58 Rampage III and still maintain full functionality of the daughterboard.

Looks like I have some fun upgrading coming my way! A little side note: I would never OC permanently like I did recently but I was able to get my 980x to 4.1 ghz and could have gone higher with the 1600 MHz ram Ive ordered. Its silly but I got giggly when I compared my CPU-Z score and was up there with some of the newer processors and with your cooling upgrade recommendation, my temps were pretty decent. Speaking of that, the r1s (not sure about 2-4) came with an intel overclocking program that allows moderate oc-ing and going way past manufacturer limits. I don't use it (but have it installed just to double check what cpu-z reports) because every time I tried, it would run and then want a restart every 20 mins or so and that would go on for literally days and never seemingly complete its process. I once tried a different Intel oc-ing program but it wouldn't allow me to actually change anything so I scrapped it. The Program I have is from the original cd called Intel Extreme Tuning Utility. Is that program just junk or am I doing something wrong? I just go directly to BIOS but it had an automated feature I tried and it just never seemed to work. Any thoughts on that program or is it best in your opinion to just work from the BIOS as I have been?

Ive taken up enough of your time but I just wanted you to know I very much have appreciated your help and am excited to not only get this new mobo but to eventually become an r4 owner on start playing around with it. I bought this R1 in 2009 and 8 years later, with these new upgrades (and the GeForce 1050 ti I installed), I can still keep up with today's best games. Im a big PoE player and with your help, my game time has been a blast, let alone my normal internet/Reddit use is near instantaneous now.

So I guess...just thank you. thank you for your patience, your time and sharing your knowledge.
You're welcome. I don't use Intel XTU for anything but to get temp readings. You can post about overclocking here, AlienArena or NotebookReview (Alien sub-forum, the laptoppers overclock with XTU). There are people who think that if u don't overclock permanently, u aren't doing it right (why buy a k processor if you don't OC it). I on the otherhand can't afford to possibly burn up a costly cpu by whipping it to death to go faster, so there's that

Ok, when you goto install Windows, using alien 7 DVD on blank hard drive for new Asus, after install you'll be prompted to activate with in 3days. You open the activation screen, enter your 25 digit outer COA label product key, call a toll-free #, talk to a robot, enter the corresponding digits. Robot will either allow activation without question, or, ask how many computers are using the product key - if you're asked that - the answer is zero (not 'none'). Robot then spits back 25 digits and you're activated. Certificate of Authenticity COA label's are on the rear of the case, see photo, find yours to retrieve your product key. All 25 digits need to be legible of course.


Im going to wait on the Asus Rampage gene III until I get some xtra money but I did get my new memory today and installed it.

I had to enable XMP (two options available but looks to be same timings/voltage) so I selected Option 1. Set to Level 1 OC and everything booted fine and the Mem was at 1600. Without XMP it runs at 1333 apparently. Then this issue came up:

Out of curiosity I manually set my OCing to the specs I found that you linked to that had worked great to get to to 4ghz. When I tried to do the same with the new memory set to XMP, when I booted up, my pc wouldn't post. Id get to the logo and the option to press F2 but no response. it just froze. I reset the BIOS and took out and put back in the CMOS battery and went back to what I had, XMP level 1 and stock Level 1 OC and I'm writing this now.

My question is am I not able to manually oc with the XMP for the memory turned on? It seems like I traded 1333 for 1600 but lost the ability to oc beyond the pre-installed level 1 settings. Ive been researching but can't find anyone or anything that has been helpful. I don't want to be reseting my bios every time I try a tweak. it's not exactly a simple process lol

*Edit The only change I originally made before the lock up was changing the blk to 160. I left TDC ,TDP, voltage and the turbo tech settings to the stock Level 1 OC
I suppose you can enter voltage / frequency, turn off XMP, set ratio (multiplier) to 12 (133.33 x 12 = 1600), set UnCore voltage (which may be on different page or sub-page) to +200mv, see if it boots (if so, drop to 180mv, if ok, drop to 160 >lowest voltage that's stable is best). If turning XMP off does not help, it is possible that since every chip / piece of silicon is different, that there might be some setting you have to tweak for your specific chip ... a setting that worked for one owner may only apply to their chip but not yours. Since your silicon is unique I wouldn't know what to play with to get it dialed to 4GHz. Maybe try 3.9? 3.8? A # that gets stable and working. Overclocking help might get more attention in its own post here or elsewhere

Now that I think about it, when you check the Level 1 overclock, make sure the multipliers apply to all cores and not just an overclock on one core (in a quad-core, an L1 OC might look like 33 33 33 34 for instance - if so - you manually input 34 34 34 34), Alienware got busted only overclocking 1 core in their 'pay extra for factory overclocking scheme, ie some of the overclocking levels only do one core, so u have to check the multipliers yourself / fix it yourself. Video on R4 tends to explain the scam
I ended up getting great OC settings and settled on 3.7 with the memory oc's to 1800MHz (from 1600). It was great but I decided in the long run to just use the optimal setting for the moment because...

I went ahead and got an Asus Rampage Gene III from ebay for a decent price ($165) so that should be an interesting upgrade. I'll do as you suggested with the Windows key. Once that's done, if I have to reinstall for any reason, I can just use the Alien cd like before? Also, I will be installing the new board with an SSD that I'm currently using now that has Windows 7 already on it form the Alien CD. I'll still change over the code by calling the number but my question is, will the new board immediately cause my current Windows to deactivate? As always thank you for any response.
Great price on that board. All reinstalls of 7 can happen with your original Alien install DVD, yes, but will need to be activated. If you boot into your existing hard drive, which you can, the new board will cause Windows to de-activate on the 1st boot attempt, & remind you you have 3days to activate; get online 1st, then go to Control Panel > System/Security > System, pan down to bottom, click 'activate now', grab the 25 digit product key off of your rear label, insert it into the form, then click activate online / activate now etc ... the 30second online check will let you know if you're good or not > it might activate online
If it denies activation online, you use the 'find other ways to activate Windows' option which is the toll-free phone-call method
Insert product key, it encrypts into an installation ID
Enter it into the phone > when robot asks 'how many computers is running this copy of Windows', you say 'zero' (we live in a digital world)

edit: Driver Install Order, taken from Aurora/A51 Support Page, See Asus / google for Gene III install order > what's important is Chipset 1st followed by Intel ME if applicable
Drivers Installation Path:
1. Bios Update (Optional)
2. Chipset Driver
3. Intel Management Engine Controller Driver
4. USB 3.0 driver (Optional)
5. Video Card Driver
a. AMD
6. Network Drivers
a. Broadcom 57XX Gigabit Onboard LAN Driver
b. Killer NIC Cards Drivers
i. Killer 128MB (Optional)
ii. Killer 2100 (Optional)
c. Wireless Card Driver
i. Atheros WLAN 1525 (Optional)
ii. Dell Wireless 1505 (Optional)
iii. Broadcom 4323 (Optional)
d. Bluetooth Driver
i. Dell Bluetooth Module 365 (Optional)
7. Audio Driver
a. Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi (Optional)
b. Realtek ALC888 HD Audio
8. JMicron JMB36X RAID Controller Driver
9. Silicon Integrated Systems SIL3132 Driver
10. TV-Tuner Drivers
a. Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1200 (Optional)
b. Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1250 (Optional)
11. Command Center for Desktops
12. AlienFx Media Plug-In

CmndCntr comes near the bottom, you'll need .netframework 3.5 SP1 installed 1st (when installing CmndCntr 2.8.11 > or .netframework 4.0 (when installing 2.8.9 >

How to Install Intel Chipset
Unpack the setup.exe file(s) from their folder to a new folder on desktop:
•Right Click Setup.exe > Create a desktop shortcut to the Chipset .exe
•Right click the new shortcut > Properties
•Add -overall to end of Target line it should look something like this
•"C:\Users\**YOURPCNAME**\Desktop\New folder\SetupChipset.exe" -overall
•Right click shortcut and select "Run As Administrator.
•Follow install instructions and reboot PC when installation finishes

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Niiiiiice. Thank you so much! I appreciate very much the time you took to lay all that out in such a precise way. Once it arrives and I get the time to do the actual installation of the mobo and follow all these steps, I'll give a shout just to let you know how it all went.

I'm pretty excited! When I bought this, I thought I would be good for years and I have been but the USB 3 and SATA 3 were pretty big improvements that I just couldn't reasonably compensate for. You know how cramped the space is on the OEM case and having to use a slot for a USB 3.0 pci card took away other uses for that slot. I thought it a bit ridiculous how that OEM board is designed. You put in a decent sized video card and you cover a pci port and get left with one slot to use and another if you want it jammed against a second video card if I ran SLI. (I did years back with dual Geforce 460s and found it pretty pointless and much easier to just go with a single high end card.

So I'll let you know how it goes and thank you again.

Just an FYI, when I did experiment with oc'ing my current setup, I ended up running 150 BClk, 28 multiplier, 1.65v on memory set at 9,10,9,27 (1600 oem to 1800) and QPI Uncore volts at 120. My total QPI speed was 7.2 GT/s and when I saw that, I thought I was asking for trouble. The irony is I also tried a different method of using Level 1 overclock settings, leaving the BClk at 133 and just upping the multiplier to 32 and got nearly the same CPU-Z benchmarks. I couldn't oc the ram doing that but it seemed way safer keeping the QPI speed at 6.4 and everything else on default settings. The base processor speed was only 3.3ghz but it would kick up to 4.2 when stressed.

I think some of those files, I'll pre-download just so I have them, especially the chipset drivers. It looks like I have .NET Framework 4.7. Should I downgrade to 4.0 or is that ok? I guess I also have one more question. I was considering building my step-son a rig using the OEM board I'm removing since I still have the old processor, original ram the Geforce 460s and an extra SATA HD and was going to just buy a barebones Alien case with the 875w power supply. Since I'll be activating Windows on the new board will it deactivate my original board or can I still use the original Windows CD with it?
Glad to hear things are working out on your end. There's a few decent US prices for R4 cases (, they'll have a top USB3 port at least. You could buy a front dual-3.0 5.25" thingy & plumb it into the dual-3.0 motherboard header I suppose

.net4.7 should be 4.0 with all updates past that, so no, 4.7 is the same as having 4.0. Now, .net3.5 may either need a fresh install, or, search 'Turn Windows features on or off', it might be enabled already if 4.7 is installed

As for Windows license product keys, sometimes you get access to two of them. One is the actual product key label on rear of case, one is simply by installing 7 using the OEM DVD (it will install activated w/a generic OEM key, once Windows Alien DVD checks the registry & sees you have an alienboard w/rights to OEM activation). So in one sense, you'd activate the Asus w/your rear label 9online or over the phone), in the other sense, you'd install Windows clean w/your Alien DVD onto your Alienboard & get OEM activation (simply installs pre-activated). It's because they install pre-activated from the DVD, that you have rights to Home Pro and Ultimate, regardless what your rear label says. In that sense, you'd obtain (buy) a Pro or Ultimate Alien 7 SP1 DVD, install it, then grab your free upgrade to 10 Pro by allowing an in-place upgrade 1st. Otherwise, you could take your 7Home & upgrade to 10 Home. Either way, you put 7 on one hard drive, 10 on the other, switch between them if u like, or shelve one. The idea is to get the free 10 now while u still can > even if the reality is u could wait 2 more years and still get it free, I'm not sure of the cut-off sate, but we're well past the July 2016 official cut-off date, yet I just got free 10 Home last week from an in-place 7 upgrade. Not sure if or when they'll prevent cashing in your 7 key for free 10, so, best to do it now even if u have no plan to use it. Turn 10 on a year from now (activated) and grab whatever updates it needs and move ahead with it

With 7 installed, activated, head to the 10 Media Creation Tool page, download it, run it, choose 'upgrade to 10' & in an hour you'll have it after it self-installs over your 7. Later you can clean install 10 and activate online. It's best to clone your 7 install w/Macrium Reflect free edition or Acronis & do the 10 upgrade to or with the clone, keeping your 7 install alive & well untouched. Hope that helps

In the end, to answer u, if you're still running off of the factory 7 install, or at some point installed from the OEM DVD, then chances are your rear product key (label) has never been used. Whether yes or no, 'transferring' 7 to the new board will either yes de-activate the old board or put your product key into use for the 1st time which itself de-activates rights to its use on any other board but the Asus. Only one motherboard can use your rear 7 key at any given time. You alienboard has rights to OEM activation, your Asus will have rights to the rear product key, not too shabby

You can of course install 7 onto the Asus hard drive with your OEM DVD, but then u activate it with rear product key as we discussed, that 7 DVD is good for any type clean install, activations occur on OEM boards, non-OEM boards need the rear key

For what it's worth, you can buy the Aurora R3 Chrome panels for like $82 for a new set, their 'black' removeable panel is actually chrome, error in title ... try eBay for most any other color of panels u need new or interior parts >
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I've gotten the board delivered and I've been trying to research how to connect everything once I swap out the boards. The best info I can find is this:

It's kind of all over the place and while there's some info there, I want to be absolutely sure of everything before I go ahead and do this. You've given me solid advice on everything and I truly appreciate you taking the time to help me out. I couldn't have done any of what I've done without your help and guidance.

I've downloaded all of the Asus Rampage Gene III drivers, including the chipset. I downloaded manuals for the models E5875 and the E5934. I've looked all over my board to see which one it is (ebay, no documentation) so I'm not sure which manual I should be using. Aside from that, even if I knew which manual, I'm not sure how to connect the MIO and cooling to the new board, again, based on that single thread I found.

I also found this thread:

When I click on any links, logged in the Alienware forum, they all just take me to the home page with the search bar so that's not a lot of help, hehe. I'll keep searching (working a ton of hours the last few weeks at my job) but I was hoping you might be able to steer me in a direction for the direct connections, what cables I'll need, etc. I have one USB 3.0 shor cable from my current card so that's a start I guess.

I would very much appreciate any direction you could give me on this.
One of those Arena threads tried to link to my A-51 Swap Post | The ALX-Files: Area 51 R1 Motherboard Swap Asus 4770k USB3.0 + Command Center 2.08.11 = Proud new Poppa > | > what you might do is make a new post here, title it Aurora motherboard swap or similar, and explain your adventures / add pics etc once you start the teardown / rebuild

The PDF Srvc Manual | manual_en-us.pdf | can explain how to get things in & out; since the alienboard is a basic motherboard, your Asus can apply to those steps that concern mainboard reassembly. AlienTube has some videos concerning disassembly | | where reassembly is mostly the reverse scenario, pan down their page for diassembly & others in their Aurora archive

*Cooling: when the motherboard comes out of its tray there will be a plastic cooler 'backplate' > drop Asus onto tray, bolt it down, place cooler + reteion ring over CPU socket, align retention ring screws to the backplate & bolt it down
*Connection of MIO board is as simply as plugging its 5x5 USB cable connector onto an open motherboard USB2.0 header
*Front Panel Wiring: alienboard uses an MSI JFP1 front panel pinout which corresponds to the microtext printed on mthrbrd front panel header (yellow-multi-color header, bottom right of alienboard
As is or was common on Asus boards they use a 10x10pin header, MSI use a 5x5. It is typical to abandon your 5x5 for either a new 10x10 DuPont (10x10 / 20pin / 2x10pin etc), or use your 5x5 and get another 5x5 (so they rest next to each other > a pair of 5x5 = a 10x10), or, buy 2pin insulators as seen in photos (there'd be two options: you can keep the 5x5 & transfer PwrSw into a 2pin -or- ditch the 5x5 and just use x3 2pins) you have several options.
dupont 10p.JPG 3513_s-l1600_jpg-550x0_jpg-550x0.jpg klengen_jpg-550x0.jpg Capturez87.JPG
My Z87 above uses a 10x10 bought from here >!22307!US!-1
If a pin or pins inside the 5x5 need to be backed or moved, re-arranged, take a needle and lift the plastic retention arm up (the pin stopper) while backing the pin out. This is normal if a case has front panel wiring (pre-assembled into a connector as yours is) that differs from new mthrbrd. You must adapt your front panel connector wiring to whatever the new mthrbrd needs. Again, the JFP1 photo tells you what the pins are, thereby explaining what the colored wires are for

I could be wrong, looks like 5934 added SLI support at bottom, but they're otherwise the same manual, I guess. Use either. This uTube has some info, but he was wrong to cut up the front panel wiring, he needed to back the pins out and transfer them in ways I described for you w/pics > Alienware Aurora R4 Barebones Case PC Build | | you have to put Aurora motherboard swap (or upgrade) into google, do a site and image search (images can link to build logs), see what u scare up

SirGwain's pics are gone >
Last, because the Asus Gene was the name for micro-ATX, you can try an Aurora Gene search at this forum > gene
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I noticed in the picture above the schematic for your Z87, your 2-pin connectors seem to be connected to some kind of riser. Are those single pin headers for the PLED? I got my board for $165 but it came with the I/O plate, two SATA cables and that's it. It's hard to tell how those two pin headers are connected, particularly concerning the PLED since that appears to need a two-pin header to a 3-pin header with a space in between the pins to go from the MIO to the Rampage.

On the "2 5x5 so the rest next to each other" I take it that's on the MIO board but Im not sure how that then would work on the 10-pin on the board. Honestly, just using the 3x 2 pin headers seems like my best choice but as I said am confused when it comes to the PLED.

Also, the reset. I take it that's just not used/connected like the speaker one?

That was incredibly detailed information. Thank you so much for again taking the time to compile it. I'm very close to having a full understanding of all the aspects of what's going on, how to do it and then how to activate my Win 7 key again. I'm sitting here right now looking at my rampage in it's static bag thinking "Soooooooon....." hehe. I just want to be damn sure I've got all my bases covered and all the supplies I may need when I do this. Now that I have more understanding, I'm going to open up my R1 here shortly and see what headers, USB connectors, etc I already have. I'm looking for a schematic now for the Rampage mobo for the USB connectors I may need. As I look at my board, I also need to figure out where each fan connects, i.e. CPU fan, Cha_Fan2, Cha_Fan1. Opt_Fan and PWR_Fan in relation to how the current X-58 is hooked up.

Edit: I did find these:

Would I just buy two, re-label as the above pic and just not use some on the second one I would buy? Im having a hell of a time looking up 2-pin female to female motherboard headers. Getting everything but and this is the closes Ive come to.
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***"I noticed in the picture above the schematic for your Z87, your 2-pin connectors seem to be connected to some kind of riser." >>> That picture isn't mine, I'm using a 10x10 DuPont (2 x 10), however my box did come with that, it is an Asus Q-connector, you can buy those on eBay, they may or may not be newer than your board, but matching ones would fit / work / be texted right. That guy's using single 1pin insulators yes, those can be bought too

Switching up front panel wiring's always fun. For typical mthrbrd front panel connexions, DuPont-type connectors come in a (single-row) 1pin, 2pin, 3pin or (dual-row) 5pin / 10pin (there are single row 5s & 10s also, you'd typically use two of them, stacked). Your Aurora has a 5pin (5x5), so in order to mate to this new 10pin (10x10) your choices are to obtain a new set of 1pin, 2pin, 3pin, get another 5x5 or a new 10x10, they'd all work & there is no 'best way', & a Q-connector's optional

I'll pretend you get another 5x5, & looking at your chart I posted, you'd remove PwrSw wire/pin pair > transfer them to a new 5x5 > with newly opened slots, move the PLED (-) over one. Think of it this way: instead of 'knowing already' I have a solid 10x10, I could've easily said it's a pair of 5x5s, you wouldn't be able to tell since they'd stack next to each other and geometrically align as a 10x10, two square 5x5s = rectangle 10x10 > regardless, get another 5x5 & re-use your 5x5 along with it, or get a 10x10, they all work. My Asus started out as a pair of 5x5s, later I bought a solid 10
***"using the 3x2 pin headers seems like my best choice but as I said am confused when it comes to the PLED." >>> Fine, if you like 2pin insulators, then get two of them, & then either get a pair of 1pins or a 3pin, that's how your 10pin header 'pins out as' on paper. When people move from an MSI board to something else, it's common to have to obtain suitable insulators, identify what all the wires / pins are for currently on old mthrbrd, back pins out (with a needle) if needed, re-arrange them if needed to new motherboard panel's pin scheme

'Reset' isn't used (but can be if you buy it, where to put it is up to you), dual-wire speakers aren't used but a tiny speaker can be bought (search motherboard reset switch > / search motherboard speaker >

I'm not digging your amazon link cable. I'd try something else, but yes you can buy pre-assembled cables and rob the connectors you need off of them, easily, just lift pin-lock tabs with needle and back pins out. I don't shop for these things much, but here are some tips:
Duponts >

If you see something close, buy it & rob the insulators. Links / search terms have mish-mash of results
Motherboard Front Panel >
Motherboard header >
motherboard power led >
motherboard power on >

When in doubt, pay Cheng, she's trust worthy as ****, takes a week >

The MIO board has a dedicated 'fan cable', attached right now to your alienboard's CPU_Fan header; place it on Gene's CPU_Fan header > it affects radiator ('system') fan output; from there, a Bios setting (if available) can tweak rad-fan speed / behavior. That is the only 'fan' connexion to make, MIO will then ultimately control all the case fans + monitor the cooler pump.
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Thank you very much. You've cleared up any confusion I had and I'll decide on either the DuPont 10-pin or go with Cheng's offering if I also go with the Q-connector. I found one that will work but I'm understanding now why you chose the 10-pin. It's just easier to deal with. I guess all there is to do now is go over everything you've given me one more time, take some notes and get to it. I think I'll do as you mentioned a while back to take pictures of my change over and make a new post here so other can maybe see the process in action. I got very lucky to have benefitted from your knowledge and time and it's only right I document it all with pictures so if others look for what I did at the start, they'll have my new thread and this one to use.