Alienware Aurora Graphics card upgrade problem

Hi, I have an Alienware Aurora R1, 5 years old with an 5870hd card I want to upgrade, so I tried the R9 290x from Amazon.co.uk and although my computer recognizes it, it crashes when doing the windows benchmark test? also on Far cry 3 as soon as I put AA up to 4 on ultra settings again my computer shuts down.
I have used the display driver uninstaller and tried different drivers, my PSU is 875 watt and my i7 920 processer is overclocked to 3.2, and I have 6gig 133hz ram.
I think my PSU has only 18w on all the +12 rails 5 of them I think, I think the PSU might be the problem, but I'm not sure, thanks for any help.
 

Khurgen

New Member
Dec 15, 2014
3
0
IL
Hi, I am new to this forum, but have same computer. I am sure there are probably others here with vastly more knowledge, so a little more info may help with your issue. Also, providing the following can help knock out other possible causes:

1. How do you have your Graphics card connected? Are you using P14 and P15 or something else? I think the connections for R9 290x should be same in UK as USA, and according to Dell, that card requires using P15 and P16. Take a look here:

http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN128872/EN

2. What BIOS are you running? Latest for Aurora R1 is A11.

3. That card adds a lot of heat, so you should have your PCI and HDD fans running higher. Set a manual curve, or just increase them at a higher fixed rate and check your temps. Easiest way to see how your temps are is to download HWMonitor and see how much higher they are with card running.

4. Use a drive scrubber like DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) and CCleaner to remove any possible old drivers and registry values associated with them. Then download the latest drivers for your card and install.

5. Make sure your fans and radiator are clean and free of dust. Accumulated dust affects cooling. Be sure to pull off the Drive Bay shroud and get the dust behind there too.

6. I found a little info here too that may help:

http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/1wgh2f/psa_probably_290x_black_screen_fix_use_two_pcie/
 
Thanks for the help, my bios is A11 and my fans are ok, but my 5870 HD on that list of cards you linked says p14 and p15 so that is probably the issue as I just put them in the new card and the 2 pin which was dangling Iput that in to make it 8 pin, a little sticker on the cable says p16 and p17 not used on a 525 watt psu but I have 875 watt.
How would I connect p15 and p16 because that is all that is there? everything is shoved into one big connector going into the psu.
I just checked on another forum and it looks like the only two 6 pin connectors I have connected are p16 and p17, but my 5870 hd says it needs p14 and p15, I think i'll just send the new card back to Amazon.

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Hi, looking at the list of PSU requirements on the Dell site you provided the link for, they recommend an 875 watt PSU for an R9 290x so I think I may have gone for too powerful a card and my 5 year old PSU can't handle the extra load, I phoned Alienware technical support and they think that is the problem, I have looked at the AMD 7870 and the PSU requirement is like my 5870HD 500 watt. It will still be a decent upgrade, If that card don't work then I give up lol.
 
Last edited:

Khurgen

New Member
Dec 15, 2014
3
0
IL
The P16 and P17 connectors on all Aurora's have that sticker that says "not in use." It is just a common part used. So, even if you have an 875W PSU, it will still say that...mine does too, but they are active.

To verify that you have an 875W on the Aurora R1, open the side panel and look on the side of the PSU. If is says "0GM34R," then you have the 875W PSU and should be okay with the R9 290x.

The reason you need to use P15 (6pin + 2pin) and P16 (6pin) is because it needs more power than a single split lead on a rail can provide. P14+P15 is one split lead on a rail and P16+P17 is the other split lead on a rail. Therefore, to provide enough power you have to use a lead from both rails.

All of that being said, the R9 290x does have high power requirements it is asking of an older PSU. Here is a comparison between HD 7870 and R9 280x (step down from yours).

http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-R9-280X-vs-AMD-HD-7870/2192vs2161

I just upgraded my graphics card too. Had it down to R9 280x or Gtx760, either of which would be a huge improvement, yet not cause much bottlenecking. I chose the EVGA Gtx760 and have had zero issues so far.

Good Luck to you and hope you find one that works and you like:)