Alienware x51 upgrade?

yAAAAAb

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May 24, 2014
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So, it's almost summer, which means I'm about to do quite a bit of gaming. I have an x51, and here are the specs. I have an Intel i7-4770 CPU, NVIDIA 760 1.5gb GPU, 1tb Hard Drive, 8gb RAM, 330w PSU, and some other stuff I'm probably missing that's not important.

Anyways, I was thinking of upgrading it, but there isn't much room to do so. So, I was thinking of doing a rebuild, putting it in a new case, and in the process, maybe upgrading something, like putting in an SSD or getting a new GPU. Definitely getting a new PSU and better cooling. I originally wanted to build my own gaming PC, but wanted to learn a bit more about computers before I did so.

I was wondering if changing the case is a good idea, or if it is even possible? I read somewhere that the motherboard for the x51 is all messed up and in 3 pieces, and soldered to some parts with short wires, or something like that. If I did upgrade the case, I was thinking of getting something in the corsair obsidian line, I love those cases, especially the ones with the clear sides.

If I do decide on doing this, I will probably go to Micro Center and ask one of them for their advise. I was wondering if anybody else has done this, and could tell me how the process went? Any complications or problems arise? Was it worth it?
 

SWAT_Glock

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I would not put the guts of the X51 inside another case. The point of the X51 is its small form factor. If it were me, I'd add an SSD and make that your boot drive. Use the 1TB drive for storage.
 

ADOR

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Mar 16, 2014
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The three pieces you are talking about are not part of the motherboard. Part of the powersupply and front accessory board. It's a standard M-itx mounting pattern from what I can see. I just dropped a Core 2 Duo motherboard into my X51 case, I had to mod the back panel some. The attachments on the motherboard in the rear seem to be moved over to the side more than regular boards. I would of used the new Asus AM1 motherboard I had, but it was way off in the rear pannel. ASrock has one that is closer.
 

digitalbrass

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May 20, 2014
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You can do it, I did it, I put mine in a corsair 350, added a h55 water cooler, 120 gb intel ssd, a 500gb hybrid ssd, 16gb corsair vengence ram, and a gtx 780ti, and a corsair cx600 .. this was a x1 version and had a few years on it, i went and got a cheap HTPC for the living room and now I game on this. I did it because my x51 wasnt being used as a gaming pc in the living room, so I went ahead and case swapped it.

The only thing is that, the backplate for the x51 doesnt come out, so w/e case you choose will not have a backplate.

I love it now sure i could have got a new pc, but w/e now this pc will play anything uc an throw at it and be good for years.
The only thing I would have done different would be to use a modular power supply,,,


case.jpg
 

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digitalbrass

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also if anyone out there does this, if you get a case with front panel USB ports you will need to get a 19pin to 9 pin female adapter, if you want to have the cases front panel usbs operate, assuming the case you get has usb 3.0 plugs. it plugs right into the motherboard labeled USB. There is no usb 3.0 on the motherboard, so if your case has usb 3.0 you need a 3.0 to usb 2.o adapter to have it function.

And also, if you case swap, the x51 backplate does not come off the case, so you can case swap but your pc will not have a backplate.
 

I see You

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looks good how did you manage to get the power from new power supply hooked up as the x51 has a power board totally separate from the mainboard?. can you post some pics on how you hooked up the power supply, hell i might do this :).
 

digitalbrass

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May 20, 2014
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If you decide to case swap you dont need the 2 smaller boards you only need the main motherboard, any powersupply you get will have the needed connections the power is run by a 24 pin connecter on the middle right and a 4 pin in the top left. the front panel connection hookup for the power button,reset switch etc I found on a youtube video, that was the hardest thing to figure out but got it. I have since cleaned it up by using black sleeved cables from nzxt. try to get a modular power supply if you do this this way you only run the cables you need for a cleaner look.
 

I see You

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i did it and works good i had it done for me ads i had the extra cash, i only have one question, how did you overcome the power sensor error? i had to tell the bios not to halt on error. to make it go away also, the guy hooked up my hard drive light on my case and it stays on all the time, is there like a special place it goes or should i just unhook that?. Other then that it works way better.
 

yAAAAAb

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May 24, 2014
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My birthday is coming up, and im running out of room on my desk. My parents arent letting me move my computer to my room because i have too many games and play them way too much. I own 4 games, and all of them have under an hour of playtime except one which has 50 hours. Not even close to what my friends have played, which is over 500 hours for some games. This pretty much means that my space is really limited, and am really thinking about whether its worth it or not. Il post a pic of my setup to show you how much room i have. if i could put it in my room, i would do a full gaming setup with 3 screens and a giant behemoth of a pc, but no matter what i can do, they wont let me. I have even put it upstairs when they were gone, which took me 45 mins, and they made me take it right back downstairs.

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so thats my setup. what I could do is move that file cabnet thing on the right and make room for a giant tower if the mobo would fit. The reason its so crammed is because of the surface 3 on the right. I need that for school, and it pushes everything to the left. I had plenty of room without it. if you have any suggestions on which case i should look at or how i could reorganize my desk, that would help aton. another persons opinion always helps. and before you say, no i cannot move the gerbils (the glass box to the side of the x51)
 

I see You

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it will fit into any case you wish to put it in, the board may be Mini ITX but it's a standard Mini ATX screw layout so now issues there, only issue you will have is a power sensor error do to that being gone ether tell bios to ignore it or hit F1 key, if your like me and keep your pc on all the time you will never see it. What this error is really about is nothing to do with your board it was the power board in the system, it talked to the Bios and said hey i'm here. pop your case open and look at the power board bottom corner, see the small wired hooked to that and then mainboard that's the sensor lol. If one could figure out how to trick the pc into thinking it's there then its golden.
 

digitalbrass

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see my above pics i put mine inside a corsair 350D. the only problem I ran into was connecting the front panel power to the mobo and I found the answer to that with this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZRh0V-qRcc a corsair 350D case will fit fine. im sure there are others but this one works, you will also need a power supply, I suggest a modular one. and a 19 pin usb internal cable if you want the front panel usb 3.0 connections to work. whatever case you use tho be aware that it will not have a backplate,,, other then that, my system is running fine as you can see from the above pics. and you will lose your cd drive unless of course you want to install one on your own
 

I see You

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see my above pics i put mine inside a corsair 350D. the only problem I ran into was connecting the front panel power to the mobo and I found the answer to that with this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZRh0V-qRcc a corsair 350D case will fit fine. im sure there are others but this one works, you will also need a power supply, I suggest a modular one. and a 19 pin usb internal cable if you want the front panel usb 3.0 connections to work. whatever case you use tho be aware that it will not have a backplate,,, other then that, my system is running fine as you can see from the above pics. and you will lose your cd drive unless of course you want to install one on your own
how did you get around the power sensor error ??? i have the reset button and power hooked up but the hard drive Led does not work does yours? also how did you get around the power sensor error?.
 
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digitalbrass

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I got your pm, the bios error doesnt bother me I just press F1, and for the the front panel hooks ups (HDD light, reset, power etc) you follow the diagram in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZRh0V-qRcc , they are a set of cables that connect from the case the mobo, they have to be connected correctly I dont think yours are connected correctly, follow the picture and hook them up the same way, it took me a few tries but take a close look the layout and get it right , there all color coded, youll get it working right,.
 

I see You

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I got your pm, the bios error doesnt bother me I just press F1, and for the the front panel hooks ups (HDD light, reset, power etc) you follow the diagram in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZRh0V-qRcc , they are a set of cables that connect from the case the mobo, they have to be connected correctly I dont think yours are connected correctly, follow the picture and hook them up the same way, it took me a few tries but take a close look the layout and get it right , there all color coded, youll get it working right,.

the reset and power work alright just the hard drive light stayed on all the time solid lite, was wired so i un hooked it.
 
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