Aurora R4 ALX looking for upgrade advice

CrashJMP

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
3
1
Australia
Hi all, I’ve been looking to upgrade my 2012 bought Aurora R4 ALX and would appreciate if anyone has any advice or what parts I should be looking for.

Currently it’s all stock (i7-3820, 16gb DDR3 1600mhz) with the exception of the original 560ti GPU replaced with an ASUS 980, and the 5400rpm drive replaced with an SSD. Ideally I’d like to continue using the R4 ALX case but replace the old hardware with something like an i7-10700k and an RTX 3080.

I’m having trouble determining if I can just go out and buy any recent (LGA1200 socket) m-ATX mobo, or if there are specific boards that are recommended for best compatibility with AlienFX? Has anybody done an R4 build recently that can confirm a recent motherboard as working correctly with the case fans/lights? I’m also not sure in regards to liquid coolers, will any AIO cooler work?

Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks
 

Cass-Olé

Member
Jan 9, 2013
267
83
Virginia
Yes, Aurora needs an m-ATX form factor mthrbrd (9.6"x9.6"), & yes AlienF/X will still work on any recent motherboard ... if there's an issue awaiting in the future it is whether Windows10 will allow that software to work, but it currently does

The basic stock Asetek Alien cooler (27mm wide radiator) can be reused if u buy it the right Asetek Intel or AMD retention ring kit (new motherboard = new socket = new retainer kit), try Asetek store on Amazon

Any 120mm AIO liquid cooler will work, for an upgrade try the stock 01YGW R4 premium cooler (38mm radiator), or if u go aftrmrkt, try for a 49mm wide H80i GT/V2 (dual-rad-fans push-pull may or may not work depending on memory height & location, if not then try a single 120mm x 25mm fan)

There aren't any step-by-step user swap guides I've seen. See Luke's Aurora R4 ALX case with 8700k and RTX 2080ti & @marcusloosewire99 recently swapped into Aurora, maybe message him for help & see Will these parts fit inside the Alienware Aurora R4 ALX cabinet?
Await other member inout here & Good luck
 
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I went for a asus Rog strix z490g gaming WiFi mobo with i7 10700k and Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler. I replaced all the fans with Be Quiet ones, note the hard drive and mio (baby board) fans are 92mm not 80mm so have to go for silent wings 2 fans for these as they don't do silent wings 3 in that size.
The dark rock 4 Pro cooler is big, the non pro version is slightly smaller, but the pro is too big to replace graphics card cover without modifications to the cover.
Biggest issue is graphics card release catch is only accessible with a plastic or wooden ruler once graphics card is in, too tight a space to get fingers in.
I also updated psu. More to follow later and also fan configuration and usb requirements.
 
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I updated psu to a 1000w Be Quiet straight power, fully modular so no need for additional unnecessary cables. If you have an ALX with quick release hard drive bays then use the sata connector mid cable as the one at the far end is bigger and won't fit in the space, pushes the caddy out. I used a molex connector that's actually marked as DVD drive, legacy for old systems to connect to the MIO (baby board) that controls the lights.
I also connected the spare 3 cable connector that goes to the MIO board and was originally connected to cpu fan header on old alienware motherboard to the vrm fan by the motherboard 8 pin and 4 pin connectors, after advice from Cass-ole' on this forum.
As the Asus board has 2 usb headers I was able to connect MIO baord and USB cable for Alien Head top USB's, so no need for nxzt internal usb often recommend, anyone need one, brand new going spare?
I replaced AIO water cooler as stated with Be Quiet Dark Rock Pro 4 and a 120mm Be Quiet silent wings 3 fan which I connected to chassis fan 1 header. The dark Rock Pro 4 has twin fans so these are connected to cpu fan and cpu opt which are next to each other right on the top edge of the mobo. I recommend fitting the cooler to the mobobefore installation the mobo in the case as near impossible in such limit space to connect cpu fan headers.
The hard drive and Mio board fans I connected via a y splitter and connected to chassis fan 2 header.
I replaced memory fan at the top of the case with a larger 80mm Be Quiet fan as ai bought 2 of these instead of 92mm initially. I connected this to the Dard drive fan header on the MIO board and added the second spare 80mm fan on the grill by the MIO board, it just fits between the nut and pin that protrude. This fan I connected to the second MIO fan header.
I had to cut the bottom panel that used to sit above psu and mobo as the Be Quiet psu has a top or bottom fan depending on how you install it. Did not want to drill holes in base of case. I just need to put a small mesh over the fan incase I every drop a screw, again a suggestion by Cass-ole'.
 
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CrashJMP

New Member
Dec 30, 2020
3
1
Australia
Hi all, just wanted to give an update. I completed the build this weekend, the parts I used were:
MOBO: ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Wi-Fi / CPU: Intel Core i7-10700k / RAM: HyperX Fury 32GB DDR4 3200mhz / GPU: ASUS TUF RTX 3070

This was my first PC build and everything went fairly smoothly. The motherboard was essentially a straight swap, no modifications needed. The only issue with the build was that I was unaware that the mounting bracket for the original asetek AIO cooler is actually part of the original motherboard, and is non-removable (or at least without damaging the original mobo). Ended up getting a new bracket which still needed a bit of DIY to get the AIO attached but it's now working fine and the PC is running great.

In terms of software however, I have been unable to get Alienware Command Center to work correctly. I'm starting with a clean Windows 10 install.

I initially installed AWCC v2.8.11 using the regedit bios workaround, which broke the thermal controls and caused the fans to run at 100% continuously as soon as the PC is turned on. I uninstalled and tried v3.6.5.0 which corrected the thermal control issues but introduced an issue where upon entering sleep mode the front lights flicker orange randomly (instead of the morph/breathing effect it should have) and upon waking from sleep the lights do not switch back to the standard mode but instead switch to the correct normal sleep mode effect. I then have to manually apply a change in AlienFX for the lights to change back. I have also tried v3.5.10.0 (all with the same bios workaround) but it's identical to v3.6.
If anyone knows how to fix this issue that would be great as I do use sleep mode a lot.

Beyond these AWCC issues everything else is working great, and I'm happy with the results. I would not have attempted this build if not for all the great info shared by the users on this forum so thank you all!
 
Last edited:
Hi all, just wanted to give an update. I completed the build this weekend, the parts I used were:
MOBO: ASUS ROG Strix Z490-G Wi-Fi / CPU: Intel Core i7-10700k / RAM: HyperX Fury 32GB DDR4 3200mhz / GPU: ASUS TUF RTX 3070

This was my first PC build and everything went fairly smoothly. The motherboard was essentially a straight swap, no modifications needed. The only issue with the build was that I was unaware that the mounting bracket for the original asetek AIO cooler is actually part of the original motherboard, and is non-removable (or at least without damaging the original mobo). Ended up getting a new bracket which still needed a bit of DIY to get the AIO attached but it's now working fine and the PC is running great.

In terms of software however, I have been unable to get Alienware Command Center to work correctly. I'm starting with a clean Windows 10 install.

I initially installed AWCC v2.8.11 using the regedit bios workaround, which broke the thermal controls and caused the fans to run at 100% continuously as soon as the PC is turned on. I uninstalled and tried v3.6.5.0 which corrected the thermal control issues but introduced an issue where upon entering sleep mode the front lights flicker orange randomly (instead of the morph/breathing effect it should have) and upon waking from sleep the lights do not switch back to the standard mode but instead switch to the correct normal sleep mode effect. I then have to manually apply a change in AlienFX for the lights to change back. I have also tried v3.5.10.0 (all with the same bios workaround) but it's identical to v3.6.
If anyone knows how to fix this issue that would be great as I do use sleep mode a lot.

Beyond these AWCC issues everything else is working great, and I'm happy with the results. I would not have attempted this build if not for all the great info shared by the users on this forum so thank you all!
CrashJPM
I used the same board with similar issues with flashing lights, it's due to the quick shutdown and boot option in the power settings, disable and the lights worked OK for me afterwards.
May be worth pulling power from PC and holding power button for 30 seconds to discharge mio as well.
I have managed to get a MSI 3080 Suprim x into the case, but had to sacrifice one of the double hard drive caddies and the separation plate, the hard drive fan and mio fan are still in place, although only about 1mm space between end of graphics card and the fan casing, big arse card!
As it's 3 slots deep the power cables were too close for my liking and restricted airflow to card fans, removed the caddy to create spaces for the cables, will upload picks later.
 

BAR17

New Member
Apr 12, 2021
1
0
Preston, UK
I went for a asus Rog strix z490g gaming WiFi mobo with i7 10700k and Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler. I replaced all the fans with Be Quiet ones, note the hard drive and mio (baby board) fans are 92mm not 80mm so have to go for silent wings 2 fans for these as they don't do silent wings 3 in that size.
The dark rock 4 Pro cooler is big, the non pro version is slightly smaller, but the pro is too big to replace graphics card cover without modifications to the cover.
Biggest issue is graphics card release catch is only accessible with a plastic or wooden ruler once graphics card is in, too tight a space to get fingers in.
I also updated psu. More to follow later and also fan configuration and usb requirements.
Hello, I have several questions about the fans in an Aurora R4 ALX case.

I'm 2 or 3 weeks away from sending my Aurora R4 off to a computer repair guy. If I can, I'd like to pass on as many bits and pieces as I can over for him to replace/update.

Regarding the 92mm silent wing fans which you swapped in. The stock fans that you pull out for the hard-drive bay and the one above are inside shrouds/case-housings (don't know what to call them) ... is it just a case of unscrew the fastenings and then simply swap in the aftermarket fans in place of the original 92mm fans? Or is there more to it with these two particular fans?

My current AIO cooler (a H80i) has possibly bitten the dust. It's making a rattling noise more and more frequently, the temperatures seem to have crept up a little as well I believe... also it's nearly 7 years old... I think it's also the cause of an intermittent issue at boot.

The computer is getting on now from when I bought it in 2012/13 so I'm thinking if he's inside the machine swapping out the old H80i then time for a refresh of the rest of the fans.

1. AIO H80i v2 with x2 fans in a push/pull (Noctua NF-A12x15 Slim Fan)
My H80i currently has x2 Noctua fans on the radiator - standard 25mm thick (but trying to keep the depth trimmed down as much as I can, so I'm thinking that 15mm thick fans will be better as the v2 rad is already nearly 1cm thicker to the current H80i radiator I have).

I'm also looking at replacing the fan which screws into the heat-sink above the CPU (SYS_FAN1) for a quieter fan. Do you know if that's a 40x10mm or 50x10mm - I thought it was 40 but I've read elsewhere recently that it's a 50?

Additionally, I'm looking to swap the chipset integrated heat-sink and fan (SYS_FAN2) with an EnzoTech SLF-40

Last question the tiny fan which clips to the roof of the case (CPU_FAN ?)- is that a 40x10mm or is even smaller than that?

I'm referring to the owners manual whilst writing this and also trying to remember off the top of my head where their plugs are situated (I cleaned it inside and out last week - have a vague memory of what I was pulling out and returning) ... ... ... hopefully you know which fans I'm talking about without me going SYS FAN1/2 etc etc etc potentially embarrassing myself by trying to sound like I fully know what I'm talking about haha :rolleyes:

Why am I swapping out working fans? (Firstly the brushless chipset fans on the MB I believe are rated for around 50,000 hours - minimum I've been using the computer for 60,000 + they get rather whiney and loud sometimes).

Just looking to quieten things down and hopefully have things running a little cooler as well.
 
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Hello, I have several questions about the fans in an Aurora R4 ALX case.

I'm 2 or 3 weeks away from sending my Aurora R4 off to a computer repair guy. If I can, I'd like to pass on as many bits and pieces as I can over for him to replace/update.

Regarding the 92mm silent wing fans which you swapped in. The stock fans that you pull out for the hard-drive bay and the one above are inside shrouds/case-housings (don't know what to call them) ... is it just a case of unscrew the fastenings and then simply swap in the aftermarket fans in place of the original 92mm fans? Or is there more to it with these two particular fans?

My current AIO cooler (a H80i) has possibly bitten the dust. It's making a rattling noise more and more frequently, the temperatures seem to have crept up a little as well I believe... also it's nearly 7 years old... I think it's also the cause of an intermittent issue at boot.

The computer is getting on now from when I bought it in 2012/13 so I'm thinking if he's inside the machine swapping out the old H80i then time for a refresh of the rest of the fans.

1. AIO H80i v2 with x2 fans in a push/pull (Noctua NF-A12x15 Slim Fan)
My H80i currently has x2 Noctua fans on the radiator - standard 25mm thick (but trying to keep the depth trimmed down as much as I can, so I'm thinking that 15mm thick fans will be better as the v2 rad is already nearly 1cm thicker to the current H80i radiator I have).

I'm also looking at replacing the fan which screws into the heat-sink above the CPU (SYS_FAN1) for a quieter fan. Do you know if that's a 40x10mm or 50x10mm - I thought it was 40 but I've read elsewhere recently that it's a 50?

Additionally, I'm looking to swap the chipset integrated heat-sink and fan (SYS_FAN2) with an EnzoTech SLF-40

Last question the tiny fan which clips to the roof of the case (CPU_FAN ?)- is that a 40x10mm or is even smaller than that?

I'm referring to the owners manual whilst writing this and also trying to remember off the top of my head where their plugs are situated (I cleaned it inside and out last week - have a vague memory of what I was pulling out and returning) ... ... ... hopefully you know which fans I'm talking about without me going SYS FAN1/2 etc etc etc potentially embarrassing myself by trying to sound like I fully know what I'm talking about haha :rolleyes:

Why am I swapping out working fans? (Firstly the brushless chipset fans on the MB I believe are rated for around 50,000 hours - minimum I've been using the computer for 60,000 + they get rather whiney and loud sometimes).

Just looking to quieten things down and hopefully have things running a little cooler as well.
The 92mm fans are held in place by rubber anti vibration cones, these can be removed by usi g a small screwdriver to gently push them out of the surround to reuse with new fans.
I went for air cooler rather than aio, a bit of a mistake as leaves tiny space to access gpu release tag, so consider the space involved, as I now have to use wooden dowel to release gpu, not enough room for fingers.
I removed the fan above cpu as well, but replaced it with a 80mm held on by double sided extra strong velcro and moved it slightly right to cool ram, I used cpu and cpu opt fan headers for twin fans on dark rock pro cooler. Routed controller from that fan to mini mobo controlled by alienware Command Center. Also stuck a second be quite 80mm fan on the inner grill in front of mini mobo, takes a bit of careful placement to avoid bar that pops out when front cover drops
I used y splitter to control both 92mm fans from main mobo as alienware Command Center is getting more temperamental with windows 10 and only a matter of time until update breaks it completely, so only use it for additional optional fans not system critical ones.
If thinking of adding a rtx 3000 series gpu beware of length, some are long enough to reach 92mm fan, had to move top one slightly when installing msi suprim x 3080 gpu.
I can double check what I plugged where on mobo fan headers as like you working off top of my head as well.
I replaced All original fans with Be Quiet fans, and it is so so much quite now, even with alx top vents perminently open these days.
Even when under full temp load it's very quiet compared to previous small helicopter / jet taking off I had previously had.
Happy to assist.