Fairly New X51 Owner Ready to Upgrade GPU

Burnbristle

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Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Messages
8
EDIT: Sorry for the TL;DR! :)

Hi All!

Really awesome to see the mods and enhancements you're all making to these powerful little beasts! Just purchased mine as a Certified Refurb from the Dell Outlet a few months back and am finally ready to look into upgrading the GPU from the current GT 640 1GB DDR5 card to something with a bit more power. I would have done this at purchase but, as I said, it was a pre-built refurb and, at $435, I figured it was a good enough deal that I could do some aftermarket upgrades myself later.

Here's my current setup:
Alienware X51 R2:
Core i5-3450 @ 3.1GHz
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM
1TB 7200RPM SATA
Slot-Load BR-ROM/DVD-RW Combo
GeForce GT 640 1GB DDR5 GPU

First question - POWER: How much flexibility do I have with the stock 240w brick in terms of upgrades? For example, with the current load would I be able to power a GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB SC (140w max)? That's about 65w more than the stock GT 640 pulls and, with the i5-3450 (77w), would put me at around 217w for the GPU and CPU alone. Also considering this card with the same TPD: GeForce GTX 660 2GB SC (140w max)

2nd question - 330w PSU: If I do need to upgrade to the 330w adapter (which I know is likely), has anyone found a reasonably-priced source other than Dell's $99.99? I've seen a few on Amazon in the $60-70 range, but thought I'd check with the experts.

3rd question - GPU COMPARISON: If I upgrade to the larger PSU, I'm seriously eyeing this bad boy: GeForce GTX 760 2GB SC (170w max). I'm not a heavy gamer at the moment (WoW, Diablo III, Witcher 2), but it'd be nice to have a reasonably-priced higher-end card should I decide to go more hardcore. Any opinions on how much difference I'd notice between the 760 SC and the other two 600 series cards mentioned above? I've noticed the obvious differences in number of CUDA cores and memory interface (not that I have any clue what they mean!), but I'm curious what differences I might notice in performance and if they're worth the increased cost of the 760.

Thanks for your time, all!!!
 
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Burnbristle

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Joined
Sep 16, 2013
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Ok, maybe I need more info to get the comments coming in! :) Looking for something that's plug-n-play with stock cooling, so does that rule out the 760 SC?

Also, the 660 SC is now on sale for $169.99 after MIR, so what are thoughts on price/performance comparison between the two cards:

GeForce GTX 660 2GB SC (140w max) - $169.99

GeForce GTX 760 2GB SC (170w max) - $249.99

*And disregard the first question...obviously I'm just getting the 330w power brick! :) I have seen comments about running a modular PSU directly into the card, but most members appeared to frown upon the idea; is that simply due to aesthetics or are there other concerns?

Thanks!
 

sway

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Apr 12, 2012
Messages
676
Get the 760, the 660 memory interface is laughable. oc the 760 (which they do well) and you'll have 670 performance or a Lil more. If you run a psu to the gpu you'll get the full benefit of the gpu, I would if it were me. It's nut that big I'd a deal if you can hide it off to the side. Get like a corsair cx 450m something modular.

tappin from the Nexus 4
 
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Burnbristle

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Sep 16, 2013
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Awesome! Thanks for the reply! And I can run the 760 in my x51 stock with no additional cooling fans added without worrying too much about overheating?

Thanks again for the advice and expertise!
 

sway

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Apr 12, 2012
Messages
676
Awesome! Thanks for the reply! And I can run the 760 in my x51 stock with no additional cooling fans added without worrying too much about overheating?

Thanks again for the advice and expertise!

I added on to my comment so re-read it, if you want to mod some, it's real easy to add a additional fan for cooling the gpu more. There's a few people on here that have done it and you can see how easy it is by cutting out the side a bit and adding the fan in the hole.

tappin from the Nexus 4
 

Burnbristle

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Sep 16, 2013
Messages
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Perfect! Thanks Sway! I've got a nice hiding spot behind the x51 and away from the GPU blower output (I have it positioned on its side), so I think that'll be perfect for a little modular PSU and should also save me a bit of $ instead of buying the 330w brick.

Think this modular PSU will do the trick? Raidmax PSU

$25 after coupon code and rebate, so quite a bit cheaper than the brick, and it appears to have both the 6-pin and 8-pin power connectors needed for the 760.
 

sway

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Joined
Apr 12, 2012
Messages
676
Yeah that'll work, you don't need anything to special for just the gpu. Mainly just modular for less wires.

tappin from the Nexus 4
 

Burnbristle

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Joined
Sep 16, 2013
Messages
8
So my GTX760 and modular PSU arrived today and I've been attempting to get it all set up. Card was a tight fit (mainly due to the external power cables from the PSU), but I finally got everything in its place.

Issue I'm experiencing now is that the modular PSU won't stay on. It wouldn't power on at all at first, so I did the paper clip trick and it started up, but it absolutely will NOT run when I connect the 6-pin female adapter attached to the new card to the 6-pin male on the PSU. Any suggestions??

Adapter I'm using for the GPU is a 6-pin female -> (1) 6-pin male and (1) 6-pin+2 male (for the 8-pin slot). Is the one 6-pin cable from the PSU not enough to power the GPU using this adapter?

Here's the PSU I'm using: RaidMax Modular PSU

- - - - - Updated; Consecutive Post Auto Merged - - - - -

Well, I opened the case back up and decided to split the power between the x51's 6-pin and the PSU's 8-pin and things seem to be working just fine now!!! Is there a more aesthetically pleasing option than the paper clip trick? Maybe an adapter that closes the circuit? Thanks all!
 
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