GTX 970/980 in the X51

So looking at GTX 970 I have found out several things:
People suggest the blower version to remove heat
There are no (very few) actual reference cards from nVidia (here in the UK at least)
The OEM Blower versions tend to have coil whine
The Power Draw seems to vary massively
- I believe the last 2 points are what's making these cards cheap(ish) at around £250 to
£280

There is the Overclockers version of the GTX 970 with the reference design but the price is around £320 I believe.

The GTX 980:
More expensive for only a slight increase in FPS
The reference blower is easy to find
- I think the big increase in price (£150-£200 more) may be due to the increased quality
of the fans and capacitors used as I've seen far fewer complaints.

Conclusion - I still don't know which card to upgrade and where to get it from? Also if
anyone knows where I can get a cheaper reliable 330W PSU let me know

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00AK75R...TF8&colid=37HU1KJQH9OQF&coliid=I23O0STK5FS2NL
 
Hey Ortheus,

Ive been doing research for about 2 months now on my 2 year old x51..

you need to make sure that you buy the short versions of the card because the other ones won't fit at all.

and yes, you will need to upgrade your power supply since this card requires more than the standard 330W (more like 500W+)

Im going to go for this card: http://www.ncix.com/detail/zotac-geforce-gtx-970-1076mhz-38-102266.htm (im moving my stuff to a new case tho and you can find it cheaper on other websites, i just looked for something in english for you now)

From what i've read, the 970 is the way to go for the x51

For the power supply, you need to see what will fit, but deffo 500W
 

KillerBee33

Member
Sep 20, 2014
242
19
New York
Hey Ortheus,

Ive been doing research for about 2 months now on my 2 year old x51..

you need to make sure that you buy the short versions of the card because the other ones won't fit at all.

and yes, you will need to upgrade your power supply since this card requires more than the standard 330W (more like 500W+)

Im going to go for this card: http://www.ncix.com/detail/zotac-geforce-gtx-970-1076mhz-38-102266.htm (im moving my stuff to a new case tho and you can find it cheaper on other websites, i just looked for something in english for you now)

From what i've read, the 970 is the way to go for the x51

For the power supply, you need to see what will fit, but deffo 500W
Most of what you wrote is not true...if you have R1 u need 2 things R2 Powerboard and R2 PSU. if you have R2 Buy 970 Stock!!! and if you want 980 than Reference Stock and Remove/Change Small Fan By the AlienHead inside the box ALSO these are the most Trusted nVidia GPU's http://www.evga.com/products/ProductList.aspx?type=0&family=GeForce+900+Series+Family There is No Need for 500W PSU!!! i Assure You...thats last years Tech.
 
Hey Ortheus,

Ive been doing research for about 2 months now on my 2 year old x51..

you need to make sure that you buy the short versions of the card because the other ones won't fit at all.

and yes, you will need to upgrade your power supply since this card requires more than the standard 330W (more like 500W+)

Im going to go for this card: http://www.ncix.com/detail/zotac-geforce-gtx-970-1076mhz-38-102266.htm (im moving my stuff to a new case tho and you can find it cheaper on other websites, i just looked for something in english for you now)

From what i've read, the 970 is the way to go for the x51

For the power supply, you need to see what will fit, but deffo 500W

Buying a 10mm fan will allow the larger cards to fit in but upgrading the PSU on an X51 is not possible (without a mod/moving to a new case) but Dell recommends the GTX 970 (http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=A7962934) and the GTX 980 (http://accessories.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&sku=A7962935) on their website.

I think R1 owners are going to need the R2 Powerboard as recommended
 
From my personal experience, and from what I've read and heard from other people's experiences.

For R2 Models with 330w psu:
1. 980 reference cooler will fit, but 60mmx25mm fan needs to be removed or replaced with a 60mmx10mm fan (4 pin fan is best option to allow for speed control) This is based off my experience with the 980 in my x51. (note that a custom fan profile needs to be created in order to keep card from overheating)
2. 970 reference design (blower) usually under 10in will work. I have seen more success than fail stories for the r2/970 combo

For R1 owners with 330w psu:
1. 980 will fit just the same, but it will cause shutdowns due to power constraints. General concesus: the power board needs to be upgraded to the R2 model (#D85RT)
2. 970 reference design (blower) fits, but causes shutdowns as well. I have seen 1 success story after upgrading the r1 powerboard to the r2 power board.
3. Custom work: use another psu to power the gpu. Note this will require cutting the case and using an internal psu externally.
4. Move guts to a new case with new psu.
 

bbond007

Member
Jul 19, 2013
38
1
Miami
2. 970 reference design (blower) fits, but causes shutdowns as well. I have seen 1 success story after upgrading the r1 powerboard to the r2 power board.


For gamning my r1 works fine with the 660TI "OC" I have in there now but the skydiver benchmark causes shutdowns so I just loaded Afterburner and adjusted the power-tune down 10% or so and was able to run the benchmark.

Anyway, I suppose you possibly get it to work that way? or you don't think so?

I mean Maxwell is still the most energy-efficient CPU out there, even if it has to be under-clocked....
 

KillerBee33

Member
Sep 20, 2014
242
19
New York
For gamning my r1 works fine with the 660TI "OC" I have in there now but the skydiver benchmark causes shutdowns so I just loaded Afterburner and adjusted the power-tune down 10% or so and was able to run the benchmark.

Anyway, I suppose you possibly get it to work that way? or you don't think so?

I mean Maxwell is still the most energy-efficient CPU out there, even if it has to be under-clocked....
For those with R2's
Even DELL approves it!!!
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/...&mfgpid=234624&chassisid=-1&stype=9&Tab=Parts

Click on 970 or 980 and this is what you'll see at the bottom of the page---->Compatibility
This product is compatible with the following systems:
Alienware X51 R2
 

nschlip

New Member
Dec 2, 2014
2
0
US
I wanted to post my recent experience with upgrading my GTX 660 to the GTX 970. Specifically, I ordered this card: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NH5ZNWA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The above card is the exact same size as the OEM GTX 660 that came in my X51 (regardless of what Amazon shows). I stacked them, and they're exactly the same dimensions.

As far as being stable, the answer is yes and no. I used MSI Afterburner (found here: http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm) to underclock the card. If I didn't underclock, my PC would randomly reboot after 3-4 minutes of Far Cry 4 (or any intensive graphics process). However, after underclocking to the below spec's, it's as stable as can be.

Underclock Settings:
Power Limit= 80
Core Clock= -80
Memory Clock= -35

Everything else is left at default. I saved the profile to number 1, and set it to "apply overclocking at system startup".

Temps are great; infact, they're better than my GTX 660, which would get into the 85c range when playing Far Cry 4. The PNY GTX 970 never got above 70c, even after playing Far Cry 4 for an hour. Other games, such as Tomb Raider, Batman: Arkham games, or Skyrim, and the card stays at 63c or below. At idle, the card sits around 40c or lower. The fan is quiet (or at least as quiet as my GTX 660). The card definitely appears to have better cooling (or more likely, generates less heat).

It should be in my sig, but I am running this on an X51 R1, so it has the R1 powerboard. However, I just ordered the R2 powerboard directly from Dell Parts, which should provide enough power to the card, without the need to underclock it. The part from Dell is $44.99, and they only have refurbished ones. If you go to this site: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/sales_chat_index_masthead?c=us&l=en&cs=19 - then click "Parts, Upgrades, and Service". Don't mention your service tag#, or they'll try to tell you it won't work (trust me, it does). Here is what I said:

Hello, I'm looking for a power board for my Alienware X51 R2, part number is D85RT

After this, the Dell rep. found the part, set me up with a Dell preferred account, I paid for the part, and it arrived in two days.

With this part, the powerboard easily supplies enough power to run the card withou underclocking - infact, I can even overclock some. However, I typically don't do this, due to the fact these cards are expensive, and I can't afford to replace it for a long while; I don't want to burn it out any faster than it normally would.

Also, you can run a stock (OEM / blower version) GTX 980 card in the X51; you just need to remove the front case fan (behind the alienware logo). You can replace that fan with a slim case fan. I'm not sure what size the fan is, but you can easily find a slim version that should fit.

Any way, I hope this helps anyone! Feel free to spread the word. Seriously, the X51 is basically the most compact powerful PC on the market with this upgrade (in relation to cost). I'm surprised by what this little box can do - Impressive!
 

pengful

Member
Oct 12, 2014
68
7
Singapore
I have the GTX 970 with the R2 power board. Have set up a fan profile with MSI Afterburner but it spins really loud when I play Far Cry 3. Other than the sound of the fan, everything is stable. Can you share the settings of your fan profile? Tks.
 

nschlip

New Member
Dec 2, 2014
2
0
US
I have the GTX 970 with the R2 power board. Have set up a fan profile with MSI Afterburner but it spins really loud when I play Far Cry 3. Other than the sound of the fan, everything is stable. Can you share the settings of your fan profile? Tks.

I didn't set a fan profile. I just left it at default and let whatever the default is in the BIOS.
 
I wanted to post my recent experience with upgrading my GTX 660 to the GTX 970. Specifically, I ordered this card: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NH5ZNWA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The above card is the exact same size as the OEM GTX 660 that came in my X51 (regardless of what Amazon shows). I stacked them, and they're exactly the same dimensions.

As far as being stable, the answer is yes and no. I used MSI Afterburner (found here: http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm) to underclock the card. If I didn't underclock, my PC would randomly reboot after 3-4 minutes of Far Cry 4 (or any intensive graphics process). However, after underclocking to the below spec's, it's as stable as can be.

Underclock Settings:
Power Limit= 80
Core Clock= -80
Memory Clock= -35

Everything else is left at default. I saved the profile to number 1, and set it to "apply overclocking at system startup".

Temps are great; infact, they're better than my GTX 660, which would get into the 85c range when playing Far Cry 4. The PNY GTX 970 never got above 70c, even after playing Far Cry 4 for an hour. Other games, such as Tomb Raider, Batman: Arkham games, or Skyrim, and the card stays at 63c or below. At idle, the card sits around 40c or lower. The fan is quiet (or at least as quiet as my GTX 660). The card definitely appears to have better cooling (or more likely, generates less heat).

It should be in my sig, but I am running this on an X51 R1, so it has the R1 powerboard. However, I just ordered the R2 powerboard directly from Dell Parts, which should provide enough power to the card, without the need to underclock it. The part from Dell is $44.99, and they only have refurbished ones. If you go to this site: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/sales_chat_index_masthead?c=us&l=en&cs=19 - then click "Parts, Upgrades, and Service". Don't mention your service tag#, or they'll try to tell you it won't work (trust me, it does). Here is what I said:

Hello, I'm looking for a power board for my Alienware X51 R2, part number is D85RT

After this, the Dell rep. found the part, set me up with a Dell preferred account, I paid for the part, and it arrived in two days.

With this part, the powerboard easily supplies enough power to run the card withou underclocking - infact, I can even overclock some. However, I typically don't do this, due to the fact these cards are expensive, and I can't afford to replace it for a long while; I don't want to burn it out any faster than it normally would.

Also, you can run a stock (OEM / blower version) GTX 980 card in the X51; you just need to remove the front case fan (behind the alienware logo). You can replace that fan with a slim case fan. I'm not sure what size the fan is, but you can easily find a slim version that should fit.

Any way, I hope this helps anyone! Feel free to spread the word. Seriously, the X51 is basically the most compact powerful PC on the market with this upgrade (in relation to cost). I'm surprised by what this little box can do - Impressive!

Tried this...no dice. They would not help me what so ever. They told me to look at 3rd party sites WTF....
 

DJaymo

Member
Apr 12, 2014
22
0
Canada
I am going to try the PNY 970 in my R2. I am running the R9 270x right now, ive never changed a card in my x51 before and just wondering if i am going to have to change anything first like the power cords or do anything special before switching the cards or anything? or can i just take the 270x out and put the 970 in and be ok? sorry if a newb question,