I am building my own Alienware Aurora R4 ALX and I've got a few questions.

So this endeavor started with my dissatisfaction with my Alienware X51 R2, of which I have had many issues with since I got it in February of this year. Between the limited upgradeability due to power/thermal constraints, having the graphics card replaced three times, the motherboard replaced three times, and having to reinstall the operating system 4 times I have had enough. I really like the Alienware brand so I started poking around on eBay for a cheap setup that I could either upgrade, or start from scratch. What I came away with was a case for an Alienware Aurora R4 ALX complete with an 875W power supply, motherboard, MIO board, wiring harness, and optical drive. The parts I currently have sitting on the shelf awaiting the arrival of the case are an Intel Core i7 4820K, two OEM NVIDIA GTX 970's, 4x4GB Corsair Dominator RAM, and a 2TB Seagate Barracuda HDD. My questions are...

How well does the Alienware Aurora R4 ALX handle the heat generated from SLI?

Do I have to worry about power consumption in SLI with 875 watts?

Is there any particular order that the extra Alienware drivers need to be installed?

Is the Liquid CPU Cooler a sealed unit? (like I don't have to add water or anything?)

I know I'm forgetting something but if you have any addition recommendations, even if they don't pertain to my questions please do share! This is my first build and I'm a little nervous.


May 7, 2014
1) if your gpu is reference design, like this:


the answer is : GOOD, no problem

2) no problem

3) yes, but i dunno it because i had pre-installed alienware os with drivers

4)yes, no need to do maintenance

recommendations: buy a ssd!


it s hard to believe you had so many problems with x51,
it s a very good machine, i like it (but i dont have it).
i think x51 it s the best gaming pc in the world for it s size and a i7 4ghz + single gtx 970 is going to rock in this little pc. No psu problems, the 330w esternal psu can handle a sigle 970 without problems!


Jan 9, 2013
awesome. Like you, I got a barebones ALX & about everything else I needed from STS to build my own. Yours looks wonderful. A word of advice: basic R4 coolers are prone to the liqwid clogging up inside the pump, circulation stops, some basic coolers like the one in your photo do this, hundreds maybe thousands have failed. I don't know how to tell good from bad, not until they 'fail' - clog up. A sign of trouble is an overheating Ivy & your rad fan goes to max. Due in part to the R4 cooler debacle, Dell commissioned a new improved larger cooler, part# 01YGW, known as the Aurora Premium Cooler, & I've yet to hear of one clog. It's got a fatter 38mil rad (vs 25mil basic), improved copper base (vs aluminum) & pump might spin faster too. Cpu temps drop nice w/this cooler, it's a drop in replacement. They are $205 new from Dell. STS right now has 6 used premiums, includes fan. $50 or best offer. Offer STS 40, if they say no, offer 45. You can use your basic cooler as your spare. I bought 5 of these from STS: one for my ALX, three for my three Area-51's, 5th unit is my 'spare'. { http://www.ebay.com/itm/CPU-Cooler-...233?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20f250bde1 } Get one while the gettin's good I'd say. STS are great people, the packing job on my case was over-kill, I'm sure yours was too, gotta love it. I know you're as happy as I was, to build a good-looking system on the cheap from these guys. Thumb's up brother
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Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
I built my own custom WC loop inside my old R4 and it was great. I even put one of my 670FTWs in the loop and it kept the CPU and GPU pretty cool. I found the top card was getting pretty hot since there is no room for it to breathe. Overclocking wasn't as good though. A bigger radiator is needed for that. I kept the bottom 670FTW with it's standard cooling and it was fine.
There is a thread here for installing driver on AW machines. It's based around laptops but it will give you a good guide. I used it a few days ago. You can find it here