Liquid cooling question on an old ALX-R6


New Member
Jan 12, 2013
Hello all!

I have an old Area 51 ALX-R6 system bought in 2007. Yes, I am well aware it's old and that its original price is the equivalent to a hefty down payment on a house or car nowadays.

I have been upgrading it throughout the years. Replaced the video card (currently a GTX 580), RAM and harddrive. I am looking to upgrade the CPU and motherboard to an i7-3770K and ASRock Z77 for the board. Unfortunately it is not as easy as buying the new parts and putting them in. My particular model came with liquid cooling which is for the CPU only. As I understand the cooling has a lifespan of 4 years at best before it needs to be refilled. I was not able to find any information on the cooling system that I have even after calling Alienware tech support. The original invoice has it listed as "TC LCS SINGLE PROCESSOR LIQUID COOLING SYSTEM VFAN PROCESSOR" and that is it.

Does anyone have knowledge about the liquid cooling systems used in the ALX-R6 systems of 2007? Should I just buy and use air cooling and get rid of the liquid all together? I thought about this but I seem to remember that you can get better results with liquid cooling.

Thanks in advance for any info! Your replies are greatly appreciated!
Is the Corsair H80/H80i (or one of it's descendants) the recommended pump today for the following purchased in 2010?

Alienware Area-51 - BASE,PHOBOS,ANW-DT,AREA 51,CA - [224-7454]
Processors Intel® Core™ i7 960 Quad Core Processor (3.2GHz, 8MB Cache)
Cooling Option - Alienware™ High-Performance Liquid Cooling [330-5817]

I don't know what revision (R1,...,R5,R6) this is so it would be useful just to learm that.
I can now identify fully my computer as being Area 51 R0 (Zero) heavy and with movable fins on top.

I chose and installed the following device:


I've learned that when selecting a liquid cooler fan, you must look out for:

  • Width of the fan: 120mm (nominal)
  • Depth of the fan. The new fan is 25 mm but the old is thicker. I don’t have the old thickness on hand. 25mm it seems is the most common on the market today. The new thinner fan makes it impossible to reinstall the fan+radiator as it was. So, I reinstalled the old fan with the new radiator.
  • Adapter for the CPU. My CPU is a i7 960 which is LGA 1366.
  • Cooling power. The i7 960 is rated 130 watts. The Cooling unit is rated 150 watts.
  • The pump comes with a thin layer of thermal paste. Be careful not to rub it off by accident. You can buy some paste. I believe too much is better than not enough.

The pump connector is 5 pin and Dell proprietary. The new pump uses 3 pins. The industry standard is 3 or 4 pins. I found no adapter. I cut off the connector to the old pump and used it on the new.

The setup works except the fan is running 100% constantly and the Alienware control software seems to have no control over it. Any help on that front would be appreciated. I will ask the question in its own thread.