My successful X51 R2 project

CapnRich

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
11
I've been playing around with an Alienware X51 R2 that a friend of mine
gave me, as he thought it was dead. Messed around with it, bought a new 330w PSU and reset all plugs/cables, and re-pasted the CPU and...it works!
After reading all the things you can do to these little-case computers, I began my project. Beginning with the GPU, I ended up with a Radeon FX 480 (bios flashed to a 580) 4GB . Removed the DVD optical drive, installed 16GB Corsair Vengence DDR3 memory, replaced the CPU cooling with a CRYORIG C7 lo-profile heatsink, installed half-card wifi/BT 802.1 ac, put in a Crucial 500gb SSD HDD, kept i5-4460 Intel chip, installed WIN10 professional. Runs like a top! To help with air flow, I cut a 3" hole in case, installed a round, mesh screen for dust protection. I still have 2 small 40mm blue led fans to install to help exhaust the air out the rear, just waiting on a fan power splitter to run all 3 fans off the MOBO 4-pin fan connection. Everything has worked well so far and I'm very happy with basically my first real gaming build...and its ready for VR! I'll post pics if anyone is interested.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,649
Sounds great! I have an R2 in pieces here which I've been meaning to work on again. I've always been an Nvidia guy but I have been thinking of swapping sides just for this machine. Is that card a blower style or fan? Definitely post some pics and any extra details of your build. The OEM cooling isn't great so I'd be keen to see what yours looks like now.
 

CapnRich

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
11
The card is a blower style. Seems to work the best in the R2 case. I'll post pics for you, happy to share my results!25822582258325842585258625872588258925902591
 

CapnRich

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
11
I just installed the fan splitter and the led exhaust fans. I'll post pics later tonite. Turned out great I think. Let me know what you think!
 

Attachments

CapnRich

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
11
Here is the finish, showing the splitter and with the case assembled. I never put the Optical drive back in, just as a note.25932594259525962593259425952596
 

MattyB

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,649
Wow looks great! I like the exhaust fans. Easy to fit the splitter?
I realised the one I have in pieces is an R1 not an R2 but I'll still have a go on some mods
 

CapnRich

Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2018
Messages
11
Super easy. It comes with double-face sticky tape, I just stuck it to the side of the GPU riser card, like the photo. Played WOW for about an hour Tonite, ran at 100 fps, the mods really helped! Now to just find an affordable Oculus Rift setup. Ran their test to see if it meets specs, and passed easily. Not much else to do, except upgrade CPU to an i7, but looks like it wouldn't improve things that much. I'm very happy with my little Alien for now!
 

MattyB

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
2,649
There would be a few games out there which would benefit from the i7 but you're probably fine. You've inspired me to dust off my X51 and hopefully everything still works. It's been in pieces for a few years. I had re-painted the side panels matte white and left the middle gloss black but I'll probably change that to matte black or even red. Trying to get a 1060 FE or even a 1070 FE.
I like the panel window. I did one on an Aurora R4 ALX which came out pretty good. Not as clean as yours though.
 
Top