New to the forum, need help. Aera 51 R2


New Member
Jan 5, 2022
So I bought my Area 51 around 2011, 2012ish. I was sitting at my desk a few weeks ago and smelled something burning before my screens blacked out. I immediately turned everything off, pulled the cords, pulled the covers off the chassis. (Nothing was burnt as far as I could tell, but I could smell something (capacitors maybe? IDK). The main source of the smell seemed to be coming from the PSU, so I pulled it, pulled the cover, and nothing seemed out of place. I ordered a replacement, got it installed, and nothing. I only have black screens when I powered on.
I'm not well versed in computers and building, but swapping parts is easy enough for anyone. The main reason why I bought this triad tower was so I could swap parts and what-not as it was time to, but little did I know, being a Dell product, you have to use their $h!+e most of the time. I reached out to a buddy of mine, he checked out my system, tested video cards (three Geforce 970's SLI'd) all of them were in working order. He's saying it's my motherboard. Whenever he powered the computer, he didn't get any error beeps from the MOBO or anything. So, my questions are these: I know some people have upgraded these older Area 51's with non-Dell MOBOs. If that is in fact what's needed, would some of you be willing to help and guide me on this journey? While I'm on the MOBO swap, what else can be upgraded? I wouldn't mind going with an original MOBO if anyone out there has one. (If you made it through my ranting, congrats and I appreciate it.)


Resource Administrator / Forum Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
Adelaide, Australia
You are better off going with a third party board as they usually have more features that the restrictive OEM boards. It's also a good chance to go for a more modern system with a later gen CPU. You may find that buying an old OEM board for this will cost just as much as buying a new board. You will have to buy a new CPU though.
I've never had one of these Area-51's but I've seen many posts over the years from people who have updated the boards. If it's the one I'm thinking of then I don't think it was released until late 2014. Are you able to post an image?