Replacing liquid cooler pump+fan - Area 51 (2010)

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Dec 19, 2018
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Please, what are the recommended models of replacement liquid cooler pump+fan for this model computer below purchased new in 2010? I've seen the Corsair H80/H80i recommended for a computer in the Area 51 family but I don't know if it also applies to this computer. I don't know what parameters of the computer to consider other than maybe the revision (R?). I'm concerned about the wire plug compatibility. Will the computer retain all the communications it used to have with the cooler? What is the revision (R?) of this unit?

Note that Dell does not offer a replacement part.

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]


Thank you.
 

MattyB

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I'm assuming that your unit has the pump combined with the CPU cooler so you will need to find a new cooler that has an adapter bracket for your mobo socket - LGA1366. I think most of the big brands are still including adapters for the older mobos so you shouldn't have any problems.
 

MattyB

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I do not believe any connectors have changed in a long time. They are still using molex and 3 or 4 pin connectors as far as I know. It has been a few years for me though. The fact that they are still including adapters for older boards means that the connections must still be compatible.
 

Cass-Olé

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Jan 9, 2013
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126
You have an R1

The stock cooler W550R or K7JKJ are 27mm wide radiator paired to a 38mm wide fan & can be found new/used eBay

When buying a 49mil wide rad like 80i V2 / GT, you have to consider the top motherboard sill (& CPU 8pin plug) can interfere with these deeper rads, but I have seen 80i V2 in an R1 before

I've also seen H100i & 100i V2 240mm rad in there several times

Since I do not own 80i/100i I can not say how to mount them, nor whether to re-use the old 38mm fan or go with the new included 25mm fan
2508
80i V2 above, note the fan is underneath
2509
100i V2

Both of these, or any aftermarket cooler will plug into the mthrbrd fan/pump header & if it has software, that will monitor things > due to the connector type you will not be able to plug back into the top left powerboard (like the original cooler does) & you will lose CmndCntr 'pump status' monitoring (pump will say 'failed')
2510
I offer / make a pump motor / cooling adapter, private message me if u want one, $12.50/mailed through Paypal
 

LukeG310

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Apr 12, 2018
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I recommend the Forsair H100i V2 over the 120mm radiators. Cass-ole has the adapter cable that will work with ant after market water coolers. I used his fable on my Aurora R4 ALX.
 
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I can now identify fully my computer as being Area 51 R0 (Zero) heavy and with movable fins on top. Dell customer support says it precedes R1.

I chose and installed the following device:
DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm CAPTAIN 120EX RGB

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 socket 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.
  • I did not take into account the radiator dimensions but the old matches the new so I got lucky.
The old pump connector is 5 pin. The new pump uses 3 pins. The industry standard seems to be 3 or 4 pins. I found no adapter. I cut off the connector to the old pump and used it on the new. The new pump's connector is black and thin. The connector on your photo below is white and thick.

The setup works except the fan is running 100% constantly and the Alienware control software seems to have no control over it. I'm afraid that in the process of working inside the computer, I may have dislodged or failed to reconnect a cable. Since I'm re-using the old fan, I'm surprised there is an issue. My first guess was that the cpu temp reading was stuck at high. But, in the Alienware control software, I switched to Manual control and the fan speed remained at 100% no mater the settings. Any help on that front would be appreciated.

(See interface below) I can set the Thermal Control to Manual and bring "Hard Drive Fan 1" to 0%. I don't understand why "Hard Drive Fan2" doesn't appear under Thermal Control. I'm guessing that the radiator fan does not appear in this interface. I remember hearing the radiator fan at different speeds.
2549

You have an R1

The stock cooler W550R or K7JKJ are 27mm wide radiator paired to a 38mm wide fan & can be found new/used eBay

When buying a 49mil wide rad like 80i V2 / GT, you have to consider the top motherboard sill (& CPU 8pin plug) can interfere with these deeper rads, but I have seen 80i V2 in an R1 before

I've also seen H100i & 100i V2 240mm rad in there several times

Since I do not own 80i/100i I can not say how to mount them, nor whether to re-use the old 38mm fan or go with the new included 25mm fan
View attachment 2508
80i V2 above, note the fan is underneath
View attachment 2509
100i V2

Both of these, or any aftermarket cooler will plug into the mthrbrd fan/pump header & if it has software, that will monitor things > due to the connector type you will not be able to plug back into the top left powerboard (like the original cooler does) & you will lose CmndCntr 'pump status' monitoring (pump will say 'failed')
View attachment 2510
I offer / make a pump motor / cooling adapter, private message me if u want one, $12.50/mailed through Paypal
 

Cass-Olé

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
126
Hi. There is no R0, it's an R1. Let's see what can be done here

The original fan is 38mm wide (x 120). Popular radiator widths at the entry-level end are 25mm 27mm 30mm. The original setup is a 27mm rad to 38mm fan. It's sometimes necessary to re-use your 38mm fan w/a new cooler

Do me a favor. Before you unplug anything, please take a good photo of your top left powerboard showing how you have it connected now. Sometimes, an owner will plug the new fan into the wrong header, I'm attaching a pic of the correct place to plug the rad-fan & cooler pump into
Capture 0.JPG

Below is my CmndCntr, version 2.8.11, the System Fan widget is the rad-fan, pump status is either running or failed
Capture1.JPG
There is or was a CPU Pump RPM widget in oler versions as seen in yours but it was removed from later versions (it became running vs failed), here is version 2.8.11 https://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/drivers/driversdetails?driverid=442cy

Hard Drive 1 can be controlled, Hard Drive 2 is its 'twin', such that u set speed of 1 & both run at that speed. I suspect that if you plug in your rad-fan to the spot I noted, your System Fan widget (now at 0 RPM) will report its RPMs. 0RPM System Fan would mean it's unplugged, not fully seated, failed, or in wrong spot

Note, the MIO board has Three Thermal Sensors, only two of yours show up, make sure your 3rd one is plugged in (very top back right of board, grey/blk wires in a 2pin, x3 2pins all in a row)

Let me see how yours is connected, & if it differs from my photo, proceed to connect it as in the pic & re-test. There are two other permanent connectors that plug into the powerboard (a black 20pin & a white 10pin) make sure both are seated

The adapters I make look like this ( https://www.ebay.com/itm/163443447758?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649 )
Capture2.JPG

edit: please screen capture or simply tell me what CmndCntr version you're running. Launch CmndCntr > click Updates icon bottom right to display version
Capture.JPG

The 5pin from the old cooler is a Molex SL series, here are the terminals (22/24awg female) connector & pinout


7pin color.jpg
above is Aurora R1-R4 7pin, it is wired identical to 51 R1 5pin (pins 6/7 are simply unused empty). Pin 5 is the redundant ground jumper wire > when CmndCntr senses ground on pin5 it reports pump status is running. It is because aftermarket coolers (with 3pin 4pin basic non-matching fan connectors) can not interface to pin5 that pump status = failed in CmndCntr, which is why I make an adapter
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
7
After my last posting, I upgraded to the latest version of Alienware Command Center 2.8.9.0. I was at 2.5.52

My last posting was following the installation of the replacement pump. Unfortunately, I was not the one who removed it though I was there for the installation.

Following your post, I went back and tried to take a photo of the power board. As I was moving away some wires, one of the cables unplugged from the power board. I replugged it and the fan immediately calmed down. I unplugged it and the fan sped up. The problem seems to have been solved. I'm pretty sure it was halfway plugged in.

Indeed. Good advice to all. Especially with large computers like these with very many cables, take photos all over before starting work. They may unexpectedly become very useful.

Thanks to everyone and especially Cass-Olé.
 
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