X51 R1 Power Board Replacement - R1 (VFHMM) with R2 (D85RT)

pengful

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So I was experiencing GTX 970 crashing/ rebooting in games...

http://www.alienowners.com/showthread.php/6269-X51-970!?p=31092&viewfull=1#post31092

Well, decided to try installing a new R2 power board and see if it will resolve the crashing/ rebooting issue. Ordered a new R2 power board from Dell and they delivered in 2 days! (Great job!). The part number for my R1 system is VFHMM and the one for the R2 system is D85RT.

D85RT ESD Bag.jpgD85RT Front.jpg
Front/ top side view

D85RT Back.jpg
Back view

D85RT Tag.jpg
Yup, that's the right part!

Next, I proceeded to tear out the old part and replace with the new. Here's some comparison pictures.

Comparison Front.jpgComparison Tag.jpgComparison Back.jpg

They basically look exactly the same. The only visible difference with both boards is the markings on the back. However, if you look closely, you will also see that the markings on the transistors are different. I am really not sure what has changed or improved upon. Anyway, ran the ePSA system test after putting back everything and it went ok.

ePSA System Test.jpg

I have not run every game at its highest setting yet and will probably do so when I get the chance. Cheers.
 
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2002whitegt

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Really looking forward to seeing if this will help R1 owners with shutdown problems using the 970.
 

I see You

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dell spare parts told me they are exactly the same specifications as i was going to go down this route before i gutted mine, he said nothing was changed its still single 12 v rail and 330 watt limit constraint.
 

cq842000

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dell spare parts told me they are exactly the same specifications as i was going to go down this route before i gutted mine, he said nothing was changed its still single 12 v rail and 330 watt limit constraint.

Yeah but R1 power boards max around 240 watts as per Dell's own specifications where as the R2 sits higher at 330 watts. I suspect the R2 can sustain higher than rated output as I am able to overclock and run an R9 290. The R9 290 isnt as efficient as a Maxwell GPU and has been recorded drawing greater than 300 watts at full load with an overclock. It doesnt make sense that this is possible unless you consider that the power supply (power board + ac adapter) are underrated in the R2. Also if the ratings were the same, and the power boards identical there wouldnt be a superceding part number. It costs money to develop new inventory and the logistics of changing the part number for an identical part would be a nightmare.
 

xNadeemx

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Please test out a variety of games on ultra settings or v-sync off, I bought a EVGA GTX 970 FTW and put it in my x51 r1 and it shuts down randomly upon entering certain videogame main menus, I was able to play DR3 on max settings for an hour, and unigine benchmark for as long as I want but it crashed once in metro last light main menu and twice in the arma 3 main menu, but I have been able to sometimes get in-game and play on ultra for as long as I want until a loading screen where it loads a new area... or until I start a different game, my system then shuts off and reboots, If this works for you, I'll try a R2 powerboard aswell, because it's a little ridiculous considering people are putting stock 980's in their systems. (I also downclocked the card to stock speeds), I would imagine that the R2 power board does allow for more room than the R1 power board
 

pengful

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Played a few games with Geforce Experience optimal settings (Crysis 3, Metro Last Light D6 Chapter, Max Payne 3) with no crashes at all. Frames were smooth and details were great. Temps were around 76-78 deg max. Am happy with the mod, though it is a mystery what was changed in the R2 board. Would recommend swapping for the R2 board if you are able to get your hands on it. Cost-wise, I paid about USD 31 from Dell Service Parts. Have fun!
 

cq842000

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Played a few games with Geforce Experience optimal settings (Crysis 3, Metro Last Light D6 Chapter, Max Payne 3) with no crashes at all. Frames were smooth and details were great. Temps were around 76-78 deg max. Am happy with the mod, though it is a mystery what was changed in the R2 board. Would recommend swapping for the R2 board if you are able to get your hands on it. Cost-wise, I paid about USD 31 from Dell Service Parts. Have fun!
Glad to hear it Peng. As for the mystery, check the numbering on transistors, capacitors, etc, and if they differ between the boards, mystery solved.

It would be far more "cost effective" to put beefier parts and maybe add a couple of layers to an existing pcb (revise vs redesign) design than to completely go back to square one R&D and "re-invent the wheel". Of course this is just speculation on my part, but my suspicions are strong.

In any event, congratulations man, and enjoy your beast.
 
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2002whitegt

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Played a few games with Geforce Experience optimal settings (Crysis 3, Metro Last Light D6 Chapter, Max Payne 3) with no crashes at all. Frames were smooth and details were great. Temps were around 76-78 deg max. Am happy with the mod, though it is a mystery what was changed in the R2 board. Would recommend swapping for the R2 board if you are able to get your hands on it. Cost-wise, I paid about USD 31 from Dell Service Parts. Have fun!
Were the games and settings you tried shutting your system down before the powerboard upgrade? If so you just made a whole bunch of R1 owners happy!
 

xNadeemx

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Yes please answer 2002whitegt's question, were you crashing previously on the same games with the same settings before the powerboard? and last note, could you put what model GTX 970 you have (Stock, SC, FTW, another brand) and your CPU, RAM, Hard drive, and whether you took out your optical drive or not (A lot of people says it frees a few watts and provides extra room for cooling) -EDIT- You DEFINITELY will bring a smile to me and every x51 r1 owner if this works, I'll order a new power board aswell after your response :)

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Also, was it difficult to install? did you have to remove anything and how many cables did you have to unplug and replug on the power board?
 

pengful

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Were the games and settings you tried shutting your system down before the powerboard upgrade? If so you just made a whole bunch of R1 owners happy!
Yes they were though the crashes do not always occur at the same stages in the games. The only other thing that I have not done is run 3DMark where the crash used to occur at the Skydiver stage. Will give it a run again and let you know.

- - - - - Updated; Consecutive Post Auto Merged - - - - -

Yes please answer 2002whitegt's question, were you crashing previously on the same games with the same settings before the powerboard? and last note, could you put what model GTX 970 you have (Stock, SC, FTW, another brand) and your CPU, RAM, Hard drive, and whether you took out your optical drive or not (A lot of people says it frees a few watts and provides extra room for cooling) -EDIT- You DEFINITELY will bring a smile to me and every x51 r1 owner if this works, I'll order a new power board aswell after your response :)

- - - - - Updated; Consecutive Post Auto Merged - - - - -

Also, was it difficult to install? did you have to remove anything and how many cables did you have to unplug and replug on the power board?
1) Yes, same games as my reply indicates. I have not run the 3DMark Skydiver stage yet but will do that when I get a chance.
2) My system specs: Alienware X51 R1: Intel Core i7-3770 Processor@3.4 GHz, 12 GB DDR3, 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Palit 4GB GDDR5 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970
Palit GTX 970.jpg
3) I took out the optical drive to gain access to the power board and put it back when done. As for the installation, it is very easy, just remove each connector one at a time (7 plugs on my board but remember where each one goes) and after that, unscrew 4 screws to remove the board. Reverse the actions with the new board.

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For disassembly, refer to below tutorial (which I learned from too :D)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRjTe_bGQVQ
 

xNadeemx

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Thank you! We have pretty much the same system specs, just report your findings on the 3DMark Skydiver stage when you get a chance! Thanks for the video too, going to order the R2 powerboard soon.
 

pengful

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Success! Ran 3DMark and completed all benchmarks without incident. Now I can go back to my games.:cool:
 

xNadeemx

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Sweet! I'm so happy to hear your success and I'm sure you've made every R1 owner happy lol :) Now my problem is that my EVGA 970 FTW has dual fans and blows air hot air everywhere in my tiny case, it's very loud and hot, I have two options to fixing this and was wondering what you'd recommend? I ONLY have two options, get a blower 980 reference and upgrade to a R2 powerboard (170w limit) OR buy a mini ITX cooler master case (elite 130 [View:www.newegg.com/.../Product.aspx]) and a cooler master 550w PSU (CM V550 [View:www.newegg.com/.../Product.aspx]) I'm also wondering if the dual fan GPU will work well in that mini ITX case, it has a lot of ventilation but I'm always worried that the dual fan gpu will blow the air in the wrong direction :/ but which do you think is better? The first option is $220 + $40. and the second is $95 + $50
 

pengful

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Sweet! I'm so happy to hear your success and I'm sure you've made every R1 owner happy lol :) Now my problem is that my EVGA 970 FTW has dual fans and blows air hot air everywhere in my tiny case, it's very loud and hot, I have two options to fixing this and was wondering what you'd recommend? I ONLY have two options, get a blower 980 reference and upgrade to a R2 powerboard (170w limit) OR buy a mini ITX cooler master case (elite 130 [View:www.newegg.com/.../Product.aspx]) and a cooler master 550w PSU (CM V550 [View:www.newegg.com/.../Product.aspx]) I'm also wondering if the dual fan GPU will work well in that mini ITX case, it has a lot of ventilation but I'm always worried that the dual fan gpu will blow the air in the wrong direction :/ but which do you think is better? The first option is $220 + $40. and the second is $95 + $50
First, ask yourself these questions. Why did you buy the X51 and not the Aurora? Is there a constraint on your desk or you simply like the design (and of course, its constraints). Second, which option you listed above is your preferred option? I will honestly tell you that if you want to change out the X51 into a mini-ITX case, then it will defeat the whole purpose of your even having bought the X51.

1) The R2 power board can handle the GTX 760 (OEM) which demands 170W. The GTX 980 (blower type) demands only 165W.
2) So the GTX 980 is longer, then change out the front case 60mm fan. There is a slim one by Everflow from the Coolerguys going at below USD9.

I cannot guarantee that the GTX 980 will run without issues but based on the theory and my own experience, I cannot see why it would not. The third option is sell your dual fan GTX 970 and buy the blower type GTX 970. It is really quite logical.
 

xNadeemx

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Alright I think your right, I'm going to keep my case and upgrade to a blower 980 with the R2 powerboard, my only problem is I can't find one, It's out of stock from every 3rd party, and dell says they don't have the part and have no idea when they will... Any suggestions on what I should do? You got it from dell specifically right?
 

cq842000

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Alright I think your right, I'm going to keep my case and upgrade to a blower 980 with the R2 powerboard, my only problem is I can't find one, It's out of stock from every 3rd party, and dell says they don't have the part and have no idea when they will... Any suggestions on what I should do? You got it from dell specifically right?
Not trying to thread jack but you may also consider upgrading to the 330w ac adapter(power brick). Then your power limit will be that of the current R2. It's just a suggestion of course... Congrats Pengful, you've done the community a great service, and answered a burning question that been around for too long..
 

pengful

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Actually, most R1 systems were already shipped with the 330w power brick. xNadeemx, take a close look at your power brick. If "330" appears anywhere in the part numbers, you can be assured that you have the 330 power brick, then in any case you should not worry.
 

xNadeemx

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Yes I have a 330w power brick, just an R1 powerboard, I'm currently in search for an R2 powerboard, if any of you gentlemen spot one, it would be much appreciated! Part #: D85RT
 
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