x51 R3 gpu upgrade


New Member
Jun 11, 2018
Hi all,

I've been researching about upgrading the GPU on the x51 r3 and have found that along with considering the power consumption of the graphics card I wish to install. I should also consider the cooling type, namely the open air fan GPUs vs the blower style GPUs, and have found that the blower style is preferred over the open fan style GPUs, due to the small form factor of the PC. I was hoping if someone could share their experience with upgrading the GPU, and which GPU type you went for. Like does it make a big difference on the life and performance of my PC and will overheating be a big issue with the fan style GPUs.

i know i'm really late on this...I picked myself up a x51 r3 last week second hand (to be used as a steam machine for couch play games). The existing gtx 745 was doing fine, but as its connected up to a 75" 4k tv, i really wanted to take advantage of the 4k aspect, so decided to upgrade to a gtx1070. Specifically to a gtx1070 katana (managed to pick one up for 250aud 2nd hand).

I have to say, i think the katana is THE BEST card for this build. It's single slot, and low power consumption. The airflow is great in there and i didn't even have to remove the front case fan! (but i did have to remove the fan shield). it honestly feels like this card was designed for this build.

I was so pleased with the space available with the single slot gpu that i even managed to fit an SSD in between the GPU and the existing 1tb hdd, there is still space available. no fans are blocked, no vents are blocked, no cutting or grinding required. I'm happy :)

Was playing some gpu intense games on it last night for a good 4 hours straight, noticed no issues whatsoever.

Overall build was only 700aud (400aud x51 r3, 250aud gtx1070katana, 50aud 500gb seagate ssd)
If they make a Katana equivalent for the RTX series i may consider upgrading that.

To answer your question, does it make a difference to the life and performance; yes, but i don't know how you would ever measure what difference it does make...GPU's (and any PC part for that matter), running too hot for extending periods of time is generally not good. So its important to have adequate airflow.....however everybody seems to have their own opinion of what "Adequate" is. Only practical way to find out if the airflow is ok is to check the temps under load and marry it up with the manufacturers advised temperatures the card should be running at. In my personal and bias opinion, i feel my above mentioned Katana situation is great airflow, i have about the same amount of airflow as the original stock GTX745 gpu had (as they are both single slots).


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Last edited:


New Member
Jan 29, 2019
Sacramento, CA
I looked and looked for new ones to find single fan units for a reasonable price after my OEM 970 died, probably from overheating. EVGA 1060 OC works with the 330 PSU and fits even better than stock, but the fan runs on high playing games which is annoying. I could hear it all the way across the house! Turning the case flat helps so the air can get out the side which was the bottom. Taking the side panel off in addition to laying it flat helps even more. Moving everything to a $45 Thermaltake mITX cube case solved the cooling issue. It only took about an hour and was relatively easy to do, but I had to retain the OEM power supply. No matter what card you buy I think the case design just isn't good for GPU cooling. Definitely buy an extended warranty on your card if you want to keep the stock case.