My Alienware X51 R2 broke down after i played few hours of Oculus Rift C1. The system turns black screen whenever I started to play games or use Web browser to view rich content websites. Initially, I thought the problem is from Windows 10 update since this happens before. However, upon restart the computer, i can green lines (even at Boot screen) across my monitor. After much investigation, I figure out the graphics card is at fault.
Luckily, I called Nvidia and report the problem, and got the replacement. But, after this ordeal, I have realized the Alienware X51's case is too small for GTX970 to be housed. The issue could have been the heat, since I've noticed while playing Oculus Rift, the GPU fan was very loud.
This is where I decided to rebuild this system. After hours of research, EVGA Hadron becomes the final resting place for the Alienware X51 motherboard, CPU. Since I was also worry about the CPU temperature, I chose Cryorig's C1 CPU cooler. Also, I removed the on-board wireless card and replaced with Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD. The old wireless card is really bad anyways, have no use for it.
The build, I have to say is one of the hardest build I have ever done. I know it's not a real build since I just moved components from an old computer to a new case. however, this makes this rebuild even harder since there are many unknowns. Although there are plenty information online which also did what I am trying to do. But, in the end, most of the builds recommend to replace the motherboard or just to build a new one from ground up.
Here are few things need to be aware if you are also looking to do the same:
-There is no I/O back plate. Since the Alienware X51 I/O shield is build into the case.
-The BIOS will report a power failure error since the original system have different power supply. You can either turn the error off (this turns all errors off) or press F1 each time you restart the system to continue.
-Dell made the system in a very cheap way. One thing I've noticed, the PCI express lan is not straight. When I try to install the Graphics card, I've noticed the card is not 100% parallel to the case. The biggest problem is the Cryorig's C1 CPU cooler. The cooler can but set in 2 directions; one of the direction will make this build look much better but can't be done because the way GPU is not 100% straight. Now, I have to settle with the direction that the cooler is much closer to the top case fan.
Overall, I think the rebuild looks fantastic. Took me long time to get all the cables tuck away. Please enjoy this rebuild! Let me if you have any suggestions and questions in the comments below.