Question Is a single fan GPU safe for an Alienware X51 R2 case?

Mar 31, 2019
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PC Build: Alienware X51 R2
OS: Windows 10 Pro
CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 @3.20GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 2047MB
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
PSU: Dell 330w power brick
RAM: 16GB

I've been running through troubleshooting for weeks and weeks due to the system rebooting only while playing Final Fantasy XIV. All of the tests say my system should be fine and even Final Fantasy XIV's newest benchmark says my system should be fine to play it at high or maximum settings, but the game is still rebooting the PC. I'm now to the stage of needing to buy new parts bit by bit and see if swapping things around will fix this. Beyond playing FFXIV, I play other multiplayer titles like the Borderlands franchise and Overwatch, and use this PC for streaming gameplay, watching videos, and using various graphic editing suites like Photoshop and Blender.

I'm considering an Nvidia 1060 or 1660ti, but it seems that the recommended blower style cooling is either sold out, no longer made any more, or just not made at all. Is a single fan model safe for running in this compact case? If so, I'm open to purchase suggestions. My money can go slightly farther on Amazon due to gift cards (up to $300 or so), but I'm okay with ordering from other reputable stores as well (up to $230 or so). With Final Fantasy XIV's next expansion coming out at the end of this month, I'd like to get the new card here as soon as possible so I have time to test things out before launch.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Well, to fix your reboot issue during gaming, you're looking towards new, higher wattage and good quality PSU.

X51-R2 initially came with GTX 745 which is 55W GPU + rest of the system at about 200W, making total power consumption about 255W. 255W is more than enough for it's 330W PSU to handle.

However, GTX 960 is 120W and with rest of the system, you're looking at 320W which is too much for that stock PSU to handle. Hence why system reboots when you start gaming (games put higher load on GPU and in turn, GPU draws more power).

Going for GTX 1060 or GTX 1660 Ti doesn't fix anything since both of these GPUs are also 120W. I'd be comfortable using 500W range PSU to run either of these GPUs. At bare minimum, good quality (Seasonic made) 450W unit would do too.

But there is an issue. Since your PC is prebuilt, it has proprietary parts inside, including it's PSU. Due to that, you can't upgrade the PSU without replacing the PC case.

Here, you have 3x choices:
1) Downgrade your GPU to e.g GTX 1050 Ti (75W) so you can use the GPU at it's fullest without random reboots.
With this, you'd loose gaming performance, e.g @ 1080p, games graphical settings would drop from high settings down to medium settings.

2) Keep your GTX 960 or upgrade your GPU to GTX 1606/1660 Ti and buy 500W range PSU as well (any Seasonic made unit will do fine).
New PSU would be sitting outside of the case since you can't put it inside the PC case. It may not look good, but it works.

3) Besides getting new GPU and PSU, buy a new PC case as well.
While this costs the most and also has the most work in it (swapping the system), end result would be nice and complete looking PC.

So, here you have it. Going with the small footprint prebuilt PC comes with a big sacrifice. You're sacrificing upgradeability; it's more difficult and expensive to repair it; you need to use proprietary parts and the availability of those proprietary parts is also an issue.
 
Mar 31, 2019
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2) Keep your GTX 960 or upgrade your GPU to GTX 1606/1660 Ti and buy 500W range PSU as well (any Seasonic made unit will do fine).
New PSU would be sitting outside of the case since you can't put it inside the PC case. It may not look good, but it works.
Do you know offhand how to set this up safely? I'm not too fussed about a PSU sitting outside the case as long as it is safe to run that way and is well connected. If it requires a lot of case cutting and soldering though, it may not be the option for me.
 

Aeacus

Illustrious
Herald
Well, you need to pull the 4-pin EPS12V and 24-pin ATX from the MoBo, where you connect the PSU. Also, GPU needs 6/8-pin PCI power connector and your storage drives need SATA power connection as well. Rest the new PSU next to the PC, on the table, with PSU fan upwards, so PSU doesn't have it's airflow blocked.

This video here shows the innards of your PC very well. Watch from 38:40 to 41:30 to know the details about hooking up the regular ATX/SFX PSU,
youtube:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypNG8w6AmTk#t=38m40s


For new PSU, i suggest getting any Seasonic unit, in 500W range. E.g: Focus 550, Focus+ 550, PRIME Snowsilent 550 or PRIME Ultra 550 Platinum
pcpp: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/bkp323,KmgzK8,XndxFT,dstQzy/

Warranty wise:
Focus: 7 years
Focus+: 10 years
PRIME: 12 years (includes all PRIME models: regular, Fanless, AirTouch, SnowSilent, Ultra)

All my 3 PCs: Skylake, Haswell and AMD are also powered by Seasonic. Full specs with pics in my sig.
 

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