[SOLVED] Motherboard swap on current system

Jul 13, 2018
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So I have an Alienware Aurora R6(specs will come later) and I want to swap out the case and while i'm at it the PSU. Both of these things don't raise any red flags to me as it doesn't really effect the hardware side of things, just new housing and less chance of shorting out ( if you see a problem with that please leave it down below). So while I was planning it out I realized the the R6 motherboard looks like garbage, bare blue PCB no heat sinks on the board or really anything but the bare minimum. I am contemplating on switching it out along side everything else but a couple of things came to mind. The drivers of the old MB and the new one will probably conflict and I don't really know how I would transfer windows or my files over. A simple solution would probably be to wipe everything off of both drives if I am correct and start it as a "new" build. I am also struggling to find a motherboard that I think is good compared to what I have now so any help with those two problems would be greatly appreciated. Any feedback is welcome and appreciated thanks for reading.

System specs: Alienware Aurora R6
I7-7700(non K)
gtx 1080
256GB M.2 ssd and 2TB hard drive
Corsair H60 AIO
16GB of DDR4 at 2400 (two sticks)
450W psu from god knows who

Upgrades:
NZXT H700i case
MSI B250 gaming M3 motherboard (to my knowledge this is decent but again idk)
750W psu from Corsair. psu

Again Ideally I want to transfer everything from the old build except the case, Motherboard, and the PSU. I am aware that selling the PC as is and building a new one would be a viable option but I don't think that's necessary considering the main bulk of the build is still being used and if you're reading this and thinking about a pre-built system, don't. What people say is not a lie, just don't :lol:

Edit: Probably should have included some more details now that I look back at it. So in terms of the board it apparently isn't that bad spec wise so props to Alienware for that I guess, but based on other pre-builts I have seen that seems to be one of the main points to cut corners on. Moving on to the reason for a case swap, the case itself is incredibly small and at first glance it looks like Alienware did a good job with the design of the case and keeping everything tight but there are still some major flaws. Air flow is a nightmare in this case and the next obvious issue is space. Its designed to be small but that makes upgrades pretty impossible. Getting an AIO in there in the first place was short of a miracle and it still pushes against the PSU a little. SLI is something that I see myself getting into but that seems near impossible this case. Upgrading the single GPU is a hard enough task as many are too fat and long to fit in the case. The next reason is cable management. It doesn't exist in this case. they are all stuffed right next to the CPU near the front of the case so yeah I think enough said about that. The PSU upgrade just because 450W is a little on the low side and why 750. Price is the same for 550 and 650. So as for the case and PSU I think that nothing really changed besides the questions on why 750w which is reasonable I think I wanna shift the conversation to the Motherboard. I really couldn't tell you much about them besides the obvious specs (SLI, RAID etc) so recommendations with that would be great. I dont believe its transferable as I have seen a lot of talk about custom headers that dell uses for things like the power button, lighting etc. but again I don't know definitively. I am not a long time PC enthusiust in-fact a lot of this is new to me so go easy on me :lol: Thank you for all the answers and all input is welcome.
 
Just because your R6 board does not have heatsinks does not make it bad. Sure they look cool, but for stock builds they are generally superfluous. The difference between a good board and bad board is all about system stability. Cheap parts tend to have more problems and then you in turn have more problems. If you are not having any problems with the current system, then getting a new board seems like spending money for nothing.

Now, if you want a new board because it has features you are interested in, that I can totally understand.

The chipsets on your oldboard (Z270) and the new board (B250) are nearly identical (the old one offers more PCIe lanes, that's the biggest difference). A driver update should not be required.

Corsair make a range of PSU. Some really good, some more in the so-so category. Again, the PSU is all about system stability. Not sure why you would need 750 Watts with the hardware you have.

Hope this helps.
 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator


That case will hold a normal ATX PSU so unless you really HATE the case, I'm not sure why you want to do this. Also the GPU thats in there, if the system is working and not crashing, again no need for a 750w unit. 450 is enough, an upgrade to 550 would be more than enough.

As for the motherboard, heatsinks don't make a board better, in fact Alienware uses reliable components (even the PSU), they are owned by Dell nowadays, but even before that they didn't use junk. As for shorting out.... No thats not how this works, while it may be a tight space there is no chance of anything "shorting out". The board is like that because the system is not overclockable, those parts would just take up space and are wasted. I'd almost argue the MSI Gaming M3 is a worse quality board!

That said if you want a new case it will give you better airflow for your GPU. You will gain precisely 0 performance by a different motherboard, however if you do swap boards you will 100% need to reinstall Windows.
 


I would put a $100 bet on not needing to reinstall Windows. Same northbridge (it's on the CPU), same southbridge (B250 is a gimped Z270), same USB (ASmedia), same SATA (intel), same audio (realtek), same network (Killer ... yuck) ... it's almost scary how similar the 2 boards are.

 

Rogue Leader

Titan
Moderator


I would see your $100 and win. The Alienware Aurora motherboard is made by Pegatron (ASRock) for Dell/Alienware. Yes there are a lot of similarities, but we have users day in and out who have tried similar swaps and failed, especially that the Chipset is different. Oh it will boot and run, I'm fairly sure, but it will never be 100%. On top of that as mentioned I'd wager that MSI board is worse than the quality he thinks this board is.
 
Jul 13, 2018
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The main reason I want to swap out the case is that it has pretty poor air flow and no room at all. Its a violent mess of cables and is overall a sort of flawed design. The H60 that I have in there barely fits and the tubing actually pushes up against the power supply so air flow and space are the two main factors that make me want to switch the case. SLI is basically a no go even if the board can take it because there is simply not enough space. Even upgrading the GPU would be a struggle making sure that it fit all the way from what I have seen and heard. Performance is and never was the goal except for better temperatures. As for the 750 watt power supply I understand and agree it was a bit much but 550 650 and 750 were all the same price on PC Part Picker so I just went with it, the list isn't final. The Board switch simply stems from the fact that the board looks a little cheap and it seems too custom to be transferred. With further research it does seem to be custom to the case and has a bunch of unique headers for things such as the power button so now i'm not even sure that it would be able to be transferred into a different case. oh and also I know it wont short out lmao just a simple joke about garbage power supplies used by pre-builders but thanks for the good laugh and the even better response.
 
Jul 13, 2018
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The Heatsinks was just an example but the main thing that I worry about was the board wasnt designed in mind for the AIO method of cooling and that leaves the mosfets completely uncooled which again to my knowledge is not a good thing and add on the major air restrictions that the case has it worsens a potential issue and I am also just now coming to the realization that the board may not even be transferable anyway. As for the board I that I listed as the "new" one again I picked that with a very limited knowledge of how to shop for motherboards and it seems I have by chance selected a near identical board so what would your recomendations on how to shop for a MB in general be, good price ranges etc. As I said I have a very limited knowledge of them so any info you can pass on would be great. Thanks for the reply.
 
Poor airflow and no chance to expand are pretty good reasons to get a new case. The one you picked out is nice (but you are paying a premium for that sheet to tempered glass ... be careful not to hit the edges of the glass or you will be picking up a million pieces of glass).

Rouge and I agree that MSI board is at best a side-grade, but more likely a downgrade. Your current board looks to be standard micro-ATX and I would bet (got to stop doing that) it would fit in any quality case.

Rouge and I disagree on software ... maybe I will have to find a way to send Rouge $100.

I think I would be tempted to keep the power supply you have until an upgrade is needed. But if you really want a new PSU, put these on your list:
www.amazon.com/dp/B073GY89G5/
www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYGFRL6/
 
Jul 13, 2018
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Ok thanks for the PSU links I will make very good use of those. As far as software I think I would side on the side of a clean install because I just don't see the old drivers getting along with new ones and I'm almost certain that the machine would take a performance hit. The board in my PC doesnt seem to be micro ATX in fact I cant reconize the size. I could be wrong but micro ATX is 9.7x9.7 this board is 9.7x8.
 
244mm x 244mm (9.6 ish inches) is the maximum size for micro ATX. Smaller than that still fits the standard. The important thing is the screw holes, rear IO area, and slot alignment. I have to admit that I was eyeballing it from online pictures, but that board looks like it would fit in a standard case.

MOSFET cooling is important if you are going to overclock, especially if you overvolt. Your CPU is the 65 Watt version and at stock speeds it is not going to push the VRMs .... that said, you have an AIO and thus loose the gentle breeze from a CPU fan and I can understand the desire for a bit more insurance in that situation. Then again, how often does your current computer crash?

Picking a motherboard ... assuming you get a board with good components, the question then is most about features. Are you going to overclock? Do you need more slots for audio or LAN cards, etc? More M.2 slots? SLI? Brand preference? Cool factor?

ASUS, ASRock, and Gigabyte are my go to makers and even they make duds sometimes.
 
Jul 13, 2018
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My current system has never had a full on crash before but when it gets under load (gaming) alt tabbing will lag the system so bad that it seems like it has crashed but it soon comes back (could be an entirely unrelated issue but I assume it stems from a cpu thing) So they way Iv'e really been going about picking a board is using pc part pickers compatibility filter (obviously not the best option). I think that I see SLI happining for me and I need at least one M.2 slot. I can't to my knowledge overclock my cpu and I will probably stay away from overclocking my gpu (blower card lol). I don't really have a brand preference and as for a budget well I have some hobby money saved up but at the same time I don't wanna go overboard. Honestly a board that will just support what I have is fine with me. I stumbled across the MSI Z270 pro carbon but then again it might be another identical choice
 
I built my first system in 1992. It was fun. Since then I have built hundreds more (don't think I'm quite at 1000, but maybe close). I still love it. I don't want to take that joy away from you. I want you to love the experience. Part of the experience is to make something better and there is my concern. You are going to spend a bunch of money and end up with something very similar to what you have now and that can be discouraging ... especially if you're using money you had to work hard for.

The new case is super nice and you will love it. Let me encourage you to use more of the parts you have now and save that money for huge upgrade ... maybe a 9700k with a gtx 2080 ... now that would rock.
 

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