Question Would like to update 2014 Alienware x51 R2 graphics card (finally)

Apr 7, 2020
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Hi y'all, I am thinking about finally updating my Alienware x51 R2's graphics card. I'm a pretty casual gamer, and my current system so far has worked well for for my needs (although I did upgrade my RAM in 2017). However, my little computer-that-could has started running into trouble rendering the games that I want to play (AC Odyssey, Witcher 3) at the settings which I would like to play them--hence the desire to upgrade my graphics card and PSU, since I'm not sure I am ready to try a CPU upgrade.

I am also on a tight budget, and am not looking for the highest performing graphics card out there; the biggest bang for my buck, while still being enough of an update that I don't need to worry about getting a new graphics card again in a couple of years (and being able to fit in this teeny x51 case) is the ideal! I appreciate any recommendations y'all might have for me and your patience.

My specs are:

Intel(R) Core(T M) i5-4460 CPU @ 3.20GHz

NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GTX 750Ti 2GB GDDR5

240w PSU (already planning on upgrading since I presume I will need to)

16gb RAM (I'll be honest, I don't remember if it's DDR3 or DDR4, but I can double check if that's important)
 

Phaaze88

Splendid
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Your gpu options are limited due to the case anyway.

AC Oddyssey and Witcher 3 are completely different games on gpu Vram usage. Apparently, 2GBs of Vram is enough for Witcher 3 ultra - not happening with AC:O. It uses over 5GBs at ultra!
You didn't specify what settings you would like to play at either...

You are limited to the GTX 1650/1650 Super, but they only have 4GBs of Vram - fine for TW3, not for AC:O, which will eat that up except at high or lower.
 
Apr 7, 2020
2
0
10
0
Your gpu options are limited due to the case anyway.

AC Oddyssey and Witcher 3 are completely different games on gpu Vram usage. Apparently, 2GBs of Vram is enough for Witcher 3 ultra - not happening with AC:O. It uses over 5GBs at ultra!
You didn't specify what settings you would like to play at either...

You are limited to the GTX 1650/1650 Super, but they only have 4GBs of Vram - fine for TW3, not for AC:O, which will eat that up except at high or lower.
Thanks for the recommendation! High or lower for settings is fine for AC:O (for me, anyway)--better than what I have now, at the very least. I will poke at the GTX 1650/1650 Super to triple check that it'll fit inside the case.

EDIT: The GTX 1650/1650 Super requires a PSU of 350w, when the maximum that the Alienware x51 can support is a 330w PSU, as far as I can tell. So it's back to the drawing board.
 
Last edited:

Phaaze88

Splendid
Ambassador
Thanks for the recommendation! High or lower for settings is fine for AC:O (for me, anyway)--better than what I have now, at the very least. I will poke at the GTX 1650/1650 Super to triple check that it'll fit inside the case.

EDIT: The GTX 1650/1650 Super requires a PSU of 350w, when the maximum that the Alienware x51 can support is a 330w PSU, as far as I can tell. So it's back to the drawing board.
Those are a general recommendation - there are so many different combinations of hardware out there that a generalized estimate makes sense.
Below is what I do, and it works for a number of situations:
-find out how much power the cpu can pull(max)
-find the max power limit of the gpu
-add the total of the above up, then add 20% of that total for headroom on your other parts - nothing will draw anywhere near as much power as the cpu and gpu
-whatever that total is, select to the nearest 50w without going under

i5-4460: around 120w in the worst case scenario. Source: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/haswell-refresh-vs-ivy-bridge-power-consumption.2016063/
GTX 1650/1650 Super: The max is going to vary between the different vendor models - you don't yet know which model you're going to pick, so I shall use the 75 and 100w ratings for Nvidia's FE cards.

i5-4460 + GTX 1650 = 234w [Again, that's a worst case scenario. Your system will not draw that much on a daily basis.]
i5-4460 + GTX 1650 Super = 264w

You said you were planning on upgrading the psu anyway, so you should be fine regardless.
 

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