Welcome to the Alienware x51 WikiEdit

The idea with this wiki is to gather all the information, upgrading information and modding related to the Alienware x51 Desktop computers.


The Alienwarex51 have usually options of the Following processors:

  • core i3: 2120 (Sandy Bridge) and 3220 (Ivy Bridge)
  • core i5: 2320 (Sandy Bridge) and 3450 (Ivy Bridge)
  • core i7: 2600 (Sandy Bridge) and 3770 (Ivy Bridge)
  • Note addressable memory maximum: 8Gb (Sandy Bridge Processor) | 16Gb (Ivy Bridge Processor)

Alienware X51 R2 Launched on 6/3/2013 and now offers the following Haswell processors:

  • Core i5-4460 (Haswell) Quad-Core 3.2
  • Core i5-4130 (Haswell)
  • Core i7-4770 (Haswell)
  • Core i7-4790 & 4790K (Haswell) (Q2 2014)

It is usually recommended in many forums to go at least to the core i5 configurations. Many people say going to the core i7 is not really worth it for games, but might be if you run many hyperthreading processes.

The processors inside x51 are not overclockable by direct means, it seems that there are some other ways but they are not really worth the trouble. Only the processor versions witha k at the end, like 3770k are. Also the 330 Watt maximum PSU restrict overclocking considerably.

Video CardEdit

Dell standardEdit

The X51 comes with the following options of video cards:

  • nVidia GT 545 (no longer sold)
  • nVidia GTX 555 (no longer sold)
  • nVidia GT 640
  • nVidia GTX645
  • nVidia GTX 660 Can be paired with i-5's or i-7's
  • nVidia GTX670 (with X51 R2 launched 6/3/2013)
  • nVidia GTX745 OEM (with X51 R2)
  • nVidia GTX750 ti
  • AMD Radeon™ R9 270 (with R2 as an option, but for the same price as GTX960)
  • nVidia GTX760 Ti OEM
  • nVidia GTX960
  • nVidia GTX970


Upgrading to the following cards have proven successfull:


  • Sapphire 7850 Non-OC 2GB - 240 watt PSU, idle 41 GPU, 51 CPU (i5-3470)  Reversed case fan to blow out.  Stable.
  • PowerColor RX 480 Reference - 330 watt PSU, under-volting required to stay below 86C load.
  • Diamond RX 480 Reference - 330 watt PSU, default options, no under-volting required. Stable 51C idle, 82C-89C while playing Overwatch.


  • Nvidia Gigabyte 1050ti work well with X51 R1 no need mods (240W psu) (Bios A14) .
  • Nvidia GTX 1060
  • Zotac/Gigabyte GeForce GTX 750 TI (no mods required)
  • Single Fan "Blower-Style" Cards that direct heat out the rear are recommended over dual fans.
  • Nvidia GTX 970 - Special considerations before upgrading.
  • Alienware X51 R2 Platform with the Haswell Processor and a D85RT Power Board have shown good results with the GTX 970
  • Alienware X51 R1 with Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge Processors may need a Power Board Upgrade and replace the OEM R1 VFHMM power board with a DELL D85RT - PWA DTRBD PWR-BRD X51 R2 to avoid power related anomalies that may interfere performance. A few good results with unmodded R1's. Benchmark
  • Here are Nvidia GTX 970's worth considering for the Alienware X51 Andromeda R5:
  • [1]EVGA GeForce GTX 970 04G-P4-1970 Reference Clocked 1050MHz
  The EVGA 970 1972 and 1970 BIOS can be flashed one to the other.
  • The EVGA's are 9½" long and install without modification. 10" requires fan guard removal.
  • PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 970 PNY Install (9¾")
  • PNY GeForce GTX 970 4GB Rev2 works like a charm. Stable.



The x51 comes with a single 3.5". This makes it difficult with some configurations, but some users have managed to have the following configurations:

  • SSD and external USB 3.0 drive: This is the easiest option, but some users report there is latency involved using external USB drives, also this is more processor intensive task.
  • SSD positioned over the CD drive: This might require the use of some pritstick to secure it against the drive.
  • SSD and 2.5" HDD in the same bay: If the 3.5" HDD is changed for a 2.5" one then the SSD can be fitted in the original tray (the SATA/power connector will not align so needs to be unscrewed).


Power Source (PSU)Edit

The x51 does not use standard internal PSUs, mostly because of its small form factor. Instead it uses a power brick similar to the one used by laptops. This is good and bad. Good because its one of the desktops with the best power consumption, not only in iddle but during heavy load as well. Bad because you will have difficulties to upgrade to top components like the GTX 680 and 690 cards.

The power brick options:

  • 240w: Commonly used with the low end cards, like the GT 545.
  • 330w: The highest option from stock, a MUST if you want to upgrade to higher end video cards.
  • 600w: No recorded experiences with this one. It also seems its installtion is not just "plug in" some extra connectors would be needed to be sorted out. Possible to check some information in this link:

Some other options are in place, but its extremelly difficult to find them, and even some of them have been discontinued. If you know of a link, please drop it here.


Component Power UsageEdit

240w PSU

Graphics - up to 75w
CPU - up to 65w
Wifi - up to 2.5w
ODD devices - up to 0.2w
Fan x 3 - up to 7w
PCH - up to 4.93w

330w PSU

Graphics - up to 150w
CPU - up to 95w
Hard drive - up to 21w



The x51 comes with DW1502 and DW1506 Wifi cards, which are entry level offerings. Also it only has 2 antennas, still some users have managed to connect an external antenna with excellent results.

The following wifi cards are possible replacements for the stock one:

  • Intel Centrino Advanced N 6230: It will also add bluetooth. Amazon
  • Intel WiFi Link 5300: Dual Band Card 450 Mbps. Amazon

Some users reported issues with the Wifi, but these have since been resolved, at the end the problem was not the Wifi card shipped with the x51 but instead the wiring used. More information can be found here:


  • Need links


Please note some x51 units had some issues with Fan Noises, but these have been resolved as of mid-2012. You can get more information about it in the links below (resources)

Fan CoolingEdit

Users have reported good results with the following fans:

  • Zalman CNPS8900 Extreme: Very high quality and good brand. Amazon

Not working fans:

  • The Noctua NHL12 seems to have some issues, as it does not blow the air out of the tower. Check it here

Water coolingEdit

Some good experiences on water cooling by modding the case have been recorded, although the size of the case represent a challenge to implemente it. Please check the following links for more information.


x51 with Processor Water cooling by Kracksn



Some of the benchmarks applied to the Alienware x51


The small form factor of the X51 lends itself to portability. But many laptop cases and backpacks will not fit the formfactor. The Everki Beacon Gaming Backpack is the best option available right now. The removable gaming console sleeve fits the X51 perfectly, which in turn fits perfectly into the backpack. When the X51 is used in tower mode and left for a number of days or weeks in one location, the console sleeve also serves as a useful dust protector. The X51 is also reported to fit the Alienware Vindicator 18" backpack although the bag stretches slightly to fit the unit. There is no removable protective sleeve offered for the X51 in the Vindicator.

Latest activityEdit

Some photos of the Alienware x51. People usually like it because of its small form factor and nice looks


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