Xeon + Alien = Xeonmorph!
Picked up an old Alienware X51 R2 for free. Replaced:
- GTX 960 with RX480 reference
- i5-4440 with Xeon E3-1240 V3
- 12GB DDR3 1600 with 16GB HyperX Fury DDR3 1600
- Dell Wi-Fi with Intel AC-7260 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth
- OEM CPU fan with Noctua NH-L9x65 w/ NF-A9x14
- 240W PSU brick with 330W PSU brick
No storage was included, so I added dual SSDs (boot + storage). Mounted both under the GPU with plenty of room to spare.
The OEM CPU exhaust fan shroud plays an important part in keeping the cramped X51 cool, so to retain it with the taller-and-wider-than-OEM Noctua NH-L9x65, I took a Dremel and cut the shroud out to fit over the Noctua (a 92mm square hole).
I also added a custom intake with a Noctua NF-P12 high static pressure fan, Thermaltake filter, and hand-cut ventilation in the top case cover.
Finally, to ensure there was enough power for the Xeon and the RX480, I upgraded the external PSU brick from the included 240W unit to the optional 330W model.