Best Graphics Card for Alienware X51 R2

Alienware X51 R2 Introduction

The Alienware X51 R2 is a gaming desktop that is an upgrade to the earlier X51. It is a sleek, menacing looking desktop and uses the same space-saving small-form factor as its predecessor. The blue light illuminates throughout the desktop and Alienware logo.

The desktop comes equipped with a Nvidia GTX 745 GPU which is a graphics card that was invented by Nvidia in 2014. It has a frames per second rating of only 40 and newer graphics card can easily reach 60FPS. As a result, there may be a need for an upgrade here.

Here are the three best graphics cards for the Alienware X51-R2. We ran them through compatibility and performance checks to ensure they’ll work great with your desktop. Changing a graphics card on a desktop is a relatively straightforward task but if you need help you could always consult your local computer repair store and they should replace it for about $25.

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 760Ti 2GB GDDR5

This graphics card was released by Nvidia to support DirectX 12.0. It has 3,540 million transistors which makes it an average sized chip. It has 1344 shading units, 112 texture mapping units and 32 ROPs. Nvidia used 2048 MB GDDR5 memory on the card and connection occurs via a 256-bit memory interface.

Regarding the 1344 shading units, it is a 17% increase in cores from the GTX 760 which only has 1152 CUDA cores.

It has surpassed the GTX 660 graphics card in game performance for some of the top titles including Deus Ex: Human Revolution, F1 2012, Sniper Elite V2, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Borderlands 2, Witcher 2, Shogun 2, Lost Planet 2, Crysis 3, and Metro Last Night.

The technologies this graphics card uses include the GeForce, SLI, PhysX, 3D vision, CUDA, Adaptive Sync, GPU Boost, 4K, DSR, DirectX 12, and TXAA.

Antialiasing which is software technology for reducing jagged lines that should be smooth makes screen-tearing minimal. However, one thing to keep in mind is that it does not support G-SYNC monitors so if that is important to you then opt for our next choice on the list:

NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960 2GB GDDR5

This is the best graphics card for Alienware X51-R2. It has all of the technologies present in previous model plus surround sound, GPU Boost 2.0, VXGI, MFAA, and it also supports Nvidia G-Sync monitor.

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Here are the full specifications of this graphics card:

  • CUDA Cores: 1280
  • Base Clock: 924 + Boost MHz
  • Texture fill rate: 74
  • Nvidia SLI Ready
  • Nvidia G-Sync ready
  • Nvidia Game stream ready
  • Open GL 4.5
  • Bus Support: PCI Express 3.0
  • Memory Clock: 5.0 Gbps
  • Memory interface: GDDR5
  • Memory configuration: 3 GB
  • Memory Bandwidth: 120 GB/sec

This is a newer model graphics card and was released in 2015. It is a large chip regarding size. One downside is that some shaders are disabled in this card by Nvidia to reach the product’s target shader count. As a result, this video card has only 1280 shaders known as CUDA cores. It has 5200 million transistors and a die size of 398mm^2.

One thing to note is that you will need to have a 330 watts AC adapter if you wish to install this graphics card. There is also no display connectivity, so you cannot connect directly to a monitor. Instead, you need to use a PSI interface. It supports Direct X 12.0, so you can play all the steam games in your library without any issues. Furthermore, it is important to state that while configuring this graphics card may be a bit more challenging, it will pay off in the performance that it delivers.

AMD Radeon R9 270/270X

This is another option to consider if you don’t intend to go the NVIDIA route. The X means better performance. It was launched in 2013 and does not support FreeSync. It’s a rather affordable option but we honestly believe NVIDIA GTX 960 is the best option. However, if you still wish to consider it we’ve listed the specificiations below:

  • Shader CUDA Core: 1280
  • Texture units: 80
  • Transistors: 2,800 million
  • Memory clock: 5.6Hz GDDR5
  • Boost Clock: 1050 MHz
  • ROPs: 32
  • Architecture: GCN 1.0


In conclusion, if you are looking for a serious upgrade to enhance performance on your Alienware X51R2 then the NVIDIA 960 is your best bet. It is pairable with G-Sync monitors. It also has a decent shaders rate. Plus, with the release of 4 or 5 more successor models of graphics cards by NVIDIA, the price of 960 has dropped considerably and is very affordable.