For starters, lets define what the big rig is. The big rig is my Alienware Aurora ALX that I bought way back in 2009. It has been a great PC longer than any of my past PCs by far. The only problem is that I have never tried to upgrade until now.
After Harvey finally died down in Texas, I got started on trying to upgrade the graphics cards, hard drive, and add ram. I was able to add a hard drive easily, but the rest has been harder than expected with the cards being the real problem. That problem is that I made a bad mistake in 2009 when I bought a dual graphics card setup rather than a single powerful card. Besides never really working, it has only increased the complexity of upgrading the system.
Removing the two cards was not that hard other than removing a very small connector that was not listed in any diagram and having to get the bottom card around a cable without hurting either. The fun began when I went to get the GTX 1050 to install it in a slot. It is about the same size as the previous two cards combined. Therefore, it would not fit in the top or bottom slot.
This is what my system looks like now after the cards have been removed:
Now I am faced with a very important decision: Do I try to find a smaller card to fit one of the slots or do I move one of the platforms above so I can have room for the GTX 1050? If I removed the top platform, there is a cable labeled audio attached to it. Thus, I would have to either remove that cable or attach it to the bottom platform. With the top platform gone, the card should fit on the bottom platform as the reason the top platform does not work is the fan below the cooling system limits the height the card can be in that slot.
Of course, this does not even take into account the SLI feature of the system. Since the double cards never worked since day one, I believe the Dell tech just deactivated it and used the one GTS 240. I found the top card not connected to the system, but there was a SLI bridge attached to both cards. Hoping this will not throw errors my way, so I am keeping all the parts just in case.
Hopefully, I can still use the single GTX 1050 because upgrading will be extremely limited if that is not the case. Without a doubt, I will never choose something overly fancy like a dual card setup again!