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Junkyard Build - Cleaning up a Compaq Presario CQ3250AN w/ Athlon II X3 440 + Radeon HD 4350

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#1
Specs
  • CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440
  • RAM: 2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz
  • Mobo: Asus M2N68-LA
  • GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4350
  • HDD: 500GB Western Digital Blue
  • PSU: Bestec ATX0300H5W 300W

Background
I've always liked the AM2/2+/3 platform - my daily driver used to be a Phenom 9950 Black Edition, which I eventually swapped out for a Phenom II 955 Black Edition. This was between about 2008 and 2012 before changing teams when I built an Ivy Bridge system.

When I came across a very dirty old Presario, I noticed it had a triple core Athlon II. This piqued my curiosity, so I brought it home.

Here are the horrors I found within - click to embiggen:
01_dirty.jpeg 02_dirty.jpeg 03_dirty.jpeg

Cleanup Pictures
I stripped her down to clean her up, and along the way took a few happy snaps. Many cotton buds and paper towels sacrificed themselves in the cleanup effort.

That tasty Athlon sitting on its throne:
04_cpuClose.jpeg 05_cpuClose.jpeg

The RAM:
06_ram.jpeg

The mobo:
07_mobo.jpeg

The RAM back in the mobo:
08_cpuRam.jpeg

Exposed GPU:
09_gpu.jpeg 10_videoCard.jpeg

CPU cooler back in place:
11_moboCpuCooler.jpeg 12_moboCpuCooler.jpeg

I stripped everything out of the case - the fans, HDD, DVD drive, everything. There was dust hiding in every corner of this thing!

The most affected component seemed to be the video card - because the machine is built in the upside down configuration, all of the dust that gets sucked inside the case seems to just settle on top of where the GPU fan is and blocked it up solid. I cleaned it up and hoped for the best.

After opening up the PSU, removing the fan, and cleaning everything up carefully inside, I put it back together and reinstalled it into the case.

Then came the rest of the components.

Everything back inside the case, clean enough for comfort:
13_assembled.jpeg 14_assembled.jpeg

After it was all back together and clean, I got it up on the bench to see if it would boot.

Success!

To my surprise, all of the fans are nicely just humming away - no grinding noises which is what I half expect after cleaning up machines like this.

Up next: install Windows 10 and run some benchmarks. I'm not expecting to get much out of the HD 4350.
After that: swap out the PSU and then install an Radeon R9 270X to see how the Athlon II X3 holds up in modern-ish games.
 
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hat

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#2
Nice find. Those Athlon II x3s weren't all that bad. I still run an Athlon II x4 at the moment in my Plex server.
 
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#3
Nice clean up job.
My dad uses that case. I rebuilt his trusty socket 939 system using that case that was laying around.
 
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#5
I love old PC rescue thread like this. Now it just needs some benchmarks :rockout:
 

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#6
But.... But can it run crysis?
 
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#7
so you bought it or you got it for free
 
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#9
I'd be tempted to flip the case so it is running PSU on the bottom and Motherboard right way around, it would mean removing the optical drive and turning that over, and having the ugly base on top though.
 
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#10
It's really satisfying doing a complete stripdown and seeing the final build results.
Nice job.
 
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#11
s3thra,

You seem to have missed your calling....as a (pc) rescue artist :) Nice job of givin some luvin to such a badly neglected piece of hardware.....

Please, if you can, please find out who neglected it so badly, and adminster the appropriate punishment.... multiple, severly hard bitch-slaps, or just put your foot so far up their ass that they will need a chainsaw to get it out:nutkick: :shadedshu:

And for the record, I never really cared for the pre-sorry-io or any of Compcraq's machines, but even still, I would have NEVA, EVA allowed one to be so badly abused.........
 
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#12
That's all very well @bonehead123 but I'll wager that this is just one example out of millions.
Most people haven't a clue about the inside of their PCs and neither do they care.
 
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#13
That's all very well @bonehead123 but I'll wager that this is just one example out of millions.
Most people haven't a clue about the inside of their PCs and neither do they care.
Tru dat, especially at work :D

Back when these were popular business machines, I opened the one I worked on & discovered basically the same thing inside it. Low & behold within the next week or so, 7 of the other 10 machines in the office started having massive errors and fried components & everybody wondered why....I then explained it to the boss & he started making sure that our so-called "IT" guy cleaned them out once per month when he came in to do his monthly updates and OS maintenance.....

guess what..... the replacement rigs are STILL running just as well today as they did like 8 years ago !
 
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#14
Alrighty, I have Windows 10 up and running on this old beastie, time to get to testing.

Detailed Specs
CPU, mobo, GPU:
cpu.png mobo.png gpu.png

Stability Testing
Before running benchmarks, I want to ensure stability. After being so clogged up with dust for so long, and having to clean every little nook of every component, the chance that something might have been zapped in the process is in my mind somewhat likely.

First, a RAM test in Memtest86+ is in order:
memtest.jpg

And it's a pass!

I'll use Furmark to stress the GPU, and Prime95 to stress the CPU. In the process I'll see what the maximum temps are for both GPU and CPU to confirm cooling is working as it should on the lightweight OEM heatsinks and fans.

Idle Temps
First, here are system idle temps for reference:
440idleTemp.png hd4350idle.png

26C for the CPU (wow!), 53C for the GPU.

Furmark on the Radeon HD 4350
I ran Furmark for about 7 minutes until the GPU temp seemed to plateau at 76C. Interestingly the fan on the heatsink never ticked up from 13%. No artifacts appeared on-screen, so the video card seems to be holding up.
hd4350furmarkTemp.png

A quick note on the GPU drivers - the latest drivers I could find on the AMD website for the HD 4350 were compatible up to Windows 8 - as I'm doing my testing on Windows 10, I'm just running the Windows drivers from Windows Update.
01_hd4350noWin10drivers.png 02_hd4350defaultDriver.png

Prime95 on the Athlon II X3 440
Running Prime95 (using the Small FFTs setting) kicked the CPU temp up to 59C. Very reasonable for the OEM CoolerMaster cooler, and it kept passing all of the tests after 20 minutes (not comprehensive enough to guarantee complete system stability really, though I'm just doing a quick check here).
440prime95Temp.png

In summary, stability is sound. Cooling is also at fine levels for an OEM machine like this. With a fresh lick of Arctic Silver, and allowing the GPU and CPU to breath properly in the first time in years after a decade of dust buildup (!), this little machine is humming along so far.

Benchmarks to come next.
 
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#15
Athlon II X3 440 benchmarks
CPU-Z
cpuz.png

Cinebench R20
cinebenchR20.jpg

Geekbench
geekbench.png

Modest results on a decade old triple-core chip. Not much to see, but nice to see how things have lept forward for AMD over the last 10 years.

Radeon HD 4350 benchmarks
Furmark
furmark720.png
PLA
plaMiddle.jpg

Unigine Heaven DX9
unigineHeavenDx9.png

Unigine Heaven DX11
unigineHeavenDx11.png

Unigine Valley DX9
unigineValleyDx9.png

Unigine Valley DX11
unigineValleyDx11.png

Benchmarking the GPU was as slow as expected. On the bright side the DX11 benchmarks actually ran which was a bonus!

For giggles next I'll swap out the PSU with something with a bit more grunt and swap out the video card for an RX 570. I know I said originally I'd use an R9 270X, but I intend on using the RX 570 in my Ivy Bridge 3570k system. Then I'll be able to do a comparison and see how much the Athlon bottlenecks the 570 vs the Core i5.

It'll be interesting to see if a modest GPU upgrade to a decade old AMD system will allow for decent playability for games like CS:GO or Dota 2 etc.
 
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#16
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#17
Replacing the PSU and GPU
I have my RX 570 and Corsair 450W PSU ready to install. Here is the lovely Gigabyte Gaming 4G version of the RX 570:
01_rx570.jpeg 02_rx570.jpeg

It's a tight squeeze, but I managed to get everything in:
03_gpuPsuInstalled.jpeg 04_gpuPsuInstalled.jpeg

However, I am unable to plug the SATA cables from the HDD and DVD drive back into the motherboard. The RX 570 is just too long, and the SATA connectors sit right under where the end of the video card is.

Luckily, in my cupboard of computing history, I have a PCI SATA adapter:
05_pciSata.jpeg

Luckily I am left with a spare PCI slot on the motherboard which is unobstructed.

Perfect! I can plug my storage straight into the adapter:
06_pciSataInstalled.jpeg

Except now Windows is blue screening on boot - says it cannot find boot device.

Time to reinstall Windows...
 
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#18
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#19
It turns out that the PCI SATA adapter does not have Windows 10 drivers, so I'm unable to boot to a drive with the RX 570 at this point.

I'm thinking the only possibility may be to get a PCIe to M.2 adapter - I should be able to squeeze one of these in next to the video card. Until I come across one of those with an accompanying M.2 NVME drive on the cheap, I'll have to leave the benchmarks up to the imagination.

As a consolation, I've pitted the Athlon II X3 440/Radeon HD 4350 against my Athlon 64 X2 3800+/Radeon X800 Pro in the Doom 3 timedemo.

Athlon II X3 440/Radeon HD 4350 Doom 3 timedemo results:
doom3timedemo4350.jpeg

Athlon 64 X2 3800+/Radeon X800 Pro Doom 3 timedemo results:
doom3timedemox800.jpeg

And it's a slight win for the Socket 939 AGP system from 2005! That being said, Doom 3 is totally playable on either system at 1024x768 :p

Anyway, I'll leave this thread alone for now until I think of something else to do with with this once very dirty and unloved Presario from 2009.
 
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#20
Create your own custom Windows iso with your sata drivers embedded nvm I just reread it again, doh :D
 
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#21
It turns out that the PCI SATA adapter does not have Windows 10 drivers, so I'm unable to boot to a drive with the RX 570 at this point.
Did you have a look at the Lattice Semiconductor website? I found this including a BIOS update for the card. You would still have to integrate the driver into the Windows 10 installation for booting the installer environment.
http://www.latticesemi.com/Search.aspx?&lcid=9&q=3114&t=-480#s=~_d0!2!1!!1!7!0!1!!2!!!2!1!0!_d2!BrErsrDrCrsrxqaqvputpypqAqvpuspwpzpFpGputpwpwpqqrxqaqvputpypqqqrsr!BIOS!Drivers!497!UTC-08!_d6!fvf|@documenttype!_d8!_d1!3!4!_d0!Lattice+Global+Search!3114!!xqKqtJpIpupvppwpupwpvppHpppFpwpGpLpupEpDpCpvpBpApzppypqxprpqsq!
 
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#22
@biffzinker you're a genius!... well at least you prompted me to look at this from a different perspective. ;)

I booted Windows 10 up with the PCI SATA card still inside, and Windows managed to just do its thing and found a driver for the device.

There is the card from Device Manager:

1555401971256.png

Next step - plug the HDD and optical drive into the adapter and see if she boots.

Success!

Alrighty, the show is back on the road. RX 570 benchmarks to come.
 
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Memory Samsung 4gb PC3-10600U + Hynix 2gb PC3-8500U
Video Card(s) Zotac GT630 2gb 128bits Synergy Edition
Storage Hitachi 1TB HDS721010CLA632
Display(s) Compaq WF 1907 @ 1440x900
Case HP Pavilion P7
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair HX520W
Mouse HP MSU0923
Keyboard Acer KU-0760
Software Windows 7 HomePremium 64bits
#23
I'd be tempted to flip the case so it is running PSU on the bottom and Motherboard right way around, it would mean removing the optical drive and turning that over, and having the ugly base on top though.
What about just flipping the case but screw the optical drive upside down so its still useable at the bottom of the case?
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Messages
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Location
Australia
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 2600
Motherboard MSI B450 Gaming Plus
Cooling Cryorig H7
Memory Kingston HyperX Predator DDR4 3200MHz 2x8GB
Video Card(s) ASUS Radeon RX 580 8GB Dual-fan OC Edition
Storage Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe 250GB
Case NZXT H500
Power Supply Corsair RM650x Gold 650W
Mouse Razer DeathAdder 2013
Keyboard MaxKeyboard Nighthawk X8 (Cherry Brown)
Software Kubuntu
#24
The benchmarks are done, and I've pitted the Athlon II X3 system against the i5 3570k system to see how much of a bottleneck the old Athlon build is to a Radeon RX 570.

For reference, here are the specs of the two systems.

First, the Athlon II system:
  • CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 440
  • RAM: 2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz
  • Mobo: Asus M2N68-LA
  • HDD: 500GB Western Digital Blue
And the i5 system:
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 3570k @ 4.2 GHz
  • RAM: 4x4GB DDR3 1600MHz
  • Mobo: ASUS P8Z77-M Pro
  • SSD: 256GB Samsung 840 Pro

Furmark: i5+570 system score 4402 vs Athlon+570 system score 4432
rx570_athon_furmark720.png rx570_3570k_furmark720.png
Here you can see that the CPU has little impact on the GPU performance. It's actually a slightly higher score for the Athlon system which is odd, but within margin of error.

PLA: i5+570 system 199.9 AVG FPS vs Athlon+570 system 106.2 AVG FPS
rx570_athon_pla.png rx570_3570k_pla.png
This is evidently a benchmark that stresses both CPU and GPU because the average FPS is almost half on the Athlon system than that of the i5.

Unigine Heaven DX9: i5+570 system 96.9 AVG FPS vs Athlon+570 system 84.8 AVG FPS
rx570_3570k_unigineHeavenDx9.png rx570_athon_unigineHeavenDx9.png

Unigine Heaven DX11: i5+570 system 106.0 AVG FPS vs Athlon+570 system 92.0 AVG FPS
rx570_3570k_unigineHeavenDx11.png rx570_athon_unigineHeavenDx11.png

Unigine Heaven in both DX9 and DX11 seem to be very GPU focused as the average FPS differences didn't equate to a lot given the huge raw performance differences between these CPUs.

Unigine Valley DX9: i5+570 system 96.0 AVG FPS vs Athlon+570 system 44.6 AVG FPS
rx570_3570k_unigineValleyDx9.png rx570_athon_unigineValleyDx9.png

Unigine Valley DX11: i5+570 system 102.9 AVG FPS vs Athlon+570 system 46.6 AVG FPS
rx570_3570k_unigineValleyDx11.png rx570_athon_unigineValleyDx11.png

Unigine Valley, as opposed to Unigine Heaven, appears to focus quite a lot on the CPU performance as there is a vast difference in results here.

Looking at these results, I would have to conclude that the Athlon II X3 440 does indeed bottleneck a RX 570 in certain scenarios quite heavily. These benchmarks were all about satisfying a curiosity, and in all seriousness I wouldn't recommend pairing these two components together. It's nice to see what a 10 year old CPU can do when mixed with relatively modern components though.

What I'll do next is swap out the RX 570 and put it back in the 3570k system where it belongs. Then I'll pair the Athlon with an R9 270X 2GB GPU from 2013. I picked the 270X up on eBay for about $70AU a few months back, so it would be nice to see what kind of junkyard gaming rig a free 2009 Presario and a $70 graphics card actually equates to game-wise.

Who knows, it might play CS:GO or Dota 2 reasonably okay - I'll post here once I have it all up and running again.

Oh, and here is the RX 570 installed and the system powered on in all of its untidy, messy glory:
presarioRx570.jpeg
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Australia
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 2600
Motherboard MSI B450 Gaming Plus
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Video Card(s) ASUS Radeon RX 580 8GB Dual-fan OC Edition
Storage Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe 250GB
Case NZXT H500
Power Supply Corsair RM650x Gold 650W
Mouse Razer DeathAdder 2013
Keyboard MaxKeyboard Nighthawk X8 (Cherry Brown)
Software Kubuntu
#25
Athlon II X3 440 + Radeon R9 270X quick benchmarks

Before I get into testing games on this beastie, I thought I would quickly benchmark the R9 270X for reference.

Furmark: system score 4130
furmark270x.png

PLA: 113.8 AVG FPS
pla270x.png

Unigine Heaven DX11: 62.6 AVG FPS
unigineHeaven270x.png

Unigine Valley DX11: 47.8 AVG FPS
unigineValley270x.png

The Heaven benchmark shows the most difference here between the RX 570 and the R9 270X (92 AVG FPS vs 62 AVG FPS respectively). I would put this down to this particular benchmark being not as CPU intensive compared to the other benchmarks. Looking at the difference differences between the 3570k and the Athlon confirms this in the previous post.

The other benchmarks are sitting around the same mark as when I had the RX 570 in the system, so the Athlon is definitely the bottleneck here.
 
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