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Reviving an old AMD X3-450 System

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
A co-worker has brought me his primary gaming system that's suffering some major performance problems. Long story short, he plays most Source engine games, as well as CS:GO, World of Tanks, WoW and would like to play some newer titles.

In summary, this is what I'm working with:

AMD Athlon II X3-450 @ 3.2GHz
Biostar TA890FXE mobo
Patriot 8GB DDR3
EVGA GeForce 460GTX
1TB WD Green Drive
Thermaltake 750W Modular PSU

After a thorough cleaning of the case, fans, etc. I seemed to have solved the overheating issue he was having. The machine had been placed under his desk (on carpet) since late 2010 and never moved or had been cleaned. You can imagine how much dust and dog fur was found in there. The thing was caked.

Unfortunately, the video card seems to be on the way out...It's creating a ton of visual artifacts after ~30 minutes of gaming that continue to remain on the desktop background after playing. If the machine stays in Windows, it doesn't seem to occur, although the max I've had the system up was 4-6 hours.

So given the circumstances, what would be the recommended path forward to revive this system? Ideally, looking at keeping the budget under $200 and he's not opposed to utilizing used components.

FWIW, I have 16GB of Crucial Ballstix DDR3 I'm going to throw in there and a Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD for free to help cut costs.

Any input and/or suggestions greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 7
I am using a AM3 Athlon X3 450 at the moment. I just sold my AM3+ fx8350/280x system and pulled this tower out of the closet.

I had to buy a few things, GPU I got used, New Power supply and SSD.

Parts

AMD Athlon x3 450
BIostar TA970 AM3+ Motherboard
8 GB Gskillz Sniper 1866
Nvidia 770GTX
256gb Scandisk SSD
3TB HD 7200RPM Seagate
New Thermaltank 650W power supply
Older but nice Antec case

Here are my issues with the current system. Even though I have a AM3+ mother board the soccet AM3 standard Athlon X3 450 is not very fast. as far as desktop apps and load times with the system specs its pretty fast on the boot up and navigation the desk top. loading small apps stuff like that works fine.

old system was similar setup. same chip set

AMD fx 8350
AMD 280x
16GB ddr3 1600
240 GB intel ssd

what im experiencing is very low frame rates. very low. the GTX 770 is pretty close to the 280x in performance. im only getting 30 - 60 FPS in CSGO with the Athlon X3 where is I was pushing 200 FPS with the FX 8350.

In H1z1 I was getting very high frames. now this is where I can see the bottleneck really well. no matter if I put the game on ultra settings or if I put in on low the FPS is 20 - 40 FPS. with a 90-100% CPU load while playing the game. They CPU is just to out dated to mix with modern hardware and even on low settings some games just cant run good. the Athlon X3 just can not process the game data fast enough.

My recommendation is to look at a AMD3+ board and a FX 6300. even a 4100FX quad core would be nice compared to the AM3 Athlon X3.

Also get a cheap SSD cause even a Cheap 120GB SSD from best buy will have a much higher read time then a HDD. my scandisk was cheap at BB. I want to say 40 or 50 $ on sale. it has a 550MB/sec read time and a 150MB a sec write which is not as good as more costly drives. but still read times are Great. write times are as good if not a bit better then a HDD but the 550MB read time for a cheap price is great!

also look for USED CPU and Motherboard. Zen comes out this fall. I sold my system to get value out of it and pieced my new system together with used hardware. I just ordered a used FX8350 for 130$ and ive only spent 500$ on this system. most of it is used. ill sell it when I build a Zen system. but my other system was around $1500. as you can see. ill be maxing games out for $500. you have good parts and only need a few more. your call though.
post #3 of 7
The SSD will make a nice difference, but I wouldn't throw much more than a used 7950 or thereabouts in it.
Lil' Roy Taylor
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
As mentioned in the OP, I'll be putting in a Samsung 256GB SSD. Not sure if a new CPU/mobo is what the owner wants to do, but I'm assuming there isn't much to do with this system otherwise.
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post #5 of 7
In this order (highest priority first):

1) install the SSD
2) get a used 7950 for ~$140 or a 7870 for ~$100

3A) Try unlocking the 4th core and/or overclocking it

OR

3B) Get a Phenom II x4 945 or 955 for around $50-$70 on ebay.
Edited by Bluescreendeath - 1/27/16 at 5:40pm
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have the Samsung 256MB SSD installed, a GeForce GTX 650 and it's running at 3.6GHz with the 4th core unlocked. The 650 isn't performing as well as I hoped, it was a free card anyway, but I'll look at picking up a 7950.
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post #7 of 7
A 650/640 is a good pairing for this CPU. I've used the exact same combo. It is perfect to run games on medium at around 720p or 900p, with fluctuating frame rates. While that combination was being used by guests when they were visiting, I never had any recent games on there to test out, so that is an unknown territory for me.
Basically, the combo is great for casual gamers, something like a step up from consoles, but not by much. SSD will help as well as being able to use dual channel of DDR3, while my rig is using 2x2GB of DDR2.

Unfortunately, the only improvements here are to buy a new motherboard and CPU - which you will need to invest a bit in to get any reasonable improvements. Also, I second trying to unlock the fourth core and try to get it to around 3.8GHz, if you can. Another option is a Phenom II x4 965, another chip I have seen and used. The extra cache can help as well as all four cores being unlocked and usable immediately, with the ability to get to 4.0GHz. At that point, multithreaded performance in gaming will be something like a 6300 at 4.2GHz
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4690k Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5 Gigabyte Windforce 1070 Corsair Vengeance 1600C10 1.5V (2x8GB) 
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Seagate 1TB (ST1000DM003 9YN162) Seagate 2TB (ST2000DM001 1CH164 Seagate 1TB (ST1000DM003 1CH162 Trion 150 960GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Some LG Blu-Ray Corsair H100 Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Acer V246HL 
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CaseMouseMouse Pad
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 8350 ASUS Sabertooth 990FX EVGA 560TI ADATA 4x2GB 1600C9 1.65V-1.5V 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
Some 2.5in 1TB drive Stock Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Corsair TX850 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 
CPUMotherboardRAMOptical Drive
i7-960 Gigabyte X58 ADATA 2x2GB 1600C9 1.65V-1.5V Generic DVD 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
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Primary
(19 items)
 
Secondary
(9 items)
 
Tertiary
(10 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4690k Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5 Gigabyte Windforce 1070 Corsair Vengeance 1600C10 1.5V (2x8GB) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Seagate 1TB (ST1000DM003 9YN162) Seagate 2TB (ST2000DM001 1CH164 Seagate 1TB (ST1000DM003 1CH162 Trion 150 960GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Some LG Blu-Ray Corsair H100 Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Acer V246HL 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
Acer G245HQ ASUS MX25AQ Logitec G710+ Rosewill Capstone 450W 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
Cooler Master Haf XB EVO Roccat Lua My table 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 8350 ASUS Sabertooth 990FX EVGA 560TI ADATA 4x2GB 1600C9 1.65V-1.5V 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
Some 2.5in 1TB drive Stock Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit Corsair TX850 
Case
Cooler Master HAF 
CPUMotherboardRAMOptical Drive
i7-960 Gigabyte X58 ADATA 2x2GB 1600C9 1.65V-1.5V Generic DVD 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Asetek 510LC Linux with pfSense in VM Some generic 1280x1024 Generic 
CaseMouse
Corsair Carbide 400R Generic 
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