Discussion My 3400G rig, one year later

hurtstotalktoyou

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Mar 24, 2005
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In January 2009 I got myself an Athlon 64 X2 5000+ rig with 4GB DDR2, and that's what I used for ten years. Seriously. I didn't upgrade the CPU until 2019, and even then it was only to a hand-me-down Pentium E5400 (also from 2009). The E5400 isn't actually all that much better than the X2 5000+, but the board it came with had 8GB DDR2, a huge improvement from the 4GB I was running before.

In November 2020 I was still using a *budget* chip from 2009. I didn't even have an SSD to breathe life into it---nope, I was running a generic 7200RPM hard disk. Oh, and the graphics card? I had me a Radeon HD5450 512 MB, which I eventually upgraded to a GeForce 710 GT 1GB!

But you know what? I was pretty satisfied up until COVID hit. I'm not a gamer, but I was able to run dual displays with youtube on one screen and doing my work on the other. It wasn't hi-def or anything, but it got the job done at 720p. I could even do some basic video editing in Camtasia. (I'm a math professor so I had to record lectures during COVID.) What really forced my hand was the end of life (in January 2020) for Windows 7, which my rig could handle with zero trouble. Upgrading to Windows 10 technically worked, but it was pretty rough.

So in November 2020 I got me a 3400G with an ASRock B550M-HDV, 16GB DDR4, and 1TB SSD. And, I was lucky to get it before prices skyrocketed---together with a case, it was $404 out the door. Remember, I'm not a gamer, so those integrated graphics are perfect for me. I didn't replace everything though---I kept my old Antec Earthwatts 380W from 2009, and also my Samsung T220HD and Toshiba 32AV502U displays, both from 2008.

At first, the 3400G wasn't fully compatible with the board---it had a few bugs---but a recent BIOS update from ASRock has finally fixed that. And this weekend I ordered an external 2TB SSD that should satisfy my storage needs. One year later, I'm very happy!
 
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Insert_Nickname

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May 6, 2012
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Good to hear. The 3400G is plenty for basic stuff, and if you ever need more CPU horsepower, there are great options on the AM4 platform.

I didn't replace everything though---I kept my old Antec Earthwatts 380W from 2009
You may want to consider replacing that PSU eventually. Capacitors do degrade with age and use. 12+ years might be pushing your luck.

Doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just a good quality basic unit.
 

hurtstotalktoyou

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Mar 24, 2005
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Good to hear. The 3400G is plenty for basic stuff, and if you ever need more CPU horsepower, there are great options on the AM4 platform.
Thanks! And yes, I tried to get as modern of a chipset as I could on a budget (B550 instead of B450 or A320), for just that eye of upgrading later. Maybe in 2031 I'll be rocking a 5700G instead ; )

You may want to consider replacing that PSU eventually. Capacitors do degrade with age and use. 12+ years might be pushing your luck.

Doesn't have to be anything fancy. Just a good quality basic unit.
Yes, I agree, I will be replacing it as soon as I have the dollaroos. Any recommendations? I'd like something that lasts a long time, as this one has.
 
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mikeymikec

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May 19, 2011
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Yes, I agree, I will be replacing it as soon as I have the dollaroos. Any recommendations? I'd like something that lasts a long time, as this one has.
If you're just running a 3400G and an SSD, you don't need much wattage (I've been using Be Quiet! 300W PSUs for some years with that sort of build). Do you want/need it to be as quiet as possible?

I ended up spending £100 UKP on a Seasonic 650W because I have a gaming graphics card and because I wanted it to be silent: The PSU fan doesn't come on until it's under significant load. Seasonic is more expensive but they have a good rep.
 

hurtstotalktoyou

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Mar 24, 2005
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If you're just running a 3400G and an SSD, you don't need much wattage (I've been using Be Quiet! 300W PSUs for some years with that sort of build). Do you want/need it to be as quiet as possible?

I ended up spending £100 UKP on a Seasonic 650W because I have a gaming graphics card and because I wanted it to be silent: The PSU fan doesn't come on until it's under significant load. Seasonic is more expensive but they have a good rep.
Yeah that was the case in 2009 too, but oh my they are expensive! I don't need it to be silent, no, but I don't want it to be loud either.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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Yeah that was the case in 2009 too, but oh my they are expensive! I don't need it to be silent, no, but I don't want it to be loud either.
I don't have any complaints with Be Quiet so far. In the UK's climate, when combining a Pure Power 11 300W PSU with something better than the stock AMD heatsink, the PCs I built were near-silent. The stock AMD heatsink for the 3400G likes to rev up with the slightest load unfortunately!
 
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Insert_Nickname

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May 6, 2012
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Any recommendations? I'd like something that lasts a long time, as this one has.
Not really. The cheaper Corsairs are usually decent, but it depends on who manufactured the particular model. A basic Seasonic is also a decent choice. But it really depends on what you have available.

Also, try to get a model with fan-stop if low noise is a consideration. With only a 3400G it should hardly ever start the fan.

The stock AMD heatsink for the 3400G likes to rev up with the slightest load unfortunately!
A common occurrence with AMD boards. You should be able to adjust fan speed profile (or manually) in BIOS, to something more suitable.

At stock settings, my B450-E + 3600 does the same thing, continually ramping fan speed up and down. Which is even more annoying to listen to then a loud fan by itself. Now, I'm using a tower cooler, so I solved that with a Noctua fan and a low noise adaptor. It just runs full speed all the time now. As a bonus, I get a bit better performance with Precision Boost.
 

escrow4

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Feb 4, 2013
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I somehow can't see how a Core 2 or X2 is even remotely unusable for that long even with OPs basic usage. Those CPUs/platforms are garbage landfill by now. And no SSD *shudders*.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Good to see you again, @escrow4 .

You'de be happy to learn that I'm not pimping low-end rigs anymore, though I have to admit, I picked up some Pentium Gold G6400 CPUs when they were cheaper ($50-60), for "browser boxes" or mining shells. As far as low-end chip go, they're fairly sweet.

For gaming boxes, the lowest I'll go is a Ryzen 1600, or an i3-10100(F).
 

DAPUNISHER

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I know you are not a gamer, but if you decide to relax and play some, the 3400G will provide a good time. Particularly if that 16GB ram is 2x8GB as APUs need the dual channel desperately. Here is the best case scenario; A game series that is well optimized. I will link Forza Horizon 4 starting at 1440p, where the 3400G is providing a playable experience.


Here it is providing a fun time in the brand new 5 version that just launched.

 
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LightningZ71

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There's a little more performance to be had in the platform with 2 x 16GB dimms as they are typically dual rank. Dual rank seems to help the iGPU more than you would expect. With a good cooler, well tuned memory, and a decent overclock on the iGPU, you can get a good 10% more performance out of the 3400g.
 

kschendel

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I'm surprised that you were able to get the 3400G running on a B550 motherboard; they aren't supposed to be compatible. The 3400G is a Zen+ CPU and the B550's aren't supposed to run Zen 1 or Zen+ CPU's. I guess someone decided to put in the BIOS effort, fortunately for you.
 

DAPUNISHER

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I'm surprised that you were able to get the 3400G running on a B550 motherboard; they aren't supposed to be compatible. The 3400G is a Zen+ CPU and the B550's aren't supposed to run Zen 1 or Zen+ CPU's. I guess someone decided to put in the BIOS effort, fortunately for you.
I have a Asus TUF gaming x570 plus wifi that supports all the way back to the 2200g based Zen APUs.
 
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Shivansps

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I'm surprised that you were able to get the 3400G running on a B550 motherboard; they aren't supposed to be compatible. The 3400G is a Zen+ CPU and the B550's aren't supposed to run Zen 1 or Zen+ CPU's. I guess someone decided to put in the BIOS effort, fortunately for you.
It was at the start, but they decided to drop the act and all A520/B550/B450 boards ended up supporting all AM4 cpus except for Bristol Ridge, even if it has a 16MB bios, what means that bios size limit was never true either.

They just say "it is not officially supported", but its there.

Update: Asus and Gigabyte are starting to rollout bios update to A320 boards (!!!) that also includes full AM4 lineup support except for BR.


Its a matter of time before they expand that to B350 and X370... So we can say that all AM4 boards support everything now. Except for BR. At least until Zen3D.
 
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