Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Upgrading HP Z400 Workstation

Hello,

 

I recently got a Z400 workstation for free so i thought it would make a good budget mid range gaming PC

 

I got the PC with the following specs:

 

Ram:   8gb

CPU:   W3520

GPU:   QuadroFX 3500

HD:     1TB Hitachi HUA72101

PSU:   475 watt

 

My upgrade parts:

 

Ram: 32gb £90   <-- still waiting to arrive

CPU: x5690 $50  <-- still waiting to arrive

GPU: Nvidia 1060 3gb £79

SSD: RAID0 2x Crucial_CT250MX2  ( already had them around )

FAN: Extra 80mm high airflow fan ( from a server ) at the front  ( already had it )

 

Total cost around 270$

 

The 3DMARK score is 3767 without the new CPU and RAM and with some careful overclocking the score with increase.

Also AS-SSD Benchmark shows speeds of over 500MB/s

 

Anybody knows if i will be able to use XTU to overclock since the bios does not provide such options ?

 

Any thoughts / recommendations on what to do next ?

 

 

Thank you

 

 

 

 

Bios_z400.jpg

GPU.jpg

Memory_z400.jpg

SSD_Bench.jpg

x5690_z400.jpg

z400.jpg

Speccy_z400.jpg

Time_z400.jpg

z400_2.jpg

z400_3.jpg

z400_4.jpg

CPUz.jpg

GPUz.jpg

83180317_177564463356833_3143282183628652544_n.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

wow this is something, good idea to utilise an old PC that cost nothing and able to restore it to a half decent spec. 

even though its big, retro and dated, its kind of cool at the same time. 

well done on this, its nice to see people doing things like this now. 

I guess the GPU is backwards compatible to run on Pci-e 2.0 

 

amazing how fast things have changed, i look at some of my old PC builds and its like wow, they age so fast. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Frayia said:

wow this is something, good idea to utilise an old PC that cost nothing and able to restore it to a half decent spec. 

even though its big, retro and dated, its kind of cool at the same time. 

well done on this, its nice to see people doing things like this now. 

I guess the GPU is backwards compatible to run on Pci-e 2.0 

 

amazing how fast things have changed, i look at some of my old PC builds and its like wow, they age so fast. 

 

 

Well with a 6 core 12 threads cpu, 32gb ram, raid ssd i guess the only limiting factor in gaming is the GPU.

 

Even in its current state it should be able to handle most games in 1080p. 

 

Later on i will get a better GPU if i find one with the right price.

 

Also the case is not big its a standard midi tower.

 

If you liked this build you will also like my HP xw8400 upgrade.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you guys think this is worth it ? is it a good deal ?

Next upgrade along the way would be a PSU that can support power to a better GPU

Link to post
Share on other sites

tbh I wouldn't spend that much on this old platform. 

 

The big wrench in trying to make these old machines viable for mid-range gaming in 2020 is that you can get equal or much better performance with much lower power consumption (and in turn heat generation) with more modern platforms. 

I'm as guilty as anyone for not pumping AMD through the 2010's but honestly the performance value from even a 1st gen Ryzen chip compared to these old DDR3-based machines makes it a no-brainer. 

Spend a few hundred euro/pounds/dollars/whatever your currency is and invest in a very modest Ryzen setup and not only will you have likely better performance right out the gate than an older DDR3-based workstation, but it will likely run cooler and quieter as well as give you the option of upgrading to brand new much more powerful CPUs, nvme SSDs, etc should you so desire in the next few years.

I get that free old workstations are tempting since they're free to acquire, but unfortunately at this point the reason they are free is because that's pretty much a reflection of their value - IE they are not really worth using anymore, hence why they're being discarded in the first place.

 

*EDIT*

 

My point is that I wouldn't spend any money at all trying to beef them up. If you need a computer for basic tasks like internet browsing, sure get by with whatever you can but certainly don't spend hundreds of euro/dollars into it.

HEDT: i9 10980XE @ 4.9 gHz, 64GB @ 3600mHz CL14 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, 2x Nvidia Titan RTX NVLink SLI, Corsair AX1600i, Samsung 960 Pro 2TB OS/apps, Samsung 850 EVO 4TB media, LG 38GL950G-B monitor, Drop CTRL keyboard, Decus Respec mouse

Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 2019 9750H model, 32GB @ 3200mHz CL18 G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4, 2x Samsung 960 Pro 1TB RAID0, repasted with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Gaming Rig: i9 9900ks @ 5.2ghz, 32GB @ 4000mHz CL17 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Kingpin, Corsair HX1200, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB, Asus PG348Q monitor, Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard, Corsair Ironclaw mouse
HTPC: i7 7700 (delidded + LM), 16GB @ 2666mHz CL15 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, MSI Geforce GTX 1070 Gaming X, Corsair SFX 600, Samsung 850 Pro 512gb, Samsung Q55R TV, Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 TKL keyboard, Logitech G403 wireless mouse

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Kalm_Traveler1 said:

tbh I wouldn't spend that much on this old platform. 

 

The big wrench in trying to make these old machines viable for mid-range gaming in 2020 is that you can get equal or much better performance with much lower power consumption (and in turn heat generation) with more modern platforms. 

I'm as guilty as anyone for not pumping AMD through the 2010's but honestly the performance value from even a 1st gen Ryzen chip compared to these old DDR3-based machines makes it a no-brainer. 

Spend a few hundred euro/pounds/dollars/whatever your currency is and invest in a very modest Ryzen setup and not only will you have likely better performance right out the gate than an older DDR3-based workstation, but it will likely run cooler and quieter as well as give you the option of upgrading to brand new much more powerful CPUs, nvme SSDs, etc should you so desire in the next few years.

I get that free old workstations are tempting since they're free to acquire, but unfortunately at this point the reason they are free is because that's pretty much a reflection of their value - IE they are not really worth using anymore, hence why they're being discarded in the first place.

Well for the 270$ spend i don't think i could have gotten a new full system with comparable performance.

Do you have any examples ? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Biomecanoid said:

Well for the 270$ spend i don't think i could have gotten a new full system with comparable performance.

Do you have any examples ? 

For sure, I didn't mean that $270 would replace the workstation + upgrade parts, rather just that I would not spend any money upgrading that at all because for not much more you could simply build a brand new machine that is much much better.

Taking into consideration the SSDs you already had, and the GTX 1060 you were fine with buying, this quick list I threw together would give you a full very capable system:

 

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/pBLtWb

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor  ($114.99 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte B450 AORUS ELITE ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($99.99 @ Amazon) 
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory  ($68.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($49.99 @ Amazon) 
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case  ($69.98 @ Amazon) 
Power Supply: EVGA 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply  ($72.98 @ Newegg) 

Total: $476.92
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-01-12 16:26 EST-0500

So about 366 gbp + your 79 gbp GTX 1060 for a grand total of 445 gbp for basically a fully brand new modern PC that would be very solid.

HEDT: i9 10980XE @ 4.9 gHz, 64GB @ 3600mHz CL14 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, 2x Nvidia Titan RTX NVLink SLI, Corsair AX1600i, Samsung 960 Pro 2TB OS/apps, Samsung 850 EVO 4TB media, LG 38GL950G-B monitor, Drop CTRL keyboard, Decus Respec mouse

Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 2019 9750H model, 32GB @ 3200mHz CL18 G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4, 2x Samsung 960 Pro 1TB RAID0, repasted with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Gaming Rig: i9 9900ks @ 5.2ghz, 32GB @ 4000mHz CL17 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Kingpin, Corsair HX1200, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB, Asus PG348Q monitor, Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard, Corsair Ironclaw mouse
HTPC: i7 7700 (delidded + LM), 16GB @ 2666mHz CL15 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, MSI Geforce GTX 1070 Gaming X, Corsair SFX 600, Samsung 850 Pro 512gb, Samsung Q55R TV, Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 TKL keyboard, Logitech G403 wireless mouse

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a z800 with X5670's in it, more than enough for gaming and when it comes to heavy multitasking, having 24 threads is a great benefit over a more modern CPU with half as many threads.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Curious Pineapple said:

I have a z800 with X5670's in it, more than enough for gaming and when it comes to heavy multitasking, having 24 threads is a great benefit over a more modern CPU with half as many threads.

Well the z800 is much different than my puny z400. Probably when i am fed up with the z400 i will upgrade to a dual cpu motherboard and keep all the rest

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/12/2020 at 11:00 PM, Biomecanoid said:

Well for the 270$ spend i don't think i could have gotten a new full system with comparable performance.

Do you have any examples ? 

you could have gotten 16gb sticks on aliexpress for 25 eur, have 2 of them and works perfectly

Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Likwid said:

you could have gotten 16gb sticks on aliexpress for 25 eur, have 2 of them and works perfectly

 

Do you have the z400 ? HP servers have specific types of ram that is compatible with the system otherwise weird things happen.

HP supports 8gb dimm module x4 and that is a stretch or the original specs and only after with a bios update.

Send me a link to check out the ram on aliexpress.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive debated doing this just for fun.  Can find Z400's with X5670's and everything sans storage and the OS (Quadro, that odd modular PSU etc) for around $220 shipped when I was looking last year (on sale, Newegg).  

 

As I understand the reasons why NOT to do this, as a PC hardware enthusiast who has the most fun putting *something* together for the sake of using old parts laying around, or even purchasing parts that are senseless...I love it.

 

Here is my Dell I decided to "pimp my ride" that was a complete waste of money but could play GTA5 no problem!  Check out that GPU in the loop ;)

 

 

lastfinal4.jpg

Current in process build: Project Odyssey - Build Logs - Linus Tech Tips

Workstation Laptop: Dell Precision 7540, Xeon E-2276M, 32gb DDR4, Quadro T2000 GPU, 4k display

Ryzen Rig 3: ASRock B450m Pro4, Ryzen 5 3600, ARESGAME River 5 CPU cooler in push/pull, EVGA RTX 2060 KO, 16gb (2x8) 3600mhz TeamGroup T-Force RAM, ARESGAME AGV750w PSU, 1tb WD Black SN750 NVMe Win 10 boot drive, 3tb Hitachi 7200 RPM HDD, Fractal Design Focus G Mini custom painted.  Lenovo 27" 1080p 60hz placeholder monitor, generic mouse, generic keyboard.  Still a work in progress

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 video card benchmark result - AMD Ryzen 5 3600,ASRock B450M Pro4 (3dmark.com)

Ryzen Rig 2: ASrock B450 Pro4, Ryzen 7 1700 @ 4.2ghz all core 1.4vCore, AMD R9 Fury X w/ Swiftech KOMODO waterblock, Custom Loop 2x240mm + 1x120mm radiators in push/pull 16gb (2x8) 3600mhz V-Color Skywalker (or 4x8gb DDR4 2666mhz for large tasks), Corsair HX850 PSU, 250gb Samsun 960 EVO NVMe Win 10 boot drive, 500gb Samsung 840 EVO SSD, 512GB TeamGroup MP30 M.2 SATA III SSD, SuperTalent 512gb SATA III SSD, CoolerMaster HAF XM Case.  Zalman K600S keyboard, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Viotek GN24C 24" 1080p 144hz curved and Hannspree HF207 as 2nd monitor

https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37004594?

Ryzen Rig 1: ASUS B350-PRIME ATX, Ryzen 7 1700, Sapphire R9 Fury Tri-X Nitro 4gb HBM, 16gb (2x8) 3200mhz V-Color Skywalker, ANTEC Earthwatts 750w PSU, MasterLiquid Lite 120 AIO cooler in Push/Pull config as rear exhaust, 250gb Samsung 850 Evo SSD, Patriot Burst 240gb SSD, Cougar MX330-X Case.  Zalman K600S keyboard, Zalman ZM-GM1 mouse, Acer XF270HU 2560x1440 144hz IPS monitor

https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37628874?

Dell OptiPlex 3040 MFF: Dell 0MGK50 A02, i3-6100T, 2x4gb DDR3 1600, Team Group 120gb SSD, 500gb Seagate 7mm HDD attached storage, Windows 10 Pro, Logitech K400+, USB Wifi adapter all vesa mounted to the back of a 37" 1080p TV 

Linux Box: Toshiba Laptop, i7 620M, NVS graphics, 4gb ram tinker toy at the moment.  Running Manjaro XFCE at the moment.

Home Security: ZOSI 8 channel CCTV (4 used at this time, 1080p) DVR H.265+, 3tb HGST Enterprise HDD, ASUS monitor for display

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the real problem with trying to beef up these old workstations... You end up wasting money where you could have built a brand new much faster rig that uses less power for the same or just slightly more money. 

HEDT: i9 10980XE @ 4.9 gHz, 64GB @ 3600mHz CL14 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, 2x Nvidia Titan RTX NVLink SLI, Corsair AX1600i, Samsung 960 Pro 2TB OS/apps, Samsung 850 EVO 4TB media, LG 38GL950G-B monitor, Drop CTRL keyboard, Decus Respec mouse

Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 2019 9750H model, 32GB @ 3200mHz CL18 G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4, 2x Samsung 960 Pro 1TB RAID0, repasted with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Gaming Rig: i9 9900ks @ 5.2ghz, 32GB @ 4000mHz CL17 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Kingpin, Corsair HX1200, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB, Asus PG348Q monitor, Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard, Corsair Ironclaw mouse
HTPC: i7 7700 (delidded + LM), 16GB @ 2666mHz CL15 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, MSI Geforce GTX 1070 Gaming X, Corsair SFX 600, Samsung 850 Pro 512gb, Samsung Q55R TV, Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 TKL keyboard, Logitech G403 wireless mouse

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you don't buy stupid things and you get everything in their depreciated price ( since they are old ) you could be cost effective.

These machines are not good to run 24/7 anymore since there are new more power efficient alternatives but for a home gaming PC that is not on 24/7 its OK.

 

The next upgrade path from where i am standing now and when i have no use for the z400 would be to upgrade to a dual socket motherboard install 2 x5690 CPU and re-use the rest of the hardware.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Biomecanoid said:

Well if you don't buy stupid things and you get everything in their depreciated price ( since they are old ) you could be cost effective.

These machines are not good to run 24/7 anymore since there are new more power efficient alternatives but for a home gaming PC that is not on 24/7 its OK.

 

The next upgrade path from where i am standing now and when i have no use for the z400 would be to upgrade to a dual socket motherboard install 2 x5690 CPU and re-use the rest of the hardware.

especially if it's only for gaming, you'd do much better for yourself to part it out and build a modern gaming PC. Prices on very decent parts are extremely buyer-friendly right now - price to performance is arguably the best right now that it's been in over a decade.

 

The sad truth is that every dollar spent on trying to upgrade this old beast is basically just a dollar wasted. You're already into it near enough to have built a brand new machine that would destroy it for gaming. 

 

That being said, if you value fun tinkering with old hardware more than money, there's nothing wrong with spending your money on something that makes you happy. My only point was to try and help save you from wasting money on a dead platform, since you could be having a much better gaming experience now and that situation only gets worse the more you put into this thing. It's like spending money on a new paint job for your boat that is already mostly sunk, instead of just buying a new boat.

HEDT: i9 10980XE @ 4.9 gHz, 64GB @ 3600mHz CL14 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, 2x Nvidia Titan RTX NVLink SLI, Corsair AX1600i, Samsung 960 Pro 2TB OS/apps, Samsung 850 EVO 4TB media, LG 38GL950G-B monitor, Drop CTRL keyboard, Decus Respec mouse

Laptop: Razer Blade Pro 2019 9750H model, 32GB @ 3200mHz CL18 G.Skill Ripjaws DDR4, 2x Samsung 960 Pro 1TB RAID0, repasted with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut
Gaming Rig: i9 9900ks @ 5.2ghz, 32GB @ 4000mHz CL17 G.Skill Trident-Z DDR4, EVGA RTX 2080 Ti Kingpin, Corsair HX1200, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB, Asus PG348Q monitor, Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard, Corsair Ironclaw mouse
HTPC: i7 7700 (delidded + LM), 16GB @ 2666mHz CL15 Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4, MSI Geforce GTX 1070 Gaming X, Corsair SFX 600, Samsung 850 Pro 512gb, Samsung Q55R TV, Filco Majestouch Convertible 2 TKL keyboard, Logitech G403 wireless mouse

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/21/2020 at 7:28 PM, Biomecanoid said:

 

Do you have the z400 ? HP servers have specific types of ram that is compatible with the system otherwise weird things happen.

HP supports 8gb dimm module x4 and that is a stretch or the original specs and only after with a bios update.

Send me a link to check out the ram on aliexpress.

Throw the RAM support guide in the bin. I've run mis-matched ram across a pair of CPU's with various sizes of module. The only thing that's guarenteed not to work is mixing ECC and non-ECC.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Curious Pineapple said:

Throw the RAM support guide in the bin. I've run mis-matched ram across a pair of CPU's with various sizes of module. The only thing that's guarenteed not to work is mixing ECC and non-ECC.

Well i had several ram sticks to try that should work but didn't. After much trail and error i was able to run 4x 2g from the lot of rams i already had.

 

I finally bought 32gb specific model/make ram after a recommendation from the guys at Greenpcgaming, works great.

The support guide does work but they can't test every possible scenario.

 

For example the HP z400 does not officially support 32gb of ram and x5690 they are not in the compatibility list

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Biomecanoid said:

Well i had several ram sticks to try that should work but didn't. After much trail and error i was able to run 4x 2g from the lot of rams i already had.

 

I finally bought 32gb specific model/make ram after a recommendation from the guys at Greenpcgaming, works great.

The support guide does work but they can't test every possible scenario.

 

For example the HP z400 does not official support 32gb of ram and x5690 they are not in the compatibility list

 

 

Maybe the 400 is a bit more fussy. My 800 doesn't support the Westmere architecture and it can take 5 minutes of power cycling to get it to boot at times. I have yet to flash a new bootblock.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Curious Pineapple said:

Maybe the 400 is a bit more fussy. My 800 doesn't support the Westmere architecture and it can take 5 minutes of power cycling to get it to boot at times. I have yet to flash a new bootblock.

I had similar ram issues with the z200 sff. Seems to prefer only a certain kind of ram but its OK i can manage nothing too serious.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Changed the CPU an unlocked Xeon w3680 overclocked to 4.1ghz and my 3DMark Score climbed to 4249

TimeSpy_4249.png

CPU@4.1ghz.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×