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16 Core 32 Thread HP Z820 Workstation Build

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Well I did it again! I simply cannot escape from the clutches of eBay, but who doesn't like new hardware, right?

Having initially ordered a Dell PowerEdge 710, news was broken to me that it was not greatest machine to mod, high noise, not a great "home" computer. And as luck would have it, there was a two day delay in shipping the server, so I worked with owner and he was gracious enough to cancel the order and refund me the money.

In any event, this new machine should provide many hours of enjoyment and fun as I equip it with all of the high performance hardware I can get my hands on. This is the HP z820, which still seems to have pretty good bang for the buck but yet not over the top expensive. This is a professional grade workstation that originally retailed for about $2300 dollars (and went up from there) when it first hit the market. It supports dual Xeon CPUs (e5 2600 series CPUs) and a whopping 512GB of DDR3 memory.

Taken from HP's website:
Built for high-end computing and visualization. The dual-processor HP Z820 Workstation delivers outstanding performance, award-winning industrial design, and tool-free serviceability in the industry’s most expandable chassis. With next generation Intel Xeon processors, support for up to 16 processing cores, and the latest professional graphics, can tackle even the most demanding projects like never before.
The HP Z820 has 16 DIMM Slots supporting DDR3 ECC Memory.
The first generation Z820 using the Xeon Sandy-Bridge processor supports up to 128GB of 1333MHz memory.
The second generation Z820 using the Xeon Ivy-Bridge processor supports up to 512GB of 1866MHz memory.

This machine supports QUAD CHANNEL MEMORY

Though I am pretty sure I have a second gen unit, we wont know until it arrives. The plan is to maximize system performance across the board. I will be running 4 SSDs in a raid 0 configuration and upgrading to at least 64GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM.

The Xeon E5-2673 v2 8 core 16 thread 3.3GHz CPU was chosen for a few reasons. First, I could have gone higher core count, but the trade off is clock speed, and since I'm intending to use this for benchmarking, I favored the higher clocked CPUs (plus I naturally favor per core performance over core count). Second, the E5 - 2673 v2 turbos to the magic number of 4000 MHz, So it is a beast of a CPU, and with two of them, plus hyperthreading, we are looking at serious levels of performance and very powerful number crunching machine here. Another thing, the E5 - 2673 v2 has a TDP of 110W, whereas virtually every CPU above it is either 115w, 130w or 150w, and these require the larger PSU and better cooling. So a good blend of performance and price.

I am building this computer to compete with AMD's 3950X or at least that's the standard to which it will be measured. Both have 16 cores and 32 threads in total. The 3950X will probably stomp on it but nevertheless it should be an interesting comparison.

That's not bad for under $300. But the processors were $180 each, so it's starting to add up. Still, 16 cores and 32 threads for that price is hard to beat.

1584121127295.png
 
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eidairaman1

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Is this a dual processor motherboard?
 
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Is this a dual processor motherboard?
Yes it is. LGA 2011 x2
16 DIMM slots!

s-l1600.jpg


EDIT: Processor specs:

Architecture / Microarchitecture
MicroarchitectureIvy Bridge
PlatformRomley-EP
Romley-WS
Processor core ?Ivy Bridge-EP
Core stepping ?M1 (SR1UR)
Manufacturing process0.022 micron
Data width64 bit
The number of CPU cores8
The number of threads16
Floating Point UnitIntegrated
Level 1 cache size ?8 x 32 KB 8-way set associative instruction caches
8 x 32 KB 8-way set associative data caches
Level 2 cache size ?8 x 256 KB 8-way set associative caches
Level 3 cache size25 MB 20-way set associative shared cache
Physical memory768 GB (per socket)
MultiprocessingUp to 2 processors
Extensions and Technologies
  • MMX instructions
  • SSE / Streaming SIMD Extensions
  • SSE2 / Streaming SIMD Extensions 2
  • SSE3 / Streaming SIMD Extensions 3
  • SSSE3 / Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extensions 3
  • SSE4 / SSE4.1 + SSE4.2 / Streaming SIMD Extensions 4 ?
  • AES / Advanced Encryption Standard instructions
  • AVX / Advanced Vector Extensions
  • F16C / 16-bit Floating-Point conversion instructions
  • EM64T / Extended Memory 64 technology / Intel 64 ?
  • NX / XD / Execute disable bit ?
  • HT / Hyper-Threading technology ?
  • VT-x / Virtualization technology ?
  • VT-d / Virtualization for directed I/O
  • TBT 2.0 / Turbo Boost technology 2.0 ?
  • TXT / Trusted Execution technology
Low power features
  • Enhanced SpeedStep technology ?
Integrated peripherals / components
Integrated graphicsNone
Memory controllerThe number of controllers: 1
Memory channels: 4
Supported memory: DDR3-800, DDR3-1066, DDR3-1333, DDR3-1600, DDR3-1866
DIMMs per channel: 3
Maximum memory bandwidth (GB/s): 59.7
ECC supported: Yes
Other peripherals
  • Direct Media Interface 2.0
  • Quick Path Interconnect (2 links)
  • PCI Express 3.0 interface
Electrical / Thermal parameters
V core ?0.65V - 1.3V
Thermal Design Power ?110 Watt
Notes on Intel Xeon E5-2673 v2
  • The processor has the following security, data protection and/or software features: Intel Secure Key, vPro technology and OS Guard.
 
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If you are interested in learning more about this particular rig, here is a brief, informative synopsis I found on youtube. Definitely an exceptional piece of hardware.


So I can rest easy knowing my incoming z820 workstation is definitely the later, more recent, Gen II revision, which means I will have no issues at all running the e5-2673 v2 processors. Just to note, Gen I z820s only support up to a maximum of 1333MHz RAM and will NOT work with the Xeon 2600 v2 CPUs. You can identify which version you have by going into the BIOS and checking the boot block date:

1584199410537.png


Gen I systems:
Will have a Boot Block Date of 12/28/2011

Gen II systems:

Will have a Boot Block Date of 03/06/2013

If you are shopping for one of these rigs it's generally a good idea to find the Gen II revision, that way you can run the E5 2600 v2 series of CPUs, offering higher clocks and better performance. The high end z820s workstation come stock with liquid cooling systems for both CPUs.


Pleasantly surprised to see that my rig still has the original OEM protection film, that's always a good thing :)
Stay tuned folks. The processors are coming from China so let's hope they aren't contaminated with the coronavirus. lol.
That being said the arrival date of the new processors is likely sometime in late March. But expect single CPU benchmark results, pictures and updates when the rig arrives.
We will also take inventory of all the hardware and associated components. The z820 has incredible expandability. The next thing I need to do is start researching what type of RAM I want to use in this thing.

s-l1600.jpg
 
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A nice machine, I hope it serves you well, but seriously, getting cpu's from china.....ummm... good luck with that :D
 
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A nice machine, I hope it serves you well, but seriously, getting cpu's from china.....ummm... good luck with that :D
I've sourced many a CPU from China and I've never had an issue (knock on wood). Although I must admit, it's a little risky --- but China is literally the only source for these particular CPUs, so my hand is forced. But it makes sense that they would have these, seeing how China collects all of our obsolete hardware. Seller has about 99% positive feedback rating, so let's hope everything holds together and this goes according to plan.

Now this is a what I call a SERIOUS motherboard...
 
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I've sourced many a CPU from China and I've never had an issue (knock on wood). Although I must admit, it's a little risky --- but China is literally the only source for these particular CPUs, so my hand is forced. But it makes since that they would have these, seeing how China collects all of our obsolete hardware. Sell has about 99% feedback rating, so let's hope everything holds together and this goes according to plan.

Now this is a what I call a SERIOUS motherboard...
I'd be worried more about the wait than the Corona and/or product quality. China is having a big push right now to "Free itself from western tech" so it makes sense they'll be selling Intel etc.
 
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I'd be worried more about the wait than the Corona and/or product quality. China is having a big push right now to "Free itself from western tech" so it makes sense they'll be selling Intel etc.
Yeah, it's not an ideal scenario but we have to work with what we've got sometimes. This silver lining here is that the two week wait will allow me time to get to know the machine and assess what we need in terms of hardware and cooling, ram configuration, etc. So we will see...

Browsing wiki for the list of available processors seems to explain why there is virtually no market for the E5-2673 v2 in the United States---because it was apparently only used by OEMs, which would explain the shortage, and why I had to go to China to get it.

1584204812747.png
 
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I can’t believe the protective film was still on the metal. Then again, I have seen this in the past where people had no idea to remove these coatings from all sorts of things.
 
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It's always good to have a secret weapon, and this project is no exception (hint: We will make the Ryzen 3950X sweat bullets). You guys will be made aware of this extremely potent weapon soon enough! You have to see it to believe it! That's all I'm going to say :D

On another subject entirely, We are going liquid cooling with this puppy. Yes, HP actually has a liquid cooling option available for the high end z820s and we will be using them in this build.

This is the liquid cooler. One for each processor. There will be no compromises, this z820 will be fitted with the best hardware money can buy.

s-l1600.jpg


s-l1600gdftgh.jpg
 
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Benchmark Scores I once had +100 dorfs in DF, so yeah pretty great
I can’t believe the protective film was still on the metal. Then again, I have seen this in the past where people had no idea to remove these coatings from all sorts of things.
I try to keep them on as long as possible tbh.
 
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Okay all fou .. - I mean two radiators …. have been purchased and should be here by the end of the week.
Now the cost is starting to add up...

.... about $800 with these two radiators included
 
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.... about $800 with these two radiators included
That's still not too bad considering the spec. Those AIOs cost pretty peny. I think the only thing that's questionable was spending $180/ea on those CPUs. Pretty sure they are much cheaper nowadays.
Something like a single-socket 2011-3 system would've been cheaper. I'm building something similar for my office (based on MSI X99S MPower board), while keeping an eye on 16-18 core Xeon E5 v3's. Those go for around $450 shipped from China (regular retail, non-ES chips). Ideally I'd go for 2699v4 ES, but I don't wanna risk w/ compatibility issues.
 
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That's still not too bad considering the spec. Those AIOs cost pretty peny. I think the only thing that's questionable was spending $180/ea on those CPUs. Pretty sure they are much cheaper nowadays.
Something like a single-socket 2011-3 system would've been cheaper. I'm building something similar for my office (based on MSI X99S MPower board), while keeping an eye on 16-18 core Xeon E5 v3's. Those go for around $450 shipped from China (regular retail, non-ES chips). Ideally I'd go for 2699v4 ES, but I don't wanna risk w/ compatibility issues.
The AIOs are all custom HP stuff... and yes, quite expensive when found new in box. The ones I picked up... all fou…err …. all two of them have been "seller refurbished" which means cleaning, dusting and checking operation. So that was $81 each, and I ordered two of them.

Well, I search high and low for them and nothing was found, short of going to China. They are the CPUs I wanted, so I must be patient and wait.

What kind of compatibility issues are you referring to with your rig? and the 2699v4?

And just so everyone knows, we will be starting up another Cinebench challenge again in the next month or so. So this down time will hopefully give me enough time to get my 16 core / 32 thread system up and running in time for the next competition.

And don't forget, I have an ACE up my sleeve, should my E5-2673 v2 not impress, we will bring something else to the table that is MOST certain to do some very serious damage :D :toast: :cool::mad::nutkick::rockout::clap::D

That's still not too bad considering the spec. Those AIOs cost pretty peny. I think the only thing that's questionable was spending $180/ea on those CPUs. Pretty sure they are much cheaper nowadays.
Something like a single-socket 2011-3 system would've been cheaper.
Yeah these AIOs were $81.00 o eBay. The air cooler costs about $60 alone, so I figured why not just deck it out with liquid cooling and not worry about thermals again? Right?

But the CPUs are OEM meaning there isn't a large stockpile of these somewhere.... especially not in the states. Do you have a link in finding them cheaper somewhere else?
 

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Love builds like this :D :D

What will you be using it for my good man ?? :)
 
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I too am very much looking forward to this project.
 
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Love builds like this :D :D

What will you be using it for my good man ?? :)
Going to be used primarily for benchmarking. If the system is quiet enough for daily use (I've heard with the liquid cooling option they sound like a normal desktop) and suits my needs well, I may just take it over and use as my primary desktop. Right now, that's being powered by a 5.0GHz Coffee Lake Chip, six cores, run of the mill LGA 1151...

SO Cinebench will be it's first test. Once I have it built and ready for war I will open a new Cinebench competition for everyone... and this will give us a really good baseline run of performance potential.

I too am very much looking forward to this project.
Good to hear that. I will keep you guys updated from start to finish!!

So right now, we are waiting on the Z820 tower. I suspect it may take a couple weeks to get here due to the Coronavirus issue... so we may be a little delayed in getting started, but no matter, it will eventually come together exactly how I want it to. I figure with the liquid cooling system installed, I should have no problem pushing it hard. Not sure if there are turbo hacks for these CPUS? Anyone know? Im talking the E5-2600 v2 series of chips here.
 
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Sorry to ask if it was already answered but I skimmed through and missed it possibly, but what GPU are you planning to use?
 
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That's still not too bad considering the spec. Those AIOs cost pretty peny. I think the only thing that's questionable was spending $180/ea on those CPUs. Pretty sure they are much cheaper nowadays.
Something like a single-socket 2011-3 system would've been cheaper. I'm building something similar for my office (based on MSI X99S MPower board), while keeping an eye on 16-18 core Xeon E5 v3's. Those go for around $450 shipped from China (regular retail, non-ES chips). Ideally I'd go for 2699v4 ES, but I don't wanna risk w/ compatibility issues.
So long as the CPU is listed as compatible with the other hardware you are using, you shouldn't have to worry about compatibility. But yeah, I was eyeing the 2600 v4 series as well... because HP makes the Z840, a system designed to work with those CPUs. However, I could never realize my dream for a dual core workstation due to cost... the 2600 v4 CPUs are much more expensive than v2, as is all the other hardware you might need to go along with it.

Sorry to ask if it was already answered but I skimmed through and missed it possibly, but what GPU are you planning to use?
Actually still up in the air. Not sure what GPU I'll be running with it. I think the incoming z820 workstation includes an NVidia Quadro NVS 450 GPU, and I have listed the specs below:

The NVIDIA® Quadro® NVS 450 business graphics solution delivers a reliable hardware and software platform for a stable environment and robust IT management tools for seamless enterprise deployment.

Quadro® NVS 450 is the chosen solution across mixed environments, including financial institutions, emergency call centers, digital signage systems, and other mission critical environments. Featuring CUDA™ parallel computing processors with a unified architecture designed to dynamically allocate GPU resources, the Quadro NVS 450 solution delivers optimized performance for business graphics. Capable of supporting up to four digital displays at resolutions of up to 2560 x 1600 each through the DisplayPort connectors, the Quadro NVS 450 maximizes productivity by enabling more screen real estate from a single graphics card. Through the NVIDIA® nView™ advanced display software, Quadro NVS 450 enables features such as profiles, extended Windows taskbar, gridlines, and virtual desktops. In addition, Quadro NVS 450 provides high quality HD video output and high memory bandwidth for today’s more demanding digital signage requirements.
Quadro NVS 450 business solution is engineered and built by NVIDIA to provide a reliable platform and is designed with a fanless cooling solution for quieter desktop environment. In addition, Quadro NVS 450 is tested for compatibility with leading business applications to meet the needs of today’s most demanding business users. Quadro NVS 450 is the professional 2D solution from a wide range of product offerings. The entire Quadro NVS family takes the leading business applications to a new level of interactivity by enabling unprecedented capabilities in display technology. Featuring Quadro NVS 450, 440, 290, and 280 at the professional 2D segment, Quadro delivers unmatched workstation performance and quality.

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I always liked the design of HP's Z series cases. Form and function!
It is too bad it uses a non standard power supply, but the HP ones are very high wattage.
hp_z820_workstation_teardown_013.png
z820psu1.jpg
z820psu2.jpg
 
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I always liked the design of HP's Z series cases. Form and function!
It is too bad it uses a non standard power supply, but the HP ones are very high wattage.
View attachment 148289
View attachment 148290
Yes, they mean serious business.. I think mine has the 1125 watt option... which is 90% efficient.

I get you on the form and function, I think it's a decent looking machine all around.

Initially, I was going with a Dell Precision T7610 (very similar, dual CPU workstation), but that is just ugly if you ask me:

s-l1600.jpg
 
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Memory G-Skill TridentZ 2X8GB F4-3200C14D-16GTZ
Video Card(s) Zotac 1060 6GB Mini ZT-P10600A-10L
Storage Samsung 970 Pro 512GB NVMe, Phison E12 NVMe 1TB, 1xWD4005FZBX, 2xWD10EZEX
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Yes, they mean serious business.. I think mine has the 1125 watt option... which is 90% efficient.

I get you on the form and function, I think it's a decent looking machine all around.

Initially, I was going with a Dell Precision T7610 (very similar, dual CPU workstation), but that is just ugly if you ask me:

View attachment 148293
I've thought about buying Z workstations because I love the look of the case and they are really cheap for what they offer.
As far as business class machines, I think the HP Elite Desk Micro and the Dell Optiplex Micro stuff looks pretty cool too.
 
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Storage 1 x 512GB Samsung Pro 970
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I've thought about buying Z workstations because I love the look of the case and they are really cheap for what they offer.
Yes, and not only that, but they have a factory liquid cooling option. Takes all the guesswork out of cooling system... up to 150w / CPU, rest assured, you will have no cooling problems with these guys installed (I purchased two of them @ $85 each). If you do get a z820 be sure to get the 2nd generation... that way you can run the E5-2600 v2 CPUs... better clocks and more cores (see page 1 for details)

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hmm i would buy the E5-2673 v2 for my HP 420, but 60 bucks a bit to much for old cpu, considering i only paid 22 dollars for my 2630 v2.
 

phill

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Benchmark Scores I've actually never benched it!! Too busy with WCG and FAH and not gaming!! :( :(
Going to be used primarily for benchmarking. If the system is quiet enough for daily use (I've heard with the liquid cooling option they sound like a normal desktop) and suits my needs well, I may just take it over and use as my primary desktop. Right now, that's being powered by a 5.0GHz Coffee Lake Chip, six cores, run of the mill LGA 1151...

SO Cinebench will be it's first test. Once I have it built and ready for war I will open a new Cinebench competition for everyone... and this will give us a really good baseline run of performance potential.

Good to hear that. I will keep you guys updated from start to finish!!

So right now, we are waiting on the Z820 tower. I suspect it may take a couple weeks to get here due to the Coronavirus issue... so we may be a little delayed in getting started, but no matter, it will eventually come together exactly how I want it to. I figure with the liquid cooling system installed, I should have no problem pushing it hard. Not sure if there are turbo hacks for these CPUS? Anyone know? Im talking the E5-2600 v2 series of chips here.
Ah :)

I had the same with a server, managed to grab some very cheap and nice V2 10C 20T CPUs which I now use for WCG crunching... It's not the quietest but being a 1U server, it's not going ever be :D

I'd be very surprised if you can do much with a work station setup, but the dual CPUs etc are always fun to play with. If you wanted a fun one, the EVGA SR-2 is definitely the Daddy of the dual CPU boards :)
 
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