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16 Core 32 Thread HP Z820 Workstation Build

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CPU Nirvana. While the nation sinks below the waves...









 
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Okay guys, time for phase II.... Shutting down rig #1 so we can bring rig #2 online and install Windows 10 on that and perform a hardware assessment (I will run the AIDA64 battery of benchmarks so we can compare and contrast these rigs in single CPU mode). This experience is unreal, I'm telling you there nothing like it... If you like something? Buy two of them.

I'll catch up with you guys later this evening.


ps... can't forget core temp, I install it on all my personal rigs, nice to know what's going on real time. I like this setup, which catches CPU utilization and real time clock speeds in addition to temperature monitoring...

We will do some torture tests and see how she holds up. I suspect the cooling is spot on and dialed in, considering the size and girth of CPU cooler, with all three fans and all..

Capture-core-temp 2.PNG

Capture-core-temp.PNG
 
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Cinebench run with the installed 8 core E5-2650 v2 CPU...

cinebench r20.PNG


Turbo specifications for this CPU:

Capture_Intel_2650.PNG
 
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Okay, new CPUs are installed! I couldn't help myself so I went with the air coolers for now. These are the 12 core Xeon E5 2696 v2 that boosts to 3.5GHz... 120w TDP.

That's a total of 24 cores and 48 threads! I figure I have two options or profiles, depending on workload. If I set power save mode the BIOS this CPU defaults to a 3.1GHz all core base clock. But then it doesn't turbo, so there is a trade off. Other option is to switch back the power save mode, then it turbos to 3.5GHz, but only with a single core.

Capture_CBR_EXTREME.PNG



1584585184317.png


I've always wanted to do something like this:

Capture_success.PNG



Capture_benchmark.PNG


cpuz.PNG
 
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Yes I will be upgrading to more modern SSDs. I know they are lacking.
They're fine. There Intel SSD's and they are MLC which is very durable. You'll be fine. Enjoy them.
as my processors are coming from China, probably contaminated with Corona
Use gloves, and a spray bottle with at least 70% IPA. Spray soak it down as you open it. The CPU will not be harmed by the IPA.

Otherwise very cool!
 
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They're fine. There Intel SSD's and they are MLC which is very durable. You'll be fine. Enjoy them.

Use gloves, and a spray bottle with at least 70% IPA. Spray soak it down as you open it. The CPU will not be harmed by the IPA.

Otherwise very cool!
Yeah you got the right idea - I think these Intel SSDs will work just fine, especially with raid 0 across 4 drives. The next step is figuring out how to modify the hard drive cage so I can secure the SSD drives in the machine (right now it's just a tension fit in the slot. The carriers/caddies are made for 3.5" drives and definitely NOT usable with the small 2.5" laptop sized SSDs... I'm sure there is an adaptor still out there in internet land for me.
 
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Memory 64GB Registered ECC memory kit (octal channel memory on this rig)
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Here are the results of the AIDA64 hard drive/disk benchmark test... Crystal Disk Mark would not run due to RAID0 configuration.

1584619236422.png


Linear Read
Linear_Read.PNG


Random Read:
Random Read.PNG




EDIT: Following up on the Hard Drive caddy situation... yes, internet land has a solution, however, it's a $200 solution I really want to avoid if at all possible.... (yes, they are $50 each)
1584621096034.png


EDIT:
Whittled it down to a $100 solution with OEM parts.... this is better... still though...

1584621200056.png
 
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So, more good news and more good upgrades! The liquid cooling system has arrived! and boy, let me tell you, it's already running a bit cooler, less temp variation, no spikes and more "grounded" temp readings, with nowhere near as many fluctuations. So the real test will be CB R15, CB R 15 Extreme and CB R 20. I will run those tests and get back to you with results. This is the z820 with the x2 E5-2696 v2 120W TDP CPUs. Base is 2.5GHz but it seems to run 2.9 - 3.1GHz under full load.

Here are a few pictures from the swap. So we now have the OEM HP liquid cooling system installed on each 12 core / 24 thread CPU. The overall fan noise is already lower, I can tell. I also swapped over the MSI Radeon RX 580 Gaming X 8GB GPU as well, just waiting for the driver to download and I will test out the rigs gaming capability. More pics inbound! Well worth the cost, and I have two extra radiators for the other z820 workstation that's getting the 16 core 3.3GHz base / 4.0GHz turbo CPU as well (E5-2673 v2 110W TDP). Going to be interesting to see how they compare....





 
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I know, I am over documenting my progress here. Here are some more pictures from the CPU cooler swap....

Looks really good with the MSI Radeon GPU installed... it's going to be a real performer now...































 
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Memory 64GB Registered ECC memory kit (octal channel memory on this rig)
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Well this is interesting. My 24 cores are now turboing at a much more aggressive rate than when they were air cooled. Not a higher clock frequency per se, only that the cores seem to be "hovering" at a much higher clock speed when eating through a work load. For example, look at the clock speeds below. Typically there would be one or two cores between 3.4 and 3.5 GHz, the rest would throttle down to 3.0Ghz or so. Now we have the majority of the threads sitting between 3.3 and 3.5 GHz....

Could it really be a simple change from air to liquid cooling?

And according to the turbo ratio specs for this processor, only one core should be turboing up to 3.5GHz, but we have clearly three here running at 3.5GHz simultaneously... Can anyone recommend another tool for monitoring real time clocks. HWinfo does a great job, but I can only see one processor at a time, not both. I'd also like to confirm the HWinfo64 data to be accurate.

1584651472485.png


P.S. The rig is now almost completely silent, even under full load the fans are only spooled to 25-30%...
 
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Cinebench run with the installed 8 core E5-2650 v2 CPU...

So, I know you said these were supposed to make the 3950x a little nervous but it doesn't look like the the 2p 2650 stands a chance. Honestly, doesn't even seem like it will catch the 3900x even. The 2p 12 core will likely pass the 3900x but I don't see it surpassing the 3950x. Interesting to see how it pans out.

In any case, it is still fun staring at all the cores. Graphs can be a little difficult to read though :laugh:
 
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So, I know you said these were supposed to make the 3950x a little nervous but it doesn't look like the the 2p 2650 stands a chance. Honestly, doesn't even seem like it will catch the 3900x even. The 2p 12 core will likely pass the 3900x but I don't see it surpassing the 3950x. Interesting to see how it pans out.

In any case, it is still fun staring at all the cores. Graphs can be a little difficult to read though :laugh:
The 2650 definitely does NOT stand a chance, that's why upgraded to two Xeon E5-2692's which have 12 cores each. So that's a total of 24 cores and 48 threads for under $700... not a bad price / performance ratio here... Where have I heard that before? lol :roll:

And yeah, even then I had my doubts that processors from 2012 where going to compete at the same level as the recent offerings from AMD. I cannot find any benchmarks that specifically pit TWO Xeon 2696 v2 CPUs against the 3950X, but I will be running some additional benchmarks that compare the two so stay tuned...
 
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And yeah, even then I had my doubts that processors from 2012 where going to compete at the same level as the recent offerings from AMD. I cannot find any benchmarks that specifically pit TWO Xeon 2696 v2 CPUs against the 3950X, but I will be running some additional benchmarks that compare the two so stay tuned...
Actually, there is a way to compare. Passmark.com They have test results posted publicly. You can run your setup and compare your results to the ones online.
 
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I will definitely be doing that... however....


Okay, I wanted to start with the older version of Passmark, this is PerformanceTest 9.0...

1584703432818.png


You can view this result on PassMark's website here:


EDIT:

PassMark 10 Performance Test Results:

Capture_PassMark_10.PNG



CPU Placement on the High End CPU Chart...

Capture_PT10_CPU_Placement.PNG


1584709685593.png
 
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Very true, and it's more powerful than anything in Intel's current "consumer" based lineup in things like Cinebench.

Speaking of Cinebench, we will be starting a new competition soon so we can see how this stacks up with the competition in that as well. I don't see first place happening any time soon, but we may get a podium position or hope to keep it in the top 5 at least...

I'm interested to see how the other z820 rig with two E5-2673 v2 chips will fare... Less cores but higher clocks and a 4.0GHz turbo... Me thinks the higher clocks are not going be earth shattering game changers. But it may give us a couple FPS when gaming. Only one way to find out.

And keep in mind the second link (this one above) compares the 3900X with a SINGLE E5-2696 v2, so it still wins even when you double the result, but much closer in terms of brute power.
 
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The 2650 definitely does NOT stand a chance, that's why upgraded to two Xeon E5-2692's which have 12 cores each. So that's a total of 24 cores and 48 threads for under $700... not a bad price / performance ratio here... Where have I heard that before? lol :roll:

I wouldn't have any idea where you could have heard that before. :)

I get the loving on price/perf but that is only a useful metric after you have hit some basic performance benchmark. All that value doesn't do you much good if you can't push the frames. Or since we both like cars, all that fuel economy of a 4 cyl isn't that beneficial if you have to go up in hills in reverse because there isn't enough power to go up in low gear.

And while that result doesn't seem so rosy, you do have a dual setup which gets you in the neighborhood and paid a fraction of the cost you would have for a 3900x system.

There might be a rose tint to it. You get *near* the performance but you basically have to do it with 2 PCs drawing probably triple the power. Normally, I don't really care about power usage but when you are getting likely well past double, then it starts to become a thing. BUT, to be able to be sniffing on some of the tops chips nearly 10 years later ain't shabby.

As for cost, my 3900X, Taichi, and 32gb RAM cost $880 where he is sitting at ~$700. Me, I would still take the newer system but, again, the 2P ain't shabby. My T3500 could be 2P. I still need to get rid of it though.

I'm interested to see how the other z820 rig with two E5-2673 v2 chips will fare... Less cores but higher clocks and a 4.0GHz turbo... Me thinks the higher clocks are not going be earth shattering game changers. But it may give us a couple FPS when gaming. Only one way to find out.

Do these workstation boards have the ability to modify blck?

Edit: What happened to the auto merging of posts!? Now I am actually going to have use edit again. :roll:
 
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Do these workstation boards have the ability to modify blck?

Edit: What happened to the auto merging of posts!? Now I am actually going to have use edit again. :roll:
No, not that I am aware of. I'm still looking into it, however, I have heard the claim that setFSB has one option that gets you close. He was actually able to overclock, but I take that with a grain of salt. And that's a shame, because the cooling is pretty spectacular. Active cooling all 16 memory slots as well. Would make for a very competent overclocking rig.

This is the CPU cooler...

642166-002__72512.1552417352.1280.1280__89759.1558644467.1280.1280.jpg


That sits on top of these:
P_20200319_140632.jpg


P_20200319_140941.jpg


In addition to the fans on the CPU cooler, you have two 80 mm PWM (or comparable) located to the rear of the case, so you can lose a CPU cooling fan and still be able to run the machine without detriment.

There are also two 80 mm fans at the front of the case that push air around the hard drives and then on to the video card.

Thereby creating two separate cooling "zones" within the PC. Something I'd like to take to heart on my next build, because it's pretty ingenuous, when you think of the R&D that must have gone into this machine.

The computer is remarkably quiet now that I have the liquid cooling system installed. It's usually most of the way through Cinebench R 15 extreme before the fans even spool to 20-30%
 

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is that a intake back exhaust front cooler? really interesting.
 
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HP has a very well designed cooling layout that is for sure. Loving the photos.
 
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ah no nevermind, that's a shot of it upside down... coffee still kicking in.
 
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