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HP Workstations Owners Club

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Joined
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I guess I could, that's 6 core right and likely the best cpu you could put into the z400?
The X5690 would be a "little" better, but not enough difference to justify the extra $50.00 or more you would pay for one. JMO
 
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Memory 4x8GB G.Skill Ares OEM DDR4-3200 (B-die)
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Case ghetto CM Cosmos RC-1000
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I guess I could, that's 6 core right and likely the best cpu you could put into the z400?
Westmere shows its best only on overclocking boards (e.g. decent x58, not that cheap chinese crap that's all over youtube). Without overclock there is no reason to spend double for mere 133MHz bump. It's effectively nothing on that scale. I wanna make one argument in favor of W vs X: W-variants aren't burdened with QPI, so they normally run a bit cooler and have less quirks with boost clocks.
Also, don't set your expectations too high. My old x5650 OCed to 4.2GHz was nowhere near as fast in gaming and multimedia as puny i3-6100 stock. In today's used market a low-to-mid-range Skylake or a 1st gen Ryzen is a lot better value for money.
Z400 makes a cool "dad" PC, not a cool "son" gaming PC.
 
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Also, don't set your expectations too high. My old x5650 OCed to 4.2GHz was nowhere near as fast in gaming and multimedia as puny i3-6100 stock.
I agree, and this is what has keeps me from dropping anymore money into my X58 machine. I have an i5 4590 machine with 16 gig of ram, nothing spectacular, my X58 with i7 920 24 gig of ram is a decent machine, but still not a spunky as my i5 machine. I guess because I'm old, I have a soft spot in my heart for old stuff, but it's not always best, when talking computers. :D
 
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I agree, and this is what has keeps me from dropping anymore money into my X58 machine.
Oh man... That 920 is what's holding you back.
That P6T Deluxe should be as capable as Rampage II, all you need is to spend $15 on X5650 and OC the crap out of it. No need to go for higher multiplier models, since you get the most gains from FSB clocks anyways.
My last x58 setup before I parted it out was x5650 running at 3.8GHz daily undervolted, 24GB G.Skill Ripjaws V running around 1600-1800MHz. Winter mode meant 4-4.2GHz @ 1.3V and cranking up RAM all the way up to 2000MHz (that was my glass ceiling on that board, even though it's rated for 2133MHz XMP). Beastly machine, but definitely past its time. I think my Rampage II GENE held its price so well at that time, that it basically paid for my brand new B150 ITX board and a barely used Seasonic 80+ Gold PSU.
 
Joined
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Processor Ryzen 1600AF @4.2Ghz 1.35v
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Westmere shows its best only on overclocking boards (e.g. decent x58, not that cheap chinese crap that's all over youtube). Without overclock there is no reason to spend double for mere 133MHz bump. It's effectively nothing on that scale. I wanna make one argument in favor of W vs X: W-variants aren't burdened with QPI, so they normally run a bit cooler and have less quirks with boost clocks.
Also, don't set your expectations too high. My old x5650 OCed to 4.2GHz was nowhere near as fast in gaming and multimedia as puny i3-6100 stock. In today's used market a low-to-mid-range Skylake or a 1st gen Ryzen is a lot better value for money.
Z400 makes a cool "dad" PC, not a cool "son" gaming PC.
Hes got a 3rd gen i3 dual core with a gt 1030, moving to a quad with HT as well as a 570/1060 class GPU it will be a night and day difference for him, even better with a 6 core as he has started playing with blender. I'm not chasing 144fps for him likely just high settings and 60fps on fortnite he will be eccstatic as he can only play on low settings right now @1080p and this is a way cheaper upgrade than a Ryzen build, when he's a bit older he will for sure have a newer platform however I wanted to upgrade his fortnite and blender performance without spending £400 on a new build this time round.

The X5690 would be a "little" better, but not enough difference to justify the extra $50.00 or more you would pay for one. JMO
Yea, I think I will put a x5680 in, another 4GB of RAM and call it a day, final specs will then be x5860, 12GB RAM, 570.1060, 120GB OS SSD, 1TB HDD, 500GB, ive used much worse than that in recent memory for gaming and an everyday PC, I think as long as expectations are realistic and I realise this isn't a top of the line gaming rig, more a budget 1080p capable gaming PC that should be good for 1080/60 with med/high settings in games then I'm happy considering the price I will have paid. All in all excluding the SSD and 500GB HDD from his old computer I will have spent £150, which is good.
 
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Hes got a 3rd gen i3 dual core with a gt 1030, moving to a quad with HT as well as a 570/1060 class GPU it will be a night and day difference for him, even better with a 6 core as he has started playing with blender. I'm not chasing 144fps for him likely just high settings and 60fps on fortnite he will be eccstatic as he can only play on low settings right now @1080p and this is a way cheaper upgrade than a Ryzen build, when he's a bit older he will for sure have a newer platform however I wanted to upgrade his fortnite and blender performance without spending £400 on a new build this time round.


Yea, I think I will put a x5680 in, another 4GB of RAM and call it a day, final specs will then be x5860, 12GB RAM, 570.1060, 120GB OS SSD, 1TB HDD, 500GB, ive used much worse than that in recent memory for gaming and an everyday PC, I think as long as expectations are realistic and I realise this isn't a top of the line gaming rig, more a budget 1080p capable gaming PC that should be good for 1080/60 with med/high settings in games then I'm happy considering the price I will have paid. All in all excluding the SSD and 500GB HDD from his old computer I will have spent £150, which is good.
That's a solid built. I say well done.
 
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That's a solid built. I say well done.
I think so, for the price anyway, it took me the best part of a year to get my current PC to the state it's in right now as money is tight since covid, I sold my main PC last year then built a barebones Ryzen system with Athlon 2200ge, 8GB ddr4 2400, 120GB SSD, no GPU, cheap case, cheap PSU etc just so I could build the foundation and have a PC of sorts to upgrade, since then the only original part inside it is the motherboard :laugh:
 
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Software Windows 10, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
Hes got a 3rd gen i3 dual core with a gt 1030, moving to a quad with HT as well as a 570/1060 class GPU it will be a night and day difference for him, even better with a 6 core as he has started playing with blender.
Maybe as an entry-level blender machine it'll do. Otherwise, something like an i5-3570[regular or S] is a cheap enough option that won't compromise multithreaded performance drastically, but will give a decent 25-30% boost in single-threaded and lightly-threaded perf. In the majority of games that makes all the difference. Plus, he'll keep PCIe 3.0 for a new card (another tiny performance bump) and more or less modern I/O options. One more bonus - most LGA1155 boards can be modded to natively support NVME boot drives.
Another minus for Westmere is lack of AVX support, which is not only bad for software encoding, but may also gimp some features on Blender (notably Cycles or anything related to raytracing).
CPU costs around $30-35 used (cheaper if you do some digging). I'd give you my spare 2500K or 3470S, but shipping is probably going to be a bitch.

P.S. I have nothing against LGA1366. I'm just trying to suggest what's better(and cheaper long-term).
 
Joined
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System Name Alienware PC
Processor Intel 4790K
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Cooling Stock Intel Cooler
Memory 32GB DDR3 1600 MHz
Video Card(s) ATI Radeon HD 7770 2GB GDDR5
Storage SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2
Display(s) SAMSUNG UE57 Series 28-Inch 4K UHD
Case Alienware Area 51 Black Tower Case
Audio Device(s) Realtek On Board
Power Supply EVGA 850 watt
Mouse Microsoft Wireless
Keyboard HyperX - Alloy Elite 2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
Software Windows 10 Pro & LTSB & LTSC Windows 11 Pro
Oh man... That 920 is what's holding you back.
That P6T Deluxe should be as capable as Rampage II, all you need is to spend $15 on X5650 and OC the crap out of it. No need to go for higher multiplier models, since you get the most gains from FSB clocks anyways.
I understand, but I have a good case I would like to keep, and I could probably sell my P6T Deluxe and Ram for at least $125.00 US on OfferUp, that would buy me a decent board, so mostly, all I would be out on a new build is a processor and ddr4, I already have a decent video card, a 750 watt PS in the X58 machine, and since all I do is surf the web and watch YouTube videos, it would be a good upgrade. Yeah, I'm not one that likes to make choices, but with the upgrade comes, USB 3.0 and maybe 3.1 just 2.0 on the X58 board, not that the USB version really makes that big of a difference in my world, but there's probably other improvements like M.2 and etc. I can utilize on a newer board.

Here a case like mine I would want to keep.

Area 51.jpg
 
Joined
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Maybe as an entry-level blender machine it'll do. Otherwise, something like an i5-3570[regular or S] is a cheap enough option that won't compromise multithreaded performance drastically, but will give a decent 25-30% boost in single-threaded and lightly-threaded perf. In the majority of games that makes all the difference. Plus, he'll keep PCIe 3.0 for a new card (another tiny performance bump) and more or less modern I/O options. One more bonus - most LGA1155 boards can be modded to natively support NVME boot drives.
Another minus for Westmere is lack of AVX support, which is not only bad for software encoding, but may also gimp some features on Blender (notably Cycles or anything related to raytracing).
CPU costs around $30-35 used (cheaper if you do some digging). I'd give you my spare 2500K or 3470S, but shipping is probably going to be a bitch.

P.S. I have nothing against LGA1366. I'm just trying to suggest what's better(and cheaper long-term).

Yea i did consider upgrading his current machine though the cost of a better sff gpu (1650) would've cost the entire budget of what I've already spent on the z400, GPU, CPU upgrade to 6 core then I would have had to spend more on a 3570/3770, ideally wouldve like a 3770k though they fetch double the price of the 3570 in the used market about £70+ :banghead:and then I would have had to consider his PSU being a SFF machine, I'm sure it's about 250w which is fine for the i3 and gt 1030 though may be pushing it for the upgrade so it would have been another headache, do I find a higher wattage compatible SFF PSU, or attempt to put it all into an ATX case etc.
 
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Mouse Logitech G603
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Here a case like mine I would want to keep.
That's a cool nostalgia case. I had a similar no-name chinese case back in a day, though much crappier than Alienware one from build quality standpoint, it had built-in segmented LED display with fan RPM indicator and few temperature probes. Got it back in 2005 and got stuck with it for nearly 10 years. Now it's still running my stepdad's rig.
... and it's hotrod red!

Yea i did consider upgrading his current machine though the cost of a better sff gpu (1650) would've cost the entire budget of what I've already spent on the z400
Oh, an SFF... and having Z400 on hands already complicates things as is...
Then just go with whatever you've already planned.
If anything, you can sell all of that stuff a bit later and get, let's say a pair of used Haswell-based workstations. Something like an older HP Prodesk 600 or Lenovo Thinkstation runs for under $150 for the whole system nowadays (or ~$100 as a barebone w/ CPU). For $200 you can probably splurge on complete HP Z620 or maybe even something newer. One of my suppliers is bringing over from US some cheap-ass Dell T5810 workstations this fall, I might get one if I manage to sell some of my crap.
 
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Power Supply EVGA 600W 80+
Software Windows 10 Pro
That's a cool nostalgia case. I had a similar no-name chinese case back in a day, though much crappier than Alienware one from build quality standpoint, it had built-in segmented LED display with fan RPM indicator and few temperature probes. Got it back in 2005 and got stuck with it for nearly 10 years. Now it's still running my stepdad's rig.
... and it's hotrod red!


Oh, an SFF... and having Z400 on hands already complicates things as is...
Then just go with whatever you've already planned.
If anything, you can sell all of that stuff a bit later and get, let's say a pair of used Haswell-based workstations. Something like an older HP Prodesk 600 or Lenovo Thinkstation runs for under $150 for the whole system nowadays (or ~$100 as a barebone w/ CPU). For $200 you can probably splurge on complete HP Z620 or maybe even something newer. One of my suppliers is bringing over from US some cheap-ass Dell T5810 workstations this fall, I might get one if I manage to sell some of my crap.
Some good info, I'll be keeping my eyes out on similar workstation systems for sure
 
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Look at the ram slots; the v2 Z400 should have 6, if it only has 4 ram slots then 3500's series is all it will take as far as I'm aware.

looks like you can go upto a W3580 in the v1 z400.

Update, seems I got the v2 version with 6 ram slots, 2 are populated with 4gb (8gb) am I right in thinking these boards will run either dual or triple channel as its x58? That way I'll just add 4gb for triple channel and be done.

Not even fired it up yet so I can't comment on anything else rn
 
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yes 3 matched should put it in tri-channel . cool, you can use 3600/5600 CPU's now
I think I'm gonna throw in a x5670 into it as it's 95w compared to the 130w X5680 and about half to 1/3 of the price :rockout:
 
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System Name HP Z440/Z460 "Franken"station purchased on Ebay for $152 w/bad motherboard, plus motherboard for $62
Processor Xeon E5-4655v4
Motherboard HP Z460 with Intel C612 chipset, can use Xeon V3 and V4 processors
Cooling Using stock Z440 cpucooler Z460 dual fans the Z460 motherboard requires, using 2nd fan inside case.
Memory 64Gb DDR4 2400MHz REG ECC SERVER MEMORY $70+40 (4 16gb sticks) used on Ebay
Video Card(s) EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB Gaming
Storage 1Tb PNY 2130 Nvme SSD, 3x6Tb SAS drives as 12TB RAID5, 3x12Tb shucked western digital NAS 24Tb RAID5
Display(s) TCL 65P635 65 inch 4K HDR TV via HDMI (4K@60hz) (upgraded from 55" this year,net cost $200)
Case Stock Z440 case with z640 motherboard (2nd z460 cooling fan blowing on HP P812 SAS Raid controller)
Audio Device(s) Denon AVRS730H 7.2ch AV receiver with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
Power Supply stock Z440 700W 90+ efficient PSU
Mouse Logitech M570 trackball
Keyboard Logitech K350 Wave
Software Windows 10 Pro (enterprise) OEM license that came with motherboard.
Benchmark Scores Using a HP Smart Array P812 PCI-e SAS Server RAID Controller with capacitor buffer backup, $15 Ebay
Hi all,

I am new to this forum, and found it when searching for information on HP Z workstations. I thought my adventure in upgrading to a new machine (eventually winding up with an HP Z460 workstation), might be interesting to you folks, and helpful to some in that they can leverage off of what I've done.

My HP Z workstation upgrade adventure:

Some background:
I have been building my own media PCs for years (since the 1990s), and was looking for a replacement for my Core I7 860 media machine that is getting a bit "long in the tooth". I typically buy used hardware for my upgrades, a generation or two back, but at the high-end. That process has usually given me robust machines that generally last me for about 5 years before I have to start the process over. I do some periodic incremental upgrades in between these major upgrades (usually drives, additional memory, upgraded video card, etc). I also re-use as much as I can from the previous build.

I planned on reusing my:
  • 1Tb SSD (bought during the 2020 Amazon Prime Day sale),
  • Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB graphics card (bought on Amazon during the 2018 black friday sale),
  • 2 4tb Enterprise SAS hard drives that I run as RAID1 (bought in 2017 from Amazon Warehouse Deals for $65 each),,
  • HP commercial SAS Raid controller (bought used on Ebay for $25)
  • blu-ray writer,
  • keyboard and trackball,
  • and maybe my ATX case.
I planned on selling the rest:
  • The motherboard,
  • 2nd gen quad core Core-I7 processor (860),
  • 500W power supply,
  • usb2 based 8-in-one card reader,
  • and 8gb of DDR3 memory.
So I started looking around for the best "bang-for-the-buck" for high-end hardware a couple of generations back so I could avoid having to pay current "new" prices. Since I had a decent graphics card that can easily handle the 4K HDR streaming and 4K HDR blu-ray playback I want, I didn't need to pay for an expensive Core I7 with it's embedded graphics. So I got to looking at Xeon processors that would do what I wanted and settled on the E5-2640 V3 8 core processor (16 logical cores with hyperthreading) that's rated at 90watts. This processor choice requires a Socket LGA 2011-3 server/workstation motherboard.

I started looking at motherboards and processors. The Xeon V3 processors were coming way down in price, but the stand-alone Socket LGA 2011-3 motherboards were still fetching fairly high prices. So I started looking for used workstations.

As complete or bare-bones "off lease" used systems, the prices were much lower than buying used CPU, motherboard and power supply. The reason for this is that businesses buy or lease these high-end workstations for 3 years, until the 3 year on-site warranty runs out, and then e-recyclers/resellers sell them for very little on Ebay and Amazon.

Used server RAM (which these workstations use) is also cheaper than used regular non-server RAM. I think this is because there is so much RAM installed in servers and workstations, and companies upgrade their servers and workstations quickly, and so the market gets flooded with used server RAM that cannot be used in "normal" desktop machines. When new, Server RAM is higher priced than normal RAM because it has higher quality specifications and it has embedded error detection and correction circuitry (ECC) and buffering /register circuitry both of which make server RAM more reliable but with a slight (1 clock cycle) speed penalty due to the buffer/register.

At first I focused on Dell workstations, but I then discovered that the HP Z series workstations that sold from 2015 to 2019 were cheaper and often offered as good or better hardware than the equivalent Dell workstations. These HP workstations use a motherboard with the Intel C612 chipset, and support both the V3 AND V4 Xeon processor families and both regular DDR4 and DDR4L server ram.

The Z440 was the lowest priced with bare-bones systems selling on Ebay for around $150 plus shipping, followed by the Z460 selling bare bones for around $250 plus shipping. The Z460 can work with either a single processor or dual processors (with a 2nd processor daughterboard) The Z480s are rarer and are higher priced. These are all commercial grade workstations and are built like tanks -- and so are heavy, so the cost of shipping is usually more than $45 if they have to be shipped any significant distance.

I first found and purchased a Z440 workstation with an E5-2620 V3 6 core processor (12 logical cores with hyperthreading) that had a motherboard Bios issue for $125 on Ebay from an E-recycler about 120 miles away, the only things missing were memory and drives. I found a great deal for 32Gb of slightly used DDR4 server memory -- 4 matching 8gb RDIMMs of InnoDisk registered ECC server memory for $70 on Ebay, and figured that even if I had to replace the motherboard, I would be looking at a decent machine for less than $250. I would see if I could live with the slower 6 core processor -- if not, a used 8 core E5-2640 V3 could be found for less than $70.

The motherboard wasn't salvageable, but I noticed that the Z440 and Z460 are basically the same motherboard, with the exception that the Z460 has a set of sockets for the daughterboard, and 4 less memory slots (these 4 slots are moved to the daughter board for use with the 2nd CPU). Pretty much everything else was the same except the rear case fan pinouts and the onboard speaker header. (The Z440 motherboard has unpopulated places on the board where these components exist on the Z460.)

I found a Z460 motherboard from a local e-recycler for $59 (local pickup -- so no shipping charge) and was planning on installing it in the Z440, but then happened upon an Ebay listing for a Z460 that booted to BIOS, but had an issue with two of the QPI Links that are used for communication between the 2 CPUs. Since I already had gotten the cheap Z460 motherboard, I thought that maybe, just maybe, the Z460 workstation's motherboard might be okay if used with just one processor, and I might get a fully functioning dual CPU Z460 AND a fully functioning Z440 by installing the new Z460 motherboard into the Z460 workstation, and using the otherwise working Z460 motherboard in the Z440 as a single processor motherboard.

So I bought the "broken" Z460 for $252+$46 shipping, $298 total. It was also not a barebone system and was only missing a hard drive and memory, and did include two E5-2620 V3 6 core processors and the 2nd processor daughterboard .

When it arrived, I added a couple of the sticks of the DDR4 server RAM and a hard drive for testing and confirmed the machine booted into the bios with QPI errors. I then removed the daughter board and the machine booted all the way up! I then installed the new Z460 motherboard I had purchased earlier, and it booted up too. I then crossed my fingers and reinstalled the 2nd CPU daughterboard with a stick of server RAM, and it booted up successfully! I had lucked out, and the QPI issues were on the original Z460 motherboard, and that motherboard worked fine with a single CPU.

There wasn't much risk involved, regardless of how the testing turned out. If this hadn't worked out the way I had hoped, I would have just bought a replacement Z440 motherboard for around $70 on Ebay to make the Z440 functional, or if the 2nd CPU daughterboard was bad, then I could run the Z460 as a single processor system and use the other Z460 motherboard in the Z440 as originally planned.

So, in the end, I have a working Z460 dual processor workstation, AND a working Z440 workstation for less than $400. Both of the Z workstations came with a slim-line DVD re-writer optical drive (basically a laptop drive). I plan to sell the working Z440 to a nephew for $250 for his son's use, which will bring my cost for the Z460 and the memory for it down to around $225. I really don't need the 2nd processor, so I may sell the daughterboard on Ebay -- they are going for over $100 now, which would bring the cost of the Z460 machine down to around $125.

I think this machine will last me for another 5 years or so until I do another major upgrade.

One thing I like about this kind of upgrade strategy is that it is especially eco-friendly. It is fully re-using/re-purposing otherwise obsolete high-end equipment. The power supplies on both of these computers are >90% efficient, so they won't draw anywhere near their full capacity (750watts for the Z440 and 925watts for the Z460) unless the systems are fully loaded and all processors are running at 100% utilization. If I don't run the second processor daughterboard in the Z460, it will draw less power too..... And my existing system parts will be sold and reused as well. Nothing is going into the landfill, and no new hardware was manufactured to make my upgraded system. I love being part of what is now being called the "Circular Economy".

I plan now to resell my existing system as a fully operational Windows 10 Pro machine with a previously used 256Gb SSD, a used 2Tb hard drive, a 1Gb ATI/AMD video card with displayport/HDMI output and a DVD rewriter optical drive. Since it was a top-of-the-line quad Core I7 machine back in it's day (around 2009), it will still be faster than any current Core I3 and some Core I5 machines. Heck, after that gets sold, I may wind up getting the upgraded machine at no cost, or even a little profit!

One other upgrade I am doing will be to replace my existing blu-ray writer optical drive with one that can read the 4K blu-ray discs (they call these drives "4k friendly"). My existing one can't. I found one on Amazon Warehouse Deals for $59, and hopefully can sell mine for $35-$40 to someone who doesn't care about 4K, but wants 1080P blu-ray capability.

There is just one part of this upgrade saga left to tell -- windows activation issues....
In my research into this generation of HP's Z workstations, I found an HP service bulletin that mentioned that there was a known issue with installing the HP Windows 10 Pro OEM recovery image on these machines. The service bulletin mentions that, at first, the windows activation will fail, but to close the window, restart the machine, and then re-attempt activiation and it should work the second time and it will be a Windows 10 Pro for workstations license. I figured that the Z440 workstation must have originally had a windows 7 or 8 or 10 pro license, and so I should be able to download the Windows 10 ISO image from HPs cloud recovery repository, and activate it, since the OEM installation and activation checks the BIOS for validity, and the upgrade from windows 7/8 pro to windows 10 pro was free. I logged onto HP's cloud recovery platform, entered the workstation's model and serial number and was allowed to download the Windows 10 Pro recovery ISO for this workstation.

Well, it didn't work. It installed and booted to windows 10 Pro, but would not activate, even following the instructions on the bulletin.

I called HP support to see if they could help, and a very nice fellow spent quite a bit of time with me trying to resolve it. He verified that the HP serial number and product build byte in the bios was correct and matched the serial number, and had me update the BIOS and try to activate it again, and then told me he would escalate the issue, but that I should try contacting Microsoft support to see if they could help.

I then called Microsoft support, and a very nice fellow listened to the story and had me read him the CD Key and the product key from within windows, and then did some research and told me the error I was receiving was because the corporate license that HP had issued the OEM licenses on for that product key had had too many activations, and that I should contact HP about this, as it was their problem.

Soooo, I called HP support back again, and got another nice fellow to look into this. He listened to what I had done on the previous calls with HP and with Microsoft, and was getting ready to re-escalate the issue, when he had the inspiration to fully "decode" the product build byte in the BIOS, which pointed to the cause of the problem. It turns out that this workstation had been ordered with Linux and not Windows, and that was the reason for the activation error. The reason the activation system thought the CD key had been activated too many times was because a dummy CD key was used for these non-windows machines in the BIOS, that never had ANY activations, and wasn't supposed to activate.

However, HP's cloud recovery ISO system, while it does ask for the system model and serial number, it doesn't burrow down far enough into the original build data for the serial number to check to see whether the system had an HP OEM windows installation or not. Their cloud recovery system sees that it is a valid serial number and then allows you to download the HP Windows recovery ISO image, and that image does install completely. However, once you have installed it, all you get if the workstation didn't ship with OEM windows is an cryptic error code that points both HP and Microsoft support staff in the wrong direction.

I requested the HP support person open a suggestion/complaint with his superiors requesting that the cloud recovery system do a little more thorough checking of the serial number to determine whether or not to allow the Windows recovery ISO to be downloaded, and to give the appropriate message when it determines that an HP OEM license hasn't been issued for that serial number. I also suggested he add some entries in their troubleshooting database to address this issue in the mean-time. I am sure that I am not the first person to run up against this issue, and had either of these suggestions been implemented it would have saved multiple man-hours of wasted time, mine as well as HP support and Microsoft support.

The reason I wanted to try to activate the HP OEM Windows 10 Pro on the workstation was to get the Windows 10 Pro for Workstations OEM license. It offers more of the functionality of Windows 10 Server edition, and allows for more CPUs, cores and memory. At first I thought this was necessary to run a 2nd CPU, but it turns out that the regular Windows 10 Pro already allows for 2 CPUs with multiple cores each, and more RAM than I ever would need.

I wound up transferring one of my existing Windows 7 Pro retail keys to the Z440 workstation, and all is working fine now.

Note, while Microsoft's original "free upgrade" time has elapsed, in fact you can still install and activate Windows 10 using a valid Windows 7 or 8 CD key. This is true for both the retail and OEM versions. However you can only transfer "retail" keys from one machine to another. "Oem" keys are only valid for the original system and cannot be transferred.

The Z460 workstation had an HP OEM Windows 7 Pro key on it, and I was able to install the HP Windows 10 Pro recovery ISO that I had problems with earlier on the Z440 workstation on that machine and activate it using that CD key. So it now has a valid Windows 10 Pro OEM license using that original windows 7 pro OEM cd key.

So ends my Z workstation upgrade saga.

In summary, I think these Z440 and Z460 machines can be a great bargain, and are somewhat futureproof in that they are able to run the V4 processors that are only one generation behind the current Xeons. However, those V4 processors are still selling for failrly high prices. In a year or two I expect their prices will drop sharply and will be available for what the V3 processors are selling for now. The main reason to consider upgrading is that the V4 processors have more cores than the equivalent V3 processors, can access higher speed RAM, and they have some higher "turbo" mode capabilities than the V3s have. The base speed and power useage are about the same as the V3.

I hope this writeup has been both entertaining and informative, and helps some folks who are considering purchasing one of these workstations.

I hope you all are staying safe and healthy during these strange times....

Philip
 
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So a while ago I started a thread about my GTX 970 not working in this system. I get (I think) 4 red blinks on the button indicating video output issue.

Anyway, I happened to pick up a R9 390X and put it in, to the same issue (I tested the R9 390X in another machine and it worked fine). So now I dont think my GTX 970 is a problem (now waiting for some Thermalright TF8 to arrive so I can repaste the card).

I tested so far:

- Different GPU's. Only an old, low power GPU like the Quadro K2000 works (boots to windows).
- Different PSU - This one I figured would fix the issue if a low power Quadro works. Nope. Tried a 550W Coolermaster Gold PSU (I used this for another system that I recently sold but kept the PSU for other builds. User wanted a bigger PSU). So I get still same issue.
- Different CPU - I cant remember whats inside now. A 2620 I think. But nope, same issue. Tried the 1603 it came with, and nope.
- Tested Ram Modules. Nope.

So I believe it is the Motherboard of course. And it occured to me, it happened after I updated the motherboard bios that this issue came up. Now I am wondering if the bios may have botched something with the PCIe Lanes that causes the system to freak out with having something that exceeds 75W on the PCIE lane?

Any suggestions?
 
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So a while ago I started a thread about my GTX 970 not working in this system. I get (I think) 4 red blinks on the button indicating video output issue.

Anyway, I happened to pick up a R9 390X and put it in, to the same issue (I tested the R9 390X in another machine and it worked fine). So now I dont think my GTX 970 is a problem (now waiting for some Thermalright TF8 to arrive so I can repaste the card).

I tested so far:

- Different GPU's. Only an old, low power GPU like the Quadro K2000 works (boots to windows).
- Different PSU - This one I figured would fix the issue if a low power Quadro works. Nope. Tried a 550W Coolermaster Gold PSU (I used this for another system that I recently sold but kept the PSU for other builds. User wanted a bigger PSU). So I get still same issue.
- Different CPU - I cant remember whats inside now. A 2620 I think. But nope, same issue. Tried the 1603 it came with, and nope.
- Tested Ram Modules. Nope.

So I believe it is the Motherboard of course. And it occured to me, it happened after I updated the motherboard bios that this issue came up. Now I am wondering if the bios may have botched something with the PCIe Lanes that causes the system to freak out with having something that exceeds 75W on the PCIE lane?

Any suggestions?

What are the system specs? You may have posted already, but I honestly just don't feel like searching them out.
 
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So a while ago I started a thread about my GTX 970 not working in this system. I get (I think) 4 red blinks on the button indicating video output issue.

Anyway, I happened to pick up a R9 390X and put it in, to the same issue (I tested the R9 390X in another machine and it worked fine). So now I dont think my GTX 970 is a problem (now waiting for some Thermalright TF8 to arrive so I can repaste the card).

I tested so far:

- Different GPU's. Only an old, low power GPU like the Quadro K2000 works (boots to windows).
- Different PSU - This one I figured would fix the issue if a low power Quadro works. Nope. Tried a 550W Coolermaster Gold PSU (I used this for another system that I recently sold but kept the PSU for other builds. User wanted a bigger PSU). So I get still same issue.
- Different CPU - I cant remember whats inside now. A 2620 I think. But nope, same issue. Tried the 1603 it came with, and nope.
- Tested Ram Modules. Nope.

So I believe it is the Motherboard of course. And it occured to me, it happened after I updated the motherboard bios that this issue came up. Now I am wondering if the bios may have botched something with the PCIe Lanes that causes the system to freak out with having something that exceeds 75W on the PCIE lane?

Any suggestions?
The only thing I could suggest, is trying different PCIe slot.
Encountered this not too long ago. Moved my GT1030 to another machine and replaced it with a rare Zotac GT710 with a physical PCIe X1 connector (needed to free up some PCIe 3.0 slots for NVME SSD and 10GbE NIC). Got 4 blinks in the original PCIe x16 slot, but moving it to x1 slot solved the issue. Those machines can be finicky. Only took me 5-6 attempts to find a right spot for my SSD, so it can run at full PCIe 3.0 x4, but fortunately no issues with GPUs at all (ran GTX750Ti, GT1030, GTX1060).
 
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The only thing I could suggest, is trying different PCIe slot.
Encountered this not too long ago. Moved my GT1030 to another machine and replaced it with a rare Zotac GT710 with a physical PCIe X1 connector (needed to free up some PCIe 3.0 slots for NVME SSD and 10GbE NIC). Got 4 blinks in the original PCIe x16 slot, but moving it to x1 slot solved the issue. Those machines can be finicky. Only took me 5-6 attempts to find a right spot for my SSD, so it can run at full PCIe 3.0 x4, but fortunately no issues with GPUs at all (ran GTX750Ti, GT1030, GTX1060).

The last x16 port works, but the issue is that its the bottom of the case so the GPU is not getting any air and thus runs hot.

This was at least on the GTX 970. And I also assumed the fans were not spinning. So I have to test the GTX 970 on another machine. The issue is I would be selling this machine so I am not excited to deal with an angry customer if the x16 port doesn't work.

What are the system specs? You may have posted already, but I honestly just don't feel like searching them out.

Xeon 2620
600W Delta PSU
16GB DDR3 1066 RAM
HP Z420 motherboard
HP Z420 case
500GB Adata SU800 SSD
R9 390X
 
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The last x16 port works, but the issue is that its the bottom of hte case so the GPU is not getting any air and thus runs hot.

This was at least on the GTX 970. And I also assumed the fans were not spinning. So I have to test the GTX 970 on another machine. The issue is I would be selling this machine so I am not excited to deal with an angry customer if the x16 port doesn't work.



Xeon 2620
600W Delta PSU
16GB DDR3 1066 RAM
HP Z420 motherboard
HP Z420 case
500GB Adata SU800 SSD
R9 390X
Have you checked in the BIOS settings? Maybe there is a setting to disable/enable power delivery through the PCIe slot...probably not, but hey. Have you tried cleaning the PCIe slot? I've had trouble with PCIe slots giving me issues randomly, and this has sometimes been effective - using a soft brush to clean inside the slot, dousing the slot with isopropyl alcohol, and soft brush again after the alcohol has evaporated. Also...though it's never solved the issue for me, but the CPU socket could be suspect as well...are all of the pins good and straight? Wouldn't hurt to clean the CPU socket either...I suggest being more careful than me, but I also do the "soft brush+alcohol" on the CPU socket sometimes too. But I've only ever done it for issues with RAM slots, but had success. Have a look around the PCIe slot for shorts (front and back of board), bulging caps, "cooked" components.
 
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Have you checked in the BIOS settings? Maybe there is a setting to disable/enable power delivery through the PCIe slot...probably not, but hey. Have you tried cleaning the PCIe slot? I've had trouble with PCIe slots giving me issues randomly, and this has sometimes been effective - using a soft brush to clean inside the slot, dousing the slot with isopropyl alcohol, and soft brush again after the alcohol has evaporated. Also...though it's never solved the issue for me, but the CPU socket could be suspect as well...are all of the pins good and straight? Wouldn't hurt to clean the CPU socket either...I suggest being more careful than me, but I also do the "soft brush+alcohol" on the CPU socket sometimes too. But I've only ever done it for issues with RAM slots, but had success. Have a look around the PCIe slot for shorts (front and back of board), bulging caps, "cooked" components.
already did all of those a while back. I think it was I and silent talking before hand.

I checked thoroughly all the pins. AOK. Checked the PCIE and cleaned it. Same issue.

As I said, happened as soon as I did a bios update on the motherboard. Since then, issue with first x16 slot. Could be a coincidence. But rather strange one.

At this point, I am thinking I will do another bid on a z420 (I picked this up for $60 CAD for the system without HDD and GPU). I will just wait till next bid or offer for less than $100 and I will simply swap mobo's. And then re-sell the Case and everything else to get money back.

For now, I am waiting on a Dell T1650 and the front panel adapters, the system is going into another case and I will be selling that.
 
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already did all of those a while back. I think it was I and silent talking before hand.

I checked thoroughly all the pins. AOK. Checked the PCIE and cleaned it. Same issue.

As I said, happened as soon as I did a bios update on the motherboard. Since then, issue with first x16 slot. Could be a coincidence. But rather strange one.

At this point, I am thinking I will do another bid on a z420 (I picked this up for $60 CAD for the system without HDD and GPU). I will just wait till next bid or offer for less than $100 and I will simply swap mobo's. And then re-sell the Case and everything else to get money back.

For now, I am waiting on a Dell T1650 and the front panel adapters, the system is going into another case and I will be selling that.

Sounds like you've put in enough time trying to work it already...probably a good idea to get another board, like you mentioned. Personally, because I have a ton of time on my hands (disabled), I wouldn't give up on it yet...visually, if nothing seems to be physically wrong with it, you can usually get it working right again. Sometimes though, you just end up wasting a lot of time. It's tough to figure out when to cut your loses. I guess I'd probably flash the BIOS a bunch more times, clean the entire board again, and inspect with magnifying glass...that's about all I've got for ideas right now. The Dell T1650 case swap sounds interesting...I'm sure you'll give us some pics over in the Dell Workstation thread...right?
 
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