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HP Workstations Owners Club

Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
225 (0.14/day)
System Name Terminator T3500
Processor Intel Xeon W3680 4GHz
Motherboard Dell T3500
Cooling Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) PowerColor Red Dragon RX 580 8GB
Storage 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display(s) Acer H233H - 1920x1080 75Hz
Case Corsair Carbide Spec-01
Audio Device(s) Kinter MA-170
Power Supply Corsair CX600
Mouse Corsair Katar
Keyboard Ajazz AK33
Software Windows 10
This could work well.
The card looks like it has been through a war or something...been through two sets of fans on it, none of them work anymore. When I was last using it, I used it daily but had 3x90mm server fans zip-tied to it screaming away just to keep it at 800MHz core+undervolt. I think I'll just set it to as high as I can with it running "passively" (no fans on the cooler, though the case I am using has two, otherwise fairly useless, 120mm fan mounts above the PSU and directly beneath the GPU). If it will even run at 500MHz 100% stable with that setup I'll be fine with it. They'll eventually get my RX580...eventually. Those OEM R7 350 cards seemed to go for peanuts on Ebay, though, last I checked. Much less hassle. I'm kinda torn, honestly. GTX 460 are cheap...but the VRAM is too low, IMO (I only really play Quake Champions and it needs 2GB to not "hitch" or whatever IDK what it's called). The R7 350 come in 2GB and maybe even 4GB? Just going by memory here. There is also GT 710 type cards...but I'd rather not, and if I did, it would be temporary. If the 290X at half speed works, it would still be a decent "low spec" card for 1080P...I think. Heck...I've convinced myself to at least see what I can do with the 290X. Saves me money at the cost of time, which my disabled butt has lots of.
 
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Joined
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Messages
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USA
The card looks like it has been through a war or something...been through two sets of fans on it, none of them work anymore. When I was last using it, I used it daily but had 3x90mm server fans zip-tied to it screaming away just to keep it at 800MHz core+undervolt. I think I'll just set it to as high as I can with it running "passively" (no fans on the cooler, though the case I am using has two, otherwise fairly useless, 120mm fan mounts above the PSU and directly beneath the GPU). If it will even run at 500MHz 100% stable with that setup I'll be fine with it. They'll eventually get my RX580...eventually. Those OEM R7 350 cards seemed to go for peanuts on Ebay, though, last I checked. Much less hassle. I'm kinda torn, honestly. GTX 460 are cheap...but the VRAM is too low, IMO (I only really play Quake Champions and it needs 2GB to not "hitch" or whatever IDK what it's called). The R7 350 come in 2GB and maybe even 4GB? Just going by memory here. There is also GT 710 type cards...but I'd rather not, and if I did, it would be temporary. If the 290X at half speed works, it would still be a decent "low spec" card for 1080P...I think. Heck...I've convinced myself to at least see what I can do with the 290X. Saves me money at the cost of time, which my disabled butt has lots of.
If you want to keep it on the inexpensive side, get a pair of 2200ishRPM 80mm fans from Amazon or Ebay, pre-service them with a bit of synthetic motor oil in the bearings and then superglue or zip-tie the fans on. You really don't want to run that card in a passive config.

For example, you could do something like the following, take the slot bracket off and attach it directly to the cooler on the card.

Or a pair of these;

A set of these would work well too;
 
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Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
225 (0.14/day)
System Name Terminator T3500
Processor Intel Xeon W3680 4GHz
Motherboard Dell T3500
Cooling Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) PowerColor Red Dragon RX 580 8GB
Storage 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display(s) Acer H233H - 1920x1080 75Hz
Case Corsair Carbide Spec-01
Audio Device(s) Kinter MA-170
Power Supply Corsair CX600
Mouse Corsair Katar
Keyboard Ajazz AK33
Software Windows 10
If you want to keep it on the inexpensive side, get a pair of 2200ishRPM 80mm fans from Amazon or Ebay, pre-service them with a bit of synthetic motor oil in the bearings and then superglue or zip-tie the fans on. You really don't want to run that card in a passive config.

For example, you could do something like the following, take the slot bracket off and attach it directly to the cooler on the card.

Or a pair of these;

A set of these would work well too;
I have a stack of server fans, but would prefer to keep the zip ties away from this build if I can. There are the two 120mm fan spots on the case I am using right below the GPU...essentially the same as that dual 80mm PCI slot bracket you linked, only...better...cause 120mm fans. I think it might work better than you think...but I could be wrong. Only one way to find out, I guess. At half clocks, I can't see it drawing much more than 150 watts during regular use. Two 120mm fans mounted 1-2" off the heatsink should be fine, is my guess. I can always downclock until it is fine lol I'd just get the R7 350 before spending $$$ on brackets and more fans, honestly. Lots of server GPU actually come without fans and expect your case to be made in a way that uses case fans to blow air directly through the heatsink. Though servers are typically designed around this and cheap ATX cases from Newegg are not, though, obviously. Also...I don't buy those dirt cheap fans from Ebay and the like anymore...they are all basically so cheap and some don't even last a month before they are making noise. Arctic Cooling makes the best fans for the money, when it comes to the inexpensive ones, at least. I have a pair of higher RPM Corsair radiator fans that I will try using beneath the GPU. Once everything arrives this is the first thing I'll test. If it doesn't work out, they'll just get the R7 350 lol
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 13, 2018
Messages
225 (0.14/day)
System Name Terminator T3500
Processor Intel Xeon W3680 4GHz
Motherboard Dell T3500
Cooling Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) PowerColor Red Dragon RX 580 8GB
Storage 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display(s) Acer H233H - 1920x1080 75Hz
Case Corsair Carbide Spec-01
Audio Device(s) Kinter MA-170
Power Supply Corsair CX600
Mouse Corsair Katar
Keyboard Ajazz AK33
Software Windows 10
I ended up just getting an R7 250 2GB ($40 shipped) as the R7 350's I was looking at were gone and what was left were a little more money than I had to spend. Still going to try the 290X out, but got the R7 250 just in case it doesn't work out and I want to be sure I have a working card in the PC before Christmas morning. Newegg had a Cooler Master 550W semi-modular on for $35 CAD, so that should be here in the next few days or so and then I can start putting everything together and testing. I might have just enough left for a cheap 120mm CPU cooler...they'll have to wait 'til Easter for RGB fans and an SSD lol Got a cheap 1366x768 monitor, RGB keyboard and RGB gamer-y mouse...looking to upgrade my personal monitor to 144hz soon and when I do they can just have the one am using now (23" 1080P HDMI/DVI 75hz). So I've spent around $180-ish on it so far, add in SSD/RGB fans, and total should come in around $220. Could have been way cheaper as I have a ton of server junk lying around I could have made work (PSU, coolers, fans, etc.), but it wouldn't "look cool" for the kids lol I checked and the R7 250 2GB can do Fortnite and Minecraft and whatever, so it should be OK if the 290X doesn't work out. It's mostly for their school stuff anyway, but I doubt they'd be excited over getting an "office" PC as a Christmas gift, so it at least had to look cool and do some basic gaming.
 
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Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
9 (0.01/day)
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
Just a quick update..... I just discovered that the Xeon E5-46xx V4 CPUs will work in these systems!

The HP specsheet for these systems only lists the xeon e5-16xx and e5-26xx v3 and v4 processors as compatible, but I discovered these E5-46xx processors existed and were for the same 2011-3 socket. The major difference between these 3 cpu families is that the e5-16xx will only work as a single processor, the e5-26xx will work as a single or in a dual processor system, and the e5-46xx will work with up to 4 processors.

I have been waiting for the price of the v4 processors to come down to take advantage of the faster speed of the ddr4 2400 memory - the v3 processors max out at the ddr4 2100 memory speed. I made sure that when I bought the memory for my system I got the 2400 memory knowing it would work at the slower clock speed of the v3 processor, but would also work at its full speed when I got a v4 processor. (There is really no price difference between the two ddr4 memory speeds on the used server memory market.)

Anyway, the price of the v4 e5-16xx and e5-26xx v4 processors are staying pretty high, but the e5-46xx v4 processors are not. I got an e5-4655 8 core (16 logical cores with hyperthreading) 2.5ghz processor on Ebay for $49.99 as a test to see if it would work, and it does! This should provide a nice boost in speed with the increased memory access speed, and the other improvements the v4 processors have.

I thought you folks would want to know this worked, and is a more economical v4 solution.

Oh, and one other upgrade I have done was to replace the sata ssd I originally put in the system with an NVMe ssd. I bought a PCI-E NVMe adapter board on Amazon for $5.95, and bought a 1TB PNY CS2130 1TB SSD on sale on Amazon for $77.99.

I realized that these motherboards support this because HP originally sold an NVME drive on an adapter board as an option for these systems.

I really like this particular adapter because it is so minimal -- it doesn't have a rear bracket, so all you need to do is insert the SSD and screw it onto the adapter and then slip the adapter into a 4x or longer PCI-E slot. The throughput increase between using the SATA interface and running natively on the PCI-E buss is truely amazing. My system boots much more quickly and programs load really fast now.

I still keep my data on spinning hard drives in a redundant raid for safety (which I also periodically back up), but it's no big deal if the ssd fails and I just have to reload windows and my programs. I also do periodic drive image backups for this drive too to minimize the time needed to get back up and running.

One thing I do recommend for any SSD (whether SATA or NVMe), is to put the swap file on a regular drive. If you have enough memory, the swap file won't be used much, and when it is, it won't slow down the system much to have it there. However, data writes are the thing that causes wear on SSDs, and keeping those swapfile writes off the SSD will significantly prolong its longevity....

Here's a link to the NVME adapter:
it is called "JacobsParts M.2 to PCIe NVMe SSD Adapter Card 2242 2260 2280 M2 Drive to Desktop PCI Express x4 x8 x16 Slot, Minimalist Design"

Philip
 
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Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Messages
36 (0.08/day)
System Name Z840
Processor E5-2698 V4 X2
Memory 128GB ECC 2400mhz
Storage a lot
Power Supply 1400W
You could have gotten the hp z turbo drive g2 for like 20$ on eBay, it's pretty good quality, matches your system and comes with a really beaffy heatsink!

I've gambled and bought myself a barebones Z240 for 50£ listed on eBay as parts only. We'll ser if i got lucky or just wasted some money :cool:

Happy new year :toast:
 
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Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
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You could have gotten the hp z turbo drive g2 for like 20$ on eBay, it's pretty good quality, matches your system and comes with a really beaffy heatsink!

I've gambled and bought myself a barebones Z240 for 50£ listed on eBay as parts only. We'll ser if i got lucky or just wasted some money :cool:

Happy new year :toast:
It is only 50 quid and that is a good price for the one you have i would have been happy paying 50 for my one the earlier model to your one. I have the Z230., their good machines.:)
Happy New Year to you and everyone else on here.:toast:
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
107 (0.33/day)
hi guys!

got myself a z440 :D and a 2697v3 CPU.

certified HP services refused to officially help me with BIOS upgraded and CPU install due to high chance of "damage/bricking" :) but that guy working there agreed to just change the CPU without BIOS upgrade.

all went well, system is working fine.

I was hoping to get some info about BIOS CPU Settings for CPU to get as MUCH as possible from it.

And another question please:
does the risk of bricking the MoBo is worth taking by updating the BIOS?
do you get more performance from....the system via the BIOS upgrade?
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2013
Messages
21,257 (6.19/day)
Location
USA
Welcome to TPU!
does the risk of bricking the MoBo is worth taking by updating the BIOS?
The risk is minimal.
do you get more performance from....the system via the BIOS upgrade?
Sometimes, but not always. Generally, BIOS/Firmware updates fix bug & glitches, patch security issues and add features.

So unless you're having a problem or need to apply a security fix, there is little need to update.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Messages
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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 guys!

got myself a z440 :D and a 2697v3 CPU.

certified HP services refused to officially help me with BIOS upgraded and CPU install due to high chance of "damage/bricking" :) but that guy working there agreed to just change the CPU without BIOS upgrade.

all went well, system is working fine.

I was hoping to get some info about BIOS CPU Settings for CPU to get as MUCH as possible from it.

And another question please:
does the risk of bricking the MoBo is worth taking by updating the BIOS?
do you get more performance from....the system via the BIOS upgrade?
To @frigider:
Congratulations on getting your z440, and welcome to the forum! These are pretty powerful machines, are easy to upgrade, and are built like tanks.....

I agree with @lexluthermiester -- there is very little risk in updating the bios on these machines. Most of the changes made to the bios are security related, so I recommend you upgrade to the latest version. (There are also a few bug fixes.) The process is pretty painless -- just go to the HP support page and download and execute the bios upgrade. The program will run, and the system will restart, and then the bios is actually updated, and then restarts, and you've been updated. Just don't turn your machine off in the middle of the process.

Just in case, there is a bios recovery procedure that is pretty simple too.

Probably the best bang-for-the-buck upgrade would be to install an Nvme m.2 SSD on an adapter in one of your PCI-E slots. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes. (make sure the adapter and the ssd are Nvme -- not m.2 sata). You can see the aftermarket adapter I have been successfully using a few posts up (it's only around $5). Or as @Xeon mentioned after my previous post, you could spend a bit more and buy a used HP adapter card for around $25-$30 (less if you don't care about the heat sink).

While you are at it you might consider updating the TPM bios as well. HP has published a TPM Version 2 update that will allow you to set up better security on your system. I have successfully applied it and have turned on secure boot. The processor won't qualify for the free windows 11 upgrade, but Microsoft published a registry change to bypass the TPM and CPU restrictions which will allow upgrading to Win 11 should you want to.

Begin Windows 11 rant:
However, due to a couple of inane changes Microsoft has made in Win 11, I am choosing to stay with Win 10 until these are fixed in subsequent updates. The issues that are the most problematic for me are the removal of customizable toolbars, and the movement of commonly used right-click submenu features from the main sub-menu in windows explorer -- forcing additional clicks to get the same work done. Yes, there are 3rd party add-on "fixes" for these issues, but I don't see there's enough "better" in Windows 11 to justify having to use these "fixes".
End Windows 11 rant

Philip
 
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The risk is minimal.
i know you have the possibility to recover the BIOS with a flas drive/reset button / jumper but read online of guys saying it just didn't work and the MoBo was bricked so i got a bit scared of this operation.
I did BIOS updates on some laptops but those have batteries so power cuts are not a problem and i don't have a UPS.

So unless you're having a problem or need to apply a security fix, there is little need to update.
then it's settled.
no update for me :D

Just don't turn your machine off in the middle of the process.
power grid is pretty unstable where i live - fluctuations/power cuts. scared of doing it without UPS that can hold it up for... a couple of minutes :D

Probably the best bang-for-the-buck upgrade would be to install an Nvme m.2 SSD on an adapter in one of your PCI-E slots. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes. (make sure the adapter and the ssd are Nvme -- not m.2 sata). You can see the aftermarket adapter I have been successfully using a few posts up (it's only around $5). Or as @Xeon mentioned after my previous post, you could spend a bit more and buy a used HP adapter card for around $25-$30 (less if you don't care about the heat sink).
heard about those, i have an SSD and it never goes to 100% so..... until that happens i will live with it.
or is it just THAT much faster?
While you are at it you might consider updating the TPM bios as well.
never even heard of TPM , i am a noob.
will look it up.

TBH i don't care about security that much - i edit stupid clips.
Am I ignorant/ missing something?


thanks all for the replies!
 
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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
i know you have the possibility to recover the BIOS with a flas drive/reset button / jumper but read online of guys saying it just didn't work and the MoBo was bricked so i got a bit scared of this operation.
I did BIOS updates on some laptops but those have batteries so power cuts are not a problem and i don't have a UPS.


then it's settled.
no update for me :D


power grid is pretty unstable where i live - fluctuations/power cuts. scared of doing it without UPS that can hold it up for... a couple of minutes :D


heard about those, i have an SSD and it never goes to 100% so..... until that happens i will live with it.
or is it just THAT much faster?

never even heard of TPM , i am a noob.
will look it up.

TBH i don't care about security that much - i edit stupid clips.
Am I ignorant/ missing something?


thanks all for the replies!
to @frigider:
The difference in speed between an Nvme ssd and a sata/ahci based ssd can be up to 6 times faster, especially when doing sequential reads or writes. The maximum theoretical speed of the sata III interface is about 500MB/second, where the Nvme on a PCI-E 3 buss like ours can run at up to 3000MB/second. (Newer machines with PCI-E 4 run faster still).

Nvme drives also can handle more requests concurrently/simultaneously as well. For instance, lets say Windows is doing indexing in the background, and you are doing heavy disk access during video editing. On a sata ssd, it's likely the system would be noticeably slower when this happens, but on an Nvme SSD both could easily be happening with little or no noticeable impact.

When I upgraded from a sata/ahci ssd to the Nvme ssd, windows booted probably 30-50% faster, programs now load almost instantaneously, and when I run virtual machines in Docker -- they start, stop, and run much faster too.

Now there is the caveat that the bios of the system needs to be optimized for running Nvme SSDs. If it isn't, they might not work at all, or you might not be able to boot from them. However, the Z440, Z640 and Z840 workstations have a bios that has been optimized for Nvme, and so they should perform well in them. However, there is another caveat -- not all Nvme m.2 drives are created equal -- make sure to read reviews before buying a particular drive to make sure it can perform well.

Here's an article that you may find helpful:

I just repurposed the sata SSD's for other machines -- older laptops and desktops in the extended family -- so they are still being useful.

I hope this helps....

Philip
 
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power grid is pretty unstable where i live - fluctuations/power cuts. scared of doing it without UPS that can hold it up for... a couple of minutes :D
With that said, I highly recommend that you invest in a UPS of good quality, if only for safe operation and peace of mind.
The maximum theoretical speed of the sata III interface is about 500MB/second, where the Nvme on a PCI-E 3 buss like ours can run at up to 3000MB/second. (Newer machines with PCI-E 4 run faster still).
It should be noted however, that for daily average use, a SATA SSD is more than enough. Most people can't tell the difference between NVMe and SATA SSD's.
 
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It should be noted however, that for daily average use, a SATA SSD is more than enough. Most people can't tell the difference between NVMe and SATA SSD's.
true. it is easy to get lost in the specs' "numbers" and not realize you will not reach those numbers.

my new saying is: if it doesn't bottleneck - don't upgrade it.

my z440 came with a 1Tb Seagate HDD and i was very sure i will need to upgrade to ssd (OS drive is SSD, HDD is just for storage) but during tests - rendering, copying from NAS - it went Really fast so i will leave it alone.
 
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System Name Ryzen & Ryzen-II
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 4.4 Ghz 8-Core Processor | AMD RYZEN 5 2600X 4.2Ghz 6-Core Processor
Motherboard ASRock X470 Taichi ATX AM4 Motherboard | ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming 4 ATX
Cooling Corsair H100I Pro 240mm AIO | Corsair H100X Extrememe 240mm AIO
Memory GSKILL Trident Z 32gb GTZB DDR4 3200 4 X 8 | Corsair Dominator Platinum 32 GB DDR4-3200 2 X 16
Video Card(s) PowerColor Radeon RX 580 8 GB Red Devil Video Card (Not Golden) | Zotac GTX-1060 6GB Amp
Storage 1- Samsung 970 Evo 500 GB M.2 2 - Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB | Ditto
Display(s) Two 24 inch HP E242 Elite Buisness Monitors | Two 27 inch LG M38 Monitors
Case Rosewell Rise | Ditto
Audio Device(s) Yamaha Yst-sw160 Subwoofer (2) infiniti monitors | Bose Accustimax 5 audio
Power Supply Corsair RMi 750 W 80+ Gold Modular ATX Power Supply | Ditto
Mouse Logitech Wireless optical mouse | Ditto
Keyboard Logitech Wireless keyboard | Ditto
VR HMD None
Software Windows 10 build 1909 | Ditto
Benchmark Scores https://valid.x86.fr/yf8p96 | https://valid.x86.fr/mk995k
Z420 Twins demoted to htpc roles..but were fast six yrs ago...
Wow six years ago my hair was still black..and i could see my toes
found this pic on storage drive

1641775179236.png

1641775980415.png

HP z400 factory fan shroud

1641845368169.png
 
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I got a E5-2697 V3 installed in my Z440.
but CPU-Z bench shows all cores reaching a max of 3.1GHz.
should i reset BIOS to default settings?
maybe some will reach the advertised 3.6GHz?

i might have changed some things... trying to set it to "max perf" .....
 
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System Name Terminator T3500
Processor Intel Xeon W3680 4GHz
Motherboard Dell T3500
Cooling Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) PowerColor Red Dragon RX 580 8GB
Storage 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display(s) Acer H233H - 1920x1080 75Hz
Case Corsair Carbide Spec-01
Audio Device(s) Kinter MA-170
Power Supply Corsair CX600
Mouse Corsair Katar
Keyboard Ajazz AK33
Software Windows 10
I forgot to share pics of the second Z400 to desktop conversion I've done...so here is one. Put this all together for around $200, give or take. Had some parts already, but had to buy most of it.

dgsdyhdfghdfg.jpg


Xeon W3570
8GB DDR3 1333
R7 250 2GB
120GB SSD
550W Cooler Master (semi-modular)
DIYPC DIY-S08-W
Vetroo V3 cooler
1366x768 VGA monitor w/ DVI-to-VGA adapter
"rgb" keyboard / mouse

This was for my sister and her kids for Christmas for school and a bit of gaming. Somehow...it runs Poppy Playtime (game in the photo) at an acceptable framerate at 1366x768. They play Fortnite, the Sims 4, Roblox...does fine for all of that so far. Haven't seen much school work being done on it yet, though lol I know it's not the greatest PC, but they've never had one, well...a laptop with a dual core Celeron that barely works. I am disabled, and my sister is a single mother with five kids. Intention was that it shares the same platform as my main PC, so when I upgrade, they get all the "hand-me-down" parts. GPU is kind of a temporary thing until I can "Kijiji" my way into a deal on something faster. It does the trick for now, and was very inexpensive. And when I upgrade their GPU, I can use the R7 250 in my PC for extra monitors or something, or just keep it for a spare. I did try to rig up this rough 290X I have, but no matter how I went about it, it was gonna be too loud for their build in a common area of their house. Oh, I forgot to mention...the 24-pin adapter is made from a "dual PSU" 24-pin thing, as that was the cheapest way to get a black 24-pin cable "extension"...just clipped the extra PSU connector off and added a molex to supply 12V to pins 12 and 23. The actual adapters are too expensive, and black 24-pin extensions are like twice the price of the dual PSU things. And one last thing...that CPU cooler mounting mechanism...I've never been so worried about breaking a motherboard and / or CPU in my life...and I've built hundreds, possible thousands of PC since way back. I got it on, but was almost sure the PC wasn't gonna boot...but it did. If anyone orders that cooler, beware...with 1366, at least.
 
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I forgot to share pics of the second Z400 to desktop conversion I've done...so here is one. Put this all together for around $200, give or take. Had some parts already, but had to buy most of it.

View attachment 233024

Xeon W3570
8GB DDR3 1333
R7 250 2GB
120GB SSD
550W Cooler Master (semi-modular)
DIYPC DIY-S08-W
Vetroo V3 cooler
1366x768 VGA monitor w/ DVI-to-VGA adapter
"rgb" keyboard / mouse

This was for my sister and her kids for Christmas for school and a bit of gaming. Somehow...it runs Poppy Playtime (game in the photo) at an acceptable framerate at 1366x768. They play Fortnite, the Sims 4, Roblox...does fine for all of that so far. Haven't seen much school work being done on it yet, though lol I know it's not the greatest PC, but they've never had one, well...a laptop with a dual core Celeron that barely works. I am disabled, and my sister is a single mother with five kids. Intention was that it shares the same platform as my main PC, so when I upgrade, they get all the "hand-me-down" parts. GPU is kind of a temporary thing until I can "Kijiji" my way into a deal on something faster. It does the trick for now, and was very inexpensive. And when I upgrade their GPU, I can use the R7 250 in my PC for extra monitors or something, or just keep it for a spare. I did try to rig up this rough 290X I have, but no matter how I went about it, it was gonna be too loud for their build in a common area of their house.
damn, i never got such a cool Chritmas present.
never fancied "display" cases but HP engineering really deserves to be seen :)
 
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System Name Terminator T3500
Processor Intel Xeon W3680 4GHz
Motherboard Dell T3500
Cooling Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) PowerColor Red Dragon RX 580 8GB
Storage 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display(s) Acer H233H - 1920x1080 75Hz
Case Corsair Carbide Spec-01
Audio Device(s) Kinter MA-170
Power Supply Corsair CX600
Mouse Corsair Katar
Keyboard Ajazz AK33
Software Windows 10
damn, i never got such a cool Chritmas present.
never fancied "display" cases but HP engineering really deserves to be seen :)
I'm personally more of a Dell guy when it comes to OEM, but have lots of love for HP as well, as you can see lol

I got a E5-2697 V3 installed in my Z440.
but CPU-Z bench shows all cores reaching a max of 3.1GHz.
should i reset BIOS to default settings?
maybe some will reach the advertised 3.6GHz?

i might have changed some things... trying to set it to "max perf" .....
I'm not familiar with your platform or your CPU, but it's normal for most Intel CPU to have different "Turbo Limits" depending on how many cores are loaded up...if all cores are loaded, you'll get a lower boost than the max. Can you run Throttlestop and take a screenshot of the TRL/TPL tabs? Also...how are your temps when running CPU-Z bench? Is the core frequency still "ramping up" when the benchmark ends?
 
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I'm personally more of a Dell guy when it comes to OEM, but have lots of love for HP as well, as you can see lol


I'm not familiar with your platform or your CPU, but it's normal for most Intel CPU to have different "Turbo Limits" depending on how many cores are loaded up...if all cores are loaded, you'll get a lower boost than the max. Can you run Throttlestop and take a screenshot of the TRL/TPL tabs? Also...how are your temps when running CPU-Z bench? Is the core frequency still "ramping up" when the benchmark ends?
That is definitely a cool machine!
 
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Can you run Throttlestop and take a screenshot of the TRL/TPL tabs? Also...how are your temps when running CPU-Z bench? Is the core frequency still "ramping up" when the benchmark ends?
i ran the bench test - but that takes very little time, so it does not heat up i guess.

should i run the stress test?

did not find TTPL tab in throttlestop:

at some point i got 6200 bench points but i must have messed somthing up :)
 

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System Name Terminator T3500
Processor Intel Xeon W3680 4GHz
Motherboard Dell T3500
Cooling Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) PowerColor Red Dragon RX 580 8GB
Storage 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display(s) Acer H233H - 1920x1080 75Hz
Case Corsair Carbide Spec-01
Audio Device(s) Kinter MA-170
Power Supply Corsair CX600
Mouse Corsair Katar
Keyboard Ajazz AK33
Software Windows 10
i ran the bench test - but that takes very little time, so it does not heat up i guess.

should i run the stress test?

did not find TTPL tab in throttlestop:

at some point i got 6200 bench points but i must have messed somthing up :)
My bad, Throttlestop looks different with your CPU...tabs are different. Can you set CPU-z bench to only run on 1-2 cores? A single core load should "turbo" to the max turbo, though it's tough to get a single core load while also running windows. You can use Throttlestop to play with Turbo limits, but you should go post in the Throttlestop thread as your CPU and platform are beyond my knowledge lol It seems to me to be functioning normally though...base clocks are much lower, and max turbo appears to be 3.6GHz (which will be single core load, likely), so I think you're good. Might get more out of it with Throttlestop though!
 
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My bad, Throttlestop looks different with your CPU...tabs are different. Can you set CPU-z bench to only run on 1-2 cores? A single core load should "turbo" to the max turbo, though it's tough to get a single core load while also running windows. You can use Throttlestop to play with Turbo limits, but you should go post in the Throttlestop thread as your CPU and platform are beyond my knowledge lol It seems to me to be functioning normally though...base clocks are much lower, and max turbo appears to be 3.6GHz (which will be single core load, likely), so I think you're good. Might get more out of it with Throttlestop though!
i would like for the CPU to work as specified by intel.
in task manager it sometimes shows ~3.3 so i guess 1-2 cores go higher than 3.1.

either CPU-Z is ...not getting a core to 3.6 or win 10 task manager is lying to me.

i want stability etc so i will leave it alone if it works ok. which i don't know if it does.
'
was thinking of a BIOS reset to factory detfaults - see if CPU-Z fairs differently.
will do some test when i can spare some time.
 
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System Name Terminator T3500
Processor Intel Xeon W3680 4GHz
Motherboard Dell T3500
Cooling Deepcool Gammax 400
Memory 12GB (6x2GB) DDR3 1333
Video Card(s) PowerColor Red Dragon RX 580 8GB
Storage 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display(s) Acer H233H - 1920x1080 75Hz
Case Corsair Carbide Spec-01
Audio Device(s) Kinter MA-170
Power Supply Corsair CX600
Mouse Corsair Katar
Keyboard Ajazz AK33
Software Windows 10
i would like for the CPU to work as specified by intel.
in task manager it sometimes shows ~3.3 so i guess 1-2 cores go higher than 3.1.

either CPU-Z is ...not getting a core to 3.6 or win 10 task manager is lying to me.

i want stability etc so i will leave it alone if it works ok. which i don't know if it does.
'
was thinking of a BIOS reset to factory detfaults - see if CPU-Z fairs differently.
will do some test when i can spare some time.
Unfortunately, Intel's Turbo and whatnot is kind of like that...it will never boost to 3.6GHz on all core, probably not even on 2 cores. Hopefully someone else can chime in on it, maybe post also in the "Xeon" thread here? If someone out there knows and can share the specific turbo/power limits for the E5-2697 V3, that would be cool, but IMO, I think it's working properly. It's a high core count CPU (for that platform)) and even running at 3.3GHz fully loaded seems decent to me. You can get higher clocked CPU with higher turbo for your platform, but they will be significantly lower core count. Also, again, it's almost impossible to put a single core load on a CPU from within Windows...Windows will always be using CPU in the background.
 
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i would like for the CPU to work as specified by intel.
It is.
Unfortunately, Intel's Turbo and whatnot is kind of like that...it will never boost to 3.6GHz on all core, probably not even on 2 cores.
This is correct.

The E5-2697 V3 only goes to max turbo on 1 core at a time, 3.5 on 2 and 3.4 on 3. Max all core turbo for that CPU is 2.8ghz, as shown by the graph at Anandtech;
 
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