HP Z440 Workstation - ?Economically Viable Home PC

Discussion in 'Intel x86 CPUs and chipsets' started by Kelvin, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Kelvin

    Kelvin Member

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    Hey OCAU.. Heads up for those wanting a PC / Workstation.. built like a tank..

    Consider the HP Z440..

    I use these at work.. and found them as pretty reliable workhorses.. but uber expensive..

    Then One came up on the forums..

    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/hp-z440-xeon-workstation-500-instant.1259941/
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/hp-z440-xeon-workstation-6core-16gb-gtx1080ti.1258705/
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/hp-z440-e5-1620-v3.1246555/

    Yes its the same machine handed around OCAU..

    I couldn't convince the last owner to send it to Melbourne for a reasonable price..

    But eventually.. I really wanted one of these...

    So I pickup up one from Ebay for Around $750 ($800 - minus discount) complete with 32gb of ram an a E5-1650V3, basic video and 2tb... and a spare carcass (case / motherboard / HSF) for ($200 ($220 minus discount) for parts..

    After a few teething issues getting Windows 7 Pro on to the machine.. as expected, everything was pretty nice.

    Starting looking at the possible memory options and CPU options.. for the "Carcass"...
    The officially support CPUs are limited to single enabled Xeon, and a couple of higher core 8 cpu dual enables variants (in single mode)

    I found a single post on the net.. about a person dumping a i7-6850K broadwell cpu in the machine with no issues.. which was kind of unexpected.....

    The short story is

    1) i7-6900K works with no problems.. tested in windows 10 ecc fully working as far as I can tell with all the test..
    2) Have booted to bios with a E5-2675v3 (16 core) and a i7-5960X (8 core) with no issues.. CPU fully recognised in bios

    So good news..

    Currently for $220 - 10% ebay coupon..you get the Z440 carcass, with powersupply, CPU HSF and Memory Cooler and Front Card Cooler with the upgraded 700w PSU with two 6 pin power connectors.
    (Bonus sticky tape residue, will give you hours of fun to remove)
    (the the superficial scratches, can be touched up with a black texture)

    CPU - Probably all non ES socket 2011v3 should work despite not being officially supported.. I would stay away from the 28 lane variants. (ie the 5820K and 6800K)

    Bad news

    ECC DDR4 - Buffered / Registered Ram (RDIMM) is required...quad channel (4 identical sticks is the way to go) quite tricky to find.. and can be expensive.. but sometimes can obtain at a reasonable price.. (managed to get $400 for 8x8gb sticks.. currently waiting to arrive) NON ecc and ECC UDIMMs do not work... (I have already tried..)

    It all

    for $200/$220 for the case
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/HP-Z440...h=item340560de01:g:YgEAAOSwtLxcW~Rf:rk:4:pf:0

    Bonus if you are lucky.. machine.. may be under warranty... my carcass expires on the 26/4/2020 and the complete machine ends in OCT 2019..
    ALhtough claiming warranty would be difficult when missing the original confugation.


    $200 for 32gb of ram (your price may vary)

    + CPU + HDD/SSD + Videocard..

    You will have a very capable.. and quiet ECC / Workstation / Home computer..
    This machine is really really quiet.. I would be extremely difficult / near impossible to build an air cooled machine this quiet.

    I would not have bother posting this.. but after buying the last machine.. the seller promptly relisted another 5... indicating.. they have a stash of these around..

    Godd luck to those.. who have the time and money to muck around. with this sort of gear..
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
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  2. OJR

    OJR Member

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    Great write up mate. I have a similar fetish with the Dell T3600 and up workstations. I have a T3600 and 3x T5810s. I do find that that the HP units are built slightly tougher.

    I might do some similar testing on the Dells. I don't have any other CPUs unfortunately... yet.

    So it looks like the T5810 with the Xeon E5-1650 V3 can take regular DDR4:

    [​IMG]

    That's it running my G.Skill Trident-Z 3600 C17
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  3. OP
    OP
    Kelvin

    Kelvin Member

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    Hmm.. I would NOT have predicted that...

    I thought the C612 chipset required buffered / registered memory.. (according to intel)

    Particularly after my testing..
    It would be nice to know if the standard I7s work in the T5810s..

    as an aside.. my order of ddr4 ecc buffered ram turned up without any issues..

    Findings some decent high core xeon at a reaosnably price may take a few years..

    Theres a T5810.. thats looking very very tempting now..
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Dell-T5...457524?hash=item2ac3bb4934:g:UXkAAOSwA0JcdLY3
    or
    https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Dell-T5810-Xeon-E5-1603v3-8GB-DDR4-Ram-240GB-SSD-Quadro-K2000/202590116498?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=20140106155344&meid=e572a54bb2f948c1bda64129e692a4b5&pid=100005&rk=5&rkt=12&sd=183672457524&itm=202590116498&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851


    I think the main issues is the paltry 425W power supply..
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  4. OJR

    OJR Member

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    Yes I was quite surprised myself. The only downside is that RAM will only run at the speed the motherboard allows it to. So no need for fast RAM. Mine runs at DDR4-1866.

    Keep looking, as the ones with the 685W PSU do come up (all 3 of mine have the 685W PSU) I also had an 850W model but sold that to a mate.

    I'll try to nab a 2011-3 CPU next time one comes up in the FS section. If you don't snipe it first. :) Checked on eBay, all very expensive.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Kelvin

    Kelvin Member

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    Have my fill of socket 2011v3 cpu... already.. unless its a nice higher core variant

    There's obviously a little more unofficial aspects to be C612 chipset / cpus / memory still to be "discovered".

     
  6. OP
    OP
    Kelvin

    Kelvin Member

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  7. OJR

    OJR Member

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    That's a nice CPU. I'm on the lookout for an 8 core.

    I see you have a 970 Evo in there as well. Another thing to mention for people considering these workstations is that the C612 chipset supports booting from NVMe drives. Just slap them in a PCI-E adapter card and you're good to go.
     
  8. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    They also make great home ESXi lab servers as well, if you want something that can run without blowing your eardrums off (like a rack monster). If I didn't already have a dual CPU Sandy workstation doing this function I'd be hunting for something like this for sure.

    Workstation boards having 8 RAM slots makes a massive difference when pulling whitebox duty, as well as RDIMMs (go for relatively peanuts on here and fleabay compared to gaming RAM!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  9. terrabyte

    terrabyte Member

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    Keep in mind, the memory controllers are on the CPU, most of the consumer CPUs don't support ECC, so if you already have that memory, while it may still work, you will lose that functionality. Of course if you're adding ram fresh, just go with what you need for the CPU :)
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Kelvin

    Kelvin Member

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    No I have full ECC functionality on my 6900k

    Which is a complete surprise
    It’s meant to be crippled

    But every single test I have run confirms ecc is working perfectly ....

    I don’t i have seem any other info confirming this as yet though


     
  11. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    I have the older z230(?) standard form factor. Was given it by friend so I'm not complaining just haven't had a chance to use it. The specs at the time was a great machine but i haven't been up to date lately. This writeup has definitely sparked my interest in the box again and I very much did admire the design of it. Having said all this what are your thoughts on this model I regards to the rest of the line up ( I find number scheme a little confusing) obviously you know more than me here...
     
  12. mrturkey

    mrturkey Member

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    I did something similar but scored a runout Z840 with an 1125W psu.
    E5-2620 v4 CPU (8 core, 16 thread) but low GHz
    16GB, got another 32GB ECC DDR4 2133 on Ebay to bring it up to 48GB
    Shipped with a Quadro, sold that for decent money and got a RTX2070
    Came with a Samsung 512GB NVME PCIE SSD (nice boot drive)
    Added a corsair MX500 1TB SSD and a WD RED for storage.
    Windows 10 Pro fast release channel

    The build and modularity of a Z840 will blow your mind.
    https://www8.hp.com/au/en/workstations/z840.html

    (As used by Deadpool)

    Workloads are:
    Work (MSP types of products)
    R&D for above
    Study
    Gaming
    Video Editing for my YouTube (track day footage)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
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  13. OP
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    Kelvin

    Kelvin Member

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    Don't know much about the z230

    quick google shows that its a standard e3-xeon haswell platform, which is a "subset" of the mainstream..
    Nothing wrong, with it.. but it will have the same limits.. ie. 4 dimms max only.. max 4 cores 8 threaded cpus..
    If you can get it cheap.. it would be a valid alternative. to a mainstream machine.. however the issues of whether ecc rams is required will be interesting...

    The mainstream platform.. requires unbuffered ECC.. is rarely / more expensive and limited in capacity compared to the buffered ECC memory.. which in DDR3 can be found very cheaply, in higher density on the secondhand market.. because they are removed from servers being decommissioned.

    The hp Z4xx, Z6xx, Z8xx are based on the HEDT (high end desktop platform).
    ie. socket 1366, Socket 2011 and socket 2011v3 .. for the Zx00, Zx20, Zx40
    the Z6xx and Z8xx having dual cpus options...

    The higher number tend to indicate the price / engineering behind this machines.

    the Z8xx series are amazing works of art...


     
  14. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    Yah, its the 8 DIMMS (and cheap second hand RDIMMs FTW) and many-core Xeons you want (+ ECC for those who need it), otherwise its just a well built normal rig
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Kelvin

    Kelvin Member

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    That's my dream machine...
    Can't afford it...

    Managed to buy a Thinkstation P700 (Haswell E support only), with a smallish power supply with a pair of E5-2620V3s.. ssd and 16gb of ram for under $800
    waiting for it to be delivered..

    The E5 2xxx V3/V4 xeons are absolutely insanely priced compared to 18 months ago...


     
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  16. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    Core count wise maybe zen 2 or next thread ripper will sort you out at a not insane cost
     
  17. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    Thank you for your response, its clear a lot more research is needed! Just hold up for a second, I thought I had a hexacore xeon + k4000 gpu bit i could be wrong.

    But are you saying socket won't allow anymore more than quad?
     
  18. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    re: your Z230 (NOT Kelvin's Z440) its fairly black and white on the support site
    https://support.hp.com/au-en/document/c03919165

    • Intel xeon processor E3-1200 v3 family
    • 4th generation intel coreprocessor family

    There are no hex-core Haswell regular or E3-1200v3 range chips. The E3s are pretty much normal i5/i7s with ECC enabled.
     
  19. HorrorLand

    HorrorLand Member

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    Not saying its some kind of spectacular rig, like I said was given it i think from ex unsw lab.

    If anything I try boot it up tomorrow out of curiosity, maybe one day i can spring for the real deal. I do a bit of cad work otherwise my computing requirements are pretty minimal
     
  20. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    A quad core Haswell is no slouch still, it should be fine for what you want to do. I'm typing this on a 4790 (non-K) right now and its perfectly fine paired with a GTX1060.
     

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