04-19-2017 03:06 PM
Hello, I'm considering buying HP's Z420 Workstation. I would wish to know if this device supports booting from NVMe (specifically: booting from a PCIe storage). Thanks in advance.
04-25-2017 08:20 AM - edited 04-25-2017 08:31 AM
until yeasterday I was using an HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB in a z420 /E5-1660 v2 to good effect, having a Passmark Disk Mark of 11599. This was tranferred yeasterday to the current project, a z620 /E5-1680 v2.
However this drive - which has a Samsung SM951 inside- is AHCI- not NVMe.
It's possible to load and configure an NVMe module and driver in a z420 if it has a UEFI BIOS, but that is for me too advanced technically. However, you can try adding NVMe support: [Guide] How to get full NVMe support for all Systems with an AMI UEFI BIOS And, I and I'm sure many Forum visitors would appreciate knowing the results.
However, there is a simpler solution: use a Samsung 950 Pro which includes a "legacy BIOS". these are not budget devices, but could save a couple of days of tehcnical frustration- at least from my point of view.
Not to throw a wrnch into the works, but after severl months' experience with a very fast M.2 drive, I think the experience of system speed is almost not noticeable- a few seconds in the boot time. M.2 drives look very well in benchmark figures, but unless you moving extreme;y large datasets or libraries, a fast SATA SSD seems quite acceptable.
CAD / 3D Modeling / Graphic Design:
HP z420 (2015) (Rev 5) > Xeon E5-1660 v2 (6-core @ 3.7 / 4.2GHz) / 32GB DDR3 -1866 ECC RAM / Quadro P2000 (4GB) / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB AHCI + Intel 730 480GB (9SSDSC2BP480G4R5) + Western Digital Black WD1003FZEX 1TB> Creative SB X-Fi Titanium + Logitech z2300 2.1 speakers > 600W PSU> > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit >> 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H (2560 X 1440)
[ Passmark Rating = 5920 > CPU= 15129 / 2D= 855 / 3D= 8945 / Mem= 2906 / Disk= 11559] [6.12.16] Single-Thread Mark = 2322 [4.20.17]
04-25-2017 08:41 AM - edited 04-25-2017 08:55 AM
If anybody is interested I can mod the standard Z420/Z620 v3.91 bios with the NVM module inserted.
One can then attempt to flash it from the bios. Flashing is of course at ones own risk, although it has been verified here that there are no adverse consequences in flashing a modified bios this way - https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Worksta
In the worst case scenario, a boot block bios recovery is always possible, since flashing the bios does not write to the boot block (as owners of 2011 bootblock date systems know all too well).