01-03-2014 08:55 AM - edited 01-03-2014 09:01 AM
As the title suggests, I am interested in upgrading the processor in my HP ENVY Phoenix 800-050se by one generation, from an Intel i7-3930k to an Intel i7-4930k. This is because I can sell the 3930k and obtain a new 4930k for less than a $100 spread, and $100 is worth a 10% performance increase to me.
The issue is whether the newer Intel i7-4930k is compatible with my current motherboard. I am 100% certain it can be, but I cannot verify that it actually is. Newegg and various other venders warn upgraders going from Sandy Bridge-E to Ivy Bridge-E (i.e. from 3930k to 4930k) to verify whether their existing LGA 2011 motherboard will require a BIOS flash update in order for it to recognize the new processor. Because HP uses a mysterious motherboard in its high-end desktops, finding this information has thus far been impossible. I will outline what I have tried, and hopefully someone here will be able to suggest something, because I am out of ideas.
The motherboard in question is HP's "Pittsburgh2" (IPIWB-PB). Here is a link to the official HP specification sheet. Pittsburgh2 is in my computer (the Phoenix 800-050se), which is currently equipped with an Intel i7-3930k, and the Pittsburgh2 is also equipped in other HP computers utilizing the newer Intel i7-4930k (see e.g. Phoenix 810-150se). This is why I am 100% certain the motherboard can support both chips.
My (so far) unanswerable question is, "Are the BIOS the same on both machines?" If so, I will not need to update the BIOS, and the chip will work; otherwise, upgrading will require a BIOS update. HP's update page for the 800-050se lists no BIOS update. But neither that page nor the update page for the 810-150se lists the BIOS version installed on either computer. Effectively, I cannot lookup information about BIOS versions, which prevents me from comparing my BIOS version to that of another HP computer using a 4930k on the Pittsburgh2 motherboard.
My next step was calling HP for help, many times. All of the attempts failed. The first call was to technical support. A support agent said that he would not look up product information without a product's serial number, but the only way to obtain that number is to purchase a computer. This didn't help because I need the BIOS version for the 810-150se, but I own the 800-050se. Thinking I may have simply gotten a grumpy tech guy, I called again (and again, and again . . .) until I got the same answer from 5 different people. I repeated a similar phone call process with HP’s department for customer service, sales, and parts. Each department referred me back to tech support, which refused to answer my question; namely, “Is the same BIOS version on both the 800-050se and the 810150se? If not, where do I get the update, because it isn’t on the HP website?”
The next step in my search lead me to research third-parties. I discovered that the Pittsburgh2 motherboard is a product of the Pegatron Corporation, a division of ASUS. So, I contacted Pegatron via e-mail - the only way for consumers to contact Pegatron. It turned out that Pegatron is an OEM company that by contract with HP cannot support motherboards used in HP products. They apologetically referred me back to HP, but the previous paragraph explained how that went. Then I contacted ASUS, but they told me the same thing as Pegatron. Finally, I called Newegg's sales people because I know they have experts to answer compatibility questions. Those experts, however, lack access to information on HP's Pittsburgh2 motherboard.
Apparently, the answer lies with HP but HP denies having it. I have never had such a difficult time finding such basic information. All motherboards I have owned in the past have a simple webpage where this information is easily accessible. If anyone has any information that will answer my question, I would greatly appreciate it!
Without the information, my only option will be to spend nearly $600 on an Intel i7-4930k to test compatibility. But if it the test fails, then I will have to eat money on returning a used processor (the 4930k), or else spend an additional $300 on a normal ASUS motherboard. But that would set me back more than $1,000 after tax, which is 10-times more than I should spend on this upgrade. Clearly, this simple but illusive piece of information would be extremely helpful for me. Please help!
01-05-2014 12:32 AM - edited 01-05-2014 03:07 PM
The motherboards in the computer models you have listed, are the same exact part number. The original BIOS version in most HP computer models using the same motherboard part number should be the same if the models were released around the same time. Your HP ENVY Phoenix 800-050se should support the same CPUs as the HP ENVY Phoenix 810-150se. You will notice that the only CPUs listed in any of the "Pittsburgh2" (IPIWB-PB) specs are the i7-3xxx K/X (Sandy Bridge - E) versions. You should be able to use the i7-4xxx K/X (Ivy Bridge - E) versions as listed in the 810-150se CTO CPU options without any issue.
I have contacted the HP Forum administrators on your behalf and requested clarification on the supported CPUs. My request may or may not be answered to our satisfaction and there may not be a clear answer. Please note that there is no guarantee and you assume all risk for your actions.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
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01-06-2014 11:31 AM - edited 01-06-2014 02:18 PM
@lasvegaswireman -- I appreciate you reaching out to the HP people. The Pittsburgh2's documetnation was one of the things that confused me as well, even though I didn't mention it. The board clearly supports Ivy-E despite the webpage's indications that it only supports Sandy-E; otherwise HP couldn't have used that board in the Pheonix 810-150se. But that computer in fact contains a Pittsburgh2 motherboard.
If you hear back about updated information for the Pittsburgh2 motherboard's documentation, I would greatly appreciate you posting here. The documentation has become outdated and needs to be updated. Thanks!
01-10-2014 10:42 AM - edited 01-10-2014 11:20 AM
I have an HP 810-150se system equipped with a 4820k, Pittsburgh2 board.
The BIOS version is, as follows:
AMI 8.18, 09/24/2013
I also have an HP H8 1380t with the Pittsburgh board.
Knowing HP, I would highly doubt flashing the Pittsburgh board with the AMI 8.18, 09/24/2013 revision, if you could get your hands on it, would succeed. Maybe extract the required binaries from the HP installer, if they ever release a BIOS update, and use a bootable USB stick?? Probably brick the board!
Have built systems for years and purchased HP products over the last few years. Going back to building. You will like this, the 810-150se HDD enclosure is machined to the tower. You cannot remove or add a harddisk drive. Three out of four drive to drive cage retaining screws are inaccessible. No use of HDD rails and no way to remove the drive cage from the enclosure!! Unbelievable!
You can't make this stuff up. No user serviceability here! Send to HP when the factory HDD fails.
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Pegatron Motherboard- IPIWB-PB (Pittsburgh), Radeon HD 7570 1GB. Win 7 Home Premium upgraded to Windows 8.1 Pro.
Envy Phoenix 810-150se, Intel i7 4820k
16 GB DDR3
Pittsburgh2 Mainboard, NVIDIA GTX 645- 2GB GDDR5. Win 8.1 Pro.
HP 560z CTO AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
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