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HP Recommended
HP Z800
Linux

Note: I accepted DGrove's answer as the solution b/c it met my specific needs.  However, BambiBoomZ's answer provides a nice alternative setup.

==========================================================================================

Summary:  I researched using SSDs in a z800 before posting.  I think I covered the salient points.

Q1: Did I miss any important points wrt installing an SSD in a z800?

Q2: Anyone know if I can just boot a live USB stick, install to the SSD and the reboot w/o issues? 

 

Samsung's 850 EVO is a known good choice for the z800.  The company's newer (and cheaper) 860 EVO improves upon the 850, but uses a different controller.  It might not work.  The 860 does have better support for Linux distros, though.

 

I would appreciate any help.  Thank you.

=========================================================================================

I intend to upgrade my z800 to use an SSD.  I currently use a USB stick to boot a debian-based Linux OS.  I found quite a bit of useful advice reviewing the forum posts on the topic, although some were a bit dated.  Most of it remains relevant, though.   

 

1) Determine the z800s' generation - first gen or second gen?  Do this by checking the boot block date, which is listed in the BIOS

2) Update the BIOS microcode, if needed, to v3.60;

3) Load the correct storage controller, namely 9.6.0.1014;

4) Ensure SATA emulation is set to RAID + AHCI in BIOS;

5) Enable option ROM for the PCI/PCIe slots AND disable compute.  It shipped from the factory with those settings, but they could have been changed by a previous owner;

 

Choosing an SSD  || NB: z800s came w/ SATA I and SATA II support, not SATA III.  And certainly not NVMe support.

 

1) Buy a SATA SSD, not an NVMe.  A hacky-ish workaround exists to use an NVMe with the z800, but it is an additional hurdle to overcome;

2a) Buy a 2.5" SSD.  Install it into a PCIe slot w/ a SATA III  adapter card.  Buy a SATA extension so one of the HDD SATA cables can reach the PCIe card. 

OR

2b) Buy an M.2 form factor SSD;  User @SDH has (or had) a Kingston Predator M.2 working on his machine.  @SDH follows a specific set of steps to set up the Predator M.2, but I'm not sure if those steps are required or suggested;

OR

2c) Buy a 2.5" SSD that is backward compatible to SATA II.  These might be pretty scarce as of Jan 2019.  This option requires a carrier tray for the SSD to fit correctly in the larger HDD slot;

3) The SSD needs to have an AHCI controller  <-- opting for the SATA interface should cover this, especially since the other controller option is the ancient IDE technology;

 

Various Kingston SSDs have been recommended, but the recommendations were made in late 2016, so the products may not be available.  Samsungs are also popular, including the 850 Evo (but not the Pro).  User @Knight_Phi recommends "... more old fasion same era as the Z800 pci-e ssd like fusion drive and revo drive pci-e ssd's "

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
HP Recommended

if you still have questions about the z800 after reading the OP's post and my reply consider using the forums "search" function for more information, many z800 related SSD questions have been asked and answered numerous times on this forum, you can use this sites search function to peruse some of the previous questions/reply's that pertain to the z800

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 

you can use any SATA based SSD on the z800, be it a 2.5 or M.2  formfactor using a PCI-e card.......the interface is/must still be SATA

 

avoid no name or bargin basement ssd's that lack onboard cache, stay with name brand midrange drives like the 850 evo

 

as long as your SSD is set as the first boot device in the bios,  using a live DVD/Key to install linux to the SSD is not a problem,  however it's recomended you disconnnect all other drives except for the one you want to install the OS on before installing any OS's

 

while the 9.6 RST driver will work, the 10.1.0.1008 driver might be a better choice or the absolute latest RST that supports your c5520 chipset

 

Intel® RST that supports 5 series chipsets, you will find it on the link below, it is version 12.9.0.1001:

  

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23496/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-RAID-Driver https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23496/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-RAID-Driver

 

 

Here you have the "read me" notes for it:

  

https://downloadmirror.intel.com/23496/eng/readme.txt https://downloadmirror.intel.com/23496/eng/readme.txt

View solution in original post

8 REPLIES 8
HP Recommended

if you still have questions about the z800 after reading the OP's post and my reply consider using the forums "search" function for more information, many z800 related SSD questions have been asked and answered numerous times on this forum, you can use this sites search function to peruse some of the previous questions/reply's that pertain to the z800

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 

you can use any SATA based SSD on the z800, be it a 2.5 or M.2  formfactor using a PCI-e card.......the interface is/must still be SATA

 

avoid no name or bargin basement ssd's that lack onboard cache, stay with name brand midrange drives like the 850 evo

 

as long as your SSD is set as the first boot device in the bios,  using a live DVD/Key to install linux to the SSD is not a problem,  however it's recomended you disconnnect all other drives except for the one you want to install the OS on before installing any OS's

 

while the 9.6 RST driver will work, the 10.1.0.1008 driver might be a better choice or the absolute latest RST that supports your c5520 chipset

 

Intel® RST that supports 5 series chipsets, you will find it on the link below, it is version 12.9.0.1001:

  

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23496/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-RAID-Driver https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23496/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-RAID-Driver

 

 

Here you have the "read me" notes for it:

  

https://downloadmirror.intel.com/23496/eng/readme.txt https://downloadmirror.intel.com/23496/eng/readme.txt

HP Recommended

Eunosm3,

 

As DGroves mentions, the z800 may be booted from USB, as long as the boot drive is properly configured and placed as the first drive in the boot sequence.

 

Much depends on the disk performance expectation, but the z800 has very good potential. The top DIsk Mark for an HP z800  (2X Xeon X5687/ 36GB / Quadro 5000) on Passmark baselines is  25915 using an OCZ Revodrive 3- an excellent figure.  However, Revodrives are, using an understatement- "difficult".  Using SanDisk Ultra II 480GB, the mark is 24225, but that is likely to be a quad RAID 0 as the Passmark average for a single disk is 3828.

 

In my view, the optimized disk solution for an SATAII system is to add an SATAIII / SAS RAID card and, if a very large amount of storage is desirable, a controller with an eSATA port so that all the internal drives run at SATAIII speeds.  The eSATA allows an external SAS NAS stack or similar.

 

One problem is that there are no PCIe GEN3 slots in a z800:

 

2 PCI Express Gen2 x16 slots (full-length, full-height)

2 PCI Express Gen2 x8 slots - with x8 connectors (full-length, full-height)

1 PCI Express Gen2 x4 slot - with x8 connector (half-length, full-height)1 PCI Express Gen1 x4 slot - with x8 connector (full-length, full-height)  1 PCI 32bit/33MHz slot, (full-length, full-height)

1 Mechanical-only slot, supporting cards which mount only to the I/O bulkhead and not the motherboard (half-length, full-height)

The PCIe x8 connectors are open ended, allowing a PCIe x16 card to be seated in the slot.

 

Stille the Kingston SHP2280P2 M.2 does very well in a z800, 10048 and 10042 for a 480GB and 8887 and 8835 for 240GB.

 

However, there is an HP z800 on Passmark baselines with a Disk Mark of 23407, using an LSI MR9265-8i RAID controller.  The actual drives can't be seen by the Passmark  benchmark, so one has to assume that there is a quad RAID 0 or 0+1 of a fast SSD.  There are also very good results using an LSI MR9240-8i: 10776 and 10765,  and the 9240-8i is very reasonably priced used used.

 

Someone is using a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB for 11048, which  as an M.2 intended for UEFI systems, must be assumed to be ruuning under some NVMe module as legacy boot.

 

In an HP z620 an HP Z Turbo M.2 256GB  AHC (Samsung SM951 AHCI) has been quite successful- up to 14577 and there is (somehow) a z800's running this having marks of 12602 and 11903.  I believe it is two tests of the same system. If this can be done without extraordinary efforts, that is going to be among the best disk performance marks from a single drive.

 

In summary, consider the advantages of basing the disk subsystem on a good PCIe SATAIII RAID controller.  In choosing, ensure that the contorller has plenty of onboard cache.  Suggestion: LSI MR9240-8i. If very high performance is necessary, consider a RAID 0 or 0+1 variant configuration. My tactic with a z620 is to have a fast OS/Programs drive (HP Z Turbo M.2 256GB  AHCI), a projects drive (Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M2. NVme) and a storage HD (HGST 7K6000 4TB).

 

Some time ago, I had an LGA1366 system, a Dell Precision T5500 (2X Xeon X5680 / 48GB /Quadro K2200) and adding a PERC H310  (reflashed LSI 9211-8i) controller  alone changed the Samsung 840 240GB disk mark from 2212 to 2949.

 

In summary: the Kingston SHP2280P2 or SATAIII RAID controller with good SATAII SSD's - Samsung 860 EVO or similar + SATAIII SAS storage HDD's should have very good results.

 

BambiBoomZ

HP Recommended

for other users considering a LSI based card for JBOD (single drive) use they should be aware the LSI 9260 card is a RAID ONLY card, it does not support JBOD, (Just a Bunch Of Disks) IE- 4 seperate drives

 

the H310 card is the same chip as used on the z820, and this card does support Raid, and JBOD modes just like the onboard z800 controller does

 

i have personally used a Dell Perc H310 card in a z800 and used Male to Male SATA adapters so i can connect the internal 4 bay drives directly to the H310, and i use the 4 remaining ports on the card to connect two 120GB SSD drives in raid 0

 

if you do go with the H310 or any other pci-e add in drive controller, make sure to disable the z800's onboard controller and it's Bios since the drives are now serviced by the H310 card

HP Recommended

DGroves,

 

Ah, I see the problem, the card I was referring to is the 9240-8i, not 9260-8i   The 9260 does not use JBOD , but the 9240 may be set to JBOD.

 

See: https://www.cnet.com/products/lsi-megaraid-sas-9240-8i-storage-controller-raid-sata-6gb-s-sas-pcie-2...

 
"Specs
 
General
  • Host Bus
    PCIe 2.0 x8
  • Manufacturer
    LSI Logic
Storage Controller
  • Interface
    SATA 6Gb/s / SAS
  • Data Transfer Rate
    6 Gbps
  • Supported Devices
    disk array (RAID), hard drive
  • Channel Qty
    8
  • Max Storage Devices Qty
    64
  • RAID Level
    JBOD, RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5, RAID 50
  • Processor
    LSI LSISAS2008 533 MHz
  • Interface Type
    Serial ATA-600 / SAS
Processor
  • Clock Speed
    533 MHz
Power Device
  • Type
    none
Interface Provided
  • Qty
    2
  • Connector Type
    36 pin 4i Mini MultiLane SAS (SFF-8087)
  • Connector Location
    internal
Miscellaneous
  • Included Accessories
    low-profile bracket
  • Microsoft Certifications
    Compatible with Windows 7
  • MTBF
    2000000 hour(s)
System Requirements
  • OS Required
    Microsoft Windows, Red Hat Linux, SuSe Linux, SunSoft Solaris, VMware ESX Server
Environmental Parameters
  • Min Operating Temperature
    32 °F
  • Max Operating Temperature
    158 °F
  • Humidity Range Operating
    5 - 90%
Header
  • Brand
    LSI
  • Product Line
    LSI MegaRAID
  • Model
    SAS 9240-8i
  • Packaged Quantity
    1
  • Compatibility
    PC, Unix
Interface Required
  • Type
    none
Expansion Bays
  • Type
    none
Cable Details
  • Type
    Serial ATA / SAS cable
  • Included Qty
    2
  • Length
    2 ft
Dimensions & Weight
  • Depth
    6.6 in
  • Height
    2.5 in
Software
  • Type
    Command Line Interface (CLI), LSI MegaRAID Management Suite, LSI WebBIOS Configuration Utility, MegaRAID Storage Manager
Slot Required
  • Type
    PCI Express 2.0 x8
  • Form Factor
    low-profile
  • Total Qty
    1
Bay Required
  • Type
    none
Service & Support
  • Type
    3 years warranty
Service & Support Details
  • Type
    limited warranty
  • Full Contract Period
    3 years
General
  • Manufacturer
    LSI Logic"  < END

______________________________________________________________

 

BambiBoomZ

HP Recommended

your reply mentions the LSI 9260 card, and my reply reguarding JBOD was specific to the 9260 nowhere did i state that the 9240 did not support JBOD

 

There never was IT (Initiator-Target) firmware or support for passthrough on the 926x RAID Controllers, from LSI.

 

if your currious simply google "does the lsi 9260 support jbod"

 

i own two of these cards and i can personally attest that they do not support JBOD in any way, you can not even create a single raid 0 for a drive, and by the way this method is not true JBOD that simply passes through the drive

 

a true JBOD enabled card will allow you to take a drive off the controller and connect it to any other JBOD capable card (or motherboard SATA port)

 

creating a single raid 0 on a card is not true JBOD (which some adaptec 68xx cards support) as the drive now requires that controller in order to work and the custom raid bootblock that is written to the drive can cause issues such as smart info not being reported

 

the LSI cards that do support JBOD can be found in this link

 

https://www.broadcom.com/support/knowledgebase/1211161496893/megaraid-3ware-and-hba-support-for-vari...

HP Recommended

BambiBoomZ:

Thank you for your detailed response.  I think other users may find it more helpful than I will, though, because you described a *super fast* setup.  However, I merely want to overcome a technical issue associated with running my server from a persistent live USB stick all the time.  In other words, I need to install the OS on an actual disk ( I know - woe is me, right?).  An old-school spinning platter would probably suit me fine, but the allure of an SSD sucked me in.   I'm leaning heavily towards using a Samsung 850 Evo b/c it seems to be a fine "default" choice, and it is cheap enough for me.

 

Thanks for the color on a different option altogther, though.

HP Recommended

I just want to add the note that the Samsung 860 EVO ssd's mentioned above work fine for Z800 boot and data, at least on the standard controller for the built-in drive bays. Trim is (of course?) not supported, and some utilities report that the ssd's are not operating in AHCI mode, though RAID/AHCI is chosen over IDE. And as the mobo supports SATA II but not SATA III, the drives are sub-optimally attached. A PCI-e 2.0/3.0 SATA III adapter card with TRIM and Boot support is being researched to boost storage performance.

HP Recommended

ITGB,

 

Some of what you say is why I like the Intel modern SSDs and the associated Intel SSD utility (Intel ToolBox) over the Samsung SSDs and the Samsung Magician SSD utility.  The Samsung SSDs are excellent pieces of hardware but I have to wonder why Samsung engineers can't get Magicin to report correctly.  Do they not have the talent, or don't care?

 

I personally like the Intel 545s SSDs and the Intel ToolBox software, but would be happy to use Samsung SSDs if they and the Magician software worked as well out of the box for us on both the most recent and older HP workstations.

 

1.  Trim is supported on the Samsung and Intel SSDs in W7/W10 on the HP workstations.... it is an OS thing.

2.  The "utilities" you mention reporting that the Samsung SSDs are not operating in AHCI mode is actually the Samsung Magician utility itself, and it has been reporting wrong on the HP workstations for years now.  Read up on how to use AS-SSD to confirm that AHCI drivers are being used,  HERE

 

https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/HP-Z240-how-to-set...

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