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Got hand me down Z400 - turning into gamer for son

HP Z400
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

Hi all, first time poster with some rookie questions.  After getting this from family that was just using it as a office computer I'm wondering what I can add to this guy and just curious on what kind of performance I can get out of it.  I have a 6 dimm motherboard so I think I would be eligible for an X5690 instead of the 3520 that is in it now.  If I paired that with say.., a 1050ti would that be able to still play a majority of games on Steam?  I thought I remembered reading somewhere that the upgrade to the 5690 would be somewhere in the neighborhood of a 4 generation i7.  Is there truth to this?  Thanks in advance! 

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Got hand me down Z400 - turning into gamer for son

if you have a 6 dimm slot board it is a v2, check the boot block date to confirm

 

you might find that one step down from a x5690 is worth considering if only using a 1050 ti video card

 

the 5690 is a better match for video cards like the 2060 series or the older 1070 cards

 

several posters here have and use the z400 and can offer better information wait for their posts

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Got hand me down Z400 - turning into gamer for son

GLE3,

 

For gaming use, the most important specification is the maximum single thread performance of the CPU, which translates to the highest possible Turbo clock speed. 

 

In general, the lower the core count the higher the top clock speed, so a 4-core is preferable to a 6-core.  Also, single configuration  processors - the W3690 for example are preferable to that are made for dual configurations such as the X5690- the dual processors are slower even at the same clock speed.

 

On the later z400 X58 platform, the 0B4Ch motherboard, the highest clock processor if the the Xeon x5687 4-core @ 3.47 / 3.86GHz.  This has an average  Passmark Single Thread Mark of 1606. Comparatively, the X5690 average is 1536 and the W3690 is 1560. The 1606 is average, the top CPU mark for an X5687 z400 is 7548 which means an STM of about 1755

 

The X5687 is not expensive, about $30-40 (2.20). Install carefully with a good thermal paste such as Arctic Silver and have the highest rated cooler to the z400.

 

The X58 chipset is triple channel so install RAM in sets of three identical modules if possible; 12GB (3X 4GB) is OK, 24GB will never need upgrading. Consider buying used modules with the HP part number sticker on it for best compatibility.

 

The GPU is important in gaming and this is again a clock speed factor.  The z400 has a 475 w PSU, so using a  more modern GPU will provide a greater range of performance choices.  The fastest GPU in a z400 on Passmark  is a GTX 1070 Ti having a 3D = 10559.  That's not bad , but keep in mind that a PCIe 2.0 system will not extract the top performance of a PCIe 3.0  card; the average 3D for the GTX 1070 Ti is 3D= 12292. The GTX 1050 Ti average is 6702

 

Consider if possible to buy a GPU of a wider bandwidth. The office z420 uses GTX 1060 6GB in a z420 (E5-1650 v2 6C@ 4.3GHz)  3D=10953. In a z400 / W3690 system, a GTX 1060 has a 3D= 8981, whereas the top GTX 1050 Ti scores 6702. The idea with this purchase is that the performance is sufficiently good to use in the next system; it can be less expensive in the long run to spend a bit more initially and keep it a couple of years longer.

 

Keep in mind that workstations are made to run quietly and consequently do not have as good an airflow as gaming cases. This is why WS GPU's have a closed cooler and single fan that sends the hot air out the back of the case instead of into the interior of the case.  For example:

 

https://www.asus.com/uk/Graphics-Cards/TURBO-GTX1060-6G

 

I use a two-fan open cooler GTX 1060 6GB in the z420 and while the performance is very good- running a 40", 4K monitor at 60FPS to avoid tearing, the CPU temperature is typically running 10-12C higher than the z620 8-core E5-1680 @ 4.3GHz on all cores, but with an ASUS Turbo GTX 1070Ti with a blower fan. All I can think of is that the gaming GPU is putting almost all it's heat into the case.

 

Let us know how your project progresses.

 

BambiBoomZ

 

HP z620_2 (2017) (R7) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8-core@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid Cooling / 64GB DDR3-1866 ECC Reg / Quadro P2000 5GB _ GTX 1070 Ti 8GB / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB AHCI + Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe 500GB + HGST 7K6000 4TB / Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 sound interface + 2X Mackie MR824 / 825W PSU /> HP OEM Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H (2560 X 1440)

[ Passmark Rating = 6280 / CPU rating = 17178 / 2D = 819 / 3D= 12629 / Mem = 3002 / Disk = 13751 / Single Thread Mark = 2368 [10.23.18]
[Cinebench: OpenGL= 134.68 fps / CPU= 1234 cb [10.27.18]

 

HP z420_3: (2015) (R11) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 32GB (HP/Samsung 4X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / Samsung 860 EVO 500GB + HGST 7K4000 4TB / ASUS Essence STX / Logitech z2300 2.1 / 600W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (HP OEM ) > Samsung 40" 4K

[Passmark System Rating: = 5644 / CPU = 15293 / 2D = 847 / 3D = 10953 / Mem = 2997 Disk = 4858 /Single Thread Mark = 2384 [6.27.19]

 

    

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Got hand me down Z400 - turning into gamer for son

I've run all the Z400 version 2 workstations I've upgraded under X5690 processors.  That was officially never certified by HP but it works just fine.  Just in case...... you must get a boot SSD if you don't have that.  Huge benefit.  These are SATA generation II workstations so you get no benefit in putting in a SATA gen III SSD.  My favorite is the Intel 320 series, and you can buy a high capacity used 600GB one off eBay for about 80.00 now.

 

I'm not a gamer...... I leave the video card issue up to others.

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Got hand me down Z400 - turning into gamer for son

Thanks for all the information!  This surely is enough to make an informed decision I would think.  My boot block date is 11/10/2009.  Looks like I have 8GB of PC3-10600 ram, so maybe a few more 2GB sticks there..

 

Considering the X5687 now, less than half the cost of X5690 used.  Not sure if I need a new heatsink with it.

 

I haven't been in the computer build market in some time.  Is there still a risk when buying a used SSD related to a finite number of read/write before its end of life?

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regarding used ssd's,.....i personally do not recommend them for  mission critical systems as you will usually receive no warranty and most sellers do not disclose the remaining life of the ssd.

 

those two issues when taken with the fact the savings of a used ssd are not that great usually is why i don't recommend them in general

 

check the prices/specials on places like amazon or newegg for a name brand ssd like crucial/samsung/western digital note the price (including shipping) and only then check places like ebay or a local shop for a used ssd and see what the savings are

 

i do sometimes buy used or new old stock ssd's but they are for gaming or personal systems as data drives not as a primary boot drive

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GLE3,

 

There is a substantial benefit to using an SSD as the access time is so much lower than a mechanical actuator arm may achieve. An SATA II 3GB/S system will not have the full performance of a system with an SATAIII 6GB/S controller but will still be worthwhile.

 

The first SSD used in an office system here was a Dell Precision T5500 (2X Xeon X5680 / 48GB / Quadro K2200), changing o change a Seagate Cheetah 15K 146GB SAS drive (on PERC 6i)  to a a Samsung 840 250GB.  The 15,000 RPM Seagate- one of the fastest mach'l drives at the time, had a Passmark score of 1208. A contemporary WD Black 500GB was about 1000, and the Samsung 840 scored  2285, an 89% improvement.

 

As for used,  I'm not against buying used if the seller reports the reads, writes, and health from the SMART report and the drive is a model still available. However, buying used is best employed to afford a very high end drive. The  durability of SSD's is quite a bit better than the early production.  The Samsung 860 EVO,  which is quite fast for an SATA: Seq. Read = 550 MB/s _ Seq. Write =  520 MB/s :

 

Warranty: Five years

Endurance:

150 TBW (250GB)
300 TBW (500GB)
600 TBW (1TB)
1,200TBW (2TB)
2,400 TBW (4TB)
1.5 million hours reliability

 

In 2015, the office z420_2 (Xeon E5-1660 v2 / 32GB / Quadro P2000 used an Intel 730 480GB, an enterprise -level SSD  which had a 70TBW rating- the best at he time. The performance was very good at that time, a Passmark disk score of  4555. After three -years daily use, the calculation indicated that it would last in that use another 36.4 more years.  These are still thought of as good drives today:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Intel-2-5-Inch-Internal-Solid-SSDSC2BP480G4R5/dp/B00IF4NGXQ

 

However, that said, the prices of very good performing and reliable SSD's are so reduced in the last several months  that there is no need to buy used; in fact I sometimes see used drives on ebahhh for higher prices than new.

 

Recommendation:  Consider a Samsung 860 EVO 250GB (~ $60) or better value and perfurmance, the 500GB (about $85)  for Windows, and programs, and add a 1TB mech'l drive, perhaps a Western Digital Blue for files.  It might be possible to run the whole system on the 500GB alone, and that drive may outlast the system for use in the next one.  The OS and programs are unlikely to be more than 60-70GB, leaving 400+GB for files. Add a 2TB or greater mech'l drive if there are to be a lot of media files.

 

BambiBoomZ

 

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