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ericfunk
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HP Z420 customizing to a quiet NAS / Virtual Host

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HP Z420
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I recently aquired a cheap HP Z420. Great specs and quality and specs, so I'm looking forward to joining the HP Z Mafia 🙂

 

I plan on building a powerful multi-purpose machine capable of running a NAS, Plex and some virtual hosting. I've got most of the parts down, but the silencing of the machine is a challenge. It's not terrible, but since the box will be placed in the living room, it needs to be wife friendly 😉 .. and it's just annoying to watch TV with a hum in the room.

 

I have the following questions after trawling the forums, reddit and youtube, without finding concise answers:

 

1) CPU cooler uses custom HP 5-pin connector. Have anyone succesfully switched to a quiet aftermarket cooler? Can custom made fan adapters be bought or made to fit eg. a Noctua?

 

2) Case fans? .. can they be replaced with other 4 pin fans?

 

3) Does the Z420 require a GPU with fan to not "compensate" by spinning up the rear case fan? I'll be running the machine as headless server, so I don't need the GPU to do anything else but boot the machine and do configs. I'd prefer a fanless basic card to reduce noise.

 

 

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DGroves
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the z420 was/is not designed to be a fanless/slient system it was tested extensivily by hp when created in reguards to number of fans, fan speeds, case airflow, general noise

 

trying to replace the stock fans with lower spinning noctua fans will screw around with hp's carefully calabrated cooling system and will generally result in worse cooling performance for the same noise db

 

if you want a z420 system that is quiet you might want to see if the power supply can be replaced with a fanless model, however this will not be cheap as high power fanless supplies are quite expensive

 

also replacing the cpu's air cooling  system with water cooling can be expensive, and depending on how hp cools the motherboards onboard vrm's water cooling may cause those vrm's to overheat without some form of active cooling on them

 

bottom line,.. you want a slient HTPC? then look at what shuttle or Zoltak have to offer and leave the z420 for what it does best

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MtothaJ
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@DGroveswrote:

also replacing the cpu's air cooling  system with water cooling can be expensive, and depending on how hp cools the motherboards onboard vrm's water cooling may cause those vrm's to overheat without some form of active cooling on them

 


 

There is no active or passive cooling on the Z420 VRM, unless you have the OEM HP liquid cooler which has a small fan to cool that area.

But generally since the long duration power is limited to 130W TDP by the bios even when overclocking in XTU this is not something that is of any significance.

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