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CinéMatica
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HP Z840 choice of processor and RAM

HP Z840
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hello everyone,

 

For a refurbished HP Z840 workstation that I am going to buy, I have the choice over three processors when configuring it. Can someone put me into the right direction of which one to buy? The prices are lying very close to each other so that's not an issue.

 

(1) 2x 14 Core Xeon E5-2697v3 / 2,6GHz 35MB ( 28C 56T 145W )

(2) 2x 16 Core Xeon E5-2683v4 / 2,1GHz 35MB ( 32C 64T 120W )

(3) 2x 18 Core Xeon E5-2699v3 / 2,3GHz 45MB ( 36C 72T 145W )

 

The same about DDR4 RAM memory. Does my choice of processor influence the type of RAM memory that I have to buy?

Faster is better, but also much expensiver! How much RAM is a good average? 128GB, 256GB or 512GB? Is there such a big noticeable difference in speed between PC4-17000P 2133MHz, PC4-19200P 2400MHz or PC4-21300P 2666MHz?

 

It might be interesting to know that I am going to use this HP Z840 as a video workstation for Avid Media Composer and Avid Pro Tools.

 

Thank you very much in advanced for your answers and time!

Friendly greetings,

Ivan

HP Z840 Workstation | 2x 18 Core Xeon E5-2699v3 / 2.3GHz 35MB | 128GB PC4-17000P 2133MHz / 8x 16GB DDR4 | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 / 8GB GDDR5 / 4x DP 5K | 2x Samsung Enterprise 960GB SATA 6Gb/s | 4x (RAID5) HGST Ultrastar He8 8TB 7.2K SATA 6G | 2x EIZO S2432W-GY | Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
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BambiBoomZ
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HP Z840 choice of processor and RAM

CinéMatica,

 

> Because of the special use, -and although I have some ProTools-capable gear, I've never used the associated applications.  For the best results, before deciding, consider consulting Avid directly, and also read some of the many Avid forums' posts on performance.

 

However, for what it's worth, here are some thoughts:

 

Avid applications are complex in that some functions are single-thread dependent; meaning that the computations are all on one core that benefits from a high clock speed, and others can use more cores, such as rendering, but rendering in some cases can also be GPU-accelerated. 

 

Avid, in the past, had a reputation for working mostly on one core: encoding, compression / decompression, etc. and, recently, the CPU of choice would be an i9-9900K 8-core running all cores at up to 5GHz.  The other usual statements suggest the need for a lot of memory, and the GPU was typically the fastest NVIDIA GTX, or now RTX available.

 

Apparently, Avid has gradually improved multi-threading, but I believe that there should be at least one one core at 4.5GHz or more, and that there should be only one CPU.  As there have been so many new CPU's that have both many cores and at least one core that can run at 4.6-4.8GHz, my suggestion would be to consider a single 8-12 core for up to 4K and 12 to 16-core for 6K /8K, either of these with a top Turbo capable of running at 4.6-4.8GHz.  In my view, that means the best choice; the best long-term investment- would be a CPU released in the last few months.  For memory, 128GB of at least 3200MHz arranged so that another 128GB can be added later (that will not be an option in some platforms), two M.2 drives; one for OS/programs and one for active projects and libraries. Because of the inevitable long periods of running the CPU at 100%, consider a liquid cooling solution, or at least the highest thermal capacity air cooling.  For the graphics card: RTX 2070 Super or better.

 

Bonne chance,

 

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]

CinéMatica
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HP Z840 choice of processor and RAM

Thank you very much BambiboomZ,

 

I will take all your helpfull advice in concideration when configuring my new (refurbished) Z840.

 

The reason I am getting an as good as new refurbished HP 840 is that I still need my Avid Nitris DX to work. The newer Zx G4 workstations only have PCIe Gen 3 slots and according to Avid and their forums this doesn't work. Luckily the Z840 has slot 5 that can be swithed between Gen3 and Gen2.

 

In the past years I already worked with Avid on Mac's. But now I can't upgrade my Mac OSX anymore, and therfore also can't run the latest version of Avid Media Composer. So back to the old and trusty Windows!

 

Have a very nice day!

HP Z840 Workstation | 2x 18 Core Xeon E5-2699v3 / 2.3GHz 35MB | 128GB PC4-17000P 2133MHz / 8x 16GB DDR4 | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 / 8GB GDDR5 / 4x DP 5K | 2x Samsung Enterprise 960GB SATA 6Gb/s | 4x (RAID5) HGST Ultrastar He8 8TB 7.2K SATA 6G | 2x EIZO S2432W-GY | Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
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HP Z840 choice of processor and RAM

for what it's worth you might want to consider a dedicated z800 or z820  just for avid and nothing else. newer is not always better and a z820 might give you the same cpu speeds as a z840 but it does not natively support booting from nvme ssd's like the z840 does although that can be overcome on both z800/820 systems

 

the z800's, are dirt cheap and the z820's while moderately more expensive might make sense if you have the room and budget to go this route so you can keep your current nitro card.  i recall that both models were avid certified for specific revisions of avid software/hardware but are now either unsupported or beginning legacy status on both mentioned z models

 

BambiboomZ, correctly points out that in cases like yours it makes sense to see what the software wants before buying hardware.  if you are not going to be using avid warranty support on the z840 consider a non HP system using a single socket cpu as BambiboomZ, mentioned that has high IPC and 4/6 cores with a 3rd party motherboard that supports pci -e 2.0

 

i would also ask on the avid forums, and avid support what the current hard requirements are for the  current software/hardware builds.... are so you can see if migrating to current builds is a possibility for you

 

last, i'm curious  as to which avid hardware you have that is PCI-E 2.0 only

CinéMatica
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HP Z840 choice of processor and RAM

Thanks for your answer!

 

According to the Avid forums, my Avid Nitris DX will only work with a PCIe Gen2 slot. I still need this breakout box to capture footage from old SD tapes.

 

Avid Nitris DX 

HP Z840 Workstation | 2x 18 Core Xeon E5-2699v3 / 2.3GHz 35MB | 128GB PC4-17000P 2133MHz / 8x 16GB DDR4 | NVIDIA Quadro P4000 / 8GB GDDR5 / 4x DP 5K | 2x Samsung Enterprise 960GB SATA 6Gb/s | 4x (RAID5) HGST Ultrastar He8 8TB 7.2K SATA 6G | 2x EIZO S2432W-GY | Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
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HP Z840 choice of processor and RAM

thanks for the Link!!! i spent some time going down the rabbit hole on avid products and determined that they make multiple hardware A/V cards and decks but the listed information was hard to decipher in some cases

 

some of the older hardware is still expensive it seems, so i now understand why upgrading your hardware may not be cost effective to do

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