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06-01-2022 07:52 AM
So basically i'm in desperate need of a computer for school (cad work, revit and 3ds max mostly) and i've been on the loockout for weeks. i found nothing that would fit my needs without upgrades (either an ssd or a decent gpu or ram) until i saw this today :
Fast Hexa 6 Core 3.50Ghz- Intel V3 E5 Xeon (E5-1650 V3)- 3.80Ghz Factory Turbo HP Z440 V3 Pro Workstation, - 6 Core - 12 Threads , AES, VT HT -32/64 Bit 24.0GB ECC DDR4 Memory(Supports up to 128GB - 8 ram slots) (New) Fast 500.0GB WD Blue SSD/Solid State Drive(Read 560 MBps/530 Write) Gigabit Network/Ethernet Sound. 5 PCI express slots. 6 Gb/s SATA ports, 6 SATA ports. Fast 8 USB 3.0 ports. 2 USB 2.0 Ports. 2.0GB Nvidia Quadro K620 PCI Express videocard 1 DVI 1 Displayport 1 HDMI(can display Dual Monitors) Silver & black case. Includes: Keyboard & Mouse. Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit COA/Installed
It was listed for 700$ cad, i mad an offer of 600 which was accepted. now i'm beginning to feel this is kinda too good to be true. most of what i saw were really outdated workstations or super intense RGB gamer streamer builds
my ex girlfriend who ive been quarantined with for a month will kill me if i speak to her about computers again so i'm coming to you guys for support.
I'm also wondering if it would be possible to install a second GPU for gaming (flight simulator x and city skylines). If not then would a gtx 1050 be appropriate for both gaming and cad work?
if you think i'm an idiot please let me know
06-01-2022 09:05 AM - edited 06-01-2022 08:59 PM
A close friend is also a Canucklehead, and my reply to him if he asked this is... "Wow, you got a great deal. Only, like, $300.00 U.S.!"
Seriously, I think you got an excellent workstation at an excellent price. You always can spend more... lots more. The Z440 is a great workstation to have at this stage of your education. I'd work with it first as it is. Here's some ideas:
1. It is a single-processor workstation only... but you're starting with a very good hexacore.
2. It would be very nice if you also got the original HP W10 install/recovery optical disks from the seller, but that virtually never happens. It sounds like the boot SSD did not come from the factory. If it did, then there may be a HP "Recovery Partition" on it you could use to harvest a single official HP W10Pro64 installer from. Luckily this workstation is one of the first to be supported by the HP Cloud Recovery Tool which lets you download an official HP W10Pro64 installer/recovery installer if you want to start with a clean install "from the factory". These official HP resources have specially HP-selected drivers to ensure proper function of devices. For my Z440 ZTD G2 install I started with BIOS first set to factory defaults and then a clean install from that HP installer to finally get that working. I then updated W10 from there (see #3 and #6 below).
You can look HERE to see the whole list of supported HP computers, but also read #8 below for a caveat. Here's from that page targeted for your workstation, and you can see that if your Z440 is a Windows box from the factory you can get a full W10Pro64 "from the factory" clean install HP Recovery download this way... you'll have to update a clean install from that starting point with Windows Update, of course:
3. BIOS... it is ideal to start with the BIOS settings also from the factory and that may already be the case for you. There is a BIOS setting to reset BIOS to factory defaults if not.
4. I personally am a big believer in using the latest BIOS on the HP workstations but I don't like to run the HP BIOS updater that works from within the operating system... added risk. In the ZX40 generation of workstations there is a way to update BIOS from within BIOS but with BIOS being smart enough to establish a network connection to a HP BIOS update server without even launching into the OS. That is a safe way to go, as is updating BIOS from within BIOS using a thumb drive if you know how to properly harvest the BIOS .bin file and nest it in the three sequential folders HP specifies on the thumb drive and then target that drive for the update from within BIOS. The latest BIOS version has all the accumulated fixes and security updates. You don't have to do each one separately. Someday I'll put a PDF together on how I clean the OS and do simple QC.
5. I'd run that workstation with W10Pro64, latest updates, and a very respected forum member here, Paul_Tikkanen has posted several times recently on exactly how he has been able to also install Windows 11 on non-eligible HP computers. He recently found a web site that clearly explains the step-by-step method and has done that successfully on multiple of his computers. Paul also has specifically stated that when W11 updates have been released his W11 installs on those computers also get upgraded. I have not done that yet but will as a future project for my Z440, and recommend you wait on that also.
6. The ZX40 workstations were the first to officially support the Z Turbo Drive G2 PCIe card, running a NVMe-controller M.2 form factor SSD as your boot drive. Those hook directly into the PCIe bus and offer a significantly faster read/write capabilities than SATA 2.5" form factor SSD. That is a potential project for the future, and you can get those cards with good eBay skills for about $20.00 USD, bare. In my Z440 I'm running a 1TB lightly used recycled Lenovo M.2 stick that I got for $120.00. I've discovered that if one is not running the OS with specific "storage controllers" drivers the ZTD card as a boot drive will not work properly (blue screen). I have some added work to do on that, but if you use the HP install it will work.
7. The K620 nVidia card you now have is still supported with updated drivers, and thus will be good to start with. I built up a Z620 v2 workstation for my wife initially using a still supported nVidia Quadro K2000 card. She does AutoCAD 2022/SketchUp Pro work for her business but when I added in a 3MP main color monitor to her adjacent 2MP color monitor those programs lagged somewhat with her most complex work (vs faster when running two 2MP monitors). I upgraded that K2000 card to a Quadro K2200 which solved the issue. The K620 and K2200 both can run the very latest drivers from nVidia that the K600 and K2000 can't. Note that bandwidth via a DP port is a bit higher than via the dual-link DVI port on the cards so I run her 3MP (which has both a dual-link DVI and a DP port) monitor off the card's DP port. I run her 2MP secondary monitor (which has no DP port but has a dual-link DVI port) off the card's dual link DVI port. Using a normal DVI-to-DP adapter will downshift the bandwidth to single-link DVI equivalent.
8. There is a possible restriction on your workstation if it came from the factory as a Linux build. These workstations have certain licensing built into their BIOS/firmware and it is different if it came from the factory as a Windows build than for Linux. Usually there is a Windows sticker on the case somewhere if so. Regardless if it ever was upgraded from Linux to W10Pro64 it will still be able to take an online W10Pro64 clean install because it's internal UUID will have been automatically registered with Microsoft W10 registration server. However, that hardware would not be able to trigger a Cloud Recovery Tool W10 Recovery Install download, nor would another source of the official HP Recovery W10 software work in it.
Remember your significant other... she is more important than diving too deep into computers.
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