09-20-2020 04:04 PM - edited 09-20-2020 04:05 PM
I have a z400 v2 6 memory slots, current processor 3550. I have read everything on the high end z400 thread. ....learned an awful lot. I'm wondering if anyone has ever posted the specs for a complete build of the z400? Processor?
3690 or 5690? Memory 24GB or 48GB? GPU? SSD?
09-20-2020 04:54 PM - edited 09-20-2020 08:15 PM
Processor.... W3690 because it can be overclocked. The X5690 cannot. Read up on the recent posts by Kamzeride on his discovery about doing a hybrid overclock method using a specific Intel XTU version, and ThrottleStop. I'm adding in some things on that thread, and will continue to do so. He deserves the credit, not me. I like Kam's hybrid approach, and used it to get a 500MHz overclock on my Z420 E5-1660 v2 taking it up from 3.7 GHz to 4.2 Ghz max. There is a YouTube post on overclocking the Z400 v2, and the guy got it up to over 4.0 GHz, stable. If I did not have a X5690 in our home library Z400v2 I'd load in a W3690 for fun. There is only one sSpec code for the W3690, so go find that on eBay from a good US trusted seller. SLBW2, about $90.00 USD currently.
In one of my few posts in that thread I give info on the front optional fan holder that fits in both the Z400 and the Z420. Get one of those via a search on all the part numbers I gave there... you want the fan and the black plastic fan holder. All those numbers might get you one good deal.
Get one of the Z400 front air flow baffles to further optimize the cooling. This directs hot front memory air up and out via the power supply fan pathway. I can get you the part number if you can't find it. The one for the Z420 does not fit....
I like the Intel 320 series SATA II SSD specifically for these Z400 workstations.... don't get one that has the HP logo or serial numbers on it. Most of those from HP had locked firmware..... better to get from a non-HP source. There is a nice 600GB one you can get used off eBay. I run those after doing a full low level format with DBAN, which clears out data on all sectors no matter how deep. Then I do a MBR partition on it. And, then I do a Windows NTFS long-type (not "quick") format. Both of these last two steps are done via the Windows disk management utility built in to the OS. This is a SATA II workstation.... you'll not benefit from spending too much for a SATA III SSD. It was a real hassle when we did that with some Samsung SATA III SSDs way back. I had to do the whole DBAN thing and Samsung firmware updates from bootable CD etc to get them to finally run right. The Intel SSD Toolbox, instead, is nice to use for FW updates and other utilities.
Memory.... 6 x 4GB will likely be fine for you. Depends on what you're doing and the cost to go to 6 x 8GB. The Z400 v2 wants a specific type of memory, and get the fast type of that to match the high FSB of the W3690 (1333MHz). Whatever you do fill all 6 slots with identical RAM, and the right type.
I personally like to add in the USB3 HP 2x2 PCIe card, and it is based on exactly the same USB3 Texas Instruments chipset used on all the ZX20 motherboards.... it is rock solid under W10 too. I posted a full HowTo with pics here, way back, still available. For video card.... depends on what you want to do. I like the nVidia Quadro K2000 or even better the Quadro K2200 for all of our needs, but we don't play games. The snap of a fast card really sets the tone for these workstations. If you get a non-snappy one you'll regret it forever, and likely not even know it.
That's about it.
09-20-2020 10:52 PM
I have read most of your comments from previous years. A lot of good information. I was curious to find if anyone had an updated build that is "stable" in 2020.
I don't do games, but lots of heavy photo & video editing -- heavy on RAM, that's why the ask for 48GB. I heard it was doable with 48 with all 6 slots filled ddr3 12800e 1333mhz as opposed to the 24GB.
09-21-2020 11:02 AM
You can add USB 3.0 and SATA III to these machines using a SYBA PCIe card - https://www.sybausa.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=177 I had one of these cards installed in an old Z600 machine and it worked flawlessly, (even for the OS/boot drive). You can pick these up on eBay or Amazon. For photo/video editing then I agree with SDH - go for the Quadro K2200 as it has 4GB VRAM. Video editing/rendering is very RAM heavy, so I would go for 48GB (6x 8GB) system RAM.