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Upgrade for Z620?

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HP z620
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I recently bought a Z620 second hand and was working on modding the case and such. But In addition to looks, it needs a performance boost. 


The board is a v1, so I was looking to upgrade the e5-1620 to an e5-2690. Would this be reasonable/worth upgrade? Or does anyone have any better ideas?

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It depends on what are you using your computer for - here you can see performance comparison between E5-1620 and E5-2690 - pay attention that Single Thread Rating factor is higher in E5-1620, so it all depends on software that you use.


Bear in mind, that benchmarks mentioned above are kind of synthetic, average results. The most reliable result for you, is by testing those CPUs in your own work environment.

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Bambi and Brian here have mastered the art of souping up the Z620 v2 workstations in single processor configuration.  Their posts describe the utility that lets them overclock very specific v2 Intel processors that HP certified for use in those workstations, which I believe will also work on the v1 Intel processors that HP certified for your v1 Z620.


The early QuickSpecs for the Z420/Z620 were all for v1 workstatons.... go find a set of those via Google and look at the listing of the processors.  Then go look at their Passmark scores as Bambi and Brian have described.  The v1 processors won't be listed with "v1" after their version, but the v2 ones will have "v2".  Take a look at the v46 QuickSpecs  HERE .  Note in the processor listing that there are mostly v2 processors there, but some v1 processors also.  The 1866 ones are all v2s, and none of the v1s can run at that higher speed.  The motherboard can run the 1866 memory but it will downclock it to your processor's v1 max 1600 speed (assuming you have bought a processor that will run at that speed also).  Don't buy any v1 processor that is slower than 1600.


Bambi and Brian overclock the E5-1650 v2 - E5-1680 v2 processors and Brian put out a great HowTo on how to do that.  There is an E5-1660 v1 that I think you want to look at, and HERE  is an early QuickSpecs (v4) that only shows v1 processors.  There is no E5-1680 v1.  Bambi has posted on exactly what v1 processor he'd use in a v1 Z620 and hopefully he will give us that link or remember what he said and post it here.


Regarding the E5-1660 (v1 processor) it went for $1083.00 USD from Intel.  There were two steppings, and you always want the later one (the "C2").  The sSpec code for the C2 stepping is SR0KN, and go look that up on eBay.  I sort by price/shipping lowest and only buy from an experienced US seller.... $75.00 USD today.


Bambi and Brian both use water cooling with their overclocked builds.... they push their processors up into quite high performance above stock.  I discovered a fine air-cooled solution that would give you almost exactly twice the cooling surface area as the stock Z620 heatsink/fan.  That is the heatsink/fan (749554-001) from the Z440/Z640, which you can get for about $15.00 off eBay.  It also has 4 instead of 3 cooling pipes.  Its plug end has 6 rather than 5 holes but the 6th hole is not needed in the Z620 so just hang that end 1 hole out in space when you plug it into the Z620's motherboard 5-pin header.  Works great:




With W10 you want to give the OS lots of memory..... 8 sticks of 4GB memory, or 8 of 8GB.  You can go every-other with 4 sticks of 8GB and add more later if you wish.  For proper cooling you should add the Z620 v1 and v2 active cooling shroud that bridges over the processor heatsink/fan and cools both banks of memory.  That shroud fits perfectly over the Z640/Z440 heatsink/fan I mentioned above.  You also want the added front bottom case cooler, and hopefully your box already has both of those cooling options.


This will be a great project for you, and that v1 Z620 is still a fine workstation.



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Hi LiamShippy,


Welcome to the forum. ManWithCamera makes a very valid point, the maximum number of cores that your computer will ever use, or need, is dictated purely by the software you are using. 

If you mainly use your computer for gaming, browsing and general MS Office type use, etc. then you want the fastest single threaded performance from the CPU.

However, if you are running several VM's, rendering video or CAD images, or running FEA or other engineering simulations, then you want the highest multi-threaded score, i.e. more CPU cores.

The exception to the above guide is if you are using a GPU based rendering engine, (V-Ray, Octane, etc.), for video or CAD renders. A higher single threaded performance is best for GPU rendering.




I agree with SDH in that the 1660 CPU is probably the best all-rounder in terms of single threaded and multi-threaded performance. However, if your software is heavily multi-threaded then I would be looking at the 2690 CPU with the option of adding a 2nd 2690 CPU at a later date, (installing the optional 2nd CPU riser board).


To maximize CPU performance install a minimum of 4off DIMM modules, e.g. populate all the available CPU  memory channels. (Follow the correct installation of the memory modules as stated in the Quickspecs - linked in SDH post above).


If you haven't done so already, then upgrade your OS drive to a fast 2.5" SSD drive.


HP Z620 - Liquid Cooled E5-1680v2 @4.7GHz / 64GB Hynix PC3-14900R 1866MHz / GTX1080Ti FE 11GB / Quadro P2000 5GB / Samsung 256GB PCIe M.2 256GB AHCI / Passmark 9.0 Rating = 7147 / CPU 17461 / 2D 1019 / 3D 14464 / Mem 3153 / Disk 15451 / Single Threaded 2551
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Most HP parts have two numbers for the exact same part... an Assembly P/N and a Spares P/N.  If you need one of the correct cooling solutions for the Z620 v1 or v2 (single processor build) you want 644316-001 683765-001.  The first is the AS P/N, embossed in the black plastic, and the second is the SP P/N as you would see from the HP PartSurfer.  Look for both in eBay if you need one and buy the cheapest regardless.


If you upgrade your processor it is important to upgrade your BIOS before that.  Some processors were not included in earlier BIOS versions.  It is ugly to put in a perfect processor upgrade but not have the BIOS installed to let it run.  And, if you are going to upgrade BIOS my advice 100% is to learn how to do that from within BIOS.  The method has been posted in the forum here.


There are some processors that work but are unknown to most and not listed in all the QuickSpecs.  Read Bambi's comments in this post regarding a Z620 v1 upgrade project, HERE :


The W in E5-2687W Bambi refers to is a "binned" processor that has been proven to run faster at higher voltages and thus runs hot.  This is coded to do that by Intel, and not the same thing as overclocking when you compare that to what Brian is doing.  This is exactly where the use of the Z440/Z640 single processor build heatsink/fan would come in handy.


That HowTo thread is  HERE , and I believe the same methods will work for the v1 generation of the processors he mentions.  Not all processors can be overclocked this way....

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