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HP Recommended
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hello !

I'm pretty new at the whole upgrading pc part deal. I bought a refurbished Z600 Workstation about 3 years ago. It's still working fine but I would like to upgrade my CPU. It's currently a Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU X5660. I'd like anything that's compatible with AVX, is it even possible with this PC or would I need to buy a new one ? I would join a DxDiag but I can't see the option to add files...


Thank you !

HP Recommended



Formulating an upgrade path is best when there is a destination; what programs and processes are the priorities and then consider the hardware that works well in those functions.


In the workstation world, there are definite categories of use relating to the capabilities of the processor,  memory, GPU, and disk. A system for CAD,  video editing, or server functions will have different hardware priorities. For example, 3D CAD modeling is typically highly dependent on the highest processor clock speed in a single core. The Xeon X5660, 6C @ 2.8 / 3.2GHz has a Passmark Single Thread Mark of 1405. In an HP z600, the highest CPU rating for a single processor is 8210 and for dual CPU's: 12544. The average CPU Mark (single) is 6236.  (All the scores mentioned are Performance Test 9 )


Such mark are only relative to other systems undergoing the same test, but  in my view, an STM of 1405 is probably only suitable for quite small and simple models and not  suitable for professional production. The current top STM on Passmark is 3189 Intel i9-10900K 10C @ 3.7 / 5.3GHz). The CPU Mark averaging 6236 is indicative of  a limited processor cycles per unit time that could limit the system uses to general, non-professional use.


The highest-rated single processor z600:


Rating = 3797   CPU= 8610 (Xeon X5675)   2D= 629 (GTX 960)   3D= 5989   Mem= 1788  (48GB)  Disk= 4290 (Crucial CT102MX200)


Beyond setting goals for the relevant performance parameter is to consider as to whether the system has enough potential to make the project effort and cost effective.  Consider: a Xeon X5675 is about $40-$50 in the US, and  a complete, usable  z600 / X5660 system may be worth up to $300 or so.  Alternately, for $300, one might buy an HP z420 - with SATA III drives, USB 3.0 and a Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C @ 3.5 / 3.9GHz) for about that cost. The Xeon E5-1650 v2 is a rare Xeon that can be easily overclocked using the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU). The second system in the office is a z420 / overclocked E5-1650 v2 system:


HP z420_3: (2015) (R11) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 32GB (HP/Samsung 4X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB/ Samsung 860 EVO 500GB + HGST 4TB / ASUS Essence STX + Logitech z2300 2.1 / 600W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (HP OEM ) > Samsung 40" 4K

[Passmark System Rating: = 5644 / CPU = 15293 / 2D = 847 / 3D = 10953 / Mem = 2997 Disk = 4858 / Single Thread Mark = 2384 [6.27.19]  (currently running 64GB RAM)


In my view, a good long-term plan would be to take advantage of the very reasonable cost today of a still highly usable and upgradeable system such as an HP z420 or z620, having a Xeon E5-16XX v2 processor. Given the value of the z600, the total cost and effort of having a significantly higher capability system could be very similar and when eventually sold, the value should also represent a better proportion of the cost as compared to a older generation system.


Regardless of the eventual choice, a test of the current z600 running Passmark Performance Test is highly recommended. There is a 30-day free trial. Do not use the current PT 10, as the z600 can not run some of the graphics tests such as DX12 and will have an artificially very low score.  A test of a 2006 Dell Optiplex 740 had a PT10 Rating = 77 in the "0th" Percentile"  but in PT9 the Rating = 809  which better reflects the relative usefulness of that system. In PT 10, the 740's Quadro FX 580 had a 3D= 5! and in PT9, 3D = 358. Instead use PT9 and compare to other z600's. As well, compare the baselines for z420's and z620's.




HP z620_2 (2017) (R7) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid Cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / 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 + HP/HGST Enterprise 6TB / Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 sound interface + 2X Mackie MR824 / 825W PSU / Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit (HP OEM) > 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]


HP ZBook 17 G2: (2015 ) i7-4940MX Extreme (4C@3.1/ 4.0GHz) / 32GB / Quadro K3100M 4GB / Kingston 480GB SATA SSD > 17.3" LCD 1920 X1080 panel > HP docking station> video  to HP 2711x 27" LCD + Dell 17" (2007!) / Logitech 533 _2.1 speaker system

[Passmark System Rating: = 3980 / CPU = 10140 / 2D = 618 / 3D = 2779 / Mem = 2559 Disk = 4662 / Single Thread Mark = 2387 [1.3.20]



HP Recommended

Please refer to the HP Z600 Quickspecs for a list of comaptible CPU's.


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
HP Recommended

There are many posts in here about upgrading the Z600.  Use the search bar.


You need to know for sure that yours is a version 2 Z660....that is in here, based on the boot block date you can see in BIOS.


You need to use a SSD as your boot/applications drive


The fastest 95W max TDP processors are what you want and there is a list of those in the latest "Z600 Quickspecs" to google for.  Yours is fast.  There are only a couple faster/better based on your needs as Bambi explained.  X5675 or X5672.  You can search for these processors via google for their Passmark scores single or dual..... you'd want dual.  A second HP 95W rated heatsink/fan is easy to find via eBay if you need a second one.


Go to the Intel Ark site for your processor choice, and choose the left column "ordering and compliance" subheading that gets you to the different versions of the processor (if more than one exists).  You want the latest version, of course.  That is the sSpec code.  I think the two I listed only have one sSpec code each, but check to make sure.  SLBYL for the X5765, then go find that on eBay.  I don't buy processors except from a well established US seller.


You should fill all slots with same memory..... 1333MHz speed to match the fast processors.


W10 Pro64 on these runs nice and fast when fed enough memory.


I agree with Bambi.... a version 2 Z420, which is a SATA III rather than a SATA II workstation, has significant upgrades over the ZX00 family, but if money is tight you truly can be happy with an optimized Z600 V2.  I run ZX00s, ZX20s, ZX40s and some G4s.... it is surprising how well the Z600 with two of those fastest processors stands up to the rest if you feed it the right parts.  My home one has two X5675 processors and 8GB x 6 sticks of 1333 ECC buffered RAM.  I added in the TI based HP "2x2" USB3 card, detailed in this forum in a mighty fine HowTo.  I'm running a 600GB Intel 320 series SSD, and a bigger enterprise Samsung SSD as my docs drive, all used off eBay.  I have other unused faster boxes 50 feet away, but no incentive to change so far because this workhorse just keeps working, and well.  I have two other full workstation setups here for work from home based on optimized Z420 and Z620 v2 workstations, so I can roam at will, and easily compare.


Regarding your AVX question.... just look up AVX in Wiki and see the "CPUs with AVX" under the Intel section.  The ZX20 Sandy Bridge (v1) and Ivy Bridge (v2) do... the Z600 do not.  You'd want a Z420 v2 or Z620 V2 for that.

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