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I've picked up a version 3 Z800.  Currently dual 5690's 52GB Ram, 500gb ssd and 2TB (I assume platter) HD).


I see a lot of threads on this and related Z series. Where do I start? What should I do to upgrade it?  Use SAS or not?  SAS to SATA3 converter? No interest in RAID. Windows 10 pro 64 or better OS is planned.


I'd like to add:

USB 3.0 or 3.1 both front and rear

multi type card reader front

esata rear





HP Recommended

i've got a tricked out z800 so my ebay description might be of use to you as you have 5690 cpu's you should already have the upgraded power supply and heatsinks


Latest Bios has been installed, (3.61)

AMD Firepro FireGL v7900 2GB professional video card,
this card supports 4 monitors and is still supported by AMD under win 10

400GB Bootable LSI NWD-BLP4-400 PCI-E SSD
the card has almost 100% life remaining and uses eMLC nand, not TLC

this card is using the Seagate Retail Nytro Warpdrive firmware
and benchmarks around 17000 MBps Seq access, which is much faster than
any SATA based SSD can do, only the z820's Samsung SM951 (AHCI version) is able
to match the speed of this enterprise grade card in a z800

optional 1150 watt power supply installed, which is required for Dual 130 watt cpu's
unlike the stock 850 watt supply, the 1150 watt can power a Nvidia 1080 TI video card
on a dual cpu system, the stock supply can not do so

Rev 003 motherboard with 2 xeon quad core x5687 3.60/3.86 cpu's
(this is the fastest Mhz cpu available in the xeon 56xx line)
(8 cores total + 8 hyperthreading cores = 16 cores)

note that the Rev 002/001 motherboards do not support the 56xx xeons only the 55xx ones
you need a rev 003 board for 55xx/56xx xeon support

the correct 130 watt high performance heat sinks are installed,
instead of the stock 95 watt ones

48GB ram installed (192GB Max in a dual processor configuration)

DVDRam/DVD/CD burner and a Multiformat front panel card reader,
installed in a custom 5.25 mounting bracket

Has Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities via USB dongle

Adaptec 6805T 8 Port Raid/JBOD 6GB SATA/SAS PCI-E 2.0 card installed with adapters,
allowing the four internal 5.25 hotswap bays to use the adaptec card,
the other 4 ports on the raid card are free for additional drives
this controller can also be used to boot the system if desired

the 6805T card is much faster than the onboard z800 LSI SAS/SATA 3GBps chip
and unlike the onboard LSI, the adaptec card does
RAID levels 0, 1, 1E, 5, 5EE, 6, 10, 50, 60 and JBOD along with Hybrid RAID 1 & 10
using it's dedicated cpu for raid calculations
it also has the optional cache/SuperCap battery backup module installed

Two Seagate Constellation ES 1TB 7200 rpm SAS Drives (ST1000NM0001) in JBOD mode
connected to the 6805 card are installed in two of the four HP internal hotswap bays)

The other two hotswap bays have Hitachi HGST 3TB 7.2K 6Gbs SAS Drives (HUS723030ALS640)
in Raid-0 for a single 5.44TB partition

High performance silverstone SST-ECU04-E pci-e 2.0 USB 3.2 Gen 2 card (10 GBps)
has 19 pin front panel connector that is connected to two usb type "A" ports
on a 5.25 adapter tray that also supports one internal 3.5 or two 2.5 Drives

one external 5.25 trayless hot swappable 3.5 / 2.5 SATA adapter is also installed
which is connected to one of the z800's onboard SATA Ports

A Highpoint RocketU 1144 four port USB 3.0 card is installed,
this card unlike cheap usb cards will allow ALL four usb ports to run at full speed (5GBps) simultaneously

HP Recommended



There are 1,093 HP z800's tested on Passmark Performance Test.


The highest rated z800 :


Rating= 4713 (W10 PRO)

CPU= 14237   (2X Xeon X5680)

2D= 603 (Radeon RX480)

3D= 0.000 (Radeon RX480)

Memory= 1849  (24GB)

Disk= 11050  SanDisk SDSSDA120G


The highest score in each test parameter:


Rating= 4713 (W10 PRO)

CPU= 15338   (2X Xeon X5690)

2D= 773 (Quadro5000)

3D= 11258 (Radeon Pro WX 9100)

Memory= 2066 (24GB)

Disk= 32297 (Seagate ST3000DM001) < That designation, I think, refers to a Seagate Barracuda 3TB SATA, so that is a highly questionable score.  It seems preferable to quote 12602 using a Samsung SM951 512GB AHCI. Note that this needs to be the AHCI version, not the NVMe version.


As for USB 3.0,  it will be necessary to consult the system board specification  of you version and see which PCIe 2.0 slots are available,  then do a search for "PCIe 2.0 to USB3.0 (or 3.1) adapter card". Read the descriptions carefully before buying.


Adding USB to the font panel may be a bit difficult if the ports are built into the panel. Consider adding a USB 3.0 hub to the USB 3.0 add-in card and run 


As for adding eSATA, consider the LSI 9212-4i4e:  This is an SAS /SATAIII , HBA/ RAID controller. There are 4X internal SATA /SAS ports and an external eSATA port, but I think that needs a PCIe x8 slot to run everything full speed. I use an HP LSI 9212-4i (no eSATA) in a z420 on a x* slot wired as x4.  Copying 3TB using a USB 3.0 external drive ran at 30MB/S but with the same drive mounted in the z420 and running on the 3rd 9212-4i SATA  connection, the files were copying at 130MB/s. I've never used eSATA. Using the LSI 9212-4i4e is a way to improve the internal drive performance as well as add external SATA.


For the multi-card reader, typically these are a 5.25" front panel mount that will require an internal  USB 3.0 connection,  running to an internal USB port on the new adapter card, but there are  external units that are more convenient as they can sit on the desktop. The units,  can include USB 3.0 port along with the card readers, and connect via a USB cable back to a new USB 3.0 external ports on the card.


Results with a 2017 office LGA1366 system were quite good:


Dell Precision T5500 (2011) (R2): 2X Xeon X5680 (6-core @ 3.33 / 3.6GHz), 48GB DDR3 ECC 1333 / Quadro 4000 (2GB ) > Samsung 840 250GB  + WD RE4 Enterprise 1TB / 875W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64> HP 2711x (1920 X 1080)
[ Passmark system rating = 3692 / CPU = 14379 / 2D= 651 / 3D= 2285 / Mem= 1792 / Disk= 2934] 8.9.17


It's still a quite usable platform.




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 z420_3: (2015) (R11) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 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]


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 externally 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

I was already looking at LSI sas/sata3 PCIE cards with the SFF to sata connectors to connect the drive bays to and anything else sata 3.  For simplicity external USB hubs off the USB 3.0 card might just be the best route, especially since I have them.


I'm seeing a lot of threads on the other Z series workstations using the HP z turbo g1 card with an ahci ssd on it. It it bootable or not in this config?

HP Recommended

be advised most LSI cards are RAID only (no JBOD), and the one LSI that can do RAID/JBOD is no faster than the onboard one


the adaptec 6805 is much faster than the onboard and will do RAID/JBOD and is quite cheap on ebay and highly recommended


not all usb 3.x cards are the same, most are cheap because they SHARE bandwidth between all ports using a x1 lane and on the z800 with it's pci-e 2,0 bus that's not really a ideal solution there are however some USB 3 cards that have the necessary chips and pci-e lanes (x2/x4) to allow each port on the card the full 5MB/ps these cards are around 40/80 dollars depending on the number of ports on them i use a silverstone usb 3.1 Gen 2 (10MB/ps) to drive two front panel usb 3.1 ports that are on a 5.25 bay  adapter which also holds a 3.5 two 2.5 drives and 4 port usb 3.0 card for rear usb 3.9 ports

HP Recommended

So the Adaptec 8605 is a better choice than the LSI 6Gbps SAS HBA LSI 9211-8i? I'm not looking for a RAID setup, but to access the SSD via the drive bay backplane and moving those sata cables over to it.


I was looking at the OEM HP USB 3.0 card originally, but no reason not to go with USB 3.1.


HP Recommended

the LSI 9211 card is either a Low End Raid or a HBA card (Host Bus Adapter) depending on which firmware is installed on it the card cannot do both at the same time, it's one mode or the other


also the raid modes on the 9211 is limited to 0/1 as the card lacks onboard cache/batt backup


the HP card is a nice low end card (performance wise) but uses a quality TI chip and gives solid performance


the two usb card models i referenced in my original post are high end cards that give very fast speeds and are natively supported under windows 10

HP Recommended

Great, I'll look for those two cards then. THANKS!

HP Recommended



Checking the z800 original specification, it appears that it's possible to connect a back panel bracket to a motherboard SAS port:


"Interfaces Supported: 6-channel SATA 3.0 Gb/s Interface (6 Serial-ATA connectors on the motherboard, 4 channels are eSATA configurable for use with eSATA CTO/AMO Kit)8-channel SAS interface (8 SAS connectors on the motherboard), SAS ports can be ported externally by using the SAS Bulkhead and/or Back Panel connector Kits1 Floppy interface (1 Floppy connector), IEEE 1394a, USB 2.0"


As this is running off the SATAII 3GB/s controller, this will be at SATAII speed, but as it is an SAS port, it might be possible to daisy chain an NAS stack of SAS drives using a 1 into 4 manifold cable for example.  This should be the easiest, lowest cost way to add an eSATA drive port,


Also, the z800 original spec lists  the LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-8i SAS as being supported in the z800.


Here are the HP instructions for installation in the z800




Other contemporaneous LSI controllers may be used in the z800 as well. There are Passmark test results for the z800 using:


LSI MR9265-8i (Disk = 23407)

LSI MR9240-8i (Disk = 10776)

LSI MR9260-8i (Disk = 9695)

LSI MR9260-8i (Disk = 7046)

LSI MR9261-8i (Disk = 4821)( For comparison, a Samsung SSD 850- no PCIe controller is listed as having a score = 4793)


With Passmark testing, the drives behind the RAID controller and RAID configuration are not listed. There are no Adaptec drives listed in the 1,093 z800 results , but they may be behind a RAID controller.  Certainly the top 23407 score must include a RAID 0 of very fast SSD's.


If open, consider installing the MR9260-8i on the second GPU slot for maximum bandwidth- it needs x8 PCIe, and then one of the three mini SAS to SATA connections could connect to the back panel eSATA port.


HP Z Turbo Drive: Yes, the HP Z Turbo Drive AHCI will run as a boot drive in a z800.  When I plugged a ZTD 256GB AHCI into the z620_2 as it was using HP OEM Windows 7, it self-installed and was recognized (Disk =14473). The highest test result for the HP ZTD AHCI 512GB in a z800= 12602.


A way to have an even faster drive is to use a Samsung 950 PRO NVMe as that particular drive can install the BIOS module that allows booting from NVMe on W 7 systems.  This will be more complex to install, but be faster and less expensive to buy than a ZTD AHCI.


If I might recommend, consider the priorities for support of many drives, very fast M.2 drives, and RAID configuration versatility in relationship to the applications' requirements.  In the majority of applications, the single-thread performance- the highest Turbo clock speed is the primary consideration, which in the z800 means Xeon X5690 or X5687. I believe that in my uses: 3D CAD and rendering, the only advantage using the ZTD AHCI is saving about 7-10 seconds on startup and a few seconds here and there in rendering as compared to the previous Samsung 860 EVO 500GB.  In my view, the primary goal regarding disk performance is to have SATAIII level bandwidth.


BTW, the office had a system not too different from the subject system:


Dell Precision T5500 (2011) (Revised) > 2X Xeon X5680 (6-core @ 3.33 / 3.6GHz), 48GB DDR3 1333 ECC Reg./ Quadro K2200 (4GB ) / PERC H310 / Samsung 840 250GB + WD RE4 Enterprise 1TB / M-Audio 192 sound card /> 875W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64 > HP 2711x (27", 1920 X 1080) / Logitech z313 speakers
[ Passmark system rating = 3844 > CPU = 15047 / 2D= 662 / 3D= 3550 / Mem= 1785 / Disk= 2649] (12.30.15)


The PERC H310 controller increased the Samsung 840 score by about 25%


Purchasing Passmark Performance Test is highly recommended as a way to find hardware weak points, track the effects of changes, and compare the scores against other systems.


This $136 system was originally:


HP z420_3: (2015)(Original) Xeon E5-1607 (4-core / 4 Thread @ 2.8GHz) / 4GB (1X 4GB DDR3-1866 ECC unbuffered / NVIDIA GeForce 7100 GS / WD Blue 500GB / 400W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (HP OEM ) > HP 2711x 27" 1980 X 1080
[Passmark System Rating: = 569 / CPU = 5492 / 2D = 538 / 3D = 60 / Mem = 1117 . Disk = 864 ] [Single Thread Mark = 1509] 9.27.17


>and using Passmark baselines to find the best components:


HP z420_3: (2015) (R12) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 32GB (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]





HP Recommended

How do I ID the AHCI version of the Z2 drive when ebay listings often omit the model #


Example: Is this really a G1 revision?



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