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hput3
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What server products are a little newer vintage than HP xw8600

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Newer than HP xw8600
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I'm currently using a pair of HP xw8600 and considering moving to somewhat newer but still not really new server version. 

 

The xw8600 still seem fairly fast both with 32 GB ram, but I'm running into problems with things like the newer really large discs now available.

 

The xw8600 date from 2008 and so something like 3TB and larger discs are not easily used on them.  I am managing to run 3tb on one xw8600 but it it running a Solaris.11 offshoot called Openindiana.  So the ZFS file system is able to use them... however on every boot I see massive strings of numbers flash by  and each time think I've lost piles of data.

 

Once booted up I see nothing wrong  But in fact the xw8600 really does not like those 3tb discs

 

What are the names of servers produced somewhat later like 2014 or so that are available  with 2x Xeon cpu and are likely to be availalbe on ebay?

 

I want tower type servers ... no rack mount and prefer a big monster roomy tower.

 

No real preferences on brand of server but am partial to ones that can be found used with 2x Xeon of similar vintage as server.

 

Also can any say what Xeon cpus come after those 5400 series like in xw8600

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SDH
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Here are a few resources to get you started.  Download these... you never know when the links will become outdated:

 

1.  Version 2 of the Z800 QuickSpecs are  HERE:

http://videoeurope.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/HPZ800-Brochure.pdf

 

2.  Version 52 of the Z800 QuickSpecs are  HERE:

http://isvpatch.external.hp.com/HPPTF2/drvlib/docs/Z800.pdf

 

3.  Latest (fourth) version of the Z800 Service Guide is HERE:

https://content.etilize.com/User-Manual/1025246909.pdf

(even this manual has some outdated info in it related to Z800 memory)

 

4.  Most accurate HP source of what memory can run in ZX00 workstations,  HERE:

http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/getpdf.aspx/c04164501.pdf?ver=1

(later versions deal with later workstations such as ZX20 and ZX40) 

 

5.  Boot block dates in BIOS of the v1 versus v2 Z800 are:

      1/30/09         11/10/09

 

6.  Boot block dates in BIOS of the v1 versus v2 Z820 are:

      12/28/11       3/6/13

 

7.  Fastest Z800 v2 hexacore processor, X5690, 130W max TDP,  Intel "ark" link is  HERE:

https://ark.intel.com/products/52576/Intel-Xeon-Processor-X5690-12M-Cache-3_46-GHz-6_40-GTs-Intel-QP...

 

8.  Cost today of one X5690 (sSpec code SLBVX) new from Intel versus from eBay used:

      $1666.00 USD        $110.00

 

 

Depending on your budget there are two HP towers I'd recommend (which equals 4, as you'll see):

 

The Z800, or the Z820 (which will be a significant price step up over the Z800).  My sense is that you'll want to focus on the Z800 which I feel gives the best bang for the buck especially if you get the later version.

 

Each of those two workstations has two versions which can be differentiated by knowing their boot block dates, which are posted about in this forum.  It is worth the effort to make sure that you get the version 2 of each if in your price range because that opens up added later/better processors to your options.  One way to tell is that sometimes the eBay seller will post a picture of the first BIOS page..... that has the boot block date showing.  Another way is to know the HP processors that were used mainly for version 1 versus those used only for version 2.  There are some rare buys where a v1 processor is being used in a v2 motherboard because that is how the workstation came from HP in the past.  It is my understanding that a v2 motherboard can run every processor that HP ever listed for a v1 motherboard.  eBay sellers often do not know that there are v1 and v2 versions of these workstations.

 

The version 1 Z800 supports specific Sandy Bridge processors; the v2 supports those plus specific Ivy Bridge processors.  Similar concept for the Z820 in which its v2 supports specific Intel v2 Xeon processors.  If you buy a workstation that came with a single slow processor you can add a duplicate of that only if the first has two QPI links (one for it to talk with the motherboard and the second is needed for it to talk with the second processor).  A 2 QPI link processor can run solo just fine.  The Intel "ark" site is reached by google search for your Xeon processor of interest.... the data is all there including the sSpec code(s) and original/current new cost via a link on the left.  I never buy these new..... and you'll see why when you compare Intel to eBay.

 

The detailed Xeon processor info can be found by searching with google for Z800 or Z820 QuickSpec.  The earlier low numbered ones will be for v1 only.  The later high numbered ones will be for v2 motherboards.  You can even buy a cheap v1 workstation and put in a v2 motherboard off eBay if you know the part numbers to look for.

 

Processors:  You can transplant in upgraded processors if you know what HP specified for v1 or v2.  There is an Intel "ark" site that lets you see the specific sSpec code for each processor and then search eBay for that.  Some processors have two sSpec codes... .you'd always want the later version in that case because it has Intel improvements built in.

 

There are some processors that run hot, say up in the 130W range.  An example is the X5690 up at the top.  Most of the Z800 processors are cooler running at 95W max TDP.  The hotter ones require a "Performance" heatsink/fan, and those have a black ground jumper wire from pin 1 to pin 5 at the fan plug.  The Z800 official Performance heatsink/fans are rare, hard to find, and expensive.  If you go with the Z800 you may wish to stick with the 95 watt processors, or buy one of the Z400 larger Performance heatsink/fan and see if those 130W rated ones will fit in the larger Z800.  Those won't fit reliably in the slimmer Z600 (I tried).  If they fit in the Z800 then that is a great solution because they're only about $25.00 each off eBay now.  The part number to see them via eBay is 463981-001, and the only way to know if they will fit is to get one and try.  They might be too tall.....

 

Memory:  The ZX20 v1 (and probably v2) workstations can run a specific inexpensive server type of ECC Registered memory that is not as fast as the top speed those workstations can run at, but very reasonable used on eBay.  This also runs in the v2 Z600/Z800.  IIRC it is 1333 MHz which is the top memory speed the Z800 v2 can run at so it is a cheap way to fill up the Z800's 12 memory slots.  Filling all 12 with identical memory gives the very best performance, per HP engineers.

 

The Z820 v1 fastest processor's memory speeds are limited to 1600; the Z820 v2 fastest processor's memory speeds top out at 1866.  A processor with slow memory speeds will slow down fast memory.  Best to make some spreadsheets from the HP and Intel data that is so easy to find and then you'll see the processors that are in the sweet spots.

 

The eBay costs for these used processors is pretty much market supply/demand driven.  If there are a lot of servers that used one of them and those are being decommissioned and flooding eBay then that processor will be cheaper than a rarely sold much slower processor.  You need to root around a bit, and one step back from the fastest usually yields a significant price drop.

 

The forum search bar, upper left, only searches this forum and there is a lot of good info in here if you take the time to use that.

 

Good luck!

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hput3
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@SDH wrote:

 

Here are a few resources to get you started.  Download these... you never know when the links will become outdated:

 

Thank you sir for the extensive help and coverage of resources.  Plenty to mull over here.

 

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hput3
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@SDH wrote:

 

Here are a few resources to get you started.  Download these... you never know when the links will become outdated:

 

1.  Version 2 of the Z800 QuickSpecs are  HERE:

http://videoeurope.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/HPZ800-Brochure.pdf

 

-------        ---------       ---=---       ---------      -------- 

 

Sorry to bug you again after the extensive help you've already given, But:

 

The biggest trouble I have hit running xw8600 is its inablility to hardle larger than 2 tb discs.

 

From what I understand, the xw8600 is just not equiped to handle 3tb and up disks.  Or at least will have some hefty issues in doing so.  In my case after installing two 3tb disks, I got lots of errors... and each time I boot, I see long and many stings of numbers flash by... sorry I don't have the error contents to hand (and that is not what I'm asking for help about), but there is so much commotion it makes me think I've lost piles of data or something... but then once the `Openindiana ' OS ( an offshoot of solaris 11)  comes up, the zfs fs seems to be handling the disks just fine. 

 

But, getting back to my question about the newer Z800/820's you mention in the resources posted. 

 

Is that newer enough than xw8600 to be ready (by default) for the bigger disks available?

 

For example: My xw8600's were manufactured in 2008, and the last most recent BIOS version if from 2012 (I think).

 

I see in some of the resources that some versions of Z800 are showing manufactured dates as old as 2009.  And some as new as 2013/14.

 

I'm not sure about this but I do not think 3tb (and up) disks were common back in 2009... I'm guessing they probably were by 2013/14.

 

 

Do you know  whether some versions of Z800 or Z820 are fully capable of handling at least 3tb  disks by default? 

 

I'm  a little too dim witted to be able to piece that together from the specs or overviews and not sure how else to investigate this question other than asking folks who might know from experience.

 

 

 

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SDH
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There is a nice old saying..... "Nothing that money can't fix".

 

Here's a quote from page 8 of the Z800 QuickSpecs, version 56:  "Supported Components:

 

Up to 5 SATA drives, 5 SAS drives, or 6 SATA 2.5" Small Form Factor (SFF) drives
If 1st drive is SATA, 2nd drive can be EITHER SATA or SAS
3TB drive is not supported as a boot device.
3TB drives are ONLY supported in positions 2, 3, 4 and 5.
3TB drives must use LSI9260 Controller.
3TB drives are ONLY supported through HP specials and are not standard CTO devices."

 

The Z820 will have more capabilities at a significantly higher price.  I have a freshly GPT-formatted 3TB HP SATA HDD I just plugged in..... works fine on one of my Z600s.  I use MBR formatting for smaller drives (2 TB and less).

 

When I was working more on xw workstations I simply bought 2TB HDDs as my document(s) drives for those workstations because they did not open the can or worms that 3TB drives did.  3TB drives work great in the ZX00 as long as you don't plan to boot from them.  I never would.... that is what SSDs or M.2 SSDs are for in this day and age, in my opinion.

 

Perhaps some other Z800 users can chime in..... my world is very different.  For work I need the very fastest boot/applications drive and actually usually don't need much storage/documents drive capacity.  So, I use a Kingston Predator M.2 boot drive in its PCIe adapter in a PCIe Generation 2 slot with 4 electrical lanes in my ZX00 workstations and use a nice 300-500GB SATA II Samsung enterprise SSD as my documents drive (or none at all).  In the ZX20 workstations I favor the HP Z Turbo Drive Generation I, but the Kingston Predator M.2 also works fine if you know how to do that.

 

I did try a HP Z Turbo Drive (Generation 1, AHCI controller type) in the ZX00 workstations.... no joy.

 

 

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