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TAL600
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Will my Z400 with one Quadro 600 card support two 600 cards

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HP Z400 8GB with one Quadro 600 card
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hello, can anybody help if I can add a second quadro 600 card into my Z400 8GB workstation. Currently two Samsung B2240  attached monitors. I intend to add two more [same/updated] monitors to the second card. Will the z400  support the two cards with four monitors and what setup needs be done - BIOS what ever settings. 

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The short answer:  Yes.

 

Longer:  The Quadro 600 card is a nice card, and will give you 6.6/6.6 on your W7 Windows Experience Index score for 2-D/3-D video.  A very nice card you can now buy with same form factor (half height) is the next generation Quadro K600.  That gets you to 6.8/6.8.  This is a noticable speed boost.

 

I'd recommend getting 1 or 2 K600 cards, used, off eBay.  If you get only one put that in the upper slot 1 and use it for your two main monitors.  It will be your "primary" card and the lowest video port (DVI) will be your primary port (the port that your BIOS boot screen will show up).  For the second monitor put it just above, in the DP port.  In this example use your original Quadro 600 card in the lower PCIe x16 slot for monitors 3 and 4.  You want your fastest card driving your two main monitors.

 

We drive 4 monitors this way on all of our Z400/Z600 workstations, and there is more than enough power fed up through the two PCIe x16 video slots to do that with the cards mentioned above, and even the Quadro dual 2000/2000D and dual K2000/K2000D cards I use.

 

No BIOS changes needed...... and I hope you're using a SSD for your boot/applications drive.

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SDH
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HP Recommended

 

The short answer:  Yes.

 

Longer:  The Quadro 600 card is a nice card, and will give you 6.6/6.6 on your W7 Windows Experience Index score for 2-D/3-D video.  A very nice card you can now buy with same form factor (half height) is the next generation Quadro K600.  That gets you to 6.8/6.8.  This is a noticable speed boost.

 

I'd recommend getting 1 or 2 K600 cards, used, off eBay.  If you get only one put that in the upper slot 1 and use it for your two main monitors.  It will be your "primary" card and the lowest video port (DVI) will be your primary port (the port that your BIOS boot screen will show up).  For the second monitor put it just above, in the DP port.  In this example use your original Quadro 600 card in the lower PCIe x16 slot for monitors 3 and 4.  You want your fastest card driving your two main monitors.

 

We drive 4 monitors this way on all of our Z400/Z600 workstations, and there is more than enough power fed up through the two PCIe x16 video slots to do that with the cards mentioned above, and even the Quadro dual 2000/2000D and dual K2000/K2000D cards I use.

 

No BIOS changes needed...... and I hope you're using a SSD for your boot/applications drive.

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Thank you for your very helpful and prompt response. Although I already have the second Quadro 600 card, your comments on the K600 were of interest in the event an update in due course. At present, the need will be to acquire the additional two monitors - just looking now for 2 new Samsung Syncmaster B2240 monitors. Helpful  responses  like this will enable me to proceed with confidence. Once again, many thanks.

 

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Happy to help.

 

I like the Z400 very much as a potentially very fast workstation if you do a few upgrades.  Let me throw out a bit of added but very significant info which may be of interest.

 

Is your Z400 a version 1 or a version 2?  You can tell the difference by checking how many memory slots it has.....if 4 it is v1; if 6 it is v2.  If v1 you can't use the processors below.  You can also check the boot block date in BIOS, and detailed here in the forum.

 

If it is a v2 you can upgrade its processor to one of the following.  Two of these were for the Z600 but all run fine in the Z400 despite never having been officially certified by HP for that:

 

1.  X5675, hexacore that runs at 3.06 GHz at 95W max TDP.  Current eBay cost about $53.00.

2.  X5672, quadcore that runs at 3.20 GHz also at 95W max TDP.  Current eBay cost about $28.00.

3.  X5690, hexacore that runs at 3.46 GHz at 130 max TDP.  This is what I use in our Z400s. 

 

All 3 work fine in the v2 Z400, and the first two run cool at 95W so you can use the smaller "Mainstream" heatsink/fan designed for the Z600 (and also used in some Z400s).  The usual Z400 processors ran hotter at 130W and used the Z400's larger "Performance" heatsink/fan that you likely already own. 

 

That Performance heatsink/fan will  also run atop the 95W processors.  The fast but cooler running Z600 processors were designed to run in a workstation case with one or two of them present, and thus their original cost was high.  An X5690 at initial release sold for about $1665.00 USD, and current eBay cost is about $130.00.

 

Some users need raw speed more than cores, so the X5672 is clearly the best buy for someone on a tight budget who does not need 6 cores.  However, I generally recommend the X5690 because it gets you 6 cores and faster speed.  It must be run under a Performance heatsink/fan.

 

Each of these three processors has a single sSpec code that you can find those on the Intel Ark site.  Then search using that on eBay for a used USA-sourced one, or even just search for the processor's name.  This upgrade can make a large difference depending on what processor you're running now assuming you have a v2 Z400.

 

SSD:  If you're running a HDD it is time to switch over to a SSD for your boot/applications drive.  I have been very happy with the Intel 320 series, and generally get 300GB used ones  for a budget build off eBay (about 70.00)..... the Intel Toolbox software allows you to firmware upgrade if needed, and to tune the Intel SSDs also.  Still a great piece of hardware for this workstation.

TAL600
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Many thank you's Sir. 

 

Your extremly detailed response to these considerations are of great interest outside of my blog. It is, quite frankly, awe inspiring. These details, have given me further thought to future hardware considerations.

 

The trigger for my blog was based upon what to do in relation to not only this Z400 but also, to another Z400 - both check out with 6 slots.

 

Unfortunately, during this last week and a half, I have been wrestling with an unexpected failure causing blank screens, error code, and an inability to function. After considerable frustration, I engaged a Tech organisation to undertake the technical issues remedial steps. Fortunately, now have use of one monitor, after securing another.

 

Anyway, apart from what caused me to blog, had also tempted me to consider our two Z400 current uses. Briefly, this Z400 that really needs four monitors currently has two for multi data base, M?/ Office word/excel/project,visio,project, news feeds and so on , has worked very reliably until the above. The second also has two monitors and am considering the purchase of another couple Samsung B2240/update models to facilitate to news/share monitoring/research needs.

 

Finally, as part of the future hardware considerations, may include whether, or not, to introduce a server replacing both Z400's. In due course, I may look at Z600's, looks a very good spec performing system

 

Robust/reliable only hardware choices are paramount in this process. Am very happy generally with my decision to have purchase these two Z400's over the years.

 

Your additional, completely unexpected, interesting and relevent information improving systems performance and what fits will be retained, and included as part of the way forward.

 

In closing, responders of your standing are truly top draw, and professional. Once again, thank you!

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