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hybrid3
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Z420 vs Z620, noise ?

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Hello forum,

 

I´m currently using a Z210 for music production, photo post processing & some gaming. I´m quite happy with it but due to increasing complexity of the projects, I will be needing more computing power within the near future. As the computing demands scale well over multiple cores, I´m looking for a used Z420 or Z620 with a E5-2670 or similar.

 

While the Z620 will be giving me superior upgrade options in the future, I need something quiet.  The current Z210 is, after some insulation of the door, dead quiet.

 

Question:

Given the same components, will Z420 or the Z620 be the most quiet option? How would they compare to the Z210?

 

Apart the specs, are there any other differences between them worth knowing about? The Z620 seems to be a lot more premium which I guess is a good thing. Z420, on the other hand, seem to be a lot more common which might help finding spare parts in the unlikely event of hardware issues.

 

 

Current setup:

Z210, GTX1070 (0rpm fans on idle), 16GB, E3-1270, 2xEVO 850 SSD

 

Future setup:

Z420 or Z620, GTX1070 (0rpm fans on idle), 32 GB, E5-2670, 2xEVO 850 SSD

 

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BambiBoomZ
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hybrid 3,

 

In the office, there are two z420's: E5-1620, E5-1660 v2 and two z620's: 2X E5-2690 and E5-1680 v2.  While the the z420 is ver quiet: quieter than any of the office Dell Precisions- which are older series (390, T5400, T3500, T5500) the z620's are the quietest computers I've encountered.  The z620_2 / E5-1680 v2 is the quieter of the two as it uses a Quadro P2000 which is only 75W and therefore doesn't need  as much cooling as the Quadro K2200  and needs far less air flow than the Tesla M2090 which normally resides in servers.  It's remarkable that the M2090 cooling isn't louder than it is. Also, the z620_2 is currently entirely SSD: HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB + Intel 730 480GB, so there's no mech'l HD noise. I'm going to be adding a RAID 1 of mech'l drives, but for now, z620_ is undetectable from 18" away.  These systems are always placed under the desk  and that is advisable in a system used for working with sound.

 

Sorry, I do not have any experience with the z210 for comparison.

 

There are other reasons to consider the z620: if your use includes applications that benefit from high multithreading they of course can  use dual Xeons.  The z620_1 was setup as an analysis / simulation / rendering system and runs dual Xeon E5-2690's.

 

However, if the system is to be used for gaming, the single-thread performance- that in general refers to the top clock speed on one core. The single-thread performance declines as the number of cores increases- and in my view, the gaming potential of the E5-2670 with a top clock speed of 3.3Ghz is not promising.  In Passmark results, the E5-2670 has an average CPU Mark of 12320 and single-thread Mark of 1595. For comparison, z420_2 (E5-1660 v2 6-core) has a single-thread mark of 2322 and for the z620_2 (E5-1680 v2 8-core ) the number is 2252

 

If the uses do not benefit from a lot of cores, and gaming has more than an incidental priroty, consider buying a z620 (or z420) with a Xeon E5-1650 v2 : 6-core at 3.5 /3.9GHz and that has an average CPU of 12636 and single-thread of 1967, but has the top mark in a z420 of 14382 (= about 2212) and in z620 of 13371 (about 2057.  I'm not a gamer but I'd rather have 2057 than 1595. 

 

If the priority use is nulti-threaded- and the big Cakewalk and Steinberg producer programs are. In that case more cores will be a benefit, and I'd suggest having an E5-2600 v2 capable system, starting with 32GB of RAM- (4X 8GB) leaving room for 64GB, and moderating expectations for gaming to a degree. However, check the specifications for the big producer programs and ensure that they can use dual processors. Adobe CS/CC peaks at 5-6 cores and will actually be slower on dual processors.  A fast single 8-core may be the thing, and that's why the new z620_2 has a single E5-1680 v2 and not dual 6 or 8 cores.  The E5-1680 v2 can be overclocked also, one of the rare Xeons that can, using Intel Extreme Tuning Utility < which HP will undoubtedly advise against using. The E5-1660 v2 in z420_2 is also slightly overclocked.

 

I've noticed over time that z420 actually seem to derive slightly better performance from the same CPU than z620 and that may have to do with the arrangements to be able to use dual processors.

 

Sorry to ramble off-topic.

 

In summary, if you're after a very quiet system that is very expandable, consider a z620 that can use E5-v2's*** with a recent low power consumption GPU and all SSD drives.

 

*** It must have the v2 motherboard, the v1 version can not be upgraded without considerable delicate surgery- replacing the chipset,.. 

 

Cheers,

 

BambiBoomZ

 

HP z620_2 (2017) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8-core@ 4.1GHz)  / 64GB DDR3-1866 ECC Reg / Quadro P2000 5GB / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB + Intel 730 480GB + (pending) 2X Seagate Constellation ES.3 1TB / ASUS Essence STX PCIe sound card / 825W PSU / Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit  > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H  (2560 X 1440) / Logitech z2300 2.1 Sound
 
[Passmark Rating = 6166 / CPU rating = 16934 / 2D = 820 / 3D= 8849 / Mem = 2991 / Disk = 13794] 4.24.17   Single Thread Mark = 2252

 

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BambiBoomZ
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hybrid 3,

 

In the office, there are two z420's: E5-1620, E5-1660 v2 and two z620's: 2X E5-2690 and E5-1680 v2.  While the the z420 is ver quiet: quieter than any of the office Dell Precisions- which are older series (390, T5400, T3500, T5500) the z620's are the quietest computers I've encountered.  The z620_2 / E5-1680 v2 is the quieter of the two as it uses a Quadro P2000 which is only 75W and therefore doesn't need  as much cooling as the Quadro K2200  and needs far less air flow than the Tesla M2090 which normally resides in servers.  It's remarkable that the M2090 cooling isn't louder than it is. Also, the z620_2 is currently entirely SSD: HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB + Intel 730 480GB, so there's no mech'l HD noise. I'm going to be adding a RAID 1 of mech'l drives, but for now, z620_ is undetectable from 18" away.  These systems are always placed under the desk  and that is advisable in a system used for working with sound.

 

Sorry, I do not have any experience with the z210 for comparison.

 

There are other reasons to consider the z620: if your use includes applications that benefit from high multithreading they of course can  use dual Xeons.  The z620_1 was setup as an analysis / simulation / rendering system and runs dual Xeon E5-2690's.

 

However, if the system is to be used for gaming, the single-thread performance- that in general refers to the top clock speed on one core. The single-thread performance declines as the number of cores increases- and in my view, the gaming potential of the E5-2670 with a top clock speed of 3.3Ghz is not promising.  In Passmark results, the E5-2670 has an average CPU Mark of 12320 and single-thread Mark of 1595. For comparison, z420_2 (E5-1660 v2 6-core) has a single-thread mark of 2322 and for the z620_2 (E5-1680 v2 8-core ) the number is 2252

 

If the uses do not benefit from a lot of cores, and gaming has more than an incidental priroty, consider buying a z620 (or z420) with a Xeon E5-1650 v2 : 6-core at 3.5 /3.9GHz and that has an average CPU of 12636 and single-thread of 1967, but has the top mark in a z420 of 14382 (= about 2212) and in z620 of 13371 (about 2057.  I'm not a gamer but I'd rather have 2057 than 1595. 

 

If the priority use is nulti-threaded- and the big Cakewalk and Steinberg producer programs are. In that case more cores will be a benefit, and I'd suggest having an E5-2600 v2 capable system, starting with 32GB of RAM- (4X 8GB) leaving room for 64GB, and moderating expectations for gaming to a degree. However, check the specifications for the big producer programs and ensure that they can use dual processors. Adobe CS/CC peaks at 5-6 cores and will actually be slower on dual processors.  A fast single 8-core may be the thing, and that's why the new z620_2 has a single E5-1680 v2 and not dual 6 or 8 cores.  The E5-1680 v2 can be overclocked also, one of the rare Xeons that can, using Intel Extreme Tuning Utility < which HP will undoubtedly advise against using. The E5-1660 v2 in z420_2 is also slightly overclocked.

 

I've noticed over time that z420 actually seem to derive slightly better performance from the same CPU than z620 and that may have to do with the arrangements to be able to use dual processors.

 

Sorry to ramble off-topic.

 

In summary, if you're after a very quiet system that is very expandable, consider a z620 that can use E5-v2's*** with a recent low power consumption GPU and all SSD drives.

 

*** It must have the v2 motherboard, the v1 version can not be upgraded without considerable delicate surgery- replacing the chipset,.. 

 

Cheers,

 

BambiBoomZ

 

HP z620_2 (2017) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8-core@ 4.1GHz)  / 64GB DDR3-1866 ECC Reg / Quadro P2000 5GB / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB + Intel 730 480GB + (pending) 2X Seagate Constellation ES.3 1TB / ASUS Essence STX PCIe sound card / 825W PSU / Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit  > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H  (2560 X 1440) / Logitech z2300 2.1 Sound
 
[Passmark Rating = 6166 / CPU rating = 16934 / 2D = 820 / 3D= 8849 / Mem = 2991 / Disk = 13794] 4.24.17   Single Thread Mark = 2252

 

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Brian1965
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Hi Hybrid3,

 

I am currently using my HP Z620 for music production amongst other things and my set-up is very quiet despite it having a Quadro P2000 and GTX 1080TI installed , (but obviously not silent). If you do decide to go dowm the Z620 route then I would recommend the E5-2690 cpu if your budget allows. Make sure it has the v2 motherboard (boot block 2013) as mentioned in BambiBoomZ post otherwise it will severly limit any future upgrade options, such as Xeon v2's and 1866MHz memory. I am using Cubase Elements and FL Studio, which in an ideal set up, requires 3 drives; OS, VSTi instruments and Projects. The HP Z620 has 3 drive bays plus the option of installing your OS on a PCIe SSD, e.g. Samsung 256GB SM951 M.2 (AHCI version).

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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MtothaJ
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@hybrid3 wrote:

Hello forum,

 

I´m currently using a Z210 for music production, photo post processing & some gaming. I´m quite happy with it but due to increasing complexity of the projects, I will be needing more computing power within the near future. As the computing demands scale well over multiple cores, I´m looking for a used Z420 or Z620 with a E5-2670 or similar.

 

While the Z620 will be giving me superior upgrade options in the future, I need something quiet.  The current Z210 is, after some insulation of the door, dead quiet.

 

Question:

Given the same components, will Z420 or the Z620 be the most quiet option? How would they compare to the Z210?

 

Apart the specs, are there any other differences between them worth knowing about? The Z620 seems to be a lot more premium which I guess is a good thing. Z420, on the other hand, seem to be a lot more common which might help finding spare parts in the unlikely event of hardware issues.

 

 

Current setup:

Z210, GTX1070 (0rpm fans on idle), 16GB, E3-1270, 2xEVO 850 SSD

 

Future setup:

Z420 or Z620, GTX1070 (0rpm fans on idle), 32 GB, E5-2670, 2xEVO 850 SSD

 


Z420 are cheap and plentiful and IMHO offer good performance for the price.

 

Whether you decide on Z420 or Z620 definietly get a E5 v2 capable machine (2013 bootblock), since you will be limited in future upgrade path if you opt for a 2011 bootblock machine to just the E5 v1 chips. Bios chip upgrade on an older machine is an option,  but it is not worth the hassle when you can get the correct spec machine right from the start.

 

At least from what we have been able to confirm between BambiBoomZ and myself, with the E5-1650v2 / E5-1660v2 / E5-1680v2 there is the possibility of some performance tweaking in the Z420 and Z620. When I still had my Z420 it was running a E5-1650 v2 at 4.0Ghz on all 6 cores and together with a GTX1070 this was a very competent setup for gaming.  Temperatures and voltages were close enough to those when running the CPU at stock settings.  The E5-1650 v1 and E5-1660 v1 are also multiplier unlocked CPU's but at least in the case of the former, the tweaking options were not available when run on the Z420.

 

Regarding whether the machine is quiet, this is all relative. Overall I would say it is quiet enough, however it will not measure up to custom build machine using a case with sound deadening materials and premium fans. With the Z420 the fans in the machine are pretty small, so they have to spin faster to give any real airflow. The other aspect here is sounds coming from the mother board. On my machine when for instance doing a large file transfer over LAN I had annoying chirping or high pitched sounds coming from the motherboard - maybe just specific to my machine, maybe not. If getting a Z420, its good to get the machine with the front intake fan, or add this later, since this helps with thermals and provides the GPU with some fresh air. I added an original  new HP front fan kit to mine, but if you cannot find this available equally well you could just custom add  a third party fan - this just uses a standard 4 pin PWM header.

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hybrid3
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Thank you all for the extensive information!

I´m primarly using Cakewalk Sonar Platinum & Adobe Lightroom.

I´m running Sonar Platinum which currently scales very well across the cores so I believe 8 cores + HT would be fine for music making. However, I don´t know for sure if a dual CPU is supported so I will check this with Cakewalk support. Thanks for the heads up, I hadn´t thought about that. Still, even in a single CPU scenario the Z620 gives so many more upgrade possibilities over the Z420.

Lightroom, on the other hand, has a multithreading ability which seems to vary a lot throughout the application:
https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Adobe-Lightroom-CC-6-Multi-Core-Performance-649/

My gaming needs are very modest so I doubt any of the CPU's on my shortlist (E5-2670 and up) would dissapoint me.

Good info about the bootblock versions. My supplier of used systems has confirmed that they do can give me V2 machine.

So, it seems I´m going for a V2 Z620. Not necessarily for the 2nd CPU slot but for the massive CPU´s available for it.


BambiBoomZ, I checked your signature and got a little intrigued. 1680V2 @ 4.1GHz??? Does that include any hardware modifications? Custom CPU cooler?

Before jumping on the HP workstation train, I used to run heavily overclocked AMD´s so I´m familiar with OC though I had absolutely no idea that there are Xeons with unlocked multipliers. Really good information, thanks!

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hybrid3
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I forgot to add:

 

I´m currently using two large SSD´s but adding a M.2 for the OS might be a nice thing to do once I get the machine.

 

Thanks!

 

 

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BambiBoomZ
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"BambiBoomZ, I checked your signature and got a little intrigued. 1680V2 @ 4.1GHz??? Does that include any hardware modifications? Custom CPU cooler?

Before jumping on the HP workstation train, I used to run heavily overclocked AMD´s so I´m familiar with OC though I had absolutely no idea that there are Xeons with unlocked multipliers. Really good information, thanks!"

 

hybrid3,

 

The Xeon E5-1680 v2 is not a common CPU due to the cost, but had a following- more commonly in the Mac Pro world- as it was advertised from the beginning as a Xeon with an unlocked multiplier.  The specification calls it an 8-core /16 thread @ 3.0 /3.9Ghz but Intel rated it up to 4.3Ghz. There are 1680 v2 systems in Passmark results running at 4.4, 4.6, and one at 5.0Ghz. The world record is 5.7GHz by some brave overclocker. 

 

I didn't realize initially that the 1680 v2 could be overclocked on a proprietary system, but Forum member MtothaJ mentioned results for the E5-1650 v2 using the Intel Extreme Tuning Utility.  I had very good performance on the office z420_2 E5-1660 v2 (6-core @ 3.7/4.0Ghz), running all 6-cores at 4.1GHz.  That system is producing a Passmark single-thread mark of 2322 as compared to the standard 2077.

 

There are some limitations on using "XTU" on an HP z-series:  The multiplier is unlocked and voltage may added for stability,  but none of the power limit parameters that  can provide higher clock speeds are available.  Also, there is an important limitation to the proprietary cooling in a z620 unless the memory fan shroud were modified- cut away to allow a larger cooler, or if the cooling were converted to liquid.  I've been looking at the integrated liquid cooler designed for the z420 as the z420 and z620 have essentially the same motherboard except for the second processor socket is mounted in the z620. That liquid cooler appears to occupy the same x. y  space, but it may be taller z and that would require cutting the top off the CPU shroud. that could defocus the air stream and would certainly increase system noise.

 

Under the limitations of the controllable parameters and cooling, the configuration which sets all cores to run at 4.1GHz is working well.  The Xeon E5-1680 v2 has a higher thermal dissipation limit- 85C than, for example, the 72C limit for the E5-1660 v2.  In stress tests of the 1680 v2 under the standard air cooling, the temperature never exceeded 78C for 1.5 seconds, and peaked mostly 65-70 C, so the standard cooling is generously specified and has excess performance.

 

z620_2 Passmark PT9 CPU Mark_4.24.17.jpg 

As the total current limitations can not be adjusted, as far as I can tell, despite all cores being set ostensibly to 4.1GHz, the current settings mean that the system is running at 4.1 on two cores, 3.8 on four, 3.6 on six, and 3.5 on all eight. And, that is acceptable- my principle goal was to have a single-thread performance over 2200 and that figure is 2252.  A similar core/ clock speed performance could be achieved using an E5-2687w v2, which is an 8-core@ 3.4/4.0GHz , but that is 150W and exceeds the z620 slot capacity. The E5-2667 v2 is 8-core @ 3.3 /4.0GHz and I originally bought the z620 v2 motherboard to be able to replace the two E5-2690's in z620_1 with a pair of E5-2667 v2 as they are 130W. However, for whatever reason- CPU synchronization?, E5-2600 series seem to have a somewhat lower single thread performance at the same clock speed so the E5-1680 v2 was the choice. Forum member Brian1965 though has had excellent results using a single E5-2667 v2 in a z620 and of course, being E5-2600 series, that system can add a second processor.

 

To have the very highest speeds from a Xeon E5-1600 v2 having an unlocked multiplier, it's necessary to use an ASUS P9X79 or ASUS X79 Extreme 11 which have full tuning control and for which very high performance liquid cooling is accommodated. However, for workstation use, I am a timid overclocker and prize stability and component longevity above the speed.  In my use, I may switch to the standard settings for extended CPU rendering runs.

 

Cheers,

 

BambiBoomZ

 

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hybrid3
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Thanks, very useful information! I will be saving that for future reference.

 

I did check the prices of the E5-1680 V2 and at their current level, they would push my Z620 configuration outside my budget.

 

For now, I will most likely go with Brian1965´s advice and start out with a E5-2690 which is a little bit more expensive that would I originally had in mind but hopefully be sufficient for years to come.

 

The E5-1680 V2 seems to be one of very good upgrading options, should the need arise, so I will definitely keep it in mind.

 

Thank you all!

 

 

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MtothaJ
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@hybrid3 wrote:

Thanks, very useful information! I will be saving that for future reference.

 

I did check the prices of the E5-1680 V2 and at their current level, they would push my Z620 configuration outside my budget.

 

For now, I will most likely go with Brian1965´s advice and start out with a E5-2690 which is a little bit more expensive that would I originally had in mind but hopefully be sufficient for years to come.

 

The E5-1680 V2 seems to be one of very good upgrading options, should the need arise, so I will definitely keep it in mind.

 

Thank you all!

 

 


E5-1680 v2 very rarely come up for sale, AFAIR they were only available to OEM's such a HP etc. and not sold at retail.

If 6 cores will suffice, I would say that the E5-1650 v2 offers a good bang for the buck since it is essentially a USD 200 CPU that will do 4.0Ghz on all cores in the Z420 / Z620 by just a move of the slider in XTU.

Bear in mind that with the E5-2690 you will not be able to overclock, at least not on a HP Z workstation. And even on other boards, since the multiplier is locked , all you can really achieve is a 5-8% increase in performance by changing the base clock (BLCK) frequency.

THe good thing about the Z420/620/820 is that you can use cheap ecc registered server RAM that is widely available.  Overall if you are not concerned about getting every last bit of performance out of your system, Z420/620 are very good options for a powerful and trouble free experience.

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