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how to find a z620 v2 or later mainboard on ebay and elsewhere

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Z620 V2 revision mainboard

Tinkering with the idea of perhaps getting myself a new(er) mainboard as a replacement in order to run V2 or later E5 Xeon's.

But what should I look for ? What serial numbers or parts numbers ? 

I do not see myself desoldering the bios chip in a workshop in the netherlands.


Thanks in advance,


Anthony

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Use google to search for Z620 spare parts.  There is a HP site up near the top, and it has segmented listing of parts.  In there you'll find the old version 1 motherboard, and down at the bottom of the same section two for the version 2.  Note one is for W7 and the other is for W8.  That had to do with the CD kit that came with the workstation.  You could not use one kit with the other box, and vice versa.  This has to do with getting the OEM W7Pro64 or the OEM W8Pro64 install for no added cost.  Basically they are the same if you're going to be using W10 instead.  The W8 one could downgrade to W7.  The W7 one could not upgrade for free to W8.

 

Remember there are two HP serial numbers for each part, an assembly and a spares part number.

 

Now go to eBay and search for Z620 motherboards.  There's lots of the version 1 motherboards and few of the version 2 ones, and those are expensive.  But, at least now you know how to not buy another version 1 motherboard by mistake.....

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I think I found one on AliExpress

 

It says release date 2013, so I presume but I am not sure that this must be a 2nd Gen Z620.

 

But I am still not sure how to actually identify a V2 mainboard from a V1 mainboard. Is there a document out there that allows a laymen like me to make an better informed decision ?

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Replacing a motherboard is not a trivial job in these workstations.

 

There is no literature on picking between the v1 and the v2 Z620 motherboards, but your answer is in my prior post, and the motherboard you found is a version 1.  It's really not that hard to figure out if you go and look on eBay also.

 

Remember, there are assembly and spare types of part numbers for HP parts, including motherboards, and the more recent parts will have higher numbers on the label you can see on the motherboard.  Try a starting number of 7, for example, for one of the two types of part numbers.  Look on eBay for pictures of the Z620 motherboards offered and zoom in on the labels.

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Hallo Anthony,

 

The critical feature of the z620 mainboard is the 2013 "Bootblock Date".  On Ebahhh, these boards usually have two serial numbers: for example: 619559-001 or 618264-001 plus the important one: 708614-001.  The 61XXXX corresponds to the 2011 Bootblock (= E5 1st Version), the  708614 = E5 v2, and the two numbers together means that the 708614 board will go where a 61XXXX went before.

 

I would say that changing the motherboard in a z620 is quite easy.  The instructions in the manual are very good. There are no tools required: take out the power supply- no tools, it pulls out as a drawer, unplug the electrical connections, rotate two retaining tabs,  slide the board towards the front.  There are no motherboard stand-offs to mount. Mount the CPU, cooler, and RAM on the new board, slide the it in, turn the tabs, plug it all in connections- watch for the little memory fan plug- upper left corner, plug in the power supply drawer and it's finished.  I had never installed a motherboard but put one in a new z620 case in about 15-20 minutes.

 

Knowing the v2 bootblock date can be useful:  A couple of weeks ago I saw a listing for a z420 with a lowly E5-1603 (4-core @ 2.8GHz, 1066 MHz RAM),  and 1X 4GB of RAM, but the listing also included a BIOS System screen photo showing the 2013 bootblock date. The system in the original box with unused keyboard, mouse, and Windows 7 and 8.1 disks cost only $137 and based on the bootblock date information, had the potential to add a Xeon E5-1600 or 2600 v2 series processors up to 10-cores. 

 

BambiBoomZ

 

z620_2 > Xeon E5-1680 v2 / z420 liquid cooling / 64GB DDR3-1866 / Quadro P2000 (5GB) / HP 9212-4i RAID Controller / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB + Intel 730 480GB + 2X Seagate Constellation ES.3 1TB / ASUS STX Essence sound card > Windows 7 Pro'l 64-bit

 

 

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Its even a little more complicated...... remember that there are Spares Part Numbers and Assembly Part Numbers.

 

If you do the google search for "Z620 Spare Parts" and go to the HP link up near the top you'll see subheadings and go to the Miscellaneous section.  Up near the top there will be the old Patsburg chipset version 1 motherboard with its Spares P/N, and that supported specific Sandy Bridge processors.  At the bottom of that section are the two Spares parts numbers that have the version 2 motherboard firmware/hardware upgrades that support both the older Sandy Bridge and the newer Ivy Bridge processors that HP certified for these workstations.

 

Yes, you can find some of the version 2 Z620 workstations that were ordered with older Sandy Bridge processor(s).

 

That HP web page only gives you the spares part numbers and that is SP# 619559-001 for the v1 Z620.  There are 2 for the v2 Z620:  SP# 708614-001 and SP# 708614-601.

 

The assembly part numbers are different..... there is one for the v1 Z620 and two for the v2 Z620.  For the older generally cheaper motherboards with the older boot block date the assembly part number is:  AS# 618264-001.

 

For the newer motherboard the two Assembly Part Numbers I know of are:  AS# 618264-002 or -003.

 

Now that you have the decoder ring you can go look at the Z620 motherboard pictures on eBay and zoom in on the sticker on each motherboard that actually shows you the SP part numbers (on the left) and AS part number (on the right)......  It is rare to be shown the BIOS boot block date for motherboards being sold on eBay.  That info is not printed anywhere on a label.  Here's a pic from the latest Z620 v2 motherboard label I could find:

 

$_57.jpg

 

 

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@AnthonyK wrote:

Tinkering with the idea of perhaps getting myself a new(er) mainboard as a replacement in order to run V2 or later E5 Xeon's.

But what should I look for ? What serial numbers or parts numbers ? 

I do not see myself desoldering the bios chip in a workshop in the netherlands.


Thanks in advance,


Anthony


There a few options but none of them seem particularily good:

 

- buying a 'new' Z620 2013 bootblock board - expensive, risk of buying a defective board or one with the 'old' bootblock, notion of essentially paying twice for something you already have

- desoldering the old chip and soldering in a new one / or adding a socket for the bios chip - some hassle and risk, could be expensive  depending or where you live (but still probably cheaper than a 'new' board)

-  chip clip + external programmer - cheap, can read contents of chip , but problems in maintaining a stable connection to the chip for the duration of the write cycle (3-4 minutes) at least on my cheap programmer. There is an unpopulated bios header on the board - you can see it in the picture SDH has attached, to the left of the three red SMD caps. Perhaps checking the pinout for this with a multimeter against the bios chip and soldering some thin and short wires there that problem can be overcome (or alternatively a better programmer and chip clip - for the clip supposedly Pomona is a good brand) - but there is always the risk of  a brick if you are unable to complete the write cycle.

- unlocking the bios chip by placing the board into debug state and then flashing with Intel FPT - there is a method to unlock the bios chip contained in Intel documentation which I have tested on my ex-Z420 and which seems to work in terms of unlocking access to the bios chip (unlocks flash descriptor until next reboot) - but I did not try flashing because i) that machine was a 2013 bootblock model so no need ii) risk that if something goes wrong you end up with a brick.

 

For the record, I would not recommend any of the DIY / McGyver methods to anybody who doesn't know exactly what they are doing and who in not comfortable with the risk of ending up with a bricked or damaged board.

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