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HP Recommended
z230 e3 v3 versus z600 dual qc l5620
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

My fellow HP board members I am considering a newer workstation for my partner / wife. She uses now a aging z600 l5620 dual westmere cpu's with an Samsung Evo 250G2 2.5 SATA SSD and 24 GB of ECC memory.

She does not do content creation (video/audio editing)  nor is she a photoshop whizz. She needs a machine that does financial administration more than well, is stable, expandable yet does not require the horsepower of a z620 or later machines at this point. She does work with large Excel documents and has two to three or perhaps more monitors for those purposes.

I was thinking she might be better of with a newer machine and since she does not require an z620 or z640 /z440 a newer z230 might do it, sff or the regular tower. USB3.0 ports and SATA III 6 Gbps ports are more than a welcome addition.

Please tell me what you think about my reasoning for a newer z230.




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OK, here is my proposal:


AnthonyK has finally told us what his processors truly are.... E5520, two of them.  So, he also has two heatsink/fans that are rated to 95W max TDP.  Those processors are not as bad as it gets for the version 1 Z600, but close.  See attached picture from the second QuickSpecs for the Z600 (this early QuickSpecs only includes the v1 Z600 processors).  However, note the top dog for your v1 Z600.... the X5570.  It can run the 24GB of 1333 MHz memory you already own at full speed.  You'll be able to see the image when a moderator releases it:


For AnthonyK.jpg


Cost:  I looked up the single sSpec code for this processon on eBay (SLBF3) and I found a lot of 2 of these for $19.00 USD total, shipping included.


Also, add in my recommended nVidia Quadro 2000 for $35.00 USD.  Roughly 60.00 gets her a totally different user experience.


SATA II versus SATA III..... I work with them all in the real world, including AHCI and NVMe based M.2 SSDs..... almost never, ever, notice a difference.  And, I pay attention to such things.  The USB3 card I mentioned.... it is the single thing that I'd consider adding to the items above, but only if she really uses USB sticks to a significant degree.


I think DGroves and I are thinking alike on this issue..... spend 60 bucks, have a happy wife, and get on with your life.  

View solution in original post

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The Z600 she has can be significantly upgraded.  It is always nice to have a new computer, but here is what I'd do:


That must be the version 2 Z600 with the later boot block date in BIOS because it is running two E5620 processors (8 cores total.... there is no "L5620" you listed).  Yours is a slow old processor both in terms of clock speed and the FSB speed (2.4 GHz/1066 MHz).  That is significantly holding the workstation back.  No matter how fast your memory is rated for it can run only at 1066 MHz with those processors.  


Instead, I'd max out the speed by putting in two X5672 processors (3.2 GHz, and which can run 1333 MHz memory).  I would check your current memory.... it may already be able to run at that faster speed.  She probably needs speed more than cores (the X5675 is slower but has 6 cores each, and I favor raw speed for her over unnecessary cores).   That processor is the fastest HP ever certified and supports in the Z600 version 2.


What I am advising is exactly what I'd do for myself right now.... but the one I just built for our son has the HP TI based USB3 PCIe card added in, for grins.  That might be justifiable if she uses USB sticks a lot and transfers large files often.  Otherwise the stock USB2 is fine.


If she has an old slow video card that will really drop the user experience remarkably.  A nVidia Quadro 2000 is a very nice fast card well suited to her Z600 when it has been upgraded as I describe, and I buy those  used off eBay.  That card will be balanced with the other components I mention, and using her old card will take away significant potential benefit (assuming it is a junker now).


Lowest Costs: 


The processors will be 2 at about 28.00 each, from a US seller only, on eBay.  Search for Xeon X5672  or its sSpec code of SLBYK.  I don't buy processors from a non-US seller.


For the Quadro 2000 there is the older silver squared off one vs the newer all black one with a smaller fan.  Either would be fine.... about 35.00 USD.


Memory should be ECC registered (buffered) at 1333 MHz and she only needs 6 sticks at 4GB each which you probably own already.  I have found this HP-label used server memory for as little as 1.00/GB if you buy 4GB sticks.  If you go up to 8GB sticks of this the cost/GB jumps up to about 4.00/GB.  For best memory performance you want to run all slots with identical memory.  Don't buy RAM if yours is already 1333 MHz rated.


A benefit to all this is that you don't need to rebuild her OS, reload her applications, or alter the look and feel of what she is used to.  These upgrades are pretty simple to do, but only if you are quite experienced.  Otherwise you may want a computer shop to do them for you with parts you provide.




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Hi I think we have a problem here with the solution you offered.


1. My wife's z600 is not a revision 2 model (unfortunately) so upgrading the CPU's to X5672 are no option.
2. The memory banks are all 1333 Mhz 4 Gb sticks, 6 banks filled no room left

3. The videocard might be the only think that might be worth upgrading to a Quadra 2000 from a slower FX 1700.

That is why I am looking for a decent but not too expensive upgrade / newer system. A z230 sff with an e3 1225V3 3,2 Ghz is being offered for 335 EUR. However before spending that amount of money I better be sure that a z230 with that specs or a z240 with an i7 is a step forward from the current setup and a significant one.

I already made the mistake of getting a z620 which is not a v2 or later one last year.



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personally i see little reason on upgrading the current system (apart from the video card) if the current system is working fine as  excel does not require a fast cpu or multiple cores, and web browsing is also fine on older systems


buying a faster system for excel use is sorta like buying premium gas for a car that runs fine on regular appart from the extra cost it provides no other benefits


you might want to consider upgraging your system and giving her your old system

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Please help me here some..... how do you know that you do not have a version 2 Z600?  If you look up the boot block date in BIOS what is it.


I ask because the E5620 will not run in a version 1 Z600, to my knowledge.  If you look at the QuickSpecs for the early Z600s they are E55XX or X55XX processors.  The E56XX only came along with the version 2 boxes based on everything I have ever seen.

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your request on the z600 boot block dates for determining the board revision ( one or two) has been asked and answered numerous  times on this forum, you can use the forums "SEARCH" box  and enter "z600 boot block" and select from the shown replies


 version 1 (Boot Block Date 01/30/09) is the original revision one board 

if your date is later then that you have a rev 2 board that can run 55xx AND the 56xx xeons

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DGroves..... I've known that for years.... 


I was gently aksing the OP, AnthonyK, to see if he truly knows what processors he is running (he gave us a non-existant processor name in his first post) and if he really knows how to tell if he has a v1 or a v2 Z600.



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TO SDH,.. i know you know......i've read many of your informative posts!!


my reply was to AnthonyK,


i keep fprgetting this board does not  place a reply under the post you are clicking on but rather at the bottom of the current thread henceforth i will include who the reply is for so i don't cause needless confusion

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My apologies but I was not able to run HP Performance Advisor but the CPU's are E5520's  




It is the early v1 version not the much sought after v2 revision. This system cannot run ECC DDR3 Registered modules either and X55xx CPU's are not a real option or a worthwhile upgrade at this point.

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Always appreciation to DGroves.... much heavy lifting these days, and valuable insights.


Anthony..... thanks for the update.  That changes things.  Well, if you really want you can buy an eBay v2 motherboard and do the other stuff.  I have my decoder ring to let you know what to get if you want to go that route.


If you got the parts together the motherboard swap only adds 1/2 hour.

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