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Auqa
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z400 upgrade help

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z400
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

hi i have an old z400 that was literally given to me for free. I want to upgrade it but I don't know if the parts i want would be compatible. After looking around I found out that only certain psu's, cpu's and gpu's are compatible?

here are some quick specs:
CPU
Intel Xeon W3520 @ 2.67GHz 32 °C
Bloomfield 45nm Technology
RAM
8.00GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 533MHz
Motherboard
Hewlett-Packard 0B4Ch (CPU0 PROCESSOR) 58 °C
Graphics
2470W (1920x1080@60Hz)
1023MB NVIDIA Quadro 600 (HP) 44 °C

ignore the temperatures i directly copied and pasted from speccy.

So i'm assuming i still have the stock psu which is 475w.

i want to upgrade the graphics card, and the cpu, which means i may have to upgrade the psu as well. maybe even the motherboard 😮

ive been looking for decent gpu and cpus and i want to upgrade to an i5 4460 and a 750 ti.

i dont know if they are compatible but im sure hoping they are. also ive been looking at this power supply called Delta TDPS-650BB because someone said it could be compatible. idk. should i also get a new fan? 58 °C sounds like a lot for the motherboard.

im very new at this so any help would be greatly appreciated! thanks!

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BambiBoomZ
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Auqa,
    
The z400 uses the excellent LGA1366 Xeons and while the original specifications don’t list them, there are results on Passmark for 4-core W3500 and 6-core W3600 6-core plus X5600 series 4 and 6-core Xeons. There's a large range of some very good CPU's.

The i5-4460 mentioned is for the LGA1150 socket and so wouldn’t work on that motherboard, but a good CPU choice would be the Xeon X5677 4-core @ 3.46 /3.73GHz - $1500 new, now about $60.  In my LGA1366 system, the X5677 makes a CPU rating of 7133.  That a quite modern clock speed and the single-thread performance is not bad = 1518. There is also the X5687 which is 4-core @ 3.6 /3.86GHz. On Passmark, a z400 with an X5687 has a CPU rating of 7373 and single-threaded of 1577.  The current W3530 has an average CPU rating of 6370 which is not terrible, but the single-thread mark of 1261 is a bit on the low side for any level of visualization work.


There are 24, z400's on Passmark using the GTX 750 Ti with the highest 4D mark being 4322.  NVIDIA lists the GTX 750 Ti for systems with a minimum 400W PSU, so that and the number of results in Passmark must mean it’s not necessary to change the power supply.

On any system of this age, update the BIOS. Also, the RAM which is listed at 533 is likely to be DDR3 1066, while the X5677 and other higher end CPU’s use DDR3 1333. The z400 is triple channel so the best results will be to use RAM in sets of three modules of the same size. 

An SSD will wake things up considerably and I’d suggest a Samsung 750 EVO. Whatever the z400 uses as it’s uprated CPU cooler is the one to use.

Cheers,                    

BambiBoomZ

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SDH
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The search box to the upper left targets this forum only.... start with using that, but it will get you a lot of information.

 

A pretty efficient way to see state of the art for this workstation is to go to this recent thread,  HERE.

 

http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/Z400-Aftermarket-Up...

 

The key info you need is to find out your boot block date from BIOS, or more easily..... does your box have 4 or 6 memory slots.  The Version 1 has 4/ Version 2 has 6.  You'll see from that thread above what I did with my Version 2, and what the very fastest processor I have ever found available for that can do.

 

Welcome.... and after you've done a fair amount of reading your project will all start to make sense.

 

p.s.  Watch that thread shortly, in that I plan to add to it.  And, the first thing I'd recommend is to upgrade your BIOS to the very latest now, before you move ahead on anything else.  That came out earlier this year.

Auqa
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this is probably really dumb but how do i upgrade my bios?

 

now i've been thinking of getting an rx 480, but the question remains: would i need a new psu?

and im guessing the boot block date from bios would tell me if gpus are compatible.

i checked out some xeons (w3680) and it definitely does not fit my price range, and i'm not really looking to use this desktop for work or something like that. i got this pc for $0 and i just want to upgrade it and run decent games and a lot of photo editing.

 

ill search around on how to upgrade my bios xD. im totally new at this.

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SDH
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This may be something you want to farm out to one of your friends who is computer-experienced.

 

Google Z400 drivers, and the HP result at the top will get you to a list of OS.... it does not matter what you choose because they all use the same BIOS upgrade.  I just checked.... version 3.60 from 4/16 still is the latest.  Download that SP, and you can do two things:

 

1.  Upgrade BIOS from within BIOS.  Run the SP, cancel out after it has launched, go into the root level of your C drive, find the HP folder there SWSetup, go in there and find the SP, go in that folder into the DOS folder and pull out the .bin file from there.  You may need to turn on view of known extension types in Folder Options control panel, View tab.  Then have that on an otherwise blank thumb drive plugged into you black front USB2 port, and cold boot into BIOS and under the first tab of BIOS you can see the option to update system ROM or some such statement.  Click on that and point to the USB drive.  That is how I do it, for max safety.

 

2.  Much easier..... launch the SP and choose to update BIOS from within your OS.  I get the SP onto the desktop, and then do a cold boot from full shutdown and launch that SP after the boot has finished fully, with no other programs going.  It will take some time, but works.  If your BIOS is way old there is an intermediate BIOS update you need to do before the newest ones will work.  You don't need to go through this if your BIOS is new enough.  You don't need to install each individual version that has come out over the years sequentially because the newest one includes all the needed fixes that the older ones had.

 

There are layers upon layers to learn and it is not all intuitive.  Do you know how to get into BIOS?  Have you got your boot block date?  Do you have 4 or 6 memory slots?

Auqa
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I uh, I think I got on the bios. I pressed F10 when i started up my pc and it came up with a blue 1900s graphics menu. after looking through them I went under advanced and found what could be the memory slots. i wrote them down:

Slot 1 PCI e2 x8(4)

Slot 2 PCI e2 x16

Slot 3 PCI e x8(4)

Slot 4 PCI e2 x16

Slot 5

Slot 6

 

That would mean I have version 1? Because slot 5 and 6 are unused, or maybe they're meant to be like that and I have 6 slots.

 

as for the driver, I only found BIOS Configuration Utility (BCU) (International) and it was apparently from mid 2012 so it's probably the wrong one. also i couldn't find a w10 os so i just selected w8. i installed it and the 'bios' (if it is actually the bios) looked the same with its 1900s graphics blue background pixelised menu.

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Auqa
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i got it. i downloaded the bios from w7 which came out in april 2016.

but

nothing really changed. the setup utility (<- i figured out its name. it was at the top) still looks 1900s.

the only thing that changed was at the startup black screens. these music notes started filling up the screen which kinda scared me a bit not gonna lie but then it said updating bios so i realised i was fine.

i think i've updated, so i'll re-read that thread earlier. it was really hard to understand though.

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BambiBoomZ
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Auqa,
    
The z400 uses the excellent LGA1366 Xeons and while the original specifications don’t list them, there are results on Passmark for 4-core W3500 and 6-core W3600 6-core plus X5600 series 4 and 6-core Xeons. There's a large range of some very good CPU's.

The i5-4460 mentioned is for the LGA1150 socket and so wouldn’t work on that motherboard, but a good CPU choice would be the Xeon X5677 4-core @ 3.46 /3.73GHz - $1500 new, now about $60.  In my LGA1366 system, the X5677 makes a CPU rating of 7133.  That a quite modern clock speed and the single-thread performance is not bad = 1518. There is also the X5687 which is 4-core @ 3.6 /3.86GHz. On Passmark, a z400 with an X5687 has a CPU rating of 7373 and single-threaded of 1577.  The current W3530 has an average CPU rating of 6370 which is not terrible, but the single-thread mark of 1261 is a bit on the low side for any level of visualization work.


There are 24, z400's on Passmark using the GTX 750 Ti with the highest 4D mark being 4322.  NVIDIA lists the GTX 750 Ti for systems with a minimum 400W PSU, so that and the number of results in Passmark must mean it’s not necessary to change the power supply.

On any system of this age, update the BIOS. Also, the RAM which is listed at 533 is likely to be DDR3 1066, while the X5677 and other higher end CPU’s use DDR3 1333. The z400 is triple channel so the best results will be to use RAM in sets of three modules of the same size. 

An SSD will wake things up considerably and I’d suggest a Samsung 750 EVO. Whatever the z400 uses as it’s uprated CPU cooler is the one to use.

Cheers,                    

BambiBoomZ

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Auqa
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thank you so much.

i found the x5677 in an online store at my country (aus) and i'll probably be getting that very soon. i dont really understand the passmark scores so what is the x5677's i3/i5/i7 equivalent?

as for the 750 ti, thanks ill definitely get that soon. i feel relieved after knowing i dont need a new psu!

i bought a 250 gb ssd 1 hr after posting my previous comment and after setting it up with the os it is really fast.

 

also, would i also need to get new ram then? say i wanted 12 gb, should i do 3x 4gb ddr 1333?

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SDH
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For the memory you want all 6 slots to be filled with the same memory.  So, for 12GB total you'd want 6 x 2GB sticks.

 

The next step up would be 6 x 4GB for 24GB total.

 

Don't rush on that.... I'll get you some part numbers from HP and then you can use those to find good buys used on eBay.   Not sure how easy it is to buy off eBay for you Aussies.

 

The 2GB sticks in particular are very reasonable now and honestly for many of us more than 12GB is not needed.  I'm running one of my Z600s with 24GB and my Z400 with 12GB and I can't tell the difference.  I'm not doing nuclear engineering here.....

Auqa
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ah ok that makes sense

it takes some time to ship depending on the product and the shipping costs a bit but i can manage

thanks again XD

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