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HP Recommended
HP Z600 Workstation
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Hi HP gurus

 

I'm running an old (but still powerful IMO) HP Z600 workstation.

It's an 8 core Xeon (twin 4 core processors)

I've upgraded to 48 GB of RAM

and I've recently upgraded to graphics card to a Nvidia Quadro K4200 with 4 GB of VRAM.

 

I'm trying to Run Vectorworks 2024 on it, but I'm suffering screen going black, some of the rendering plugins not loading properly, freezes and sometimes crashes.

 

Ive raised the problems I'm having running the system with a current release of Vectorworks 2024 with Vectorworks technical help who are looking into it.

 

The machine seems to meet / exceed minimum standards for running Vectorworks, so I'm a bit stuck as to why I have these issues.

 

I've thought it could be ram or graphics cards... But I've upgraded both of these from 12GB RAM and running twin graphics cards that were Nvidia Quadro 2000 (1GB VRAM each card) but I still have the issue of the screen going black and the computer freezing for ten seconds whenever I click save, or an auto save happens in the background.

 

Two of the graphics plug ins fail to load when launching Vectorworks and I get an error saying MAXONRENDER  and MAXONDOCUMENT BUILDER plug ins failed to load. Again I've raised those software issues with Vectorworks who have suggested a fresh install of the software but that didn't help, so I'm wondering if it's actually a hardware issue? My graphics card can't load or won't run some of the Vectorworks plugins for example because it's too old?

 

I'm wondering if upgrading my graphics card to something more current would help, and what type of card might be a good choice?

 

I understand the graphics card I have now was chosen because it is PCIE 2 X16, less than 150w, and has a 6 pin power connector from the mother board to the card.

 

Most of the 8GB current cards I've looked at are PCIE 3 or 4 and I'm not sure if these are backwards compatible with a PCIE 2 slot?

 

Also most of the cards (if not all) seems to be 8 pins power connectors, would a converter plug from 6 pin to 8 pin be available and work?

 

I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the matter, as ideally I would like to get another year out of my Z600 until I can afford to upgrade

 

The minimum standards for Vectorworks 2024 are found in the following page from Vectorworks user forum https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/articles.html/articles/sysreq2024/

 

Thank you for your help and thoughts and ideas, much appreciated 👍🏻

9 REPLIES 9
HP Recommended

@Visual_Basic,

 

Welcome to our peer-to-peer HP Community Forum!

 

The only feedback I can offer you is that just by looking at the paltry graphics performance of a Nvidia Quadro K4200, it appears to be quite underwhelming to me.  For example, see the comparison with an RTX A2000: UserBenchmark: Nvidia Quadro K4200 vs RTX A2000.

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777


HP Recommended

what kind of graphics cards can I now run on the z600 do you think @nonsequitur777 ?

 

could I run an RTXA2000 card, for example [in theory]?

 

If i could buy a new 12GB graphics card that would run better id do that for sure - just not sure if PCIE 4 cards will run [albeit throttled back] on a PCIE 2 slot?

HP Recommended

@Visual_Basic,

 

An RTX A2000 (6GB or the 12GB version) would be compatible with your HP Z600.

 

To answer your question, I suppose at leastNvidia Quadro K2000. Better still, a Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000.

 

Please take a look at these HP Z600 User benchmarks, which shows that your Workstation is compatible with essentially all old(er) and new(er) graphics cards: UserBenchmark: HP Z600 Workstation Compatible Components.

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777


HP Recommended

really helpful post - thank you...given the fact that the RTX 4000 is about £400 second hand on auction sites, and has about the same performance as a RTX 2070 for £200  or a RTX 3050 brand new for £300 so [subject to final spec] i'm now going to be able to look into this a bit more over the next week or so - the website that you posted is super useful - thank you so much.

 

Assuming these PCIE 4 cards are backwards compatible with PCIE 2, what do i do about the 6 pin power adaptor i have from the motherboard, if these cards need 8 pin plugs or a 6 plus 2? im assuming i can buy an adaptor of some sort from somewhere, right?

HP Recommended

@Visual_Basic,

 

Even take a look at an RTX 3060 12GB card, specifically a model that requires one (1) 8-pin PCIe power cable, such as this model.  You should be able to find good deals on this card, too.

 

Anyways, your Workstation is likely fitted either with a 650-watt power supply with p/n: 508548-001, which has this PCIe power cable adapter with p/n: 512318-001 "Graphics card power adapter interface cable, 8-pin", or an 800-watt power supply with p/n: 717019-001, which has this PCIe power cable adapter with p/n: 683773-001 "Cable assembly - Graphics card auxiliary power connection (two)".

 

And yes, my understanding is that your power supply's 6-pin PCIe power cable should be compatible to be connected to an 8-pin PCIe power adapter cable, please see this (related) discussion: https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/HP-Z840-with-850W-....

 

Running out of time, the best I can do at the moment is to point to this eBay Seller purchase example: GPU POWER ADAPTER FEMALE 6 PIN TO MALE 8 PIN POWER CABLE for HP 460621-002 20cm | eBay, where you can purchase p/n: 460621-002:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1707260516652.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777


HP Recommended

i've sorted a new RTX 3060 graphics card - will report back in a few days once i've tried it to test in my Z600 to see if it helps at all - if not it will get used in a replacement machine build.

Thanks again for your help @NonSequitur777

HP Recommended

@Visual_Basic,

 

Outstanding: an RTX 3060 is "hugely better" better than an K4200: UserBenchmark: Nvidia Quadro K4200 vs RTX 3060 and has the added benefit to be fitted with 12GB of fast GDDR6 RAM, something that in and of itself should make quite a difference in 3D CAD computing.

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777


HP Recommended

I was curious on how my machine runs compared to 'other machines' that Vectorworks 2024 had been designed for so I decided to run a few benchmarking applications on my old Z600.

 

Its still quite true, technically 'on paper' my 2010 Z600 is still a great machine looking at the speed of the processors, the number of cores, massive amounts of ram, and a more than half decent graphics card  - but times and technology have moved on apace since 2010 and newer technologies have been introduced as programmes are further developed and improved to take advantage of and leverage gains in performance in hardware innovations and improvements,  more power and features, in both hardware and software. My 2010 Z600 has changed little besides some upgrades to ram -the architecture of the processors is still very much the same as it was 14 years ago.

 

so...

 

I researched a bit into Maxon, and Cinema 4D,  [these were the two plug ins that would not load when launching the current version of Vectorworks 2024 on my old and trusty Z600 dating from 14 years ago, and those Maxon plug in loading errors ive been experiencing seem to stem from graphical display and rendering issues through the Maxon and Cinema 4D engine. Cinema 4D forms part of the native rendering capabilities in Vectorworks and is handled at CPU level]

 

I decided to run the Cinema 4D benchmarking software out of interest on my Z600 ...

 

Running Cinebench 2024 returned an error and refused to load [as it had been suggested might happen on the Vectorworks website, where a forum member raised the thought that something called AVX processing is required at CPU level to run the Maxon rendering components of the Vectorworks application]

 

The error message returned from Cinebench 2024 is that the CPU in my system does not offer AVX2 instruction support... so i'm assuming that refers to CPU and not GPU, so no matter what graphics cards are put in this machine, it is the CPU that doesn't actually support the Maxon Plug ins.

 

I checked out the processors on the Intel Processor Identification Utility for Legacy processors - and quite clearly on the data sheet Intel Advanced Vector Extensions [AVX to you and me] is not available on the Intel Xeon X5570 CPU that dates from 2009...

 

The Processors, regrettable as it is, are just too old to run the Maxon and Cinema 4D AVX extensions and can't recognise or load the plug ins needed in the Vectorworks application -  In short these 2009 Intel Xeon X5570 CPUs don't know what to do with the AVX extensions that were developed in 2016 that are used in processing the data in the application...  - feels that this is significant in understanding what's been going on here...

 

So a new machine is required, but at least i have a new graphics card to put in it!!  @nonsequitur777 we tried all that we could, nice graphics card by the way!! Shame the errors seem to stem from the CPU not GPU processors...

HP Recommended

@Visual_Basic,

 

Very helpful information going forward, thank you for sharing!

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777


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