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HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

Since I enjoy upgrading legacy HP desktops where no one or few have gone before -and I don't just do the 'talk-the-talk' but also the 'walk-the-walk', I purchased a bare-bone HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF locally for only $10 -and in excellent condition/shape, too. No, I kid you not:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663717912457.png

 

Fast forward a week later: I bought & received a heatsink/cooling fan combo for this desktop via eBay (sorry, bought the last one):

 

 

NonSequitur777_1-1663718305197.png

 

Installed a temporary Intel i3-6300 processor, a 250 GB Hitachi 7200 RPM HDD, and a dual-antenna AC1200 Wi-Fi USB dongle for internet communication. For RAM, I installed 2 x 8GB G.SKILL F4-2400C15-8GVR (2400 MHz) RAM sticks, which I expected would run at 2133 MHz thanks to G.SKILL's doggone SPD RAM setting at 2133 MHz -which requires access to BIOS XMP in order to ramp up the RAM speed to 2400 MHz -but this is a feature HP unfortunately doesn't provide in many of their PCs.  Because this gaming RAM is fitted with (unnecessary) heatsinks and 'sticks' out, I had to remove the lower part of the metal drives cage (seen upper right), which was easy enough as it was sort of stamped together to the upper part of the drives cage, but aided by a little elbow grease and a flathead screwdriver, popped right off.  This means that I forfeited an optical drive -which I don't care for anyway.  I covered up the Optical Disk Drive (ODD) opening in the desktop front cover panel with a matching snap-in ODD bezel filler blank cover. I zip-tied the temporary HDD to the remaining drive cage:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663730015580.png

 

NonSequitur777_1-1663730108972.png

 

In order to improve airflow, will install a 5015 or 5025 cooling fan on the exterior to blow air out of the case:

 

NonSequitur777_2-1663731969255.png

 

[Edit:] Or come to think of it, will install an external 9025 cooling fan on top of the access panel centered directly above the CPU cooling fan/heatsink assembly, blowing air in (down).  This boosted upgraded cooling method has worked very well in my previous HP legacy upgrade projects.

 

[Edit:] In order to make this work, I purchased a 4-pin PWM cooling fan splitter cable, which will connect the motherboard's PWM power fan connector to both the CPU cooling fan and the added cooling fan:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663880266244.png

 

[Edit:] And apparently, I had run out of 90mm cooling fan guards, so ordered some more:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663948461652.png

 

Was successful in a low-bid to acquire a relatively unknown and underappreciated processor, the Intel i5-7600K (4 Cores, 4 Threads, 3.80 GHz to max 4.20 GHz): this bad boy beats the i7-7700 (see: UserBenchmark: Intel Core i5-7600K vs i7-7700) which is compatible with the HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF as per: UserBenchmark: HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF Compatible Components.  Yes, the i5-7600K's TDP (91 watt) is higher than the i7-7700's TDP (65 watt), but I am confident that the i5-7600K will work. I based this on various information such as this (CPU-Upgrade: Intel Core i7-7700 CPU) :

 

NonSequitur777_1-1663733812122.png

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663880519750.png

 

And ordered a heavily discounted budget Silicon Power 512 GB SSD:

 

NonSequitur777_4-1663732352433.png

 

Another (primary) drive option I am considering is to utilize the HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF's PCIe x4 motherboard slot, by using an M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD to PCIe adapter card. This worked quite well on other HP desktop upgrade projects, so I will likely try that out as well:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663733678488.png

Like this one I have available:

NonSequitur777_0-1663770909741.png

In terms of a graphics upgrade, the quality but gutless stock 180-watt HP proprietarily-wired power supply isn't helpful, so I'm considering my options.  This means an externally parked graphics card powered by an external secondary synced power supply.

 

Further updates and information to be posted when it becomes available.  Stay tuned.

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

Upgraded this rig with an AMD Radeon RX 6600, and ran the UserBenchMark performance test.  Please note, that in addition having made this rig ready to do some serious gaming, I got the budget Silicon Power 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD to improve substantially from 85% to perform at a very respectable 208%.  This means I will make this drive the primary (boot) drive in order to further optimize this HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF's performance.

 

And did I mention that according to UserBenchMark this HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF is now the fastest of its kind globally? -Btw, I did find out why UserBenchMark (UBM) did not record my previous performance runs: it was my antivirus software that blocked communication with UBM.  I have it running at a very sensitive setting, apparently too sensitive for UBM.

 

Here we go:

 

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NonSequitur777_1-1664594412209.pngNonSequitur777_2-1664594479320.pngNonSequitur777_3-1664594522663.png

Link: HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF Performance Results - UserBenchmark.

 

I completed what I intended to do: making this HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF the fastest/best performing of its kind. Therefore, I will tag this discussion thread as "Accept as Solution", even though I will continue to work with it including installing a 90x90mm fan guard to the booster cooling fan.

 

Hopefully, somebody will be inspired to upgrade a legacy HP desktop as well.  Or that this thread will provide some upgrading ideas to someone.

 

NonSequitur777_5-1664595999899.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

 

 

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".

View solution in original post

15 REPLIES 15
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

As indicated in my previous post, I ordered a heavily discounted budget Silicon Power 500GB M.2 2280-D5-B-M 3D NAND A55 SLC Cache Performance Boost SATA III SSD:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663876618478.png

 

[EDIT:] This M.2 SSD SATA III drive did not work on this desktop using a PCIe x4 adapter card.  Will try an M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.

 

Also, I cleaned and formatted the new SSD as shown in my previous post using CMD commands in DiskPart as follows:


Connect your new SSD to a working computer using a USB to 2.5” SATA III Drive Adapter:

 

NonSequitur777_1-1663878995072.png


DISCLAIMER: ONLY to be done by PC enthusiasts who know what they are doing and accept any risk following these steps!


1.) On Windows 10, press Windows + X, select: "Search", and type: cmd and right-click on it and choose: "Run as administrator".


2.) On the Command Prompt black window, type: diskpart and hit: Enter.


3.) Type: list disk and press: Enter.


All your disk drives will be listed, including your external drive(s) that are connected to your PC.


4.) Type: select disk + disk number, for example: select disk 2 and press: Enter. [MAKE SURE you select the CORRECT (new) drive you want to clean/format !!!]


This tells DiskPart to locate and lock disk 2 so as to clean and format it with the continuing steps.


5.) Go on to type: clean. This step starts to clean up all files and folders on the selected hard disk, and hit: Enter.


6.) Type: create partition primary and press: Enter.


7.) After DiskPart successfully created the specified partition, type: format fs=ntfs and hit: Enter.


It tells DiskPart to thoroughly format the disk to the NTFS file system.


Please Note: this will take quite a while. The larger the drive's capacity, the longer it is going to take.


8.) At last, assign a drive letter to the newly created partition just by typing: assign and hit: Enter.


9.) Type: exit to close the DiskPart Command Prompt window when the process finishes. Type: exit again to close the Command Prompt.

 

[Edit:] Of course, I ran into an annoying issue that my SSD was MBR initialized instead of GPT. The HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF supports UEFI and enables UEFI mode, therefore GPT partition style it should be. And naturally the Windows setup error: "Setup was unable to create a new system partition or locate an existing system partition" etc. showed up.

 

Here are helpful links how I fixed these issues:

 

https://www.diskpart.com/articles/convert-ssd-to-gpt-command-prompt-7201.html


https://youtu.be/o4ilMAAk1Q8


https://www.kapilarya.com/fix-we-couldnt-create-a-new-partition-or-locate-an-existing-one-windows-10

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

Installed Windows 11 following the steps outlined in this link: Windows 11 Upgrade on Unsupported Hardware: The Cool Trick | Dong Knows Tech.

 

NonSequitur777_1-1663898110468.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

With the SSD installed, running Windows 11 in Ultimate Performance mode, and other W11 optimizations applied, this PC is running very well and smoothly.

 

Here are the most current Speccy's, System Information's and Power Plan's overviews:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663905780431.png

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663948792217.png

 

NonSequitur777_2-1663906201667.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Esteemed Forum,

 

Good news, the United States Postal Service came through once again:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663946964326.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

To the bold goes the victory: the HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF is indeed compatible with 91-watt processors: the Intel i5-7600K was accepted without a hitch and is running like a charm!

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663952211117.png

 

NonSequitur777_1-1663952233775.png

 

NonSequitur777_2-1663952254744.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

Set up the HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF with an AMD RX 580, installed Asus' GPU Tweak III software, and ran the UserBenchMark performance software on this PC for the first time: results look very good, but as expected this platform requires some more optimizations (such as reducing background CPU usage) to improve performance:

 

NonSequitur777_4-1663965931531.png

 

NonSequitur777_3-1663965835590.png

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663965478337.png

 

NonSequitur777_1-1663965605880.png

NonSequitur777_2-1663965678481.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

And there we go: applied several optimizations on the HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF with satisfactory results, most notably improving the i5-7600K processor performance score from 72.3% to 80.6% (from: "Very Good" to: "Excellent"), improving overall computer performance from: "this PC is performing as expected (50th percentile)" to: "this PC is performing above expectations (69th percentile)", and reducing the CPU's background usage from 26% to 5%:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1663967780330.pngNonSequitur777_1-1663967831754.png

NonSequitur777_2-1663968021388.png

Link: HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF Performance Results - UserBenchmark.

 

[EDIT:] This UserBenchMark performance score should be posted by now (09/26/2022), but it is not.  If UserBenchMark did post my rig's performance scores, it would have taken over the global #1 spot for HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF platforms.  And yes, I do realize that UserBenchMark's scoring is said to be flawed, but at least you can (could) compare your PC with often thousands of identical PCs.

 

Last but not least some pictures -mind you, once I am done Upgrading this rig, it will 'look' better than this:

 

NonSequitur777_3-1663968232271.png

 

NonSequitur777_4-1663968260817.png

 

NonSequitur777_5-1663968282327.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

As discussed, installed an additional, high-performance 9025 (90x90x25mm) cooling fan centered right on top of the internal CPU heatsink/cooling fan assembly (the 90x90mm fan guard not yet installed), and rerouted the PCIe x16 extension cable and the SATA 15-pin power cable to the 24-pin ATX power adapter card through the back of the chassis:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1664504823164.png

 

 

NonSequitur777_0-1664251985148.png

 

 

NonSequitur777_0-1665023852338.png

 

 

NonSequitur777_1-1664252092103.png

 

This air-cooling upgrade reduced the max CPU Core temp from 84° C to 76° C when running IPDT's CPULoad:

 

NonSequitur777_3-1664256540483.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
HP Recommended

Dear Forum,

 

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, the Silicon Power 512GB A55 M.2 SSD SATA III Internal Solid State Drive 2280 with p/n: SU512GBSS3A55M28AC is not compatible in an HP ProDesk 400 G4 SFF as installed on an M.2 to PCIe adapter, probably because it has the "B & M key" edge connector rather than the "B key" edge connector as M.2 PCIe NVMe SSDs have.

 

Therefore, I ordered a heavily discounted budget Silicon Power 512GB NVMe M.2 PCIe Gen3 x4 2280 SSD with p/n: SP512GBP34A60M28, and will try again:

 

NonSequitur777_0-1664400513464.png

 

Kind Regards,

 

NonSequitur777

Dear fellow Forum member, I sincerely hope my response is helpful. If it is, please consider to click "YES" on the: "Was this reply helpful?" button. If my response answered your question, please indicate below as an "Accepted Solution".
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