Note on archived topics.
12-30-2013 11:49 PM
Intel Xeon E5 V2 Upgrade Failure on Z Workstations
I tried one on the HP Z620 ; it simply would not post.
If you had a similar failure, please list it here so we may assist each other.
01-02-2014 06:02 PM
nickben, look at this thread, it might answer your question:
My opinions are my own, and do not express those of HP.
Please click "Accept as Solution" if you problem was solved. This helps other forum readers.
01-03-2014 07:52 AM
I know this does not get to the root of your post, but will add a bit of info. In HP workstation BIOS there is a segment termed the "microcode" which includes a listing of the processors that HP has certified to work properly with the specific workstation. Each processor has an ID code that BIOS can probe for very early in boot, and if BIOS does not see a listed response it will not proceed even into boot a bit.
You can do a search in this specific forum for that topic..... type in "microcode" into the "Search HP Forum" box. It has happened in the past that Intel came out with new processors and HP had a workstation that had 100% HP-confirmed chipset capability to run those new processors. HP did put out a standalone microcode update that included the old and the new processor's ID codes, and included the microcode update in future BIOS updates for that workstation..... the xw4600.
There have been BIOS based microcode revisions for other workstations, including the Z series, as new fully compatible processors have come out, so it is not as if HP does not add newly certified processors over time. There is a HP site that lets you see all the QuickSpec revisions for each workstation over time, and that has been interesting to review as old original processors get deleted and new ones get added to the QuickSpec. I don't think that any of the old processor ID codes get deleted from the microcode updates; just new ones get added.
With enough HP testing that conceivably could happen later for the older ZX20 workstations and the new processors you'd like to use, but given the fact that significant bootblock and hardware changes are involved it might not ever be possible to achieve the level of certainty that enterprise workstations are required to have. HP ≠ ASUS for us experimenters, but I'm pleased to have this user-based forum to bounce ideas around.
01-03-2014 10:02 AM
Since my goal is to simply upgrade the HP ZX20 series to the latest compatible Xeon V2 processors, would doing one of these 2 things work?
OPTION 1. Buying the 2nd CPU Xeon V2 upgrade for the Z820 series and installing it in the Z420 or Z620 or Z820 as the primary CPU
OPTION 2. Buying one or a PAIR of 2nd Processor CPU Daughterboard Xeon V2 kits for the Z620, and removing the CPU from one of those kits, and installing it in the first CPU slot of the Z620 or Z420 or Z820
I see HP issued a new quickspecs .pdf dated January 1st, 2014.
A simpler route would be HP simply publicly acknowledging an issue and issuing a fix date, or simply releasing a firmware/BIOS update.
01-03-2014 03:49 PM
I'm quite sure that will not work at all. The motherboard part number is the key here.
Thanks for the find of that new version 36 (!) QuickSpecs for the Z620. I did a search for "v2" throughout it, and from knowing the discussion on the issue up to this date (thanks much to Dan_in_WGBU) below is what I believe to be the circumstance.
You cannot order those v2 processors by themselves directly from HP..... they come either as part of a CTO (configure to order) Z620 purchase, or an AMO kit (after market option) that includes all the hardware/fans/riser plactic parts plus v2 processor to match the v2 already in a v2-enabled Z620 you bought previously. If you buy a v2 processor from another source you'll have exactly the processor that HP gets from Intel (match the sSpec codes), but you won't have the motherboard that can run it (unless you have that later bootblock date version by good luck). If you do have a v2-enabled motherboard already I'm sure you could update from a slow v2 (or v1) processor to a much faster HP-certified v2 processor, despite that upgrade not being "supported" by HP. Just because it is not supported does not mean it cannot be done. The v2 processor you would be updating to, however, must be in the microcode of the HP BIOS, and that is why the first step in any of these upgrades is to make sure you have the latest BIOS loaded.
Regarding matching sSpec codes.... use the Intel "Ark" web site to check whether there are more than one sSpec codes for the processor you're wanting to match to. If there is only one then you don't even need to look at the top of your original processor to check that (laser etched there). All you need to know is the model of the processor, and the OS gives you that. I have mixed sSpec codes in dual processor HP workstations (assuming they're the same processor model), but the best advice is to always match the sSpec codes perfectly. Given the cost of the v2 processors it would be worth removing the heatsink/van to confirm exactly what sSpec code is present if one was going to add a second v2 processor to a Z620 running a v2 processor that happened to have two available sSpec codes.
Another circumstance: If you order up a single-v2 Z620 from HP under a CTO purchase you'll be sure to get one of the later motherboards with the later bootblock date. In contrast, if you ordered up a single-"v1" processor Z620 in the near future you'll probably get a workstation with the older type of motherboard and its older bootblock date..... until they clear those older motherboards out of the supply channel. So, later down the road you'd likely be able to buy a CTO Z620 with a single v1 processor which could be swapped out for a single v2 processor of any speed you choose.... assuming the motherboard you got has the newer bootblock date, and even add in a second matching v2 processor if you gather up all the other necessary parts.
Adding in a second processor is a much bigger deal with the Z620's because you need more stuff than just the processor and a proper heatsink/fan. That is different from the xw workstations and the Z600s where the second processor socket is just waiting to be populated.
The approach I'd take if I had an older type Z620, and a spare fast v2 processor: I'd buy a new Z620 v2-enabled motherboard from eBay for cheap (and I have seen them listed there for about $170.00, new), and swap that into the old Z620. The motherboard part number to look for has been posted recently here in the forum.
Hope this helps, and please let us know what you end up doing.
01-05-2014 08:06 AM
Thank you for the feedback on the forum.
HP needs to really publically address this issue with an estimated fix date on the Support page, as it is not right to let customers wait 6 months or more for a working Intel XEON E5 V2 firmware update when everyone else had one back in September 2013!
I also had one of those days of Panic from a previously working ZX20 Workstation yesterday with Intel Xeon E5 26XX V1upgrade ... System would not POST and would simply hang, or hang then ramp fans then power down.
So, I eventually resolved the problem by unplugging practically everything (including CPU) and removing the CMOS battery.
Then, reinstalled everything one at a time to check appropriate error codes and make sure it wasn't something else, and that seemed to revive the system.
Anybody have similar experiences, and if this reoccurs, might it be an early indicator of a Motherboard failure?