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UcPandamonium
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Z420 CPU upgrade

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I have a HP Z420 Workstation with Boot Block Date 12/28/2011, with System BIOS of J61 v03.69.  Current processor is INTEL XEON E5-1607 @ 3Ghz and I would like to upgrade my CPU to highest possible speed available.  I understand this machine is restricted to V1 CPU's.  What is your CPU compatible recommendation?


S-Spec number: SR0L8

Stepping: M1

CPU ID: 206D7

 

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MtothaJ
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@UcPandamonium wrote:

@I have a HP Z420 Workstation with Boot Block Date 12/28/2011, with System BIOS of J61 v03.69.  Current processor is INTEL XEON E5-1607 @ 3Ghz and I would like to upgrade my CPU to highest possible speed available.  I understand this machine is restricted to V1 CPU's.  What is your CPU compatible recommendation?


S-Spec number: SR0L8

Stepping: M1

CPU ID: 206D7

 


Any Xeon E5 v1 processor will work, a lot really depends on whether for your use you require cores or clock speed.

A good balanced CPU would be the E5-1660, which is 6C / 12T and has a base clock of 3.3Ghz going up to 3.9Ghz on turbo. You could also use a E5-2687W, however that has a TDP of 150W and as per HP specs requires the HP liquid cooler.

If you are serious about getting the best CPU possible, another option is to upgrade the boot block and then take a look at the v2 chips (e.g. 1660 v2, 1680 v2) however this requires soldering out the old bios chip and also the prices of the higher end v2 chips are still pretty high at the moment. A bonus with the v2 chips is that these support higher speed 1866mhz  RAM .

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UcPandamonium
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MtothaJ - I appreciate the input.  Your recommendation on E5-2687W CPU is what I will purchase, which happens to be available on ebay.  To cool the cpu I have opted for the MasterLiquid Maker 92 by Cooler Master.  I will return to this and update you on my success or failure.  :generic:

 

This machines task will mainly be photo editing using Lightroom and Photoshop.  Currently I have a Crucial 128GB SSD as a boot drive running Win7Pro.  A second Crucial 128GB as scratch disk and three 2TB drives running at Raid5 for storage.  If I were to save my pennies and grab a Samsung 960 M.2, which would you recommend, a 960 EVO or PRO?

 

My thoughts are to use the M.2 attached to Bplus PCI-e adapter as a boot drive running Win10Pro.  I have read on other forums there might be challenges to running M.2 as boot drive, as well as setting up the BIOS might be tricky.  If you have experience with this, I would appreciate your input or any one else out there.

 

Again, thank you for your assistance, further updates with this upgrade will follow as I receive the parts. 

 

Ciào

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MtothaJ
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@UcPandamonium wrote:

MtothaJ - I appreciate the input.  Your recommendation on E5-2687W CPU is what I will purchase, which happens to be available on ebay.  To cool the cpu I have opted for the MasterLiquid Maker 92 by Cooler Master.  I will return to this and update you on my success or failure.  :generic:

 

This machines task will mainly be photo editing using Lightroom and Photoshop.  Currently I have a Crucial 128GB SSD as a boot drive running Win7Pro.  A second Crucial 128GB as scratch disk and three 2TB drives running at Raid5 for storage.  If I were to save my pennies and grab a Samsung 960 M.2, which would you recommend, a 960 EVO or PRO?

 

My thoughts are to use the M.2 attached to Bplus PCI-e adapter as a boot drive running Win10Pro.  I have read on other forums there might be challenges to running M.2 as boot drive, as well as setting up the BIOS might be tricky.  If you have experience with this, I would appreciate your input or any one else out there.

 

Again, thank you for your assistance, further updates with this upgrade will follow as I receive the parts. 

 

Ciào


 

Would be very interested to read on your experiences with the E2687W. Also thanks for the cooler info - this is very handy since the cooler is similar to the OEM HP liquid cooler in that it is self contained and doesn't require a seperate radiator to mount - obviously in the Z420 chassis there is simply no room for this so this type of cooler is very handy.

 

As for the NVMe SSD, I am using a Samsung 950 Pro in my Z420 with no problems as a boot drive. I am using a cheap m.2 to PCIe adapter from Aliexpress. It works in either the 4th or 5th PCIe slot (x8 or x16) but the card itself is a x4. Speed wise I am getting c.a. 2000 MB/s read and 950 MB/s write but the 960 will be faster. I would say go for the 960 Evo, since its cheaper and performs much the same. When choosing the adapter card you can choose one with an active fan to cool the m.2 drive or a passive radiator / thermal pads design. I have a standard one with no cooling, but a few days ago I got one with the fan - so far however have not yet got around to installing it.

 

In genral there are no problems with installation. You put the m.2 drive in the adapter, the adapter in the Z420 and then install Win 10 Pro from a USB drive in UEFI mode. DO not worry whether the drive appears in the bios or not, the main thing is that when you do a clean install of Windows 10 it appears as a destination drive for the installation (and it will 🙂 ). At the WIndows installation stage you can install the Samsung NVMe drivers (for best performance) but you don't have to since the standard Microsoft dirvers in WIndows will also work, so equally well you can install the Samsung drivers afterwards when Windows is installed like with any other driver. One thing I will point out is that this pertains to WIn 10 Pro. AFAIK it is possible to also use the drive as aboot drive on WIndows 7 but this becomes a lot more complicated, since WIn 7 does not have native NVMe support. Perhaps installing the Samsung drivers at the OS install stage would suffice, I also heard that it is possible to 'inject' NVMe support into WIn 7 installation media but I have no personal experience with this myslef.

 

If you have any questions let me know. In the meantime would be interested in your experiences with the 2687W, so would be greatful for an update when you are done with installation.

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