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MtothaJ
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Z440/640/840 - is there a boot block issue like in the Zx20?

Just wondering whether the Z440/640/840 line also have boards with different boot block dates that prohibit / enable the use of newer version CPU's like is the unfortunate case in the Zx20 line?

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Z440/640/840 - is there a boot block issue like in the Zx20?

 

 

Not at this time, but I'd not be surprised to see this trend continue.

 

 As you know the Z400/Z600/Z800 series and the Z420/Z620/Z820 workstations both have had version 1 and version 2 motherboards.  The version 2 motherboards have been a welcome addition in that hardware changes became available that opened access to new processors that were not in existence when the version 1 motherboards were engineered.  There have been other HP workstations that have been able to run newly released processors with simple BIOS updates from HP, but that was not the case for the more substantial hardware changes that happened with the two series noted above.

 

I consider it fortunate, personally, that HP adds newer hardware capabilities like this to a product.  I agree that it would be better if those upgrades were more obvious without needing to get into BIOS and checking the boot block date.  Very few eBay sellers know of the v1 versus v2, and wise purchasers can use this information to their benefit.  I have donated a number of HP workstations to good causes, and use this knowledge to build them the best I can for the least cost.

MtothaJ
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Z440/640/840 - is there a boot block issue like in the Zx20?


@SDH wrote:

 

 

Not at this time, but I'd not be surprised to see this trend continue.

 

 As you know the Z400/Z600/Z800 series and the Z420/Z620/Z820 workstations both have had version 1 and version 2 motherboards.  The version 2 motherboards have been a welcome addition in that hardware changes became available that opened access to new processors that were not in existance when the version 1 motherboards were engineered.  There have been other HP workstations that have been able to run newly released processors with simple BIOS updates from HP, but that was not the case for the more substantial hardware changes that happened with the two series noted above.

 

I consider it fortunate, personally, that HP adds newer hardware cabailities like this to a product.  I agree that it would be better if those upgrades were more obvious without needing to get into BIOS and checking the boot block date.  Very few eBay sellers know of the v1 versus v2, and wise purchasers can use this information to their benefit.  I have donated a number of HP workstations to good causes, and use this knowledge to build them the best I can for the least cost.


 

The thing is there were no hardware changes per se in terms of the motherboards between v1 and v2 versions. This is evident by the fact that a v1 motherboards boot up the v2 CPU's just fine with a v2 bios chip installed / programmed.

 

I think at the end of the day the whole issue here is that HP does not support CPU upgrades. They would rather you buy a new workstation when Intel goes from tick to tock or in the worst case scenario a new motherboard. I think they are aware that this money grabbing apporach wouldn't be viewed on too favourably hence they are intentionally fuzzy about this in the quick specs.

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Z440/640/840 - is there a boot block issue like in the Zx20?

I'm hoping you know about the chipset change that is surely a significant hardware change that separates the v1 from the v2 motherboards in the Z400/Z600/Z600 series.  That opened up use not only of new processors but also opened use of registered ECC in addition to unregistered ECC memory.  And it allowed the Z400 to access more physical memory.

 

As for the Z420/Z620/Z820 series...... expecting HP to unsolder, reprogram, and resolder in chips on the older v1 motherboards to perhaps be stable to HP standards is a reach.  I have posted here about how easy it is to buy a v2 motherboard off eBay and swap out the old v1 motherboard.  That is an afternoon project.  I've done it.

 

HP could have shut down our posting here about all the secrets of how to upgrade processors in various HP workstations years ago, and they have not.  We even can receive help from talented and knowledgeable HP engineers here.  So, gripe all you wish, but I've felt for years now that HP actually encourages creative recycling of their excellent workstations through this forum.  There are a lot of college students and high school students who have gained access to used HP workstations and then upgraded to faster used processors and gotten good used memory via eBay or other sources.  This is the one practical source on the internet for such targeted guidance.

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MtothaJ
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Z440/640/840 - is there a boot block issue like in the Zx20?


@SDH wrote:

 

As for the Z420/Z620/Z820 series...... expecting HP to unsolder, reprogram, and resolder in chips on the older v1 motherboards to perhaps be stable to HP standards is a reach.  I have posted here about how easy it is to buy a v2 motherboard off eBay and swap out the old v1 motherboard.  That is an afternoon project.  I've done it.

 

HP could have shut down our posting here about all the secrets of how to upgrade processors in various HP workstations years ago, and they have not.  We even can receive help from talented and knowledgeable HP engineers here.  So, gripe all you wish, but I've felt for years now that HP actually encourages creative recycling of their excellent workstations through this forum.  There are a lot of college students and high school students who have gained access to used HP workstations and then upgraded to faster used processors and gotten good used memory via eBay or other sources.  This is the one practical source on the internet for such targeted guidance.


As for the Zx20 series there would be no need to do any soldering on HP's part - all I would ask for is that they just make good use of the functionality that is already built into the mother board (E14 boot block flashing jumper) instead of locking it out.

 

With regard to the Zx40 line - from what I understand this boot block scenario may also be applicable, but would need to be verified. The machine was initially released with E5 v3 processors, support for v4 looks to have been added at a later date (see:  https://www.processor.com/article/23095/hp-upgrades-z440-and-z64-workstations). Would be intereting to compare the boot block dates from machines running E5 v3 and E5 v4 CPU's. Ofcourse it is possible that bios updating takes place in a different manner on those machines and it is no longer an issue.

 

 

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