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Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case

Started by Andy Brown, November 01, 2014, 04:53:46 am

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comptv

September 21, 2016, 12:15:51 pm #255 Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 12:26:04 pm by comptv
Wow! I'm excited to see that this is still active!!

I'm wondering if anyone has tried this on the Z600 motherboard?
It seems really similar, but the main difference (PSU wise) is the 10-pin memory connector is only *8-pin on the Z600 rev 03

I have 2 X5650 and a GTX 1060, along with a 650W PSU, that will be upgraded once I can test that all the hardware is working.

My main question is regarding the wiring of the PSU. Is it possible to just rearrange the pins on my old PSU instead of cutting and resoldering. I can successfully insert my PCI-E 6 + 2 into the memory slot no problem, but I'm guessing the wire configuration is wrong, and same goes for my 20+4 pin. I mean, I can solder if I have to, but I'm trying to avoid it. And I don't think waiting a month for the Z600/Z800 extensions from China is worth it. Any thoughts?

Andy Brown

September 21, 2016, 12:40:55 pm #256 Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 12:45:11 pm by Andy Brown
Still active, yes. I'm still happily using my build with the same 2x X5680 and 48Gb RAM. It runs everything I throw at it and still remains responsive. The only dodgy part is the Windows 10 AMD drivers for the 7970. Sometimes rarely the driver stops responding and Windows resets it.

Quote
Is it possible to just rearrange the pins on my old PSU instead of cutting and resoldering

I'm afraid I don't understand this part. How do you re-arrange pins on a PSU? I've never seen one that allows you to reconfigure the pinout.

Quote
I can successfully insert my PCI-E 6 + 2 into the memory slot no problem, but I'm guessing the wire configuration is wrong

Yes definitely wrong, and also missing a 5V line. You're best off configuring that one from a molex connector like I did.

More importantly, do you know that the Z600 shares the same pinouts for the main board and memory power connectors as the Z800?
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

comptv

Sorry, I meant physically pushing out the pins with one of those tools, and just rearranging them as needed. I'd still have to buy extensions either way, unless I planned on modding the actual PSU cable which seems a little risky.

I'm guessing there isn't some way to buy a z600 compatible PSU? hahaha, why did you do this to us HP?

I actually loved your guide, I found the Z600 manual and compared the pin-outs and I think I may have noticed a few differences, but I'll concede to you because you're definitely more experienced. To be honest, however, your images were great, but not necessarily comprehensive enough for my small brain. I'll have to study your examples a bit more to see how to properly arrange the extensions once I get my hands on some. Half of me wants to throw up my hands and just purchase a super micro board (I got my HP one on a whim without proper research), but I already have all my components on hand.

comptv

Would anyone be willing to possibly post a short video or series of images detailing how you did your PSU power cables? I get that I basically need 2 ATX 24 pin extensions and I need to resolder them in the correct configuration, but I don't understand the translation from standard ATX to the HP boards, or the Molex to the 8-pin swap.

Thanks everyone!

Andy Brown

If you're in any doubt about the correct wiring then I'd definitely recommend one of the cheap pre-made cables. If you do it yourself and you get it wrong then at best it won't work and at worst you'll damage the expensive motherboard beyond repair. If those adaptor cables had been available when I started my build then I would certainly have bought one.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Andy Brown

My Zalman CPU fans have reached the end of their useful life and I've replaced them with some shiny new ones. I've updated the main article with all the details including audio recordings of the failing fans and some pictures of the new ones.

It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

bulls4ever

October 10, 2016, 07:18:13 pm #261 Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 02:31:32 pm by bulls4ever
Thanks for this great project.

I went nuts and spent quiet a bit on this project already.

$300 Full Z800 system with X5645 and 12Gb + LSI Raid 8i
$145 2x X5675
$270 144GB DDR3 10600R
$5     PSU Cable

Now I need the Heatsink and Case


What the list for good options for Cases and Heatsink?

PS: It would be great if the first message is edited to contain those resumed information. It would help a lot


This is the Chassis list I found so far ...

Rosewill BLACKHAWK-ULTRA
Eermax Fulmo GT ECA1092AG-BL
Xigmatek Elysium Black Server Edition (non window) CCC-HSA0DS-U03
Xigmatek Elysium Black CCC-HSA0DS-U01
Lian Li PC-P80NB
Lian Li PC-90
Lian Li PC-Z70B
Lian Li PC-V2120B
Lian Li PC-V2120X
XSPC H1 "Hive" Cube Case
XSPC H2 "Hive" Tower Case
Little Devil Cooling LD PC-V8
Aerocool Strike-X ST
Cubitek Tank Series CB-TDE-B510
Case Labs STH10
Case Labs Magnum MH10
Case Labs Magnum TH10
Case Labs Magnum TX10-D
Case Labs Magnum TX10-V
Xilence Interceptor Pro
Mountain Mods Pinnacle 18 - CYO
Mountain Mods Pinnacle 24 - CYO
Mountain Mods Extended U2-UFO CYO
Mountain Mods Extended Ascension CYO
Thermaltake Armor+
Nanoxia Deep Silence 6
Corsair 900D

bulls4ever

October 11, 2016, 02:40:29 pm #262 Last Edit: October 11, 2016, 03:47:13 pm by bulls4ever
Has anyone tried water cooling the CPU with AIO?

While I can wait to buy a new case (till I find a cheap one) I need a cooling solution ASAP. Computer arrive in a week :)
----------------------------

Edit: found one ENERMAX ETS-T40F-RF for $20. Will try that one. TDP is 200W. Plenty for a 95W cpu. hope it fits well

bulls4ever

And found a corsair 900D locally for $50. Made arrangements to pick up this weekend. He modded the case for watercooling so drive bays are missing. It was just perfect for my needs.
Im set now and soon will be a new member of modded z800 :)

Andy Brown

You did very well to get a 900D for just $50. That's one heck of a case. It would be nice to see photographs of it with the Z800 board inside.

Quote
144GB DDR3 10600R

8)
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

bulls4ever

Well ... about the memory ... I'm still bidding on ebay for the rest to net 192gb ;)

I currently own a 5820K rig with 64Gb RAM. I could expand it to 128Gb if I sell all my modules and buy 8x16Gb. Those are very expensive. $80 for the slowest one to $120 to fastest. Id also have to change the CPU as the 5820 only supports 64gb. A 6800K for example would cost $450 or so. Dual x5675 has about the same multi core passmark than 6800k. They cost me around $150.

In average I am buying $16Gb for $30 each.

I use Photoscan and it uses  lot of RAM. For some projects, 64gb is not enough!!

I also wanted to setup a remote desktop to fully use OpenGL. It happens HP has one that costs $250 but it is free for Z machines.

So I thought .. I buy one machine for the cost of this software and could put more, and cheaper, memory. And .. the Z800 was the answer :) Eventually I will migrate to Z820 and all I will need would be a new mobo and cpus. And someone to figure it out the PSU cable as I am not the right person to do the job.

After selling my z800 psu, LSI 9260-8i, x2645 and 12gb RAM I will end up having a free motherboard :)

Bought the x5675 instead of x5680 or x5690 cause they are not much better than the x5675 and uses less power (95 instead of 130) making some room for more video cards and less heating issues.

I don't have the photo of the case anymore. I will get it from craiglist. The owner removed all the bays for hardcore water cooling. I probably will leave as is as I will not need HDD cages. Case I need, I can still buy a cage from corsair for around $30.I will place a PCIe to M.2 card and install my 512gb M.2 on it. I have external RAID for my storage.

I will sure post when I build my machine.

saves from going z800 instead of upgrading my rig
CPU: $300
Memory:$250 to $500
Remote Desktop: $250

case and motherboard will possibly be free after I sell my z800 components.

After selling my rig I could end up having the upgrade for free!!!

bulls4ever

Side note about Memory

16gb 850R all uses 4 ranks. After reading many documentation about memory on 1366 motherboard the assumption is that each channel can only have 4 ranks. If more than 4 ranks are used then ALL memories will run at the lowest speed. And that speed is pretty crap.

so .. I bought faster modules using only 2 ranks!!! They will run at their original speed. I think .. I hope ...

malefic

Quote from: comptv on September 21, 2016, 12:54:25 pm
Sorry, I meant physically pushing out the pins with one of those tools, and just rearranging them as needed. I'd still have to buy extensions either way, unless I planned on modding the actual PSU cable which seems a little risky.

I'm guessing there isn't some way to buy a z600 compatible PSU? hahaha, why did you do this to us HP?

I actually loved your guide, I found the Z600 manual and compared the pin-outs and I think I may have noticed a few differences, but I'll concede to you because you're definitely more experienced. To be honest, however, your images were great, but not necessarily comprehensive enough for my small brain. I'll have to study your examples a bit more to see how to properly arrange the extensions once I get my hands on some. Half of me wants to throw up my hands and just purchase a super micro board (I got my HP one on a whim without proper research), but I already have all my components on hand.


I did my first custom cabling for the Z800 board with a tool just like that one that I had laying around it was a breeze :)   

malefic

Quote from: bulls4ever on October 12, 2016, 03:52:25 pm
Well ... about the memory ... I'm still bidding on ebay for the rest to net 192gb ;)

I currently own a 5820K rig with 64Gb RAM. I could expand it to 128Gb if I sell all my modules and buy 8x16Gb. Those are very expensive. $80 for the slowest one to $120 to fastest. Id also have to change the CPU as the 5820 only supports 64gb. A 6800K for example would cost $450 or so. Dual x5675 has about the same multi core passmark than 6800k. They cost me around $150.

In average I am buying $16Gb for $30 each.

I use Photoscan and it uses  lot of RAM. For some projects, 64gb is not enough!!

I also wanted to setup a remote desktop to fully use OpenGL. It happens HP has one that costs $250 but it is free for Z machines.

So I thought .. I buy one machine for the cost of this software and could put more, and cheaper, memory. And .. the Z800 was the answer :) Eventually I will migrate to Z820 and all I will need would be a new mobo and cpus. And someone to figure it out the PSU cable as I am not the right person to do the job.

After selling my z800 psu, LSI 9260-8i, x2645 and 12gb RAM I will end up having a free motherboard :)

Bought the x5675 instead of x5680 or x5690 cause they are not much better than the x5675 and uses less power (95 instead of 130) making some room for more video cards and less heating issues.

I don't have the photo of the case anymore. I will get it from craiglist. The owner removed all the bays for hardcore water cooling. I probably will leave as is as I will not need HDD cages. Case I need, I can still buy a cage from corsair for around $30.I will place a PCIe to M.2 card and install my 512gb M.2 on it. I have external RAID for my storage.

I will sure post when I build my machine.

saves from going z800 instead of upgrading my rig
CPU: $300
Memory:$250 to $500
Remote Desktop: $250

case and motherboard will possibly be free after I sell my z800 components.

After selling my rig I could end up having the upgrade for free!!!


You made some really good deals along the way!

I remember when my Z800 board died i sold a couple of  X5675 for 300$ and bought a couple of E5-2670 for 150!  8)

bulls4ever

Yeah, ill wait till the xeons v2 (or v3 with ddr3) are cheaper and its motherboard. Those r very powerful.