Author Topic: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case  (Read 319469 times)

denj

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #300 on: December 28, 2016, 07:53:35 am »
Also purchasing a V3 Z800 motherboard for $80, and a pair of E5-2650 for $60

Did you mean to say Z820?  As far as I know, a z800 motherboard supports LGA1366 cpus.  The Z820 supports LGA2011-1 cpus.   

Dan

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #301 on: December 29, 2016, 09:06:39 am »
Did you mean to say Z820?  As far as I know, a z800 motherboard supports LGA1366 cpus.  The Z820 supports LGA2011-1 cpus.
It's the Z800 MB, You're right about the compatible CPUs

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #302 on: December 31, 2016, 01:36:19 am »
$80 is a great price for a V3 board though. You can build a powerful workstation around that.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

bulls4ever

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #303 on: January 03, 2017, 01:22:27 am »
My Experiences so far ...
1. Temperature Sensor: HP has a temperature sensor in the power button thingy. Without it will report 0C room temperature and the fans will run at max speed. I modded my case to attach it in the bay cover. So now my board can read the room temperature and I don't need to mess with fan speed.

2. Ram fan: I did not experience any issue with memory temperature even though I filled all 6 slots. I decided to use the RAM fan gadget that came with the original case and it sits perfectly

3. Heatsink: because I decided to use the original ram cooler I am limited to the heatsinks. I bought a second one (performance) for cheap: $30

4. PCIe SSD. I bought a PCIe adapter for my Samsung. Did not work. it will display missing BIOS. I didn't know SSD had such thing as "option ROM". It happens that my very nice and fast SSD wont have it. I purchased a Kingston HyperX Predator that has it and should work.

5. IBM Raid. I bought a nice RAID card with battery and memory BUT it caused memory issues. I have not tried yet but will try to tape pins 5 and 6 and see if works. Regardles, as is it will cause DIMM1 and 2 error and I will be limited with ram.

6. Noise. After solving the temperature sensor the system runs very quietly.

7. Ram speed: I was right about using DDR3 low voltage. It will not cause the system to drastically reduce speed when filling all slots. Low voltage is the way to go.

What I don't like:
Lack of PCIe 3.0 and more important: unable to boot PCIE SSD without option ROM. the ssd will work, just wont boot from it.
I miss M.2 socket.
Crap LSI onboard raid (HBA) and issues with addin RAID card.
slow boot, but much faster after disabling onboard lsi raid

What I like: 192Gb RAM pretty cheap. Able to reuse those ddr3 memory for the next xeon generation (LGA 2011)
More CPU cores



bulls4ever

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #304 on: January 03, 2017, 01:24:48 am »
I noticed the bios will not report any temperature and thus the fans run at highest speed. Don't need to say it is super loud!!!
Do you mean the CPU fans? With mine they run at minimum speed all the time so I run SpeedFan to dynamically control the speed based on temperature. You've probably seen my post on how to do this, but here's the link anyway.

no, I meant the case fans. they would run at max speed because there was no ambient temperature sensor present. Once I installed the one that came with the original case it solved the problem.

bulls4ever

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #305 on: January 03, 2017, 01:31:36 am »
btw, my RAID card is IBM ServeRaid M5110
lsi 9260 equivalent

system will boot but causes RAM errors. always on DIMM 1 and will cause the entire channel to be disabled.

mtothaj

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #306 on: January 03, 2017, 06:06:49 am »
My Experiences so far ...
4. PCIe SSD. I bought a PCIe adapter for my Samsung. Did not work. it will display missing BIOS. I didn't know SSD had such thing as "option ROM". It happens that my very nice and fast SSD wont have it. I purchased a Kingston HyperX Predator that has it and should work.

I have no experience with the Z800 but can confirm a Samsung 950 Pro NVMe works fine on a Z420 with a cheap M.2 to PCIe adapter card from Ali Express. That said AFAIR the Zx20 bios has been updated to include the NVMe functionality, which the Zx00 line is most likely lacking.
However, there is still a high chance that this drive would also work on the Z800, since it has the legacy option roms included. AFAIR the Z800 bios is not UEFI based so there is no possibility of injecting these roms into the bios for disks which do not have these onboard, so choice of drives is very important. 

Regarding some of your other points, IMO the Z800 is still a very robust platform. There are of course areas where it is showing its age e.g. lack of USB3, no SATA 3 suport, limited suport for disks larger than 2TB but these can be easily remedied with add on cards. That said, with prices of dual CPU Z620 and Z820 dropping, going forward these should be at the forefront of interest.

bulls4ever

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #307 on: January 03, 2017, 11:38:02 am »
I have no experience with the Z800 but can confirm a Samsung 950 Pro NVMe works fine on a Z420 with a cheap M.2 to PCIe adapter card from Ali Express. That said AFAIR the Zx20 bios has been updated to include the NVMe functionality, which the Zx00 line is most likely lacking.
However, there is still a high chance that this drive would also work on the Z800, since it has the legacy option roms included. AFAIR the Z800 bios is not UEFI based so there is no possibility of injecting these roms into the bios for disks which do not have these onboard, so choice of drives is very important. 

Regarding some of your other points, IMO the Z800 is still a very robust platform. There are of course areas where it is showing its age e.g. lack of USB3, no SATA 3 suport, limited suport for disks larger than 2TB but these can be easily remedied with add on cards. That said, with prices of dual CPU Z620 and Z820 dropping, going forward these should be at the forefront of interest.

If Z800 had EFI it would be possible to "hack" the Samsung SSD to allow booting. I read forums about it. Granted, I never had to deal with it with my X99 motherboard. My understanding is that NVMe requires EFI to work thus the Samsung Pro would not work on z800 regardless of having the option ROM.

My SSD, SM951, would also work on Zx20 and Zx40 as similar (but PCIe 2.0: XP941) version is used on HP Z Turbo card. Yours is used on HP Z Turbo G2

BTW, I didn't buy the SSD after the motherboard. It happens I already had it. In fact I have 2 SM951 (512gb and 256gb) simple because they are (or at least were) the fastest in the market and very cheap. I placed one in my HP Elite X2 Tablet.

Lack of USB I didn't mention cause it is not really a big deal and can be solved easily by installing a PCIe card. 2 TB disks well ..... hum didn't even know the limitation as my big disks are in external network RAID. Honestly, lack of EFI is the only big issue. Lack of SATA3 is the other one but minimized if you can live with a single PCIe SSD instead of bunch of SATA3 SSD Raid. IMO PCIe is best option than SSD Raid0

Price of "real" LGA 2011-1 cpus (v2) has not dropped yet to a point it is worth. The ones that really matter are still at $1000+ range (used). Yes, it is possible to grab a low end 12 cores or V1 CPU for $200 and a "low end" motherboard as ASROCK for another $300. But to grab a motherboard with tons of PCIe and 16+ ram slots still cost $700+

As far as Z820 nobody has yet tried to mod it, afaik. I hope it can be done as Id want it to be my next upgrade.

denj

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #308 on: January 03, 2017, 08:33:56 pm »
Can you not still boot into a NVMe with a UEFI emulator?  The disadvantage is that you would have a usb stick hanging out but i'm sure there's a way to get around that too...

bulls4ever

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #309 on: January 04, 2017, 10:29:09 am »
there is no EFI on Z800 so it wont work.
You can buy an USB adapter for M.2 (I have one), install windows to go and boot from it. But then you are stuck with the amazing USB2 speed (or USB3 if you add a PCIE card) For that it is just better not to do it.

The best/fast way to boot is buying the Kingston Digital HyperX Predator. It uses 4 lanes. It is rated at 1400/1000 MB/s

The other way is to add a RAID card and having a few SSDS on RAID0

The cheaper and faster than USB would be to buy one of those cheap PCIe cards that will provide SATA3. It will use one lane and cap at the SATA3 speed: 500 MB/s max depending on the quality of your SSD.


Note: Not sure if you can raid using the PCIe to SATA3. If it is possible, you could get similar performance than the Predator using 2 SSDs on RAID0

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #310 on: January 04, 2017, 01:51:13 pm »
The cheaper and faster than USB would be to buy one of those cheap PCIe cards that will provide SATA3. It will use one lane and cap at the SATA3 speed: 500 MB/s max depending on the quality of your SSD.
That's what I did - there's a photo of it in the article. I chose it specifically because it allows you to boot from devices attached to it, which is what I'm doing.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

Andy Brown

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #311 on: January 04, 2017, 02:02:10 pm »
Price of "real" LGA 2011-1 cpus (v2) has not dropped yet to a point it is worth. The ones that really matter are still at $1000+ range (used). Yes, it is possible to grab a low end 12 cores or V1 CPU for $200 and a "low end" motherboard as ASROCK for another $300. But to grab a motherboard with tons of PCIe and 16+ ram slots still cost $700+

Have you seen the stocklist from seller xtrememicro on ebay? They're mostly ES/QS but that wouldn't bother me.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

bulls4ever

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #312 on: January 04, 2017, 04:46:31 pm »
yes I have. I've seen some high end 2011-1 for as little as $200-300 but like you I'd not touch them.
I think it will take 2 years before it will be really worth upgrading this system and a year to start considering.





mtothaj

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #313 on: January 05, 2017, 01:56:10 am »
Lack of SATA3 is the other one but minimized if you can live with a single PCIe SSD instead of bunch of SATA3 SSD Raid. IMO PCIe is best option than SSD Raid0

Price of "real" LGA 2011-1 cpus (v2) has not dropped yet to a point it is worth. The ones that really matter are still at $1000+ range (used). Yes, it is possible to grab a low end 12 cores or V1 CPU for $200 and a "low end" motherboard as ASROCK for another $300. But to grab a motherboard with tons of PCIe and 16+ ram slots still cost $700+

For the Z800 a nice option is an Apricorn Velocity Duo PCIe card - this allows you to have the best of both worlds since you can attach 2x SATA3 SSD's to the card and use these in RAID0 (the card has a built in controller) for speeds of up to 800MB/s.

Regarding E5 v2 CPU's you are right - prices for the better SKU's are still very high. In the Z420 I currently have a E5-1650 v1 and since for my uses clock speed is more important than absolute core count I would like to update at some point to either the E5-1660 v2 or E5-2687W v2. However with current prices in the c.a. 1000 USD range I will just have to wait. In the meantime I have upgraded my RAM (full 64GB @ 1866mhz) but to be able to run at that speed I need a v2 CPU. The only decent enough deal at the moment is the E5-1650 v2 - in the 300 USD range, mostly out of the cylinder Mac Pro's, but this is a little too close in specs to what I have already.

Dan

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Re: Hacking an HP Z800 motherboard into a standard PC case
« Reply #314 on: January 05, 2017, 05:09:27 pm »
For the Z800 a nice option is an Apricorn Velocity Duo PCIe card - this allows you to have the best of both worlds since you can attach 2x SATA3 SSD's to the card and use these in RAID0 (the card has a built in controller) for speeds of up to 800MB/s.
Interesting find!