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Replacement Workstation

KageRyu

Lost Mad Soul
Contributing Artist
Ok, so I am looking at a workstation running Windows 10 that has some power under the hood so I can run Poser 11 and also Lightwave 2019. I have a small budget as I also need to get a new laptop. I am leaning toward a Refurbished system for now - because I can get more bang for the buck, but am worried in a couple years I may find myself right back here (though honestly if thinks are still as rough for me in a couple years I might as well just pack it up and call it over). While my skills have grown a bit rusty I still feel I have sufficient skills with hardware to handle most issues with a Refurb...though I will need to learn Windows 10.

So I am leaning toward this right now, but would like some thoughts and input:
NewEgg Product
 

seachnasaigh

Energetic
That's the same model which I have at my kitchen diner booth! :cool: (HP z600), except mine runs Win7Pro. The max memory for the z600 is 48GB; the fastest processor pack is dual X5675 Xeons (24 total threads @ 3.06GHz). A pair of X5670 gives 24 threads @ 2.93GHz with 3.33GHz turbo.

I don't see how you could beat that for $372, especially with the Win10Pro license included.
 

KageRyu

Lost Mad Soul
Contributing Artist
That's the same model which I have at my kitchen diner booth! :cool: (HP z600), except mine runs Win7Pro. The max memory for the z600 is 48GB; the fastest processor pack is dual X5675 Xeons (24 total threads @ 3.06GHz). A pair of X5670 gives 24 threads @ 2.93GHz with 3.33GHz turbo.

I don't see how you could beat that for $372, especially with the Win10Pro license included.
That's kind of what I am thinking. I have another Z600 Dual Hex core, but it's capped at 8gb right now and I cannot seem to find affordable memory...plus I have conflicting information on the type and configuration of the memory to install in it (If you know a good source I would be grateful for a link). It is already set up and configured as a render node under Windows 7 Pro and I hate to convert it... but I would be paying out almost $250 for a win 10 pro license anyway so might as well get a whole system that could chew through promos faster. Plus I have had good luck with Intel chips like Zeons and Core 2 Quads in the past.
 

seachnasaigh

Energetic
Registered memory (aka server memory) is more expensive than desktop memory. If you want to add DIMMs to the existing ones, make sure to match the timing as well as the basic type (e.g., DDR3, triple channel for the z600, with six DIMM slots on the motherboard). Timing will be listed as something like 9-9-9-24. If you install DIMMs with mismatched timing, it will cause data flow traffic jams, slowing everything down.

The safest bet is to remove the existing small-denomination DIMMs (1GB sticks, e.g.) and buy a replacement set of used server DIMMs via eBay. So for the z600, six 8GB DDR3 DIMMs will max it out - the z600's motherboard main chipset will only read up to 48GB. Six 4GB DIMMs would give you 24GB total memory. It is OK to have DIMMs with different capacities such as a mix of 1GB and 2GB sticks, but the timing needs to match.

I see 24GB sets for the z600 on eBay for $40.50 which have the metal heat dissipators.

As for processors, the z600 will take two Xeon Westmere-series hex-core processors of 95W heat/power rating; it will *not* boot if you install two of the 130W Xeon hex-cores (I've tried it). So, the X5670 is an excellent choice. The X5675 is the fastest which is compatible with the z600.
Core 2 Quad and core i7 CPUs cannot run in parallel; you can physically install two on a server motherboard, but it will only read one. Use Xeons if you want to run dual CPUs.

Westmere clockspeeds.PNG



For anyone reading who has a bigger budget for new gear, dual-CPU motherboards for AMD will need Epyc series processors (not Ryzen/Threadripper). Only the Epyc CPUs can run in parallel. If you want Intel CPUs, get Xeons. I have heard rumors -unverified- that Windows has a thread limit of 64. If (and I stress *if*) so, then I would get a pair of the fastest clockspeed HyperThreaded 16-core (or fewer) Xeon processors.
 

seachnasaigh

Energetic
This is what Speccy displays for Urania's (my z600) memory; the z600 has six memory slots, all filled on Urania; I don't know why Speccy seems to be confused about that.:roflmao:

Urania z600 memory per Speccy.PNG

In the section immediately below what's shown in this screen grab, you could click on each DIMM to see it's specs; if you see different timing (Urania shows 9-9-9-24) from one DIMM to another, such as 9-9-9-24 in slot #1 but 7-8-8-32 in slot #2, then I would recommend replacing the memory sticks with a matched set.
 
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KageRyu

Lost Mad Soul
Contributing Artist
I would love to validate if the Z600 I have is a C2 revision, and hope this one I am getting is to take to 48gb. Basing that of course on this information from HP - but I need to find affordable 8gb DDR3s.
I am not familiar with Speccy myself, I used to use a program called Everest Home Edition, but now I just use System Info most of the time. I have gotten a bit rusty and complacent since leaving the repair field.
I see what you mean by confused though, -5 slots available lol.
 

seachnasaigh

Energetic
I can't find anything on my z600 to either confirm or deny C2 revision. I never see offers for any version of z600 other than C2, so my guess is that all production quickly went to C2. So, I wouldn't worry about confirming C2 revision. It's registered DDR3 memory; the stuff is not model specific.

Here is an eBay offer for a 48GB kit for z600 with twice the clockspeed (1333MHz) of Urania's memory (667MHz), at $93; the DIMMs have the metal heat dissipators.

all 48GB kits for z600
 
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KageRyu

Lost Mad Soul
Contributing Artist
This Thread may help in identifying your Z600. You can find the HP Performance Advisor in a number of places if you do not want to go into Bios. Basically in Bios you want to see a Boot Block Date of 01/07/10 or later... or using the Performance Advisor a Baseboard ID of 0b54h, anything else is a non C2 based board.
I just got done setting up my workstation and render node, though a bit cramped, in the only AC room in this house and checked. I was mistaken, my Xeonbeast had 24gb of ram, but it IS a C2 so can handle up to 48. When this new one arrives, if it too is a C2, it will become the new workstation at 48gb of ram running Windows 10 Pro 64...otherwise I may have to upgrade XeonBeast to win 10pro64.

It's also nice to see I am not alone in naming my machines.
 

seachnasaigh

Energetic
It's also nice to see I am not alone in naming my machines.

It makes it much easier to identify individual machines over a network.;)
24 PC - 4 workstations and 20 servers.png

Urania, Cameron, Galadriel, and TinkerBell are workstations; the rest are server blades used as render slaves.

Vue's network renderer identifies by name...
480 cores rendering Vue 10Dec'17.PNG


...I hope Poser's Queue Manager adds this feature some day.:geek:
 

KageRyu

Lost Mad Soul
Contributing Artist
Oh if only I had that kind of power... the amination possibilities... I envy you now. I have always dreamed of a large render network. I had a fair number of low end processors in Late 2015 and had just gotten 2 Z600s (one on loan) - but then everything started going sideways in my life. I have never worked with blade servers though, and I must admit the thought intimidates me a bit. Someday maybe.
 

KageRyu

Lost Mad Soul
Contributing Artist
Well the new workstation is en-route... or I should say the refurbished but newer than what I haven workstation. I still do not quite have a place to set up, ir a graphics tablet/monitor yet...hopefully by Christmas.
 

KageRyu

Lost Mad Soul
Contributing Artist
This fell apart thanks ro misconduct of both NewEgg and FedEx. Fighting to get an RMA. With this I am forever done with Newegg. Once upon a time they were great - now their customer support attitudes and policies are unforgivable.

I give up.
 

Hornet3d

Renowned
This fell apart thanks ro misconduct of both NewEgg and FedEx. Fighting to get an RMA. With this I am forever done with Newegg. Once upon a time they were great - now their customer support attitudes and policies are unforgivable.

I give up.

I am always sad when I hear/read complaints like this, in this day and age there is no excuse for poor service and good customer service is not mutually exclusive with making a profit as some companies seem to think,
 

DanaTA

Extraordinary
I just had to upgrade my computer. The montitor was fading, taking longer and longer to wake up when booting up. Then, one day last week, it just didn't ever wake up again. So, needed a new monitor. But all the new ones have different connections than my video card had. So, new video card. But the new cards are not compatible with the motherboard. So, new motherboard...which meant new RAM, and the DVD writers (I have two) are IDE...which has been out of use for several years. So, new Blue Ray writer. Cost me a bundle, but I'll be set for a few years, anyway. Not bleeding edge, but it will let me do things with Iray now. The old card only had something like 32 CUDA cores. The new one has over a thousand. New monitor is a 28: ASUS, 1 ms trace free and does 4K resolution! Supper's ready...gotta go!

Dana
 

Hornet3d

Renowned
I just had to upgrade my computer. The montitor was fading, taking longer and longer to wake up when booting up. Then, one day last week, it just didn't ever wake up again. So, needed a new monitor. But all the new ones have different connections than my video card had. So, new video card. But the new cards are not compatible with the motherboard. So, new motherboard...which meant new RAM, and the DVD writers (I have two) are IDE...which has been out of use for several years. So, new Blue Ray writer. Cost me a bundle, but I'll be set for a few years, anyway. Not bleeding edge, but it will let me do things with Iray now. The old card only had something like 32 CUDA cores. The new one has over a thousand. New monitor is a 28: ASUS, 1 ms trace free and does 4K resolution! Supper's ready...gotta go!

Dana

That sounds a really good step up - have fun.
 

DanaTA

Extraordinary
That sounds a really good step up - have fun.
Yes it is! Thanks. The CPU is an i5 with 6 cores running at 3.10MHz each, 12 threads. The old one was a Core2Duo. 16GB RAM. Video is an Nvidia GTX 1660 with 6GB on board RAM. The monitor is really nice. And so big. It will take some getting used to. Not a bad thing. Not sure about the interface thing, but I was told it didn't support the old ribbon type connectors anymore, which eliminated two DVD writers, one of which had LightScribe that I never got to use, and the 3.5" floppy. But there's an old HP downstairs that still has a working 3.5" if I need to use it for something.

Dana
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
Ohhhh, that sounds very much like my laptop. I also have a GTX 1660 Ti 6GB, and it has 6 cores, 12MB Cache with up to 4.5 Ghz w/Turbo Boost, though mine's an i7-9750H.

Everyone asked me why I bought a gaming computer if I don't play online games, and I said . . . it has all the goodies I wanted in a laptop, and since I use it for 3D graphics, I need the same power as a gaming computer, even if I don't use it for gaming.
 

Hornet3d

Renowned
Yes it is! Thanks. The CPU is an i5 with 6 cores running at 3.10MHz each, 12 threads. The old one was a Core2Duo. 16GB RAM. Video is an Nvidia GTX 1660 with 6GB on board RAM. The monitor is really nice. And so big. It will take some getting used to. Not a bad thing. Not sure about the interface thing, but I was told it didn't support the old ribbon type connectors anymore, which eliminated two DVD writers, one of which had LightScribe that I never got to use, and the 3.5" floppy. But there's an old HP downstairs that still has a working 3.5" if I need to use it for something.

Dana

It is strange how many of us have some old tech still running that we hang on to. In my case it is an old computer that I built from off the shelf parts and is still running Windows XP. The reason for that was I purchased a very expensive HP scanner which HP never bothered to create drivers for when Windows moved on. The XP computer is now essentially a scanner as it is not connected to the Internet and is only used when I need to scan something at high resolution or need to scan a negative or slide, and yes they do still exist and I occasionally need to scan negatives and slides though usually for other people these days.
 

DanaTA

Extraordinary
Yeah, the HP was on Windows XP and was retired when we got a laptop with Win7 on it, and upgraded to Win8, then Win10. Not Pro, though. My computer always gets the Pro version of the OS. Anyway, I never got rid of the HP and it still works. I may use it for some things that won't run/install in Win10. Maybe.

Dana
 
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