Setting up Hp's Z-xxx machines for Boinc/Seti (aka: Z400 / Z600 / Z800 / Z620 etc)

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Profile Tom Miller
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Message 1874633 - Posted: 23 Jun 2017, 12:46:49 UTC - in response to Message 1873297.  


One thought.
I have two Z400s (as well as 2 Z600s) that had W3550s in them, changed the CPUs out to X5675s. The 5675s are hexa-core Xeons, and make a lot less heat than the older quad-core W3550s did and also less power consumption. Just be sure your BIOS and Bootblock are current. The older bootblock didn't support the X-series, and cannot be updated. I can get you specifics, if this sounds interesting. iirc, I paid under $75 each for the 5675s on eBay.
Edit: Good site for CPU info, allows side-by-side comparisons such as the one I pre-populated for X5675 vs. W3550 here.
Jim ...


Jim,
I am now the "proud owner" of a couple of X5680's and am about to return a Z-600 that had the original boot block date of 1/30/09 rather than the later BBD of 1/7/2010. I am tracking a z600 BBD 1/7/2010 now. I just want to see if my original vendor has one that he is willing to exchange for since I made the mistake.

As a last resort I can put one of the X5680's back in my Z400 and suffer with only 12 cores....

What exactly are you using to cool the cpus? I am pretty sure the stock cooler(s) that came with my mistake Z600 are not going to come even close to cooling them down (they want to park at 80+C with the E55xx cpus). I am hoping you have a fan rather than LCS solution. My last LCS solution for my Z400 works but its really expensive!

Thank you,
Tom
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Profile Tom Miller
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Message 1875668 - Posted: 29 Jun 2017, 12:57:50 UTC
Last modified: 29 Jun 2017, 13:00:54 UTC

I have discovered, the hard way, that it may not be possible to run an X5680 in a HP Z600 even with a boot block date of 1/7/10. It will complain about a "cpu chip draws to much power." Supposedly if you install a "high performance" cpu cooler that issue goes away. I think I have a "high performance" cpu cooler on order so I will be trying that out.

And I have noticed that it looks like you can use a stock Z400 cpu cooler in a Z600.

Otherwise the fastest cpu with more than 4 cores is the X5675 (6 cores w/HT) @3.06Ghz at 95 watt TPD. So the "last" resort will be selling my extra X5680, a couple of W5650's and an W5680 (I like the X5680 w/more cores) to see if I can fund a couple of X5675's and 6 GB of ram.

The Z600 will handily fit either of my current Gtx 1060's but I am not sure if I will switch one out of the other boxes or not. They all run the same wherever they are and I would be replacing them with an Gtx 750Ti.

Here high performance cooler (estimated delivery as of yesterday was for Sat). Here cooler.

Tom
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Message 1877028 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 2:00:23 UTC

Tom, I've been wondering what I was going to toss my 2 new 1060s into, was thinking about another open system with parts that I have laying around, and then while at the shop today, I came across my Z600 that I had built last year sitting in the corner minus the GPU's. I said Wa la! Grabbed it, brought it home and was just getting into it, and had pulled the first 1060 out of the box when I ran into a Ruh Roh moment. Didn't realize that this version of 1060 has an 8 pin connector.

I remembered last fall when I was putting it together, I ended up running a lower series (760 or 770?) along with I think a 750Ti, because the bigger card had 2 6 pins and the 750 had none. I say this because I managed to get a converter cable from a couple Molex to 6 pin for the 2nd connector, as it comes stock with only 1 6 pin, for what I believe is a 650 watt PSU.

I before posting here took a quick look thru Google, because I thought I remembered that there was a 1000w option, but after looking and not finding anything referencing it, I believe that that one was available for the Z800. You know of any way to finagle two 8 pins out of the Z600 PSU configuration? I haven't found it yet if there is, and this would be a decent machine to run these 2 cards in if I could find a way to power them both. I'd rather not run just one, because if I remember correctly when testing it last year, this guy is a power hungry little heater, and if i am going to run it, I'd like to do it while getting some good production out of it.

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Message 1877032 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 2:18:41 UTC - in response to Message 1877028.  

There are hundreds of Molex/Sata to PCIe adaptor cables 8 Pin SATA or 6 to 8 Pin adaptor cables.
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Message 1877033 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 2:28:01 UTC - in response to Message 1877032.  

True, but at least in my PSU in this one, there is only one extra Molex to even use, they apparently didn't think that anyone would ever need anything more than maybe a DVD drive in it. I am making the 2nd 6 pin out of 2 connectors off the same cable. That's all there is, that cable and the one dedicated 6 pin. Unless I am missing something somewhere, but it appears to be all out there in the open.

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Message 1877034 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 2:33:30 UTC - in response to Message 1877033.  

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Message 1877035 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 2:40:32 UTC - in response to Message 1877034.  
Last modified: 6 Jul 2017, 2:42:31 UTC

What the heck? Is that a fire waiting to happen? I know that the 8 pin spec allows more wattage/amperage per connector than the 6 pin, due to the extra wires, has anyone tried this, and have you had any issues with burnt connectors, or worse? And, going from one 6 pin to Two 8 pins? I mean, it would solve my problem, but not at the risk of frying everything...

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Message 1877037 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 2:53:00 UTC - in response to Message 1877035.  

I wouldn't use it AL, lol

Is there any possibility of replacing the PSU with a higher wattage one that has enough 8 pins??

It might not be possible. I think I tired to replace the standard PSU a while back in a machine and put a higher one in but the machine refused to start up. (could have been only my experience. I know the PSU was good. Think it was too much wattage for the motherboard)
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Message 1877039 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 2:59:31 UTC - in response to Message 1877037.  

Not that I am aware of, as it is a proprietary, OEM style HP PSU: HP Z600 650W Power Supply DPS-725AB 508548-001 482513-003

About as far away from a "standard" PSU as you can get.

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Message 1877040 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 3:01:12 UTC - in response to Message 1877035.  

It should work, but then those are super-duper 1060s. My 1070 is 6pin and uses ~130W. 1060s are around 80W I think on Linux, so would be less on windows. If it does melt, it should be slowly :D

4.4 amps x 3 wires, it should be fine.
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Message 1877041 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 3:03:59 UTC

I mean, it _is_ 650w, so I'd think it should be able to support two 8 pin connectors, but nope. At least HP didn't think so.

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Message 1877042 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 3:05:25 UTC - in response to Message 1877039.  
Last modified: 6 Jul 2017, 3:05:36 UTC

Yea I saw him remove it from the case. My hope was you could removed it and then find the connectors for the Motherboard and put in a standard PSU.

Found a EVGA 650W PSU that has 4-8 pins for the GPUs. If you could connect it to the Motherboard to power it, then you could be able to power those cards. But I don't know if you can do that or not. I have no knowledge of those boards so you would know better.

:(
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Message 1877043 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 3:19:15 UTC - in response to Message 1877040.  

I found my 6 pin SATA to 6 pin adaptor my 1070 has been running on for over a year now - up until 10 days ago.
It's only 2 supply wires, so it had 5.4 amps/wire for over a year with no signs of heating on it.
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Message 1877044 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 3:19:47 UTC

Again, sadly, nope, proprietary MB power connectors as well, and unless I wanted to locate and adapter cable like they make for the Z400's to run industry standard PSU's (if they even make them) and run it out of the chassis, it looks like I'm pretty limited in my options. I found this post in HP's support site regarding this issue:


Re: Z600 / 2x 6pin PCI-Express Options

‎05-21-2013 11:33 PM

Nask, the "HP Z600 Workstation Maintenance and Service Guide" states that a maximum of 150W can allocated to a one graphics card or all graphics cards. This means if you want to install one card, 75W is provided from the PCIe slot itself while the 2x3 auxiliary connector supplies the remaining 75W of the 150W total power and heat budget allowed. HP also recommend that the adjacent slot should be left empty for cooling reasons.



This is because HP has tested a number of conditions including power supply, chassis cooling and expected hardware components that can be installed in the system. They do this testing to certify the hardware they sell will work as intended. It's also worth noting that these workstations use Nvidia Quadro or AMD FirePro cards which HP has certified for use in this chassis. Such workstation cards do not consume as much power and produce as much heat as high end game cards so the 150W budget is sufficient for the workstations intended use and this is why you only have 1x 6pin auxiliary graphics power connector.



Now you are wanting to use a 225W game card which is OK, if that is what you want, but HP has not certified that this card will work without issue in the Z600 chassis. As such, you need to certify the system yourself by ensuring that power and cooling issues are not going to cause you reliability problems. From HP's current design, you need to find an extra 75W from somewhere, which means you will not be able to fully configure the system. You also need to ensure you can effectively remove the extra heat from within the chassis. As long as you do the above, all should be OK.



This web page will give you some information about the power capabilities from the various power connectors within computer chassis. Note that a four pin peripheral (HDD) power connector can provide about 60W while a SATA power connector can provide about 54W. Since you need to find an extra 75W for your 660Ti, you will be stressing the HDD connector (by 15W) and the SATA connector (by 21W). How much headroom these connectors have before they start to overheat and the pins/plastic connector degrade/melt/catch fire is anyone's guess.



Oh, how the HP PSU is designed is unknown but HP has certified it will work in the configurations they have provided within the Z600. And what power each PSU rail can supply and what connectors are on each rail, if indeed the PSU is split into rails, is also unknown. Best to consider it a black box that works, others have stated it is well engineered.



Now some systems (like Z210) bundle all SATA power connectors off the same wires, much like a chain. The wire can obviously handle more power than the connector. If the Z600 uses a similar method, then you can make a "2xSATA connector -> 6pin auxiliary graphics connector adapter" and it will easily cope with 75W (though you loose 2x SATA connectors in the process but don't have to worry about rails, etc as the SATA connectors are taken from the same wires). An alternative, if you never stress the graphics card to more than 90%, is to use "1xSATA connector -> 6pin connector adapter" as the card will never consume the full 225W. This assumes the graphics card has a linear power consumption vrs load and YOU DON"T STRESS THE GRAPHICS CARD >90%. Really it all comes down to what parameters you want to constrain, in the above examples, its HDD expandability vs. graphics card capability.



So as you are going outside HP specs, it's for you to satisfy yourself that all power and heat conditions have been taken care off and the your happy with the compromises you must place on the system as a whole to get what you want..



Cheers..


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Message 1877049 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 3:32:24 UTC

Oh, one last thing, took a look on EVGA's site for the spec on this cards power requirements, it says that it is a 150w card https://www.evga.com/products/product.aspx?pn=06G-P4-6768-KR but it is rather confusing, because it shows that all 6 pin equipped cards are 120w, but some 8 pins are 120, and some are 150. Weird.

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Message 1877114 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 16:01:49 UTC - in response to Message 1877028.  
Last modified: 6 Jul 2017, 16:13:00 UTC

Tom, I've been wondering what I was going to toss my 2 new 1060s into, was thinking about another open system with parts that I have laying around, and then while at the shop today, I came across my Z600 that I had built last year sitting in the corner minus the GPU's. I said Wa la! Grabbed it, brought it home and was just getting into it, and had pulled the first 1060 out of the box when I ran into a Ruh Roh moment. Didn't realize that this version of 1060 has an 8 pin connector..


My gtx 1060 is an 8 pin also but came with a 6pin to 8 pin adapter. I simply plugged my 6 pin off my PS (650 watt) into it and if it complained plugged it into the other lead instead.

Note: I am running my Z600 as file server (too) using Raid1. IF you only use 1 HD in here, there are 2 SATA power leads available as well as a standard IDE/Floppy lead that could be used to attempt to drive a 2nd 1060.

Since both 1060's (I have two in different boxes) are supposed to (and did) run with a 400 watt PS (my z400 has a 435 watt PS) I expect the issue is getting something like a SATA lead to 8 or 6 pin from "Star Tech" or whatever. I THINK you can run both in a Z600 with the stock 650 watt PS.

I have been contemplating pulling a 1060 Compact (its shorter) out of my I7 and replacing the gtx 750 in my Z600. Previous Z400 doc suggested the second card needs to be a "low profile" to help keep the primary gpu fans "uncovered". So applying that logic to the Z600 I would want a "smaller" foot print GPU in the second slot.

I have to get a 6 pin to 6pin splitter so I can drive both off the PS 6 pin. Or I have to buy the Sata to 6pin/8pin converter.

The biggest question I have is most of the converters from ide/floppy or Sata to 6pin appear to want you to plug them into 2 separate standard PS leads.

Since today my X5675 cpu and memory upgrades should arrive I will be delayed in the experiment with 2 1060's in my Z600 until I get all 12 cores and 24 threads up and running. ;)

And then I have to locate the right wiring adaptors.

Anyway, So far my Z600 has been running a LOT cooler than my i7 (which Dell said should "normally" run at 75C under load) and is running that hot.

HTH,
Tom
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Message 1877144 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 18:49:02 UTC
Last modified: 6 Jul 2017, 18:50:33 UTC

Al,
Since I am still waiting on the cpu/memory for the Z600 (probably 2-4 more hours) I wondered out to my favorite computer store where they have a couple of walls of all the parts you have to buy by mail order otherwise.

I got a 6 pin adaptor to Molex for my Zortac Compact Gtx 1060 6GB and a Sati to molex adaptor so I could use the two un-used power thingys off my Z600 PS.

Plugged it all together shut down the i7 were the Zotac was living moved it over the to the Z600.

I am running it with the case open, checking the wiring to the Gpu's by touch. No smell, wiring is at best a little warm after about an 40+ minutes.

So, probably all you need is enough different wiring and you to can run two Gtx 1060's on that Z600.

Tom

ps. The only bad news is in an un-related experiment with that i7 it looks like I killed the MB by using an after market PS to drive the 1060 I just pulled out of it :( Oh well, that video card was only twice as heavy as the system was supposed to work on :) Here used MB...
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Message 1877172 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 22:10:12 UTC

Got memory, got cpu(s) don't have a usable 2nd cpu heat sink. Its still moseying this way.

I now have a 6 core/12 thread version of my Z600 running. Cool :)

So far the gpu wiring still seems to be plenty cool. Unfortunately I have 1 memory slot that has decided to short out. I'm going to have to take a magnifying glass and a spot light to it. There is no way 3 different memory chips can all generate the same memory failure error :(

Must be my "Thursday luck" (now you see it, now you don't).

Will update on the great "hot wire" discussion as I go along.

Tom
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Message 1877174 - Posted: 6 Jul 2017, 22:18:09 UTC - in response to Message 1877172.  

Tom, thanks for the heads up, very good to hear that report of lack of the release of the magic smoke. Early this morning, I figured what the heck, and ordered a few of them from Newegg, they were cheap enough, the suckage is that they are coming from CA, and using Super Eggsaver (4-7 bus. days) shipping, it means that I am actually probably not going to see them till the following Monday. Normal ground CA-MN shipping is 4-5 days, and when you throw that DHL/whoever to USPS hand off in the middle, it often adds another day or 2 for good measure. Oh well, I couldn't justify spending the same or more on shipping that I did for the connectors, so wait I shall do.

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Message 1877323 - Posted: 7 Jul 2017, 21:49:46 UTC

Well I done it. I now have a 24 "core" Boinc server online.

And due to help of the other Boinc/Seti Volunteers I have been able to constraint World Community Grid to "only" 4 cores. Rosetta to "only" 2 cores, Citizen Science Grid to "only" 2 cores which allows the Scheduler full run of the rest of the cores for SetiBeta and Seti (of course).

Now I know how an owner of a 32 core machine "feels". Just looking at those cores displayed in Task Manager :D

Tom

ps, Yes, keeping it cool enough has raised its head again :(
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Message boards : Number crunching : Setting up Hp's Z-xxx machines for Boinc/Seti (aka: Z400 / Z600 / Z800 / Z620 etc)


 
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