HP Z420 Gaming Computer and other Upgrades

HP Z420 GAMING COMPUTER AND OTHER UPGRADES

The HP Z420 has all the base components to be converted in to a high end gaming computer.  HP Z420’s are a single socket Xeon based workstations.  They have a standard 400W Power Supply with an optional 600W Power Supply.  We have a video that will show you how to upgrade the power supply if you need more wattage for your graphic card of choice. Let us show you how you can build an effective HP Z420 Gaming Computer.

Where to buy?

If you haven’t already acquired an HP Z420 Workstation we’d recommend checking out a company called Serverworlds.  They sell the Z420’s cheap and they provide free ground shipping to the lower 48 states.  You can configure a custom HP Z420 using here.  You can also try to snag them cheap on Ebay.  However, Ebay can be a bit of a gamble because you never know what you are going to get.

The goal is to purchase the Z420 with a good processor and memory already installed and then you can source the graphics cards, hard drives, and other optional components from other sources.

 

What Processor(s) should I get?

High Clock speed cpu’s are the way to go.

 

If you have system board PN 619557-001 aka 618263-001, you can only install V1 Processors

 

Recommended Processors:

Xeon QC E5-1620 3.6Ghz 10MB  130W Processor | 3.8 Max Turbo Frequency (SR0LC)

Xeon QC E5-2643 3.33Ghz 10MB 8GTs 130W Processor | 3.5Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR0L7)

Xeon 6C E5-1650 3.2Ghz 12MB 130W Processor | 3.8Ghz Max Turbo Frequency  (SR0KZ)

Xeon 6C E5-1660 3.30Ghz 15MB 130W Processor | 3.9Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KN)

Xeon 6C E5-2667 2.90Ghz 15MB 8GTs 130W Processor | 3.5Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KP)

*If you plan to install a CPU that utilizes more then 130W,  HP recommends that you install the liquid cool heatsink assembly.*

Xeon 8C E5-2687W 3.1Ghz 20MB 8GTs 150W Processor | 3.8 Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KG)

 

*You Must have System Board PN: 708615-001 to support V2 Processors*

 

Xeon QC E5-1620 V2 3.70Ghz 10MB 0GTs 130W Processors | 3.9Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR1AR)

Xeon QC E5-2637 V2 3.50Ghz 15MB 8GTs 130W Processors | 3.8Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR1B7)

Xeon 6C E5-2643 V2 3.50Ghz 25MB 8GTs 130W Processors | 3.8Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR19X)

Xeon 8C E5-2667 V2 3.3Ghz 25MB 8GTs 130W Processors | 4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR19W)

*If you plan to install a CPU that utilizes more then 130W,  HP recommends that you install the liquid cool heatsink assembly.*

Xeon 8C E5-2687W V2 3.4Ghz 25MB 8GTs 150W Processors | 4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR19V)

 

How much Memory should I get?

The base line should be a minimum of 16GB of memory.  However, 24GB to 32GB would be ideal.

Memory PNs:

4GB 1Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (712381-571)

8GB 2Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (715273-001)

8GB 1Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (731657-081)

16GB 2Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (715274-001)

 

Recommended Memory configurations:

4 x 4GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (16GB)

6 x 4GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (24GB)

4 x 8GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (32GB)

6 x 8GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (48GB)

It’s very important to use 14900R modules because they will run at the max speed supported by the system board and processor(s).

 

What Hard Drive should I get?

Ideally you would want to have a Solid State Drive as your boot device as well an NVME.2 SSD to store your game libraries/large programs on.  If you are limited on budget you could go with a small SSD for your boot device and a larger capacity 7.2K SATA drive to hold your larger files/programs/games.

 

Recommended SSD Drives:

Samsung 860 EVO 1TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E1T0B/AM)

Samsung 860 Evo 500GB 2.5 inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E500B/AM)

 

Recommended large Capacity SATA Drives:

Seagate 2TB BarraCuda SATA 6 Gb/s 7200 RPM 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Desktop Hard Drive (ST2000DM006)

Seagate 3TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal HDD (ST3000DM008)

Seagate 6TB IronWolf SATA HDD 6Gb/s 256MB Cache 3.5″(ST6000VN0033)

 

*NVME.2 Drives cannot be used as a boot device with this model workstation*

NVME.2 PCIe Adapter (You need this if you plan to install an NVME.2 Drive in to this system):

NVME.2 SSD Adapter *Required to Install NVME.2*

 

Recommended NVME.2 SSDs:

WD Black 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe NVME SSD (WDS512G1X0C)

Samsung 960 EVO Series – 500GB NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6E500BW)

Samsung 960 EVO Series – 1TB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6E1T0BW)

 

Raid Controller:

Integrated Intel AHCI 6GBPS SATA Controller (Supports Software Raid 0, 1, 5, 10)

LSI 9217 6GBPS SAS/SATA PCIe Controller (Supports Raid 0, 1, 10)

LSI 9270-8i 6GBPS SAS/SATA PCie Controller (Supports Raid 0, 1, 5, 10)

 

What Graphics Card should I get?

*Before upgrading your graphics card you should verify what wattage power supply you have installed.*

HP Z420 700W Power Supply Upgrade Video

Recommended Graphics Cards:

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1050 TI 4GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1060 6GB Graphics Card

*If you upgrade your power supply to 650W or more.*

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1660 Ti 6GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1070 8GB SC Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1070TI 8GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1080 SC 8GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2080 8GB Graphics Card

*If you upgrade your power supply to 800W or more.*

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1080 TI 11GB SC2 ICX Technology Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti 11GB Graphics Card

 

What type of Monitor should I get?

Ideally it would be nice to get a monitor with a 144Hz or 244hz refresh rate or better monitor.  However, it really depends on the games you play.  If you play first person shooter games a 144hz or 240Hz or better monitor is a must.  If you play other games that do not require quick response time then a 60hz monitor should work fine.

Recommended Monitors:

ASUS PG248Q Full HD 144Hz 1MS 24″ Gaming Monitor

ASUS VG278Q Full HD 1080P 144Hz 1MS 27″ Gaming Monitor

ASUS XG258Q ROG Strix 24.5″ 1080P 240Hz 1MS Gaming Monitor

 

Replacement Power Supply:

 

Replacement HP Z420 600W Power Supply (Spare PN: 632911-001)

 

Recap:

Using the criteria above you can help you build a high end gaming system using a HP Z420 Workstation.

 

Sample Configuration:

HP Z420 Workstation (Gen 2 System Board)

1 x 8C Xeon E5-2687W V2 3.4Ghz 25MB 8GTs

32GB PC14900R (4 x 8GB)

Samsung 256GB 6GBPS SSD + 512GB Samsung Evo NVME

EVGA GTX1060 w/6GB  Graphics Card

1 x 10/100/1000 Network Port

600W Power Supply

DVD-RW

10 Pro 64Bit

 

We have tested this system with games like Dota 2, CS Go, PubG, Overwatch, and The Division.  The frames can range from 90FPS to 200FPS depending on the game and settings that you choose.  The system was tested using a 144Hz 27″ Acer Monitor.

 

Accessories:

 

SteelSeries QCK Heavy Cloth Gaming Mouse Pad (Click Here)

SteelSeries Apex M750 RGB Mechnical Keyboard (Click Here)

Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum RGB Tunable Gaming Mouse (Click Here)

HyperX Cloud II 7.1 Gaming Headset (Click Here)

El Gato Game Capture HD60 Pro for a Streaming Capture PC (Click Here)

Secretlab Premium Gaming Chairs (Click Here)

 

Videos:

HP Z420 700W Power Supply Upgrade Video

HP Z420 Gaming Computer

HP Z420 Processor Upgrade and Install

HP Z420 Memory/Ram Install

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  • Hi! Is it possible to upgrade to a DDR4 memory module or would that not be possible/worth it? Is a Xeon the only possible processor for this system? Thanks!

    Reply Like
    • Elan Cooper The Z420 doesn't support DDR4 Memory.  If you have the V2 system board you could potentially install 14900R (1866Mhz) memory if you have a supported V2 processor installed.

      Reply Like
  • Any luck finding quieter fans for these?  The stock ones are noisy and the connectors are all four pin with a different type of connector than other four pin fans.

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    • Mark B sorry for the slow response.  The Z420 stock cooling fans should be quiet.  Are they loud when the system idles?

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  • Hi Jbigticket23 

    The stock fans are OK, but there is much more noise than the z220 that I had earlier.  I did some messing around and found the culprit to be the memory fan.  I did some looking at that fan and saw it has four wires instead of the normal 3.  I googled the part number to see if I could get a replacement and all I could find were three wire fans with the same part number. I understand that three wire fans are for PWM signal to adjust the RPM.  What's the fourth wire?

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  • Not sure if this is the correct place, but I'm trying to move a Z420 into a new case, I've installed a new power supply and graphics card and I am getting an error that seems to be common to those attempting this:

    921- Front USB not connected

    939 - Front USB 3.0 Not Connected

    940 - Front 1394 Not Connected

     

    I've taken the Blue USB connector from the new case and plugged it into the Z420 Blue USB connector port and attempted to boot up, getting the above errors.

    I've read that you can "short out" two pins on the blue USB port to resolve USB errors, but I was hoping to be able to use the USB ports on the new case, rather than fooling the motherboard into booting (by shorting the pins) and then not being able to plug the cases blue USB connector into the motherboard if I short out the pins and take up the space the connector requires to connect to the motherboard.

     

    Currently, I can't get the Z420 to get past this error, hitting the F1 key to continue bootup appears to do nothing, the computer remains frozen, and I have officially hit the frustration point ;-)

    Can someone direct me to the "fix"?

    Reply Like
    • Jeff A You can disable the front usb ports in the bios.

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