Z400 Gen 2 (6 ram slots) info for RAM and CPU upgraders!

Recent reader, first time poster! :P

 

I inherited an old Z400 Gen2 machine from an industrial Xray installation.  I've started down the road of maxing it out and moving it into a rackmount chassis to work in my studio.

 

I've already swapped the original 3.0g Xeon 3690for the 3.5g Xeon 5690 without issues.  drop it in, reinstall the heat sync, all good.

 

I thought I'd share a little memory upgrade adventure along the way, and share a link to a kit that does *not* work, followed by a kit accidentally discovered that *does* work!

 

The kit at this link will not post in any arrangement, any number of parts, in any combination, even though the seller specifically calls out Z400s with either ram slot config as eligible for this 4-stick kit:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VPRYQQ6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm returning it as we speak.

 

Just as I was about to give up for the evening, I stumbled across THIS kit I purchased for some project quite a long time ago, but ended up let sit in the ol' "yet to be used parts" box:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0064DQR9U/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2Y8CGQ5110ZKT&psc=1

 

Good ol' Gskill parts. Popped them in, they posted and recognized in the BIOS and in the OS with no issues. Popped them in, the machine happily came up with 16gb of ram at my disposal!

 

Incidentally, before starting this process I needed to update from BIOS 3.60 to 3.61, and noticed that after I did so, the "enable advanced ram management" or whatever the BIOS feature was that I assume turned on RAM interleaving like macs do automagically between the ram channels if matching modules were in paired slots across the channels...is gone.  That feature was removed from 3.61? So now it's presumably just enabled or disabled automatically after it polls the ram slots? I wonder.

 

Also, as I get ready to move the motherboard out of the original case into a rackmount chassis, I was preparing to confront the issue of cutting out the processor heat sink screw mounts from the non-standard plate beneath the motherboard the heatsink screws through the motherboard and into. Luckily, I also stumbled across this device that provides an adjustable motherboard backplate for LGA1366 mounts along with others:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DDE4G9U/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Seems like a decent item, ready to do the job and adjustable to a few other sizes like LGA775 and one other.

 

I'm teaming that up with this Noctua cooler in order to fit the machine into a 3u chassis:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PIPCGWC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I'm impressed with this cooler package - it's beefy, has tons of heat pipes, comes with a small kit of different mounting wings and even two sizes of screws since LGA1366 uses a smaller screw than some of the other mounts it supports. Those smaller thread screws match the posts on the above mounting backplate device.

 

Still waiting on my order for a pre-made ATX to HP power supply adapter cable so I can add a standard ATX supply and a more racecar video card, then ultimately move the whole setup into the rackmount chassis.

 

So it's kind of fun so far - the machine was free, I salvaged a bunch of Quadro FX 4800 and 5800s (the 5800s have the add-on alpha channel and SDI boards) out of it that perhaps I can move for a couple of bucks on ebay or something, and fingers crossed the Windows Media Creator site is kind to me and let's me slip a W10 install on there without too much trouble.

 

That's it for now, more updates once it's cookin' with gas!

 

Very glad to have found this site to support this strange old piece of heavy iron!

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