HP Z400 Gaming Computer and Upgrade Guide

HP Z400 GAMING COMPUTER AND OTHER UPGRADES

So, you have a HP Z400 Workstation, and you are wondering if it can be an effective gaming pc?  You’ve found the right place to help you upgrade your Z400 in to a good gaming computer!  The HP Z400 Workstation is a single socket CPU DDR3 based Xeon workstation.  The Z400 Supports up to 24GB of DDR3 10600 memory and 2 x Internal 2.5″ or 3.5″ Hard Drives.  It is important to note that the Z400 only has a 475W or optional 600W Power Supply, which will limit your graphics card options.  We will show you an upgraded 700W Power Supply that will open a door to higher end graphics cards.  Let us show you how you can build an effective HP Z400 Gaming Computer.

Where to buy?

If you haven’t already acquired a HP Z400 Workstation we’d recommend checking out a company called Serverworlds.  They sell the Z400’s cheap and they provide free ground shipping to the lower 48 states.  You can click on this link and it’ll bring you directly to there Z400 Page: HP Z400 Link.  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 Z400 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 should I get?

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

Recommended Processors:

*We have tested the 4 slot and 6 slot Z400 System Boards.  If you install the latest bios update from 2018, your system will support the processors below.  You will also need the high performance heatsink (463981-001) to use the processors below.*

Xeon QC X5667 3.06Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.46 Max Turbo Frequency (SLBVA)

Xeon QC W5580 3.20Ghz 8MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.46Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBF2)

Xeon QC X5677 3.46Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.73 Max Turbo Frequency (SLBV9)

Xeon QC X5687 3.6Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.86Ghz Max Turbo Frequency  (SLBVY)

Xeon 6C X5680 3.33Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.60Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBV5)

Xeon 6C W3690 3.46Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.73Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBW2)

Xeon 6C X5690 3.46Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.73Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBVX)

 

How much Memory should I get?

The base line should be a minimum of 12GB of memory.  However, 16GB to 24GB would be ideal.

 

Memory PN’s:

2GB PC10600U 2Rx8 Non-ECC Unregistered (P223C)

2GB PC10600E 1Rx8 ECC Unregistered (DM0KY)

2GB PC1200E 1Rx8 ECC Unregisterd (YY90K)

4GB PC10600U 2Rx8 Non-ECC Unregistered (P328H)

4GB PC10600E 2Rx8 ECC Unregistered (T192H)

4GB PC12800E 2Rx8 PC3L ECC Unregistered (6DWFJ)

8GB PC12800E 2RX8 PC3 ECC Unregistered (MT18JSF1G72AZ-1G6E1ZF)

8GB PC12800E 2Rx2 PC3L ECC Unregistered (HMT41GU7AFR8A-PB)

 

*You cannot mix ECC and Non-ECC Modules*

 

Recommended Memory configurations:

6 x 2GB PC10600E or 12800E Modules (12GB)

3 x 4GB PC10600E or 12800E Modules (12GB)

4 x 4GB PC10600E or 12800E Modules (16GB)

6 x 4GB PC10600E or 12800E Modules (24GB)

It’s very important to use 10600 or 12800 modules because they will run at the max speed supported by the system board and processor.

 

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:

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)

 

What Graphics Card should I get?

This is where it gets a little tricky.  The HP Z400 has may have a 475W or 600W Power Supply installed.  You’ll have to determine which power supply wattage that you have installed.  Then you will have to stick with a graphics card that won’t fry your power supply when under heavy usage.

 

Recommended Graphics Cards:

NVIDIA GTX1050 TI 4GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB Graphics Card

If you upgrade your power supply to 650W or more:

Upgraded 700W EVG 700B Power Supply and Adapter

NVIDIA GTX1660 Ti 6GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB 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

 

Recap:

Using the criteria above you can build a good gaming system using a HP Z400 Workstation.  It will not be a 4K gaming unit but it will allow for stable frame rates and a good overall gaming experience.

 

Sample Configuration:

Precision Z400 Workstation

Xeon QC W5580 3.20Ghz 8MB 6.40GTs

16GB PC10600U (4 x 4GB)

Samsung 256GB 6GBPS SSD + WD 2TB SATA 7.2K 6GBPS HDD

GTX1080 w/8GB  Graphics Card

1 x 10/100/1000 Network Port

Upgraded 700W EVG 700B Power Supply w/Adapter

DVD-RW

10 Pro 64Bit

 

We have tested this system with games like Dota 2, CS Go, PubG, and The Division.  The frames can range from 40FPS 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 Z400 700 Power Supply Upgrade

HP Z400 Gaming Computer

How to Install memory in to an HP Z400 Workstation

How to install an X5690 Processor in to an HP Z400 Workstation

How to Install 48GB of memory in to an HP Z400 Workstation

58replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Can any graphics card without the need for external power be used? Ie a Asus GTX 1050 Ti 4GB Phoenix Graphics Card? For instance?

    Like
  • Yes if they don't need external power, they can get all the power they need from the PCIE slot.

    Like
  • I'm in the up-grade process.
    Done so far,
    - Video card, now installed Radeon RX 580 8gb.
    - 750W power supply, had the ATX issue, but thanks to Google and the HP z400 community.
    - Have on order an Xeon 5690 CPU,
    - Replacing the C drive, at the moment I run,
        C drive 0,5tb hard drive ( will replaced by 0,5tb SSD)
        And 5 times 0,5tb hard drives
    - Have on order an Samsung 860 EVO SSD 0,5tb
    Now sorting out my memory, have 12gb installed but have no clou which type and sixe. It looks like a mixture of 2gb and 4gb, have to check and I 'll fill my six slots with 6x 4gb.
    I will use my HP z400 mainly for, MFS 2020, MFS version X,  X plane v11 flight simulators and Pinnacle video editing.
    Keep you posted on my progress,

    Yours,
    Frans from the Netherlands.

    Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Frans ahaa! A fellow flight simmer. I use mine mostly for VTOL VR. 😎

      Like
  • I have exchanged the CPU went FB, however I got in trouble when I removed the PCI  LSI disk controller and connected my SSD to the blue SATA port on the motherboard.
    After about two hours of struggling I managed to fix the problem. Lucky I had made a recovery disk for Win10.
    I 'm now waiting for 6x 8gb RAM NON ECC. Can someone here help me, would the z400 run on non ECC ram modules?? I should have ask this before getting the non ECC modules.

    Yours, Frans

    Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Frans - non ECC modules should run in the Z400, as long as you don't mix them with ECC modules. ECC ones perform better thou...

      I got mine from Amazon.

      Like
  • The Z400 runs on ECC modules.

    Like
  • Thanks for posting this overview of information! I found it to be very useful for my own HP Z400 project.

    I think it is only fair to also share some of my personal experiences. Hope it helps!

    1. My Z400 came with an Xeon 6C W3680 3.33Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.60Ghz Max Turbo Frequency processor already installed. It is basically the same as the X5680 but without multi-processor support. I think it should be included in the list of eligable processors for this build. In any case; I am leaving it in. Spending extra cash on the W3690 or X5690 for only 0.13 Ghz more seems pointless to me.

    2. I was really missing USB 3.0 support on this system, so I did some investigation to the best solution. I settled on the InLine 76660E PCI card. This not only gives me two 10 Gbps USB 3.0 ports at the back, but also allows for connecting additional ports via the internal 19-pin connector. I am now looking for a good 5.25 inch front panel with USB 3.0 ports and card reader, which I will connect internally to the InLine card.

    3. I was planning on drilling some extra holes in the HP casing, to be able to screw in the standard ATX PSU. "Duct-taping" it in just didn't appeal to me at all, as the PSU would land on the CPU, if the glue would ever melt away. However, I found that 3 of the 4 PSU screws actually fit in already existing holes in the casing. So I was able to firmly screw in my new power supply without any drilling, duct-tape or velcro. I can really recommend this way to any other. It is now slightly tilted in the casing, but at least it is solid.

    Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Update on my project.

      There has been a slight change in plans here and there, mainly due to me starting playing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, which is REALLY resource intensive!

      1.  Through smart trading I was able to swap my W3680 for a X5690 processor. The main reason for me doing so, is that the W3680 had some issues with handling the now installed 48 GB RAM. Although its core speed is only slightly higher than the previous processor, the performance seems to have gotten a considerable boost since the replacement. I can't really explain it, but I do notice it!

      2. I have had a lot of issues with connecting my HMD (OQ2) via the InLine USB 3 card. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to go a different route. Because...

      3. I cancelled my order of the GF3070 GPU and ordered a AMD 6800 instead. This card gives me a USB-C connection in the back, which is perfect for VR.

      4. I took out all my SATA SSD's and replaced them with one M.2 SSD. By using the Clover EFI bootloader, I am able to also boot and run Windows from it. Data transfer speeds went from 3 Gbps to 32 Gbps!! The boot process is somewhat slower, but everything after is a lot quicker.

      Source: https://sourceforge.net/projects/cloverefiboot/

      Forum: https://www.win-raid.com/t2375f50-Guide-NVMe-boot-without-modding-your-UEFI-BIOS-Clover-EFI-bootloader-method.html

      Like
    • Disi Daus  The W Xeon processors are overclockable to 4ghz via Throttlestop its a shame to miss on that

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros Yes, I tried overlocking the W3680 when I just got the machine. However, I could not notice any real difference in performance. Yeah, making ZIP file went a little quicker, no extra frame rates in games tho... Other than that it just generated more heat, so I fell back to the original 3.33 GHz speeds.

      Again, I did not go for the X5690 to get a higher clock speed, but to accomodate the installed 48 GB of RAM. The W3680 has a maximum of 24 GB, the X5690 has a maximum of 288 GB. This swap I did really notice! Boot times are much shorter, and the systems just runs a lot quicker.

      Like 1
    • Disi Daus 

       

      I understand what you are saying. The W3680 does not have a limit of 24gb I have 32gb on mine and it runs @4ghz. I believe I benchmark of the 2 processors i have them both let me check.

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros yes, the W3680 also worked with the 48 GB of RAM installed, just not like the X5690 is.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      W3680

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

      3DMark:

      W3680: 4328

      X5690:  3920

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      Can you run 3DMark I am curious to see your results

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros 

      Thanks for the bench marks, that is indeed exactly what I mean. You won't really notice the difference between 3.33, 3.45 or 4.0 GHz clock speeds. Especially for games its all about the GPU.

      However, I have two HP Z400 machines, both running the same hardware config, except for the processors. The second one is still running the W3680. When I power up both machines at the same time, the X5690 boots in half the time that the W3680 (@4GHz) needs. Before the CPU swap both had similar boot times. But I notice it with other things as well.

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

       

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      My current hardware setup:

      • Casing: HP Z400
      • Power: Corsair RM750x 750 Watt
      • Mainboard: Foxconn Intel X58 Chipset
      • Processor: Intel Xeon X5690 12M Cache, 3.46 GHz, 6.40 GT/s
      • Memory: 48GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM 2Rx2 PC3L-12800E ECC Unregistered (6 x 8GB)
      • Graphics: Gigabyte AORUS Radeon RX 580 8GB
      • NIC: Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet
      • Controller: Akasa AK-PCCM2P-05 PCIe x16 to M.2
      • Storage 1: 1TB KINGSTON SA2000M8 M.2
      • Storage 2: 500GB Samsung 860 Evo 2.5 inch SATA III
      • DVD: HP DVD-ROM TS-H353C
      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

       (Sorry it is in Netherlandic)

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      As you can see in the posts above, I have moved the USB stick bootloading function to a SATA SSD. The remaining free space on that disk I have assigned as "slow storage".

      It works now as follows:

      After the BIOS, the bootloader on the BDU partition on disk 0 kicks in and loads the NMVe driver needed for the M.2 disk 1 to become accessible for the system. After that Windows loads from C:\ as it would normally do. This method also gives the advantage of using gpt disks instead of the legacy mbr, as well as, give you the oppertunity to dual boot to another OS.

      Like 1
    • Disi Daus 

       

      CPU: W3680
      Ram: 32gb 
      GPU: Nvidia 1060
      SSD: RAID0 2x Crucial_CT250MX2
      HDD: RAID0 2x 1TB Hitachi drives
      Original PSU

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

       

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view

       

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

      I guess I need faster drives lol :P

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 8 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Like
  • Hello,

     

    Tthank you for all the information found here, This is my thread on my Z400:

     

    https://linustechtips.com/topic/1144436-upgrading-hp-z400-workstation

     

    Ram: 32gb

    CPU: w3680  @ 4 Ghz

    GPU: Nvidia 1060 3gb

    SSD: RAID0 2x Crucial_CT250MX2

    HDD: RAID0 2x1TB

     

    Do you think its safe to upgrade the GPU to an Nvidia 3050 when and if they became available any reason it won't work ? ( Keep in mind i still have the original PSU ). The 3050 i think its supposed to be 90watts TDP which should be safe. I would really want the 3060 but sadly the TDP is too high.

     

    Thank you

    Chris

    Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros 

      For reference, I ran the AMD RX 580 8 GB on the original 475W PSU! The TDP of 580 GPU is 185 W. You should be fine with only 90 W TDP.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

      So in theory I can go up to an Nvidia 3060 then right ?

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      Is there a reason that a new 3000 series GPU won't work in an old system like the z400.

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros none that I can think of. I am actually counting on it to work because I am waiting for my 3070 to arrive.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      Are you going to use the 3070 with the stock z400 PSU ?

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros No, see the pic I posted of my PSU.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      Oh ok my bad you have the RM750x PSU

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros I have to admit that I internally disconnected the DVD drive, to free up the power I needed to run the RX 580. Before the system would beep at me at boot time, indicating a power issue. I had to chose between the 2nd SDD or the DVD drive, so the latter obviously had to give way.

      With the new ATX PSU the DVD drive is connected again and I could also run the mentioned InLine USB 3.1 (gen 2) card. It still has plenty of power left to run a 3090 or a 6900 XT. Not that I would spend that kind of money on a GPU. My point is that there is still room for upgrades in the future.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

      A RX580 is about 185watt TDP. So a 3060 @180watt TDP is too much for the stock PSU, then my only choice is the 3050 when its available. Correct ? 

      Also take into account that I have 2xSSDs in raid for a boot drive and 2xHDDs for storage. 

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros Taken all your storage devices into account, you are correct!

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      If I upgrade the PSU which GPU would bottleneck my w3680 6cores / 12 threads @4Ghz 

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros I do not believe that your CPU will be a bottleneck. Even the fastest Threadripper only accounts for like 7 FPS on the overall performance.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

      So you mean that I can even get a 3090 provided I have enough power, money and if I can actually find one to buy ? LOL 

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros I don't see why not. The 3090 is just another 3000 series, however high-end it may be.

      Like
  • Hello,

     

    I was wondering if the PSU from the xw8400 is compatible with the Z400, meaning can i gut out the Z400 and install everything in the better and more powerful case of the xw8400 ?

    The xw8400 has a 800watt PSU which should be enough for anything thrown at it.

     

    Thank you

    Chris

    Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros Seems way more elaborate than installing a standard ATX PSU, or am I missing something? In any case; IDK.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      Well it just happens that I have both a z400 and an xw8400. The xw8400 is not that powerful so I thought I could use its case and install the guts of z400

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros Ahhh I see. Well give it a try I would say! Sounds like a nice project to me. 🙂

      Like
      • Disi Daus
      • Disi_Daus
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Chris chros if I look at the pictures of the two motherboards of these systems, they look pretty different to me. I think the main issue will be mounting the Z400 mainboard into the xw8400 casing, because the MB dimensions are not similar and the screw holes do not align too.

      Like
    • Disi Daus 

       

      As long as the PSU is compatible I can manage with drilling holes and putting new standoffs for the motherboard 

      Like
  • That switch isn't viable.

    Like
    • Gorilla Warfare 

       

      You mean the xw8400 PSU is not compatible with the z400 ? If the PSU is compatible I can manage all the rest 

      Like
  • Has anyone actually tested the HP Z400 or any similar computer with an Nvida 3000 series card ? Any reason the bios would not recognize the card ?

    Like
  • Does it support core i7 4th genration processor

    Like
  • Z400 Recommended Processors:

     

    *We have tested the 4 slot and 6 slot Z400 System Boards.  If you install the latest bios update from 2018, your system will support the processors below.  You will also need the high performance heatsink (463981-001) to use the processors below.*

     

    Xeon QC X5667 3.06Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.46 Max Turbo Frequency (SLBVA)

    Xeon QC W5580 3.20Ghz 8MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.46Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBF2)

    Xeon QC X5677 3.46Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.73 Max Turbo Frequency (SLBV9)

    Xeon QC X5687 3.6Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.86Ghz Max Turbo Frequency  (SLBVY)

    Xeon 6C X5680 3.33Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.60Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBV5)

    Xeon 6C W3690 3.46Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.73Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBW2)

    Xeon 6C X5690 3.46Ghz 12MB 6.40GTs Processor | 3.73Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SLBVX)

    Like 2
    • Jbigticket23  I have the x5690 and x3680. The x3680 overclocks to 4ghz 

      Like 1
  • Hy Everyone!

     

     I have the 4 slot Z400 System Board. How much ? GB memory support maximum for this motherboard? ECC or not ECC? (My Config 4*4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 Kingston PC3-10700, Intel Xeon X5690, NVidia Geforce GTX 1060 3 GB, Mainboard Model: 0AE4h C)

     

    Thx 

    Like
Like3 Follow
  • 3 Likes
  • 1 mth agoLast active
  • 58Replies
  • 2879Views
  • 9 Following