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.
*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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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)
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,
Frans from the Netherlands.
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.
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.
Tthank you for all the information found here, This is my thread on my Z400:
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.