• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

HP Z400 Workstation to Gaming PC

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Fang508

Registered
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Recently, I decided to work on a hack job build. For $200 I bought an HP LGA1366 Z400 motherboard, W3520 Xeon (came with hp board), X5687 Xeon, Antec 500w Earthwatt PSU from ebay, & 2x8gb Mushkin 1600mhz DDR3 from newegg. The Z400 workstation manual says that this board only supports the W35xx Xeon series but has the hardware to support the X55xx & X56xx Xeons. I did some research and found that the bootblock says yay or nay on what cpu the board will accept. I updated to the latest bios using the W3520 then slapped the X5687 in and voila, it posts. I installed windows 7 and it boots up. CPU-Z shows everything but the Vcore which seems odd. The manual also says that this board only accepts 16gb (4x4gb) of ram so I tried a 2x8gb config and again, it posts. I ran Prime95 for quite a few hours and everything seems stable, but there was still a lot of work to be done. To get this board to work right you will have to modify some pinouts due to HP proprietary. It will thow boot error codes for everything that has a disconnected sense pin (Front Audio Header, Front USB, CPU Fan, Front & Rear Chassis Fan). You can still boot with these errors you but you will have to press F1 every time you turn the computer on. It took me days of searching to find the pinout schematics for this board. In fact, I made some pinout sheets myself because half of the ones I found had broken links. To make it easier on someone else I will provide schematics for the pinouts so you know exactly what to change where and how.

Here is the ATX to HP Z400 PSU Pinout. It doesn't really matter where you get your 12v but I have seen people jumping 12v from other 12v on the main connector or using two female molexes with one 12v wire on each. I decided to chop all the molexes off since I have no use for molex. I terminated and tucked away all but the two remaining 12v and butt connected them to the +4 connector wires.
Ji5H3oq.png
20160610_202624.jpg

I tried using other usb headers but the "front usb not connected" boot error refused to go away and the headers don't work for some reason. So jumper this pin to fool the system in to thinking it is connected.
Front USB Jumper.jpg
20160610_202339.jpg

Here is the known front panel pinout.
Z400 Front Panel Pinout.jpg
20160610_202147.jpg

Here You can fool the system into thinking the front audio is connected or just disable in bios and add dedicated audio. I used a dedicated SB Live! 24bit.
8afd8ba8-e22d-45bf-8774-ccea1d13ee34.png

Ground this pin so CPU fan error goes away. I used a eyelet connector and attached it to the chassis.
20160610_202015.jpg

This motherboard is like 90% ATX compliant because my case has a mount where there is no hole and the top right hole is off to the side. The HP cpu backplate sticks out more than a normal one so I couldn't thread the lock nuts on the 212 evo bottom bracket 100% but its all tight. The only downside is that the board doesn't sit perfectly flat it is at a 1-2 degree angle on cpu side in the case which doesn't seem to hurt. I can also get another board since this one was almost dirt cheap anyway.
20160610_202032.jpg

Here is the motherboard tag and some screenshots from windows.
20160610_203003.jpg
Untitled (2).jpg
20160610_203241.jpg

Here is some of the source information.
http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Busine...ower-On-Off-Switch-and-LED-Cable/td-p/5053149

Tell me what you all think. Thanks
 
Last edited:

Fineas

Registered
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
i did one recently and couldnt get the power jumper to work so i pulled out the poer button and have that hanging out. any ideas why it would work on the standard case power switch?
 
OP
F

Fang508

Registered
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
So you are saying it doesn't work with a standard case power switch or the HP case? If it's the HP it could be loose/broken wire or switch.
 
OP
F

Fang508

Registered
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Did a build with this gear as well if you want to check it out

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/...on-Workstation-to-Gaming-Desktop-build-thread

Quick question though: can regular DDR3 non-ECC be used? I think so but don't have any confirmation. Currently its still running the 6gb it came with.

The Mushkin ram I used was non-ECC so it should work. On your thread you wanted to know how to get rid of your boot errors, the diagrams I have here can help with that.
 
Last edited:

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
The Mushkin ram I used was non-ECC so it should work. On your thread you wanted to know how to get rid of your boot errors, the diagrams I have here can help with that.

Yes i noticed that about the diagrams. Thanks for the info! What did you do for an I/O Shield? Have you run any benchmarks? Really interested in the physics score of Firestrike and other stuff. Was weighing the CPU you have (x5687) against a w3680 and was heavily leaning to the x5687 based on clockspeed since the core count on the w3680 wouldn't be too helpful but the clockspeed of the x5687 would be.
 
Last edited:

DeadSmiley

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2001
Yes i noticed that about the diagrams. Thanks for the info! What did you do for an I/O Shield? Have you run any benchmarks? Really interested in the physics score of Firestrike and other stuff. Was weighing the CPU you have (x5687) against a w3680 and was heavily leaning to the x5687 based on clockspeed since the core count on the w3680 wouldn't be too helpful but the clockspeed of the x5687 would be.

Late to the party but I have my Z400 with W3680 running at 4.1GHz with ThrottleStop 8.5. I can also adjust TDP and TCD to whatever I like.
 

reenigne

New Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2018
Late to the party but I have my Z400 with W3680 running at 4.1GHz with ThrottleStop 8.5. I can also adjust TDP and TCD to whatever I like.

Hey DeadSmiley,
Any tips on getting ThrottleStop to modify clocks+TDP and things? I'm running a Z400 with an X5660 on what I think was the latest BIOS and I can't click the right arrows to bump up any of the 3 sliders... According to another thread, the X56xx series is locked, but the W36xx series is not... But you're BCLK modifying, right?
At 4.1 that must be quite the monster! Especially for what these things are going for these days...

Thanks in advance!
 

DeadSmiley

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2001
Hey DeadSmiley,
Any tips on getting ThrottleStop to modify clocks+TDP and things? I'm running a Z400 with an X5660 on what I think was the latest BIOS and I can't click the right arrows to bump up any of the 3 sliders... According to another thread, the X56xx series is locked, but the W36xx series is not... But you're BCLK modifying, right?
At 4.1 that must be quite the monster! Especially for what these things are going for these days...

Thanks in advance!

I could not do anything with the BCLK on this board. I was only able to change the multiplier. That X5660 overclocks well in a board that can do BCLK, but this is not your board. Sorry to tell you this but it's true. So really the only good choice with this system is the W3680 or W3690 if you want to bump up the multi a bit. I can't adjust voltage and going with a better PSU did not help with the machine shutting down if pushed to far. No blue screen just "click" and it turned off.

4.1GHz on the W3680 is pretty good. I picked up another Z400 and W3680 and could only get 3.8GHz so your mileage may vary.
 

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Hey DeadSmiley,
Any tips on getting ThrottleStop to modify clocks+TDP and things? I'm running a Z400 with an X5660 on what I think was the latest BIOS and I can't click the right arrows to bump up any of the 3 sliders... According to another thread, the X56xx series is locked, but the W36xx series is not... But you're BCLK modifying, right?
At 4.1 that must be quite the monster! Especially for what these things are going for these days...

Thanks in advance!

Maybe this can help?
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3496734/throttlestop-z400.html
 

reenigne

New Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2018

Very helpful URL! And thank you DeadSmiley, was starting to suspect that was the case :( Looks like I'm sticking with this, or swapping a new CPU in!
Any thoughts on the W3670? Looks like the QPI link speed is lower, butmultiplier should still be unlocked and it's quite a bit cheaper... Perhaps for a reason though...
https://ark.intel.com/compare/47918,47917,52586

Thanks!
 

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Very helpful URL! And thank you DeadSmiley, was starting to suspect that was the case :( Looks like I'm sticking with this, or swapping a new CPU in!
Any thoughts on the W3670? Looks like the QPI link speed is lower, butmultiplier should still be unlocked and it's quite a bit cheaper... Perhaps for a reason though...
https://ark.intel.com/compare/47918,47917,52586

Thanks!

Happy to help. Only the w3680 and w3690 are multiplier unlocked.
 

Que

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Z400 with GTX 780

HP Z400 with W3680/16GB RAM DDR3-1333 RAM (4x 4GB) and GTX 780

DeadSmiley,

I tried to install a GTX 780 in my Z400 Workstation (8 GB RAM, Xeon X5687, 650 Watt PSU) and am getting red light with 6 beeps. I tried resetting the BIOS to "DEFAULTS". BIOS version is 3.60. I made the ATX to Z400 24-pin adapter myself which appears works fine.

Any thoughts as to why my Z400 is not supporting the GTX 780?

Thank you,

Que
 

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
DeadSmiley,

I tried to install a GTX 780 in my Z400 Workstation (8 GB RAM, Xeon X5687, 650 Watt PSU) and am getting red light with 6 beeps. I tried resetting the BIOS to "DEFAULTS". BIOS version is 3.60. I made the ATX to Z400 24-pin adapter myself which appears works fine.

Any thoughts as to why my Z400 is not supporting the GTX 780?

Thank you,

Que

I had a similar issue in a different computer. Install a known good GPU, and then poke around in your BIOS looking for what gen PCI-E is operating at. Make sure it's set to 2.0, then see if it boots with the 780. What's odd is I had a 770 in a z400 build and didn't have any issues like that though.
 

Que

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
Thanks for the suggestion. I will poke around some more in the BIOS and see if I can find something I overlooked.
 

DeadSmiley

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2001
DeadSmiley,

I tried to install a GTX 780 in my Z400 Workstation (8 GB RAM, Xeon X5687, 650 Watt PSU) and am getting red light with 6 beeps. I tried resetting the BIOS to "DEFAULTS". BIOS version is 3.60. I made the ATX to Z400 24-pin adapter myself which appears works fine.

Any thoughts as to why my Z400 is not supporting the GTX 780?

Thank you,

Que

Red light with 6 beeps is graphics card failure.

My GTX 780 requires both a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCIe power connector. The PSU in both of my Z400s only have a single 6-pin PCIe power connector. I used an EVGA 600w white box (yeah, it's low end) PSU and it had the correct PCIe power connectors available. Before I swapped out to the EVGA PSU I just put it outside the case and used the "test connector" that goes on the motherboard connector to turn on the external PSU before booting with Z400.

What connectors are on your GTX 780?
 

Que

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
GTX 780 has both 6 and 8 pin connectors. I have tried powering the GTX 780 with a new 650 watt power supply (dedicated 6 pin and 8 pin PCIe connectors), but every time I get the beeps and red light. I have tried with just the 650 watt PSU to power everything (motherboard, CPU, GPU, HHD). I even tried using the stock Z400 475 watt PSU to power the motherboard and CPU while using the 650 watt PSU to strickly power the GTX 780.
 

Que

New Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2018
I was hoping to use the Z400 to save the world with a little better resolution and higher FPS, but my Z400 is great for everyday tasks outside of gaming. Guess I could always updated to a better X58 motherboard and then maybe be able to overclock the X5687.
 
Last edited: