Cheaper? Sure ! It's a Tank, (a boat anchor to some, sure, never me...) See my Proliant server here.
This PC has built in silent technology (smart fans) it is super super quiet! Not only that, but the CPU heatsink/fan is super heavy duty, there will be no overheating there.(lint free)
$2300 new, now $99 free ship. (about 2 bucks a pounds total yes, it's a heavy thick steel case) mine had, included for free W10-64 PRO.
The public brenchmarks are here.
Other great HP workstations are WX6000 & WX8000 and for sure Z600 & Z800 Zeon based PC,
(The Z can run 2 Zeon processors,up to x5600 with version 2 mobo) About $120 buys one! used.
The BOOT POST beep/blink error codes, are in this short PDF.
The HP work-station (super quality) XW series 2007 up. This is my MKV video file server (home). That allows all TV's in our home to watch streamed private movies.
I like HP XW series of Desktops, (super quality)and still fully supported ! by HP 2017 as I type. ( I have one XW4600) This PC runs Windows 10 64bit too !
Get it with Intel CORE 2- Duo™ , or Quad, LGA775 socket processors. E series (E4500 up) or Q series Yorkfield. (2007) Mine? is Q9400
Day1 new it had no less that 31 processor options,
HP page quote " Intel Xeon E3 processors can support either ECC or non-ECC memory. Intel Core i5/i7 processors only support non-ECC memory."
ECC MEMORY? (the odd thing is the memory does not connect directly to the Processor at all. X38 does.
Here are some researched quotes on ECC (and processors)
The question about ECC memory that Q series does not support ECC, but Most E series Xeon's do, and X series post year 2008
For those that think ECC is useless, see the Intel video here, (he Is killing dead 1 data bit line) wow, it Ignores him.
Quote , Intel video I5 , NO ECC
Xeon E3 , yes ECC.
"When asked, Intel confirmed that, although the Intel 5 series chipset supports non-ECC memory only with the Core i5 or i3 processors, using those processors on a motherboard with 3400 series chipsets it supports the ECC function of ECC memory. A limited number of motherboards by other companies also support ECC with Intel Core ix processors; the Asus P8B WS is an example, but it does not support ECC memory under Windows non-server operating systems."
End quotes. ,next my comments.
Add today the ASUS P10S-I Mini ITX Server Motherboard today.(my comment)
The X38 chip and BIOS are also key judges on ECC. The PDF manual on this MOBO covers this clearly.
The day 1 new Works station had this option.
2GB, PC2-6400E, DDR2-800MHz, ECC unbuffered SDRAM DIMM memory module! (in pairs in all slots if wise)
This is what Intel says about the X38 chip seen below. (and my photos far below;.) what I guess is that the X38 works tightly (logic) with the CPU and the CPU must support ECC too. (2 level here , pure hardware)
For DDR3 the X38 Express Chipset does NOT
support ECC, does not support ECC un-buffered DIMMs, and it does not support any memory configuration that mixes non-ECC with ECC un-buffered DIMMs.
For DDR2 the X38 Express Chipset does support ECC and ECC un-buffered DIMMs but
it does NOT support any memory configuration that mixes non-ECC with ECC un- buffered DIMMs.As you can see, you must pick the right mobo (&BIOS), the processor and the right memory and run a real Server OS, and be sure to update the BIOS so you get maximum processor class support !
BOOT ,road blocks easy to solve.
The PC above comes, (if secret reset pushed or coin pulled) and defaults to PXE Ethernet boots (from a boot server) This must be turned off, first thing. In BIOS or it can't boot to SATA.
It has RAID chips on board if you need that.
The advantage to a PC like this, is that it has all standardized ATX parts inside, so of something breaks, parts are 10x cheaper, and super easy to find.
Unlike any Laptop made and x10 worse notebooks.
Click the image below to see them.
One guy on Ebay sells this 4600 for $99 refurbished and with W10-64b intalled and activated.
lick me, the 4600 is best bang for the buck and with QUAD processor ,wow !
The Processor upgraded to QUAD cored, Q9400 is $12. cost of a small potted plant. (mine came like this for free)
I will document all top secret? (1/2 joking) MOBO jacks , by pin names. ( most the books connectors are world standards, but not the naked pins jacks)
(Power switch wires , LED panel, USB aux wires, fan pins,etc seen below.
First is how to get the front panel switches working, well gee it just plugs in? Then folks asking this lost there HP CASE and HP control panel?
(a push button switch SPST N.O, momentary to 8 and 6.) does the big work here. (this is a digital input, logic 0, on pin 6 turns on the PSU. logic 0 = 0volts = ground.
Do leave Chassis_xxx pins ALONE. LED + means anode of LED.
For sure never ground out pin 9, leave it alone .
The fan drawing below tells you it is not a thermal type fan, seen on other HP MOBO.(mother-boards) As does the full service manual.
Drawing #2 below : front panel jack and Photo 2: is fan jacks. P5 JACK. J5/P5 jack. Below. See me jumper 6&8 here.
The even side is on the bottom edge, pin1 right, the missing pin is 14.
This PC uses PWM modulated fans, with a tachometer read back pin 3 (unlike other HP that use a Thermistor sensor, to measure heat) Pin 3 and 4 are unique to HP's design.
The Tach output below is just that it tells BIOS fan RPM live, the CMD pin is the Input to fan , called modulation PWM , as covered here.
Drawing 3: Fan jacks. CMD means PWM modulation from MOBO out and into FAN. Tach is 2x speed, signal to the Mobo and BIOS monitor, 10,000 rpm is 20,000 pulse per second.(square waves )
all HP fans with 4 pins. MT means missing terminal. see off set lock? in drawing at left?
I'm told that the CMD line is a dutycyle single PWM at a 20kHz rate (approx) I have not scoped it yet, but later may.
This is the Xw4600 MOBO, "HP system motherboard" note the 7 slots for expansion! and two, x16 full speed slots !
The Glue chip Intel, UCH9 and X38 +HSink, and SATA2 ports. + RAID. (SATA3 began at ICH10) 5 internal SATA2 + 1 eternal e-SATA2 at rear.
This PC needs A GPU Card added, but the MOBO has Sound onboard + fast 1000 ethernet.
Uses standard PSU and standard DDR2 RAM, and all connectors you see there are standardize, but the naked gold pins seen below right side are not standardize. (world , USA or ISO)
HP and all other makers, of MOBO use there own rules on gold naked pin jacks. (as seen on the right side below) and crib marked here.
P23 is also custom to HP.
I documented the front USB mobo pin matrix here.( for those that lost the Case or control panel?)
The main power jack is P1 is a ATX standard, no magic there
the Aux power is called. P3 has ATX2, 4 pin black/yellow pair of wires, yellow is ATX spec for 12vdc. (HP used white for some odd reasons. my guess is the white wire HP has higher current spec)
CHIPS SET: North and South bridge chips.
That X38 + ICH9 i82801-IR , the only thing missing is USB3 (if needed a cheap add-in card, to an express slot x1. ( I tested some old slow x16 VGA cards $5 each here and all worked)
The newer intel ICH10 chip does USB3, but not this ICH9. (but a new USB3 card will work here, for sure
Note the 7 PCI slots and the X38 chip drives the x16's 2 x FASTER to the express version 2 speeds!! < best older MOBO made , IMO ! Each slot x16 is marked 75watts each! That means over 75w a video card needs and AUX POWER JACK ! and PSU to match that.
Photo #1: (more here, here , & here and here)
The mother board is silk screen white painted, and has marked J numbers Jacks (with matching P numbers (plug) Some J numbers are fully covered in the service manaual.
As Seen in Appendix A and B in said manual here. (page 57 tells where each jack is and what it does (and pin names) , clears as day) see them above.
I need fast SSD drives, so.... I will exploit X38 to the max.
The Processor is below, left and the super super good chip, X38 , makes this the first ever, fastest express slot mobo made. (HP lead the pack! back then...) A LGA-775 processor socket.
The best processors are dual (real) and quad. below is Yorkfield CPU.
The fact is , my x38 or x48 x58, here makes the express slot 16 go 2 times faster and is oldest and best setup for w10 64bit. (the x28 has 32 lanes split 16/16 as seen here) version 2 Express.
Buy a PC with 5 GT/s rated express lanes (1 or more) Or LGA1155 chips
DDR2 only supports ECC !
Photo 2: Photo 3:
"But perhaps the most significant new feature is the introduction of X38 PCI Express 2.0, "a world first for any PC Desktop chipset.(laptops I could care less due to server duty here)
The headline feature for PCIE 2.0 is a doubling of the interconnect bit rate from 2.5GT/s to 5GT/s." (ref.1)
The X38 is hiding under these tall shiny aluminum heat sink fins.
The X38 gives me full 2channel (lanes at least) express v2 slot x16 speeds, (one x16 can do super fast GTX video cards, and the the other could run a super fast RAID card there)
nice pair ! In fact the best in year 2007, this tops the list of best PC for 2007, IMO
I exploited this to the max. (SSD upgrade 1)
If you need faster preformance, from the boot drive, try a SSD drive and then a new SATA3 card connected to RED arrow above.
Using the X16 slot, via X38 express v2, speeds 500MB/s v2 rates. max. (a true 2channel, express card)
The rules are best seen with this great wiki table. As you can see X1 +v2 is fast enough for SATA3 speeds. (SSD targeted) The stock chip ICH9 already does, AHCI mode.
Sata-II is 300MB/s Mark III is 600. So even X1 speeds are ok, for both, but and X3 card is only $20... X1 on any SSD is plenty fast enough for most folks.
Drawing #4 (from WIKI) As you can see X2 is the best in most cases for SATA3 or USB3 upgrades. These are max slot speeds, ( means up to be never that fast, due to OVERHEAD laws.)
Thanks WIKI !
X1 on the left below, see the narrower, right finger pins? then X2 on the right more pins? X2 means 2 channel card , not the jack counts.
The card on the right, exploits my X38 chips, 2 times faster bus. (I did benchmark both) In fact any PC with version 2 level express bus.
My New card right does 377 MB/S, seq. read speeds, and slower card left 200. The 377 I'm sure is the speed limit on my cheap SSD. The write speeds is always limited, to the SSD spec.
In my opinion express v2 is needed, fulls speed, for the PC to have good future.
X38, 48 and 58 chips sets and newer make the BEST PC's. The x2 card on the right screams. (in my x16 slot) note the 2channels on slot edge right.
Many folks get confused over max bus speeds and through-put. (the former is raw electronic speeds of the transcievers ,the later includes, turn around time, and software overhead)
The other factor for speed is the speed of your SSD, that varies by maker and is always the big limit, running a 2 lane, express bus v2 chips., after all the 2 lanes can run up to, 1GB/s There is no SSD that can read write that fast.
Having the fastest SSD, is mostly not ever needed (or felt but gaming load times maybe), moving from HDD to SSD , vast difference. (even on older PC)
Photo #4 Photo #5
The X1 card on the left is like $10 but the X2 card is 3 times more $
There are some cheap, old Raid sas/sata cards that do X2 bus speeds but most do not work under Windows 10.(no drivers)
The connectors on both cards above may be frail, I'd use hot glue on all things I find like this. All my cards were GOOD.
Better cards the jacks have solder down brace tabs, ending this frail issue. As seen red ticks marks here , Photo #6.
Modifications and software loaded.
I have a new 1TB drive inside and SSD now.(boot is SSD only) the photo below is the inside hatch cover sticker.
Last and not least the defaults for BIOS are not for home usage at all, see my BIOS bit fipping here , below.
Hints: If you can't get the BIOS screens working, then forget Windows, of any kind or what ever is there (Linux or O/S2), forget that, that is last, BIOS IS FIRST. (always) Fix dead BIOS FIRST !
The mobo has this tiny yellow reset button and a coin cell , if your cell battery dies or is removed or the reset pushed seen here, or you hit the BIOS factory reset line in BIOS. "file tab default setup"
Set the time and date now, if not WINDOW WILL be MAD AS RABID DOG, (hopeless this is , fix this NOW)
The LED on the mobo glowing tells you standby power is ok, if not the power button will be dead as a door nail and if dead , means PSU is bad or PSU found shorts on the power rails, powering up.
The PC will NOT BOOT to SATA now. (by design, this is a Business PC set up for THIN-NET boots) setup for PC with NO HDD.
The fixes (bit flips) are here.
Power on, button, hammer F10, F10 means go to BIOS, click English. Bingo BIOS is LIVE, no HDD/SDD or DVD drive need be present.
PXE OFF , find all PXE things here, and kill them all.
In HP parlance SETUP means BIOS. (the word setup is a horribly vague name and over used, IMO) its BIOS and on a new PC it is now UEFI. Photo #8
BOOT order to SATA, not RAID , not PXE, The this boot order if 1 fails, the BIOS then goes to the next in the list, in the order you put here. If I want to boot to USB, I must change order or remove the SSD here.
I have CD turned off (just not auto booted)
If using fast SSD turn on AHCI here . (RAID and IDE are others) Photo #10
Smart cover lock, mine does not have it nor does it show up in BIOS ! But others do have this and want to defeat it for home use.
TAB:Security>Smart Cover>Cover Lock>Lock.
or: Security>Smart Cover>Cover Lock>Unlock.
If you have this feature and the device is missing or dead, go to above tabs in BIOS and turn it off.
If day1 built with lock options, and wires on ID #5 (solenoid) and jack #10 are missing you will get errors. ID 10 is the case intrusion switch alarm, lock. Try to turn it off in BIOS. (under Security tab)
Photo #11 (or drawing)
I took the ID names and added the P jack names.
The USB front mobo jack is in the manual, page 160+ , JACKS AND PLUG and Cables below , internal..
Others complain in forums at HP about these oddities:
They Lost the front panel controls or USB /audio panel; did you?
Lost the whole HP CASE and all is lost but the MOBO:? okay,
Most of those cables are all industry stanards, SATA, ATX2 power, PCI; PCI-express, CPU slot. and all jacks on the rear panel. are all standards.
But not the bottom row of nake gold jacks nor, P23, to that I answer.
Learn first that HP never sold MOBO as RETAIL part, ever. (like ASUS does so well) no,, HP sold you only a working system, a full blown PC.
The secret is here :
The answer is that HP has keyed connectors, that just plug in, no issues and the all those devices, (gold naked pin jacks)
Some jacks like that are not in the manual, but are here below.
There is no need to document the other end of any USB cable, its at WIKI, Google Wiki "USB pinout"
The manual words are clear , "do not plug it in wrong.! "
Drawing #5 USB Jack. See that 5vdc , do not allow it to land on things that can blow up , that is what their warning means.
this is the gold mobo pin matrix jacks (100% non standard custom HP design here) P25 here.
Drawing #6" Below is Front USB. P24 adds sense "detect" pin 10, unlike P25
The jack marked front USB does has pin10 sensed but is not so on P25.
Lacking a cable here, one gets POST errors. (917/918) but if you want you can add a jumper to hide the error, below.
Tested and works to end POST error, I jumped 10 to 7 and no errors, here, only 512 remains.
There is not any, F1 error defeat feature in our BIOS, to hide these errors. (like the higher XW models have.
The 1 jump below gets rid of front jack error 917 and 918 jumping pin 1 to 10, above drawings gets ride of the other error.
Drawing #5 (silk screen marked front AUDIO)
Some PC's if P23 is wired wrong the Rear Audio jacks fail. (I have not tested this yet , only tested the jumper below)
tested jumper and works to end POST errors. pin 1 to 10 jumped
That is it for undocumented mobo pins.
The LAST IS BIOS POST ERROR CODE #512: (only 4 pin fans work with spec, CMD/Tacho rules.) When the owner has things missing in his PC, only. (fans missing)
The fan POST code error #512 (rear fan) can not be defeated, for due cause, HP does not want you to let the X38 chip heat sink (and chip) overheat and die, so they don't let you do that. (EASY)
If you hold your hand on that heat sink, it is patently obvious this fact, yes, it does get very hot. X38 , lacking good air flows.
The PWM controls are complex in this PC, the PC modulates the fan and then reads back RPM. (It may also error out if the Commands (CMD) are ignored , in many possible ways)
Not only that, the fan is part of the complex "Quite fan technology" software, in the BIOS. How to fool that algorithm, is not known. (Deep searches show none)
My guess, if motivated to do so, not me, is to run a full speed 2 wire fan and lie to the TACHO pin. But who wants a system with screaming load fans.?
Using a correct fan makes lots of sense no? (I will)
I love this motherboard, it can be had for $15 and $20 with CPU. Lots of bang there for the buck. (less than the price of potted plant. wow) Runs W10-64bit like a champ too. !
If you have the last PC in the Xw-nnnn series, it has a JP30 jumper that disables code 512. ( I have no such jumper on my 4600)
Last, my spare MOBO tested as a minimum system a NAKED PC we call this... , sans CASE ! and all HP cables missing, causing all errors see above (POST errors)
WIN PE live booted above, no HDD here no DVD, and internet working. (gigalan cable there)
ADVANCED TESTING and Upgrades
I did more testing of all explansion slots the bottom 3 are old legacy 1 notch PCI slots.
First off all express video cards all worked, in BIOS at least. (a fact that helps troubleshooting vastly more easy) In any express slot, with at lest the minimum needed channels per card makers spec)
I have a box of 5 old 1995 to 1998 VGA PCI 5vdc video cards that the chip makers long ago went defunct. (makes black screens of death much easier to diagnose)
Form the Windows 95' era !
My simple test, does BIOS run with all 5 test cards, testing 1 at a time in all 3 slots.
Answer = YES !
But no, some will never run under Windows, 10 , ever the maker is long dead now, as are any hopes of any newer drivers, even windows 2000 fails. Some chip ended, suport at W98/w2k/XP/or VISTA. ( a hard cold fact)
End video cards, now we do RAID.
Lots of Sata cards or HBA are very expensive even $100 per card, or from China non name brands that are buggy.
The cure is using Enterprise, cards as used on real Severs, called RAID SAS. (used in real servers)
SAS drives work as does SATA on this card at true 6G rates of speed in the 8x or above slot. 5GT/s rated. I am trying to exploit the X38 great express speeds.(2 times x16 or 32 new lanes)
The two x16 slots are 2 times faster now. (allowing super fast video or super fast RAID or both !)
LSI, RAID is truly great. (wiki quote)
(fast but cheaper) Check out LSI9211 cards or SAS9211 cards.
This 9211, has 8 PCI LANES, and v2 express, and does 4GB/Sec, potential. (limited only by your media (HDD/SDD) and the SOC chip on board.
The card can be used as JBOD (HBA mode) and the software RAID (very popular now) or in true hardware RAID mode, (your choice)
This card is like the swiss army knife of RAID cards, and vast quanties sold used, and working perfectly. (or sold under other names like IBM) $30 or less, easy.
Learn that using it on any UEFI PCs can be a pain "Error: Failed to initialize PAL", (so flash the bios on old PCs ok?)
This card is not designed for home noobs, it was for "IT" PROS to use, on enterprise grade servers or workstations. (but check this out) The key usage was servers, and can be re-flashed to JBOD Host bus Adaptor , simple.
The card is not sold new by the maker now. ( This card was made for 18 years, back to year 2000, almost 2 decades of bug free, support, those saying there is no documention are all wet. (in fact it is endless and deep !)
The 3 reasons to have this card, are 1: you lack enough SATA ports , 2: or your old SATA ports are slow, 3: or want to try out HW RAID. this card cures all 3 needs..
Do know that using software RAID with HBA card you can run full SMART tests by hand to check drive quality.
Do learn the limitations of software raid, in most cases you will find some. (case in point system gets a virus and scrambles your RAID, do know that hardware RAID is firmware is not infectable.
If you want the card to boot the OS via this card. (lots of JBOD cards sold can not boot or only run X1 lanes and V1/2 express.
The 9211 boots no issues.
The RAID card best for this is LSI-9211-4i or 8i, 9220 /9240 but never the 9212 (slow) or the IBM RAID (same card in wolfs skins)called by IMB the M1015 (no better card at a lower cost exists, all P/N seen here)
Par for price is about $40, or bid when nobody else does, and get it cheaper....Ebay. It needs a special SAS to SATA cable for $8. 4into1.
History; LSI changed names 3 times, LSI/Broadcom/3ware and was formerly Avago Technologies (Broadcom is the support site now and owner) The broadcom web site is super hard to navigate (for downloads) crazy hard.
The card overheats easy (but runs) at 150ºF lacking air flow so I placeD a 12vdc test fan below it and it drops to 85ºF (lids off main case testing I always do that)
The card can be flashed to "IT" mode, HBA in that it works just like those expensive SATA3 cards.
With the -8i card (say dash 8) it can connect 8 drivers up.
Or keep the "IR" flash and run real RAID1, with 2 drives mirrored and they run 2 times faster. (you must format the drives first or there will be no true RAID ) This only helps speed, or if one drive dies, easy recovery.
RAID does not protect for Virus data loss or the like, if both drives are corrupted as surely they will. (best is run real Server OS, or FreeNAS)
The Problem with the RAID card is it can't do pass-through , OOTB out of the box. (can't see your sata2 boot drive?)
The card comes as "IR" mode. (raid) Initiator and RAID Mode)
You can Flash it to HBA mode ("IT") IR means raid, IT means HBA mode. IT Mode (Initiator and Target Mode) or host bus adaptor mode.
(flash here means (verb) programming or burning the EEPROM, "charging the floating CMOS gate ",cells) It is also a known as, EEPROM is called FLASH ROM for short now. (or fast to program EEPROM)
After the flash, Windows 10 works great using these drivers, 9211 here and 9570 (exported from running machine and 7zip'd)
"IR" mode only sees real raid drives (formatted properly with the card or other ways (CLI, etc)) (no pass-through, for non RAID drives)
I even erased the RAID boot ROM and run only in raw HBA.(called cross flashing in cases not LSI branded)
This allows me to connect all my drives to the faster X16 slot. (one boot SSD, one Video HDD0, and one offline backup of HDD0 to HDD1)
If wanting the fastest HDD setup, run RAID 1. It will be 2x faster, Due the magic read-ahead LSI agorithms, (read only is 2x, not write) But video streaming is all about reading fast and many users.
The LSI manual explains all this and how that magic works.
Why do this, well in the future I might run all SSD disk only , was the Moore laws progress in time. (cost per Terabyte)
The same is true for a pair of SSD. 2x faster reads. (sequential read only) (or the limit of the drive itself)
Now my SSD bench marks for all 3 chips /cards. In all cases write speed is SSD limited totally.
Real Test data: (sequencial reads only) in MB/s Old Corsair Force 60GB SSD.
(Onboard Sata2)= 250
(card one sata3 but x1 channel) = 300.
(card two , RAID 9212, 8 lane(channels x8)= 371 (a 20% gain)
What matters to me is my SSD runs at full x16 speeds, that my SATA2 jack can not do (a stock setup) I will attempt to get the fastest speeds, limited only by the SSD abilities.(and software overhead)
The card has program that runs in W7 up, called 3DM that is for free at Broadcom. (and a CLI program too but not at same time installed, unless you can get 3DM2 working)
Flashing the RAID card, be sure always backup first. read the document file on the DOS based, Sas2flash.txt or better the full PDF at LSI web site.
Do not brick your RAID card. I always flash firmware with the PC or server on a UPS power system so power can not fall or Glitch.
One smart thing to do is run only the newest Sas2flash.exe from LSI. The newest one is greatly enhanced and so is the matching PDF. (what is brick?, it means now smart as brick, dead)
There are more advanced, RAID cards , so very new and fully runs Smart tests in the background, even sending you EMAIL if you want?, if 1 drive, starts to go SOUTH, (runs out of spare sectors , and not growing more bad !)
My HP real server falshes LEDs on the front then emails me the bad news.
See my Raid Done wrong page.
(or why P410 might work on any Alien PC or not)
Fun with linux, this PC MOBO has this cool, internal hidden USB jack. (bottom center edge of MOBO)
Testing a PC with Linux, for sure test the HDD.
I have a USB boot stick with Lubuntu on it and it resides forever in the mobo, botton lower internal hidden USB jack, I can boot to linux at any time and run HDD tests. (for example)
I just inserted, a USB Memory stick there, with Lubuntu 17.04, built with RUFUS, app, (free) It will stay there forever, for doing tests or recovering data.
When I boot the PC, I can hit F9 (boot on fly choices) and pick this over the SSD boot, and then can run Smart tests on my SATA drives. (sure, USB boot in BIOS most be enabled)
I boot that now hidden STICK and pick run Linux LIVE click "TRY LUBUNTU", then see the Linux desktop and then....
I want SMART INFO, I do.:
IMO , Lubuntu Rules ! No exploits in the wild either.
Trivia on X38 North Bridge CHIP:
The x38 chip can run DDR3 RAM sticks, but the sockets are keyed for DDR2, preventing such actions. ( and some BIOS restrictions)
version 3. 11-15-2017 by DeadPool...