The HP Z230 Workstation has the capability to be converted in to a good gaming computer.  HP Z230’s are a single socket Intel I3, I5, or I7 (4th Gen) based workstation.  There are 2 different HP Z230 chassis styles, the mini tower and the small form factor version.  This article will focus specifically on the tower version.  Let us show you how you can build a good HP Z230 Gaming PC.

Where to buy?

If you haven’t already acquired an HP Z230 Workstation we’d recommend checking out a company called Serverworlds. They sell the Z230’s cheap and they provide free ground shipping to the lower 48 states.  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 Z230 with a good processor(s) and memory already installed and then you can source the graphics cards, hard drives, and other optional components from other sources.

 

Power Supply Upgrade

EVGA 750W Gold Fully Modular Power Supply

24 pin Female to 18 Pin Male Adapter

 

What Processor(s) should I get?

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

 

Recommended Processors:

Up to 1 x QC I5-4690 3.50Ghz 8MB 5GTs Processors | 3.90Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR1QH)

Up to 1 x QC I7-4770 3.40Ghz 8MB 5GTs Processors | 3.90Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR149)

Up to 1 x QC I7-4790 3.60Ghz 8MB 5GTs Processors | 4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR1QF)

Up to 1 x QC Xeon E3-1246 V3 3.5hz 8MB 5GTs Processors | 3.9Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR1QZ)

Up to 1 x QC Xeon E3-1271 V3 3.60hz 8MB 5GTs Processors | 4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR1R3)

Up to 1 x QC Xeon E3-1280 V3 3.60hz 8MB 5GTs Processors | 4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR150)

Up to 1 x QC Xeon E3-1281 V3 3.7Ghz 8MB 5GTs Processors | 4.1Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR21F)

 

How much Memory should I get?

The base line should be a minimum of 16GB of memory.

Memory PNs:

4GB 2Rx8 12800U DDR3 Module (P382H)

8GB 2RX8 12800U DDR3 Module (66GKY)

8GB 2RX8 12800E DDR3 Memory (96MCT)

 

Recommended Memory configurations:

4 x 4GB 2Rx8 12800 DDR3 (16GB)

4 x 4GB 2Rx8 12800 DDR3 (32GB)

 

What Hard Drive should I get?

Ideally you would want to have a Solid State Drive as your boot device as well as storage for faster read speeds.

 

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)

 

Recommended SSD’s:

Samsung 860 EVO 2TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76E2T0B/AM)

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)

 

*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 970 EVO Series – 500GB NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V7E500BW)

Samsung 960 EVO Series – 1TB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-V6E1T0BW)

Samsung 860 EVO Series – 2TB PCIe NVMe – M.2 Internal SSD (MZ-N6E2T0BW)

 

What Graphics Card should I get?

The HP Z230 supports a 320W or 400W Power Supply.  The power supply options on this system really limit your graphics card options.  We’d recommend swapping to a higher wattage power supply if possible.  Preferably a power supply with 650W or higher.

 

Recommended Graphics Cards:

 

With 400W Power Supply:

NVIDIA GTX1050 TI 4GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX1060 6GB Graphics Card

 

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

NVIDIA GTX1660 Ti 6GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX1070 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX1070 TI 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX1080 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA GTX1080 Ti 8GB Graphics Card 

NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA RTX 2080 8GB Graphics Card

NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti 11GB Graphics Card

 

What type of Monitor should I get?

Ideally it would be nice to get a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate or better monitor.  However, it really depends on the games you play.  If you play first person shooter games a 144Hz 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 help you build a high end gaming system using a HP Z230 Workstation.

 

Sample Configuration:

HP Z230 Workstation

I7-4790 3.60Ghz 8MB 5GTs (4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency)

32GB PC1600Mhz Non-ECC (4 x 8GB)

512GB Samsung 860 EVO 2.5″ SSD w/Adapter

EVGA GTX1080 Ti SC2 11GB Graphics Card

1 x 10/100/1000 Network Port

750W EVGA ATX Power Supply w/Adapter

DVD-RW

10 Pro 64Bit

 

We have tested this system with games like Dota 2, CS Go, PubG, Overwatch, and The Division.  The frames can range from 30FPS to 60FPS 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:

How to install a 750W ATX Power Supply in to an HP Z230 Workstation

How to install 32GB of memory in to an HP Z230 Workstation

HP Z230 Gaming Computer