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)


*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



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


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)


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