The HP Z820 has all the base components to be converted in to a high end gaming computer.  HP Z820’s are a dual socket Xeon based workstations.  They have an optional 1125W Power Supply, which gives you endless options for high end Graphics Cards.  Let us show you how you can build an effective HP Z820 Gaming PC.

Where to buy?

If you haven’t already acquired an HP Z820 Workstation we’d recommend checking out a company called Serverworlds.  They sell the Z820’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 Z820 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.

 

What Processor(s) should I get?

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

*If you plan to do live streaming on a platform like Twitch or YouTube, we strongly recommend installing 2 processors*

 

HP Z820 Liquid Cool Heatsinks  (635869-002)

 Xeon processor E5-2687W V1 and V2 are ONLY available with Liquid Cooling AND with the 1125W Power Supply Option.

 Xeon processors E5-2643, E5-2637 v2, E5-2643 v2, E5-2667 v2, E5-2687W v2, E5-2690 v2 and E5-2697 v2 REQUIRE the 1125W Power Supply Option.

 

Recommended V1 Processors:

**If you have system board PN: 708464-001 or 618266-002 you can only install V1 Processors**

Up to 2 x QC Xeon E5-2643 3.33Ghz 10MB 8GTs Processors | 3.5Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR0L7)

Up to 2 x 6C Xeon E5-2667 2.90Ghz 15MB 8GTs Processors | 3.5Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KP)

Up to 2 x 8C Xeon E5-2687W 3.1Ghz 20MB 8GTs Processors | 3.8 Max Turbo Frequency (SR0KG)

 

Recommended V2 Processors:

 

**You must have system board PN: 708610-001 or 618266-004 installed before you can upgrade to V2 Processors**

Up to 2 x QC Xeon E5-2637 V2 3.50Ghz 15MB 8GTs Processors | 3.8Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR1B7)

Up to 2 x 6C Xeon E5-2643 V2 3.50Ghz 25MB 8GTs Processors | 3.8Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR19X)

Up to 2 x 8C Xeon E5-2667 V2 3.3Ghz 25MB 8GTs Processors | 4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR19W)

Up to 2 x 8C Xeon E5-2687W V2 3.4Ghz 25MB 8GTs Processors | 4.0Ghz Max Turbo Frequency (SR19V)

 

How much Memory should I get?

The base line should be a minimum of 16GB of memory.  However, 24GB to 32GB would be ideal.

Memory PNs:

4GB 1Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (712381-571)

8GB 2Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (715273-001)

8GB 1Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (731657-081)

16GB 2Rx4 ECC 14900R DDR3 Module (715274-001)

 

Recommended Memory configurations:

4 x 4GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (16GB)

6 x 4GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (24GB)

4 x 8GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (32GB)

6 x 8GB PC14900R ECC Reg Modules (48GB)

It’s very important to use 14900R modules because they will run at the max speed supported by the system board and processor(s).

 

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)

HP 4TB SATA 7.2K 6GB 3.5″ Enterprise Hard Drive (801925-001)

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:

WD Black 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe NVME SSD (WDS512G1X0C)

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)

 

Raid Controller:

Perc H710 512MB Controller (VM02C)

Perc H710 1GB Controller (7GCGT)

H710 Driver Storage Driver

 

Integrated Intel AHCI 6GBPS SATA Controller (Supports Software Raid 0, 1, 5, 10)

LSI 9217 6GBPS SAS/SATA PCIe Controller (Supports Raid 0, 1, 10)

LSI 9270-8i 6GBPS SAS/SATA PCie Controller (Supports Raid 0, 1, 5, 10)

 

SAS Cable Required to use a PCIe SFF-8087 Controller (483508-003)

 

What Graphics Card should I get?

 

Recommended Graphics Cards:

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1660 Ti 6GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1070 8GB SC Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1070TI 8GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1080 SC 8GB Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA GTX1080 TI 11GB SC2 ICX Technology Graphics Card

EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2080 8GB Graphics Card

EVGA 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 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

 

Replacement Power Supply:

 

Replacement HP Z820 1125W Power Supply (716646-001)

 

Recap:

Using the criteria above you can help you build a high end gaming system using a HP Z820 Workstation.

 

Sample Configuration:

HP Z820 Workstation (Gen 2 System Board)

1 x 8C Xeon E5-2687W V2 3.4Ghz 25MB 8GTs

24GB PC14900R (6 x 4GB)

Samsung 256GB 6GBPS SSD + 512GB Samsung Evo NVME

GTX2080 TI w/11GB  Graphics Card

1 x 10/100/1000 Network Port

1125W Power Supply

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 90FPS to 200FPS 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:

HP Z820 Gaming Computer + FPS Testing + Some Benchmarks

HP Z820 Bios Update and Liquid Cooled Processor Install (E5-2687W V2)

HP Z820 Side by Side Game FPS Testing RX 580 vs 1660 Ti

HP Z820 LSI 2308 Integrated Raid 10 Configuration + Windows 10 Driver Load + Benchmarks

HP Z820 Perc H710 Install + Benchmarks