Latest post Tue, Aug 4 2020 8:14 AM by B3n3d1kt. 10 replies.
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  • Mon, Aug 3 2020 4:28 PM

    HP Z400 vs Z820

    I have been running Symphony 6.5 on a Z400 for about 10 years now and the machine and software have treated me well. But with my current project – perhaps my last doc (I’m 75) – at two hours and with lots of layered effects, the Z400 seemed rather slow, So, I reluctantly upgraded. After seeing an old Larry Rubin post re the Z820 being compatible with Symphony 6.5, I bought a Z820 from NewEgg for about $1200.

    HP Z820 Workstation – 2x E5-2640 Six Core 2.5Ghz – memory 16GB DDR3 (running speed DDR3 1333) – 1TB SSD – NVIDIA K4000.

    After installing WIN 7 PRO and setting Symphony up, the first problem was a Symphony message that the K4000 was NOT accepted. After trying unsuccessfully with various drivers, I realized that I had long ago downloaded a 6.5.5 upgrade of Symphony but never actually installed it. I installed it and in the C/AVID/UTILITES folder I found Nvidia’s 310.90 driver that was recommended in the MAY 1, 2013 Z820 configuration PDF (Joe Conforti). That did the trick; Symphony was now good to go. Or so I thought.

    Then I did a test to compare the Z820 to the Z400. On the Z400, I highlighted a 20 second clip on my timeline where I had a Boris Unsharp Mask on the fourth video track and two other Boris effects beneath it, plus Color Correction on the base clip. I rendered the top effect. I took 9 minutes. I did the exact same thing on the Z820 and it took 18 minutes. This was very depressing. The Z820 has 16GB RAM, is running the software from a 1TB SSD C-Drive and accessing the media from two 4TB INTERNAL 7200 NAS Toshiba 7200 rpm drives where the MEDIA and EFFECTS are on separate drives. The Z400 has less RAM (12GB), an old 7200 HHD C-drive, and with media on two EXTERIOR 1TB 2.5 drives that are, yes, connected with the newer flat USB connectors on the drive end, but using old USB 2. The Z400 does not have USB 3.

    So I again went through all the adjustments recommended in Joe Conforti’s PDF, along with other adjustments from the Symphony 6.5.5 PDF – including those regarding the K4000 graphics card – and ran the test again. Same results: the old Z400 was twice as fast. Concerning the Z820 BIOS, I was not able to find (at the HP site) the two Conforti recommended (1.14 and 2.08). But since his PDF was from 2013, I went with the BIOS already installed (J63 v03.94) and did F10 to make all the recommended adjustments.

    I also opened the machine to see how many and where the MEM sticks are located. There are 4 sticks of 4GB each in the 1 and 8 slots of each of the six-core processors. The Conforti PDF recommends a Standard AVID memory configuration of 16GB (8 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 ECC memory (eight 2GB DIMMs). His optional recommendation, however, is for 16GB with 4 x 4GB DDR3 1600 ECC memory. My Z820 has this 4x4 configuration – and they are correctly installed at CPU0-DIMM1, CPU0-DIMM8 and CPU1-DIMM1, CPU1-DIMM8 – but the sticks are Dual Channel 128bit DDR3-SDRAM, not 1600. Is this the problem? But why such a drastic 2:1 difference on the test I ran?

    I have another two weeks where I am able to return the Z820 to NewEgg – and I would like to keep it, as it is well made and very quiet – but at half the render speed of ny 10-year old Z400, I cannot keep it. And I need to continue on this project on mine. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

    NEW SYSTEM: HP Z820 SYMPHONY 6.5 w/WIN7 64 BIT. DUAL E5-2640 Six Core 2.5Ghz PROCESSORS. 16GB RAM. 1TB SSD. NVIDIA K4000. MATROX MINI MAX.. SYSTEM TWO... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Aug 3 2020 4:55 PM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    What's the clock speed on your Z400?

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Aug 3 2020 5:07 PM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    Hello Job, thanks for reply. Unfortunately I am not completely savvy re computer lingo, but using CPU-Z on the 420, in the CPU tab, I see CLOCKS/Core 0, Core speed=3330 MHz, and Bus SPeed 133 MHz.

    thanks again...

    NEW SYSTEM: HP Z820 SYMPHONY 6.5 w/WIN7 64 BIT. DUAL E5-2640 Six Core 2.5Ghz PROCESSORS. 16GB RAM. 1TB SSD. NVIDIA K4000. MATROX MINI MAX.. SYSTEM TWO... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Aug 3 2020 5:23 PM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    Sorry, meant to type 400. It's a Z400. Thanks. 

    NEW SYSTEM: HP Z820 SYMPHONY 6.5 w/WIN7 64 BIT. DUAL E5-2640 Six Core 2.5Ghz PROCESSORS. 16GB RAM. 1TB SSD. NVIDIA K4000. MATROX MINI MAX.. SYSTEM TWO... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Aug 3 2020 9:10 PM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    Looks like you went from a 3.3GHz z400 to a 2.5GHz z820.
    While the latter has two processors and 12 cores total, many of the tasks in many applications will use just one processor or even one core. In those cases, CPU speed beats core count. Which is clearly shown in your test. Only certain tasks in MC use multiple cores, and AFAIK more so in recent versions than in your older Symphony 6.x. 
    It's slightly more complicated since a later generation CPU with a lower clock speed might beat an older generation CPU with a higher clock speed but as your test indicates, the z820 (of which yours is an older incarnation, not maxed out) is just not as powerful as your z400 (which at the time was probably maxed out).

     

    Obviously there are certain things that will be faster on this z820, like copying files using USB3 drives, launching MC and opening/saving bins when working from the SSD. But CPU-intensive tasks like plugin rendering, not so much.

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Aug 3 2020 9:28 PM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    P.S. your z400 appears to be a Gen 2, with a Xeon W3680 (Westmere) processor, running memory at 1333 MHz. Your z820 appears to be a Gen 1 with dual E5-2640 (Sandy Bridge), which also runs memory at 1333MHz. 
    When I check these processors on CPUBoss.com, they pretty much show the same benchmark results. That does not at all explain the slower processing you are seeing, but it does show you that this z820 is not a step up for you. A comparison on on CPU World favors the W3680: http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/928/Intel_Xeon_E5-2640_vs_Intel_Xeon_W3680.html and CPU Benchmark also has the W3680 scoring more points: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Xeon-E5-2640-vs-Intel-Xeon-W3680/1216vs1274

    If you want to move up, try to find a beefier z820 at the very least with a gen2 processor, like the E5-2630v2. https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Xeon-W3680-vs-Intel-Xeon-E5-2630-v2/1274vs2052
     

     

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Aug 4 2020 12:00 AM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    Thank you, Job, for the effort here. I will return the machine and get most of my money back, but my eight days of wrangling with it are totally gone. I will stick with the very stable, thus far, Z400, and reconsider upgrading only once I embark on another personal project, which at this point is unlikely. I still do some contract editing on Avid systems of a few clients and only use my system for personal work. Ok, so thanks again... and stay safe.

    Peter

     Bur one question: what machine were you referring to as z820l ?

    NEW SYSTEM: HP Z820 SYMPHONY 6.5 w/WIN7 64 BIT. DUAL E5-2640 Six Core 2.5Ghz PROCESSORS. 16GB RAM. 1TB SSD. NVIDIA K4000. MATROX MINI MAX.. SYSTEM TWO... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Aug 4 2020 8:00 AM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    D'oh, that was a typo. I meant a beefier z820.

    Bottom line, I think you are making the right call. That z400 you got yourself was a top-spec'ed machine that is still quite powerful and useful today. You could probably get some more responsiveness from it when you change its HDD to an SSD. You can upgrade the RAM anytime you find you need it and if you like USB3 you can stick a USB3 PCI card in it. I'm still using my old z800, it runs MC2020.x on Win10 just fine. 
    I'm sorry you lost time having to figure this one out. It's quite hard to compare machines just by their family name, as these HP beasts can be configured in so many ways, with different gens of processors and sometimes different processor families.  

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Aug 4 2020 8:14 AM In reply to

    • B3n3d1kt
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    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    peter melaragno:

    I also opened the machine to see how many and where the MEM sticks are located. There are 4 sticks of 4GB each in the 1 and 8 slots of each of the six-core processors. The Conforti PDF recommends a Standard AVID memory configuration of 16GB (8 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 ECC memory (eight 2GB DIMMs). His optional recommendation, however, is for 16GB with 4 x 4GB DDR3 1600 ECC memory. My Z820 has this 4x4 configuration – and they are correctly installed at CPU0-DIMM1, CPU0-DIMM8 and CPU1-DIMM1, CPU1-DIMM8 – but the sticks are Dual Channel 128bit DDR3-SDRAM, not 1600. Is this the problem? But why such a drastic 2:1 difference on the test I ran?

    That could be the problem. The W3680 use a triple channel interface fot the RAM. The 2630 has a quad channel interface, but with the RAM setup it only operates in dual channel mode. You should check this with a tool like CPU-Z or hwinfo. The 2630 only supports DDR3-1333, no 1600.

    RAM config from HP:

    http://h20331.www2.hp.com/Hpsub/downloads/Z820_Memory_Configurations.pdf

     

    If you have confirmed that the RAM only operates in dual channel mode, you have to test if quad channel is a performance upgrade.

    Put those 4GB modules in the right DIMM slots of CPU 0. If you have 6 RAM modules in your Z400, put 4 of them in the DIMM slots of CPU 1. Then you should have quad channel.

    If only 3 modules are installed in the Z400, you have to make a work around. Put 2 of them in the DIMM slots for CPU1. Then you have at least quand channel mod for CPU0.

     

    Job ter Burg:

    If you want to move up, try to find a beefier z820l at the very least with a gen2 processor, like the E5-2630v2. https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/Intel-Xeon-W3680-vs-Intel-Xeon-E5-2630-v2/1274vs2052
     

    This CPU is not much faster. A real step would be v3 introduced with Zx40. But that generation is not supported with Symphony 6.5.

     

    MC 2019.12 (Win 10 1909) custom Workstation: AMD Threadripper 3960X (NH-U14S TR4-SP3 + NF-A15), ASUS TRX40-E Gaming, 64GB DDR4-3200 Corsair, MSI RTX 2070... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Aug 4 2020 2:25 PM In reply to

    • ramz434
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Long Island
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    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    I've been using a spec'd out z400 for a while with a USB 3 PCIe card, an SSD, and a GTX1080 video card. Mine's a Gen 2, although I dont have the W3680 processor (I've got the W3550) - but it still chugs along perfectly fine with Avid 2020. 

    From a couple of things I've seen, while HP says the z400 maxes out at 24gbs or RAM - gamers have revived these machines and are running 48gbs of RAM. I havent done my research of actually putting 48 gbs in yet and what that entails (long term abuse on the system, overclocking, etc...), but apparently it is possible to beef these up even more. 

    Job - are you Hyperthreading your z800? 

    - HP Z400/24gb ram/Windows 10/MC2020.5/256gb Samsung SSD/ NVidia GTX 1080 - Macbook Pro/16gb ram/OS 10.15.4/MC2020.4/Intel UHD 630 [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, Aug 4 2020 3:42 PM In reply to

    Re: HP Z400 vs Z820

    ramz434:
    Job - are you Hyperthreading your z800?
    Not sure. I set it up long ago, following the Avid guidelines. Haven't really touched it as it is a secundary machine. Can't check as I'm OOTO now.

    Media Composer Symphony | PT Ultimate | Win10 HPZ | OSX MBP | ISIS5000 [view my complete system specs]
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