HP Workstation

The goal of this machine to experiment with mid-range video editing and/or be a monster Virtual Machine Server. It was refurbished, from PC Server Parts Certified Refurbished. It kept going in and out of stock. It arrived in a big box that was well packed with foam, and weighed in around 70 lbs. Once unpacked, the computer itself weighed in at 52 lbs. exactly.

Some facts on the CPU: the Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 @ 2.80GHz is currently #537 on PassMark [12,530] [single thread 1,789] and is a FCLGA2011 at 115W. It first appeared on the charts 2013/Q2. It is a 10 core 20 thread model with turbo speed of 3.6GHz. The “Dual” PassMark for the E5-2680v2 is 20,678, which is #190 overall rank.

Notes on Ubuntu. The process starts with the 2.5″ to 3.5″ converter and a 1TB SSD. The HP has really nice 3.5″ internal bays, with a SATA backplane already wired for power and data. Just slide the new one in, slide out the 500GB SSD, and boot to the installation ISO. First challenge: WiFi did not “create the device” in the GUI, even though the device was recognized. To fix that, just push “+” in Network Connections, and the “Wi-Fi” section shows up. Then, in the upper-right, the wifi menu appears with “Select Network”.

Second challenge – Ubuntu Firefox fails to start – “serial 467 error_code 11 “BadAlloc”. (Hand installing chrome, that fails too with “gbm_wrapper.cc failed to export buffer to dma_buf“). As a temporary fix, start Firefox by hand with “firefox -safe-mode”. For the final fix, enter “Software & Updates”, go to tab “Additional Drivers”. Under NVIDIA Corporation GF100GL [Quadro 4000], the current selected driver is “Using X.Org X server – Nouveau display driver from xserver-xorg-video-nouveau”. Change that to the other option “Using NVIDIA driver metapackage from nvidia-driver-390 (proprietary, tested)”. Restart. Now firefox and google-chrome-stable both work. (Note: abandoned efforts to get NVIDIA “390” drivers – via “NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-390.147.run” – to install. If you are reading this because you have a Quadro 4000 driver under linux, you may need this additional step.)

All product links are from the actual vendor.

SystemHP Z820 Workstation (Cached PDF)$1,289
CPU2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 v2 2.8Ghz, 10 cores eachincl.
RAM256GB (8x 16GB) DDR3 DRAMincl.
Power Supplysingleincl.
Video2x  Nvidia Quadro 4000 2GB, 1x DVI, 2x DPortincl.
SSD Drive512GB
HHD Drive2000GB Hitachiincl.
Wi-FiTP-Link AC1200 PCIe Dual Band$34
OSWindows 10 Proincl.
SSDSAMSUNG 870 EVO Series TB SATA 2.5″$138
ConverterSabrent 2.5″ HDD to Desktop 3.5″ Converter$13
OSUbuntu 22.04incl.

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