buying suggestions for DDR3 era workstations...

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zachj

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Apr 17, 2019
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I don’t think you’ll save any buying this over something like a z440 but if you already have a load of ddr3 this could theoretically let you use it.

The listing identifies v3 xeons that have been tested. I believe there are a few v4 xeons also supporting ddr3.
 
So i'm doubting most other people browsing here are as badly impoverished as me BUT I wanted to share some interesting things i've learned JUST IN CASE anyone in the future might find it useful. :)

To answer some questions I originally had about this topic, ie HP or Dell, I learned that Dells have two really interesting features that I don't think anyone here mentioned that are tipping my interest in that direction.

One is they have something similar to the linux 'bad ram' patches but it works on hardware for all installed everything, where you can literally start losing cells in the memory, and it will just... route around and use the rest of it. Give you a warning, but you can keep right on working - it doesn't stop you from doing your job. Nobody else has anything like this apparently which I found rather fascinating. You get warnings, but not downtime, and if needed can finish whatever youre in the middle of.

The other thing is almost like a hot swappable PSU. Well I mean that doesn't make sense, but you can just yank out the PSU without even unscrewing a case, unplugging wires and such, and slap in a replacement one in less than a minute, and keep right on working. Since a PSU death on an older 10 year old workstation is more of a concern for me than a brand new one, this again sounded super useful and right down my alley. This is also apparently a Dell-specific feature nobody else does.

Add in the apparent lower cost of Dell workstations vs HP and that mostly sold to prefer Dell, esp with the seeming lower cost for the same era. I would like to find a Dell 5810 specifically and will consider other options once I do. Or maybe a 3810/I dont have my notes immediately handy but apparently Dell numbers things sorta like 3000-series lower end, 5000 series midrange, 7000 series high end, plus some 1000-series entry level type numbering in this era. (for the ddr3 era it was more like 3000, 7000 and 9000 - Dell changes their numbering constantly in wierd confusing ways)


I'd still happily use or RAM-upgrade a DDR3 workstation if someone gave me one - but i'm no longer specifically hunting for one, the cost differential is not the sole concern/mobo features matter too.


It may be that an HP workstation has more interior case room - a more powerful PSU - and some other things which are in it's favor if the above features arent critical to you. I'd still happily use an HP Z440 or Z640 or something. I've learned the top end dual socket models REALLY suck down idle power though, like 180w idle type things where you probably dont want to leave it on all day.

I'm less worried about reusing DDR4 ram in newer DDR4 builds because of the speed difference - with newer systems needing faster RAM it wont be forward compatible at the desired speed, or I have to overpay now to buy fast RAM which... i'm not even sure, will ALL faster RAM automatically run at the slower speed without any problems, even alot slower?

I'm considering starting some kind of tech youtube channel and eventually comparing things related to budget workstation stuff with some of what i've learned, including helpful suggestions from people here - I don't know how of interest that is but I learned alot more than i'm posting here and just deciding where to best share it for others in similar situations. Since I am being forced to be the unintentional tech guy for setting up several people outside myself with video workstations this is something i'll be building multiple of and may well have a chance to do direct compares of like HP and Dell of the same era workstations in retro reviews and such.
 

i386

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Mar 18, 2016
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The other thing is almost like a hot swappable PSU. Well I mean that doesn't make sense, but you can just yank out the PSU without even unscrewing a case, unplugging wires and such, and slap in a replacement one in less than a minute, and keep right on working.
This post is comming from a system in a supermicro 745 chassis with a 1280sq psu and a bbp and the psu is pulled out...
 

nabsltd

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Jan 26, 2022
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Well if youre REALLY fast it could probably be hotswappable... :) Surely you've turned off the power and seen the lights stay on for a few seconds? Those capacitors might JUUUST be enough...
I've pulled the power cables from both the 920SQ power supplies so I could do some hardware work, and it's more than 15 seconds before the BMC loses power.
 
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i386

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Mar 18, 2016
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Well if youre REALLY fast it could probably be hotswappable... :) Surely you've turned off the power and seen the lights stay on for a few seconds? Those capacitors might JUUUST be enough...
left side psu unplugged from system, right side bbp.
and some dust :D
PXL_20240329_144307146.MP.scaled.jpg
 
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