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Upgrading the HP EX485/487 MediaSmart Server Processor, Removing the Smoke and Mirrors (Page 5 of 5)

Wrapping up the CPU upgrade with a few tests and considerations:

Some Actual CPU Testing and SiSoftware Sandra Benchmark results:

 CPU          Aggregate Multi Media test          Power Draw   CPU Dhrystone     CPU Whetstone

C-440              13.32 M/pixel/s                                   35.0 w             7.80 GIPS       7.30  GFLOPS

E5200             33.35 M/pixel/s                                   37.3 w             19.5 GIPS       18.44 GFLOPS

E6300             35.42 M/pixel/s                                   37.0 w             20.1 GIPS       19.02 GFLOPS

These performance results speak for themselves, and are very amazing. I ran a number of temperature tests and found the data to be inconclusive. When running CPU intensive testing I found that the Celeron had a slightly cooler temperature than the dual-core but carried that temperature longer.  The dual-core would spike, but then recover to a lower temperature more quickly because it is a more powerful processor and able to complete the task faster. If both the 440 and 5200 was loaded to max capacity the Celeron would run slightly cooler. 

Again, this is not a conclusive test because of the ability of the dual core to complete the task faster than the Celeron, not only because of the additional core but also the much larger cache. As a note, the dual core was never more than a few degrees warmer then the original Celeron and always with normal temperature values. These findings may also improve as the Arctic Silver 5 paste cures with time and dissipates heat more efficiently. 

The power draw of the E6300 was surprising considering it provided slightly better results than the E5200. More than likely, this may be in part because it is a slightly newer generation core incorporating other improvements, but it also raises the conversion costs by an additional $30... not sure if its justified.

Larger CPU Cache:

A dual processor with a larger L2 cache (such as the E8200) may be of some benefit, but I wouldn't expect a major increase in performance.  As the prices come down I plan to work with the E8200, with its 6GB cache, just to see exactly what the difference will be. 

Memory upgrade from 2gb to 4gb:

After some careful review and many conversations with some of the support engineers at HP, the common consensus is that the MediaSmart Server would not greatly benefit from a memory upgrade even though it can be easily upgraded to 4GB.  This is mostly because of its role in life is a minimal server and really does not need more than the 2GB it already has. Unlike 32-bit editions of Windows XP, Windows Home Server can address a full 4GB. 

Another issue is when you increase the density of memory on a chip you increase the power draw and heat dissipation.

The cost of the upgrade would be over $100, and would likely provide little return on that investment.  The jury is out on this one until some detailed testing and analysis can be done.  Should you wish to perform this memory upgrade, the correct part is "240-pin DDR2 SDRAM PC2 6400 G.SKILL Model #:F2-6400CL5S-4GBPQ."  It is a pin compatible replacement for the existing 2GB memory part and should be recognized by the server automatically without other changes.

Final Observation and Conclusion:

Overall, I am very pleased with the outcome of this project.  It is a relatively easy task that just takes a little planning and time to complete.  In my opinion, the results were well worth the time and money. It also extends the life-cycle of the EX485. 

I am sure this will greatly help with the additional demands HP's 3.0 upgrade will have now that it's available. I selected the E5200 M0 as the processor of choice primarily because I want my MediaSmart Server to sleep at night when it's not used, which should help to prolong the life of the unit.

It would be a great resource for all looking to complete this upgrade that those using other dual core processors share their experiences.  When doing so, please consider the following:

  1. Before saying, "everything works great!" please do in-depth and thorough testing.
  2. List your exact configuration and what you modified or changed. 
  3. It would also be useful to those tweaking BIOS setting would list them as well.

My thanks to those who take the time to share their work, making upgrades like these possible for all.

Dan

References and additional resources:

  1. The original HP EX485 CPU Upgrade thread (the original process and a good read)
  2. Exploring the BIOS using the KVM/CN9 access
  3. OCCT Power, Temperature Monitoring software, excellent for testing CPU stats.
  4. Adding a Printer to the MediaSmartServer
  5. HP EX485 Media Vault Software Update
  6. Microsoft Window Home Server TechNet
  7. Inside new HP Data Vault

Page « Previous 1 2 3 4 5

Tags : ex485ex487

Discussion:    Add a Comment | Comments 1-25 of 65 | Latest Comment | 1 2 3 Next »

March 16, 2010 2:28 PM

Not sure I understand this part:

"This can also be accomplished using the earlier procedure to change the PECI setting and flashing the BIOS with the change. Use the instructions listed above, but substitute "Speed stepping disabled" for PECI 00 00. Complete the process and flash the change."

If I have a E5200 SLAY7 and want to disable Speed stepping by flashing BIOS, what am I suppose to change the PECI or the Speed Stepping settings ?

March 17, 2010 9:27 AM updated: March 17, 2010 1:19 PM

qbass said: Not sure I understand this part: "This can also be accomplished using the earlier procedure to change the PECI setting and flashing the BIOS with the change. Use the instructions listed above, but substitute "Speed stepping disabled" for PECI 00 00. Complete the process and flash the change." If I have a E5200 SLAY7 and want to disable Speed stepping by flashing BIOS, what am I suppose to change the PECI or the Speed Stepping settings ?

If you have the SLAY7 sSpec CPU you don't have to do anything to the BIOS for this processor to work.  The BIOS settings are optional.  If you want the processor to run at full speed all the time change the BIOS setting to disable speed stepping, that's it and your done. You can also optionally change the PECI settings to 01 and 01 if you like, again not necessary but optional.  Values of 01 enables the option and 00 disables.  Hopefully this answers your question.

Dan

March 18, 2010 2:09 PM

Dan, This was obviously a lot of work for you. I had read all 26 pages (at the time - of the forum thread - it's now 28) and still was somewhat confused about what would really work. I had ordered the E5200 and the E6500 processors to try them both out (I have 2 485's). Unfortunately both processors were not MO's. I had spent some time trying to get the bugs worked out with the E5200. It works fine, but no shut down or sleep. I also had an older HP a6317c that had a E2200 processor. The E2200 is a SLAY7. I just upgraded the older HP with the E6500 and it works great. I put the E2200 in the other 485 using your instructions and it works great. I am shocked at what a difference it makes in speed, even though it's only a 2200 mhz processor. Everything seems to work great, even shut down and sleep, with no BIOS modifications.

Once again, thanks for your explanations and assembly of information in a format that even an old man like me could understand.

One final question. If later I wanted to order a SLAY7 E5200, do you know where I could find one since it's not a currently manufactured chip?

March 18, 2010 9:19 PM updated: March 18, 2010 9:20 PM

rex7467 said: Dan, This was obviously a lot of work for you. I had read all 26 pages (at the time - of the forum thread - it's now 28) and still was somewhat confused about what would really work. I had ordered the E5200 and the E6500 processors to try them both out (I have 2 485's). Unfortunately both processors were not MO's. I had spent some time trying to get the bugs worked out with the E5200. It works fine, but no shut down or sleep. I also had an older HP a6317c that had a E2200 processor. The E2200 is a SLAY7. I just upgraded the older HP with the E6500 and it works great. I put the E2200 in the other 485 using your instructions and it works great. I am shocked at what a difference it makes in speed, even though it's only a 2200 mhz processor. Everything seems to work great, even shut down and sleep, with no BIOS modifications. Once again, thanks for your explanations and assembly of information in a format that even an old man like me could understand. One final question. If later I wanted to order a SLAY7 E5200, do you know where I could find one since it's not a currently manufactured chip?

Rex7467

Any dual core processor even at the same clock rate of 2.0ghz if the Celeron 440 will just about be 2 times faster.  The original Celeron is only a single core with a very small cache.  If you turned off the speed stepping option on your dual core you will find it runs even faster.

Regarding the E5200 SLAY7 (or QFHQ as well) you can find these all day on eBay.  Simply ask the seller to provide you the sSpec code that is on the top of the processor or on the barcode on the box.   Simply mention you have a specific application and need the code!  I picked up 3 brand new ones in the factory boxes a few weeks back for some friends of mine.   Also, ACER used the E5200 SLAY7 processors in a number of there PC's.  These are now being salvaged for parts and the used CPU's are also showing up on eBay as well.  Some you can really pick up cheap!!!

Regards,

Dan

March 28, 2010 10:20 PM

I have upgraded HP EX485 using E5200 CPU and 4GB RAM. I could not get SLAY7 therefore I ended up using SLB9T. Before changing the CPU I flashed the bios with SpeedStep disabled (00 00) and PECI enabled (01 01). After new CPU EX485 did not reboot, stopped health indicator flashing blue white. I swapped to old CPU and flash bios disabling PECI (00 00). System now working and stable. However when I runt the test it shows single core not dual. Is there a easy fix to make it duo core? When I check system properties CPU is identified as E5200 @ 2.5Ghz.

March 28, 2010 10:21 PM

I have upgraded HP EX485 using E5200 CPU and 4GB RAM. I could not get SLAY7 therefore I ended up using SLB9T. Before changing the CPU I flashed the bios with SpeedStep disabled (00 00) and PECI enabled (01 01). After new CPU EX485 did not reboot, stopped health indicator flashing blue white. I swapped to old CPU and flash bios disabling PECI (00 00). System now working and stable. However when I runt the test it shows single core not dual. Is there a easy fix to make it duo core? When I check system properties CPU is identified as E5200 @ 2.5Ghz.
Regards,
Goren

March 30, 2010 10:53 AM

i got same result as Goren, when i do not see DUAL CORES in task manager anymore; all I did was to upgrade software from 2.5 to 3

March 30, 2010 11:06 AM

StarNet... Thanks for your help and for this great tutorial !

I finally decided to order a E5200 SLAY7 from eBay. I installed it, I flashed the BIOS to disable Speedstep and while at it, I decided to enable PECI just in case, for future use.

The whole process went A1 !!! Now my MSS is working great with a good CPU boost. However, I decided not to upgrade the memory to 4GB since it is hard to find, costly and, in my opinion, not worth the trouble.

At the same time, I received my 3.0 software upgrade and decided to swipe my server and do a clean install of the new software.

Overall, I am thrilled and so happy everything went so well. In the next few days, I will just transfer all of my data back to the server and be ready to go !!!

April 4, 2010 7:39 PM

Has anyone used the E5300 chip? It is inexpensive (60.00) and readily available (current) and appears to have the same wattage as the E5200. I am a novice to this so I am not sure where I would need to go with the BIOS settings on my own. Thank you Dan for the excellent article.

April 5, 2010 7:19 AM

DOES NOT HOLDUP UNDER STRESS

I upgraded my EX485 to an E5200 (SLB9T). Had to disable the PECI to get my system to boot, otherwise the health status light just flashed blue. I left the system alone during that time for 24hrs before shutting it down and disabling the PECI. The temps run a few degrees C above the celeron, for example, the celeron ran around 60C. The 5200 runs around 63C.

HOWEVER, the system does not hold up under stress. After about 3 hrs of converting videos, the system reboots.

It did converted more videos during that 3 hrs than the celeron did during the course of a day and the system was a lot more responsive during that time.

For me, I'm going to keep the 5200 in and will use another method to convert all my movies the first time around.

April 6, 2010 12:30 PM

M3PD the E5300 should work, it will require the same procedure the E5200 SLB9T requires to implement. Keep in mind some of the operational issues it will create (see article).

Iwmorris,
I ran my 485 with E5200 for 24hours using CPU Burn In utility which really loads up the processor, I never exceeded 61c. If I might make a couple of suggestions, 1. make sure your front fan is not obstructed in any way (move the cable). 2. if you didn't use Artic Silver 5 on the cpu cooler consider it. After break in it really makes a difference. One last thing, I am only using 2 drives in my 485. Are you using more?

Lastly, those having issues with only one cpu showing up, keep in mind that 2 reboots after BIOS changes are made for the CMOS to be correctly updated and the system properly reflecting the dual core.
Regards,
Dan

April 6, 2010 7:57 PM

Thanks for the advise. Since I have not bought the video adapter yet I think that I will hold out for a SLAY7 E5200 CPU and live with it at the plug and play settings for a while. I installed the 3.0 update on Friday without a problem but the server was totally bogged down until late Sunday. It had quite a bit to index since I am running four 1.5 TB drives with less then 1 TB free space remaining. I suspect the upgrade will be helpful, I will report my results. Thanks again

April 6, 2010 8:48 PM

Please tell me if your processor shows 2 cores in task manager after upgrade to 3.0

April 7, 2010 3:13 PM

I upgraded my EX485 to an E5200 (SLB9T). Had to disable the PECI to get my system to boot, otherwise the health status light just flashed blue always.... Runs system 3.0..

How can I fix this blue flash?

April 10, 2010 9:10 PM

patoune said: I upgraded my EX485 to an E5200 (SLB9T). Had to disable the PECI to get my system to boot, otherwise the health status light just flashed blue always.... Runs system 3.0.. How can I fix this blue flash?

My exact specs and experience as well, I tried several different configurations and PECI disabled was the only way to get it to work correctly. Both cores operating and visable  for 2 days at 48-51C and things look great. Installed 3.0 upgrade without a hitch.

April 12, 2010 10:58 AM updated: April 12, 2010 11:04 AM

Thank you for providing such a robust and detailed article on the CPU upgrade process.  I undertook this project yesterday and the whole process took about 4 hours to complete, which included testing and troubleshooting.  I ran into a few snags but overall the whole project was not hard at all.  I am an experienced system builder so actually taking apart the case and upgrading the CPU was not a problem.  I also used the VGA cable set that has been advertised on this site and other sites which proved to be very helpful.

I started the process by flashing the BIOS to change the PECI settings.  I was given a successful completion status, and then proceeded to take apart the case.  I upgraded to an Intel Dual Core e5400.  I also installed the VGA cable/keyboard/mouse (Gen2) part and used the jumper on pin J.  After reassembly, I powered on the server but the BIOS stopped with a 0052 error.  I could not figure out the problem, so I rolled back the changes, and installed the original CPU.  Powering on the server, I was now able to use the keyboard to access the BIOS and noticed that the PECI setting had not been changed.  I enabled it, saved the BIOS, and then swapped out the CPU again.  Powering on the server, I made it past the BIOS but Windows decided to launch the Restore program and could not find the system volume.  Also at this point, all lights were on (power, network, and a flashing blue system light) Why?  What was I doing wrong?  Re-thinking my steps, I remembered the jumper.  After reading many threads, I thought that having the pins closed wouldn't matter, but I removed the jumper anyway, put everything back together, and powered on the server.  The system successfully moved past the BIOS, and WHS started without a flaw.  All drives were in the system, in their original order.  I have all bays full, with the original Seagate drive, and three WD Green drives.  On a side note about drives, at first I thought the Green drives were a good idea, but for stability and performance I will use either Blue or Black drives for future use.

Going back to the upgrade, WHS started up and all drives were accounted for.  Temperatures, post upgrade, were showing 42 and 38, with both cores appearing in Task Manager.

Hardware monitor    Intel Pentium E5400
    Temperature 0    42°C (107°F) [0x3A] (Core #0)
    Temperature 1    38°C (100°F) [0x3E] (Core #1)

Hardware monitor    ST375063 0AS
    Temperature 0    45°C (112°F) [0x2D] (Assembly)
    Temperature 2    45°C (112°F) [0x2D] (Air Flow)

Hardware monitor    WDC WD10 EADS-00M2B0
    Temperature 0    41°C (105°F) [0x29] (Assembly)

Hardware monitor    WDC WD10 EADS-00M2B0
    Temperature 0    41°C (105°F) [0x29] (Assembly)

Hardware monitor    WDC WD10 EADS-00M2B0
    Temperature 0    40°C (103°F) [0x28] (Assembly)

Today I successfully ran a 1 hour stress test using CPU Burn-In.  The max temperature was 60 degress Celsius.  I am now running an extended stress test for 8 hours.  Currently the max is recording 62 and 56 degrees Celsius (both cores) with a current reading of 56 and 54 degrees Celsius (both cores).  One thing I find odd is that the WHS Console Hardware Monitor is reporting the CPU to be at 71 degrees Celsius, but the HWMonitor is reporting considerably less.  Something to keep in mind, but I'm leaning more towards the reliability of HWMonitor. :)

Overall the documentation in this article and links in the article were very detailed and informative and anyone using these documents to perform an upgrade shouldn't have a problem.  I would say spending the $60 or $75 for the VGA Gen2 cable assembly is definitely necessary.  At this point I think my system is stable but I want to complete the final stress test and then monitor it for a week or so.

As a side note, I am now running the upgraded HP MediaSmart Server version 3.3.1.35433.

For cooling enhancements, can the fans be upgraded to better fans?  Noticing the heat sink on the CPU, it's too bad this cannot be upgraded to a better solution, ie. Thermaltake. :)

Bill

April 12, 2010 11:34 AM updated: April 12, 2010 11:34 AM

lwmorris said: DOES NOT HOLDUP UNDER STRESS I upgraded my EX485 to an E5200 (SLB9T). Had to disable the PECI to get my system to boot, otherwise the health status light just flashed blue. I left the system alone during that time for 24hrs before shutting it down and disabling the PECI. The temps run a few degrees C above the celeron, for example, the celeron ran around 60C. The 5200 runs around 63C. HOWEVER, the system does not hold up under stress. After about 3 hrs of converting videos, the system reboots. It did converted more videos during that 3 hrs than the celeron did during the course of a day and the system was a lot more responsive during that time. For me, I'm going to keep the 5200 in and will use another method to convert all my movies the first time around.

I haven't tried converting videos with the new 3.0 software, but I wasn't impressed with the old software.  In lieu of this, I converted all of my videos using DVDFab along with other freeware sources using my desktop which has an Intel Q6600 with 7GB of memory.

I haven't seen any system performance issues yet and am still running an extended cpu stress test with max temps at 62.

April 20, 2010 7:29 AM updated: April 20, 2010 7:35 AM

I am still a little confused, I upgraded my cpu to a slay7 e5200 and flashed the bios using the instructions but speed stepping seems to be an issue for me still.

my bios had speed stepping at 00 01 initially and i changed it to 00 00 but cpu-z still reads 1250 so i flashed it again to 01 01 and it then fluctuated seemingly randomly between 1250 and 2500. i tried 01 00 also but that gave 1250 as well.

any idea what may be wrong?

i also changed PECI to 01 01 if that matters

EDIT: Just a quick update i just re-flashed stepping 00 00 and it is also fluctuating between 1250 and 2500.

EDIT2: just ran OCCT and it runs the cpu up to full speed under load, this is no bad thing i guess as long as i get full power when needed.

April 20, 2010 9:00 AM updated: April 20, 2010 9:02 AM

I have a suspicion that some of the issues that have been described my be attributed to different BIOS versions. The procedure assumes that you are using:

BIOS Date: 09/23/08 13:45:28 Ver: HPMSS017.

This version is closest in content with the EX495 which uses the E5200. I will try to see if it would be possible and legal to post the changed SLAY7 and SLB9T versions on this site with an MD5 hash sum for those to download for the upgrade. These BIOS versions have been tweaked to provide the best performance out of the E5200.

Those downloading the BIOS would need to have a file hash calculator (such as HashCalc available at: http://www.slavasoft.com/hashcalc/index.htm) This is necessary to verify no corruption occured during the download.

Again, 2 reboots would be required after the BIOS application to properly update the CMOS.

I need to complete a i7 985x project but will try to get to this as soon as possible. One last thing, Since I have not loaded the new Ver. 3.0 software yet I don't know what effect that may have to the operation of the 485. I guess a revist needs to be done concerning the 3.0 update. To be continued....

Dan

April 21, 2010 3:24 AM

Just had a bit more of a play and it seems that the cpu will speed up to full speed whenever it is loaded by more than 5% then back off again. I am happy with this as it seems that i will get full performance when needed but low power consumption on idle. before the bios changes it just stayed flat at 1250 no matter what.

forgot to mention before that i am running the 3.0 upgrade to software.

Also fo what its worth the upgrade is like chalk and cheese when it comes to user experience, sage tv server is now as smooth as silk even if i am doing a video conversion and general responsiveness is through the roof.
Thanks to all who made this article possible, great stuff.

May 18, 2010 3:29 PM

Some additional info before I...Upgrade to the SLB9T.
I have read all the comments and not sure about the bios flash required.
I have ex485 bios HPMSS-01 23/09/2008 updated SW to system 3.
2G memory.
Everything is good...
Right now the original is;
PECI:00/00
Speed Step:00/01

According to the directions and subsequent comments i should set it to:
PECI:01/01
Speed step:00/01

Can someone with this configuration please verify????
I would like to keep the WAF as high as possible...

July 21, 2010 1:47 AM updated: July 21, 2010 1:48 AM

Thanks for the detailed information! I was able to obtain a used E5200 SLAY7 to upgrade my EX485 for $50 USD on ebay. The installation was flawless except for the server needing a reboot to see the second CPU core.

Not only is the server faster, but my temperatures are much lower than with the Celeron! The thermal paste was so poorly applied to the stock Celeron, it would hit temperatures as high as 75 Celsius! My E5200 hasn't gone any higher than 46 Celsius. Amazing!

July 22, 2010 1:37 PM

I don't believe this was mentioned in the article, so I just wanted to confirm before attempting the upgrade... This upgrade *shouldn't* clear out my internal drives, correct? I understand there's always a danger of that with any upgrade, but I just don't have an extra 5TB of HD space to back up to before attempting to upgrade the CPU. If someone could just confirm for me that this process generally does not require reformatting the drives connected to the MSS?

Thanks!

Eddie
MSS EX485

July 22, 2010 4:10 PM

DiggityDawg,

The CPU upgrade does not affect software loaded on any of the drives, no formatting or reconfiguration of attached drives are necessary.

About the only recommendation I would make is that you have a fully functioning system that is healthy before you begin. The process is straight forward and you should not have any issues. Good Luck!

Dan

July 22, 2010 4:38 PM

Thanks Dan, I'll go ahead with the upgrade then!

Eddie
MSS EX485

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