11 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2013 9:37 AM by John T Smith

    Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?

    FCGTV19

      We have an older HP xw8200 workstation that's not used often, but we are trying to at least get up to running CS5.5 and to handle HDV 1080 footage.  I'm hoping we only need to upgrade 3 things; RAM, Video Card, and OS.

       

      Currently, it only has 4GB of RAM installed.  We can take that up to 16GB of DDR2 400 no problem.  I'll have a spare nVidia Quadtro 3800 to toss in there, so that should be enough to get by video-card wise.  I'll also be putting Windows 7 Pro 64-bit on it.

       

      The only major thing I'm worried about are the CPUs.  They are two "64-bit Intel Xeon processor at 3.40 GHz with 800 MHz FSB & 2 MB of L2 cache."  Pretty sure these are single core and I read on Harm's recommended specs for CS5 that there should be at least 4 logical cores.

       

      So based on the specs seen here I was wondering if anyone could let me know if there's something (such as the CPUs) that would prevent this system from running CS5.5 and not choking on HD footage.  Also, could it take better RAM than the DDR2 400 (PC 3200) that was available back then?

       

      Thanks so much.  Trying to save some taxpayer dollars here.

        • 1. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
          RjL190365 Level 4

          Forget about upgrading that ancient relic. Especially if you have to spend any significant amount of money just to do so. (Upgrading an eight-year-old system is one thing - but is it really worth spending a potentially astronomical price just to notice any performance benefit whatsoever?)

           

          You see, those Xeons in that machine are not even Core 2-based - but are based on the now-severely-outdated Netburst Pentium 4 architecture (and those Xeons are based on the infamous Prescott architecture, which had the tendency to reach its maximum thermal limit way too quickly). In fact, a dual-P4-based system performs significantly slower than a system with even a single Core 2 Duo CPU. In addition, that system requires registered ECC DDR2 RAM, which costs much more money than unbuffered non-ECC DDR2 RAM (the latter not compatible at all with that system). Getting all 16GB of this RAM (remember, the RAM sticks must match each other exactly to work best with this system) will cost you all of $560! Definitely not worth it for the minimal performance benefit such an upgrade offers.

           

          In other words, this is a case of a system which you could spend thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade and still end up performing substantially slower than a bargain-basement current-generation PC. Thus, any upgrades that you have to spend even one penny on would be a total waste of money for that ancient system.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
            FCGTV19 Level 1

            I hear what you are saying.  Definately not worthwhile if I have to upgrade anything but the RAM, but I found the RAM for about $240 on Amazon.  We can spend that to take an editor from useless to minimal functionality.  Oh, and putting in a video card we already have collecting dust.

             

            How much of the processing is done by the CPUs if you have a CUDA video card installed?  I'm not looking for high performance at all, I'm just looking to be able to import HD footage into a project without choking the system like it does now.  We won't be using After Effects on this editor, just extremely basic editing in Premiere.  Seminars, interviews, etc.

            • 3. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              http://blogs.adobe.com/premiereprotraining/2011/02/cuda-mercury-playback-engine-and-adobe- premiere-pro.html talks about what CUDA does

               

              Does that Quaddro 3800 card have at least 1 gig of video ram... and how many cores?

              • 4. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                I hear what you are saying.  Definately not worthwhile if I have to upgrade anything but the RAM, but I found the RAM for about $240 on Amazon.  We can spend that to take an editor from useless to minimal functionality.  Oh, and putting in a video card we already have collecting dust.

                 

                Sorry to disagree. You did not hear what Randall was saying!. Get the salvage value from that old relic, if you can even find a buyer, and invest it in a new system. No sense at all investing $ 240 in what still is way too old to do anything worthwhile. You are paying for antiquity. That memory would have cost less than $ 100 in the old days.

                 

                I'll be utterly blunt:

                 

                You have a 50 year old Beetle with a 1300CC motor and 34 HP which no longer runs.

                You say that you found a $ 240 new battery for that car, so maybe it will start.

                Well, that may be all you will achieve. It will not load your passengers, because the springs will break, your brakes are too rusted for safe travel and the old engine may die.

                 

                Get a new system!!!

                • 5. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                  FCGTV19 Level 1

                  Well, he was talking about spending an "astronimical amount" in the thousands to tens of thousands to upgrade it.  I didn't really consider $240 an astronimical amount to bring a system only capable of editing in SD up to being capabable, albiet barely, of editing in HD.  True, I could put that $240 towards a whole new system and get a thousand times more use out of it, but this is for a small local government station and I'm trying to be a good stuart of taxpayer dollars.  We have 3 newer editors running CS6, this one was justing going to be a back-up for pretty much cuts-only editing that the interns to use.

                   

                  So yes, I'm trying to breathe some more life into that old Beetle with a 1300CC motor and rusty brakes, haha.  It doesn't need to be quick or even have a radio, just needs to get us from point A to point B for a couple more years even if there's a spring poking me in the back.  But if you're saying that just upgrading the RAM and video card still won't get me there, I'll certainly believe you Harm.  I put very high value in your (and Randall's) advice. Thank you all very much for your responses.

                   

                  And to answer John, yes it has 1GB of video RAM and according to the spec sheet, 192 CUDA cores.

                   

                  Thanks again!

                  • 6. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                    Honestly you get a cheap Dell under financing with more processing power than this and also have the ability for some upgrade in the future. This would restart the hardware cycle time at 0 which should give you another 3 to 5 years to update again should it be required. I would highly suggest that over $240 for this system since that $240 would be 1/3rd the amount of a new cheap system.

                     

                    Eric

                    ADK

                    • 7. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Speaking of Dell... there is a coupon in the current year's Entertainment book

                       

                      http://www.dell.com/us/eep/p/?scat=root&cs=6099&link_number=111798073

                       

                      Coupon code is GS111798073 - coupon page says "up to 30% off"

                      • 8. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                        RjL190365 Level 4

                        FCGTV19 wrote:

                         

                        Well, he was talking about spending an "astronimical amount" in the thousands to tens of thousands to upgrade it.  I didn't really consider $240 an astronimical amount to bring a system only capable of editing in SD up to being capabable, albiet barely, of editing in HD.  True, I could put that $240 towards a whole new system and get a thousand times more use out of it, but this is for a small local government station and I'm trying to be a good stuart of taxpayer dollars.  We have 3 newer editors running CS6, this one was justing going to be a back-up for pretty much cuts-only editing that the interns to use.

                         

                        I was figurative in that "tens of thousands of dollars" statement. That was hypothetical. Realistically, spending even $10 on an upgrade for that old relic would still be a total waste of money, in this case.

                         

                        And I agree with Harm that that old workstation is like driving at only 30 MPH in totally clear, traffic-free conditions on a freeway that requires driving at a minimum speed of 50 MPH. In some jurisdictions, you will be ticketed for obstruction of traffic and/or driving an unsafe vehicle for driving that slow - and if that vehicle can't reach even the minimum required speed, that vehicle may be confiscated and impounded immediately upon you being ticketed.

                         

                        By the way, that $240 RAM will not work at all on that HP workstation! That RAM is unbuffered, non-ECC DDR2 RAM! That archaic HP workstation requires registered ECC DDR2 RAM.

                        • 9. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                          FCGTV19 Level 1

                          RjL190365 wrote:

                           

                          By the way, that $240 RAM will not work at all on that HP workstation! That RAM is unbuffered, non-ECC DDR2 RAM! That archaic HP workstation requires registered ECC DDR2 RAM.

                          The RAM I was referring to is this...http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005ZV3Q4Q.  Who knows if "memory up" is a legit company, but It the specs are correct.  It even mentions our exact workstation.

                           

                          You guys have definately convinced me that it's not a good idea.  I guess what I was originally trying to figure out is was it even possible.  Ultimately the decision lies with my boss and I need to present him with options.  I'll let him know that it's highly recommended to bite the budgetary bullet and build a conservative new rig instead of sinking money into obsolete hardware though.

                          • 10. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                            RjL190365 Level 4

                            I stand corrected on the RAM in that link. However, it's still a bad idea to sink any more money on that ancient workstation for other reasons:

                             

                            1) HP does not officially support the use of any OS newer than Windows Vista on that old workstation.

                             

                            2) If you can get Windows 7 to run at all on that workstation, some of the components of that PC may not have any available drivers at all that are compatible with Windows 7. That would leave your organisation with a significantly crippled PC compared to what it originally functioned as.

                             

                            Those are in addition to what I had stated earlier.

                            • 11. Re: Upgrade potential for older HP workstation?
                              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              >build a conservative new rig

                               

                              PC I built for my wife http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM would do very well for Premiere Elements, plus scroll down a page or two for 3 price/performance level computers for Premiere Pro... these are, of course, MY ideas about what to build, if I was building a new computer for myself... YOUR ideas may wind up being different