Your opinion about HP z800 ws

Doug McIntyre merlyn at
Tue May 16 04:35:59 UTC 2017

On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 06:41:48PM +0200, Trust No 1 via freebsd-questions wrote:
> I would like to buy a used HP z800 workstation to build a new
> upcoming 11.1 system and replace my Dell T7400 (running 10.3).

Seems more like a sidewise-swap, rather than an upgrade going by
the specs on either system, although perhaps you get to run 5 gens out
on the Intel CPU rather than 6 gens out on the Intel CPU, depending on
what CPU you end up in either. I'd probably spend the money on a little
bit newer.

> And, VERY important for me, is the possibility to have a raid-5 system
> because I will use it also as a repository for all the photos of my
> family.

Going by HP support docs, the Z800 could have two different RAID
configs. Either an Intel RAID system, which was a software RAID
combined with Windows drivers, or an LSI based RAID system appropriate
for the era. eg. LSI pretty much has made all the hardware RAID controllers
since this time, they all act about the same.

I don't know anything about the HP Workstations, but if they are anything
like the servers, one thing I don't like about them is their RAID
systems only will take HP firmware disks, and refuse to work with
anything else.

LSI RAID and HBA cards of the era will also only take up to 2TB disks
max (well, maybe only 1TB, since that is the biggest listed drive as
part of the spec sheet), but 2TB is the max the controller chip supports.

I'd really strongly suggest doing ZFS instead directly on FreeBSD
rather than RAID-5 hardware RAID card. Having direct access to the
disks for control & monitoring really makes a nice combination. Turn
on SMART monitoring, and you'll start catching drive fails super early
before it really goes south on you, and the ZFS file system will protect
against bitrot and let you setup a number of different configurations
emphasizing whatever is most important to you. 

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