Home Lab on the Cheap: HP Z420 from eBay

Many technical individuals want to continually build their skills and learn new technologies. Sometimes this requires a hardware lab setup in order to run additional desktop or server operating system instances in virtual machines. This can be done in a number of ways:

1) Using an existing desktop or laptop with Client Hyper-V on either Windows 10 or Windows 8.1
2) Purchase new desktop or server hardware ($$$)
3) Purchase used server hardware (loud, power hungry)
4) Purchase used workstation hardware

When thinking about upgrading my home lab, initially I was dead set on buying server hardware, but decided against it when I considered power draw, space requirements, and the fact that my office is right off of my bedroom. I don’t think the wife would appreciate the loud fans of a 1U or 2U server running loudly all night, and I’d probably get tired of it as well. I don’t have another place to put it, so that solution was out.

I decided to go with a used HP Z420 workstation from eBay. I did quite a bit of research and found that this model should be able to run both Hyper-V and VMware ESXi very well. Additionally, it wouldn’t run too loud, nor would it be too terrible on the power bill. I was able to purchase one for $180 that had the following specs:   Continue reading “Home Lab on the Cheap: HP Z420 from eBay”

Intel Launches Sweepstakes for Core i7-8086K and Processor Details

Intel is running a sweepstakes, which began today and runs through tomorrow to win one of their new Core i7-8086K processors. The contest is celebrating 40 years of x86 computing since the initial 8086 release. It began today, June 7, at 5:00 PST and runs for only 24 hours, so hurry and enter if you are interested. Intel is giving away 8,086 of the processors, 2,086 in the United States, and the rest in other regions around the globe. Winners are being chosen on June 11. The processor is described as a limited-edition, available through the sweepstakes, and unknown if it will be available at retail later.

The processor is part of their 8th generation Core family, using the Coffee Lake architecture. Like other Coffee Lake products, it is built on a 14nm process. It is similar to the existing i7-8700K, but slightly faster.

Core i7-8700K Core i7-8086K
Cores/Threads 6/12 6/12
Base Frequency 3.7 GHz 4.0 GHz
Turbo Frequency (single core) 4.7 GHz 5.0 GHz
L3 cache 12MB 12MB
TDP 95W 95W
Graphics UHD Graphics 630 UHD Graphics 630
GPU Frequency 350-1200 MHz 350-1200 MHz
Price $359 Sweepstakes value listed as $425

The other differences are that the 8086K does not have vPro support and is not part of Intel’s Stable Image Platform Program. Neither is surprising given that it is a limited edition processor.

China will have 2000 8086K’s awarded, Germany 1000, and 500 each in Canada, U.K., France, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.