Newly Refreshed HP Z Workstation Lineup Offers Flexible Setups and Novel Features
Andrew Wheeler posted on July 18, 2018 |

HP announced the launch of their refreshed Z Workstation series today. There are four new entries to their lineup, each with different features.

HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation

Selling at USD 799, the new HP Z2 Mini Workstation will be available later this month and has twice the graphics capability as the last generation did. Users can configure it with NVIDIA Quadro P600, NVIDIA Quadro P1000 GPUs, and the option for AMD Radeon Pro WX4150 graphics are there as well, if your rendering workload is on the higher end.

Designed to be versatile and flexible to save space, the HP Z2 Mini workstation is designed to fit in a standard 42U rack with its rackmount bracket accessory. (Image courtesy of HP.)
Designed to be versatile and flexible to save space, the HP Z2 Mini workstation is designed to fit in a standard 42U rack with its rackmount bracket accessory. (Image courtesy of HP.)

The I/O allows users to configure for legacy serial ports and up to six displays and users can choose form Intel six-core Xeon processors for their CPUs.

The Z2 Mini G4 offers a high degree of customization, and if you happen to prefer AMD GPUs, the Z2 Mini G4 has options for an AMD Radeon Pro WZ4150 GPU. It is also unique in that users can consolidate space by attaching it to the back of your desk or display unit, as pictured above. The Z2 Mini G4 has a single M.2 slot for Solid State Drive storage, but upgrading it requires disassembly.

HP Z2 Small Form Factor (SFF) G4 Workstation

This workstation costs USD 749 and has 50 percent more processing power than the last generation. Mostly due to the availability of six-core Intel Xeon CPUs, the HP Z2 SFF has customizable I/O options so users can commandeer PCIe slots while configuring for legacy equipment.

The HP Z SFF G4 workstation has four PCIe slots, dual M.2 storage slots and its design allows users to customize their networking setup without worrying about using up PCIe slots. As you can see in the picture above, the dust filter is easy to remove and clean. (Image courtesy of HP.)

The HP Z SFF G4 workstation has four PCIe slots, dual M.2 storage slots and its design allows users to customize their networking setup without worrying about using up PCIe slots. As you can see in the picture above, the dust filter is easy to remove and clean. (Image courtesy of HP.)

The most expandable SFF workstation from HP's latest offering includes two M.2 storage slots and four PCI-E slots. Without using a single PCI-E slot, HP is making the claim that users can customize I/O, networking and display. Featuring Intel's Xeon E-2176G six-core CPU at 3.7 GHz, users can also opt for Intel Core i7-8700K processors with 16GB of Intel Optane memory or Intel's i5 CPUs.

GPU options include AMD's entry-level Radeon Pro WX3100 with 4GB of dedicated memory, the NVIDIA Quadro P1000 with 4GB of dedicated memory or AMD’s Radeon Pro WX4100 with 4GB of dedicated memory. If you don't need the extra GPU power, you can opt for the NVIDIA Quadro P400 and P620 GPUs, which each come with 2GB of dedicated memory.

HP Z2 G4 Tower Workstation

At a starting price of USD 769 later this month, designers and engineers will be able to check out the HP Z2 Tower G4 Workstation. Designed for complex 3D modeling environments like those found in BIM applications, the HP Z2 Tower has 60 percent more graphics power than the previous generation and is 13 percent smaller.

The HP Z2 Tower G4 workstation has overclocked CPUs and has nifty features like an optional dust filter to keep the computer clean in harsh manufacturing environments like in a machine shop or in a factory. It has dual M.2 storage slots for users who like to install high-grade storage and self-encrypting drives to protect intellectual property. (Image courtesy of HP.)

The HP Z2 Tower G4 workstation has overclocked CPUs and has nifty features like an optional dust filter to keep the computer clean in harsh manufacturing environments like in a machine shop or in a factory. It has dual M.2 storage slots for users who like to install high-grade storage and self-encrypting drives to protect intellectual property. (Image courtesy of HP.)

According to HP, this new generation of Z2 workstation is 60 percent more power efficient compared to the last generation. Equipped with an Intel Xeon E-2176G CPU that runs at 3.7 GHz and can be boosted to 4.7 GHz, users can customize their Z2 with Intel's 8th generation core series of CPUs. It ships with support for the whole NVIDIA Quadro family, including the NVIDIA Quadro P1000 and NVIDIA Quadro P5000, which comes with 16GB of dedicated GDDR5X memory. 

For AMD GPU fans, users can add the Radeon Pro WX 7100 with 8 GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory or the Radeon WX3100 with 4 GB of dedicated memory. 

It also has 64 GB of Dual-Channel DDR4-2666 ECC memory and up to 16 TB of storage with four storage bays and two dedicated M.2 slots. There are four PCI-E slots for flexible graphics choices and  multiple inputs and outputs (I/O). With I/O, flexibility in this case means a higher level of customization in that users can add or remove input/output modules as they desire. On the front side, there is support for one USB Type-C and two USB 3.0. In the back, there is one DVI-I link for connecting displays, one RJ-45 connector, one audio-in and one audio-out for your desired setup.

HP EliteDesk 800 Workstation Edition

If you’re interested in developing or using VR as a visualization tool, the HP EliteDesk 800 Workstation Edition can have it built with NVIDIA GeForce 1080. (Image courtesy of HP).
If you’re interested in developing or using VR as a visualization tool, the HP EliteDesk 800 Workstation Edition can have it built with NVIDIA GeForce 1080. (Image courtesy of HP).

For a beginning price of USD 64, customers interested in the HP EliteDesk 800 workstation will get  NVIDIA Quadro P400 graphics with a computer built specifically for 2D drafting and 3D modeling workflows from major CAD applications like SOLIDWORKS and AutoCAD.

The theme of having a high degree of customization continues here with options for GeForce and Quadro GPUs. Users can add entry-level P400 and P620 graphics with 2GB dedicated memory, depending on their 2D and 3D CAD needs. There are multiple expansion slots, most popular CAD software is ISV-certified, and users have access to HP's proprietary self-healing BIOS. 

Users can also add a third configurable rear I/O port for customizable display, meaning you can select and add a VGA, HDMI or USB-Type C with DisplayPort. Your firmware gets a little extra protection from HP Sure Start Gen4, which automatically recovers BIOS from rootkits, corruption or malware. HP claims the same is true of protecting mission critical applications during a malware attack with self-healing protection from HP Sure Run. The new version of HP Sure Recover HP Sure Recover allows you to restore your computer using the latest healthy image by just connecting to a network. 

Bottom Line

HP is offering a wide range of workstations that may or may not be right for your particular needs and budget. HP pushes out a new series of workstations like this with a tremendous amount of PR, but that certainly doesn't mean that these aren't right for you. The ability to customize is nothing new for those who build and maintain their own workstations, but not everyone is so inclined or has the time. 

The industrial design is well done, which may be important for architectural firms, and the particulate filters will help keep work protected in a machine shop environment or in a manufacturing facility. If your work requires a lot of security protection, the self-healing BIOS that keeps work and mission critical applications running and recoverable in worst-case scenarios may be worth having for organization-wide peace of mind. 


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