05 October 2017
HP has announced a line of new Z-Class Workstations, and they're enough to dwarf your own PC builds. The Z4, Z6 and the Z8 are the company's most powerful workstation offerings, and have an insane array of specs with prices to match.
The Z8 is the flagship workstation in this lineup. The company boasts of an insane upgradability, which is not always the case with competing products from Dell, Fujitsu etc. All of the new Z-class workstations come with a very versatile set of build options which you can choose from depending upon your budget.
Starting off with the motherboard, the Z8 carries HP's proprietary board with 24 DIMM RAM slots and dual sockets. You can choose from a wide range of Intel Xeon processors, the highest-end being the Xeon Platinum 8180 with 28 cores. Ofcourse, you can have two of these, giving you up to 56 cores and 112 threads. The base configuration can support up to 3 TB of DDR4 2666 Mhz RAM.
That's not all. There are two M.2 SSDs on-board - the faster storage technology out there right now. And there are two NVIDIA Quadro Pro P6000 GPUs on board with 24 GB of GDDR5 VRAM each, if you choose to have them, that is.
This kind of processing power is enough for flawless 8K video editing and running any simulations, simultaneously. So these workstations have been designed specifically for production artists. Ofcourse you could play games too, as it can support any game out there on max settings. But the extra processor cores and VRAM is overkill for gaming, and akin to doing a spoon's work with a shovel.
Coming to connectivity, there are ten USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C ports. Ten! As if that wasn't enough, there are two Gigabit Ethernet ports, seven (full length) PCIe slots (9 in total), and an optional Thunderbolt 3 port. All of this is powered by a 1,700 Watt power supply.
As far as the price goes, the Z8 starts at $2,439. That may not seem much, but it's the price of the very basic model. The price goes up skywards as you add higher-end options to your build. The 28 core Xeon processor along with the highest GPU option, the P6000 (two of each) will alone cost you $35,000, so be ready to dish out an insane amount of money for those specs.
The Z6 and Z4 workstations start at $1,919 and $1,239 respectively. All of these will be available for order in October.