A look at HP's newest Z Series workstations

Posted By Lance Grange on March 06, 2012 02:04 pm | Permalink
By Lance Grange

Recently I attended a special HP (www.hp.com) event in Las Vegas during HP's Global Partnership Conference. I got an early glimpse at what was announced officially today - the latest refresh of their Z Workstations line with the Z420, Z620, and the Z820 workstations.

This impressive refresh boasts the latest Intel Sandy Bridge Xeon processors, increased and faster memory capacity, USB 3.0, 6GB/S SATA, and PCI Express 3.0 technology.

The latest Z workstations incorporate the just released Xeon E5-2600 Sandy Bridge processor. This Sandy Bridge processor comes with up to 8 cores running at 3.1 GHz with the Z620 and Z820 supporting two processors, allowing for 16 cores with 32 threads of processing power. The E5-2600 has the latest Intel technology with an integrated I/O Hub in the processor reducing latency by up to 30 percent as well as integrating Advanced Vector Extension technology allowing for increased performance in floating point capabilities.
Four-channel 1600MHZ DDR3 ECC memory has been used, which is faster with greater throughput than the previous generation. It has also vastly increased the memory capacity (over double previous generation) with the Z420 having a maximum of 64GB Memory via 8 DIMM slots, The Z620 with a maximum of 96GB Memory via 12 DIMM slots, and the Z820 comes in with supports for half a terabyte of memory with 16 DIMM slots.

Supporting the latest SATA technology with two 6GB/s SATA ports for all the Z Series models and on the Z620 and Z820 with 6GB/s SAS ports. The Z420 and Z620 support up to 11TB of storage and the Z820 supports up to 14TB of storage.

The entire line of Z Workstations incorporate the latest PCI Express 3.0 technology, which contains twice the bandwidth of PCI  Express 2.0 and has a minimum of three slots in each model. It also has multiple USB 3.0 ports integrated into all the Z series towers. For video cards The Z 420's support Nvidia 5000 graphics dares and the Z620 and Z820 support Nvidia Quadro 6000 graphics cards (Z820 supports dual Quadro 6000 cards).

The Z Series workstations have all been designed with tool less design cases allowing for easy upgrades and accessibility, where this was previously designed into the Z800 Workstation, it has now had been added to the Z420 and Z620 workstations as well.
Price points start at $1169 for the Z420, $1649 for the Z620, and $2299 for the Z820. The workstations are expected to be available worldwide in April.
This is an impressive refresh of the Z Series line, which should address the need for the ever-expanding memory requirements, process power and peripheral technology required with the latest rendering and video design software at an aggressive price point.

Lance Grange is an independent consultant and owner of Grange IT Consulting as well as on the IT staff at California Lutheran University working closely with the Multimedia Department. Lance can be reached at grangeITconsulting@gmail.com