The most basic thing that separates HP Workstations form the herd is simple: the HP Workstation DNA.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
However, the DNA from which HP workstations spring is nothing but simple.
I am reminded of this whenever a new line of CPUs are released by Intel to power professional workstations.
As I am wont to, I waited to see what, if any, supposed rivals to HP will deliver.
At the start of this month, I was at the 2014 HP Global Workstations Launch Event in Fort Collins, Colorado where HP debuted their latest HP Z Workstations.
As in my past blogs about the Z Workstations launch events, a lot was new.
HP refreshed following mobile and desktop workstations:
HP ZBook 15 & ZBook 17 Mobile Workstations
The 15” and 17” HP mobile workstations, known respectively as the ZBook 15 and ZBook 18, have new Intel “Haswell” CPUs, and the latest NVIDIA and AMD graphics. Building on their innovation of including Thunderbolt I/O technology, these two devices now include Thunderbolt 2. Storage isn’t neglected, as HP Z Turbo drives – see below – are included, along with a QHD display option. Both mobile workstations now have memory upgradeable to 32 GB of RAM. Three USB 3.0, a USB 2.0, and a DisplayPort port are available. Maximum internal storage is 2.2 TB for the ZBook 15, and 3.2 TB for the ZBook 17.
HP Z440 Workstation
HP’s Z4xx line has now advanced to the Z440.
A 4U chassis is you want to rack it, the z440 has the new Xeon E5 v3 processor. It can address up to 128 GB of DDR4-2133 ECC Registered SDRAM and a range of drives from SATA to SAS, to SSDs. It also is compatible with the HP Z Turbo PCIe drive.
HP Z640 Workstation
The Z640 is the latest iteration of the Z6xx series, of which I use the z600s as my everyday system.
This sweet baby has gotten a lot better over the years.
In this latest incarnation, the z640 has the ability to be connected to up to eight displays, and has support for up to 36 total cores spread over the two CPU slots on this workstation.
Accordingly, it has the new Intel Xeon E5 v3 CPUs, support for up to 256 GB of DDR4-2133 RAM*
HP Z840 Workstation
Just look at this product!
I can’s say enough of the Z8xx workstations.
They are the baddest players in a field where bad just gets you an invite to play.
For the new Z840, the HP Workstation BU led by Jim Zafarana, Jeff Wood, and Z8xx PM Mike Diehl, threw away the old playbook, and raised the bar several notches.
Apart from using the latest-and-greatest Xeon CPUs, this rackable minitower workstation is able to address up to 1 TB of RAM – yes Kansas: 1 terabyte of RAM! – today, and up to 2 TB of RAM once the expected 128 GB DIMMs become available.
Thunderbolt 2 is standard, as are the usual plethora of I/O ports.
And, and liquid cooling has been completely eliminated.
“Are they nuts” you ask?
Exclaimed that, did I as well, my padawans.
Mike Diehl, who is in charge of the Z840, informed me that based on several innovations within the new Z840 chassis, HP has completely obviated the need for liquid. In its stead is the copper-colored air-cooled contraption shown in the photograph above.
Available as the premium cooling which replaces the old liquid cooling option, I understand that this new air-cooled device brings better cooling and thermals to the Z840, especially when used in a max or John Obeto Speciale configurations.
Understandably, I am eager to lay my mitts on this product.
For your benefit, of course.
All systems are available with Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional x64, and with Windows 7 Professional x64 for enterprise customers who own downgrade rights, or on Microsoft’s academic license.
I understand that it is compatible with some non-Windows operating systems. However, I couldn’t lift an eyebrow to care for those OSs.
The HP Z Turbo drive is an M.2 PCIe SSD drive which delivers a claimed minimum 2x performance increase compared to SATA SSDs due to its direct connection to the workstation’s PCIe slot.
It is available in 256 GB and 512 GB capacities.
*Dependent on 32GB DIMMs
I will be devoting a blog to each of those lines, as well as to the Z Displays.
As I see it
As you can see, HP has a full, and complete line of extremely capable workstations.
For this post, I waited to evaluate the offerings by other workstations OEMs in order to see if their offerings were going to include new-fangled innovations that would set them apart.
That, is the HP workstations DNA.
I have sent the past several weeks doing just that.
I found none.
If they are counted upon as an HP workstations competitor, I have looked at, and in a couple of cases – with a national distributor, and a custom OEM, I have been briefed on their products.
All that was/is new, are the new Intel CPUs, and the use of DDR4 DIMMs.
That, however, is NOT innovation.
I came away from my search quite unimpressed.
What sets HP workstations apart from these box-slappers, is the fact that every workstation rev is a journey into delivering a vastly improved product that is made up of state of the art holistic and innovative componentry.
This is a huge difference, and it shows, both in the delivered products, and in the way those products have been marching forward and relentlessly gaining market share.
Sad to say it, but HP Workstations basically don’t have any competition.
More information on HP Workstations can be found here.
© 2002 – 2014, John Obeto for Blackground Media UnlimitedFollow @johnobeto