Technology giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) introduced its updated Z Workstations notebook and desktop lines, combining increased system expandability, higher-speed memory and multicore updates.
HP Z Desktops and ZBook Mobile Workstations are built to address the constraints of compute-intensive industries, including media and entertainment, graphic design, CAD, architecture, photography, manufacturing, finance, health care, scientific imaging, and oil and gas exploration.
The additions to the portfolio include the Z840, Z640 and Z440 desktop workstations, which feature the Intel Xeon processor product family, and Nvidia and AMD professional graphics options.
The Z440 Workstation features a tool-free mini-tower form that includes a 100 percent increase in system memory compared to the Z420.
In addition, the Z440 chassis was redesigned to better meet the needs of mainstream workstation customers, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that embed the Z440 in custom solutions.
A quiet solution for space-constrained environments, the Z640 Workstation’s tool-less chassis features integrated handles and a tool-free power supply.
Finally, the dual-processor Z840 Workstation, designed for high-end computing and visualization, boasts tool-free serviceability in a highly expandable chassis.
This expandability provides seven expansion slots, up to 10 expansion bays, 16 memory slots and support for up to 2TB of memory.
The three Workstations all offer a tool-less chassis, integrated handles and visually cable-less design, and also include a charging port for mobile devices, 14 percent faster DDR4 memory for improved application performance and BIOS enhancements to enable higher system performance and better security.
The purposes of BIOS are to initialize and test the system hardware components, and to load an operating system from a mass memory device.
The BIOS additionally provides an abstraction layer for the hardware, such as a consistent way for application programs and operating systems to interact with the keyboard, display, and other input/output devices.
On the mobile computing front, the ZBook 15 G2 and 17 G2 notebooks take advantage of a variety of processing options, including optional Intel quad-core processors and Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro professional graphics that are ISV-certified.
An ISV (independent software vendor) makes and sells software products that run on one or more computer hardware or operating system platforms, and ISV certification is one of the big differences between workstations and high-end PCs – only workstations are certified.
Hardware is ISV certified by software manufacturers after they have run exhaustive tests and are satisfied that a platform works seamlessly with their software—companies like HP, Dell and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) typically spend considerable time and effort to achieve these certifications.
The ZBook notebooks also offer easy-access door for tool-less removable hard drives, in addition to new drive options like the Z Turbo Drive and the faster connectivity option of Thunderbolt 2.
Thunderbolt is an interconnect technology developed by Intel in cooperation with Apple, which combines PCI Express and DisplayPort into a single connection, allowing for a combination of up to six peripherals, like storage devices and monitors, to be daisy-chained together.
The full-performance HP ZBook 15 G2 notebook sports a thin design and offers a high-resolution 15-inch diagonal, Quad-HD display.
The ZBook 17 G2 Mobile Workstation offers a larger, 17.3-inch diagonal optional DreamColor display, which featurers HP’s integrated calibration engine, 4K input support, and 10-bit color that drives up to 1.07 billion onscreen colors.
The Z440, Z640 and Z840 Workstations are expected to be available worldwide beginning in late October, with estimated U.S. pricing starting at $1,299, $1,759 and $2,399.
The ZBook 15 G2 and ZBook 17 G2 Mobile Workstation are expected to be available worldwide in late September, with estimated U.S. pricing starting at $1,499 and $1,749.