HP Connects New Workstations With Macs for Graphic Artists

Apple Mac users can multitask between native Mac OS apps and Windows or Linux workstation applications through HP RGS.

HP Inc., which has made no secret of its respect for the success of Apple's laptops and of its strategy to compete via its own redesigned portable PC lineup, has adopted that approach to its workstation division as well.

And now there's a new "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" twist: HP is enabling 1-to-1 connections from its Windows OS workstations to Apple Macs, so artists and other creative types can get the best of both worlds when needed.

HP Inc. has rejiggered its HP Z1 workstation with new capabilities specifically to provide an alternative for the creative Macintosh community. These advancements are designed to help artists, creative staff and developers more quickly and efficiently bring designs and products to life.

The company April 18 introduced its third generation of the HP Z1 workstation, which essentially is a larger, heavier laptop but featuring performance normally found in tower PCs. Key features include a 23.6-inch diagonal anti-glare UHD 4K display for high visual clarity—a major advantage when working on graphic-intensive projects—and Intel Xeon processor options for workstation-class processing.

Other top-line features include 64GB ECC memory, NVIDIA Quadro graphics and dual PCIe HP Z Turbo Drives for speedy bootup, calculation and response times for large files. Users can maximize storage by adding up to two additional 2.5-inch SATA SSDs or HDDs.

It also has multiple ports to transfer data and connect devices, including side-access dual Thunderbolt 3 with USB 3.1, USB charging port, media card reader and DisplayPort.

Software Connects Windows, Macs

In the same set of announcements, HP unveiled its Apple Mac OS X Receiver software. This uses HP's Remote Graphics Software to create a connection to Mac users, giving them access to their high-end HP Z Workstations.

RGS enables engineers, animators and scientists who may have Mac laptops to securely use all the applications on their workstation—even when they are away from that workstation.

"We listened to our customers to create a new smaller, lighter and lower-cost (Z1) model," said Jeff Wood, HP Inc. vice president of Workstations and Thin Clients. "The new Z1 will introduce more new customers to workstation power and reliability, while HP RGS with a Mac Receiver will open doors to more Apple customers wanting to integrate our powerful Z Workstations."

Mac users can multitask between native Mac OS apps and Windows or Linux workstation applications through HP RGS. According to the company, with HP RGS, users of Mac or MacBook products can:

-- Connect seamlessly across the office or world to a Windows or Linux workstation session for joint development, interactive edits and design reviews;

-- Access high-performance 2D, 3D, video and media-rich applications;

-- View graphics on a single display or on multimonitor setups;

-- Connect to a fully loaded HP Z840 Workstation—it is like upgrading a Mac with up to 9x the processing cores, 30x the memory and adding professional NVIDIA Quadro graphics; and

-- Accomplish render time and editing of ultra-high res video content and FX at exponentially faster speeds.

Pricing and Availability

The HP Z1 G3 is expected to be available in May starting at $1,498. HP Remote Graphics Software is available now for HP Z Desktop and ZBook Mobile Workstations as a free download for existing HP Z Workstation customers. The Mac receiver is free for HP RGS users and is coming soon, HP said. HP RGS sender licenses can also be purchased for use on supported, non-HP hardware.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...