Cracking Open HP Z820 Workstation: Front
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Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.
I got my HP Z820 Workstation and I have pushed the button all the way down to add the maximum capability including 48 processing cores, 128 GB Memory RAM, 10 TB Hard Disk, and the latest professional graphics NVIDIA Quadro K6000, 2 HP Z Display Z30i 30-inch. All for only $27,000 :-) It is like having a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
mwclake1 concerns about customs parts is valid and it is for that reason that the true number of PC sales is skewed. There is large number of independently built computers, which is why accurate new PC sales are not and cannot be correctly accounted for. It is therefore likely that the post PC projections a very wrong indeed.
I like the design, for a major brand. However I have been bitten real bad many times from custom parts from the major manuf trying to do replacement parts and/or upgrades that I only customs build my own personal PC's myself now from standard components so easy to replace, cheaper, and can upgrade the way I want with common parts and not be held hostage by over priced upgrades or like one time was promised to be able to upgrade CPU's later when bought one Dell I had, very soon after buying the workstation they discontinued it and never offered the upgrade option afterwards. So as good as that one seems, I am going to stick to building my own again for my next upgrade. But for many who do not, seems like a good choice for a high end workstation.
and I love the fact they still have PS2 keyboard and mouse ports. With the above normal computing I do, I have run into problems with keyboards and mouse sharing USB, many times doing the extreme graphical programs when using a mouse on a USB port I get a lot of problems on many USB only computers. And I have hated the P4 architecture, was thinking ov going to AMD next upgrade. Although I did have an older Dell that had a 1.8 single Ghz Xeon, for my windows only machine and remember that thing sometimes would perform as good or better than my other 2.5 Ghz P4. Was either thinking AMD or the new i3/5/7 processors but may be worth looking at a mutil core/processor Xeon also.
I provide tech support at a research university and we are evaluating the Z820 as an option for our researchers who's requirements are above the capabilities of a standard office-grade PC. I've been very impressed with the build-quality and quietness of this machine! Considering the number of fans and the server-grade hardware I'd expected it to sound like a vacuum cleaner. But when I loaded up the processor cores (I got them up to 70 degrees C according to the on-board diagnostics) the machine was surprisingly quiet. This rig is definitely not for gaming (just take a look at the video card offerings: Nvidia Quadro and AMD Fire-GL) and for the money I could put together a machine that would put out faster frame rates and have enough left over for a large flat-screen or two. But for down and dirty number crunching sessions that can run for weeks, I think this would be a winner. - Snuffy - [i]Feeding the trolls since 1989.[/i]
I like to see some benchmarks off this beast!!! Also like to get my hands on some of those cpu coolers. . . . . . . . . . .
It's definately a very powerful machine, not the ".. I can execute weather forecasting algorithms.." kind of powerful, but can do a whole bunch of stuff for me, even better than all the Alienware machines I know, I can even host a couple of busy sites at home.
nice workstation but to use its full performance you would need some software such as CAD or newest games, or it maybe used for other purposes like code-breaking, advanced algorithms, I think 256-bit encryption is still waiting for fast code breaking :)
This workstation can be good for lot of stuff, but is not specific designed for gaming (better gamings pcs have 3 - 4 expensive video cards). This workstation is for non-linear video/audio editing, Math software, CAD, graphics design, labs, etc. Is definitely better than any MAC out there!
I am using the z420 model and run CATIAv5, PTC/ProE, Creo Parametric, UGNX with absolutely not issues. This line of workstations have impressed me so far with how quite they are, and how much computing power they come with for the price.