The HP Z800 Workstation Review: A Refresh
The Z800 I reviewed boasted dual 6-core Xeon X5680 (Westmere) 32 nm processors clocked at 3.33 GHz, 12 GB RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 video card. It also came with a 146 GB SAS drive at 15,000 RPM, 1 TB data drive and a slot-loading DVD drive. As configured, the system retails for $13,470 while the base price for the Z800 is $1,799. They have you covered at every level, whether startup or corporation.
If you're not familiar with the Z800, I suggest you visit HP's site and take a tour. Their tool-less case design is a feat of engineering. The system can handle up to 192 GB or RAM, dual Quadro FX 5800 video and 4 eSATA hard drives. If you want liquid cooling HP has you covered there as well.
For Animators and VFX Artists
Obviously, these systems are intended for the complete range of users, including CADD, oil and gas and the financial sectors. However, I'm going to focus on its benefits for animators and vfx artists. And if you're anything like me, you'll probably get pretty excited when you see 24 buckets rendering in 3ds Max!
When I told my friend who owns a vfx company in Vancouver about the new Z800 system I was reviewing, I could almost hear the drool through his instant message. He's still laboring away on a 5-year-old Boxx system. But demanding apps are requiring more memory and processing power all the time. Whether you're modeling, rendering or compositing, the more resources you have at your disposal the better. Again, HP has you covered. And I think my friend is even more tempted to upgrade.
The Z800 can handle anything you throw at it -- from 3ds Max to Maya, and compositing software to boot. I had a tough time bringing the system to its proverbial knees.
Moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 means SpecViewPerf 9 no longer works, so I am now using version 10 to do my testing. Luckily, I ran SpecViewPerf 10 when testing the original Z800, so at least this is a real apples-to-apples comparison. As you can see from the results, the Quadro FX 5800 card in the current system outpaced the 4800 card in the previous system in every test. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
HP Z800 2009 (SpecViewPerf 10)
3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 52.92
catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 62.95
ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 52.57
maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 208.46
proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 61.31
sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 133.83
ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 32.39
tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 28.28