Review: HP Z840 Workstation

Studio Daily by David English

Next-Generation Processors and Faster DDR4 RAM Make HP's Latest Workstation a Peak Performer

It has been just two years since HP introduced its flagship Z820 workstation. And, almost like clockwork, we?re ready for a replacement model that updates many of the internal components.

The two-year cycle is no accident. Like the newly introduced Z640 and Z440, the Z840 is timed with the introduction of Intel?s latest generation of Xeon Haswell processors. Along with the bump up in processors, the Z840, Z640, and Z440 are able to take advantage of faster DDR4 memory. The new models include the latest graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. You can now configure your system with a PCIe-based SSD, which is faster than the standard 6 Gb/s SATA-based SSD. And there are a few other goodies hidden inside the Z840, including the ability to equip any of the 3.5-inch drive bays with two 2.5-inch hard drives?giving you twice the number of internal drives.

Put it all together, and you could have a new top-of-the-line workstation with 36 cores and as much as 1 TB of RAM when 64 GB DIMMs are available in 1Q 2015, or as much as 2 TB of RAM when 128 GB DIMMs are available in 3Q 2015. Until then, the maximum would be a not-too-skimpy 256 GB of DDR4 RAM.

Of course, you don?t have to max out your new Z840. The starting price is $2,399, though that system wouldn?t include a discrete graphics card. You could easily spend from $4,000 to $6,000 for a single-processor configuration. And the price will soar quickly, once you add a second processor and larger amounts of memory. (Each processor has direct access to its own memory slots, so you?ll want to double the amount of RAM if you opt for a two-processor system.) read more...

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