I love using my HP Z series workstation during my day job of web design, environment design, animation, and brand identity design, but these new Z series workstations are on a much higher level than my old Z desktop. They’re on another level when it comes to price points as well depending on the configuration you choose of course.
Today HP is announcing the new 5th Generation Z8 Fury, Z4, Z6, and Z8 workstation towers. They each have a different range of configuration options while the Z8 Fury is basically the ultimate.
The Mill is a special effects studio that uses the HP Z8 Fury to greatly improve graphics rendering speed in Houdini. This workstation was dropped from an airplane while rendering a complex scene to show how it could finish a full render before it was time to open the parachute.
See the video from the Mill above.
The Z by HP Workstations are also used by Briggs Automotive to help design and build the world’s only single seat road legal super car, the BAC Mono. Before building the car, clients get custom rendered images and videos showing the colors and customizations they request.
Hendrick Motorsports also uses high end HP Z Workstations, but in a more data-science related way. These workstations process massive amounts of car race data in real time during a race.
The HP Z8 Fury 5th Generation is essentially the ultimate in power when it comes to high end workstations. You can put an Intel® Xeon® W9-3495X (1.9 GHz base frequency, up to 4.8 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology, 105 MB L3 cache, 56 cores, 112 threads) processor in this thing along with up to 4 high end graphics processors like the NVIDIA RTX™ A6000 (48 GB GDDR6 dedicated). Each of those GPUs costs about $5600. Yeah, that’s 192Gb of dedicated graphics memory and 56 cores of processing power. The Z8 Fury also maxes out at 1 TB DDR5-4800 ECC SDRAM with its 16 RAM DIMM slots. Of course there’s room for plenty of hard drive and M.2 SSD storage as well.
The Z8, Z6, and Z4 workstation models step down the performance and expandability capabilities a bit in order to give customers lower price point options. The Z4 workstation is the least expensive option while still having a lot of power and thus is the best-selling choice.
All of the Z workstations can be ordered with Windows 11 (with Windows 10 downgrade rights), Ubuntu Linux, or simply Linux ready to install the OS of your choice. Most people tend to think graphics creators use MacOS mostly, but when it comes to extremely high end creation, designers often choose CentOS which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (though maybe they’ll move to Rocky Linux or Fedora as CentOS is becoming a rolling release.) With Linux you tend to get better performance and more reliability since you’re less dependent on Microsoft or Apple as the open nature of Linux allows for deep levels of software customization.
HP also has an HP Anywhere service that can provide high definition remote desktop access without a VPN, as well as some integrated lights-out management capabilities. This makes it easy to work remotely with a less expensive laptop while still tapping into the full power of a tower workstation.