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...The Performance Of A Workstation

HP Z1 Workstation: High-End Hardware In An All-In-One

HP's Z1 takes standard DDR3-1600 desktop memory, and four available slots allow for up to 32 GB if you use 8 GB ECC-capable DIMMs.

To the right of the RAM, a slot-loading optical drive is positioned vertically on the right-hand side of the case.

An LGA 1155 processor interface sits under a custom shroud and heat sink. Standard CPU options include Ivy Bridge-based Core i3, i5, and Xeon 1200 v2 models. The second-gen Z1, in comparison, uses Haswell-based CPUs.

The GPU is also covered by a custom shroud and heat sink assembly, under which you'll find an MXM module. Whether the graphics processor operates at second- or third-gen transfer rates depends on the capabilities of the CPU installed.

GPU in its MXM slotGPU in its MXM slot

Aside from its orientation, the cooler is similar to what you'd find in a desktop system, employing a long radiator and heat pipes to draw heat from powerful GPUs.

Implementing such a sizable cooler on a mobile GPU means that the Z1's fans can spin more slowly, enabling quiet running.

Underside of the GPUUnderside of the GPU

The entire system is designed to move air from the bottom to the top, which conveniently keeps the LED-backlit display cool, since there's a bit of a gap between the platform and display panel.

As for storage, there is a drive cage in the middle of the machine able to hold either one 3.5-inch desktop hard drive or, in the case of our test machine, two low-profile 2.5-inch drives (like SSDs). Address them as separate repositories or set them up in RAID 0/1.

Below the drive cage is the remaining USB port, inside the machine. It houses the wireless keyboard/mouse dongle. However, the chassis can be locked shut and an application dongle can be left in its place. If you think that's unlikely, then you haven't had to go check out a Pro Tools or Avid hardware key at school in order to participate in class. Make no mistake: the education market (for both science and art) is a large segment of the Z1's target market.

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