HP announced that its Z240 Workstation can now be equipped with an Intel Core i7-6700K processor. Previously, the workstation offered Xeon E3-1200 v5 and locked Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs, and the addition of the higher-clocked processor is a welcome boost for throughput-sensitive application users.
However, the Z240 does not support overclocking (nor does any other HP Z workstation), even with the unlocked i7-6700K, a fact many enthusiasts will undoubtedly frown upon. We noticed similar observations in the comments section of our AVADirect Avant P870DM-G article, with many in our community expressing a general distaste for companies that don’t support overclocking when offering unlocked components. (Many also suggested ways to get around these supposed shortcomings.)
We understand where these readers are coming from (especially in the case of the Avant), but not every device is intended for the enthusiast market, and not every customer requires overclocking. HP’s Z240 Workstation is designed for throughput-sensitive applications in the CAD and design industry. Programs such as AutoDesk Revit, Sketchit and others see significant performance gains with higher CPU clock rates, so the extra 600 MHz of base clock frequency and 200 MHz Turbo clock of the Core i7-6700K (compared to the i7-6700) goes a long way for users of these applications.
Furthermore, HP defended its position with the following statement:
“Overclocking is not supported on the Z240:• Intel does not support overclocked processors (voids the customer’s warranty).• Overclocked processors have a tendency to miscalculate critical application data. In other words, the customer is putting the integrity of their design at risk if they overclock their system.• Our goal (as HPI) is to provide the highest possible performance without compromising the customer’s system reliability. Given that, we will never support overclocking on our platforms.”
We can’t attest to HP’s theory that overclocking causes miscalculations with critical application data (that all depends on how stable the overclock is), but the company seems to have taken a strict stance on the subject, putting stability first and not stepping over standard operating guidelines. Although it may seem pointless to enthusiasts to offer unlocked processors in non-overclockable platforms, the Intel Core i7-6700K does serve a purpose for CAD developers and designers, even without taking advantage of the unlocked CPU multipliers.
The HP Z240 Workstation is available now from the company’s website, starting at $879.