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

Test System Configuration And Benchmark Settings

Test Machine

The baseline machine remains the same, with the same limitations affecting its performance.

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Header Cell - Column 0 iBuyPower P500XHP Z1
CPUIntel Xeon E3 1270 v2, 3.5 GHz, LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabledIntel Xeon E3 1280 v2, 3.6 GHz, LGA 1155, 8 MB Shared L3, Hyper-Threading enabled, Power-savings enabled
CoolerAsetek 550LCHP air-cooler
MotherboardAsus P8B WS, BIOS 2009, Intel C206 series chipsetHP 3561h, BIOS A08J52 v02.10, Intel C602 series chipset
RAM2 x Kingston KVR1333D3E9S/4G, ECC DDR3-1333 CAS 94 x Micron 18JSF51272AZ-1G6M1, ECC DDR3-1600 CAS 11
GraphicsPNY Quadro 2000 1 GB, 625 MHz GPU, 1300 MHz memory, 128-bit GDDR5, 192 CUDA coresQuadro K4000M 4 GB, 600 MHz GPU, 700 MHz memory, 256-bit GDDR5, 960 CUDA cores, MXM module recognized as PCIe 3.0 x16
RAID ControllerN/AIntel C206 integrated SATA/RAID controller
SSDKingston Hyper-X SH100S3/120G, 120 GB MLC NAND SSD2 x Intel SSD 320 SSDSA2BW300G3H, 300 GB MLC NAND SSD
Hard DrivesHGST HDS732020BLA642 2 TB, 7K3000 7200 RPMN/A
Optical DriveLite-On iHAS124-04(C) 24x Dual-layer DVD±RW WriterHP BD DRV BD-5841H5 6x BD-ROM/8x DVD±RW Writer/24x CD Writer
SoundEcho Digital Audio AudioFire 2 (not included in price)Echo Digital Audio AudioFire 2 (not included in price)
NetworkingIntegrated Intel 82574LIntegrated Intel 82579LM
FireWireIntegrated VIA 6308SIntegrated JMicron JMB 38X
Power SupplyCorsair TX650 V2, 80 PLUS Bronze, 650 WDelta Electronics DPS-400AB-15A, 90% efficient, 400 W
ChassisCooler Master Silencio 550ZP Z1 All-in-One
MonitorLG E2250T-PN, 22”, 1920x1080 (Not included in price or testing)HP Z1 integrated, 27”, 2560x1440LG E2250T-PN, 22”, 1920x1080 (used as solo monitor for the 1920x1080 benchmarks, not in price)
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional x64Windows 7 Professional x64
Graphics DriverQuadro Driver 320.49Quadro Driver 307.74 (latest available when testing was done)
Audio Driver5.85.8
ASIO DriverIncluded in audio driverIncluded in audio driver
WarrantyThree-year labor; one-year partsLimited one-, three-, four-, and five-year options. Mon-Fri 8-5 next business day, parts, labor and 24x7 phone support, terms and conditions may vary.
Price As Configured$1999 (2012)$6601

The SSD configuration in our sample is no longer available, so the pricing we're using corresponds to a pair of Micron C400 256 GB drives.

Test Suite

The test suite is also unrevised since last fall, with the minor addition of some tests for the Z1's display.

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7-ZipVersion 9.28: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to .7z, command line switches "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5"
WinRARVersion 4.2: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro: THG-Workload (1.3 GB) to ZIP, command line switches "-a -ez -p -r"
Content Creation
NewTek LightWave 3D 11.5Custom workload: High-polygon-count Tom’s Hardware logo, Modeler test: Scripted cloning of surface details across a segment of the logo, Render test: 1920x1080 render of logo with photoreal motion blur, ray-traced shadows, global illumination, OpenGL Test: Generate OpenGL preview of animation for real-time playback on screen
BlenderVersion: 2.68a, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, Resolution: 1920x1080, Anti-Aliasing: 8x, Render: THG.blend frame 1, Cycles renderer and internal tile renderer (9x9)
e-on Software VUE 11 Infinite PLECustom workload: Landscape (generated in Vue 8 full version and imported into PLE)
Autodesk 3ds Max 2014Space Flyby Mentalray, Frame 248, 1440x1080, Tom’s Hardware Logo render in V-Ray 2.4.04, 1920x1080, global illumination, photorealistic motion blur, ray-traced shadows, Create Nitrous preview of logo scene, to Y: RAM drive, Autodesk chair scene in iray, 1920x1080, 250 passes, GPU (CUDA)-only rendering, Car render in V-RayRT, 1920x1080, 256 passes, CUDA-only
Autodesk Maya 2014Tom’s Hardware Logo render in mental ray, 1920x1080, global illumination, photorealistic motion blur, ray-traced shadows, OpenGL Test: Generate Playblast (OpenGL preview) animation to Y: RAM drive
Maxon Cinebench r11.53D Rendering and OpenGL Benchmarks, built-in benchmarks with default settings
Adobe Premiere Pro CCCustom Workload: Edit of 59.94 FPS 720p DVCProHD footage, with transitions and some color correction, Render To H.264 720p
Adobe Photoshop CCFilter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates filters
Adobe After Effects CCCustom Workload: SD motion graphics sequence with 3 picture-in-picture frames sourced from 720p HD Quicktimes, Same scene rendered using a frame sequence instead of from Quicktime sources, HD redo of the project using frame sequences, to 1080p
Reaper v4.402DAWBench Universal 2012: Test number of simultaneous copies of ReaXComp that the system can effectively run, Custom Workload: Render and mix down to .wav custom score project, multiple tracks of audio, VST synthesizers and effects
Visual Studio 2010Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012) with devenv.com /build Release
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.9.9Video: Big Buck Bunny (720x480, 23.972 frames) 5 Minutes, Audio: Dolby Digital, 48 000 Hz, Six-Channel, English, to Video: AVC Audio: AC3 Audio2: AAC (High Profile)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG-2), Audio: MPEG-2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
SPECviewperf 11Default GUI options; Workloads: CATIA, EnSight, LightWave, Maya, Pro/E, SolidWorks, Teamcenter Visualization Mockup, Siemens NX
LuxMark 2.0OpenCL-based rendering benchmark, default settings, “Ball” and “Room” tests
CASE Euler3DCFD simulation over NACA 445.6 aeroelastic test wing at Mach 0.5
Thesycon DPCLatDPC Latency Checker, run with default settings
SiSoftware SandraCPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/Multimedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark, Cryptography
Iometer 1.1.0Workers = 1, 16 GB repeating data, 4KB random, 128 KB sequential
AS SSD 1.7.4739Seq, 4K random, and 4K-64 THRD tests
Argyll CMS 1.6.1, DisplCalGUI with a Spyder Elite 4 sensor.
  • blackmagnum
    Why should professionals buy this over an iMac or Mac Pro other than staying within the Windows environment?
  • ubercake
    Most CAD designers in manufacturing aren't using Macs.

    The limiting factor here is how much less the cost of a standard workstation/monitor combo is compared to this AIO.
  • Draven35
    1: To stay within the windows environment.
    2: Workstation graphics
    3: Better serviceability
    4: Better display panel (116.1% sRGB *measured*, versus 97.5% sRGB)
    5. Support for workstation applications under Windows, including appropriate certifications. (Which for certain applications is very important since they won't support problems with an unsupported system.)
  • bambiboom
    As usual, a very thorough testing and well constructed description by Tom's of an interesting new system.

    However, in a fundamental aspect, the HP Z-1 needs to be considered in the reason for it's existence. Much effort was used to create a stylish, high performance all-in- one, but at 47lbs and $6,600, what is the market? It's not mobile given the configuration and weight, and it's highly expensive. Those needing mobility can obtain good performance from a Dell Precision M at a similar cost- though of course, the larger and 2560 resolution of the monitor is a big plus for the HP. More importantly, look at the configuration of the excellent performing HP Z820 possible for the same $6,600- this getting into dual Xeon E5 category- and today cores are king. Why not not make a compact desktop and set a standard monitor on top? If HP needs an idea, I have a 2006 Dell Optiplex 740 that raises a 27" monitor to the perfect viewing height- or can sit vertically on the desk or floor and can use a standard desktop Quadro.

    I don't know any professional office so pushed on space that would require this format for a workstation. Also, serious workstation users at that price will be looking for at least six or even eight-core CPUs- at least the LGA2011 socket to allow a change later. The memory bandwidth of Xeon E5 is more than double that of Xeon E3 as is the number of PCIe lanes. Think of the file size of impending 4K and 3D video when considering the amount of RAM, GPU's, peripherals, and file storage required.

    HP should know well enough that workstation users have to choose particular monitors for their applications and preferences, similarly GPU's, plus add non-proprietary PCIe RAID cards, special soundcard / interfaces, and often many HD's.

    The HP Z-1 is elegant but expensive and simply not flexible enough. Like the new Mac Dustbin Pro, the HP Z1 is, in my view, answering a question no one is asking.

    HP Z420 > Xeon E5-1620, 24GB ECC1600, Quadro 4000, Samsung 840 250GB, WD Black 1TB, M-Audio 192 > HP 2711x 1920 X 1080

    Dell Precision T5400 > 2X Xeon x5460, 16GB ECC667, Quadro FX 4800, WD RE4 500GB, Seagate Barracuda 500GB, M-Audio 2496 > Dell 24"
  • ubercake
    ^+1 What he said.
  • rich1234
    I have a G1 Z1 and its great, you can find them cheap on ebay, mine was suppose to be refurb but it was brand new, upgraded to 5 year onsite HP warranty for 120 bucks, upgraded to 3770k and memory, you can put any nvidia gaming mxm card in this beast as long as you have the videocard enclosure, can get those as an HP part number if you dont have one to swap out.
  • Draven35
    I have to disagree on several of the points. First, this machine, as priced, is pretty much maxed out, not a starter machine. Seeing as how he even owns a Z420, he knows people buy non-socket 2011 workstations.

    Many animation studios have their line animators and modellers working on single-processor machines. Higher end dual proc machines are usually reserved for TDs. Similarly, in compositing, paint and roto artists usually have lower machines, while the people building final composites get the higher end systems. People all over these roles need critical color matching as well, and the Dreamcolor display on the Z1 fits that well.

    He completely glosses over the design studio and educational markets, where space is at a premium, and 'looking nice' is important.

    I guess the Z1 not being needed in the market, and 'answering a question no one is asking', would be news to Dreamworks, who is actually buying them.

    The 'storage problem' is easily solved on the Generation 2 Z1 by adding a Thunderbolt RAID.

    Part of the reason for its weight is its serviceability. You don't need a weird suction-cup-handle gadget, and don't have to remove the screen, to swap drives on it.
  • cknobman
    I was thinking "Man this machine rocks", then I saw the price and my little bubble burst.

    Completely and ludicrously overpriced.
  • bambiboom
    Firstly, I am aware that people buy non-LGA2011 workstations- I have a dual Socket 775 Dell Precision. However, you imply that because I own an HP Z420 I should know this. My reply is that anyone interested in HP workstations should note that an HP Z420, that is Xeon E5, is LGA2011.

    And yes, of course people do buy non LGA2011, it's only that they don't spend $6,600. How many Xeon E3 and especially "educational" systems are sold in that price range? Animators and modelers do use single CPU systems, and higher specification machines are used when all cores can be utilized. However, do "those lower machines" -and monitor cost $6,600?

    Consider this system >

    Processor: Intel Xeon Six-Core E5-1650 v2 3.5 / 3.9GHz LGA 2011 CPU > $590

    Motherboard: ASUS P9X79-E WS LGA 2011. X79 chipset,7X PCIe x16, 8X SATA III, USB 3.0 > $462

    RAM: 32GB ( 4 X 8GB) Kingston 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1866 > $396 ($99 ea.)

    Graphics Card: PNY VCQK5000-PB NVIDIA Quadro K5000 4GB 256-bit video card > $1,800

    Hard Drive 1: Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB SSD > $139

    Hard Drives 2,3: 2X Western Digital Black 2 TB SATA3 HD WD2003FZEX (RAID 1) > $294 ($147each)

    Case: LIAN LI PC-A75 Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case $170

    Power Supply: SeaSonic G-750 SSR-750RM 750W Power Supply $120

    Cooling: Cooler Master Seidon 120M –CPU Liquid Cooling System > $70

    Blu-Ray /DVD Burner: LG WH16NS40 - OEM $65

    Total = $3,846
    Add Windows 7 Professional and a good 2560 X 1440 27" QHD monitor on a budget of say $1,200 for a total of about $5,000- and that's purchasing the parts retail.

    In your opinion, would the above system with a six core- (=+50%), Xeon E5 at 3.5 / 3.9GHz processor, X79 chipset board with 32GB 1866 RAM, and a Quadro K5000- one of the best workstation cards, perform better and be more expandable than the Z1- all for a price with enough left over compared to the Z1 to buy a Z420 like mine?

    If I were to spend $6,600 I would spend it like this>

    CPU> (2) Intel Xeon Processor E5-2637 v2 Four core @ 3.5 / 3.8 GHz 15M Cache > $1,992 ($996 each)

    Motherboard > ASUS Z9PE-D16 SSI EEB Server Motherboard Dual LGA 2011 DDR3 1866 > $449

    CPU Cooler > (2) CORSAIR Hydro Series H60 (CW-9060007-WW) High Performance Water / Liquid CPU Cooler. 120mm > $130 ($65 ea)

    RAM > 64GB (4) Kingston 1X16GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM ECC Registered DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Server Memory > $745 ($185 ea)

    GPU > NVIDIA Quadro K5000 4GB GDDR5 Graphics card > $1689.

    HD 1 > SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD512BW 2.5" 512GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) > $400 (OS and Applications)

    HD 2 and 3 > (2) Seagate Constellation ES.3 ST2000NM0033 2TB 7200 RPM 128MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Enterprise HD > $374 ($187 ea) (RAID 1) (Files, system Image)

    Power Supply > CORSAIR HX Series HX850 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Power Supply > $160.

    Optical Drive > Blu-Ray /DVD Burner: LG WH16NS40 $65

    Case > Case Labs > Mercury S8 > with options about $380

    OS > Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit > $190

    Monitors > (2) ASUS PA279Q Black 27" 6ms WQHD HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight True Color Professional Monitor > $1,600 ($800 each)

    TOTAL =$6,501
    For about the same cost as the Z1, it's possible to have a dual Xeon E5 with 8-cores /16 threads at 3.5 / 3.8GHz, 64GB ECC 1866 RAM- expandable to 512GB (instead of the Z1 32GB limit), Quadro K5000, 512GB SSD plus 4TB HD space, two 27" 2560X1440 WQHD professional color matching monitors, and in a customized Caselabs case represents a substantially higher performance, higher expandability, and with the CaseLabs enclosure, even a more striking appearance- though definitely not a space-saver.

    Sorry to labor this point, but I believe that describing first, the possibilities for a system of noticeably higher performance and flexibility for quite a bit less money with the E5-1650 v2 idea and then the potential for a system of about the same cost with very substantial advantages with the dual E5-2637 v2 concept, clearly demonstrates the relatively poor cost / performance and features of the Z1.

    Certainly, the Z1 is stylish, beautifully engineered, and HP workstations have a very high build quality. Dreamworks may be able throw Billions about "looking nice" in their cubicle farms, but for most of the workstation market, cost / performance, and flexibility are overwhelming priorities to stylishness. Further, in terms of space-saving, the Z1 does not present a serious advantage over a desktop or tower system. If I set my HP Z420 on my desktop behind the monitor or lay it horizontally and set the monitor on top, the total footprint is only a bit larger than the Z1 when folded flat.

    My point in stating that the Z1 is,"answering a question no one is asking" is not that no one will buy it, but that those who buy it will do so out of response to the appearance and weren't thinking in advance, "Where can I find a quad-core Xeon E3 system that costs an extra $4,000 because it looks great and saves one square foot in the office?"

    There's nothing at all wrong with the HP Z1 that knocking $4,000 off the price wouldn't cure.

    Cost / Performance, Cost / Performance, Cost / Performance.

  • ubercake
    The other thing is most people using high-end workstations also attach additional monitors across a large desk area and are not at a loss for work space whatsoever. I could see if this functionality was all in a laptop for the price maybe(?), but there is no real portability to an AIO. You just don't have to run as many cords and it looks nicer because of it. Other than that, the value proposition is low.