Review: HP Z800 Workstation
12 cores and 24 threads make a great workstation even faster
Our test machine was loaded with the latest 64-bit Windows 7 operating system, and we installed the same CS4 edition of Adobe After Effects that we used in our benchmark testing on the first Z800 we reviewed about a year ago. Among the benchmarks are the well known and commonly available Maxon CineBench R10, the Total Benchmark test that measures the ability to render a variety of After Effects filters, and then a set of various After Effects comps that tests a variety of circumstances in which you’d use the hardware and software.
Let’s fire up the new Z800 and see how it does on our obstacle course. As we started the machine, we noticed that it’s just as quiet as last year’s model, if not even a touch quieter. HP has become the champion of computer silence, with the company’s designers realizing how important a quiet environment is to those of us who must create complicated video segments. Kudos to HP for keeping the racket down to an even lower level, even though the processors are significantly more powerful.
Take a look at the table below, and you’ll see that the increased speed of these extra cores on two of the tests is roughly equal to the fact that there are 12 cores instead of 8. Since 8 is a 33.33% decrease from 12, that might explain the speed difference, with a few percentage points left over because these newer chips are running at a slightly faster clock rate than last year’s Nehalem processors (these Westmere processors run at 3.33 GHz, versus the 3.2 GHz for Nehalem).
But when you look at that Maxon CineBench rendering number that’s 40.1% faster, and the “Virtual Set” and “Source Shapes” that are upwards of 45% faster, you see that there’s some serious time-saving speed increases going on here:
Click table to enlarge.
While HP’s swanky Z800 is more expensive than other workstations we’ve tested, it’s also better designed and more reliable. The fact that it gives you such a significant speed increase at the same price makes it a sure winner.