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HP gets in on Intel Xeon E5 act with souped-up workstations

Latest Z range features Intel eight-core chips
Tue Mar 06 2012, 05:05

MAKER OF EXPENSIVE PRINTER INK HP has rushed out its new workstations on Tuesday morning, hoping to beat the competition with products featuring Intel's latest Xeon E5 processors.

The firm has upgraded three models in its Z line. The high end Z820 offers up to 16 processing cores via dual socket processors, up to 512GB of error correcting code (ECC) memory, up to 14TB of storage and supports dual Nvidia Quadro 6000 graphics. The model is aimed at customers in fields with the most demanding workstation requirements, such as oil and gas, mechanical computer-aided design (CAD), and video and animation.

HP is aiming the mid-range Z620 at users who need a high-performance yet low-volume machine such as financial services, architecture and midrange CAD. The Z620 supports single- and dual-socket processors, again going up to 16 processing cores, with a maximum of 96GB of ECC memory, 11TB of storage and Nvidia Quadro 6000 or dual Quadro 5000 graphics.

hp-z420-workstation-and-dual-hp-zr2440w-displays-with-autodesk-inventorAt the low-end of the range, the Z420 offers up to eight processing cores using the Intel Xeon E5-1600 and E5-2600 series processors, with a maximum of 64GB of memory, 11TB of storage and Nvidia Quadro 5000 or dual Quadro 2000 graphics. It features the latest Intel C600 series chipset, four USB 3.0 ports and three Gen3 PCIe slots. It has two graphics slots to double the bandwidth through new cards due out later this year.

The current Z400 offers a three channel memory architecture, which is upgraded to four channels in the Z420. The new model features eight memory slots, up from six on the Z400, while six SATA ports send data to the hard drives faster.

The most exciting feature of the new workstations is the fact that they all run Intel's latest Sandy Bridge Xeon E5 processors, with up to 512GB of DDR3 memory and support for multithreaded workstation applications. The Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 product family supports up to 16 physical cores in a single system and lets 32 threads run at one time when using two processors, each with eight cores and Intel Hyper-Threading enabled.

The Z620 and Z820 will run the E5 2600 dual processor version. Although the X420 is a single processor machine for quad-core or six-core systems, HP said that it will support some of the E5 2600 eight-core versions as well, so users can upgrade to those.


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