The HPZ820 Workstation

By March 28, 2014 gear, news, sos 5 Comments



I posted a few details about the HPZ before but I’m getting asked a lot of questions about the spec, performance and my Thoughts about it, so this follow up post will go a little further towards sharing some of this.

Rather than writing down the full spec, here’s a grab, showing it all.



That spec reads well but none of that really matters if the system as a whole doesn’t perform, so I’ve done a couple of early cinebench tests. Results are very good. Again, I’ve pasted a grab here, so you can see for yourselves.



So far so good. Installing the NVIDIA quadro K5000 was a doddle. The HPZ is well built and organised very sensibly, with dedicated zones for each main area. Remove the airfow guides and it’s a simple case of slotting in and connecting the power cable. This is the same for all areas, so swapping drives takes seconds and if the PSU should fail (which I doubt very much) that is even faster.

The workstation runs exceptionally quietly,  specially for something that has so many fans. Even working late at night, with less ambient noise it really is almost silent. With a young baby in the house that is a definite plus. My mac pro is far noisier!

Other than the excellent rendering and viewport capabilities the thing that strikes me most is the boot up time, when turning the machine on and when starting applications. The SSD is super fast and there is minimal waiting for anything.

Although there are some switching issues I’m dealing with (more to do with windows than hardware) I’m thoroughly enjoying using the HPZ and, with some big projects knocking on the door, I’m looking forward to do some real production work with it.

Follow the summer of switching #sos tag to keep up to date.

About pariahrob


  • Mike Griggs says:

    It’s good to see HP providing a flexible solution for those of us being forced to switch due to the inflexibility of the new Mac Pro hardware. Be interested to hear your thoughts on app switching, and how you get on with windows 8.1.

  • Antony Ward says:

    Thanks for posting this Rob, that’s a seriously nice set-up you have there. I`m on the lookout for a new system myself and from the sounds of it the HPZ820 might be just the ticket.

    How does it perform with apps like ZBrush and Maya?

    • pariahrob says:

      I would certainly have it high on your shortlist. As for zbrush and maya performance I doubt there’s much better. I’ll be posting more about that soon though, with some real tests and results.
      I need to use it more on a daily basis to get to grips with it properly.

  • Bex says:

    We had a HP workstation in at work (not sure if it was this one) to test to work on our realtime pipeline. Lucky you having all that power to play with, looking forward to seeing your results!

  • Richard Dale says:

    Hi Rob,

    You’ve probably covered this but I was just wondering why you’d moved away from the Mac? I can see that the new Mac Pro isn’t upgradable but is it not powerful enough? or is it just the expanability?

    I use an iMac and it’s fine for what I do but I’m not doing the 3D as a pro.

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