HP Z1 G3 review

    HP has been engaged on their workstation line for some time, however the introduction of their very first Z1 workstation just a few years in the past was a daring new transfer for the corporate. Right here was a trendy and simple to improve system that mixed the efficiency of a workstation into a way more space-friendly design. The corporate would go on to enhance the Z1 over time, and their third iteration appears to be a great outcome for HP. It’s their manner of taking over the likes of Apple’s new powerful iMacs, or the trendy Microsoft Surface Studio.

    Value & availability

    The HP Z1 G3 is obtainable now, with our evaluation mannequin sitting in at about $1,359. Pricing will differ relying on what parts you set in, however the flexibility to decide on a system based mostly in your precise necessities is actually a bonus, so that you don’t find yourself paying for a system that feels underpowered.

    Construct high quality & design

    • Straightforward to entry parts
    • Good variety of ports
    • All-plastic design

    The Z1 G3 actually does defy rationalization with regards to a workstation aesthetic. Its peculiar consumer-quality seems to be cover some actually ingenious engineering feats underneath the hood, and it’s simple to mistake it for simply one other all-in-one PC. Whether or not that’s intentional or not, HP actually managed to slim down the design of the Z1 G3 fairly a bit, with glossy curves and sharp edges making for a considerably plain but efficient design. It’s an all-plastic enclosure reasonably than metallic, however fortunately the construct high quality nonetheless feels sturdy, and the matte plastic retains fingerprints and smudges away.

    The HP Z1 G3 contains a principally plastic, matte design

    For optimum consolation, the Z1 G3 will be adjusted in peak in addition to be tilted up or down for higher viewing angles. It may possibly’t swivel left or proper sadly, however that’s not a deal-breaker. The show can rotate for use in portrait mode, however the bigger bezels make this a much less interesting approach to work. The pretty compact nature of the Z1 G3 signifies that in principle you would transfer it across the workplace or to a different workspace, however carrying it may be a bit unwieldy as there’s no correct carrying deal with or anyplace to securely grasp it with out concern of damaging one thing.

    On the again you’ll discover most of your port connections, together with DisplayPort, Ethernet, and a variety of USB ports. These are hidden away proper close to the bottom, so it’s greatest to plug in peripherals right here that you would be able to join as soon as after which neglect about. For simpler entry there are USB and Thunderbolt ports on the left aspect, in addition to a card reader.

    Aspect ports are simple to entry, together with USB, Thunderbolt, and a card reader

    The Z1 G3 sports activities a smaller display than we’ve seen up to now, now coming with a 23.6” IPS LED backlit show. The icing on the cake in fact is that the show runs at 3840 x 2160, even for those who follow probably the most primary mannequin. That’s loads of display house for designers and engineers who work with giant and sophisticated tasks that usually want a number of screens to work effectively.

    One of many biggest factors concerning the Z1 is that it’s all the time been simple to get underneath the hood when you have to improve something. Positive sufficient, the Z1 G3 continues this development, with the rear panel coming off simply by sliding a small swap – zero instruments required. From right here, you’ll be able to slot in additional RAM, improve your storage, and even probably swap in a distinct GPU. It’s price noting that the GPU could also be a bit more difficult to tinker with than different parts, however the flexibility is there must you want it. The Z1 G3 options two M.2 slots for some blazing-quick storage upgrades, or you’ll be able to simply mount two customary exhausting drives to bulk up your cupboard space. If you’re finished, simply slide the again cowl again on and also you’re able to get proper again to work.

    The Z1 G3’s again panel simply slides off, permitting entry to all main parts

    There’s little to no bloatware on the Z1 G3, other than just a few HP utilities. For these of you who need to harness the ability of an HP workstation while you’re working remotely, HP presents their very own Distant Graphics Software program that permits you to remotely entry your HP workstation to leverage its efficiency. It’s considerably higher than utilizing different third-party distant management software program, so that is positively one thing to look into in case your workstation is setup on the workplace and also you’d wish to proceed doing work on it while you’re residence or working remotely.


    • Helps as much as 64GB DDR4 RAM
    • Two further SATA drives will be put in
    • NVIDIA Quadro discrete graphics

    It’s essential that HP was in a position to make the Z1 G3 accessible with totally different parts, as relying on what you’re utilizing it for you’ll want some significantly beefy internals. Our evaluation mannequin was kitted out with some fairly good specs – an Intel Xeon E3-1270 CPU at three.6GHz, 64GB of DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA Quadro M2000M graphics card with 4GB of RAM.

    4 SO-DIMM slots mean you can set up as much as 64GB of DDR4 RAM

    As talked about earlier than, you would configure the Z1 G3 with a bare-minimum configuration if desired, however since this workstation is focused at energy customers, you’re greater than possible going to package it out with some respectable specs your self.

    Benchmarks & Efficiency

    • Unbelievable workstation-grade efficiency
    • Good for working with 4K content material
    • Nice storage efficiency with M.2 NVMe drives

    For testing functions, we threw just about no matter we may on the Z1 G3. Our first spherical of assessments have been customary benchmark assessments with every check operating 3 times to get a median rating. We then adopted this up with some real-world utility assessments and tasks, to see how the Z1 G3 would fare underneath a standard day of labor.

    First up have been the SPECviewperf and SPECwpc benchmarks. These packages run by a sequence of resource-intensive packages that cycle by issues resembling mathematical calculations, 3D modelling, rendering, and the like. The outcomes have been fairly good for the Z1 G3 – clearly the Quadro M2000M gained’t fairly compete with a full-sized workstation GPU, but it surely nonetheless carried out respectably.

    Picture 1 of two

    SPECviewperf 12.1 Benchmark outcomes

    Picture 2 of two

    SPECwpc v2.1 Benchmark outcomes

    For real-world testing, we began with some video work in Premiere Professional. We dropped in a 45-minute sport footage seize in 4k, utilized some adjustment layers to the clip, after which rendered it out at most render high quality. The whole render took about 21 minutes to finish, which whereas spectacular, is barely a marginal enchancment on our regular rendering machine (i7 processor, 16GB RAM, NVIDIA 1060 6GB) which accomplished the identical activity in 24 minutes. We additionally fired up a fast venture in Adobe After Results, and in contrast playback of the venture in real-time on the Z1 G3 versus our regular enhancing rig. You possibly can see the outcomes under, with the Z1 G3  slowly however absolutely popping out on prime.

    Adobe After Results efficiency of our customary enhancing rig (left) versus the HP Z1 G3 (proper)

    Subsequent we fired up an AutoCAD doc that was about 284MB in measurement, and contained 927 layers. The whole course of from double-clicking the file to having the ability to manipulate objects took about 41 seconds to finish, whereas the identical check on our beefiest workplace PC took 2 minutes and 12 seconds to finish. There have been nonetheless a pause in AutoCAD after we tried to vary viewing angles on the doc, however that’s in all probability all the way down to the machine having to re-do the maths for all these layers – a activity that our workplace rig gave up on fully. Revit – one other Autodesk product – confirmed related efficiency positive aspects when enhancing a posh mannequin on the Z1 G3.

    The twin Samsung SM951 512GB NVMe drives produced implausible learn/write speeds throughout our testing

    Storage efficiency on our evaluation Z1 G3 unit was superb, thanks partially to the 2 Samsung SM951 512GB NVMe drives – one for the OS and one devoted to storage.  CrystalDiskMark produced some nice learn/write speeds, surpassing these we examined on a similarly-sized SSD.

    CrystalDiskMark outcomes for the Samsung SM951 512GB NVMe drive

    Display screen

    • 23.6” IPS LED backlit show
    • Max decision of 3840 x 2160
    • Usually good coloration accuracy and depth

    Whereas the 23.6” could also be a trade-off from the 27” we’ve seen on earlier Z1 fashions, it in no way makes the Z1 G3 really feel inferior. The matte show is completely attractive, and for video or photograph work it does a implausible job of precisely displaying colours and tones. Anybody working with 4k footage goes to actually get a lift right here, and connecting up a second show for much more desktop house is an apparent bonus. Viewing angles are additionally typically fairly good, and general we’d say that each colours and textual content have been crisp and sharp no matter what program we have been operating.

    The display is evenly lit, and good for enhancing 4K content material

    The Z1 G3 fortunately bundles with a wi-fi keyboard and mouse (we obtained wired variations), however once more these work off a USB dongle reasonably than by Bluetooth. There’s snug to make use of and slightly bit primary, however truthfully get the job finished, so we’ve got no complaints.

    Warmth and noise ranges

    • No loud fan noise when underneath heavy workloads
    • Usually stays cool and quiet all-round

    With a machine as highly effective because the Z1 G3, you’ll clearly need to remember each warmth and noise ranges, particularly if that is utilized in a reasonably quiet work atmosphere. Our authentic Z1 workstation is also known as ‘the blow dryer’, just because it’s so previous now that it whips up an absolute storm when it’s working exhausting. Fortunately, the Z1 G3 is a principally quiet machine, with the followers solely rising to a delicate hum when the machine was performing some rendering work. It additionally stays pretty cool, with solely the highest half getting slightly lukewarm as that’s the place the followers and heating pipes are working exhausting to attract warmth away from key parts.

    Cooling is effectively dealt with within the Z1 G3, with cooling pipes crossing over the CPU and GPU


    The HP Z1 G3 appeals to a really explicit subset customers, i.e. these which are on the lookout for workstation-grade efficiency however in a way more snug kind issue. For individuals who need even beefier techniques, HP’s different workstations are greater than ample, and also will provide much more flexibility with regards to future part upgrades. Nonetheless, the HP Z1 G3 is a splendidly designed workstation, and whereas you’ll pay the value for premium design and efficiency, it’s a machine that can chew up something you throw at it, making your workflows completely easy.

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