HP has today launched a new range of workstations based on Intel Xeon Nehalem processors, designed to offer huge performance and energy efficiency improvements over previous models.
The firm has introduced three new workstations under its new Z series branding, the Z400, Z600 and Z800.
The Z400 is the low-end model, aimed at firms requiring entry-level computer-aided design (CAD) for capabilities such as video editing. The machine features a single-socket Intel architecture, and comes in at €999 (£926).
The Z600 is the smallest form factor dual-socket workstation in the industry, according to HP, and is aimed at firms with mid-range CAD requirements such as the financial sector. It is priced from €1,399 (£1,297).
Speaking at an event to mark the launch of the workstations in Los Angeles last week, Jeff Wood, director of HP worldwide workstation product marketing, claimed that the Z600 is ideal for financial traders with limited desk space.
"Many have desks that are 40in wide. If you're putting two, three, four workstations under the desk, space matters," he said, adding that the Z600 can support up to eight displays, an important consideration for traders who often run anything between four and eight screens.
The Z800 is HP's new high-end workstation model, priced from €1,699 (£1,576). It offers up to 192GB of memory, can support two Nvidia FX 5800 graphics cards with 4GB memory, and is aimed at firms in the oil and gas, and medical industries.
"[For oil and gas firms] $20m [£14m] is the minimum cost of every hole they dig. It's more important for those firms to spend $50,000, $60,000 or $70,000 [£35,000, £42,000 or £49,000] on HP systems so they know they're putting the hole in the right place," Wood said. " At the end of the day, it's a supercomputer on your desktop."
The new workstations offer better performance and value for money, according to Wood, who cited a 50 per cent performance improvement over previous models with the Z400. He added that a designer earning $60 (£42) per hour could get a return on investment from the new machine in 29 days because of the productivity and performance enhancements.
Key to the performance upgrade is the inclusion of the Nehalem Xeon chips.
"The previous Intel architecture was based on a front side bus designed to go out to the memory controller, which takes time. With the QuickPath architecture (PDF), the memory controller is integrated onboard so access is immediate," Wood said.
HP was also keen to talk up the environmental features of its new line. The Z400 and Z800 will both offer a liquid cooling option from this summer, while the design is 90 per cent recyclable and offers 85 per cent efficient power supplies. The workstations also feature HP WattSaver technology, which allows the machines to consume less than 1W when switched off.
The new workstations are slated for worldwide availability on 6 April.
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