Hands-on: HP Z1 Workstation Teardown


Hands-on: HP Z1 Workstation Teardown

So the news about this one-of-a-kind workstation from HP broke this morning and it generated a fair bit of interest among enthusiasts, prosumers as well as professionals. Just what's really inside the HP Z1 workstation? Is it really that easy to upgrade? In this pictorial feature, we'll take you through the various components found in the HP Z1.

The HP Z1 workstation appeals to a wide group of users and not just limited to engineers and 3D graphics artists. In this usage scenario, HP demonstrated how the HP Z1 can apply to music composers as well as sound editors. Using a standard VESA monitor mount, the workstation can be mounted together with another HP 27-inch monitor to give the user extra desktop real estate. According to HP, this is possibly the best configuration for the HP Z1.

You can remove the base that comes with the Z1 workstation so that the system can be attached to a standard VESA monitor mount as shown in the setup below.

Behind the screen and hidden by the height adjustable base, you'll find ports four USB 2.0 ports, a subwoofer output port, line in/out jacks, SPDIF optical output, Gigabit Ethernet port, a DisplayPort in/out jack and a power connector. These ports are hidden and accessing them can be quite a chore although they are of the less commonly accessed variety.

On the top right side of the system, you'll find the power button, a HDD activity lamp and the slot loading optical drive with its eject button right above it. The workstation comes with a standard DVD burner although users have the option to pick a Blu-ray burner.

On the lower right side of the screen, you'll find a 6-in-1 memory card ready, an IEEE 1394a Firewire port, two USB 3.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks.

Behind the screen, you'll find the familiar looking HP Z-series workstation handle which makes it really easy for anyone to transport this system around the office. Above it, you'll find a large a large ventilation grill that cuts across the width of the system. The vent here is critical to the system's cooling system and it plays a vital role in keeping the system operating noise low.

Pushing the screen down into this horizontal position puts it in the service mode. And no, you don't put the screen into this position for Angry Birds.

By pressing the two latches located in the two corners below the screen, you can easily pop open the chassis. You don't need a screwdriver or any fancy Torx driver or powerful suction cups to do this. It's easier to open this than a tin of biscuits.

Now that we've got the HP Z1 workstation opened, what's inside the chassis and what can you replace or add? Continue on to the next page for full details.