It looks like an iMac, it's built to meet the needs of the most demanding users and it's easily upgradable. That pretty much sums up HP's latest and greatest all-in-one Z1 Workstation.
The new Z1 Workstation is an all-in-one system catered uniquely for the workstation market. Several configurations are available and users can choose to equip the system with server-class Intel Xeon processors and workstation graphics based on NVIDIA's Quadro GPU. For those on a tight budget, the Z1 Workstation is also available with Intel's Core i3-2120 dual-core processor with 3MB cache clocked at 3.3GHz while a fully decked out system could come with a quad-core Intel Xeon E3-1280 with 8MB cache and clocked at 3.5GHz.
For graphics, users can choose to take advantage of the built-in graphics engine in the processor if 3D performance is not something that is required. But if a workstation-level 3D acceleration is needed for fast renders, HP provides options for NVIDIA's Quadro Q500M, Q1000M, Q3000M and Q4000M discrete graphics cards which can be installed as an option.
In terms of system memory, there are a total of 4 DIMM slots available for memory, where 2 DIMMs are allocated for each memory channel. Memory upgrades can be in the form of ECC or non-ECC, depending on the amount of memory you want installed and the kind of workload you require the workstation to handle. If you intend to pack the system with the maximum supported memory capacity of 32GB, you can do so on both processor types, but compatibility will depend largely on the type of memory used in the system. Of course then, ECC memory would be a safer bet when it comes to applications handling large blocks of memory.
Designed with a 27-inch IPS LED-backlit display with a native resolution of 2560x1440 pixels (similar to the 27-inch iMac), the new Workstation Z1 also comes with a front facing 1080p HD 2MP webcam. The chassis comes with a brushed aluminium backing that features a VESA standard mount that's hooked to a tilt and height adjustable base. The chassis is also easily opened so that users can easily upgrade and swap out components whenever they see a need to improve the workstation's performance or customize to their specific usage.
The user upgradable workstation can take one 3.5-inch regular SATA 7200 RPM hard drive or two 2.5-inch SATA 10K RPM hard drive/SSD-based drives. Besides ample space for storage, the Workstation Z1 is also equipped with one x16 full PCIe slot and three mini-PCIe slots.
The new HP Z1 Workstation is expected to be available in the Asia Pacific region from April 2012. Pricing starts from USD$1,899 for the most basic configuration.
For a detailed look at the new HP Z1 Workstation, check out our detailed run through of the system's exterior and components in our hands-on article.