One of the reasons I favor HP workstations is because HP practices the Japanese art of kaizen, or continuous small improvements. A great example is the recent update to HP’s entry level desktop tower, the Z240 (on the left, click to see full rez picture), which has been upgraded to accept CPUs running at up to 4.2 GHz and several other mods.
What are the other reasons I like HP? Well, there are lots, starting with the fact that when they beef up a system with an accelerated CPU, they make sure that all other components can handle the additional load, ensuring system longevity. I also appreciate the expandability offered in all HP systems, so you can build a system to meet your specific needs. In this regard, you can configure the Z240 with up to 64 GB of DDR4 ECC memory, up from 32 GB in previous versions.
HP also invests in peripherals like the ultrafast SSD HP Z Turbo drives that speed disk-intensive applications. This means up to 4 TB of internal SSD storage on the Z240, which has two PCIe slots for these drives, and a separate M2 slot for an expansion card or other connector to make sure the PCIe slots are free.
Finally, HP’s intense ISV certification process ensures that their systems work well with key programs like the Adobe Creative Cloud which I use daily. My daughter built her own gaming system, and while it works well with Premiere Pro and After Effects, she has nothing but problems with Illustrator, which I’ve never experienced on any of my HP workstations.
Mac Friendly Operation
Recognizing that many content producers are also Mac users, HP now also provides a way to drive HP workstations from a Mac, specifically via HP’s Remote Graphics Software (RGS). RGS runs on both the workstation and the remote system, which can be in the same room or across the globe, and presents the HP workstation’s GUI to the remote user. RGS has been available on Windows and Linux for a while now, and will ship on the Mac in August, 2016.
I’ve never tested RGS, but plan to soon, primarily so I can access my HP workstations when away from the office. Seems like every time I travel to a conference like Streaming Media West, I’m pressing to finish encoding or other processing on my workstations for results to include in a presentation. With RGS, I can keep the processing going while I’m travelling and access the results from my hotel room. For other projects, I can also keep production going while I’m on the road. While Mac availability isn’t necessarily a big deal for me, I know it will be for lots of other professional content producers.
If you’re interesting in higher-end workstations, you might want to have a look at my article Choosing a Workstation for Editing, Encoding and Analysis? Check out the Z840. The Z840 proved an absolute beast in my tests, particularly for encoding and analysis.