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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

HP Announces HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF Workstations

 
October 1st, 2015 by Susan Smith

Jeff Wood – vice president, WW Product Management,  Workstation and Thin Client Business HP and Josh Peterson- director, WW Product Management,  Workstation and Thin Client Business , HP met with the press in a virtual press briefing prior to the announcement of the new HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF Workstations with next generation Intel processors and HP Z Turbo Drive options, raising the bar for entry-level workstations, while providing the reliability of a workstation at the price point of a desktop PC.

HP Z240 SFF Workstation and HP Z240 Tower Workstation

HP Z240 SFF Workstation and HP Z240 Tower Workstation

According to Wood, since about 2009 HP has pushed the envelope in performance, innovation and reliability.

“2009 is when we took over the number 1 position in the industry from a desktop and mobile workstation perspective,” said Wood. “This really was about a customer culture that we’ve been driving, and really driving innovation based on customers needs. For us and our customers, it’s really critical to solve their problems in a very meaningful way, not only offering the performance they need but innovation and creativity in the leading workstation position. We are leaders in innovation in this market. We will not ship any workstations until we believe we have the best quality and can serve our customer with minimal issues out in the field.”

HP’s worldwide headquarters is based out of Ft. Collins Colorado, and their business spans 180 countries around the world. “Our solution partners, like Intel, Nvidia and A&D, provide vertical market execution we have with our key software partners,” said Wood. “We make sure our workstations are not only certified with key applications in the vertical segments we manage but have the best performance we can drive in the industry.”

The HP Z240 workstation is the next generation of HP’s Z2 line, the latest update to the HP Z230. “We’re driving two different form factors; we introduced the first small form factor workstation in 2010,” said Wood. “That’s what helped us drive to #1 position in the industry. Many people need that smaller form factor and that performance and toolless chassis, plus Z Turbo Drive.

The HP Z240 Tower provides a level of expandibility that customers require in this space at a compelling price point. Driving things like ISV certification is very critical to many of the CAD, product development, AEC markets, and media and entertainment that are addressed with this product. Intel’s new Skyrake architecture makes this possible.

Key features are obviously driving workstation class performance and end-to-end solutions for really compelling workloads in these environments from the application performance perspective but competitively priced to fit the budget of many customer who may have been running a standard PC to run AutoCAD or other applications but now can afford the performance of a workstation and give the quality and level of certification required by those application vendors.

Josh Peterson noted that one of HP’s primary beliefs is customer driven innovation and many customers visit the Ft. Collins site. HP strives to understand needs and challenges of different vertical segments.

The classic customer is very focused on CAD performance. “A lot of entry level CAD applications are still using PCs today so providing a workstation class product at a PC price really helps us move a customer up to a product that’s more suitable for their workflows,” said Peterson. “In the entry media and entertainment space again, think of photographers or video editors using the likes of Adobe Creative Suite or other similar apps where they need lots of great performance at a really low price, so thinking of the smaller medium business applications for this segment.”

Healthcare is an important part of HP business as well, and finance is moving in this direction with technology such as multiple digital display outputs on the Z2 that has really opened up a lot of finance opportunities for HP’s entry workstation. Geospatial and government, and education, are other important areas where the Z2 workstation is well received and sought after.

The small form factor addresses the space constraint environment, and the price performance is key for the Z2 or or Century workstation space. “The channel business where a lot of our small medium customers purchase, the price and value proposition of a product like this is going to make it a favorite in the channel market,” said Peterson.

From company materials, here are seven new innovations on the HP Z240 Workstations.

  1. An integrated M.2 slot (for expansion cards and connectors on both the SFF and tower) frees up a PCIe slot and provides customers more flexibility and expandability to use HP Z Turbo Drives without having to make a tradeoff on additional graphics cards, an additional HP Z Turbo Drive, or other devices like Thunderbolt™.
  2. Optional dust filters can be added to both the HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF to help reduce the ingress of dust in the system. With up to 47  percent reduction in dust(2), this option provides customers in all work environments where dust is an issue – from under the desk to dusty manufacturing floors — with added reliability and longevity.
  3. Removed the legacy PCI slot, which is used by less than 2 percent of customers today, from the motherboard and designed a plug-in card for effortless installation for customers that still use the legacy slot. Removing the slot from the motherboard allowed HP to reinvest in other product innovations (M.2 slot, dust filter).
  4. Despite adding new features to the motherboard, HP engineering was able to reduce the size of the motherboard on the Z240 Tower by 10 percent and simplified the cable layouts inside the systems, continuing to push for more efficient product designs.
  5. The Z240 Tower now features integrated front and rear handle ledges to enable every customer to easily move and position their system around the office.
  6. HP re-engineered the hard drive cage for the Z240 SFF and engineered a custom air duct around the processor, allowing more efficient air flow, enhanced acoustics and a cleaner layout of internal cables.
  7. HP integrated ambient temperature sensors on the motherboard of both systems, and increased control of the system fans to include the power supply, giving even better management of system thermals and acoustics, including the power supply (as compared to previous generations).

 

Leveraging innovations originally created for the higher-end HP Z Workstations, the HP Z240 offers more performance, greater storage capacity, more IO and greater flexibility of the previous generations while retaining the same form factor. At 57 percent smaller than the tower, the HP Z240 SFF conserves space and maintains workstation performance.

The Z240 features up to 64 GB DDR4 ECC memory – a 100 percent increase in memory capacity compared to previous generations — for no compromise capacity, performance and reliability. The expanded memory options allow customers to push the limits of design to create larger, more complex models/designs that require larger memory footprints. It also provides customers with more expandability options.

The HP Z240 Tower and Z240 SFF offer a choice of future Intel® Xeon processor E3-1200 v5 product families, Intel Core, or Intel Pentium processors and two ultra-fast HP Z Turbo Drive G2. The HP Z Turbo Drive allows workstation users to super-charge productivity and creativity of workflows.  The Z240 offers a choice of Windows 7, Windows 10 or Linux operating systems.

The HP Z240 SFF and HP Z240 and are expected to be available in November. Estimated U.S. pricing starts at $879 for either workstation.

 

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