HP’s new Z workstations targeted at creators

HP is partnering with AVID, RED Digital Cinema, and Nvidia to optimize productivity

Jon Peddie

HP introduced its Z6 and Z8 G4 Workstations targeted at creators with the promise of helping them bring ideas to life more quickly through the use of new computing architecture. Based on Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel’s Optane DC Persistent Memory technology, HP says the Z6 and Z8 G4 will eliminate the barrier between memory and storage for those with compute-intensive workflows, including machine learning, multi-media, and VFX.

Intel Optane DC, says HP, will allow users to dramatically improve system performance by moving large datasets closer to the CPU, plus making it persistent, and in an affordable manner. This will allow for no data loss after a power cycle or application closure. Once applications are written to take advantage of this new technology, workflows will be accelerated as downtime will be a thing of the past.

The HP Z6 G4 Workstation is in a sleek chassis and aimed at users doing 8K video editing in realtime and rendering workloads


Equipped with two next-generation Intel Xeon processors providing up to 48 total processor cores in one system, professional AMD or Nvidia graphics AIBs, and up to 384 GB of memory. Creators, says HP, can unlock performance for storage-bound applications by installing the fast, professional grade storage hardware, without sacrificing standard PCIe slots. 

Based on desktop workstations as of June 14, 2017, HP claims the HP Z8 G4 Workstation is the most powerful workstation on the planet because it is powered by up to 56 processing cores and up to 3TB of high-speed memory. It is capable of running complex 3D simulations, demanding VFX workflows, and comes with certifications for professional software such as ANSYS, Autodesk Flame, and DaVinci Resolve.

With 24 memory slots supporting the Z8 G4’s high-speed memory, HP says developers can easily handle massive data sets. The Z8 G4 offers a choice of 1125 W, 1450 W, and 1700 W and 90% efficient power supplies.

As global production teams and security concerns continue to rapidly increase, so does the need for centralized facilities, international collaboration, and remote working. HP’s Remote Graphics Software (RGS) is included with all HP Z Workstations. HP says it is for demanding high-end workstation users like editors and VFX artists by enabling remote workstation access from any Windows, Linux, or Mac device, wherever they are and offers low latency and optimized visual fidelity.

Avid is collaborating with HP to test RGS with Media Composer | Cloud VM. Initial tests have performed well says Avid and a demo of the technology was shown at the NAB Show.

Additionally, HP says working with 8K video is now easier and more accessible. Updating RED Digital Cinema’s REDCINE-X PRO software to use Nvidia’s CUDA technology, RED will release an SDK allowing third parties to develop software that offloads Redcode RAW decoding and debayering to an Nvidia GPU.

Using a single-CPU HP Z4 workstation, accelerated by an Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 GPU, HP demonstrated 8K Redcode RAW (8192 × 4320) playback, editing, and color grading in realtime at NAB Show 2019.

The HP Z6 G4 Workstation with new Intel Xeon processors is available now for a starting price of $2,372 (U.S.).