Spring 2016

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46 CINEMONTAGE / Q2 2016 install two NVIDIA Quadro video cards. A great new feature on the Z240 is the addition of an M.2 slot integrated directly on the motherboard. It provides the same bandwidth of PCIe and lets you add things like a Z Turbo drive or other expansion cards without tying up a PCIe slot. If you're on a budget, this machine might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Actually, the HP Z240 can be appointed very similarly to a Mac Pro, only it's more economical. THE HP ZBOOK STUDIO: POWER ON THE GO Recently, HP released several new models to their mobile workstation line including the ZBook Studio, a very exciting new mobile workstation that combines power with extreme portability (see Figure 5). Let's take a look and compare it to Apple's MacBook Pro. HP has dubbed the ZBook Studio the world's first quad core Ultrabook, with a weight of around 4.4 lbs and a thickness of 18mm. In addition to being thin and light, the machine not only can be equipped with Intel Core processors, but with Intel's industrial-strength Xeon processors (which aren't an option on the MacBook Pro). The ZBook Studio also accepts two 1 TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2s for a total of 2 TB of screaming fast PCIe storage. Another great thing about the ZBook Studio is its two built-in Thunderbolt 3 ports. Thunderbolt 3 was announced last year and offers incredibly fast transfer speeds of 40 GBps (eight times faster than USB 3.0). It's a great option for connecting external PCIe peripherals and high-resolution 4K displays. Note that MacBook Pros, at this time, don't have Thunderbolt 3. For memory, the ZBook Studio allows up to a hefty 32 GB of ECC memory, as well as a powerful special edition NVIDIA GPU: the NVIDIA Quadro M1000M 4 GB GDDR5. The MacBook Pro, on the other hand, only permits up to 16 GB of DDR3 memory and does not support NVIDIA GPUs. THE HP Z1: THE ALL-IN-ONE WORKSTATION HP also makes an all-in-one workstation, the Z1, that takes up about the same room on your desk as a display. If you're space-conscious or work in a cubicle, this machine will appeal to you. Just this April, HP announced important upgrades to the Z1, a machine which the company claims is the world's first and only true all-in-one workstation (see Figure 6). First of all, the price has been lowered while the design and features have been improved. The Z1 G3 now has a high-resolution, 24-inch 4k display, two Thunderbolt 3 connections with dual 4K display support, the ability to contain two 1 TB HP Z Turbo Drive G2s as well as two additional 2.5-inch SATA hard drive bays. The HP Z1 features pro-level components such as Xeon processors, ECC memory and NVIDIA Quadro graphics. Let's not overlook one of the best features of the Z1: It offers easy and tool-less serviceability. Just remove the back panel and you have access to all the internal components of the machine. For comparison's sake, an Apple iMac does not have Xeon processors, has less memory capacity and only allows for one hard drive. It also does not support NVIDIA graphics, nor does it have Thunderbolt 3. It's also not easily serviceable. HP REMOTE GRAPHICS SOFTWARE Besides making powerful workstations, HP has created a unique piece of software called HP Remote Graphics Software (RGS). With it, you can operate an HP Workstation remotely from any computer — be it a desktop, laptop or Windows-based tablet. With RGS, you feel like you're working on a workstation, even if that workstation is down the hall or somewhere across the country. Interestingly, HP has announced that it will make a Mac client for RGS. You'll soon be able to use your MacBook to harness the raw power of a Z840, for example. With RGS, a whole team can economically share one Z840, no matter where they might live. HP RGS is compelling and promises to give new life to older, less capable computers. FINAL THOUGHTS Filmmakers are always looking for innovative ways to tell their stories. High-resolution workflows, intricate computer-generated imagery and new technologies such as VR require unprecedented workstation power. Of these several HP workstation models — the top- of-the-line HP Z840, the entry level HP Z240, the HP ZBook Studio mobile workstation and the new third-generation Z1 all-in-one workstation — are all compelling machines that offer unprecedented levels of power in their respective class. f TECH TIPS Figure 5, left: The ZBook Studio mobile workstation is the world's first workstation Ultrabook that features Xeon processors, NVIDIA Quadro Graphics and ECC memory. Figure 6, above: The HP Z1 is an all-in- one workstation that has a footprint basically the size of a display. It also has workstation components and a back that comes off for easy, tool-less serviceability.

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