Review: HP Z800 8-core workstation
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Reviewed by Ryan McLaughlin on 05/27/2009
Editors' rating: 9.5/10
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Bottom Line
JusTech'n editors' rating
Features10/10
Design10/10
Performance10/10
Warranty9/10
Support9/10
Price8/10
9.5/10
  • Allen

    In the review you said that the Z800 never hit the same level of performance as the xw8600, yet in the conclusion, you state that the Z800 outperformed all other workstations and desktops. Can you elaborate on this?

    thanks

    — Allen

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    • Sorry I was not more clear about this. I am going to quote myself and then offer a bit more explination

      “So back to the first three benchmarks, I was very confused by the mediocre scores. When I compare them to the xw8600 workstation that I reviewed a year ago, the Z800 appears to get lower scores on every test. There are really only two differences between the two machines. The first is that the Z800 is running a 64-bit OS and the xw8600 was using a 32-bit OS. The second is that the Z800 has two quad core CPUs and the xw8600 only had one. So I decided to do a little investigation and see if I could figure out the problem. The first thing I did was start limiting the number of cores. I started with just 1 core, then moved to 2, and then 4. As you can see from the images the performance increased as the number of cores increased, but they never reached the xw8600 numbers.”

      “So the only other thing I could do was load up a 32-bit version of Windows Vista and run the tests again. First I ran PCMark05 and then PCMark Vantage. As you can see the scores are much better than before.”

      “Next I ran 3DMark06 and 3DMark Vantage. Again these scores are much better than before and clearly indicate that these tests are not optimized for a 64-bit OS.”

      So what I intended to say with these three paragraphs is that when I used a 32-bit OS, like the xw8600, the scores not only improved, but they were better than the xw8600. So the low scores were not because of the hardware, but because the tests I was using were not optimized for a 64-bit OS.

      I hope this answers your question.

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  • john matlick

    Do you think that a ram boot drive would be an asset? I have found one for $1600.00 which has 73G dram and 73 G Mirrored Hard drive..

    Also , can this machine create a ram workspace?

    JOHN

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  • Scooter

    Really powerful workstation, which we are using as a server in a small office. The HP SATA HDs are $700 for a 1.5tb which is robbery. This machine will use any SATA HD, including 2tb WD Greens, so don’t let the salespeople scam you–buy with only a single drive and add your own later. You can cram up to four of them if you use the optical bay. We kept the operating system on a 500g drive, though. The video and sound cards are junk and the video cards use HP proprietary “display” jacks, which are impossible to find. The internal integrated sound card is also junk. Will not support RAID 5 without a LSI Card, but you can do RAID 0. With an external Highpoint RAID Controller, back up is a breeze. This is a noisy unit and you will need a very large UPC, as it surges when processing.

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  • Scooter

    Great workstation. Some comments:

    1. Literature and sales department erroneously state that unit must be used with 1.5tb SATA drives. This is wrong. Unit will support 2tb SATA drives on everything but the boot drive. I used four extras, but needed to pull out the optical drive and install a bracket.

    2. Literature and sales department erroneously stated that one must use HP 1.5 tb SATA drives, at a cost of $700 each. I picked up WD 2tb drives for about $190.

    3. Video Card is terrible. Not only does the card use proprietary HP “Display” jacks, which are impossible to find, the Display > DVI Jack included in the box is wrong. Pass on the video card and get your own.

    4. Imbedded Sound Card is also terrible. Get your own card.

    5. Although the literature states the workstation supports RAID 5, it does not so so natively, and the embedded RAID card on the motherboard will not RAID 5 the drives. So either get an outboard card, LSI, or use RAID 0.

    6. Although the unit is advertised as being able to rack mount, and we ordered them as such, the CD/DVD Drives were mounted for a tower setup, e.g., sideways. While spinning them around inside the case is an option, it is a good hour project and fairly daunting. HP would not come out and fix.

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  • jason

    i like the z800 design, but how does the chassis compare in terms of bandwidth performance to the xw8600? Is it the same or is it significantly higher? the price of the xw8600 has lowered somewhat since the z800 appeared, and to build a dream xw8600 seems more affordable than to build a mediocre z800. What are your thoughts?

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Review: HP Z800 8-core workstation, reviewed by Ryan McLaughlin on 2009-05-27T10:39:51+00:00 rating 9.5 out of 10