HP Z2 G8 Tower Assessment

The HP Z2 G8 Tower (begins at $1,219; $3,424 as examined) is a single-CPU desktop workstation that provides a large mixture of customization choices earlier than buy, plus loads of enlargement potentialities upon getting does. With the eighth era of its Z2 tower, HP gives Intel Core and Xeon “Rocket Lake” CPUs and each Nvidia and AMD skilled GPUs. Our check system consists of an eight-core Intel Core i9-11900K processor and Nvidia RTX A4000 graphics for skilled artistic duties starting from computer-aided design (CAD) and constructing info modeling (BIM) workflows to video enhancing and virtualization. Present the mandatory muscle. actuality. Entry to a toolless chassis is straightforward for repairs and upgrades, which is an considerable plus for IT workers supporting a design store and a price range supervisor maintaining a tally of ROI. The HP Z2 G8 Tower deserves a spot in your entry-level workstation shortlist.

configuring all day

It is nearly sure that until you are searching for a dual-CPU setup, you can discover a Z2 G8 tower that matches your workstation wants and price range. HP gives a protracted checklist of CPU, GPU, reminiscence configuration, and storage choices accessible with a trio of energy provides. Your processor choices begin with six-core Core i5 chips and transfer as much as eight-core Xeon-W CPUs.

HP Z2 G8 Tower Left Angle

(Picture: Molly Flores)

As talked about, each AMD and Nvidia graphics playing cards are on the menu. Nvidia choices span from the older Quadro playing cards to the most recent RTX A-series. On the AMD aspect, there are a number of Radeon Professional playing cards accessible as much as the 32GB Radeon Professional 6800. All are single-slot GPUs besides one, the flagship RTX A5000. Our check system has a 16GB Nvidia RTX A4000.

HP Z2 G8 Tower Interior

(Picture: Molly Flores)

The three energy provide items on provide present 350, 500 and 700 watts. For servicing the power-hungry RTX A4000, our check unit claimed the top-notch PSU.

4 DIMM slots maintain as much as 128GB of RAM. Error-correcting-code (ECC) reminiscence is offered if you choose an Intel Xeon processor. Our Core i9-based check system stocked 32GB in a dual-channel setup with two 16GB DDR4-3200 modules.

HP Z2 G8 Tower Memory

(Picture: Molly Flores)

The motherboard has three M.2 slots, one containing a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive. You may additionally discover two 3.5-inch bays for added SATA drives. Energy and information cables are current for 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch drive bays, making future enlargement straightforward.

HP Z2 G8 Tower Storage Bay

(Picture: Molly Flores)

The 2 drive bays will be accessed from the entrance panel. You may add a 5.25-inch optical drive and a detachable 2.5-inch SSD. There’s additionally room on the entrance panel so as to add an SD card reader and a USB Kind-C port, although neither was included in our check system. Our system additionally lacked wi-fi networking, however you may add a Wi-Fi 6 card for $18.

Attending to the inside of the tower is a breeze. By turning the lever backwards, you may shut the aspect panel and entry contained in the case. To entry the motherboard simply search for the blue tabs to take away the quilt or drive cage. Along with the reminiscence and storage enlargement choices above, you will be aware a pair of PCI Specific x16 slots and two PCIe x4 slots. One of many x16 slots is occupied by the Nvidia RTX A4000 graphics card.

soften the workstation look

The HP Z2 G8 Tower is not the boxy, beige company workstation of yesteryear. The mid-tower case is totally black, with a silver HP emblem on the highest and a silver Z2 emblem on the underside. The 4 corners have been carved to melt the system’s look and lend a touch of fashion. A sample of small spherical holes within the backside half of the entrance panel helps to intensify the inside. There’s an air filter behind these holes, and you may take away the plastic entrance panel piece—it is held in place by magnets—to scrub the filter.

The system has 4 cooling followers to maintain thermals below management. There is a fan on the large CPU heatsink and one other immediately behind the CPU on the again panel. The third cooling fan resides on the RTX A4000 graphics card, and the fourth cools the ability provide. The workstation is pretty quiet below regular operation, however the followers kick into overdrive and will be fairly quick for small elements below heavy hundreds.

HP Z2 G8 Tower Rear Angle

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Talking of heavy hundreds, it needs to be famous that the Intel Core i9-11900K processor in our check unit is unlocked and will be overclocked. Because of stability considerations, nevertheless, most workstation customers is not going to select to overclock the CPU, and the HP Z2 gives no management to take action with the G8 Tower.

HP Z2 G8 Tower Audio Port

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Together with its configuration choices, the HP Z2 G8 Tower gives you a number of connectivity choices. The three largest port defaults on our check system are a USB-C port, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader, however you may add any of these if you’d like. USB Kind-A and DisplayPort 1.4 ports abound on the again of our system—six of every, to be precise. Two DisplayPort are built-in into the motherboard and the opposite 4 come courtesy of the Nvidia RTX A4000 GPU. Of the six USB-A ports, two are 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 variants, one 5Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 1 variant, and two legacy 480Mbps USB 2.0 ports. You additionally get audio-in and out jacks and an Ethernet port.

hp z2 g8 tower usb port

(Picture: Molly Flores)

There’s easy accessibility to a quartet of USB Kind-A ports from the entrance panel—two 10Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 2 connectors and two 5Gbps USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, together with a power-off system charging. There’s additionally an optionally available entrance USB-C port and USB port for an SD card slot, and a headphone jack above the placeholder.

HP Z2 G8 Tower Front Port

(Picture: Molly Flores)

Our Z2 G8 tower got here with a pair of generic wired peripherals. The keyboard is an old-school desktop unit with thick keys and lengthy journey. The mouse is a fundamental two-button case with an optical sensor and scroll wheel. Each are serviceable, however should you’ve change into accustomed to typing on a low-profile laptop computer keyboard, the keyboard will take a while to get used to. Numerous keyboard upgrades can be found, together with a wi-fi unit. Oddly sufficient, there’s just one mouse on provide.

One other three-year guarantee is obtainable, and you will do nicely within the spring for the three-year interval, because it solely provides $19 to the invoice.

Testing the Z2 Tower G8: Like a Rocket

Our HP Z2 Tower G8 check system was primarily based on Intel’s Core i9-11900K and Nvidia’s RTX A4000. The primary is an Eleventh-generation, eight-core processor with base and turbo speeds of three.5GHz and 5.3GHz, respectively. The RTX A4000 is Nvidia’s highest-end single-slot skilled GPU and has 16GB of VRAM. Rounding out the core specs are 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

HP Z2 G8 Tower GPU

(Picture: Molly Flores)

The occasional desktop workstation passes by PC Labs, however that is the primary we have seen since updating our benchmark check suite a number of months in the past, which makes it arduous to check. So, we’re measuring the Z2 G8’s efficiency in opposition to a trio of gaming PCs. With its AMD Ryzen 9 5950X CPU, GeForce RTX 3090 graphics, and 32GB of RAM, the Maingear Turbo is arguably the closest to HP’s configuration. The NZXT H1 Mini Plus is a step again in efficiency and worth, with an Intel Core i7-10700K processor, GeForce RTX 3060 graphics, and 16GB of RAM. Lenovo Legion Tower 5i is a price range gaming desktop with a Core i5 CPU, classic GeForce GTX 1660 graphics, and 8GB of reminiscence.

productiveness check

UL’s PCMark 10 core benchmarks simulate a wide range of real-world productiveness and content-creation workflows to measure the general efficiency of office-focused duties reminiscent of phrase processing, spreadsheets, internet shopping, and videoconferencing. We additionally run PCMark 10’s Full System Drive check to evaluate the boot drive’s load instances and throughput.

The three benchmarks concentrate on the CPU, utilizing all accessible cores and threads, to price the suitability of a PC for processor-intensive workloads. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 makes use of that firm’s Cinema 4D engine to render a posh scene, whereas Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Professional emulates common apps starting from PDF rendering and speech recognition to machine studying. Lastly, we use the open-source video transcoder Handbrake 1.4 to transform a 12-minute video clip from 4K to 1080p decision (the shorter the time the higher).

Our final productiveness check is Puget Programs’ Pugetbench for Photoshop(Opens in a brand new window), which makes use of Artistic Cloud model 22 of Adobe’s famend picture editor, to price PC efficiency for content material creation and multimedia purposes. It is an automatic extension that performs a wide range of frequent and GPU-accelerated Photoshop duties, from opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture to making use of masks, gradient fills, and filters.

The HP Z2 G8 Tower carried out admirably in PCMark 10; Dropping out to the Maingear Turbo and its 16-core Ryzen 9 processor is not a felony. HP’s rating was comfortably forward of the NZXT and its eight-core Core i7, to not point out the Legion Tower 5i with its six-core Core i5. We noticed related leads to PCMark’s storage check, the place the Z2 G8 was once more second solely to Maingear.

In our multimedia assessments, the Z2 G8 Tower once more completed as runner-up to the twice-expensive Maingear Turbo. It was two minutes slower in our Handbrake check, nicely behind in Geekbench, and nicely above Maingear’s pace in Cinebench, the place the doubled variety of after-processing cores allowed it to almost double HP’s rating. The 2 programs have been fairly shut in Photoshop, but it surely’s a comparatively mild workload for a workstation.

We additionally ran our personal suite of workstation and content material creation assessments on the HP Z2 G8 Tower. These embody Puget Programs’ PugetBench for Adobe Premiere Professional 15 video editor; SPECviewperf 2020, an industry-standard measurement of 3D efficiency in CAD and graphics rendering purposes; And Blender, one other 3D modeling check.

HP turned in a robust performer right here, surpassing the pricier Maingear and coming third in Blender’s CPU check however profitable with Specviewperf’s Creo Viewset. The NZXT’s Core i7 in all probability edged out the Z2’s Core i9 in Blender CPU observe as a result of it runs at a barely greater frequency.

graphics check

We examined the graphics of Home windows PCs with two DirectX 12 gaming simulations from UL’s 3DMark, Evening Raid (appropriate for extra modest, built-in graphics) and Time Spy (appropriate for extra demanding, gaming or skilled rigs with discrete GPUs) We do.

We additionally ran two assessments from the cross-platform GPU benchmark GFXBench 5, which emphasizes each low-level routines like texturing and high-level, game-like picture rendering. The 1440p Aztec Ruins and 1080p Automotive Chase assessments present offscreen to accommodate completely different show resolutions, observe graphics and calculate shaders utilizing the OpenGL programming interface and {hardware} tessellation, respectively. The extra frames per second (fps), the higher.

Cease us should you’ve heard it earlier than: The HP Z2 G8 Tower ranked second behind Maingear Turbo and forward of NZXT and Lenovo Desktop in our graphics assessments. Its RTX A4000 GPU delivered efficiency someplace between the GeForce RTX 3060 and 3090 in our gaming simulations.

Verdict: Sound Off

With Intel Core and Xeon CPU choices, a number of graphics playing cards accessible, and scads of reminiscence and storage configurations, there’s in all probability an HP Z2 G8 tower to satisfy your workstation wants and price range, so long as you want twin processors. Would not occur. And to a big extent, you may even select the ports and connections you need and pay for those you do not. Regardless of its spacious and neatly organized inside, the system engages its cooling followers below heavy hundreds and makes for a loud workplace companion; Should you’re delicate to acoustics, you might wish to store elsewhere. Nonetheless, the Z2’s worth is cheap and its design is each practical and surprisingly enticing.


With a practical and expandable design, inexpensive worth, and a number of configuration choices, the HP Z2 G8 Tower is a superb entry-level workstation.

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