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The HP Z2 G3 Mini

What an amazing workstation.

The HP Z2 G3 Mini comes with some amazing configuration options:

– choice of operating system: Windows 7, 10, or Linux-ready
– i3-6100 to i7-7700 to Xeon® E3-1245 v6 Processor (and everything in-between)
– 4GB to 32GB RAM options
– multiple drives HDD, SSD, or NVMe PCIe
– integrated graphics or NVIDIA® Quadro M620 Graphics (2 GB, 4 DisplayPort)
– Bluetooth 4.2
– Keyboard and Mouse Options
– Three year warranty
Weight: Roughly 5 pounds

A POWERHOUSE WORKSTATION

The HP Z2 G3 Mini was designed as a small powerhouse workstation for CAD Designers or Model Builders. However, as the video shows, it can still do some pretty impressive gaming and video editing work.

The gentleman in the video above was able to do some 4K (see 2m39s) video editing. He also tried some 8K editing; but one has to realize that when you do 8K editing, you are in a completely different territory altogether, and you may be one of the few computer users who requires the bigger desktop behemoths. So if you are a Hollywood producer, this workstation may not be for you.

The NVIDIA® Quadro M620 Graphics (2GB) card option is a mobile graphics card so it would not be suitable for very high-end processing; but should be more than sufficient for almost everything else, including and up to some 4K video editing.

UPGRADEABILITY

The HP Z2 G3 Mini was engineered extraordinarily well, for a small form factor computer. It is easily upgradeable for RAM memory and storage after purchase, so one can purchase this with lesser options with an eye to upgrading in the future – except for the CPU, which is not upgradeable.

The workstation can be opened without tools, using just the built-in latch in the back. RAM can be inserted after lifting up an easily rotated fan, if you want to purchase your own. And as shown (at 1m 39s in the video), the storage can be upgraded, or even exchanged, if you want to swap drives.

Happily, Hewlett Packard did not opt for the soldered-in nonsense that one often sees with some Apple products, such as the 2014 Mac Mini which had its RAM soldered in.

THE COMING COFFEE LAKE FACTOR

If you are thinking of buying the HP Z2 G3 Mini, it might be worth waiting until next year when the Coffee Lake Chips come out.  There will be major improvements because cores are being added to the Intel product CPU lines.

Intel’s present flagship i7-7700K  Kaby Lake CPU which has 4C/8T [4 cores/8 threads] will be replaced by i7-8700K which will have 6C/12T. But the core additions will also be applied to lesser CPUs, even to the entry level Core i3 CPUs, which now only offer 2 cores with hyperthreading, but will soon offer 4 cores, though with no hyperthreading.

While the results from the i7-8700K should be taken with a very large pinch of salt … they do line up with earlier SiSoft Sandra benchmarks that suggest around a 30- to 40-percent improvement versus the 7700K. Forty percent is the same performance improvement Intel is pushing for the recently released Kaby Lake Refresh laptop chips, which also fall under the “8th Generation” banner.
Source:  ArsTechica

Most of the improvements with the 8th generation Intel CPU chips seem to be due to the addition of cores, not merely an increase in single core frequency.  But a lot of high-end software is starting to use multiple-cores, and so this harbingers a great improvement for the future.

The HP Z2 G3 Mini is a winner.