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Old April 20th, 2012, 05:18 PM   #1
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AVID workstation: HP Z210 or HP Z400?

I’m a videojournalist (news, corporate videos) and want to buy a new, qualified AVID workstation - but unsure what to get. Mac is too expensive for me and looking at PC’s, most vendors here do either offer the HP Z210 or the HP Z400 as platforms. Of course there are bigger and more powerful options, but those would also overrun my budget. What do you think? Is a HP Z210 (with decent graphic board and sufficient RAM) okay for smooth realtime AVC-I 100 editing with MC 6? Or do I need the more powerful HP Z400?
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Old April 20th, 2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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Re: AVID workstation: HP Z210 or HP Z400?

Check out the ProMax line of custom PCs.

Saw them out an NAB and they were quite impressive.

ProMAX Systems - ProMAX ONE
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Old April 21st, 2012, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: AVID workstation: HP Z210 or HP Z400?

Jan,

Neither of those two machines is ideal: With HP, you would generally be paying way too much money for too little performance (relative to other vendors or assemble-it-yourself workstations). However, there are times when you want everything supported by just one company as opposed to dozens of other companies.

That said, you cannot directly compare the Z210 with the Z400: The Z400 is a much older model, dating back to the first generation of Nehalem processors from 2008-2009. And if anything, you would actually need to spend top dollar for a near top-of-the-line W36xx CPU in that Z400 just for its performance to equal or exceed that of a mid-range E3 CPU for the Z210. (The Z210, by the way, is based on the newer Sandy Bridge CPUs whereas the Z400 uses older Bloomfield and Gulftown CPUs.)

Therefore, the Z400 is "more powerful", all right - in terms of total power consumption, not performance (which, by the way, is far less of an improvement than is warrantied by its massive increase in power consumption). In fact, a Z400 with the slowest available CPU is actually slower (performance-wise) than a Z210 with its slowest available CPU, yet the entry-level Z400 consumes significantly more wattage from the AC mains than a Z210 with its fastest available CPU.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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Re: AVID workstation: HP Z210 or HP Z400?

Thanks a lot for the input, guys.

@Matt, Promax looks quite good. Will check, if there's a vendor in Germany.

@Randall. So I would have to go with the HP Z210. But if HP is not ideal in general: Which platform would offer more bang for the buck?
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:19 PM   #5
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Re: AVID workstation: HP Z210 or HP Z400?

If you insist on an HP I'd skip the Z400 and take a look at the newer Z420's. They have the newer e3 and E5 sandybridge cpus in them which have a much higher performance envelope than the older xeons. HP in the UK is advertising them on line as they are very new this quarter.

Also, on this board and elsewhere on the web there are many people singing the praises of Video editor machines based on single i7-3960K, i7-3930K, I7-2700K/2600K that are overclocked. They post equal if not better scores than the older dual xeon systems such as the Z400.

It seems intel has caused to workstation market to collapse when they released the I7-xxxxK. processors.

Personally, I'm looking at a custom built single E5-2687W workstation that later on, I can easily upgrade to a dual e5-2687w. While not cheap to do, I have my reasons for doing so. Over the last 4 months I've been doing a considerable amount of research about the current CPU trajectory and I have come to the conclusion Intel has hit a brick wall when it comes to processor speed increases. The way I see things going forward is the the next evolution will be greater parallel processing, (coupled with hardware acceleration) and not in increased clock cycles. And smarter software code can do that....
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 06:23 AM   #6
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Re: AVID workstation: HP Z210 or HP Z400?

Thanks Ray, I'll check out these ones too. I've got the feeling, that the selection of a suitable platform is a bit more demanding nowadays, at least if you're not exactly an IT expert. Six years ago it was like "take the Pentium with the highest number - plus sufficient RAM, harddrive and a good graphic board." I really don't understand, why many vendors still sell platforms like the Z400, which seem to date back to the las decade...
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Old April 23rd, 2012, 10:47 AM   #7
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Re: AVID workstation: HP Z210 or HP Z400?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Luethje View Post
Thanks Ray, I'll check out these ones too. I've got the feeling, that the selection of a suitable platform is a bit more demanding nowadays, at least if you're not exactly an IT expert. Six years ago it was like "take the Pentium with the highest number - plus sufficient RAM, harddrive and a good graphic board." I really don't understand, why many vendors still sell platforms like the Z400, which seem to date back to the las decade...
Yes, three years is an eternity as far as CPU and system generations are concerned...
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