HP Unveils New ‘Z’ WorkStation For the Creation of Virtual Reality Content – Price: $4300+

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a1It never seems to amaze me at how we as humans are able to find new use-cases for technology which seems to be advancing at near-warp speeds.  As technology advances, there always seems to be a demand for that technology, and than some.  Case in point, high performance desktop PCs.  Just as most desktop capabilities seem to have caught up with demand, virtual reality comes into play, requiring much more advanced GPU’s and faster rendering speeds.  And if you thought that running VR on a desktop computer required a lot of power, than wait until you try and create VR content yourself.

HP understands the need for high performance desktops and today, in collaboration with NVIDEA, they have announced their new Z Workstation at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference, specifically built for advanced production of graphic-intense content, such as virtual reality.

“We are embarking on a new frontier that will change how content producers and artists develop the most immersive, visually stimulating content available,” said Jeff Wood, vice president, Worldwide Product Management, Workstations and Thin Clients, HP Inc. “HP Z desktop workstations with NVIDIA graphics are the ideal combination for this new content creation era.”

The new Z Workstation, starting at $4,363, is equipped with NVIDIA® Quadro® professional GPUs, and enable users to realize extremely low latency, and very high frame rates.  In fact HP has tested each system with the HTC Vive VR headset in order to ensure its high performance when working with virtual reality. Depending on how the system is configured, the price will go up from the $4363 base.  Options include either Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips, which have up to  a staggering 22 cores, or the dual Quadro M6000 24GB graphics cards in an SLI configuration.  Additionally the Z Workstation can be configured with up to 256GB of DDR4 memory or 1TB of LRDDR4 (load-reduced DDR4) memory.  As for connectivity, the system will come with five USB 3.0 and three USB 2.0 ports, and can be configured with a variety of different storage options.

“VR is expanding beyond gaming to revolutionize fields across everyday life — like medicine, architecture, education, product design and retailing,” said Bob Pette, vice president, Professional Visualization, NVIDIA. “Our VR Ready initiative makes it easy for professional users to adopt VR technology to make better, more informed decisions and perform their best work.”

While the Z Workstation isn’t a desktop for everyone, if you are developing VR content, such a system seems like a solid value, especially if you can afford it.  Let us know your thoughts on this new system in the HP Z Workstation forum on VRTalk.com.