HP is the first workstation vendor to announce support for Intel’s new six core Xeon 3600 and 5600 Series processors. They also announced the Elitebook Pro 8740w Mobile Workstation and a small footprint version of the entry level E200 workstation.
Of most interest to SolidWorks users is the 3.33 GHz six core Intel® Xeon® Processor W3680 which will be available on the HP Z400 in April. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but Intel prices the new six core CPU exaclty the same as the four core w3580 that it replaces. HP has also started shipping Z400 models with six DIMM slots, so they can be configured with up 24 GB RAM.
There are more choices in the Xeon 5600 Series supported on the HP Z600 and Z800 dual socket systems. The 5600 series includes six core CPUs at up to 3.33 GHz and four core CPUs at up to 3.47 GHz. Very few SolidWorks users, will benefit from more than six cores making it hard to justify the MUCh higher pricing for dual socket workstations.
The Elitebook 8740w Mobile Workstation is a powerhouse that will compete directly with the Dell Precision M6500 and Lenovo ThinkPad W701. A range of dual and quad core processors are available, as well as three different professional OpenGL graphic cards. Quad core systems can be configured with up to 16GB RAM, while dual core systems are limited to 8GB. (This is true of ALL Core i notebooks.) Dual core systems start at $1999 and configurations with quad core Core i7 720QM start at $2999.
The HP Z200 SFF Workstation packs workstation-class performance and reliability into a surprisingly small, sleek, and affordable package. A broad range of quad core Xeon 3400 Series and dual core Core i5/13 processors are available. The small form factor does entail some sacrifices: The available Quadro FX 380 LP graphics card is certified by SolidWorks, but it’s not a top performer. On the other hand, advanced thermal management allows you to install up to two 10,000 rpm Velociraptor hard drives in the compact chassis.