Computers, DIY and System Recommendations, Specials and Promotions, Video Editing

Videoguys Tech Select HP Z Workstations / Mobile Workstations

April 2017 update: We have updated some of our workstations to make them even more powerful. In addition we are trying to keep on hand our best selling Tech Select Systems. This means they are available for immediate delivery. Just follow the link and check the stock status.

 

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We’ve had tremendous success over the past year with our Videoguys Tech Select HP Z workstations. In anticipation of re-configuring our systems this year, we waited for HP to certify the latest revs of NVIDIA Quadro cards so we could put them in our new builds.  They’re ready!  We’ve put together 5 killer workstations that deliver a tremendous combination of performance, reliability and stability for video editors of every level and budget. Videoguys Tech Select HP z Workstations Videoguys’ Tech Select HP Workstations are custom-configured by our technicians to hit some great price points and still provide you with a machine that we strongly recommend. HP uses only the best components, and these workstations come optimized for digital content creation. They are easily expandable and upgradable which means you’ll get a longer useful life out of them.

Our approach to these workstations was simple:  deliver the highest performing, most balanced solutions we can for each price point. We went back and forth with our team at HP tweaking each build until it met our specifications and target price.  It’s all about providing our customers the most bang for the buck!

Additionally, we worked with our tech friends over at Adobe, Avid, Grass Valley and Magix to make sure these systems deliver outstanding results with Premiere Pro, Media Composer, Edius and Vegas Pro.

When configuring a computer for video editing and content creation, we feel the most important thing is balance. The system will only be as strong as its weakest component.  Having a single component that is far more powerful than the rest of the configuration is not only a waste of money, it can lead to a less stable and reliable machine. So our custom workstations have CPU, GPU and RAM amounts that optimally support each other.

We don’t include media storage with our Videoguys Tech Select HP Z workstations because we want you to have the flexibility to use the storage that best meets your needs and workflows. We can configure your system with 4 additional hard drives in a RAID configuration, or you can add external Thunderbolt/USB3 storage like our G-Tech G-RAIDs, G-Speeds & Shuttle XL, or you can use networked storage like G-Rack or Nexis Pro.

Before we get into the details of our new custom configurations, I want to highlight two of the most important new features – the new NVIDIA Quadro M-Series cards and the new HP Z Turbo Quad-Pro drive included in our higher end z840 systems.

New Quadro Cards

NVIDIA Quadro M SeriesThe  M Series of Quadro cards employ the Maxwell 2 architecture that is more energy efficient and powerful then the older Kepler based cards, delivering much better performance per CUDA core and the ability to drive multiple 4K displays.

  • The Quadro m4000 replaces the K4200 but, in terms of sheer power, delivers almost as much performance as the old K6000 card! The m4000 has 20% more CUDA cores, twice the VRAM (from 4GB to 8GB) and a faster memory clock. It is a single slot card that is Quadro’s equivalent of a GTX970.
  • The Quadro m5000 replaces the K5200. It’s the Quadro equivalent of a GTX980 card as far as pure graphics performance goes.  It can drive up to four 4K displays.  The m5000 delivers almost twice the overall performance of the m4000, hitting a ridiculous 4.3 teraflops.
  • The Quadro m6000 replaces the K6000. It delivers an insane level of performance! You get 3,072 CUDA cores, 12GB of VRAM and it can drive up to four 4K displays. It’s the Quadro equivalent of a Titan X and has been rated as over 50% more powerful than the old Kepler based K6000.
HP Tech Select z440
HP Tech Select z640
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HP Tech Select z440 6-Core Workstation

 $2,999.00

HP Tech Select z640 Octo Core Workstation

$3,750.00

HP Tech Select z840 Dual Octo-Core
Xeon Workstation

$4,999.00

HP Tech Select z840 Dual 10-Core Xeon Workstation

$7,499.00

HP Tech Select z840 Dream Machine! with Dual 12-Core Xeons
$10,999.00

 

Videoguys Tech Select HP ZBook Mobile Workstations

Picking and recommending the right laptop is a more difficult question to answer than finding the right desktop. Unlike a desktop, when you buy a laptop you are more limited in what upgrades and changes you can make after your purchase. In this guide we will recommend some specific models (the Videoguys’ Tech Selects) and some additional brands and model families that would fit the bill. Before we get into that, let’s go into the key configuration parts you are going to want to make sure your laptop gives you.

Key Configuration PartsHP ZBook Mobile Workstations

Quad Core i7 or Quad Core Intel Xeon Processor

Your processor is the most important feature that will have the biggest impact on your ability to smoothly work with and edit HD footage. Today’s advanced video editing apps all tap into multiple CPU cores. Without 4 or more cores, you’re simply not going to have a good time editing HD footage, especially footage from DSLR cameras, GoPros or AVCHD. These video files are super compressed and you need multiple cores to share the load of the CODECs.

If you plan on using your Laptop for live video streaming using software like TeleStream Wirecast or vMix, you’ll need 4 or more cores as well. These apps run significantly better with 4 cores vs. dual cores. Fortunately HP and Dell are doing more to build quad core machines into smaller, lighter machines. In fact, the Videoguys’ Tech Select HP zBook Studio is the world’s first quad-core workstation Ultrabook. This is HP’s thinnest and lightest full-performance workstation ever!

Quadro Mobile GPUs

These are a must have if you are going to be running your NLE on Windows. No NLE taps into GPU performance more than Adobe Premiere Pro. Trying to run Premiere Pro without a powerful GPU is a recipe for disaster. Avid recommends an NVIDIA Quadro card for use with Media Composer as well. For Grass Valley EDIUS, we recommend you select a GPU with at least 2GB of memory and 500+ CUDA cores.!

Hi-Res 15″ or 17 ” Screen Size

If you are going to edit on a laptop, you need the screen real-estate for your timeline, preview windows and tools. When you go with a 17″ screen you get more real estate, but you also get a machine that is heavier and less portable to lug around. Fortunately you can get 15″ screens that are incredibly sharp and you can run them at resolutions that deliver the real estate you need for editing within a limited screen size.

So for us, it’s a trade off that is your personal decision. We do not recommend getting a 17″ laptop with lower resolution screen vs a 15″ with higher res. While we like touchscreens we don’t want to trade off resolution to get it. If you can afford a 17 with hi-res screen, plus a touchscreen and you don’t mind the extra bulk, go for it. You won’t regret it.

All HP zBook laptop workstations are available with optional touchscreens and the 17″ models are also available with HP Dreamcolor displays for advanced color correction capabilities. Call the Videoguys at 800-323-2325 to customize your next mobile workstation with these options.

Get As Much RAM As Possible

Today’s NLEs need RAM, the more the better. While most laptops come with 4GB by default, this is not nearly enough for video editing. You want a bare minimum or 8GB, and you’ll get dramatically improved performance when editing on a laptop with 16GB. For us we recommend going with 32GB if you can afford it.

USB 3 is Mandatory!

Make sure your new laptop has at least 1 USB 3 connection for your external storage. For the fastest possible connectivity for your external storage, we recommend Thunderbolt, but the next best choice is USB 3. USB 3.1 is a dual purpose connection that supports both USB 3 and Thunderbolt! Unlike USB 2, the new USB 3 is a very reliable and stable connection that is 100% up to the demands of post production work. Many of our customers want to use their laptop for live streaming and video editing. You want to make sure your laptop has multiple USB 3 ports and that they are more than one bus. That way you can use a pair of frame grabbers like the Epiphan AV.io for multi-camera streaming.

Thunderbolt

If you plan on editing 4K footage or working with VR footage down the road then you are really going to want at least one Thunderbolt port on you laptop for adding the fastest possible storage possible. You also need Thunderbolt if you intend to attach HD or 4K I/O for wither ingest or playback. USB 3.1 is a dual purpose connection that supports both USB3 and Thunderbolt! Videoguys recommends G-Tech Thunderbolt RAIDs for HD editing.

 

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HP zBook 17
Videoguys Tech Select
HP ZBook Studio 15 Ultrabook with Quadro M1000M
 
$2,999.00
Videoguys Tech Select
HP ZBook 15 G3 with Quadro M2000M
$2,999.00
Videoguys Tech Select
HP ZBook 17 G3 with Quadro M3000M
 $3,299.00
Videoguys Tech Select
HP ZBook 17 G3 with Quadro M4000M
$3,799.00
Videoguys Tech Select
HP ZBook 17 G3 with DreamColor Display
$4,099.00

 

 

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By Britt, April 5, 2017
  • Brian

    Have you guys got any recommendation or comparisons on the new GeForce 10 series Vs. the Quadro, in notebook formats? Is there a point where the 10 series is better – e.g., is a high 10 series better than a lower Quadro series, such as M1000?
    It would be good to know what the trade-offs are, Thanks!

    • jimatvideoguys

      If you are using the Adobe or Avid software the higher end GeForce cards may actually be better than the low end Quadro. The spec that matters most is the # of CUDA cores.