The HP Z820 Workstation and Maya


In case any of you were thinking about purchasing a new workstation for Maya, I recently reviewed the new HP Z820 at

This is one powerful rig with two 8-core liquid cooled E5 2600 Xeon Sandy Bridge CPUs (16 cores total, built-in USB 3.0, up to 512 GB of RAM, Quadro 6000 GPU and an SSD RAID. Price is also reasonable for what I consider to be unrivaled power.

Let me know what you think.


We recently purchased 20 Z800s with dual X5690, 32GB RAM and Quadro 6000 with additional Tesla card which we never managed to get working and sent them back. Within a day we were pulling our hair out because of major video driver issues with Maya, Showcase and general system instability. We had to roll back a good few driver versions back to get the systems stable. Decent machines once everything got ironed out, but not cheap. With the Tesla card these suckers were about $16,000 a piece. Great for animation, rendering and high end viz work.


Cinebench gives an idea about the performance (I assume it was the 64bit multithreaded one)
but more rendering tests with realworld testscenes would have been great. It’s all about the cpu here, as the Quadro 6000 is an old card with plenty of reviews around the net.


I’m going to be reviewing one of these for Ars Technica, to cover it from a Mac Pro owner’s perspective. Hopefully Apple will release an E5 Xeon to compare it to eventually. Yes, they will be releasing one. I have confirmation from a secret sauce.

Seeing if Dell will send me one of those new Precision machines to review as well. Looks like the new designs are quite nice.


Look forward to reading it.


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