In a move sure to come as a surprise to approximately no one, HP is updating several members of their workstation lineup with new Ivy Bridge-based processors, including Ivy Bridge-based single socket Xeons for desktop models. What may surprise you are some of the additions to their EliteBook mobile workstation line.

We reviewed the HP Z210 small form factor some time ago and found it to be a surprisingly powerful little machine, a product that a currently very hungry Dell still doesn't have a great answer for (unlike the larger workstations in HP's lineup.) Physically virtually nothing has changed in the move to the new Z220, with the only major update under the hood being a move to Ivy Bridge-based processors and accompanying support for PCI Express 3.0. Unfortunately, to demonstrate just how little has changed, despite updating with a new chipset with built-in USB 3.0 support, the four front USB ports on the small form factor Z220 are still all USB 2.0. Meanwhile, the standard mini-tower version features two USB 3.0 ports in the front and a single USB 2.0 along with 6-pin FireWire.

HP's top-end mobile workstations, on the other hand, receive slightly beefier updates. The 14-inch EliteBook 8460w gets updated to an 8470w with Ivy Bridge processors along with AMD FirePro M2000 dedicated graphics with 1GB of GDDR5. It's also configurable with a 1600x900 resolution display which should be a welcome change, although it may lose some of its luster with ultrabooks sporting 1080p displays impending in the consumer sector.

The 8570w and 8770w, 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch models respectively, both still offer HP's IPS DreamColor 1080p displays, making them ideal for work that requires the highest color fidelity. These systems are both updated to Ivy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors just like the 8470w. The 8570w supports installing additional hard drives in the optical drive bay instead of an optical drive, and will be offered with AMD FirePro M4000 1GB GDDR5, NVIDIA Quadro K1000M 2GB DDR3, or NVIDIA Quadro K2000M 2GB DDR3 dedicated graphics hardware. These are new models across the board, so we don't immediately have any information to offer.

Meanwhile, the 8770w sees up to three drive bays counting the optical drive, but also features the following graphics options: AMD FirePro M4000 1GB GDDR5, NVIDIA Quadro K3000M 2GB GDDR5, NVIDIA Quadro K4000M 4GB GDDR5, and NVIDIA Quadro K5000M 4GB GDDR5. This is particularly interesting as if the K does indeed signify Kepler hardware, these Quadros may actually wind up being inferior in some tasks (mainly double-precision tasks) to last generation's GF100-based Quadro 5010M.

One of the high points of the new workstation lineup is the inclusion of mSATA ports across the line, though. While HP only offers optional 24GB Intel SLC SSDs for Intel's Smart Response caching technology, industrious end users should still be able to replace those drives with dedicated SSDs, allowing for a substantial amount of storage even in the 14-inch 8470w.

The Z220 refresh starts at $699, while the EliteBook 8770w, 8570w, and 8470w mobile workstations start at $1,699, $1,449, and $1,329 respectively. All are expected to become available before the month is out.

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  • dbcoopernz - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    Aren't they all Sandy Bridge based?
  • IntelUser2000 - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    These are Xeon E3 Ivy Bridge chips. The E3 is largely based off PC chips.

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