In most of our tests, the Z2 Mini G4 posted not just impressive results, but category-leading performances. The HP Z2 Mini G4 is a mini desktop with the performance of a far larger workstation, complete with Xeon processor options and ISV certifications. Note, though, that if you opt for HP's entry-level model in this line, you lose one of the DisplayPort connectors and the rear-side USB Type-C port. ), MORE: Best Gaming PCs - Desktop Computers (Including Sub-$1,000. Find all product features, specs, accessories, reviews and offers for HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation (8JF48UT#ABA). Desktop-class CPUs, graphics chips, and other components count on the support of large cooling fans and heat sinks that simply can't fit into a small square box like the HP Z2 Mini G4. These vents have been redesigned for the fourth generation, one of the few physical alterations to the family chassis. Final Verdict. The Z2 Mini G4 is a study in compact design. But cool doesn't mean quiet. In the same benchmark, the Precision 5820 achieved 4,107 pixels per second (PPS) compared to 2,481 pixels stored in the Z2 Mini G4. The HP Z2 Mini G4 may look a bit familiar, with an exterior that is note for note the same as last year's Z2 Mini G3 workstation. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. Compare this to the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny, which failed to hit the playability threshold of 30 fps, producing 22 fps at 1080p and 14 fps at 4K resolution. About the only inelegant part of the design is the power adapter, which uses an external brick instead of an internal adapter. They don't have a lot of space to work with, though. QuickSpecs HP Z2 Mini G4 Workstation Overview c05987462 — DA – 16216 Worldwide — Version 17 — July 18, 2020 Page 2 HP Z2 Mini G4 Entry, back view 1. One of the most iconic small desktops, the Apple Mac Mini , not only has a built-in power supply but is thinner than the Z2 Mini G4, too (1.4 by 7.7 by 7.7 inches). Suffice it to say, graphics performance is a must for anything calling itself a workstation. That's higher than last year's Z2 Mini G3, which was already a strong performer with 104 fps at 1080p and 30fps at 4K. Follow him on Twitter @branttom. HP Z2 Mini G4 – With a high frequency 6-core Xeon CPU and several GPU options, HP’s updated micro workstation is a great alternative to standard CAD desktops. Intermixing integrated Intel UHD graphics and discrete graphics cards to drive more than three displays … Get next-level performance in a remarkably small and versatile device. Our informal test of browsing with multiple browser tabs open was barely a blip on the radar; the Z2 Mini didn't even break a sweat while switching between 20 open tabs and streaming 4K video, and, honestly, that's what we expect from a workstation machine like this. Thermal management is always a concern on these pint-size PCs, since the small confines of the chassis don’t leave much room for cooling fans and air circulation, and you don’t want your little computer to be a fire hazard. In his spare time, he's written on topics as diverse as Borneo's rain forests, Middle Eastern airlines, and big data's role in presidential elections. Conspicuously absent from the port selection on this test unit is a Thunderbolt 3 port. To put this in perspective, the Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny  scored only 69,398 with its integrated graphics, which is more than adequate for standard office work. Those components qualify the Z2 Mini G4 as a bona fide workstation for architectural firms, hedge funds, research labs, and other potential customers who must have immense amounts of extremely stable computing power at their disposal. ISV certifications. You will receive a verification email shortly. Even running a basic benchmark test kicked the fans into high gear, and the Z2 Mini starts sounding like a small vacuum cleaner whenever the processing hardware is running hot. The HP Z2 Mini will also appeal 3D animators and is a great match for graphic designers, motion graphics artists, photo-retouchers, illustrators, matte painters and concept artists, . The HP Z2 Mini G5 has received some chassis improvements, with redesigned thermals that use copper rather than aluminium for ‘much better thermal conductivity’. Measuring only 8.5 x 8.5 x 2.3 inches, the HP Z2 Mini G4 lives up to its name. Even though the Z2 Mini G4 is plenty powerful when pitted against its similarly priced diminutive peers on CPU-intensive tasks, it's not a substitute for a full-size desktop workstation. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. You can tell just how much of a difference these additional dollars and cores make on our POV-Ray workstation-specific performance test. Good Xeon multicore computing performance. But the Z2 Mini G4 boosts this further with legitimately powerful hardware that doesn't just check the box for workstation capability, it sets a new bar for how much power a mini PC can provide. The HP Z2 Mini G4 is a mini desktop with the performance of a far larger workstation, complete with Xeon processor options and ISV certifications. But with new ISV-certified graphics options, an expanded selection of processors and an even more configurable port selection, the Z2 Mini G4 picks up where the G3 left off and sprints downfield with aplomb. Enterprise-level security features abound on this workstation, including Trusted Platform Module (TPM) and secure-boot encryption options. We love almost everything about the Z2 Mini, but it does get loud. HP. It's comparable to other hexa-core processors from Intel's eighth-generation Core lineup, but since it's part of the Xeon family, it offers ancillary enterprise features like the aforementioned support for ECC memory that a consumer-grade Core i7 or even a Core i9 can't match. New York, PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Pure processing power is also hard to top, thanks to the hex-core Xeon CPU inside. Price: $1,949 as tested ($749 base price) Size: 13.31x3.94x15 in. That's about the same size footprint as the Zotac ZBox Magnus EK71080 (5.04 by 8.86 by 7.99 inches) that one of my colleagues recently tested; it includes similarly powerful components, but it's significantly shorter. The Z2 Mini G4's score (1,345) was significantly higher than the Zotac (734), though only a few hundred points higher than the MSI (1,178). This leads to clear benefits in single threaded CAD / BIM software and multi-threaded rendering software. The top lid of the small chassis can be removed without tools, and the internals of the system are far more accessible than most mini PCs allow. Here, they have focused on packing in ever-more-powerful components and better connectivity options. In fact, with two configurable slots, you can get the Z2 Mini G4 outfitted with a variety of connectors: VGA or HDMI output, a fourth DisplayPort, a Thunderbolt 3.0 port or an additional USB-C 3.1 Gen2 port, or even a second Gigabit LAN connection. We also ran the more intensive 3DMark Fire Strike, where the Z2 Mini G4 scored a decent 4,609 points. Of more importance to the professional crowd are the Z2 Mini's independent software vendor (ISV) certifications, where HP has partnered with individual software companies to ensure that mission-critical programs and apps are completely compatible with the workstation hardware. As a mini desktop with a Xeon processor and all the other accoutrements of a workstation, the HP Z2 Mini G4 is a rare beast. The external design of the Z2 Mini G4 remains unchanged, with the same low-profile chassis as its predecessor. In fact, the Z2 Mini G4 was faster than both systems, as well as the Dell Precision 5720 All-in-One ($1,129.00 at Dell Technologies) workstation, at applying filters in Photoshop (2 minutes and 22 seconds) and exporting a short HD video into a smartphone-friendly format using Handbrake (36 seconds). Even the Dell performed better, with its workstation-grade AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100 GPU. Relatively inexpensive for a desktop workstation. The HP Z2 Mini G4 is a worthy successor to the G3 edition. © It's the best tiny workstation we've seen and one of the best mini PCS on the market. The latest rev of HP's smallest workstation looks much like the last version we reviewed in 2018, the Z2 Mini G4. A lot of that is due to the design, which puts ventilation grilles at each of the four corners of the chassis. It finished our single-thread OpenOffice spreadsheet test quickly, matching 20,000 names and addresses in 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Tom's Guide is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The HP Z2 Mini G4 is a mini desktop with the performance of a far larger workstation, complete with Xeon processor options and ISV certifications. As long as you're comfortable with fewer cores and threads (but still a lot of them, compared with most consumer PCs), your budget and available desk space will thank you for choosing the Z2 Mini G4. While that's a bit warmer than the 95-degree comfort threshold we apply to laptop PCs, it's not bad for a desktop. Optional Flexible IO: Not loaded (Flex IO supports VGA/HDMI/DisplayPort™/2nd RJ-45/Fiber NIC/USB-C™ 3.1 Gen2 Charging Port with Alt mode) 2. HP bundled a cheap-looking and uncomfortable plastic keyboard and mouse with the Z2 Mini G4, but you can order one without any peripherals at all and bring your own (almost certainly far more comfortable) mechanical keyboard and a mouse of choice. You get the same stylish, space-saving design at a similar price point, but with potentially 50% more CPU cores at higher frequencies. All together you can cram up to 3 terabytes (2TB 5400rpm HDD and a 1TB HP Z Turbo SSD) into the Z2 Mini's tiny chassis. The HP Z2 Mini G4 is a small wonder, packing workstation-class parts and performance into a compact chassis that can stow anywhere. Perhaps the only potential customers who will miss out on Thunderbolt 3 support are those hoping to supplement the internal storage with a lightning-quick Thunderbolt 3 portable or desktop drive. The first is weight, where the Z2 Mini G4 weighs 4.85 pounds, heavier than the 2017 model's 4.6 pounds. Users can equip the workstation with 8th generation Intel Core processors, up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, and multiple storage options form SATA to NVMe depending on storage performance needs. In late 2016, HP broke the mould with a desktop workstation that was significantly smaller than any other from a major manufacturer. There are other options such as the HP Z2 Mini which can be mounted in a denser than one workstation per U configuration. On top of this, you can customize the port selection using the Flex I/O options mentioned above, adding video outputs, LAN ports and more. There are two key differences from the 2017 model, however. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/hp-z2-mini-g4-workstation. Small footprint. HP covers the Z2 Mini G4 with a three-year warranty that includes three years of coverage on parts and labor and offers three years of on-site repair. Animating a 3D character takes serious horsepower, but designing a bridge adds a heightened expectation that everything is done right. Within the Z2 line, the Z2 Tower G4 is the most powerful, with the Z2 Small Form Factor and the Z2 Mini trading performance for size. This makes it a fine option for a brokerage house, an architectural studio, or a CCTV monitoring station. The Z2 Mini lives up to its name, measuring just 8.5 x 8.5 x 2.3 inches and weighing 4.6 pounds. The side of the Z2 Mini G4 has a combined headset jack for audio, a pair of USB 3.0 ports and a 10 Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port (Check out our USB Type-C FAQ to sort out which USB Type-C port is which). How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, Defining a True Workstation: ISV Certifications and More, Read Azulle Byte3 Fanless Mini Desktop PC Review, Read Dell Precision 5720 All-in-One Review, The Best Budget Desktop Computers for 2021, Hackboard 2 Is a $140 Windows 10 Pro Single-Board Computer, Razer's Compact PC Desktop, the Tomahawk, to Go on Sale for $2,399, ASRock Launches World's Thinnest AMD Ryzen Desktop PC, Raspberry Pi 4 Official Case Fan Launches, Solid Copper Raspberry Pi 4 Case Costs $250, Apple MacBook Pro 13-Inch (M1, Late 2020) Review. HP sent over a packed version of the Z2 Mini for me to review. The Lenovo ThinkCentre M710q Tiny finished the same Excel test in 1:21. Two SO-DIMM slots can be filled with as little as 4GB RAM to up to 32GB of memory, with DDR4-2667 and ECC memory support. Keep an eye on your inbox! Even if you leave this flexible I/O slot blank during the ordering process, the absence of Thunderbolt 3 is not as critical as it otherwise might be. Why? The Z2 Mini G4 can be set up with either Windows or Linux, and our review unit came with Windows 10 Pro (64-bit) preinstalled. Before that, he worked for PCMag's sister site, Computer Shopper, where he occasionally dunked waterproof hard drives in glasses of water. Another key distinction is support for error-correcting code memory (ECC), which the Z2 Mini G4 also supports and is a requirement for many financial-modeling and laboratory-analysis software tools. If you're using the workstation to design products that need to be safe, or to run analyses for multimillion-dollar businesses, you need it to run properly every time, and that’s the peace of mind offered by ISV certifications. The model I'm reviewing here, which started shipping in July, is part of the fourth generation. MORE: Laptops with the Best Overall Performance. We love almost everything about the Z2 Mini, but it does get loud. This includes Sure Start, which protects the BIOS and is self-healing in the event of an attack; Sure Run, which monitors essential processes – including AV and firewalls – for corruption and will actually restart the OS to protect it if an attack is detected; Sure Click, which offers secure browsing that isolates potential malware and individual tabs to prevent exploits; and a full manageability kit for IT departments.