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HP reveals insane Z8 workstation: Can handle 3TB of RAM and 48TB of storage

by on Sep.13, 2017, under Reviews


The rise of 4K (and 6K… and 8K) video, not to mention virtual reality and 360° content, means the computers of today need to grow up and they need to do it fast. 16GB of RAM, a decent video card, and 1TB of hard drive space just won’t cut it for many professionals any longer… but even those professionals who need boatloads of power will probably go wide-eyed when they hear the specs of HP’s new top-of-the-line desktop workstations.

HP revealed its new Z8, Z6, and Z4 workstations today, and the company is not joking when it says the new desktops are equipped with “extreme power.” In fact, the Z8 is being touted as “the most powerful desktop workstation on the planet.” Here’s why…

Inside this mammoth of a PC you will find dual Intel Xeon CPUs with up to 56 processing cores, which are running your real-time 8K video editing session off of up to 3 terabytes of RAM. That is not a typo. You also have access to 9 PCIe slots (7 full size, 2 ‘personality’ slots), dual 1GbE Ports, Thunderbolt 3 (optional), and USB 3.1 G2 Type C ports as well.

The fully spec-d out Z8 is probably out of reach for many creatives, which is why there’s also a Z6 and Z4. These workstations can’t handle quite as much in way of raw processing power, speed, and storage, but they’re still extremely capable machines.

The Z6 also sports dual CPUs, can handle up to 384 GB of system memory, and features dual M.2 slots for HP’s own Z Turbo Drive PCIe SSDs.

The Z4 is a bit weaker still, housing only a single Intel Xeon W CPU, 256GB of RAM, as well as dual 1GbE ports and dual M.2 slots.

The Z8 and Z6 will both be available in October, with the Z4 following shortly after in November. You can get the base model Z8 for just $2,440 but don’t expect that to be a fully upgraded version… for that you’ll likely need to shell out many thousands more. In contrast, the Z6 will run you $1,920 for the base model and the Z4 will cost $1,240.

To learn more, head over to HP’s website and have your bib ready… something drooling this way comes.

Press Release

Virtual Reality, Machine Learning and Design Needs Spark Reinvention of HP Z Workstations

Most Powerful Workstation on the Planet Part of HP’s Next Generation Workstation Portfolio

AMSTERDAM (IBC 2017) – September 13, 2017 — HP today announced the HP Z8 G4, the most powerful workstation on the planet1 and security features that denote HP as having the world’s most secure and manageable desktop workstations2.

The reinvention of HP’s most powerful desktop PCs meets the compute power needs demanded by the world’s inventors of change, including product designers, architects, digital creators, scientists, educators, healthcare workers, financial traders and others. The HP Z8, Z6 and Z4 Desktop Workstations are equipped with extreme power, unprecedented security2and innovative design, future-proofed to support the fast growing fields of virtual reality, machine learning and advanced design.

IT managers in today’s world must make security a top priority. HP’s new powerhouse portfolio includes the industry’s most comprehensive set of security features2 including HP SureStart (the industry’s first self-healing BIOS with intrusion detection), the HP Client Security Suite and more. With the highest security levels in the history of the HP Z Workstations business, this generation performs with extreme power and protects intellectual assets.

“The stakes for world-class security have never been higher or more important for workstations,” said Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, HP Z Workstations, HP Inc. “Workstation users create the most valuable IP for a company and HP is meeting the security needs with the world’s most secure and manageable desktop and mobile workstations. As the most powerful desktop workstation in the world, the HP Z8 Workstation can deliver the extreme power and the security demanded by our customers.”

HP’s New Desktop Workstations

Every inch of the new tower workstations was intentionally and thoughtfully re-designed to deliver superb power, style and the inspiration desired by the inventors of change. The ID was completely updated to incorporate advanced manufacturing techniques and materials, and represent the power of the machines, their users and the work that’s completed by creatives.

The new workstations incorporate Thunderbolt™ 3 (optional) and Dual 1GbE Ports (standard) to support the high bandwidth data transfer demanded by current and future users, as well as Microsoft Windows 76 support for legacy workflows. Each of them offers modular front IO with USB 3.1 G2 Type C™ ports. The Z8 and Z6 models each support up to dual CPUs, and an optional dual 10 GbE network module for high speed networking at half the cost of current HP Workstations, and without consuming a precious PCIe expansion slot.

HP Z8 G4 Workstation delivers top-of-the-line power to fuel those who reimagine the design of everything from race cars to rockets. As the most powerful desktop workstation on the planet1, the HP Z8 Workstation has the capability to run the most complex simulations and process massive amounts of data. Users can run 3D simulations and edit 8K video in real time with up to 56 processing cores and up to 3 TB of main memory, 3x the capacity of its predecessor4. Certified for serious software, such as ANSYS or After Effects5, users can deliver creative work in less time.

HP’s flagship workstation has an all new ID with inventive ducting that routes fresh air to the second CPU, rather than recycling warm air expelled from the ducting on the first CPU and state-of-the-art design from world-class computer architecture experts.

A split chassis architecture enables rear access to the hefty 1700 W power supply with a locking mechanism, 24 DIMMs, and a total of 9 PCIe slots (7 full length, full height PCIe slots and two internal PCIe “personality” slots) to bring this coveted machine to life for specialized workflows. The HP Z8 Tower has 67 percent more memory bandwidth, 27 percent greater processor core count capacity, 40 percent greater PCIe I/O bandwidth and 29 percent greater power supply capability – as compared to the Z840 – for customers running the most demanding workloads.

The HP Z6 G4 Workstation is designed with the ever-changing needs of VFX artists in mind. Supporting the latest professional graphics, 384 GB of system memory, and dual M.2 slots for HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe SSDs users can experience seamless performance in visual effects and design visualization workloads.

A future-proof powerhouse, the HP Z6 Workstation also delivers a highly-modular design experience with options like a second processor and memory riser solution so users can quickly and simply double their compute capabilities. The HP Z6 Workstation has up to 1.5x the amount of total system memory, 67 percent more memory bandwidth, 27 percent greater processor core count capacity and 22 percent greater PCIe I/O bandwidth for customers refreshing from the Z640.

The HP Z4 G4 Workstation is the next generation of HP’s best-selling workstation and redesigned from top to bottom. The system is ahead of its time with more standard features and delivering performance upgrade options never before available in an HP single-processor workstation. Users across a broad range of markets can choose the ideal configuration to meet performance requirements. With the impressive new Intel® Xeon® processor W family, users from CAD to simulation will see extraordinary application performance scaling, giving them the ability to visualize ideas anytime during the design process. The HP Z4 Workstation also features major design improvements for tomorrow’s office environment with a sleek and modern industrial design including ergonomic front and rear handles, a dramatically smaller chassis for cramped workspaces and a new dust filter option for industrial environments.

The HP Z4 Workstation, a great solution for embedded applications, unleashes new levels of IO bandwidth with dual 1GbE networking and dual M.2 slots for HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe SSDs standard, and the ability to easily upgrade the front USB to include two USB 3.1 G2 Type C™ ports. The HP Z4 Workstation has 11 percent more memory bandwidth, 25 percent greater processor core count capacity and 13 percent greater PCIe I/O bandwidth for customers refreshing from the Z440.

HP Z Portfolio Pricing and Availability

HP Z8 Workstation is scheduled for availability in October starting at $2,439. The datasheet is available here.

HP Z6 Workstation is scheduled for availability in October starting at $1,919. The datasheet is available here.

HP Z4 Workstation is scheduled for availability in November starting at $1,239. The datasheet is available here.



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Apple iPhone 8 Plus offers dual stabilized dual-cam, iPhone X goes edge-to-edge

by on Sep.12, 2017, under Reviews


At its event in the brand new Steve Jobs Theater, Apple has today unveiled its latest iPhone models, the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Despite the direct step from the iPhone 7 to the 8 model number, rather than 7s, the new models look at first sight like fairly incremental upgrades.

The design is very similar to the iPhone 7 series but the phones now come with glass at front and back. The Retina displays still offer 4.7″ and 5.5″ diagonals and a wide color gamut. True Tone technology, which adjusts the temperature of the display in different surroundings, is also on board.

Both phones are powered by the new A11 Bionic six-core CPU which includes two high-performance cores, which are 25 percent faster than the current A10. The chip also comes with a new image signal processor (ISP) which, Apple says, helps improve low-light performance of the camera using multi-band noise reduction.

Other camera specs looks similar to the previous models. The iPhone 8 camera comes with a 12MP sensor that, according to Apple, captures 83 percent more light and is more power efficient than the predecessors. As before, there are a F1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization.

The 8 Plus main cameras is the same as on the iPhone 8 but there’s a secondary 12MP cameras for zooming and depth effects that comes with a F2.8 aperture. In video mode both devices can now record slow-motion footage at 1080p and 240 frames per second. Portrait mode gets an upgrade too, with a new beta Portrait Lighting mode to imitate various lighting effects.

The iPhone 8 models are also the first iPhones to come with the Qi wireless charging standard. Storage options range from 64 to 256GB and pre-order for both models starts on September 15th. Shipping is envisaged for September 22nd. The iPhone 8 will start at $699, for the Plus model you’ll have to invest at least $100 more.

The iPhone 8 models were not the only new smartphone at Apple’s event, though. The company also had a “one more thing” announcement in the shape of the much rumored iPhone X. The X comes with a new design that incorporates a 5.8″ edge-to-edge 2436 x 1125 pixel HDR OLED display, a first for Apple.

Like on the 8 models there is glass on front and back of the water and dust proof body which also does away with Apple’s characteristic home button.

Instead there is now Face ID: the device uses a range of sensors at the front, including the 7MP front cam, in combination with neural networking algorithms for face recognition and unlocking the phone. In dark surroundings your face will be illuminated by a front LED for this purpose.

The rear camera is an improvement over the iPhone 8 Plus. The 12MP dual-cam comes with “larger and faster sensors”, F1.8 and F2.4 apertures and optical image stabilization on both lenses which should particularly improve image quality of the tele lens in low light.

The iPhone X will be available in 64 and 256GB versions and set you back at least $999. It will be available on November 3rd. As usual, we’ll have to wait a few days until the full device specs trickle through but let us know in the comments what you think about the latest iPhone camera configurations so far.



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Sigma can install a rear-mounted filter holder on your Canon 14mm F1.8 Art lens

by on Sep.11, 2017, under Reviews


Lens manufacturer Sigma has announced an interesting new service: users of the company’s Canon mount 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art lens can now pay the company to fit a rear mount filter holder onto their lens. The FHR-11 filter holder is designed to allow gel filters to be held over the rear element of the lens so photographers can enjoy “more freedom of expression.”

Those who want to fit the holder themselves can buy it without the installation service, but keep in mind that damage caused by erroneous fitting will not be covered by the lens’ warranty. Sigma says the time the fitting will take depends on local services, but in Japan users are being told to expect the lens to be away for a week.

In the UK, the FHR-11 on its own costs £35 (~$45 USD), while the filter+install service costs £60 (~$80 USD). Sigma USA has yet to release official US pricing. For more information see the Sigma website.

Press Release

Chargeable service for installing the Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 on SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art for Canon

The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce a chargeable service for installing the Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 on the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art for Canon.

From September onwards, Sigma will be able to install the Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 on SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art for Canon.

The Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 is an accessory exclusively designed for the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art for Canon, and it enables photographers to use a filter sheet with the lens.

By attaching it to the rear of the lens, it will allow more freedom of expression.

The Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 will be available in the UK towards the end of September for a Suggested Retail Price of £34.99 including VAT. The Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 and installation service by Sigma Imaging UK Ltd is £59.99 including VAT.

Please contact Sigma Imaging (UK) Ltd for further information. Customers who do not own the appropriate tools or who do not feel confident in attaching the filter holder themselves may take advantage of the chargeable installation service.

PACKAGE CONTENTS
1. Rear Filter Holder FHR-11
2. Guide template
3. Fixing screws (3 pieces)
UPC Code: 0085126 934866

  • Any damage or faults caused by attaching the filter holder on your own will not be covered by the warranty.
  • This product is exclusive to the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art 017 (CANON Mount).
  • Please do not attempt to attach it to any other lens or mount. There is a risk that it may cause damage to the lens and camera.
  • Please be careful to avoid scratches to the lens or the electrical contacts when attaching the filter holder.
  • Please ensure not to drop the small fixing screws inside the lens.



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