The last time consumers heard of a Mac Mini update was in 2010. At that time, the keyboard-less and display-less mini computer received only a minor facelift. Years on, Apple continued with the current design but somehow degraded the specs from quad-core to dual-core processor. Fast forward to today, the Mac Mini, although a feat of engineering marvel, is becoming a bit mundane and boring. The good news is, Apple is not the only one in on the mini computer market. Enter the HP Z2 Mini. A tiny, mini form-factor workstation that packs a punch enough to shame Apple?s Mac Mini.
HP has unveiled its newest line of workstation PCs targeting individuals involved in digital design. The HP Z2 Mini, is probably the most powerful workstation offering a small and ultra-portable form-factor. Like the Mac Mini, the Z2 Mini is mini-ITX computer that is 2.3 inches high and covers 72 square-inches of surface. It might be small, be do not get its look fool you. The Z2 Mini packs one hell of a punch.
Since the main target of the PC are the designers and engineers, this little wonder can host a quad-core Intel Xeon processor. Something that you will not see on a normal Mac Mini computer. On top of that, small as it is, it also sports an NVIDIA Quadro Pro graphics processor. Again, a feature that is not present on the current Mac Mini.
Current Mac Mini computers can only support a dual-core Intel i7 processor with built-in graphics. Although the i7 is a good processor, it still does not compare to a workstation-grade Xeon processor.
The maximum spec for the Xeon processor on the HP Z2 Mini is a quad-core E3-1245v5 that supports hyper-threading and ECC memory. The hyper-threading feature enables the system to work like it has an extra four cores. Meanwhile, the ECC memory support means that software are more stable due to fewer errors between processor and memory data transfer.
The entry-level HP Z2 Mini starts at around $699 and is equipped with an Intel i3 processor. ?The HP Z2 Mini runs on either Windows 10 Pro or Linux operating systems. Unfortunately, HP is yet to indicate the pricing for the higher-end Z2 Mini workstation.
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