HP's Z820 workstation: Just how much "tool-free serviceability" does it offer?

HP's Z820 workstation: Just how much "tool-free serviceability" does it offer?

Summary: The only think you will need to take this workstation down to its component parts is a T15 Torx or a flathead screwdriver.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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The Z820 is HP's new workstation built with high-end computing and visualization in mind. It also promises "tool-free serviceability" – but just how much "tool-free serviceability" can you expect from an OEM like HP? This is the question that the service team from iFixit set out to answer.

So, just how tool-free is it?

The answer: very.

HP Z820
(Source: iFixit)

The HP Z820 is a beast of a system, featuring support for one or two Intel Xeon E5 processors, 16 DIMM slots configurable to half a Terabyte of ECC DDR3 RAM, up to 5 3.5-inch 7200rpm SATA drives, three external 5.25-inch drive bays, and comes with several Nvidia GPU options.

The iFixit team were able to do the following with no tools whatsoever:

  • Get inside the Z820
  • Remove hard drives and optical drives
  • Remove the PSU
  • Remove the cooling fan assembly
  • Remove the RAM
  • Remove the PCIe cards
  • Remove the motherboard

In fact, the only time the iFixit team had to resort to tools was to remove the CPU heatsinks, and these were held in place with combination flathead/T15 Torx screws, which made them easy to get past.

Given how easy it is to get inside and work on the HP Z820, iFixit repairability score of 10 out of 10 (where 10 is easiest to repair).

Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with tool-free PC designs. I like the idea but hate the over-reliance on plastic fittings, which can wear out and break. 

Topic: Hardware

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8 comments
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  • it's an OEM PC

    who really cares, people that buy OEM plug them in and press power, that's about it.
    everss02
    • Workstation

      This is a Workstation, meant for the corporate environment and in the workplace many IT workers will break open the machine and work on it. So this is very nice convenience.
      hafenbrack
    • Its an Anti-Tablet

      Not saying it is good or bad, just the total opposite of a tablet.
      MichaelInMA
  • nice upgrade from Z800

    We have a couple of Z800 where I work (we mostly use Z400). Those Z800 are monsters and really easy to manage.

    For me its not just about tool-free serviceability, but the airflow is really great. We use two xeon cpu + 2 quadro 5000 cards and temperature is never an issue.
    Jean-Pierre-
  • Uhh, a screw driver is all I've *ever* needed to open a desktop-class...

    ...workstation.

    What is so special here?
    Playdrv4me
    • Meant "break down"...

      ... not "open". Hell most of them can be opened by hand.
      Playdrv4me
      • it's more than the case

        on most computers, you need screwdrivers to change hard drives, power supply, motherboard. No need for that with a Z800/Z820.
        Jean-Pierre-
        • Open & remove components

          Actually, Jean-Pierre, barring the motherboard and p/s, which are seldom involved in my experience, all I've needed for some years now is the knowledge to grab a handle to pull open the case side, then unplug cables, and press in on the tabs to remove things like drives or memory.
          Barc777