HP refreshes Z1 Workstation, announces RGS software for Mac OS

The all-in-one HP Z1 Workstation slims down and gets multiple feature upgrades, while HP's workstation-class remote desktop software broadens its OS support.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor

HP's workstations are flying high -- quite literally, since NASA has just shipped 30 ZBook 15 Mobile Workstations to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will run mission-critical workloads (life support, vehicle control, maintenance, and operations systems) and support onboard experiments, email, entertainment, and more.

Back on Earth, HP has unveiled an upgrade to its all-in-one Z1 Workstation, currently in its second generation, and also announced that its Remote Graphics Software (RGS) will be available for Mac users.


HP's Z1 G3 Workstation is 47 percent smaller, 51 percent lighter and 21 percent less expensive than the previous G2 generation.

Images: HP Inc.

The main change in the third-generation Z1 G3 Workstation is a reduction in display size from 27 inches to 23.6 inches -- to more easily accommodate customers wanting to run dual-display setups, according to HP. A smaller display stand also means that the Z1 G3's depth is reduced, giving more room for a keyboard in front of the system on smaller desks. Potential customers will be pleased to note a 21 percent cost reduction, bringing the all-in-one Z1 G3 into line with HP's entry-level tower-format Z240 range.

Apart from the smaller display, which has a UHD 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels, or 187 pixels per inch), the Z1 G3 offers the following feature upgrades:

  • Latest-generation (Skylake) Intel Xeon E3 and Core i5/i7 CPUs
  • Up to 64GB of ECC (with Xeon E3) or non-ECC (with Core i5/i7) RAM
  • Latest-generation (Maxwell) Nvidia Quadro M1000M and M2000M GPUs
  • Dual PCIe HP Z Turbo Drives (for fast boot-up, calculation and response times for large files), plus support for up to two additional 2.5-inch SATA SSDs or hard disk drives
  • Dual Thunderbolt 3 ports with USB Type C connectors and USB 3.1 support

HP notes that its workstation customers require "mission-critical reliability where downtime is not an option," which it satisfies with "true server-grade hardware". We look forward to testing that with a review unit in due course. The HP Z1 G3 Workstation is expected to be available in the UK in May starting at £1,050.


Access to the Z1 G3's internals is via a removable rear panel.

Image: HP Inc.

Remote Graphics Software

HP describes RGS as "a remote desktop tool on steroids". It comprises a sender on a high-performance Windows or Linux workstation that transmits encrypted screen content over the network to a receiver on a remote laptop or PC. According to HP, it's a ground-up rewrite of the traditional remote desktop solution, including the proprietary HP3 codec, and is aimed at engineers, animators and scientists who want to work more flexibly.

RGS is a free download for HP Z workstation customers, and can also be purchased for use on supported non-HP hardware. And this summer, a Mac OS X (10.10/10.11) version of the RGS receiver will also be available, for free, to RGS customers.

HP says that, when connected via RGS to a fully-loaded HP Z840 Workstation, the result "is like upgrading your Mac with up to 9x the processing cores, 30x the memory and adding professional Nvidia Quadro graphics".

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