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Looking for advice on a HP Z4 G4 workstation purchase

HP Recommended
HP Z4 G4 Workstation
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I'm a photographer and budding videographer and I need a workstation that will handle these tasks capably. Software I typically use is Adobe Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro and Adobe Audition for stereo and 5.1 audio editing. I've specced out a machine I'm considering buying, but I'm not sure what some of the options mean, and need a little help understanding if the machine will do what I expect, or if I've put together something that won't work. The specs for the machine are below, along with some questions I have. Any help with these questions is appreciated. Also any tips are appreciated as well. I have bolded the most pressing questions in my mind. The others are good to know, but not as critical. TIA!


Windows 10 Pro - HP recommends Windows 10 Pro for business

Z4 G4 Workstation

Intel® Core™ i9-10940X Processor (3.3 GHz, up to 4.6 GHz w/Boost, 19.25MB Cache, 2933MHz, 14 core, 165W)

Z4 G4 1000 W Chassis for Core®-X Processors

64 GB (4 x 16 GB) DDR4-2933 UDIMM Memory

1 TB HP Z Turbo Drive TLC M.2 NVMe SSD

1 TB M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe TLC Dual SSD

Operating System Load to M.2

HP Z4 G4 Dust Filter and Bezel

HP Z4 G4 Fan Front Card Guide

NVIDIA® Quadro® RTX™ 4000 (8 GB GDDR6, 3 x DisplayPort 1.4, USB-C) Graphics

Intel® X550-T2 10GbE Dual Port NIC

Premium - 2 x USB 3.1 Type C; 2 x USB 3.0 Type A

HP Z Central Remote Boost 2020 Software for Z Workstations

HP SD Card Reader

9.5mm Blu-ray Writer Optical Disc Drive

HP Wireless Business Slim Keyboard and Mouse

No Included Mouse

Dual 6-plus-2pin Graphics Power Cable

No Adapters Needed

HP Z4 High Power CPU Cooling Solution

3/3/3-year warranty

Single Unit Packaging

Z4 G4 1000 W Country Kit



  1. Are there any technical issues with the configuration?
  2. What audio capability comes on the MB? (I'll probably have to disable it as I don't expect it's high quality)
  3. I work with 5.1 audio sound in Adobe Premiere Pro. I'll need to add a PCIe audio card to handle 5.1 audio.
  4. How many PCI slots will be available/open with this configuration? What capacities?
  5. What's the difference between a 1 TB Z Turbo Drive and a 1 TB M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe drive? Not sure how to choose one over the other.
  6. Does the 1 TB PCIe M.2 drive consume a PCIe slot?
  7. Is there a better way to configure 2 internal 1 TB drives if I want them to be SSD for quick access?
  8. What is the Remote Central Boost 2020 Software for Z Workstations?



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The Z4 G4 mentioned appears to have a very good specification for the uses listed: a very good single-thread performance and a lot of cores. The Quadro RTX 4000 is extremely good.  When the new Quadro Ampere series comes out next month, I'll be looking for a good used RTX 4000 as buyers  change to the new series.


1. I don't see any conflicts in the specification. A very full spec, big PSU, great CPU, GPU, 10G LAN- it all looks very good.


2. The audio quality will likely be the latest and highest rated Realtek- better than one expects, but for professional video and audio editing, consider a dedicated, external interface solution.  This is stereo only, but I've had very good results using a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB interface. There's a newer model of this. Enough inputs: line, mics, and instruments, the DAC is very good, and there are good hardware and software controls. The Focusrite 2i4 output is to a pair of Mackie MR824 (2-way: 1" and 8" drivers, internal amp) studio monitors set such that the center line of the tweeters is at ear height and toed-in.  The Mackies have a quite flat response, and are a bit too revealing of bad recordings for everyday listening, but but very capable. For 5.1 capability, consider visiting Sweetwater and Musicians Friend to review the interface listings. 


4. PCIE /Expansion

Slot 0 (mechanical only)
Only for rear bulkhead mounting
Slot 1
PCI Express Gen 3 x16 (from CPU)
Slot 2
PCI Express Gen 3 x16 (from PCH) with open-ended connector
Slot 3 (for Xeon W)
PCI Express Gen 3 x16 (from CPU)
Slot 3 (for Core i9-X)
PCI Express Gen 3 x16
Slot 3 (for Core i7-X)
PCI Express Gen 3 x16 (from CPU) mechanical
PCI Express Gen 3 x8 (from CPU) electrical
Slot 4
PCI Express Gen 3 x16 (from PCH) with open-ended connector
Slot 5
PCI Express Gen 3 x8 (from CPU)
Slot 5 (for Core i9-X)
PCI Express Gen 3 x8 (from CPU)
Slot 5 (for Core i7-X)
PCI Express Gen 3 x8 (from CPU) mechanical
M.2 Slot 1
M.2 PCIe Gen 3 x4 - CPU up to 80 mm (3.15 in) storage devices
M.2 Slot 2 (for Xeon W)
M.2 PCIe Gen 3 x4 - CPU up to 80 mm (3.15 in) storage devices
M.2 Slot 2 (for Core X)
M.2 connector/slot not available
5. An HP Z Turbo Drive is a standard M.2 drive mounted in a special mounting with a cooling solution.  I use the first version ZTD having a 256GG Samsung SM951 AHCI. The performance is quite amazing, but of course, the new NNVMe drives are at another level.  I'm assuming that a "dual SSD" is a single mounting with two M.2 drives to be able to set up a RAID 0 or 1 using only a single PCIe slot.  Ask HP sales before buying.
6. The slot listing shows that are 3X M.2 dedicated slots, so probably none of the single M.2's will need to use a PCIE slot.  However, confirm this with HP sale sin advance.
7. If the absolutely highest disk performance is required, then a RAID 0 of two identical drives is the fastest: i.e. it divides the drive into two synchronized, alternating access drives.  If the RAID 0 collapses however, it can not be rebuilt from the surviving drive.  For that there are various RAID 1 + 0 configurations that add RAID 1 mirroring. If the RAID failed, the parity drive can rebuild the RAID.  However, current NVMe drives are so fast, and some AMD systems are using PCIe 4.0 M.2 that are even faster, consider using the system first with  single, non-RAID configuration and see if a RAID is necessary.

HP z620_2 (2017) (R7) > Xeon E5-1680 v2 (8C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid Cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / Quadro P2000 5GB _ GTX 1070 Ti 8GB / HP Z Turbo Drive M.2 256GB AHCI + Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVMe 500GB + HGST 7K6000 4TB + HP/HGST Enterprise 6TB / Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 sound interface + 2X Mackie MR824 / 825W PSU / Windows 7 Prof.’l 64-bit (HP OEM) > 2X Dell Ultrasharp U2715H (2560 X 1440)

[ Passmark Rating = 6280 / CPU rating = 17178 / 2D = 819 / 3D= 12629 / Mem = 3002 / Disk = 13751 / Single Thread Mark = 2368 [10.23.18]


HP z420_3: (2015) (R11) Xeon E5-1650 v2 (6C@ 4.3GHz) / z420 Liquid cooling / 64GB (HP/Samsung 8X 8GB DDR3-1866 ECC registered) / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB/ Samsung 860 EVO 500GB + HGST 4TB / ASUS Essence STX + Logitech z2300 2.1 / 600W PSU > Windows 7 Professional 64-bit (HP OEM ) > Samsung 40" 4K

[Passmark System Rating: = 5644 / CPU = 15293 / 2D = 847 / 3D = 10953 / Mem = 2997 Disk = 4858 /Single Thread Mark = 2384 [6.27.19]


HP ZBook 17 G2: (2015 ) i7-4940MX Extreme (4C@3.1/ 4.0GHz) / 32GB / Quadro K3100M 4GB / Kingston 480GB SATA SSD > 17.3" LCD 1920 X1080 panel > HP docking station> video externally to HP 2711x 27" LCD + Dell 17" (2007!) / Logitech 533 _2.1 speaker system

[Passmark System Rating: = 3980 / CPU = 10140 / 2D = 618 / 3D = 2779 / Mem = 2559 Disk = 4662 / Single Thread Mark = 2387 [1.3.20]

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Thank you BambiBoomZ for such a quick and thorough reply. It has been VERY helpful. I have some questions that I'll need to ask HP about the Dual SSD, which I had not noticed before. In addition, verification that the PCIe SSD doesn't consume a PCIe slot. My goal isn't to implement RAID. I just want 2 fast storage locations on the machine, one primarily for the operating system and other similar tools (like any diagnostics, drivers, etc.), and one for applications and some data. The bulk of the data I save will be stored on a NAS across a 10GbE network link, which should be fast enough for me to wait only seconds, not minutes for multi-gigabyte files to save.


With regard to the sound situation, as I mentioned, I'm budding, but have used 5.1 sound before. I don't think I'll be jumping into 5.1 sound immediately, but since this is a big spend, I don't want to limit future ability by being short-sighted now. So I'm thinking ahead a bit with that. I'll check out your suggestions.


Thanks for your help!


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