Which HP Z2 G9 Desktop Workstation is Best for You?


Whether you’re a freelance photographer working from home or outfitting a 3D game development studio, there’s an HP Z2 G9 desktop workstations that fits your professional workflow. Featuring 12th Generation Intel® Core™ processors and available with a wide range of sizes and configurations, these workstations are designed to boost productivity with a variety of creative applications while offering the space to grow alongside your needs.

HP Z2 Mini G9:  A Tiny System that’s Packed with Power

Size matters when desktop space is at a premium, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance. Measuring just 8.6 x 8.3 x 2.7 inches, the HP Z2 Mini G9 workstation may be mounted discreetly behind a monitor, under a desk, or vertically on a stand while still packing enough power to handle light HD video editing, 3D modeling, image filtering, and color grading tasks. Its size and capabilities make it ideal for photographers, video editors, graphic designers, and small studios.

Selecting a model outfitted with a 12th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 16-Core processor with 32GB of memory, NVIDIA T1000 graphics, and a 1TB SSD delivers plenty of power to take on demanding projects with applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop without having to sit through excessively long load times. There are also similar configurations that feature Intel® Core™ i7 12-Core processors and NVIDIA T600 graphics if you need to fit a tighter budget, but you can plan for future expansions. The Z2 Mini G9 may be small, but it has plenty of space to grow.

HP Z2 G9 Mini Workstation
HP Z2 G9 Mini Workstation

The slide-out design makes it easy to access the system’s interior. Inside is a PCIe 4.0 x16 expansion slot that supports low-profile graphics cards, including the NVIDIA RTX A2000, to handle intensive workloads. You can enhance the system’s multitasking performance further by installing up to 64GB of 4800 MHz DDR5 ECC or non-ECC memory across two SO-DIMM slots. There are also two M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD slots that support a combined total of 8TB of storage, providing you with plenty of space and blazing speed for applications and massive media files. The Z2 Mini G9’s specially designed phase change cooling system and 3D mesh air intake form factor deliver high airflow to critical components to help ensure optimal performance.

High-speed storage drives and other peripherals may be connected to the dual 20 Gb/s USB-C 3.2 Gen 2x2 ports in addition to the four 10 Gb/s USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports. Connecting multiple monitors to your system can expand your workspace to edit large projects.

HP Z2 Small Form Factor G9: Compact System with Plenty of Room to Grow

Don’t be fooled by the HP Z2 SFF G9’s compact size. A full-size NVIDIA RTX A4000 graphics card may be installed with configurations that include an Intel® Core™ i9 16-Core processor, 32GB of DDR5 memory, and a 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. With the power of a Z2 Tower system at about half the size, the Z2 SFF G9 allows you to maximize the space in your home or office while completing intensive 3D modeling and design workflows with complex ray tracing using applications such as SOLIDWORKS

HP Z2 G9 Small Form Factor Workstation
HP Z2 G9 Small Form Factor Workstation

Models equipped with NVIDIA RTX A2000 graphics or a T1000 GPU with an Intel® i7 processor may also provide you with the performance needed for professional projects. As your workflow evolves, you can upgrade the system with a more powerful graphics card, in addition to expansions such as multi-Gig network adapters through the PCIe 3.0 slots. Tool-free access to the system’s interior also allows you to install up to 128GB of 4800 MHz DDR5 ECC/nECC memory across four DIMM slots. Up to 36TB of storage may be installed, combining the three M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD slots with your choice of SATA drives in the 3.5" bays.

You can also enhance the system’s capabilities without opening it by connecting external drives and other devices to the four front-facing and two rear USB-A USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports. Attaching multiple high-resolution monitors can also significantly boost your multitasking.

HP Z2 Tower G9: A Professional Powerhouse

Professionals who require maximum performance and flexibility can look to the HP Z2 Tower G9 Workstation outfitted with NVIDIA RTX A4000 graphics, 32GB of 4800 MHz DDR5 memory, and a lightning-fast 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD. This provides you with the space and power to proxy-edit full-length 4K movies in applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve Studio, and Avid Media Composer while significantly cutting down rendering times for the final product. It is also well suited for 3D modeling with real-time ray tracing, developing immersive video games, and using Adobe After Effects to create custom animations.

HP Z2 G9 Tower Workstation
HP Z2 G9 Tower Workstation

The Z2 Tower G9 supports up to an NVIDIA RTX A5000 or AMD Radeon Pro W6800 graphics card with an Intel® Core™ i9 16-Core processor. But the high flexibility of a tower form factor allows you to start with an NVIDIA RTX A2000 and Intel® Core™ i7 12-core CPU configuration if that fits more comfortably into your budget. Then you can upgrade other components as needed. The maximum configuration for the Z2 Tower G9 includes 128GB of 4800 MHz DDR5 RAM and 48TB of storage that is spread over three M.2 2280 PCIe 4.0 SSD slots and a multitude of drive bays. It also features a PCIe 5.0 x16 expansion slot for compatible high-power graphics cards alongside multiple PCIe 3.0 expansion slots and room for an internal M.2 2230 Wi-Fi adapter to supplement the built-in wired Gigabit Ethernet port.

You can start working with massive RAW video files immediately by connecting a compatible storage drive to the USB-C 3.2 Gen 2x2 port. With up to 20 Gb/s data transfer speeds, you can work directly from an external drive or copy a 1.5TB file to your system in about 10 minutes. There are also six USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 ports that support up to 10 Gb/s speeds each, which means you can transfer about 750GB of data in 10 minutes with a compatible device.

The tower design, combined with the high-efficiency phase change cooling system, helps the system to provide peak performance with heavy workloads. Or you can customize the system to produce lower fan noise for a quieter work environment with lighter projects.

Choosing the Right System

With three different HP Z2 G9 desktop workstations to choose from, you can select the system that best suits your current and future needs. The HP Z2 Mini G9 excels with photography and HD video rendering tasks in relatively small spaces. If you’re looking for an ideal balance between size and performance, then the HP Z2 Small Form Factor G9 should fit nicely into your design workflow. Lastly, the HP Z2 Tower G9 workstation is designed to deliver the enough power to take on 4K video proxy edit projects while offering plenty of room for expansion.

Which system is right for you? Tell us about it in the Comments section, below.