There are only a few words to describe this new box from HP: The Z600 is smoking hot! HP is taking the challenge of more power in a smaller footprint to the next level with the Z600. I’ve tested many larger boxes and have to say that with the Z600 loaded for review, it gave those other boxes more than they could handle in performance and function.

As with previous boxes I have reviewed, I expected something more the size of a mini fridge, but I got a box that actually fit under my desk without turning it sideways so it wouldn’t hang out. And, surprisingly enough, the heat displacement was about half the output of my workstation because it’s liquid cooled (which is very impressive and annoying at the same time).

The specs for the HP Z600 came through as a mid-level box that includes Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS; Xeon 2.66 GHz Quad-Core CPUs (12 MB cache/1333 MHz); the awesome NVIDIA Quadro FX3800; 12 GB of DDR3 1333 ECC RAM; a 160-GB SATA 10K with two 500-GB drives running RAID 0; a Creative X-Fi Titanium audio card; and a slot-loading DVD+/-RW drive (something that all boxes and laptops should have). Needless to say, this machine was up to every task I threw at it. I exported a 5-minute, high-quality render in record time while trying to tax the system by creating website mockups in Flash and Photoshop. The Z600 breathed a little heavy but came through with flying colors.

Simply put, I obviously was much more impressed with this box than even I thought I could be. The features included didn’t fail to impress and considering this is a midlevel box, the series can handle whatever your professional needs may be.—Bruce Bicknell

Company: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Price: $5,521 as tested
Rating: 5
Hot: Form factor; video card; configuration; speed