But before we get into the benchmarking, let’s take a look at the system itself. From the outside, you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the Z820 and the Z800 it replaces. The dimensions are the same (17.5 x 8.0 x 20.7 inches, or 44.4 x 20.3 x 52.5 cm), and it still sports the same black, ribbed front, with high-quality brushed aluminum side panels.
The only external difference is that the Z800 had a slot-load DVD drive, while the Z820 has traditional bay-mounted optical media drives: in the case of our test system, a Blu-ray drive.
Aside from the small Z820 label in the upper right-hand corner of the front panel, the only external difference is that the Z800 had a slot-load DVD drive, while the Z820 has traditional bay-mounted optical media drives: in the case of our test system, a Blu-ray drive.
As with the Z800, the external connectivity is very good. On the backport, there are four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire 1394a port, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, a serial port, audio jacks and PS/2 mouse and keyboard ports. On the front, there are two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, a FireWire 1394a port and mic and headphone jacks.
The biggest internal difference between the Z820 and the Z800 is that while both systems have a large plastic shroud that covers the CPUs and memory, the Z820’s can be removed in one piece, meaning that – as with the rest of its tool-less assembly system – key components can be swapped out without the need for a screwdriver.
Overall, the internal layout of the HP Z820 is clean and uncluttered and provides good airflow for cooling purposes. It represents an evolution of the Z800, not a drastic redesign: but if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
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