From a performance standpoint, the (as configured) Z220 SFF offered some pretty impressive numbers. I used PassMark 7.0 (64 Bit) to put the Z220 through its paces, I also benchmarked two previous generation HP workstations, a XW6600 and a Z600, both equipped with Xeon Processors and NVIDIA graphics cards. The Z220 SFF was able to best both of those early workstation iterations, despite only having a single 3.4Ghz Xeon Processor. The Z220 SFF garnered an overall Passmark rating of 2440.5.
For comparison against other systems reviewed here in the past, I also ran benchmarks using PCMark 7 and the system mustered an overall score of 4427 PCMarks. (Ed. note – PCM is often heavily influenced by drive speed, especially with SSDs). Heat and power consumption were two other areas that I explored while testing the Z220 SFF. Using a digital laser thermometer, I measured the air temperature exiting the power supply while running a burn-in application from PassMark Software. The Burn-In application taxes the CPU and Video subsystems on the WorkStation, generating as much heat and power draw as possible. After 20 minutes of running the Burn-In test, air exit temperatures measured 168 degrees. I measured power consumption using a Kill-a-Watt Pro plug-in meter; the Z220 SFF peaked at 175 watts during bootup. The system consumed 215 watts during full load testing.
On the plus side, the Z220 SFF offers excellent performance, especially for a machine that will fit on most any desk. Other pros include a plethora of build options, including a variety of processors and storage subsystems. HP allows you to build what amounts to a custom system, without the normal hassles of sourcing parts. On the con side, the Z220 SFF has limited expansion options, a result of the unit’s small desktop form factor, which means that the Z220 SFF may not be a good choice for high end CAD/CAM, which requires add on cards for connectivity to proprietary devices.
All things considered, the Z220 SFF proves to be a good workstation for those looking for entry level workstation performance, without the high cost of a traditional workstation. What’s more, the unit’s low entry price means that it may be a suitable replacement for traditional desktops, espeiaclly where higher performance levels are needed.