HP Z420 - Good Enough?

Sam's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/25/2012 - 3:24am

I work for an IT company, and I can get some deep discounts on HP hardware because of our HP partnership.

I'm looking to invest in an entry-level NLE system that will be sufficient for entry-level video and/or motion graphics editing for at least two years.

The system in question:

HP Z420

-3.6 QC Xeon processor


-UPGRADE to 500GB 10K boot drive

-UPGRADE to 2x2TB 7.2K media drives (raid 1)

-UPGRADE to GeForce GTX 570 2.56GB Graphics Card

2x HP 24" IPS monitors

I plan on purchasing, learning, and using CS6, especially After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Speed Grade.

Thoughts much appreciated!

theonecanoe's picture
Last seen: 3 days 22 hours ago
Joined: 08/31/2011 - 4:20pm

Sounds great to me! I edit High-Def content all the time using a basic Acer desktop with a Core 2 Duo 2.53 Ghz processor, 4GB of Ram, and an older Radeon 65XX video card. My NLE of choice is Vegas Pro 10 and I often edit projects with a dozen video tracks and half a dozen audio tracks and have no issues whatsoever other than some slower rendering processes. I'd love to be able to edit on a system like you are considering. If you can afford it, go for it!


Mike Wilhelm's picture
Last seen: 1 day 15 hours ago
Joined: 01/16/2012 - 7:58pm
Administrator Plus Member Plus Member

Man, are you bragging or what? Joking aside, that's going to be a great system. We edit our segments here at Videomaker on a HP Z400 and it runs like a champ.

Mike Wilhelm

Videomaker's Editor-in-Chief

BruceMol's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/11/2008 - 10:35pm

personally, I'd love a Xeon processor or two (or 8 core)

We've bandied about the Raid stuff on this forum before and, instead of RAID, I chose to have 3 500Gb on my edit computer, one for programs, one for the video files I'm editing and one drive for the output. When I upgraded to CS5.5 I added RAM and another video card. With CS5.5 the render speeds are really great; far faster than CS3 and I don't think a Raid configuration would make it faster - maybe, maybe not. The new speed may be due to 24 Gb RAM (up from 12) and tandem crossfire video cards. If the m/b is upgradable on that system you'll be able to use it for years.

Sam's picture
Last seen: 4 years 3 weeks ago
Joined: 06/25/2012 - 3:24am


Perhaps you can enlighten me a little more.

Aside from media storage, I've heard a few different opinions on the different drives a video editor "should" have.

Here's a list of them, in no particular order:

-Boot drive (obviously)

-SSD Write-cache drive (or whatever it's called...)

-Render drive (is this what you're calling the output drive?)

-project drive (reserved for current projects only)

...especially if I go with the HP workstation, I only have a limited amount of bays/connections to work with (3-4 I believe), so I can't have a drive for everything. I definitely want a boot drive, which will also host the programs, documents, etc.... the C: drive. And aside from storage, I'm wondering: would it benefit me to go for the SSD-cache drive, or the dedicated Render drive?

Again, my work will be a healthy mix of HD editing, heavy VFX/SFX, motion graphics, and basic 3D animation (very basic). I will be using CS6 exclusively w/ a MPE-enabled GPU.

BruceMol's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/11/2008 - 10:35pm

Yes, by output I mean render drive. I don't know much more about SSD's other than they are fast and expensive. I'll certainly be looking at them when the price for 300Gb are reasonable. I'm not sure where you would get the most advantage of using one SSD; for programs? render? source file reading? Perhaps someone else can answer that. If I had only one SSD drive (or, when I upgrade 1 at a time) I'd have it as the boot drive. I have great patience for renders times, but long boot times drive me crazy!