While we users of personal computers putter about on laptops with a measly 4GB of RAM, the world of professional workstations is making a big leap forward. HP's new Z820 workstation can hold up to 512GB of error-correcting code (ECC) memory, along with 14TB of storage and Intel's 8-core Xeon processor. The machine, which will ship in April at a starting price of $2299, is one of three Z-series workstations announced by HP. The new Z620 and Z420, while still powerful by ordinary standards, are more in line with other workstations, with up to 96GB and 64GB of memory.
Professional workstations have long had specs that put standard PCs to shame. Designed for engineering projects, professional animation or video editing, and high-level calculations, they're built to far exceed the needs of ordinary users. But while it's not uncommon for a high-end workstation to be able to hold over 100GB of RAM, we haven't yet seen a mainstream enterprise workstation with this much power. Given that this is just one machine, it's probably going to be a while before we start seeing these in professional use, but it's a sign of where high-end computing might be headed.