Big power in a small box

Crunching huge amounts of data needs a very powerful workstation.

As a data analyst the power of my desktop computer is paramount; especially if I want to get through the day without having to restart my computer ten times. I only have a finite number of hours in a day and so much data to process that sometimes my machine just can't keep up. That means having to close applications just to get that little bit more memory in order to perform a single task. Not ideal when you have multiple requests flying at you constantly.

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I also relocate around the office quite often to work with different teams, so lugging a big tower around brings on a bit of a sweat. I've tried moving to a laptop but with the amount of spreadsheets, dashboards and various other applications I rely on it just becomes a struggle. It also creates the issue of moving different application windows from a larger screen to a small one, then having to resize the application window to fit properly. I personally find it much better having two big screens that are the same size when working through vast amounts of data. 

I'm now working with an HP Z2 Mini workstation and my first thought was...where's the rest of it? It's so small, looks sleek and is unbelievably quiet. I must say though I was a bit sceptical at first on whether this tiny box would be able to handle my day to day tasks. A press of the power button and I'm instantly on the windows login screen. Enter my password and all the applications I need boot up and I'm good to go - the speed of this thing is simply unbelievable, despite its diminutive dimensions. I used to have time to make a quick coffee before my old machine was up and running, I'd have to be The Flash to do that now!

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To complement the Z2 Mini workstation I've also been using two HP S240uj monitors. The high screen resolution provided by these displays makes it simple to navigate huge spreadsheets, or flick between multiple application windows. I also like the fact that I can use my headphones to listen to music through the display, rather than having to plug into the back of the workstation itself. That means regardless of where I put the Z2 Mini, l now don't need headphone cables metres long to reach it.

The monitors also have Bang & Olufsen speakers built in, great when you need a bit of music to get you through analysing millions of numbers. I can't forget to mention the monitors have integrated wireless charging too! No need to run around the office looking for a spare phone charger, just place it on base of the monitor and let the charging commence.

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Overall, working with the HP Z2 Mini workstation and the S240uj monitors has been great. I still haven't pushed the devices to their limits, but I'll be gearing up to do just that. In the next few weeks I'll be processing a number of very large data sets using various applications, which should provide a bigger challenge for this tiny powerhouse - I'll report back on how I get on in my next blog.

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