The HP Z400 offers up to six processing cores using the latest Intel Xeon 3500 series processors, providing up to 24 GB of ECC memory, up to 8 TB of high- speed storage and up to NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 or dual NVIDIA Quadro FX 1800 graphics.

The HP Z200 SFF supports up to 16GB of ECC RAM and up to 2TB of storage. It also includes professional 2D and 3D graphics options.

Thor Sweless, Intel's Director of Business Strategy Workstation Group told us: "two of the latest Xeon processors give you 150gigaflops of  performance. If you look at that, and compare it to the top 500 list of supercomputers as recently as 2002, this workstation would make that list. If you go back to 1994 that would have been the number 1 supercomputer on the planet."

"Multi-core processing is transformational" Sweless continued: "we're enabling new ways of thinking and new workflows. The faster processing time means that overnight renders now take place in real time. "The fact is that workstation users can now think of what if and what else scenarios."

Tony Neal Graves, General Manager Workstation Group Intel, added: "what has happened is the essence of serendipity." Three things have happened in the market just as multi-core processing is coming along. We're seeing 3D goes mainstream, intelligent design (a process where design programs make intelligent decisions to help the design process), and 64-bit processing. All of these things, according to Graves, combine to make the most of the multiple cores provided by Intel processors.

Graves also outlined Intel's development cycle as a process Intel referrs to as "Tick Tock". The 'Ticks' are periods in which Intel cranks up the performance and introduces new silicon architecture, the 'Tocks' are where intel optimises performance through creating new microprocessor architecture.

HP also took the opportunity to announce that it had overtaken Dell and was now the world's number 1 desktop and notebook manufacture. Jeff Wood, HP Global Marketing Manger said: "we've had a phenomenal year". Jim Zafarana, Vice President & General Manager of HP Workstation Division said "this is a market vote of confidence. HP has become the most trusted company." Zafarana noted that most computer companies have seen a downturn in the PC market: "only HP has emerged to thrive and survive in this environment."

HP also noted the environmental efforts it has made in the new workstation line. The new HP Z models feature HP WattSaver technology that manage the off state at less than one watt, according to HP. The line also offers ENERGY STAR 5.0 qualified configurations. The motherboard is also BVR free, noted Jeff Wood.

The new workstations also come with a few exclusive HP software solutions. Including the HP performance advisor, which automatically tunes the workstations, finding and installing drivers and configuring the settings. HP claims that this type of tuning can result in significantly improved performance.

UK pricing and availability has yet to be announced.