EliteBook 8740w Ultimate Upgrade Guide (mSATA mod, GPU upgrade, cooling and etc)

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by triturbo, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. triturbo

    triturbo Long live 16:10 and MXM-B

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    This thread is meant to provide all the upgrade info you are looking for, compiled in a single (or two, if there's that much info) post(s). It is a work in progress. It would be messy and a bit random at first, but (hopefully :D ) it would get well organized and filled with various upgrade info and tweaks. Feel free to contribute, and/or remind me if I have missed something/someone (quite likely). In order to keep it (relatively/as much as possible) clean, it would be best if general questions (not upgrade related) are asked in the 8740w's Owners Lounge.

    Now, to the mods! Wait, just another 11.26 seconds to go:

    As with all of the modding/upgrading/tinkering/and-what-not guides, this is the obligatory warning that I'm not responsible for whatever happens with you and your laptop while following this guide. So if your laptop explodes in your face, don't hate me, but feel free to share a picture :D


    Disassembly

    We have to know how to disassemble this beast before we do anything to it, right? Here's a quick guide: click

    Here's the entire disassembly procedure as well as most of the part numbers (P/N): click (you can't find the individual DreamColor related parts in there, but here).


    mSATA mod

    One of the biggest drawbacks of this machine is storage. Well, not anymore. I've been after this particular mod for quite some time now. It's actually good that it took me more than half an year, since I had time to rethink it over and over. I've been thinking about it even before that, for my 5920G, but that's another story. So, I think that the end result is pretty good, given how space constrained this machine is. Of course my friend (the wizard of the soldering iron) pipkata has his fair share of ideas as well. Quite understandable, the soldering is done entirely by him, I don't trust myself enough, and was right about it, seeing how small those points and pins are. Without any more jibber-jabber, here's some eye candy:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Interested? Well then, the technical details. This is actually our third attempt. The first one we tried to mod the existing WWAN slot, cut the PCIe traces, soldered the SATA lines on their place. It didn't work, wasted the whole day, we still wonder why.
    Second attempt - cabling a new slot - it worked till a desoldered wire took-off my SSD. Playing around for two days and testing various scenarios, took its toll in the end. At least we knew that we are on the right track. Good bye Crucial M500 mSATA 240GB, you'll be remembered. It's sad that I wasted a perfectly working SSD, but in the end better waste $200 that I've used, than $70 for just a couple of tries. The entire drive was backed-up prior the mod, so no worries there. Time to remind you, always have a back-up (of your drive's data, or have a spare drive even)!
    Third time. Now we are talking! The connector that is next to the RAM slots is wired to the dock's upgrade bay lines. The other one, as it is visible from the pictures, is wired to the notebook's upgrade bay, i.e. the ODD/DVD connector.
    Here's how:

    If you don't own this machine, but you still want to give this mod a go, you'll need your machine's schematics and replace/rename/take note:
    A+ = TxP
    A - = TxN
    B+ = RxP
    B - = RxN


    First check if it happens that the designer of your motherboard has left some SATA lines as Test Points (TP) near the Hub/South Bridge. This way you wont have to sacrifice already existing connectors. If there are no TP, well you'll have to cut something. If you are thinking to take out the eSATA, make sure that it is bootable first! In 8740w it is NOT! Using GRUB loader might help (haven't tested personally), but it would slow the booting process.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This is not the final look/implementation of the mSATA that's under the 2.5" bay. I'll enlarge the opening so the drive would be easy to swap. This way both slots could be reached within a couple of screws.

    [​IMG]

    After so many years of breathing aluminum and copper dust, it was about time to breath-in some magnesium and I heard that it's good for health :p The RAM/WiFi compartment needs a bit of grinding as well as you can see from the first eye-candy picture.

    You can check the full album here (there are a few more pics and a bit better what-goes-where).

    Parts list:
    - mpcie connector - 4mm height, the ones currently on eBay are exactly what you need.
    - 7720G LVDS cable (P/N DC02000E100) - optional, if you want to get these shielded twisted pair wires *
    - 2.5" to mSATA adapter - optional, you can see the Dremel cut version of this in the above pictures, it is what I've used for the under-the-2.5"-bay slot. If you want the same, you should look for something like this.
    - Soldering iron and steady hands - these should've been first I guess, but thought that it's obvious.
    - Dremel (-like) tool - optional, if you want that lovely stock looking mSATA slot underneath the main 2.5" bay.

    * Still testing if using these wires omits the need of putting filtering capacitors, as you can find them right before every SATA slot - standard (2.5"/3.5"), SlimLine (laptop ODD), mSATA.** Putting them required some additional time, but that's the most expensive currency and we had to cut a few corners here and there in order to save some time. As a side note, that's the reason for the Kapton tape you can see next to the docking connector. It wasn't as stock looking as pipkata was shooting for... I hope he has more time to make his better looking (he is yet to do it).
    **So far it seems that the secondary mSATA works just fine. A side effect, you can't use the DVD in the docking station, even if there's no mSATA in this slot (with both installed, I'm pretty certain something bad would happen (most likely data corruption), but I already wasted an SSD, so I'll leave the testing for someone else). Docking and undocking doesn't affect this drive.
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    Cooling

    For starters, there's Aikimox's guide.

    You can make your dual-core run even cooler using quad-core heatsink (P/N 597570-001), as suggested by Siorah.

    First step before getting all-out on the cooling - fans. Here's the ZBook 17 fan (P/N: 735373-001 or KSB0805HBA01 - same fan diameter, two blades more, different blade design, hypro bearing, ~4000rpm (ours tops at ~3500rpm)) compared to ours:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This upgrade alone can get you at least 6ºC lower temps (most likely 10ºC), but on the expense of loudness. Our fan is one of the most non-obtrusive, yet powerful I have ever heard. The ZBook 17's fan bumps the volume, or rather the pitch a bit. I don't know how to explain it, but our fan really is incredible in terms of sound at any rpm, especially at full blast. After spending a week with the ZBook fan it seems more audible even at lower speeds... or I'm too fixated at it? Don't know. So you definitely need to take that in mind when you consider this upgrade. It's not THAT bad, but it's definitely there. The wiring is different, so you need to rewire the connector in order to work. The new wires are all black, but have markings near the connector, arrange them exactly like our fan. If you don't know how to take out a wire, here's a quick guide:
    1. You need a pin-pointed tweezers or a pin/really small needle;
    2. Insert it where the wire enters in the connector;
    3. Pull both together.
    The trick is to lift the locking plastic tab (without breaking it) in order to get the wire out.

    With properly arranged connector you could make a dry run, to see if it works, and to hear it in action, although it wont blow through a radiator (that's the reason for most of the noise). How to make a dry run? While leaving everything but the keyboard and the touch panel, detach the stock fan, attach the new one and place it on top of the stock fan. Relax, you wont burn anything (as long as you don't run stress tests, without monitoring the temps). You can fire it up, run HWInfo and monitor the temps, you can also control it and check how far it goes/how loud it is. Now, if everything works and sounds right, it's time for some cutting and grinding. The task is to get the ZBook 17 fan to look exactly like the stock one so it can mount on the same place.

    Here's before and after pictures of the fan:
    Note: I haven't drilled holes, I used Kapton tape instead, because testing :)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It's recommended to pack it nicely so no dust gets inside the fan, but also making it tight, so you can cut/grind and measure (that's how I did it). Here's how mine looked:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You can use something sharp and outline our fan on top of the new one (the central hole matches perfectly), it helps a lot, but you still need to put in the heat-sink and grind some more here and there for perfect fit. The other way is to get a painter tape (paper tape), make a large enough square with it, put the fan on top and outline it, then stick it on the ZBook fan and cut accordingly.


    Now that we made sure that we have enough drives on board, let's handle the second (or it could be the first, but I think drives and cooling go hand-by-hand in 8740w) big drawback - the cooling. Since we made a lot of room replacing the ODD with a tiny mSATA, let's make something out of it. I'll give you a hint and this would be it for now:

    [​IMG]

    Would add an entire guide, once it's finished.
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    GPU

    Even though AMDs are not very compatible (take a look at the issues they have in the table), I'll list them first, since I'm AMD biased (click) and it seems the general trend is that most nVIDIAs work anyway, with a few exceptions. The order is - the most powerful and the most compatible.
    Note: you can check the surrounding posts to the linked post in the table, usually there is more information about the particular upgrade.


    GPUvBIOS8740wDreamColor User PostBenchmark
    W7170m DELLclicknot testedyesRMSMajestic clickclick
    M8900 DELLDELL 012fan, bracketyesme-click
    HD 7970m Clevo v1.1DELL 022battery??, fan, bracketyesmehere-
    HD 6970m DELLDELL 010fan, bracketnome-click
    HD 7970m DELL earlyDELL 021battery, fan, bracketnot testedmehereclick
    HD 7970m DELL laterDELL 022battery, fan, bracketnot testedme--
    K5000m HP-yesyeszone66xhereclick
    GTX 780m Clevo-driversyespipkata--
    GTX 780m MSi-driversyesLwerewolfhere-
    K4000m HP-not testedyespipkata--
    K3100m HP?-yesnot testedLooker1122here-
    GTX 560m MSi-driversyespipkata--
    GTX 980m Clevo-yes*greyscale issuessinitarhereclick
    GTX 680m DELL-driversnot testedMooMilkhere-
    K3000m DELL-no backlightyespipkata--
    K2100m MSi-yesno infoniorosohere-
    GTX 460m ???-yes*not testedjavak810i--
    GT 240m Acer-driversnopipkata--
    R9-M290X MSivariousno display, battery, fan, bracketnot testedme, pipkata--
    M6000 DELLvariousnonoLwerewolf, me, pipkata--
    GTX 970m MSistocknot testednosinitarhere-
    K4100m HPstock?nonoshomiyatohere-
    GTX 765m ???stocknonodazhazithere-
    GTX 660m ???stocknonoSiorahhere-
    GPUvBIOS8740wDreamColorUserPostBenchmark

    Legend:

    - - it doesn't matter
    * - might require custom drivers, couldn't find info about it
    yes - works
    no - doesn't work
    fan - requires manual fan control, otherwise stuck at high
    battery - wont work on battery - ?? it seems that hawk jarrett found a solution for the Clevo 7970m v1.1, you can learn more about it here (haven't tested it myself, sold my v1.1 half-an-year ago)
    bracket - requires custom bracket (you can try and use your stock one but make sure to cover with some Kapton tape all the components underneath)
    drivers - requires custom drivers
    BACK TO TABLE

    The best heat-sink to use is Quadro 5000m's one (P/N 613761-001), since it requires very little Dremel work. There's no upgrade so far that wouldn't require at least some grinding.
    Here's a couple of grinding examples: 3800m for 7970m (also custom bracket for 7970m/69x0m/M8900), 3800m for K5000m.

    Don't forget that you'll have to clean and apply fresh paste on your new GPU and heat-sink.

    Another list of compatible GPUs.

    Feel free to share your benchmarks in the 8740W Benching/Specs Thread
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    RAM

    Siorah did a TON of good work in this post. I'll just add that Mac memory (pipkata 2x8GB crucial) and DDR3L (me 2x8GB Ballistix and pipkata the Mac memory) work too, at least up to 1600MHz. Haven't tested 1866MHz modules, but there's no point, really. There are 16GB modules from Crucial on the market, but I'll leave these for the richer ones around. Most likely they wont be compatible, since Intel messed something and anything before Broadwell (Haswell including) can't deal with more than 8GB modules. Still worth the try IMO LOL. As for what to get as an upgrade - whatever comes cheaper, just make sure to have a lot of it and to be at least 2 by 2 matched (if you have 4 slots that is). I currently have 2x8GB crucial BALLISTIX 1600MHz + 2x4GB Micron 1333MHz (both running according to Micron's timings, that's also to note, the RAM would always downclock to the slowest). It can get up to 32GB confirmed and as I said, if someone gives the crucial's 16GB modules a go, it might be upgradeable to 64GB (if they work of course).
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    CPU

    First off - Xtreme CPUs work just fine on dual-core boards (the ones with two RAM slots) as confirmed by Siorah in this post and later by pipkata. You DEFINITELY need a quad-core heatsink (P/N 597570-001).

    Secondly - the actual CPUs. As with the RAM, get whatever comes cheaper, either i7-920XM or i7-940XM. They are essentially the same chip (same stepping, same process, etc, just a multiplier more (x1) for the 940XM, but we couldn't care less, since we have ThrottleStop). OK, in all honesty you might be luckier and get better binned CPU if you go with 940XM, but the chances are really slim.

    For the dual core lovers, there's probably the best CPU among the first gen core i CPUs - i7-640M. It's not far off stock quads, of course if overclocking is involved, that's another story. Some say it can be tweaked a bit (with ThrottleStop of course). If I get one in my hands, I'll give it a go. If it was unlocked, I would've made sure to get one in my hands... but its not, just a little play with the power limits, that's all. Runs cool too. If you are not going to overclock, this is your CPU. Not very cheap though.

    Don't forget that you'll have to clean and apply fresh paste on your new CPU and heat-sink.
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    TIM

    It is very important what you are going to use as thermal interface. Our stock cooling is far, FAR away from perfect (means no hard Overclocking), but it gets the job done and with the help of better TIM, it can do better.

    I have no measurements what-so-ever, since I didn't have all the pastes in the same time. I do now, but since I'm using Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra, I really don't feel like going to thorough testing with the rest. Might try it, if there's interest.
    - Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra - pretty much the best thing you can put between your CPU and its heat-sink. Have to be spread with the provided brush (not very easy application). BE CAREFUL though, a single drop outside the crystal and you WILL fry something. It's better to apply it outside the laptop. I took extra care to seal my CPU (not really necessarily, but I love tweaking :) ).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    - Gelid GC Extreme - second best, still using it for the GPU's core. Easy application - just a blob in the center of the core. I think it showed some signs of pumping-out* (after two months of usage), but haven't tested it afterwards, since I switched to the above paste.
    - Arctic MX-4 - not recommended for the CPU, it will pump-out* within a month or so and you'll need to re-apply. Works fine for the GPU, I'm using it on the GPU's memory (vRAM). Easy application
    - ICDiamond - haven't tested it personally (on this machine, tested on my Acer), but the only place I would put it is on the vRAM, since it is pretty thick, so it would do perfect job there. Hard application (THICK!!!). Might (actually, quite likely) scratch the core of your CPU and/or GPU. Again, I personally wont put it on anything but the vRAM and the power delivery components (VRM).

    *The paste quite literary pumps-out leaving nothing to conduct the heat from the core to the heat-sink.

    Of course, you have to remove the old one before applying your new paste.
    - If you decide to try Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra, they have pretty nice cleaning set. It really does wonders, make sure to get some gloves though.
    - Otherwise (for anything else), rubbing alcohol and some ear buds and/or coffee filter are just fine.
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    Storage

    HDDs - The biggest 7200rpm drive is Hitachi's 1TB 7K1000 (P/N HTS721010A9E630). Another notable mention - the WD 750GB Black (P/N WD7500BPKT(older)/ WD7500BPKX). Idea for the crazy ones that prefer WD - you can fit taller (than 9.5mm) drives, but you have to grind the chassis that's below the drive. The only drive that fits the description is WD Green 2TB drive (15mm, yeah, a lot of grinding). Not really recommended. There's a Seagate/gnusmaS 2TB drive, that's 9.5mm, for those of you who have nothing against the misspelled brand (I do) (P/N ST2000LM003/ STBD2000102).

    SSDs - Since our machine uses the older SATA-II standard every little help is welcomed. So, Crucial's MX200 mSATA drives with their Dynamic Write Acceleration (DWA) help to boost the performance a bit. You can see comparison between my new MX200 500GB mSATA and my old M500 240GB mSATA. Both are after fresh install with all the drivers installed.
    Couldn't find where exactly I've put my 8740w M500 benchmarks, so this one is from back when the M500 was in my Acer - different drivers, kinda different programs, the CDM version is different as well, most of all different system altogether, so take it for what it is. Both drives are pretty good, the SATA-II limitation shows its teeth either way.

    M500 mSATA 240GB vs MX200 mSATA 500GB
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    SanDisk also has nice drives, but in 2.5" form factor. Was looking at the X300 mSATA (also has a fancy SLC cache technology, different implementation though), but the TLC memory kept my mind busy for quite some time, even if it comes from SanDisk, and especially when the successor switched back to MLC memory (not available in mSATA form factor). So there was really not much choice for me at least. Feel free to get whatever suits your needs/pocket best, I'm just giving you a point to start.

    Over provisioning (OP) - It is recommended to leave some unallocated space when installing your new SSD. This way it would have some spare blocks to deal with and would keep the performance pretty consistent. Some users would recommend to leave 30% and more, but that's wasted space for me. I usually leave ~15%. It's up to you to decide where exactly is your safe/wasted space border. After all it's a spare part, don't sweat too much on it. Also I'm yet to explore how my drive's DWA deals with the OP. I'll probably try to allocate the entire drive and compare the performance with the prior values (w/ 14% OP).

    [​IMG]


    Defragmentation - As strange as it sounds, there is, indeed, performance to be gained. SSDs are fast, but as it is with HDDs, sequential reads and writes rarely make someone's entire workflow, and most likely you'll see greater benefit of the random access. This is where both drives see nosedive in speeds compared to their sequential reads and writes. Defragmentation makes just that - moves related files next to each other, so when you need something, everything is within reach. This way it's less random access and more sequential - speed gained. Here's tilleroftheearth's guide and below are some shots:

    1. Fresh win w/ drivers, no programs 2. After programs 3. After PerfectDisk SSD Optimization 4. After PerfectDisk SMART placement
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    ODDs - If you are not a fan of optical drives and need extra storage (who doesn't, right?), you can replace the DVD that came with your system with an HP hard drive carrier (P/N 613682-001, you would also need extra hard drive bracket/caddy P/N 630891-001), or you can search the web (or eBay) for "SATA caddy" and enjoy the low prices :) Do note that you need 12.7mm tall caddy, since there are slimmer (9.5mm) ones. Also to take note, make sure that you can secure the drive on its place, or the vibrations would render the drive useless in no time. With the eBay ones you'll have to get your DVD's bezel if you want to maintain the seamless look (depending on the caddy it might not fit perfectly). To sum-up:

    HP caddyAftermarket
    +Plug'n'PlayCheap; Various setups
    -Expensive; Requires extra HDD bracket/caddyVarious setups, you have to pay attention what you are getting; Some don't have HDD locking/securing mechanism; Needs bezel to retain the look
    Else, you can swap the stock DVD (or BD-ROM if you were luckier) with pretty much whatever you like (BDXL), just make sure to be SATA and 12.7mm tall. Feel free to share your research on the matter. Still haven't done thorough research on the matter.

    In this post Siorah said that SDXC support is just a software update away. Don't have an SDXC as of now, but planing to take advantage of these high speed (> 90MB/s) cards and the SD boot option... or just more storage, it never hurts. Might relocate Firefox's and Palemoon's cache there as well as few other stuff.
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    Battery

    One of the main reasons to own this machine is that it can operate on battery and even better - it can take two. According to Lwerewolf's, pipkata's and 83bj60's testings you can't use the combined power of both (which would've been great for full power on the go). Rather the system runs off the secondary first, then switches to the primary. This is not that bad since you can run off the secondary and have the primary just for back-up and if you have two secondary batteries, you can exchange them while your system is still running (given your primary can hold that much - it's not completely dead) as suggested by 83bj60. It seems that it's rather hard to get a good WORKING primary battery (if you know a source for genuine (and not that expensive if possible) batteries, let us know). In case you wonder how much life you can expect from the Ultra battery (P/N HSTNN-OB24), here's 83bj60's post. Just above his post you can see how to check your battery's voltage. Also, 83bj60 hints for even better battery upgrade. Don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to it.
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    Overclocking

    I can't thank enough to unclewebb for his glorious ThrottleStop program (version 6 is just fine for us). It gives a severely cut-down machines (what 8740w is, especially on BIOS level) chance to overcome these limitations. Hopefully, with a nice cooling and a massive overclock, this machine would be a viable option for some years to come. Well, it wont be battery friendly, but that's the price to pay if you want 16:10. Also, you can always downclock it while on battery, or you can take a few with you.

    My settings for 920XM: 70W 62A / 26x 23x 20x 20x (TDP TDC / multipliers - 1 2 3 4 cores active) (would add a shot later) Use it just as a starting point, since chips do vary from one to another, so does cooling, thermal interface, ambient temp and etc.

    Feel free to share your benchmarks in the 8740W Benching/Specs Thread
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    Display

    If you don't have the DreamColor already, the chances are that you wont be able to source it, or it will cost you a not-so-small fortune! The part numbers for the whole assemblies are 595709-001 (w/ camera) and 595705-001 (w/o camera). If you are willing to source each individual part one by one, DON'T BE! I mean it! The motherboard -> color board cable is impossible to come-by, and it seems that color boards are rarity as well, or absurdly expensive. If you are still willing to try your luck, here are the part numbers thanks to Lwerewolf. Once, maybe twice a year the whole package (MB > CB cable; CB; CB > display cable; display; housing) makes its way to eBay, but trust me, they are gone within HOURS! The cables for sure, you might have more time for the display and the housing/cover. Also do note that the housing/cover is different, since it has a special place to put the color board into. You can grind your stock cover if you feel like it though.

    If you have the WSXGA+ panel (1680x1050) and you don't want to wait a DreamColor to pop, or you don't want to shell the money, or you just need the extra space, without all of these lovely colors, here are the two stock WUXGA panels:
    - LP171WU7-TLB1 - a bit nicer than the next option, feel free to take rahasyavadi's word.
    - LTN170CT12-001

    There's also the possibility to make another display to run, but the risks are great. A slight miscalculation and a lot of things can be fried including and not limited to - MoBo, GPU, display. It could be all, you could be lucky and only one of them to go away, in the end it's still a fried component. Haven't researched much on the matter, but there are very very few displays that worth the risk and time involved. All of them are the LP171WU5 series (they are TN). There are 4 revisions as far as I know: 2 for DELL/Alienware, 1 for the W70x Lenovos and the best of them, the 8730w's DreamColor. Again, haven't researched the matter a lot, there might be missing color channels in our LVDS (the DreamColor is fed through DP), don't know how this is going to affect its work and etc.
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    Software tweaks

    HWinfo - a very valuable tool by itself and even more so if you want to manually control the fan speed (it's the only one as far as I know that works for us).

    Custom drivers - or how to mod nVidia's drivers in order to play nice with the newly installed GPU. Here's a guide by j95 For your convenience, our SUBSYS is SUBSYS_1520103C (1520 = 8740w; 103C = HP).

    ProdTog shared a valuable info if you want to assign different application to the email/clock button (never used the stock function, so I don't know what it does). Here's the guide. Enjoy!

    Trying to unlock the Chromaticity fields in the MDA. Actually I did, but they take no values. I guess the Color Board's firmware is locked.
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    External display / 4K

    For TV set connection, you'll need a very specific DP to HDMI adapter, otherwise there would be no sound, as you can see in this post from NotebookGrail
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    Webcam

    Our stock camera is 6cm wide, 1cm tall and about 0.5cm deep. There's space for 9cm (maybe a bit more) wide and 1.5cm tall module, but the depth would be a problem. I checked the ZBook's and 8770w's cameras, they should fit, the thing is, they are 720p, still an upgrade (ours uses interpolation for the claimed 2MPix). If you consider it good enough, I'll look at the schematics to see if they can be wired to our system. I also looked at different approach altogether - external webcam. More specifically - Logitech C920 - a true 1080p cam. The PCB should fit (with a little grinding), but the lens most likely wont. If the 3D render I found is right, it is 1.5cm deep, that's like twice what we have, hell our display assembly itself is 1cm.
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    Speakers

    The stock ones are TERRIBLE!!! If you have any ideas how to improve them, please let us know.
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    Power adapter

    Only the DELL/Alienware XM3C3 330W adapter works (charges the battery as well), the Y90RR doesn't. Do note that it shows the warning that low-power adapter is attached, but works flawlessly, at least up till 190W, that's how far I've pushed it for now. This is no longer the case, as me and pipkata did another mod - check below. It's the same size as our 230W brick, if you happen to have the slim 200W PSU and wonder how big the 230W/330W PSU is, check it here. Here's another comparison between HP/VooDoo 350W, stock 230W and the 200W.

    Might try Nospheratu's mod to see how it goes with my Y90RR (since it's new, unlike the XM3C3 which is used). Took a different approach instead. Used loafer987's guide and based the mod on it. Thankfully it's much easier for us. You only need a 100K resistor, and the right angle adapter of course (do note that I've used different adapter, that's no longer available, so it might be slightly different).

    This mod requires extra warning - Doing this mod would make your laptop believe that it is running stock 200W adapter with the supposed protections and etc. Pushing well in excess of this rating might damage your machine! Do so on your own risk! Same goes the other way around - you can connect lower rating adapter and push it over its spec, which WILL burn it. Again - Do so on your own risk!

    Here's a drawing on how things should be wired:

    [​IMG]

    And the end result:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Now you can use whatever adapter you like, like the VooDoo 350W (P/Ns 466954-001, ADP-350AB or just search for "voodoo 350W"), Alienware 330W (P/Ns XM3C3, Y90RR, 5X3NX), DELL and etc. Everything with the same plug.

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    Windows 10

    Everything works, except Shutting down. It goes to Shut down, but ends either on the Sleep screen or with a dark screen (moving the mouse would show the Sleep screen). The only way to properly shut it down is to Restart and once on the HP boot logo to press the power button.
    aloicious says that everything works fine for him, so I guess the problem is with my installation.

    It seems that HP has updated all of the W7 drivers. There's no W10 option, but I guess, they'll work just fine.
    TOP


    Other stuff

    8740w vs M6500 comparison - here.
    A few corrections - dual-core models support quads; supports 1600MHz RAM; supports multi-touch gestures.

    WUXGA shootout (TN WLED vs CRT vs IPS RGB LED) - here.

    230W vs 200W power brick comparison - in the same post ^

    Feet heaters :D
    TOP


    No go

    So far the system BIOS can't be modified. Actually it can, but if you flash it, there goes your 8740w. A new chip or a programmer would fix it, but soldering is involved, and you have done nothing positive in the end, just wasted your time.

    This means four things:
    - Bad compatibility for AMD GPUs, since there's something inside that conflicts with the after market GPUs' vBIOS (I guess HP's M7820 vBIOS is custom, but that's to be examined) and all kind of "fun" stuff occur.
    - No overclocking in any regard. With Intel XTU you can tweak CPU, RAM, whatever, well, not here, since it is BIOS dependable (thankfully we have ThrottleStop). An "I know what I'm doing" section in the otherwise pretty nice looking BIOS wouldn't hurt.
    - No WiFi upgrade, since you know, whitelist.
    - No use of the WWAN slot (other than with the stock module), since you know, whitelist. Could've put a TV tuner there, or upgrade to newer module, or something else.
    TOP


    Thank you

    Since I'm making a full blown upgrade thread, it just can't go without a Thank you section. So here it is. Thank you to all of you that are mentioned here. Special thanks to pipkata for his work and help and Siorah - his work helped me a lot when I was deciding which would be my next machine. Sadly he is no longer around, I guess he has better things to do now. Also thank you to the forum in general, I got a lot of my knowledge from here.
    TOP
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  2. nioroso

    nioroso Notebook Enthusiast

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    So you can add a msata port? I cant see the images in your post by the way.
     
  3. triturbo

    triturbo Long live 16:10 and MXM-B

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    Not one, but two :p Because I'm yet to add them, probably Monday or Tuesday. As I said - work in progress.
     
  4. redwatty

    redwatty Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have seen people online selling the 3GB GTX 670MX but I can not confirm it working as I have not tried it, but I am considering it as it can be had new for
    $350 ish. I'm still considering the best price to performance upgrade for my needs first though.
     
  5. triturbo

    triturbo Long live 16:10 and MXM-B

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    For a bit more you can usually get a 780m around here, so I think it's better buy. It's up to you though. Feel free to share the result no matter which way you choose.

    The mSATA mod pictures are up. Happy modding :) Some info is added here and there as well and would add some more and that would be it for today.
     
  6. redwatty

    redwatty Notebook Enthusiast

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    cheapest 780m I can find is $650 used but online the 670MX can be had new for $350 and then there is the k5000m used for $550. Decisions decisions.

    Currently I have the fx3800m, I would like to upgrade but would like a card that can handle 3DS Max as well as some gaming. Am I right in thinking the GTX 780m would be the right choice out of out current known options?
     
  7. triturbo

    triturbo Long live 16:10 and MXM-B

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    Well, no. nGreedia cripples quite a lot their GeForce GPUs, otherwise why one would buy a GPU that's twice as expensive, or even more (Quadro) for the same performance? Your best bet is the K5000m. Again both 780m and K5000m pop-up occasionally in the market place, so make sure to check it regularly.
     
  8. redwatty

    redwatty Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanx, I did not know about the market place, newbie lol. I think I will go for the k5000m as the price is not too bad. I thought I read somewhere that the GTX 7 series of GPUs perform quite well in 3D compared to previous models but I do read a lot of contradicting things on the interweb :/
     
  9. triturbo

    triturbo Long live 16:10 and MXM-B

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    I'm not very certain about it, to be honest. There most likely is improvement compared to previous gen, but I doubt that you can match a Quadro.
     
  10. redwatty

    redwatty Notebook Enthusiast

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