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HP dv8000z Review (pics, specs)

Discussion in 'Notebook News and Reviews' started by animas3D, Dec 22, 2005.

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  1. animas3D

    animas3D Notebook Enthusiast NBR Reviewer

    Dec 6, 2005

    by Joe H., New York, USA

    <script src="/assets/14468.js"></script>

    Recently, I purchased the <A target=_blank href="http://www.notebookreview.com/price/default.asp?productID=14468&amp;productFamilyID=686&amp;brandID=8&amp;display=priceDetail" >HP Pavilion dv8000z notebook computer</A>. I am a professional artist, animator and website designer and had several criteria in choosing a computer. I wanted a very fast computer that had a really big screen. A machine that could handle high-end graphics work such as 3D modeling, animation, compositing, video editing, music creation as well as other design work.


    HP dv8000z Specs:

    • Processor: AMD Turion 64 ML-37 (2.0GHz/1MB L2 Cache)
    • Screen: 17" WSXGA BrightView Widescreen (1680 x 1050)
    • Graphics: ATI Express Radeon 200M 128MB
    • RAM: 1.0GB DDR SDRAM (2&nbsp;x 512MB)
    • Hard Drive: 160GB (2 x 80GB @ 5400RPM)
    • Optical Drive: DVD+/-RW/R &amp; CD-RW Combo w/Double Layer Support
    • OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
    • Battery: 8-cell lithium ion
    • Weight: 8.1lbs
    • Wireless54g(TM) 802.11b/g WLAN w/125HSM/SpeedBooster(TM)
    • Dimensions: 11.1"(L) x 15.62"(W) x 1.48"(min)/1.82"(max)
    • Ports: 1 ExpressCard/54 Slot (also supports ExpressCard/34), 1 Type I/II 32-bit card bus (also support 16-bit), 1 IEEE-1394(Firewire), 4 Universal Serial Bus (USB 2.0), TV-Out (S-video), Integrated Consumer IR (remote control receiver), Headphone out w/ SPDIF Digital Audio, Microphone in, 1 RJ-11 (modem), 1 Expansion Port 2 Connector, 1 RJ -45 (LAN)

    Reasons for Buying

    The <A target=_blank href="http://www.notebookreview.com/price/default.asp?productID=14468&amp;productFamilyID=686&amp;brandID=8&amp;display=priceDetail" >dv8000z</A> is a new and powerful desktop replacement by Hewlett Packard. It has a very high resolution 17" monitor (1680 x 1050), and the option of installing two separate 80 Gigabyte drives for a total of 160 Gigs, which I went for. This seemed to me like a great deal of storage for a laptop, and two separate drives are traditionally recommended for things like video editing or photo-retouching where it is best to keep the disk that contains the OS separate from the disk with your media on it.

    What most attracted me to the machine, however, was the 64 bit Turion chip. I've never owned a machine with an AMD chip, and generally didn't pay much attention to 64 bit computing. A few weeks ago, however, I read a press release that SoftImage, a leading manufacturer of 3D animation software, announced a 64 bit version of their program. This started me thinking more seriously about 64 bit.

    As many people know, Windows Vista will be a 64 bit operating system and 64 bit software will allow serious performance increases, especially in my field. For example, a job that takes 3 days to render on a 32 bit system might finish overnight on 64 bit. If one's primary application is a word processing, this is not an issue, but in my business, speed is important and could shave days off of a project.

    Many have said that it is premature to worry about 64 bit right now, that it is a long way off. However, it seems to me that 64 bit is a lot closer than people think. Several companies either have 64 bit versions of their software or are in the process of working on them. Microsoft currently has a 64 bit version of Windows XP, and has released 64 bit versions of such programs as Windows Media Encoder. I've also been noticing the availability of&nbsp; 64 bit drivers such as for an Epson printer that I own.

    After watching a speech by Bill Gates and reading some documents on the Microsoft website where AMD chips are endorsed, I had a feeling that they were subtly endorsing the purchase of 64 bit computers.

    Therefore, 64 bit computing and Vista compatibility became a primary concern and the just-released dv8000z seemed like it was designed with it in mind. Vista is already in Beta and this machine seems expressly built according to its guidelines (see the Microsoft Website). We think that attention to Vista-compatibility was a major design factor with this machine. My decision was also influenced by reading this article: <A target=_blank href="http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10166_7-6359821.html" >http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-10166_7-6359821.html</A> among other articles.<BR>&nbsp;<BR>While it is true that by the time Vista goes really mainstream, there might be more advanced chips on the market than the Turion, the point is that those who buy a 32 bit computer today and decide they want to get into 64 bit computing tomorrow must buy a new computer. However, those who buy a computer today with a 64 bit chip such as the Turion have the option of buying a computer with a better chip in the future or not. I wanted that option. Of course the Turion runs favorably with 32 bit Pentium chips today (see benchmarks).


    Top view of HP dv8000z with an Andrew Jackson $20 bill for size comparison

    Look and feel

    When the machine finally got here, I was impressed by its appearance. It is a big yet well designed (perhaps you may say elegant) laptop, and you get a sense that it is a serious machine by looking at it. There is a lot of machine here. The build feels quite solid and the computer seems built to last.

    Ports and connectors

    The computer is well appointed with many ports including the regulars such as an external monitor port, RJ-45 for Ethernet, Expansion port 2 for docking, 4 USB ports, one 1394 (firewire) port, a PC card slot, a digital media slot reader, Head phone jack, ExpressCard Slot, and a microphone port. On the rear is a RJ-11 modem jack and on the front is a consumer infrared lens.


    Left side view of HP dv8000z


    Right side view of HP dv8000z


    Front side view of HP dv8000z


    Bottom side view of HP dv8000z

    The screen

    As mentioned before, the display is a large 17" 1650 X 1080 Brightview screen. The colors look very good without any hue shifts. White looks like white and skin tone looks like skin tone. A high resolution monitor such as this one is nice to have when using complex programs and lessens the clutter of palettes on the screen which often happens on smaller monitors. Web browsing is a pleasure thanks to the excellent anti-aliasing and bright view monitor.


    The included video chipset in this machine is the integrated 128MB ATI Radeon Xpress 200M with Hypermemory. It has 128 MB of memory, but can borrow another 128 MB from the main memory for a total of 256. According to Microsoft's website, they recommend a video system with 128 MB of memory for Vista. ATI's website says that the 200M supports the "Windows Vista Display Driver Model". So, in addition to the Turion, this seems to be a workable combination for Vista when it comes out.

    So far the 200M seems snappy and responsive to the work I have been doing such as photo retouching, compositing, video and design.


    The Altec Lansing built-in speakers deliver remarkable audio quality, which was noticed by my best friend during a visit paid to me recently. Certainly, it's the best we've ever heard in a laptop.


    Of course, as we've mentioned, we expect the processor to demonstrate it's real capabilities in the coming 64 bit era but here is how it stands in today's 32 bit world:

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" align=center border=1> <TBODY> <TR> <TD>Notebook</TD> <TD>Time</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>HP dv8000z (2.0GHz AMD Turion 64&nbsp;ML-37</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 49s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Dell XPS M140 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 41s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Sony VAIO FS680 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 53s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;IBM ThinkPad T43 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 45s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Asus Z70A (1.6GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 53s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Fujitsu LifeBook N3510 (1.73 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 48s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Dell Inspiron 6000D (1.6 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 52s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Dell Inspiron 600M (1.6 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;2m 10s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;HP Pavilion dv4000&nbsp;(1.86 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 39s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;HP DV4170us (Pentium M 1.73 GHz)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 53s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Sony VAIO S380 (1.86 GHz Pentium M)</TD> <TD>&nbsp;1m 45s</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    Below are the results gained from running PCMark04 on the dv8000z and results are compared to the Dell XPS M140 with a 1.86GHz Pentium M processor:

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" align=center border=1> <TBODY> <TR> <TD colSpan=3>Futuremark PCMark04 Scores</TD> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;</TD></TD> <TD>Dell XPS M140 (1.86GHz Penitum M, Intel graphics)</TD> <TD>HP dv8000z (2.0GHz AMD,&nbsp; ATI Radeon 200m)</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression</TD> <TD>3.32 MB/s</TD> <TD>2.77 MB/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption</TD> <TD>26.66 MB/s</TD> <TD>20.89&nbsp;MB/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression</TD> <TD>23.46 MB/s</TD> <TD>24.54&nbsp;MB/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing</TD> <TD>10.87 MPixels/s</TD> <TD>12.07&nbsp;MPixels/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning</TD> <TD>1866.81 MB/s</TD> <TD>1751.0&nbsp;MB/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check</TD> <TD>2.85 KB/s</TD> <TD>3.07&nbsp;KB/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;File Decryption</TD> <TD>53.74 MB/s</TD> <TD>61.12&nbsp;MB/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Audio Conversion</TD> <TD>2478.85 KB/s</TD> <TD>2624.93 KB/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Web Page Rendering</TD> <TD>5.53 Pages/s</TD> <TD>4.69&nbsp;Pages/s</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;DivX Video Compression</TD> <TD>50.35 FPS</TD> <TD>53.04&nbsp;FPS</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Physics Calculation and 3D</TD> <TD>98.57&nbsp;FPS</TD> <TD>108.52&nbsp;FPS</TD></TR> <TR> <TD>&nbsp;Graphics Memory - 64 Lines</TD> <TD>479.95&nbsp;FPS</TD> <TD>976.41&nbsp;FPS</TD></TR> <TR> <TD colSpan=3><FONT style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: white"></FONT></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    General Performance and Battery Life

    The system performs quite well. Websites load in a jiffy. Working on high resolution images in Photoshop and manipulation of 3D layers and effects in After Effects all seem as good or better than my one year old ultra high-end desktop machine. Renders happen fast, obviously taking advantage of the Turion.&nbsp; I was able to use the battery for around 3 hours.

    Customer Support

    I found HP customer support to be very good. I called them several times with various questions and each time there was very little or no wait time. I got through to a live human right away who was generally knowledgeable, professional and courteous.



    HP dv8000z keyboard and touchpad

    The <A target=_blank href="http://www.notebookreview.com/price/default.asp?productID=14468&amp;productFamilyID=686&amp;brandID=8&amp;display=priceDetail" >dv8000z</A> comes with a separate numeric keypad. This is a nice feature that is not commonly found on other laptops. The keyboard looks nice with a reflective border around it. In addition it has Quickplay function keys that allow you to play DVDs and CDs without booting up the system, basically allowing the unit to perform as a high resolution DVD player with less drain on the battery. There is also a button in the upper right corner that pops up the calculator for easy access. Hey, why not?


    If you are a digital content creator such as a video editor, animator, compositor, illustrator or photo-retoucher, and you are looking for a desktop replacement to do your work, you should seriously consider getting this machine with its 17" high resolution screen, Turion processor and dual hard drives. In addition the newly released <A target=_blank href="http://www.notebookreview.com/price/default.asp?productID=14468&amp;productFamilyID=686&amp;brandID=8&amp;display=priceDetail" >HP dv8000z</A> seems consciously designed to anticipate Windows Vista and the future migration to 64 bit computing.

    If you are concerned about future proofing your investment for the next four to five years without being obligated to buy a 64 bit machine next year, I think you should definitely consider this machine over a 32 bit unit.

    Pricing and Availability: <A target=_blank href="http://www.notebookreview.com/scripts/redirect.asp?country=us&amp;merchantPricingID=3973221&amp;merchantID=242168&amp;productID=14468" >HP dv8000z Pricing</A>

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    Lasted edited by : Feb 6, 2015
  2. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies TG Lead Moderator Super Moderator

    Jul 10, 2005
    Spectacular review! :) Your writing style is very fluid and enjoyable to read.

    I have yet to see the dv8000z in a retail store yet, but after your review + pictures, I have a lofty opinion of it. The only issue which bugs me about it is the weak graphics card, but for what you are doing, it doesn't look like that makes a difference. At least it helps future proof the notebook.

    While I still think 64-bit is irrelevant and unimportant, I do agree that software specifically coded in x64 will be faster for encoding and rendering. Now the only question is getting drivers for x64...

    I have a question - can you use the hard drives in a RAID configuration, or is one just your primary drive and the other is recognized as storage?

  3. nickspohn

    nickspohn iPhone NBR Reviewer

    Aug 15, 2005
    Great Review animas3D! - Job well done and a pat on the back :p
  4. chinna_n

    chinna_n Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

    Oct 1, 2005
    Wow! Machine looks really good. Excellent review. I think this absolute Multimedia Machine for verygood price with 64Bit processor.

    I remember in one of DivX press, they said their 64Bit encoding is 4 times faster than 32bit version in similar hardware setup. IMHO investing in 64Bit laptop is a good idea if we want to keep for more than 2 years.
  5. JackBauer

    JackBauer Notebook Deity

    May 25, 2005
    Nice, informative review! The DV8000Z looks like a MUCH better machine than the ZD7000/ZD8000. Congrats!!!
  6. 21st Hermit

    21st Hermit Notebook Consultant

    Oct 31, 2005
    Great review, thanks for your efforts. :)

    Would you consider posting rear and bottom photos. Curious about connections and adding RAM. On my Dell, I added RAM by a small plate on the bottom.

    You're right on about 64 bit. It only takes one application for 64 bit to be worth every penny you paid. Particularily if you can go from days to overnight.

    I'm hoping that HP puts Yonah [Core Duo] in that same chassis. The 2 HD's and the numeric keypad at the surprisingly budget price make it strong contender in the 17" DTR market.

  7. -Tomy-

    -Tomy- Notebook Geek

    Sep 21, 2005
    Excellant review, great looking machine. Good work!
  8. Momo26

    Momo26 Notebook Deity NBR Reviewer

    Aug 18, 2005
    Great review. I didn't even know that HP makes a 17" notebook, atleast I haden't seen it in stores. Surprised it only comes with integrated graphics though.
  9. sammy

    sammy Newbie

    Aug 5, 2004
    I liked this review, the reviewer must have put alot of effort into it. I appreciate that. I'm not too interested in 64 bit chips yet however. When vista forces me to go 64 bit then maybe. I saw this machine in real life once. It's a nice machine the silk screens need some work, but the sound, for a little lap top is superior. Thanks Joe
  10. JackBauer

    JackBauer Notebook Deity

    May 25, 2005
    I, too, have no need for 64-bit computing power, yet. I figure I'll make the move to a 64-bit machine in another 1-2 years when applications that really benefit from this technology are in the mainstream. By then, I'll be ready to upgrade to the next level of graphics cards, as well.
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