*HP EliteBook 8740w Owners Lounge - PART 2*

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by Aikimox, Sep 7, 2010.

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What is your EliteBook 8740w config (select one from each category)?

  1. Non-DreamColor 2 screen

    96 vote(s)
    35.0%
  2. DreamColor 2 Screen

    114 vote(s)
    41.6%
  3. Dual-core Processor

    64 vote(s)
    23.4%
  4. Quad-core Processor

    138 vote(s)
    50.4%
  5. ATI M7820 Graphics

    123 vote(s)
    44.9%
  6. Nvidia FX 2800M

    43 vote(s)
    15.7%
  7. Nvidia FX 3800M

    47 vote(s)
    17.2%
  8. Nvidia FX 5000M

    27 vote(s)
    9.9%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Judicator

    Judicator Judged and found wanting.

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    Chinese knockoff should be fine, just be careful because sometimes they don't quite fit.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
     
  2. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    First here's what this $50 "8740w turns off after 10 minutes, for parts" machine turned out to be (I got it this Friday)
    1. Dust thick like felt on the heat sink radiators, so thick no air was going through at all, even found a dead house fly in there!
    2. Battery latch is broken - battery does not "click in" - battery was connecting intermittently to laptop
    3. Operating system is infested with bloatware
    This is what I did:
    1. Removed the 3 keyboard screws, lifted the keyboard with a credit card, carefully lifted locking tabs to unfasten three flat ribbons
    2. Under the battery, removed 4 screws, using credit card lifted switch plate gently, there are several snaps, lift gently so as not to break them
    3. Removed CPU and Video card heat sinks
    4. Blew through outside of heat sink fins like one would an harmonica
    5. Wiped heat sinks and chips clean off their dried out heat sink compound
    6. Replaced with fresh heat sink compound and reinstalled heat sinks
    7. Connected keyboard and switch plate but did not screw everything back in yet
    This took less than 2 hours, it was my first time taking an 8740w apart. It is similar to the 8730w, except for the fact cleaning the heat sinks requires dismantling them, whereas on the 8730w you simply need to remove the fan, a half hour job to do it all.

    I then ran the whole series of BIOS hardware tests and it PASSED them all. During the 6 hours or so the tests ran:
    1. While running in BIOS diagnostic mode, the machine never shut itself down. Overheating CPU and Video card was indeed the problem.
    2. The battery was taped in place and charged normally. It never warmed up. It behaved as new, like the seller said it was.
    3. The OS takes forever to load and is full of crap, bloatware and tons of personal junk
    4. The exhaust is still quite warm at idle, whereas there is barely any heat coming out of my DC2 8740w
    Verdict? The problem was caused by excessive heat buildup due to tons of crap in the heat sink fins, dried out heat sink compound and the excessive heat produced by tons of crap in the software. But For $50 and a few hours of work this laptop turned out to be a great bargain, I simply need to reload a new OS. The battery latch issue remains to be fixed, but tape works well and I have a spare from a donor 8730w that I believe must be identical (since both models share the same battery).

    Screen comparison next post up. I there are any takers out there, I might do a separate dismantle post when I replace the battery latch mechanism.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  3. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Ok so here's a couple of pictures showing the standard and DC2 screens. To eliminate all bias due to software, I loaded Mini XP from Hiren's Boot CD and took pictures of the screen as I went into slide show mode with irfanview. This means that there is ZERO screen optimization - no dedicated driver not gamma curve enhancements.

    Photos taken with my Samsung galaxy Note 2, handheld, exposure value-2. No processing, as is from the camera.

    On the left, the $50 wonder that I just got, on the right, the DC2 machine which cost me $1150 4 years ago.


    Here's one showing a typical mountain and lake scene
    [​IMG]

    Here's a comparison of rendering of a photo of a macbeth color chart
    [​IMG]

    And here's a picture of two notepad++ window maximized
    [​IMG]

    If your screen is decently calibrated, you should notice:
    1. Standard screen is less contrasty than the DC2's
    2. Standard screen colors are less intense than the DC2's
    3. Standard screen has decent shadow detail, they are blocked on the DC2.
    4. Standard screen is slightly bluer, DC2 screen is significantly more magenta.
    5. Standard screen has a bit more light falloff at edges
    6. Standard screen is easier on the eyes on a white background (bluish white doesn't bother me as much as magenta white)
    However, calibrating and tweaking gamma curves does a LOT to improve things and will let the Dreamcolor shine right through the bland standard screen, but it is much more difficult to calibrate even with a color calibrator.

    The DC2 does have an Achilles heel - it's impossible to eliminate the backlight magenta cast manually like it is possible to do on the DC1 equipped 8730w by tuning the individual R, G and B LEDs : you need to purchase the separate and very expensive HP DreamColor Calibration Solution, which has a proprietary calibrated color puck and software to control the backlight.

    On a bright note, the "$50 Wonder" actually runs slightly cooler under MiniXP than the DC2 equipped machine running the exact same OS, whcih I would expect considering the i7 740M and the Nvidia 3800M are less power hungry than the i7 820M and Nvidia 500M ;)

    Hope it helps, I got to take some zzzs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  4. HiddenUser

    HiddenUser Notebook Evangelist

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    Thank you for your quick review. You said that it's possible to get rid of the magenta/green cast, right? It drives me crazy:
    With this calibration device, do you think my screen will be more evenly white? Will this solution be PERMANENT (e.g. settings will be stored on screen firmware)? Is this device very hard to set up? I'm a noob at screen calibration.

    On the other hand, the white LED screen is disappointing, save for the full white background.

    Thanks again
     
  5. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    I WISH I could tell you more because it drove me crazy as well and HP customer service at the time told me the "HP Dreamcolor Calibration Solution" was the only way to do what I wanted (correct the backlight white balance)... Trouble is I haven't been able to find that thing used at any decent price anywhere and haven't made the effort to actively look for one. Yeah, I know, that 8740w was an expensive purchase at the time that I didn't put to good use. Call it the uncle's Ferrari sitting on blocks taking on dust in a forgotten barn ;-)

    I would HOPE so... As it is much more precise but also more complex than straight calibration (which essentially tweaks the LCD itself to filter whatever color comes out, reducing dynamic range and contrast). In other words, It is supposed to actually write to the background R, G and B LED drivers individually to achieve perfect backlight white balance. As for being permanent, it may well be - my experience with the DC1 on the 8730w seems to indicate it is (Uninstalling the HP Mobile Display Assistant did not result in any color cast after I had to clean out the video card driver after a bungled card driver upgrade, although by uninstalling the HP Mobile Display Assistant, I lost the ability to change color spaces).

    No idea - All I can say is the white balance option is simply grayed out if you don't have the Calibration Solution and try to change values manually, like you can on the 8730w. Which is the crux of the problem: you can't use your own eyes like you can with the version of the HP Mobile Display Assistant that works with the DC1.

    HOWEVER, you COULD still calibrate the screen in the standard fashion by translating colors using a "Lookup Table" (LUT) calibration, which is basically writing your own filter so to speak to attain tge desired result. Fortunately, for this there is this amazing program called Calibrilla, it's by a Russian or Ukrainian programmer, translation and help isn't great (English is quite poor), but it WORKS and with it you should be able to easily correct dynamic range and general white balance, at the cost of reduced dynamic range and brightness. The only drawback is since it's all manual, it takes a LOT of time to get it perfect, especially getting grays to be evenly balanced over the whole brightness range ;-). I've used it AFTER setting the DC1 backlight white balance and it's wonderful (requires comparatively little tweaking as the backlight is already quite pure). On my NEC PA301W, the results are fantastic. An artist friend of mine looked at my screen yesterday when she passed by for a visit and was astonished at the results and she used to work in a color critical post production shop... So yes it can be done but be ready to spend a LOT of time to set it right if you're going the manual way.

    In other words, Calibrilla should at least make it possible to compensate for the lack of green intensity control (excess red and blue) by writing a curve that boosts greens everywhere, at the cost of a reduction in brightness intensity, of course.

    Agreed - BUT for day-to-day use writing documents looking at the screen straight on it's actually MUCH NICER than dealing with the eye hurting magenta cast, and it's MUCH NICER than the CCFL screen on the older 8730w!

    Bottom line, if I can't find a way to deal with backlight once I get to seriously work with the DC2 equipped 8740w, I may well end up using the $50 wonder and keeping the DC2 "on blocks in the barn" like I've been doing so far. Should I go the Calibrilla way on the DC2 like I suggested and if it gives satisfactory results, I'll make my curve available and I''ll let you tweak it further to your own liking ;-)

    IF you ever find the "HP Dreamcolor Calibration Solution" online for cheap please let me know! Just be aware that calibration pucks do "wear out" over time because the filter dyes change over time. So make sure you can return it if it doesn't work or get it for really cheap.

    Usually winter is a much quieter season for me so I may well spend some time comparing the white LED 8740w screen with the 8730w DC1, that should be interesting ;-)

    Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F using Tapatalk 2
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
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  6. HiddenUser

    HiddenUser Notebook Evangelist

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    Is there any help to use that tool? I don't want to get my white balance ruined. Could you help when you have your screen calibrated?

    Thanks a lot in advance :)
     
  7. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    You have to check the website, I used Google translate, if you need help I can give you a hand, no problem, I'll post something up in a few days when I come back home, I'm out of town on an assignment until next Monday.

    Sent from my SGH-I317M using Tapatalk 2
     
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  8. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    It's been busy for me lately but I have some time this weekend doing some work with the 8740w so if you need help with Calibrilla don't be shy!

    Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A10-70F using Tapatalk 2
     
  9. EternalTireKicker

    EternalTireKicker Notebook Enthusiast

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    Recently I have noticed an annoying phenomenon on my 8740W: Once in a while everything appears laggy, as if the whole OS and all the programs are running at 15-20 FPS. During this time games and other programs report a full 60 FPS as if nothing was wrong, yet nothing looks nearly as smooth as 60 FPS should. These lag spikes come and go at complete random, lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to upwards of 10 minutes. It's not correlated to any one program running, nor is it correlated to high CPU or RAM usage. What could be causing it?
     
  10. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Overheating? Low power output from your power supply?
     
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