*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. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    On one of my 8740Ws there's frequently a sound like a hard drive making noises at startup from the upper right hand corner of the keyboard, but but this machine has an SSD. What could it be?
    My second machine is completely silent.
     
  2. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Just wondering if that's not too obvious, but could it be the DVD drive? That's about the right location according to your description ;)
     
  3. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    That was pretty silly of me. Of course you're probably right. My other machine has an SSD and a 1 TB drive, so it wouldn't sound the same.

    Is it normal for the DVD drive to announce itself in such a spirited fashion?
     
  4. StuckInÐeNearPast

    StuckInÐeNearPast Newbie

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    Hello,

    I've been an owner of the 8740w for two years now and have checked in on this forum every so often during my ownership (and beforehand during initial research) and I feel it's time for me to post something/get some advice.

    Specs:

    (As far as I'm aware this is how the machine was originally speced by its previous owner)

    Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit
    Intel Core i5-560M
    ATI Firepro M7820
    2x2GB Samsung DDR3 RAM (I checked the motherboard, only two slots)
    320GB 7200rpm WD SATA HDD, currently at 3% fragmented
    DVD/RW Drive
    1680x1050 Display, obviously not Dreamcolour but never having seen one, I can probably manage
    120W PSU
    Original HP Battery with HWinfo showing basically 0% wear
    F.20 BIOS

    Note on GFX Card Drivers:

    So for laughs I'd thought I would see how the laptop handles emulating the PS3 via RPCS3 knowing that the laptop would meet the minimum system requirements. Except after trying it out it didn't, because the newest drivers off of AMD's website from May 2012 only got me to OpenGL 4.1, and the emulator needed 4.3. Going to HP's website, the latest they supplied were from November 2012, and this brought me up to OpenGL 4.2. A slightly exhaustive search of google later (using .inf files for assistance) led me to Softpedia's database of HP AMD Firepro Mobility drivers and the newest one with official M7820 support (with the M7820 listed in the unmodified .inf files but not necessarily inside the HP 8740w, but what other HP laptop could of had it installed?) was the HP AMD Firepro Mobility 14.3 set from December 2014, which finally got me to OpenGL 4.4 along with the new feature of EDID Emulation/override. The emulator ran better than I expected, but not full speed, but that wasn't the main take away from this story.

    GFX Benchmark Issue:

    What I actually came here to ask was this, I know that in 3DMark06 this laptop should score around 12,000 3DMarks, however in my last run I got 7986 with a breakdown 3066 SM2.0, 3439 SM3.0 and 2902 CPU. This was with the laptop running off the mains with CCC overrides turned off so I have no idea why the GPU is scoring so low, I also get a 3DMark03 score of 23646 if anyone wants an older baseline. Would the low wattage power supply be an issue? I was thinking it might be because the dual core CPU's only allow for PCI-E 1.1 and not 2.0, but other peoples dual cores bench just fine.

    Upgrading:

    In light of this, would anyone recommend upgrading the CPU? I'm almost certainly going to get more RAM, although 8GB should do me just fine. Would anyone recommend the i7-920/940XM with some mild ThrottleStop assistance or would the i7-640M as the fastest dual core suffice? I don't do any CAD work, or transcode videos often, and my gaming interests are mostly pre 2010, when games weren't multi threaded too well.

    Thank you to all those who read all the way to the end.

    TL:DR:

    ATI M7820 with newest drivers only scores 2/3 what it should in 3DMark06, any ideas why?
     
  5. Charles P. Jefferies

    Charles P. Jefferies Lead Moderator Super Moderator

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    Welcome. Here's a few things to try. While running your benchmarks, let HWMonitor: https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html run in the background. Check your CPU/GPU temperatures afterward and make sure they are under control.
    Also get GPU-Z: https://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/ and turn on the logging feature. Let that run while 3DMark is in progress. Afterwards check the log and verify the card is hitting its specified core/memory clocks.

    With regards to upgrading to a quad-core, I think it was discussed some pages back in this thread that it is possible to install a quad-core CPU in the 8740w dual-core motherboard. You'll probably want to get an upgraded CPU heatsink if possible; the heatsink the 8740w dual-core models were equipped with wasn't as robust.
    That said, I wouldn't recommend upgrading to the quad-core chip in this notebook. The first-generation i7 mobile chips were relatively poor performers. They'll fare better than the dual-core chips in a heavily-threaded scenario, such as rendering/encoding, but won't be as responsive in day-to-day usage as the dual-core chips. The quad-core chips don't have nearly as high of clocks, and most apps depend on burst operations where high clocks are advantageous.

    The best upgrade for overall performance that you can do is install an SSD. The 320GB hard drive you have is horribly slow by modern standards. Even a basic Western Digital Green SSD will be light years ahead. The Green drives are good for the money.
    8GB of RAM would also help, but the 8740w is based on almost 10-year old technology at this point, so investing more than some throwaway money isn't sensible.

    Charles
     
  6. bobmook

    bobmook Notebook Consultant

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    I have several 8740w's, restoring them has become a pet project of sorts. The one I have upgraded to a gtx 860m serves as my main spare (I have modified the corresponding inf files for it in 416 driver and will attempt to attach ) My wife is using a model with the DC 2 screen and the Firepro 7820 and my up question is this ,,,,,are there any recommended tweaks for that gpu as it *almost* achieves the sort of speed gpu wise I'm looking for........

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/d6hrf5f2tsre9b3/nvbli.inf/file
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  7. StuckInÐeNearPast

    StuckInÐeNearPast Newbie

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    Thank you for the reply Charles, after doing some more investigating with the help of GPU-Z, FurMark and multiple 3DMarks I have come to a conclusion on the issue.

    The M7820 appears to have four power states, the base state with a Core clock of 100 MHz and a Memory clock of 150 MHz, then 300/400, 400/500 and finally 700/1000 as the highest power state. If you run the laptop off of battery power, you are limited to base at idle and 300/400 on load, if you boot the laptop from the mains you get base at idle and 700/1000 on load. If however you boot off of the battery and then plug in the mains as I have been doing so recently, the card will become locked in the 400/500 state, even when the GPU should be idling. This leads to the disparity in any benchmarks performed on the machine and I haven't quite figured out if this is a driver issue (although I don't really want to downgrade the drivers because then I'd lose OpenGL 4.3/4.4 support) or an unfixable bug with this particular card.

    As part of my tests I ran 3DMark03, 06 and Vantage in all three power states and compiled this unformatted table. These are single measurements without averaging runs, but from previous runs I didn't write down the scores have a little variation in them. Scores are written with lowest power state first and any subscores the benchmarks throw out are written in brackets in the same order they are given by the software, notice how the CPU scores stay vaguely the same.

    3DMark03: 19028 3DMarks (1690), 23647 3DMarks (1806), 39255 3DMarks (1795)
    3DMark06: 6550 3DMarks (2454/2713/2845), 7992 3DMarks (3074/3439/2895), 12785 3DMarks (5548/6293/2886)
    3DMark Vantage Entry: E12904 (16335/7915), E14466 (20295/7771), E18210 (33068/7755)
    3DMark Vantage Performance: P3821 (3260/7893), P4853 (4317/7735), P8083 (8259/7598)
    3DMark Vantage High: H2335 (2081/7587), H3058 (2763/7719), H5566 (5299/7792)
    3DMark Vantage Extreme: X1554 (1492/7531), X2068 (1991/7619), X3913 (3814/7738)

    Conclusion/TL;DR:

    Battery → M7820 clocks at 300 core/400 memory under load
    Battery then Mains → M7820 clocks at 400/500 at all times
    Mains → M7820 clocks at 700/1000 under load as it should
    Mains then Battery → M7820 clocks at 300/400 under load
    Mains then Battery then Mains → M7820 clocks at 400/500 at all times

    Don't boot from battery and stay on the mains for full performance
     
    triturbo likes this.
  8. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    What is the best GPU for the 8740W in terms of performance, then in terms of energy consumption, and lastly which GPU is the best balance between the two?

    Also, are there any third party batteries that will work with machines with the Dreamcolor 2? One of my machines has a 5000M, and the other has the lower powered 1MB AMD (can't think of the model number right down). I'm pondering upgrading the latter.
     
  9. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Well I can tell you this - I have a machine with the 3800M and another with the 5000M and the 5000M is truly a 'gas guzzler', like an old big block V8... It can easily consume 75 watts just doing simple stuff like typing and go all the way to 150W for heavy duty stuff. That machine is NOT a laptop - it's a portable workstation.

    The battery on this machine is mostly a UPS, because you'd be lucky even with the HP original (if you are willing to plunk $200 for it) to run more than 1.5 hours with it, during which it runs really hot. This machine should have gotten a 12 cell main battery option like some Thinkpads have. Using it with the 12 cell secondary pack is practically a must. If there was an option to combine both battery packs to reduce strain on the individual cells it would be much better for longevity as well. An unfinished project of mine (I keep recuperating batteries and battery control boards but never got got to build myself a battery pack spot welder)

    Then of course there is the dreaded 'replace the main battery pack' error that prevents you from booting the 5000M equipped machine on battery if it's not equipped with the 5000M-approved OEM battery pack (any other battery pack even OEM simply won't work) if the laptop is running a more recent BIOS, which, like is now so rampant with so many manufacturers nowadays, is ENCRYPTED AND CANNOT BE DOWNGRADED (you need to REMOVE THE BATTERY and use the power supply to start and only then latch the battery in). So if your 5000M equipped machine actually boots with its battery I would STRONGLY suggest you preciously keep the battery controller when the battery dies to rebuild the pack because it has been extremely difficult to find aftermarket replacement that work (impossible for me so far). Unless of course you don't mind paying HP extortionate prices for one (better make that 2 because even then it doesn't last much more than 1.5 hours).

    The 3800M equipped machine is actually quite nice and although it doesn't run the DC2 panel, the standard CCFL isn't bad at all. I made comparisons a while back and the difference is such that in fact, I prefer to look at the NON DC2 panel because of the DC2's excessive magenta cast...

    So I would say it depends on your use case - if you're thinking 'transportable workstation' with an external screen and have the applications that can make use of the Cuda cores the 5000M is great provided you have the right drivers but if you can't have access to a power you're much better off with a less energy consuming machine. Have you seen the size of the brick you need to run this monster?

    Finally... I haven't seen any successful upgrade from a non-DC2 to a DC2 machine, unlike the upgrade for the 8730w. So if your goal is to get a machine with the intent of upgrading the screen to DC2... It's never been done AFAIK. Charles Jefferies and the other early adopters of this machine could probably tell you more about it. My bit in this is these machines are much less upgrade friendly than their predecessor, the 8730w. The main battery pack error issue and the fact the BIOS is encrypted starting from that version and the fact the hardware changes required is very significant makes it not worth it modding these machines. Heck now I'm always asking for BIOS version when I purchase old machines and stay away from anything that says 'Windows 10 upgraded' (I am partial to Windows XP and Windows 98 and hate everything that came after that - just got myself a delightful Thinkpad T42, what a blast!). People don't realize the folly of 'upgrading' old machines. It's like installing a chip to control the motor an old Corvette. No one in their right mind would do it.

    Well here you have it... Hopefully someone else will chime in. Not too many of us still using these venerable machines... As for myself you will have to 'pry my 8730w (and 8740w) from my cold dead hands' ;)
     
  10. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    Both my machines are DC 2, and I am delighted with both panels. I know that the 5000M Is a gas guzzler, and wonder what I should replace it with if I still want power for video applications and games. If I swap out the GPU, can I use a third party battery successfully SP?

    Given the fact that the DC 2 16 x 10 is the best laptop screen I've ever seen, I don't think upgrading and maintaining these machines is folly at all.

    Both of my machines are practically new, with little use from the previous owners, and if I can find another pristine one of these machines, with their incredible build quality, I will buy another.

    I wonder if it would be possible to decrease the power consumption of the 5000M through some kind of power sipping application.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
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