*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-DreamColor2 screen

    94 vote(s)
    34.9%
  2. DreamColor 2 Screen

    113 vote(s)
    42.0%
  3. Dual-core Processor

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

    137 vote(s)
    50.9%
  5. ATI M7820 Graphics

    120 vote(s)
    44.6%
  6. Nvidia FX 2800M

    43 vote(s)
    16.0%
  7. Nvidia FX 3800M

    47 vote(s)
    17.5%
  8. Nvidia FX 5000M

    27 vote(s)
    10.0%
  1. 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
  2. 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
     
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  3. 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.
     
  4. 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' ;)
     
  5. 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
  6. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    I'm not sure since I haven't tried, but AFAIK it's only an issue with the 5000M...

    I completely agree regarding the 16x10 format, I can't stand further squished 'vertically challenged' 16:9 screens and honestly, physiologically, it's much more comfortable using a 4:3 screen than even a 16:10 especially if you can't place menus on the side (most apps don't allow that) but yeah, since there simply are no options anymore for anything along the naturally more comfortable 4:3 we must hold on to our 16:10 machines... I have 3 DC1 spare screens for the 8730w as we speak, a couple of spare FX 2700Ms and a couple of light sensor chips and cables which you need to mod a regular 8730w into a DC1 8730w for when I get a chance to snatch another 8730w ;)

    Regarding the DC2, since my DC2 8740w has an unresolved backlight white balance issues (I was never able to find a way to actually tune the RGB backlight like is so easy to do on the DC1), I haven't 'jumped' on any 8740w occasion, but mind you they are exceedingly rare in my parts and since the 8730w is such a wonderful machine to me with its DC1, especially when viewed straight on, I haven't paid much attention to the 8740w. If it wasn't for the magenta cast (I can't look at a white page for more than a few minutes on the 8740w without experiencing severe discomfort) I would have probably gone more into it, but having perfect color discrimination, a great advantage when working with pictures, is a curse whenever one has to work with anything that isn't perfectly balanced. Just to let you know, I also use 5500K high CRI lighting at home, just can't stand anything yellow (the so-called 'warm white') or pink (the 'grow lights' that are touted to be so 'natural')...

    I agree!!! I certainly would as well, but I would make sure to get a non backlit keyboard, because the backlit keyboard on the 8740w frankly is, excuse my saying, a piece of s**t. I would never again buy sight unseen like one does on eBay precisely for these reasons (screen and keyboard feel). I did for the Thinkpad, but hey, my first laptop was one and I know how superlative they are built and besides, I'm sure you would also have bought a 4:3 IBM Thinkpad for $30 even if it was 15 years old, right?

    Indeed - that would be the holy grail to find a way to reduce power consumption... You probably would have to underclock the card and find ways to disable parts of the circuitry... And that's heavy into hardware territory, not sure you'll find answers here!
     
  7. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    Well, I must be on a completely different planet, as my experience is markedly different. Both of my DC 2 screens seem flawless, the best I've seen on a laptop. I also have the backlit keyboards, and love them. I don't see any bulge, and although it took me a little time to get accustomed, now prefer the keyboard to my ThinkPad T60P. I was most concerned about the feel of the trackpoint, but now prefer that as well.

    Underclocking the GPU sounds like a good idea, and I'm wondering if the program Throttlestop could achieve that?
     
  8. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks for this reassurance - but like I said 8740ws are extremely rare here and I've NEVER never seen any DreamColor machines (of ANY type) at all in the local ads, and ours is a 3 million city. So it's hard to know, besides, I'm far from the only person with this issue with the DC2. It's been mentioned by quite a few others here as well.

    That being said, have you seen both DC2 and non-DC2 side by side? I've posted a comparison of mine a couple years back when I got my $50 non DC2 wonder that shows what I'm talking about. I'll look for the exact post and post a link to it when I find it and would love to hear your comments if you find it before me ;)

    Keyboards are truly a matter of preference - I like 'high force' and high travel keyboards with small tops and big spaces between keys because I'm quite a clumsy typist... So flat keyboards with shallow travel, little feedback and wide keys just don't do it for me...

    The funny thing about it is that when I got my first non-Trackpoint, touchpad equipped laptop, the Toshiba P205, I was really upset not having a Trackpoint as I was so used with the excellent one on my first Thinkpad (I even drew with it) but after a few years of hee-hawing about it, when I got my first HP Elitebook precisely for that reason (it had a pointing stick), I found that the Touchpad was easier to use!

    So when I got the Thinkpad I tried the TrackPoint and to my dismay found it to be only marginally better than the HP's, and the TrackPad still easier to use! I had lost all dexterity with the Trackpoint :(

    But honestly it's hard to compare movement and precision on a 1024x768 screen with that on a 1920x1200 screen, besides the HP's is concave whereas the Thinkpad is convex... So I guess one would have to compare them at identical resolution and with the same head type ;)

    No idea, never heard of it before, but thanks for mentioning it, I'll have a look!...
     
  9. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    With regards to the track point, you can apparently swap the little rubber tips and get a convex one if you like. (the IBM tips work on the HP) Personally, I find the concave one more comfortable.

    With regards to the DC 2 screen, it is one of the few screens I've ever used that doesn't give me eyestrain or eye fatigue, which is primarily why I'm sold on it.
     
  10. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    Apparently Nvidia System Tools allows easy down clocking of the GPU, so that should tame the 5000Ml power consumption.
     
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