*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. 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!
     
  2. 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?
     
  3. 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!...
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. 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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  6. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Indeed, I use the Thinkpad Soft Dome on my HP 8730w... Got about 10 spares, I tend to wear these things out quick, abrasive fingers ;-)

    I'm really glad, because that is precisely the reason I've been sticking with my DC equipped 8730ws and love my 30" NEC PA301W... Good screens are a must for intensive work... I just found another 8730w with an Nvidia FX 3700M card, he's asking $125 no battery, hopefully I'll be able to get it for $100 or less to be overhauled into yet another DC machine, the last one I gave to my son ;-)

    Great to know!!!
     
  7. StuckInÐeNearPast

    StuckInÐeNearPast Newbie

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    With regards to over/underclocking, the most prevalent program to use is MSI Afterburner; although it is designed with Nvidia GPU's in mind, it does work on ATIs/AMDs as well.

    After loading up Afterburner, it recognised my ATI Firepro M7820 as such, locked out the core voltage and core power limit options and let me change the core clock and memory clock sliders. By default these max out at the normal limits of 700 MHz and 1000 Mhz respectively, quickly lowering them to 600/900 and booting FurMark confirmed that the GPU was in fact only cycling up to those frequencies and with a corresponding loss of performance.

    In the options menu there is a specific section for AMD GPUs, where I selected the "extend official overclocking limits" option. After a reboot I could now take the core clock upto 900 and memory to 1300. Turning them upto 750 and 1050 and loading up FurMark confirmed again that the M7820 clocked up from idle to these new maximums.

    Again my testing of GPU performance consisted of 3DMark03, 06 and Vantage with the results present using the default config scores from my last table and the new overclocked scores. The benchmarks were only run once without averaging runs, with approximately 10 minutes between benchmarks to allow the GPU to cool back down to the low 40's. Any subscores the benchmarks throw out are written in brackets in the same order they are given by the software.

    3DMark03: 39255 3DMarks (1795), 41006 3DMarks (1823) [750-1050 OC] +4.461%
    3DMark06: 12785 3DMarks (5548/6293/2886), 13075 3DMarks (5737/6474/2886) [750-1050 OC] +3.407%/+2.876%
    3DMark Vantage Entry: E18210 (33068/7755), E18360 (34146/7692) [750-1050 OC] +3.260%
    3DMark Vantage Performance: P8083 (8259/7598), P8472 (8739/7761) [750-1050 OC] +5.812%
    3DMark Vantage High: H5566 (5299/7792), H5845 (5604/7733) [750-1050 OC] +5.756%
    3DMark Vantage Extreme: X3913 (3814/7738), X4149 (4050/7745) [750-1050 OC] +6.188%

    As you can see the percentage increases in scores (only based off of the GPU score, ignoring the CPU values) scale quite nicely with how CPU limited the benchmark is (although why 3DMark03 gets off better than 06 is a bit of a mystery as generally older 3D programs are CPU limited). Given that these benchmarks are only approximately 10-15 minutes long with a short break for CPU tests part way through, my Temps only hit 75 degrees, no proper stability testing was made and core voltages were not changed, this was more a proof of theory test than anything more rigorous or permanent.

    As an aside, the M7820/Mobility Radeon HD5870 is basically an underclocked HD5770 which has clockspeeds of 850 and 1200 and an official TDP of 108W vs. our 50W. So aside from chip binning, more robust graphics board power delivery systems and increasing core voltages a bit, the M7820 might be able to hit those clockspeeds, but at the expense of doubling the heat output

    Conclusion/TL;DR:

    MSI Afterburner makes it easy to downclock GPUs for lower power consumption or overclock for more performance. M7820 officially tops out at 700/1000 so needs an extra tick box checked to allow for overclocking.

    A 6.071% overclock led to an increase in performance between 2.876% and 6.188% depending on how GPU limited the benchmark was.
    Stability was not tested and the GPU core voltage was not changed from the default 1.05V
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
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  8. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    • Great post. I'd heard of Afterburner, and will try it.

    Being untutored in underclocking/overclocking, if anybody has any suggestions for where to push the sliders with a 5000M to bring down power consumption, I'd really appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
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  9. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    So Afterburner will work on any machine… It's not dedicated to MSI?

    Another tech wizard on these forums suggested decreasing both core and memory equally in 50 MHz increments, so that's what I'm going to do.

    Does Afterburner give a reading of energy consumption?

    Thanks!
     
  10. StuckInÐeNearPast

    StuckInÐeNearPast Newbie

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    Yes, Afterburner works on any card/machine, not just MSI.

    I am new to overclocking myself, I just thought I'd give it a go and see what the results were like. Now considering power usage scales linearly with frequency, and for example the Quadro 5000M has a default clock of 810 MHz and 2400 MHz, if you decrease those by 50 MHz to 760 and 2350, the TDP should theoretically drop form 100W to 96W assuming both the GPU core and Memory chips use equal amounts of power. A more aggressive drop to 610 and 2200 would equal 83.5W power and so on.

    Afterburner might be able to give power readings, but only on newer GPUs which have more advanced monitoring built in. With cards as old as the ones allowed by default in the 8740w, we just have to keep an eye on the temperatures and guess power usage (unless you have a socket based power usage meter).
     
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