HP ZBook Studio G3 Owner's Review

Discussion in 'HP' started by Billy Cantor, Jan 23, 2016.

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  1. richard.dill

    richard.dill Newbie

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    Hi:

    I would REALLY like to know if any of this has been worked (new EVO drivers?) ? Was there anymore information?

    Thanks
     
  2. jfong

    jfong Newbie

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    Hi,

    I'm on the verge of purchasing the zBook Studio G3 but I have a few questions. I have tried looking online, searching the forum and looking at the spec/self repair manuals but I haven't been able to find a complete answer. I hope those who have already purchased or know the answer could help me out:

    1) Has anyone tried connecting to an external Thunderbolt 3 graphics dock - ie. the Razor Core to connect a real desktop level GPU? Does it work?I have heard that HP laptops are quick picky on these external peripherals. For example, I have heard that the new Spectre is not compatible with non-HP usb C docks (http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/hps-usb-c-charger-lock-crisis-explained.69523/) I wonder if this is the same with the thunderbolt ports.

    2) I guess this is similar to the above question: Has anyone tried connected any thunderbolt peripherals that is not made by HP? Does it work?

    3) I know this is a weird/technical question (similar to a previous question in this post) - does anyone know if the HDMI port are connected to the NVidia dgpu or is it connected to the Intel iGPU or does it have a physical hardware mux for switching? This is kinda an important question for 2 reasons: 1. Installing Linux. As Linux doesn't really work well with Optimus ( I know some people have been able to get it to work but it's not painless) so I may want to completely disable either the iGPU or dGPU. 2. I believe the port interface off the dGPU supports more features. My current laptop(Asus G750j with a Nvidia 860m) has the ports connected to the iGPU - what this means is that I can only simultaneously drive 3 monitors (even though the 860m can support more than 3 monitors). Also, if the dGPU supports Gsync but the ports are connected to the iGPU, you are still not able to utilize that feature.

    4) Whether it is possible to fit a 2.5" SSD into the laptop? I saw an earlier discussion and the Service Guide pdf file. It seems like it is possible but I saw some post that suggest it is not. Have the owners here opened up the bottom to verify whether this is possible to upgrade to a 2.5" SSD/HDD? I want to do that because they are cheaper for larger capacity.

    5) Has anyone tried the HP Thunderbolt 3 Dock? The website suggest that it could charge the laptop through the Thunderbolt port, can anyone verify this?

    This is my first time posting on this forum. Sorry for asking so many "weird' questions but this is not a small investment for me and I want to be sure that the computer is going to be a good upgrade from my current one. I have found a good deal for university students in Hong Kong. For the price of approximately 1675USD, you get the following specs:

    CPU Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz turbo up to 3.5GHZ, 6MB L3 Cache)
    Memory 2 x 8GB DDR4 2133MHz (Max. 32GB) / 0 Free Slot
    Storage 256GB Z Turbo Drive + 256GB SSD
    Display 15.6" FHD anti-glare UWVA IPS LED (1920 x 1080)
    Graphics NVIDIA® Quadro M1000M (4 GB dedicated GDDR5)

    I am really itching to buy this.. haha. But I'm also looking at the Lenovo P70, P50 and the Dell Precision. Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

    Jeffrey
     
  3. richard.dill

    richard.dill Newbie

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    Hi:

    I have the HP zBook Studio with the pcie turbo ssd (256gb. Hp will leave you roughly 100gb on that drive with Win 7 pro.)

    First, you only have an m.2 connection for a second drive. Second, the Samsung 950 EVO pcie will work, but Win 7 can't find the correct driver at bootup and it will change boot time to around 2 minutes. After boot, it works fine. If there is fix for this, I was unable to find it. On the other hand, the Samsung sm951 pcie works fine. I opted for that because I wanted a fast boot up. As far as I know, the trade off was a 3 year warranty on the sm951 versus a 5 yr warranty on the 950 pro. There is a 1tb sm961 on the way, but I decided that it was likely (a different controller) going to exhibit boot up problems and I opted for 512gb on the sm951 with 32gb of memory. The laptop will also accommodate a sata 3, but again with the m.2 form factor. There's no way to use a standard 2.5" ssd with this laptop.

    I am using the latest docking station (Thunderbolt 3) with the zStudio to accommodate the Dell UP2516D (amazing monitor). It works great. The monitor will not present anything during boot, but as soon as the login prompt is painted, the monotor then detects video and illuminates. It looks slower because the monitor video signal detection is slower, but in fact, boot up is as fast as ever.

    It works great. I have not serially connected the dock to another Thunderbolt 3 device and cannot speak to daisey chaining or the need (or not) to specify a primary Thunderbolt 3 connection. I got my laptop new on ebay ($1150), my deskdock from provantage. Both have been wonderful.
     
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  4. richard.dill

    richard.dill Newbie

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    Just a short follow up: My laptop came with 8GB memory. I bought 32GB from crucial and sold the original 8gb DIMM on ebay.
     
  5. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    So far, I don't think anyone has tried a Razer Core with the Zbook Studio yet. In theory it should work but how well it does depends on how reliable the Thunderbolt 3 port is on the Zbook. I don't think there have been as many updates published by HP for the Zbook as Dell has for the XPS 15, so it could be either good or bad.
    When the laptop is configured to be in Optimus mode, the only port connected directly to the iGPU is the built in LCD display. I have verified this with xrandr debugging output in Linux, and I think there is a technical document on HP's website somewhere that supports it.
    Looking at the Studio's mainboard, it appears that it is missing an optional soldered connector labelled JHDD1 that was meant for a 2.5 inch HDD. My guess is late in the design of the machine they decided to only offer it with 2x M.2 Drives as the Zbook 15 G3 is available with a M.2 drive + 2.5 HDD configuration.
    The Thunderbolt 3 dock has a power cable integrated with the thunderbolt cable, with both the power connector and thunderbolt connector being used on the laptop while docked.

    If your university allows you to CTO your laptop, try ordering a model without the Nvidia Quadro M1000M. It will be cheaper by a couple hundred dollars, and will have less headache running Linux on the machine, and likely better battery life as well. I wouldn't bother with a Lenovo P50 / P70 under Linux. There are some showstopping incompatibilities that prevent those machines from running smoothly, and I have only gotten "We don't care" answers from Lenovo's tech support despite them listing them as Redhat / Ubuntu certified... The precision should be a great option.
     
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  6. jfong

    jfong Newbie

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    Thank you win32asmguy the response and answers to my questions. It's very helpful. Unfortunately my university doesn't allow to CTO the laptop so I'll have to either stick with the default configuration or find a Dell that suits my needs.

    The thing that I really like about the HP is that it has 2 thunderbolt ports so I really worry about the reliability of the Thunderbolt 3 ports on the zBook. How is the reliability of the Thunderbolt on the Dells? I've seen on the Razor Core blog that the Dell is quite unstable - often resulting in BSOD and many firmware updates have been issued over the past few months. If that is the case, that may be a show stopper for me.

    Also thank u RIchard for your response. That's an amazing price that your got! The dock seems to be a must get, if I buy the computer.
     
  7. seadan

    seadan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Has anyone been able to directly compare the Dreamcolor UHD display to the non-Dreamcolor UHD display? Any comments to share? And, does DC have any noticeable impact on battery life for those who have it?
     
  8. Manosk

    Manosk Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi, I'm going to buy the following ZBook Studio G3:

    Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
    16 GB DDR4-2133 (2 x 8 GB)
    SSD HP Z Turbo Drive PCIe 512 GB
    NVIDIA Quadro M1000M (4GB GDDR5)
    Display 4K-UHD not DreamColor

    Adding just 20 euros, I could have a DreamColor UHD-4k display but I should wait a few weeks for the delivery.

    If I understanding correctly the DreamColor display is factory-calibrated and this is very important when color accuracy is critical for the user (photography, video).

    But, apart for the calibration, is there any difference between the DC and not DC UHD displays in terms of panel manufacturer/model/quality, brightness, viewing angles, power consumption?

    I've read somewhere that they are basically the same panel and the only difference is that the DC display is factory calibrated. Is it right?

    Is there any drawback with DreamColor? Why someone should NOT want DreamColor?
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  9. ov1814

    ov1814 Newbie

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    DC vs nonDC 4kUHD price difference is very small like mentioned above, 20USD ....
     
  10. W123

    W123 Notebook Geek

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    Its worth it, because you can easily change color spaces. Say you're editing photos in AdobeRGB, then want to surf the web. Well, the web will look crappy on AdobeRGB because its "written" for SRGB. Dreamcolor laptops are factory calibrated and thus can change color space with 2 clicks... so super useful.

    Got mine today, and am pretty impressed. Its rock solid, and luckily im not seeing any keyboard flex at all like some people noticed. The only QC issue i've noticed is the backspace key is a bit louder than the rest of the keys. Fans dont go too crazy either but i havent done anything demanding yet as im still setting it up.
     
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