What are the possible CPU upgrades for HP EliteBook 8760w?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Smerdjakov, Aug 25, 2017.

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  1. maxH1812

    maxH1812 Newbie

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    Hi Smerdjakov,
    I just got the laptop and am also planning upgrades - we should share notes! How did you get on with the gtx 980m upgrade? Did it work out?
    cheers
     
  2. Smerdjakov

    Smerdjakov Notebook Guru

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    Hi Max!

    Sadly, I have to inform you that in the end, I didn't do the upgrade. The minimal price of a new GTX 980M is around 450€. This is half the price of a solid gaming laptop (I'm buying Acer Helios 300 next year, which costs around 1100€); I quickly realised that this is just too much money (I'm not very rich) for a minimal upgrade, while I can afford a fully new system with better overall specs if I just wait another year. But yes, I am glad to share my findings with you:

    1. IMPORTANT: before you decide to upgrade, you must know how to open the system! Without extensive knowledge you may cause malfunctioning in your system. So again, you must master every inch of your device before you decide to upgrade it. Here is a video that might help you out.

    2. In order for GTX 980M to work, you will have to flash GPU BIOS (also named vBIOS). This process is quite dangerous and can brick your device if you don't know exactly what you're doing. As a safety repercussion, I advise you to make a copy of both your motherboard BIOS and vBIOS. In case anything goes wrong you can open the system and flash the old BIOS exactly where it's supposed to be. I warn you though that if you make such a mistake, the tools needed for its removal are quite pricey - BIOS flashing setup is around 60€ these days. I suggest you to go with this one.

    3. Once you have your vBIOS flashed and card firmly installed in your system, you can begin smoothing the edges, i.e, it's time for the fine work. Drivers that will work with your "illegal" combination (HP never meant to put a 980 into an Elitebook, hence a lot of driver problems) are mostly from Chinese iCafes. You can check my other threads, where I discuss this matter in depth with some very qualified people, including @Mr. Fox . Also, don't shy away from looking up forums for 8770w, as the drivers will work identically on both systems (I presume).

    I hope this helped you. I wish you a lot of success in your endeavours!
     
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  3. maxH1812

    maxH1812 Newbie

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    Hi Jakov,

    Thank you for taking the time to make such a helpful update. I agree that the gtx 980m is very expensive, and maybe not worth it when new laptops with gtx 1050 or 1050ti GPU and faster motherboards, CPUs / RAM can be bought for about twice the money. I'm also not very rich!

    I have decent physical experience with CPU and GPU upgrades and BIOS flashing, but not so much on the custom drivers. Thanks for sending the video link - I have watched that a couple of times, and it is useful. Also the flashing tools! I must admit that the fine detail on the from the Chinese iCafes sounds like quite a labyrinth and pretty daunting! I was assuming that because Eurocom sells the GTX 980m as an offocial upgrade kit for the 8760w then maybe the drivers might be included in their package. There's also a Eurocom shop on ebay (named "upgradeyourlaptop") who seems legit and mentions windows 8 and 10 compatibility.

    In my case and a more modest GPU upgrade might make more sense (currently have the base Quadro 3000m. Looking at the price/performance ratio, probably a GTX 770m or 780m ($120 / $220) would be a good enough upgrade. I'm not a gamer, I'm using this mainly for video editing, so I don't need bleeding edge GPU performance, just a 'pretty good' speed and a decent amount of GPU RAM. Did you happen to learn whether installing a gtx 770m / 780m (or other GTX you might recommend) would be easier on the bios / drivers side of things?

    My first step will probably be to upgrade the CPU from the basic i7-2620M 2.7 2-core, to maybe a i7-2860QM @ 2.50GHz for around $95. Then some extra system RAM. If the graphics is then still a bottleneck, I'll attempt a GPU upgrade.

    Thanks again for your really helpful advice!
     
  4. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    See:
    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=872&cmp[]=886

    For video editing max out the RAM on your system first with your current GPU/CPU. 16GB RAM is still very low (the max that the platform supports) for video editing, but it will be a huge step up from 8GB or less that you have now, depending on the software and workflow used.

    The CPU upgrade you're considering will not be noticeable in single threaded operations, even if multithreading will be almost 84% faster.

    The most important thing to be aware of is that the processor you have now is a 35W unit and the desired one is 45W. Even if you get it to work; if it throttles for any reason, you may get worse productivity/performance from it than what you currently have.

    See:
    https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=1547&cmp[]=2534&cmp[]=2536

    For the GPU, you have to be careful of the same thing. The GTX 780M is a 122W TDP card vs. the 75W card you have now.

    Personally, I don't think the GTX 770M is worth 'upgrading' to - for video editing duties - even if it has the same 75W TDP.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Raidriar

    Raidriar Notebook Virtuoso

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    if your cooling system can handle a 2920XM it really is a no brainer. Get throttlestop and crank up the multipliers. I have my 2920XM running at 4.4Ghz 4 cores with no added voltage and it is an absolute beast, destroys all intel mobile CPUs (barring desktop chips stuffed into laptops) and can hold its turbo indefinitely (unlike newer soldered CPUs...)
     
  6. maxH1812

    maxH1812 Newbie

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    Great - thank you both!
    The unit is arriving with me in a few days, so I'll be sure to thoroughly check the internals.

    My understanding was that all the 8760w machines have 4 RAM slots, but if you have a dual core CPU, it can only address 2 slots of memory (max 16GB). Are you saying that the dual core processor version of the 8760w (which I believe you also had/have) only has 2 physical slots (so maximum 16GB) even if I upgrade to a 4 core CPU? Or just that with dual core only 2 slots are addressable? Either way, I'm only doing hobby video editing, and 16GB will probably be good enough (though always nice to have the option for 32GB).

    I had read about the more frequent throttling of higher watt CPUs under heavy load, and I know that for single thread applications, its mainly the clock speed that counts (so the 2-core would do pretty well). However, most of the video editing software is multi-core optimized, so I'd like to go to 4-core. Even the service manual officially states 8760w support for the 2820QM and 2920XM, so I would really like to go upgrade to one of those, probably the 45 watt one for lower heat / throttling. @Raidriar - are you running your 2920XM in a 8760w? Or in an Alienware? Maybe the Alienware has better cooling?

    Thanks for reminding me that the GTX 780m draws upto 121 watts - that could certainly be a major problem. I that case, the GTX 770m (same 75watt power draw / heat as the quadro 3000m) would still probably be a significant upgrade because it has 83% better G3D score as well as more VRAM. The video editing software really makes more use of the GPU than CPU in most scenarios.

    I'm just a bit confused as to whether I could install any generic MXM 3.0b card, such as the gtx 770m, or whether I would need a specific variant of such a card intended specifically for the 8760w? I've seen GTX 770m MXM cards for around $130, so not too crazy - seems a decent price/performance ratio for my usage scenario. Any tips on whether I would need a specific type for the 8760w??

    Many thanks
     
  7. Raidriar

    Raidriar Notebook Virtuoso

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    I am running it in the Alienware M18x, but I see that the 8760w has the 2920XM as a factory option. It is likely that they have a different CPU heatsink/fan combo for supporting the 2920XM, I would dig into that if I were you through a parts manual or something.
     
  8. maxH1812

    maxH1812 Newbie

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    Good advice - thanks. It is indeed a factory option. I guess an upgraded heasink/fan would be a small price to pay if its necessary. HP do offer official heatsink and fan kits, so it looks like it's officially possible & catered for.
    thanks again! Any ideas on the generic vs. specific MXM card for 8760w?
     
  9. tilleroftheearth

    tilleroftheearth Wisdom listens quietly...

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    Which video editing software are you using? Are you sure it is capable of leveraging a GPU upgrade as you expect?

    Don't assume... ;)

    Also; keep in mind that the PM 'scores' are just indicators of what should be. They may or may not indicate actual productivity increases depending on your software and your workflow/workloads.
     
  10. maxH1812

    maxH1812 Newbie

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    Premiere and Resolve, I'm very certain of how they use hardware, thanks for checking.
    I know pm scores are ideal, but 4 core is significant for these softwares and the price difference is pretty small ($20?) between the fast 4 cores (non extreme) and the moderate ones, so may as well go with faster.
    Thanks.
    There is not much by way of good info on the non officisl gpu upgrades. The officisl supported ones arenot much fasterand already very expensive. The higher perfomance eurocom ones (semi-official) are horrendously expensive (even the cheapest is 2x what I've paid for the whole laptop). There are some ebay vendors who are partly official in that they offer driver and bios support, but here again, anything worthwhile from a performance upgrade perspective is pretty expensive (1.5x what I paid for the whole). For the moment, I don't want to go down the rabbit hole of buying a generic mxm card and attempting rewriting bios / driver code according to a chinese icafe, and still having non functional brightness control and other glitches etc. Maybe one for the future. For now I'll just OC the existing quadro GPU a bit.
    Thanks for you helpful advice!
     
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