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Eclipse2017
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HP ZBook 17 G5 arrives, very impressed

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HP ZBook 17 G5
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

HP-ZBook-17-G5_1.jpgHP-ZBook-17-G5_2.jpg

 

Well it finally arrived after an agonizing four month wait. I am coming from Dell Precision mobile workstations (M6600, M6800) and Lenovo Thinkpad P series. I think HP just knocked the design out of the park with this revision (for my purposes). There's a lot of storage space with a mix of NVMe drives and 2 2.5" SSDs possible. The tool-less maintenance features are incredible in this age of inaccessible internals. The fans are quiet and low pitched even when ramped up to maximum. The Dreamcolor feature can be turned off in the BIOS to allow switchable graphics functionality (just make sure to force 'integrated graphics' for the dreamcolorzbook.exe app in the NVIDIA control panel) to enhance battery life. 

 

I hven't run benchmarks yet as I am busy getting the laptop ready to carry out my various workloads. I did run Wolfenstein II on it and frame rates hovered around 46fps at 4K resolution (Quadro P4200). I do undervolt all of my workstations, this one included: I have a voltage offset of 130mV in Intel XTU. The E3-2176M runs at 40 degrees at idle (room temp 29 deg C) and reaches a max temp of 81 deg C under load ( not really tested yet).

 

Sorry about the hedghog laptop skin: the laptop is used in a hospital where getting splashed with body fluids can sometimes happen. I just swab down the skin with alcohol and not worry about the metal underneath. Oh, and everyone knows who the laptop belongs to at a glance. 

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stathwomp
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Still waiting for mine. Was supposed to be last week. But I'm glad to see it's living up to expectations. 

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Eclipse2017
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Thank you very much for the comment, stathwomp. I hope your batch comes in soon. 

 

On further testing, the machine does have thermal throttling: six cores running at 4.2GHz can cause CPU temperature spikes of up to 96 - 99 degrees C. At this point the core speed drops to about 3.6GHz, stays there for about a second and then ramps back up to maximum core speed. After oscillating like this for about ten minutes the clock speed drops to about 3.4GHz and stays there.

 

I have the CPU undervolted by 140mV. I don't know if repasting will make a difference: I will wait and see if someone gets results before I have a go at it. For my uses I don't really have an issue (provided the computer doesn't catch fire or melt on me), but I know some folks will balk at those temps. 

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stathwomp
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@Eclipse2017 wrote:

After oscillating like this for about ten minutes the clock speed drops to about 3.4GHz and stays there.


Users are reporting similar throttling for the E-2186M with the Dell Precision 7730. Hmm... some are speculating the Coffee Lake CPU just runs hot.

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Eclipse2017
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Gamers are getting temps dropped by, on average, in betwwen 10 and 20 degrees C with liquid metal application. There are some very real risks with that, though.

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stathwomp
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@Eclipse2017 wrote:

Gamers are getting temps dropped by, on average, in betwwen 10 and 20 degrees C with liquid metal application. There are some very real risks with that, though.


I might be able to do that to my workstation. We'll see, depends on my boss. 

 

But I've also heard that Intel has been using subpar bonding material between the die and heatspreadber, and people have been getting massive temperature drops by deliding and replacing the compound. That, my friend, I'd be terrified to do. 

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stathwomp
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Silly  me, mobile CPUs don't have heatspreaders.

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Eclipse2017
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Lol, I'm too scared to use LM. 

 

On another note, the glass trackpad is so nice to use coming from Lenovo / Dell tiny plastic trackpads on their respective workstations.

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Eclipse2017
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I forgot to mention that HP ships the laptop with the 2.5" HDD/SSD mounting bracket already in the box even if you didn't order a 2.5" SSD in the configuration. Also, NVMe drives require no separate brackets to install, thankfully. In comparison, Lenovo's (and Dell) P series mobile workstations will ship with no brackets whatsoever except for drives already installed at purchase. I had to hunt down part numbers for NVMe and HDD brackets for Lenovo's P51 separately. It's the little things like that that make customers happy.

 

I will post pictures of the interior layout by next week (hopefully) so folks can get an idea about what goes where: the service manual doesn't have good illustrations of the internal layout imo. 

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Eclipse2017
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So, I opened the laptop to add another stick of RAM to enable dual channel mode (I ordered only 1 stick of 16GB  RAM preinstalled by HP in slot 1). Unfortunately, to access memory slots 1 and 2 it is necessary to remove the middle cover (14 screws), remove the keyboard, remove the fans, remove the heatsinks, remove all connectors to the motherboard, detach and flip the motherboard over. I kid you not. The system NVMe drive is apparently attached to the underside of the motherboard as well. I say 'apparently' because I balked at the job ahead of me when I realized what was required.

 

I instead installed the RAM into the easily accessible slot 4 which got dual channel working. The moral of this story is to have HP populate both memory slots 1 and 2 when you configure your laptop. 

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