HP ZBook 14 Review: Mobile Workstation Meets Ultrabookby Jarred Walton on June 20, 2014 2:30 AM EST
HP ZBook 14: General Performance
For our remaining benchmarks, we'll drop desktop workstations from the charts and simply focus on laptops. We're including a few more recent consumer laptops along with the older mobile workstations from the previous page. These results aren't likely to be anywhere near as meaningful as the workstation tests, however, as just about any modern system can handle any day-to-day task you might want to run.
Interestingly, several of the PCMark 8 tests didn't want to run to completion when I first tried benchmarking the ZBook – probably related to the FirePro drivers, and more specifically Enduro. Changing Enduro to "Optimize Performance" instead of "Maximize Performance" did the trick. You can see by the scores that there's nothing to worry about in terms of general performance – any decent laptop with pure SSD storage will start to look about the same in PCMark.
For CPU performance, we see the usual law of diminishing returns in full effect. The i7-4600U is the fastest dual-core ULV part that Intel currently ships…but it's nowhere near as fast as even the slowest quad-core i7-4702MQ when it comes to multi-threaded performance. It's also only slightly faster than the i5-4200U; is it worth the added cost for the extra ~200MHz you get? Perhaps, but it's still a steep increase in price for a small bump in performance.
The 3DMark results were a bit interesting, in that the first time I ran them the performance was much higher than in subsequent runs. I don't think this was a case of throttling either, but rather those FirePro drivers are again coming into play. I saw as much as a 30% drop in performance on some runs of 3DMark, and eventually settled on a "median" score –I took the second highest result. Know that the drivers are very much tuned for professional OpenGL applications first, and things like games and 3DMark are a secondary (if that) concern. In fact, let's just put the gaming results right here – this isn't a gaming laptop by any definition, and while it can in theory play games, again the drivers are not optimized for that use case.
AMD's Kaveri prototype is pretty much faster in every game we tested, which is surprising considering we're looking at a discrete GPU with plenty of memory bandwidth. Even the old Trinity IGP isn't too far behind – and sometimes ahead – while NVIDIA's consumer-focused GT 650M and GT 750M easily beat the ZBook 14 in gaming prowess. For that matter, Intel's Iris Pro (that's in the Clevo W740SU) is also quite a bit faster in the tests we've run, though power requirements are likely higher for that single chip than for the CPU + GPU in the Zbook 14. Updated drivers could improve the situation perhaps, but I already updated to the May driver release and didn't see any major changes; being a mobile workstation GPU, gaming clearly isn't a primary consideration.
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Zoomer - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - linkWin 8 is actually a step back as the start screen forces your attention away from what you were doing.
CharonPDX - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkFind me a large enterprise that spends $2000 on mobile workstations that has switched to Win 8.x. (Other than Microsoft.)
Still looking? Yeah, that's why Windows 7.
retrospooty - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkWindows 8? This is marketed toward business users. No businesses use Win 8 and they wont until the UI is fixed.
jabber - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkMS knew most businesses wouldn't switch to 8 anyway as it's not in the Corporate Refresh cycle set all the way back in 1999 by Y2K when most moved to lovely fresh NT4 machines.
Windows 9/10 will fit in far better. However as general business computing requirements have dropped drastically over the past 8 years I can see a lot of corporates holding out till 10.
jeffkibuule - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - linkLet's also be honest here, businesses would still be installing machines with Windows XP if they could. Popular opinion != correct opinion.
Zhongrui - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkTo be frank I love Windows 7 much much better than Windows 8.1U1. If the LCD is not a touch screen, it is really not necessary to use Windows 8.1U1, which is totally ugly and puts too much junk on your HDD/SSD.
edwpang - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkTotally opposite to your claim, Windows 8/8.1 can clear up windows update and software installations better than windows 7. It added more options to clean up the winSxS folder in the DISM.exe command. For example:
Using the /ResetBase switch with the /StartComponentCleanup parameter of DISM.exe on a running version of Windows 8.1 removes all superseded versions of every component in the component store.
Also with Win8.1U1, it has a new feature WIMBoot to save disk space further. Just google for WIMBoot to see for yourself.
peterfares - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkThat /ResetBase option is AWESOME. It's also automatically run every month or two I believe.
It has kept my Windows 8.1 install size only slightly larger than when I originally installed it. Windows 7 SP1 when first installed is pretty small but after applying all the updates (and there have been a LOT since SP1) it becomes pretty huge, much larger than Windows 8.1
extide - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - linkThere is actually an identical tool for windows 7. It doesnt come with it, but you can find it, I believe it is called MS Deep Clean.
edwpang - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - linkWindows 8.1 run the /StartComponentCleanup automatically without /ResetBase according to MS technet.