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.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
Connoisseur - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkWait...when did you guys review the razer blade 2014? I've been waiting on the review for ages and now I see the benchmarks plastered all over the zbook review!
wrkingclass_hero - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkIt lives with the infamous Mac Book Pro Retina review.
Connoisseur - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkI mean benchmarks are great but, as Jarred himself mentioned, subjective reviews are just as important. I'd like to know how it is in day-to-day use, whether the temps are manageable and any speculation on longevity or quality of the components. Come on AT, give me a great review :( Or at least a mini review.
MonkeyPaw - Friday, June 20, 2014 - link"Our final benchmark is a test of battery life. Here's where HP runs into a bit of trouble, as the default software installation ends up negatively impacting battery life."
Had a similar issue with my Yoga 11S. The preinstalled anti-virus program (McAfee, I think) bogged the machine so badly that it made it nearly unusable. I uninstalled it and let MS Security Essentials take over and it was completely different. I don't know why an AV program would be so resource heavy as to make a machine feel worthless.
skiboysteve - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - linkI wish I could do that. My enterprise forces McAfee on and it is really really horrible
SlackMasterDoug - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkDid you notice any temporary (2-10 second) screen burn in during your review? I've had the ZBook 15 since it launched and have it bad. External screen's work just fine but the laptop's 1080p non-dreamcolor display with the K1100M does it daily. We have two in our office and they both do it.
JarredWalton - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkI've noticed a lot of IPS displays seem to have image persistence if left on a static screen for hours. I didn't notice any issues with the ZBook 14, but then I have the screen set to turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity. I learned my lesson that burn-in is a real problem even with modern displays if you leave them active 24/7 with a relatively static image, plus there's always the power consideration.
SlackMasterDoug - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkFunny thing is I get burn in from having a web browser open. I get to see a lovely burned in tab display over top of a Windows server desktop daily.
Drumsticks - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkWait a minute, where's our Surface Pro 3 review??
Thanks, guys! Me and my T420 are watching wistfully at all of the fancy stuff coming out. I think I'm going to wait for broadwell to pick up a new consumer PC, and my work laptop isn't due for upgrade for another year so... Haswell sucks :P
nerd1 - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkI feel quite bad about anandtech now - just EVERY apple devices get reviewed within days and surface pro 3 hasn't got full review after one full month since its debut.