HP ZBook 14 Review: Mobile Workstation Meets Ultrabookby Jarred Walton on June 20, 2014 2:30 AM EST
HP ZBook 14: Workstation Performance
Given this is a mobile workstation by virtue of the FirePro M4100 GPU, that's arguably going to be the biggest reason to consider forking out the money for the ZBook 14, so let's just jump straight to the results of our workstation benchmarks. For testing, I ran SPECviewperf 11 and 12, but 12 is so new that it's a bit finicky and routinely had individual tests that would hang (or at least not return a score), so I'm sticking with the older version – plus we have a few other mobile workstations that we've tested with SPECviewperf 11 in the past. I also ran the SPECapc Lightwave 9.6 test. For reference, I ran the same tests on a couple of recent (and one upcoming) consumer grade laptops: the Dell XPS 15 (GT 750M), MSI GE60 (GTX 860M), and MSI GT70 (GTX 880M). Considering the potential difference in normal graphics performance – the GTX 880M in particular should be far more powerful than the M4100 – the performance results in professional applications were still surprising.
It's been a while since we've reviewed any mobile workstations – the last one was almost 18 months ago, when Dustin reviewed HP's EliteBook 8570w – so we don't have a lot of recent offerings in our charts. However, workstation hardware tends to stick around a lot longer and if nothing else it will be interesting to see where the new M4100 rates compared to the older M4000 from the 8570w. Also included in the charts are a few desktop workstations (results are in red) and the consumer laptops (results in black).
There are clearly applications where having a workstation class GPU can make a tremendous difference; conversely, in some cases the GPU doesn't matter much at all and the CPU takes precedence. Given the ZBook 14 has to get by with a dual-core ULV processor, it can hope to compete with quad-core processors in the latter class of benchmark, but for those tests that rely on OpenGL acceleration it can often make a noticeable difference. I don't generally use any of these "professional" applications, so scores in Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, Siemens Teamcenter and NX, etc. don't really matter to me. If you know enough to care about these scores, however, you can see that there are cases where the ZBook 14 is able to come close to the performance of even desktop workstations; not surprisingly, those are the same benchmarks where consumer level GPUs simply fail to impress, regardless of how fast they might be for other benchmarks (which we'll get to in a moment).
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WeaponZero - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - linkI have this laptop for a few months already. The laptop is awesome but I wish it would stop BSOD every day or 2. I really hope HP fixes this issue as it is not acceptable for a 2k+ laptop.
Side note, the laptop comes in 2 possible screen options AU Optronics panel or LG panel. Make sure you have the AU panel and the LG panel is worse. (still good but worse)
chribro - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - linkDo you know what % of the sRGB is covered with the AUO panel. The LG panel only covers 80% (according to the review on Notebookcheck).
Any idea which panel this review has?
deontologist - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - linkLol is Anandtech ever going to review the Surface 3?
Dr.Neale - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - linkJared, in the specs you list the dGPU as an M1400 instead of the M4100 cited throughout the article. Could you please fix this typo?
JarredWalton - Monday, June 23, 2014 - linkFixed, thanks!
JFish222 - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - linkJared, it would be helpful to show images of the service panel. For a shop with IT personnel (or technically competent staff) on hand, this is indispensable.
We've purchased a handful of these for the office.
1) A high HD display
2) Light/ultrabook class 14"
3) Min. 5+hrs battery life running excel/word proc/internet
4) Ability to hit min 16GB of RAM
5) Ability to take punishment (you should see the dings one has received in its first week! Still runs great though!)
6) End user serviceability.
7) A myriad of ports (especially VGA without DVI adapter)
8) Docking station compatible with 2 DVI outs (an older Sony failed in this department.)
We originally had a couple of Lenovo X1 and X1 carbons floating around, and I've been an avid T series user myself.
Two things, however, made us move away from IBM:
- Soldering DIMMs to the motherboard, and limiting the ultra-book form factors to 12GB.
- To much work to service. Seriously.
We've already had two X1 batteries die right after the service contract was up (a 3rd went, but was still covered), and servicing those things was a nightmare. Between the screws and man hours . . . not worth the trouble.
And upgrades? The oldest X1 Carbon has 4GB of RAM. Great for the first few years, but while its CPU and SSD are quite serviceable, the RAM limitation became a major liability.
I can't begin to tell you how easy it is to service these HP's.
The docking station has been flawless, they look "professional" (staff members are VERY picky and refused to use Dell).
I'm in a difficult environment where the applications are memory intensive (large excel models), the unit has to be durable, a jack of all trades, and easily serviceable. These fit the bill and I'm moving to standardize on these units.
I don't buy from HP directly, we're low volume and better deals can be had elsewhere. The upgraded screen is worth it. If you don't start with an SSD, I recommended you get one eventually. Fortunately these take standard height units as well as an additional M2