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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kyuu - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkPuts too much junk on your HDD/SDD? Please stop spreading FUD, thanks.
melloncollie - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkWhy not show a comparison between this and Dell's M3800?
JarredWalton - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkYou mean besides the fact that we haven't reviewed the M3800? The M3800 is a bit thinner but has a 15.6" display instead of a 14" display, so it ends up weighing half a pound more. The K1100M GPU ought to be faster, though, would be my guess.
GreenThumb - Sunday, June 22, 2014 - linkPlease do review the Dell M3800.
RKartha - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkIn page 2 - Subjective Evaluation, please correct the typo - It is HP Remote Graphics Software and not HP Remove Graphics Software. Thank you.
JarredWalton - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkOops. Fixed, thanks!
CharonPDX - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkJust wait until the GPU overheats in that chassis. Then it WILL be "Remove Graphics".. :-P
JarredWalton - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkI guess I should have mentioned that I basically pounded on the laptop and didn't have any throttling issues. Yeah, it gets a bit warm, but for running a 100% CPU+GPU workload for more than a day straight it does better than any other Ultrabook I've seen -- and better than other relatively thin laptops as well.
secretmanofagent - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkHave you seen any issues of ghosting? I'm seeing that on my ZBook15.
CharonPDX - Friday, June 20, 2014 - linkDamn, I have a feeling I'll start seeing other departments at work start getting these... We are an HP shop, and a few departments get "mobile workstations". (Mine is stuck with lowly dual-core, integrated graphics "EliteBook"s...)