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).

SPECviewperf 11 (catia-03)

SPECviewperf 11 (ensight-04)

SPECviewperf 11 (lightwave-01)

SPECviewperf 11 (maya-03)

SPECviewperf 11 (proe-05)

SPECviewperf 11 (sw-02)

SPECviewperf 11 (tcvis-02)

SPECviewperf 11 (snx-01)

SPECapc Lightwave 3D 9.6 (Multitask)SPECapc Lightwave 3D 9.6 (Interactive)SPECapc Lightwave 3D 9.6 (Render)

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).

HP ZBook 14: Subjective Evaluation HP ZBook 14: General Performance
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  • Connoisseur - Friday, June 20, 2014 - link

    Wait...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 - link

    It lives with the infamous Mac Book Pro Retina review.
  • Connoisseur - Friday, June 20, 2014 - link

    I 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 - link

    I wish I could do that. My enterprise forces McAfee on and it is really really horrible
  • SlackMasterDoug - Friday, June 20, 2014 - link

    Did 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 - link

    I'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 - link

    Funny 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 - link

    Wait 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 - link

    I 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.

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