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HP ZBook 17 G3 Prototype


saperkus
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I've got an early version of HP ZBook 17 G3. It seems, that this device is some sort of a prototype, which was sent to HP key customers before its release. Motherboard and bottom case have some differences in comparison to a final product. Device had definitely better days in the past - it was dead and some of parts were taken away. Specs were also unknown without a way to verify it (apart from GPU - CPU has basically no labels). I bought it just on a hunch. I just couldn't imagine, that any vendor would sent a shitty configuration to scare lucrative customers.
 

Spoiler

Once I tried to power on the device, I have learned that without 200W AC power supply it will not cooperate, but as I have HP's dock, this wasn't a problem. The real problem though was an error code, which had welcomed me - "2 long beeps, 2 short beeps". This usually means that BIOS was seriously damaged - I tired some official BIOS recovery methods, but it was damaged beyond their ability to repair. I did not want to swap motherboard, as this one is unique and looked barely used. I got a recommendation to contact with one service, which may be able to fix this oddity. To my surprise, they actually had a compatible... "base image" (?) for this device and were able fix it. They were also able to retain all device's data, so all data in the BIOS is populated (I was told, that they do not like to leave things halfway done).

 

Once I got the device home, I have installed an SSD and 32GB RAM just to find out, that none of these are compatible. In case of RAM, I got "3 long beeps, 2 short beeps" error (cannot initialize BIOS) and BIOS detected SSD as "0GB capacity" (Toshiba/Kioxia XG6), making impossible to boot anything from it. I still had one old and very worn SSD left and some leftover 8GB DDR4 RAM module and these were actually working fine. Since quite some time, I had a Windows 7 Pro recovery for HP ZBook 15 G3. Apparently HP ZBook 15 and 17 G3 shared same image, so I got a working device with factory preload in no time.

 

tl;dr: Got it fixed, device's specs are as follow:

- Intel Core i7-6820HQ.
- NVIDIA Quadro M4000M, TGP: 75W.
- 17.3" 1920x1080 IPS display.

 

Spoiler

A part of me was hopping to get a DreamColor display, but according to some early documentation, its release was delayed till first half of 2016, so it was really unlikely to find one inside. I have run some applications and games on it to find out, that they are running in an awful performance - most likely due to a single channel RAM configuration. I have checked old reviews and ordered exactly the same SSD and RAM modules as in the reviews. SSD was in a Workstation version with a big heatpipe installed on it. RAM arrived, but one of them were dead, so I had to return them and as for SSD... Well, thermal pads solidified and I have spent like 30 minutes trying to get rid of them. Hopefully, SSD was detected fine and Windows 10 Pro also activated, but RAM issue was still not addressed. I had some spare HP 4VN07AA modules at work (16GB DDR4-2666), which turned out to be working fine. They were also available to buy for a very reasonable price, so I didn't thought twice. With dual channel configuration, device got a lot better performance - not as good as RTX A2000, but definitely better than M2200. Thunderbolt seems to be not working on the device - after connecting the dock only USB ports are detected. It could be that something got not implemented... Or BIOS is too old to speak with the dock. I don't plan to upgrade it - at least for now.

 

There are some things left to be addressed in the future:

- Missing battery.
- Missing HDD Brackets.
- MXM GPU upgrade.
- LTE modem (maybe one day).

 

And MXM part is where I need a help... I would like to have something on NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB level of performance. I have no need for a DLSS or Ray-Tracing.
I saw that other forum members are using P3000/P4000/P5000 modules, which seems to be the last officially produced ones by NVIDIA.

There are also P3200 and P4200 cards, which were available for HP ZBook 17 G5. They seems to be lacking vBIOS chip, so extra work is needed to make them usable.
Also some users are using Quadro RTX 3000 cards, but I have no idea about their source. I know, that Z2 Mini G5 (I think, it was MXM-A?) and HP ZBook 17 G6 had them, but I am not sure if that's the source. @ssj92 could you please advise?


So, could you please advise what should I look for? Which cards in general are known to work with Optimus/MUX or require some extra effort to make them cooperate? ZBook 17 G3 seems to not be able to provide more than 75W to the dGPU, so ideally the GPU should not require more than TGP=75W.

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You can get MXM 3.0b cards for RTX 3000/4000/5000 (Turing generation) which are sourced from HP ZBook systems and can often be spotted on eBay, etc..  They are "generic" enough to work in Dell Precision systems (older ones that support MXM) without any hassle, without any vBIOS flashing or anything like that.  So, I would think that they would work in older HP systems if there is not a GPU whitelist in the BIOS (...which I know they have been known to do).

 

Well, "almost" without any hassle.  The board layout isn't quite standard.  There is a little piece sticking out on one side so you'll have to have a bit of extra physical space next to the MXM slot for the card to fit.  And, the GPU chip isn't quite in the same place so a mod to the heatsink is likely necessary (drilling some holes for the screws in different positions) to mount it onto one of these GPU cards.

 

Spoiler

y4mG1gGpov_gF58JtBaVrjHj2veLIpE2pJ_UfQbR

 

  • Thumb Up 1

Dell Precision 7770 (personal) • Dell Precision 7560 (work) • Full specs in spoiler block below
Info posts (Dell) — Dell Precision key postsDell driver RSS feeds • Dell Fan Management — override fan behavior
Info posts (Windows) — Turbo boost toggle • The problem with Windows 11 • About Windows 10 LTSC

Spoiler

Dell Precision 7770 (personal)

  • Intel Core i9-12950HX ("Alder Lake"), 8P+8E
    • 8× P cores ("Golden Cove"): 2.3 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading
    • 8× E cores ("Gracemont"): 1.7 GHz base, 3.6 GHz turbo
  • 128GB DDR5-3600 (CAMM)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 16GB (DGFF)
  • Storage:
    • 2TB system drive: Samsung 980 Pro, PCIe4
    • 24TB additional storage: 3× Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 8TB, PCIe4 (Storage Spaces)
  • Windows 10 (Enterprise LTSC 2021)
  • 17.3" 3940×2160 display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX211 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 93Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Dell Precision 7560 (work)

  • Intel Xeon W-11955M ("Tiger Lake")
    • 8×2.6 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading ("Willow Cove")
  • 64GB DDR4-3200 ECC
  • NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB
  • Storage:
    • 512GB system drive (Micron 2300)
    • 4TB additional storage (Sabrent Rocket Q4)
  • Windows 10 (Enterprise LTSC 2021)
  • 15.6" 3940×2160 display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX210 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 95Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Previous

  • Dell Precision 7530, 7510, M4800, M6700
  • Dell Latitude E6520
  • Dell Inspiron 1720, 5150
  • Dell Latitude CPi
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3 hours ago, saperkus said:

I've got an early version of HP ZBook 17 G3. It seems, that this device is some sort of a prototype, which was sent to HP key customers before its release. Motherboard and bottom case have some differences in comparison to a final product. Device had definitely better days in the past - it was dead and some of parts were taken away. Specs were also unknown without a way to verify it (apart from GPU - CPU has basically no labels). I bought it just on a hunch. I just couldn't imagine, that any vendor would sent a shitty configuration to scare lucrative customers.
 

  Reveal hidden contents

Once I tried to power on the device, I have learned that without 200W AC power supply it will not cooperate, but as I have HP's dock, this wasn't a problem. The real problem though was an error code, which had welcomed me - "2 long beeps, 2 short beeps". This usually means that BIOS was seriously damaged - I tired some official BIOS recovery methods, but it was damaged beyond their ability to repair. I did not want to swap motherboard, as this one is unique and looked barely used. I got a recommendation to contact with one service, which may be able to fix this oddity. To my surprise, they actually had a compatible... "base image" (?) for this device and were able fix it. They were also able to retain all device's data, so all data in the BIOS is populated (I was told, that they do not like to leave things halfway done).

 

Once I got the device home, I have installed an SSD and 32GB RAM just to find out, that none of these are compatible. In case of RAM, I got "3 long beeps, 2 short beeps" error (cannot initialize BIOS) and BIOS detected SSD as "0GB capacity" (Toshiba/Kioxia XG6), making impossible to boot anything from it. I still had one old and very worn SSD left and some leftover 8GB DDR4 RAM module and these were actually working fine. Since quite some time, I had a Windows 7 Pro recovery for HP ZBook 15 G3. Apparently HP ZBook 15 and 17 G3 shared same image, so I got a working device with factory preload in no time.

 

tl;dr: Got it fixed, device's specs are as follow:

- Intel Core i7-6820HQ.
- NVIDIA Quadro M4000M, TGP: 75W.
- 17.3" 1920x1080 IPS display.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

A part of me was hopping to get a DreamColor display, but according to some early documentation, its release was delayed till first half of 2016, so it was really unlikely to find one inside. I have run some applications and games on it to find out, that they are running in an awful performance - most likely due to a single channel RAM configuration. I have checked old reviews and ordered exactly the same SSD and RAM modules as in the reviews. SSD was in a Workstation version with a big heatpipe installed on it. RAM arrived, but one of them were dead, so I had to return them and as for SSD... Well, thermal pads solidified and I have spent like 30 minutes trying to get rid of them. Hopefully, SSD was detected fine and Windows 10 Pro also activated, but RAM issue was still not addressed. I had some spare HP 4VN07AA modules at work (16GB DDR4-2666), which turned out to be working fine. They were also available to buy for a very reasonable price, so I didn't thought twice. With dual channel configuration, device got a lot better performance - not as good as RTX A2000, but definitely better than M2200. Thunderbolt seems to be not working on the device - after connecting the dock only USB ports are detected. It could be that something got not implemented... Or BIOS is too old to speak with the dock. I don't plan to upgrade it - at least for now.

 

There are some things left to be addressed in the future:

- Missing battery.
- Missing HDD Brackets.
- MXM GPU upgrade.
- LTE modem (maybe one day).

 

And MXM part is where I need a help... I would like to have something on NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB level of performance. I have no need for a DLSS or Ray-Tracing.
I saw that other forum members are using P3000/P4000/P5000 modules, which seems to be the last officially produced ones by NVIDIA.

There are also P3200 and P4200 cards, which were available for HP ZBook 17 G5. They seems to be lacking vBIOS chip, so extra work is needed to make them usable.
Also some users are using Quadro RTX 3000 cards, but I have no idea about their source. I know, that Z2 Mini G5 (I think, it was MXM-A?) and HP ZBook 17 G6 had them, but I am not sure if that's the source. @ssj92 could you please advise?


So, could you please advise what should I look for? Which cards in general are known to work with Optimus/MUX or require some extra effort to make them cooperate? ZBook 17 G3 seems to not be able to provide more than 75W to the dGPU, so ideally the GPU should not require more than TGP=75W.

My RTX 3000 is from Adlink, you will probably never be able to find it online unless someone from a company sells it. 

 

The HP RTX series are available on eBay and quite cheap. Not sure if they will physically fit as they are slightly larger than standard mxm 3.0b.

 

There is a P4000 on eBay for $280 

P5000 for $350 

 

Prices have come down and those are also great options. 

  • Thumb Up 1

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware X14 R1 :       Intel Core i7 12700H 12th-Gen   | nVidia GeForce RTX 3060    | AX411 | SK Hynix 2TB PCIe4 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Alienware 18 R1 :          Intel Core i7 4930MX @ 4.0Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | SK Hynix 1TB NVMe 
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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14 hours ago, Aaron44126 said:

You can get MXM 3.0b cards for RTX 3000/4000/5000 (Turing generation) which are sourced from HP ZBook systems and can often be spotted on eBay, etc..  They are "generic" enough to work in Dell Precision systems (older ones that support MXM) without any hassle, without any vBIOS flashing or anything like that.  So, I would think that they would work in older HP systems if there is not a GPU whitelist in the BIOS (...which I know they have been known to do).

 

Well, "almost" without any hassle.  The board layout isn't quite standard.  There is a little piece sticking out on one side so you'll have to have a bit of extra physical space next to the MXM slot for the card to fit.  And, the GPU chip isn't quite in the same place so a mod to the heatsink is likely necessary (drilling some holes for the screws in different positions) to mount it onto one of these GPU cards.

 

  Reveal hidden contents

y4mG1gGpov_gF58JtBaVrjHj2veLIpE2pJ_UfQbR

 

Thank you for this information. I have checked the RTX MXM modules and I am quite afraid, that I might need to remove battery connector to even try to fit the card inside the chassis. Also I don't want to make extra holes in a prototype device. So, this is definitely not the road, which I would take.

 

To be frank, I have only heard that ThinkPads P70/P71 had these whitelists. Do you know any example models, which have MXM whitelists? I know, that HP ZBook 15 G3 does not have a whitelist (one user reported, that he was able to run GTX 1050 Ti), so I hope that 17 G3 also does not have one too...

 

12 hours ago, ssj92 said:

My RTX 3000 is from Adlink, you will probably never be able to find it online unless someone from a company sells it. 

 

The HP RTX series are available on eBay and quite cheap. Not sure if they will physically fit as they are slightly larger than standard mxm 3.0b.

 

There is a P4000 on eBay for $280 

P5000 for $350 

 

Prices have come down and those are also great options. 

Thank you. I was missing the Adlink name. With it, I've found your topic and I must say, that's some fantastic work there.

 

P4000/P5000 prices are excellent in US, but not so much where I live. I was able to find single P4000 locally and it costs over $550 and if I want to import one, I think I would need to pay a similar price in total (device + shipping + taxes). Did you had a chance to test P3200?

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2 minutes ago, saperkus said:

I have only heard that ThinkPads P70/P71 had these whitelists.

 

I could be getting things mixed up (mostly a Dell guy here).  I have also heard about the ThinkPad GPU whitelists.  I know that HP systems in the past have had whitelists for the Wi-Fi card but maybe I jumped the gun a bit on suggesting that they also have GPU whitelists.

  • Thumb Up 1

Dell Precision 7770 (personal) • Dell Precision 7560 (work) • Full specs in spoiler block below
Info posts (Dell) — Dell Precision key postsDell driver RSS feeds • Dell Fan Management — override fan behavior
Info posts (Windows) — Turbo boost toggle • The problem with Windows 11 • About Windows 10 LTSC

Spoiler

Dell Precision 7770 (personal)

  • Intel Core i9-12950HX ("Alder Lake"), 8P+8E
    • 8× P cores ("Golden Cove"): 2.3 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading
    • 8× E cores ("Gracemont"): 1.7 GHz base, 3.6 GHz turbo
  • 128GB DDR5-3600 (CAMM)
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti 16GB (DGFF)
  • Storage:
    • 2TB system drive: Samsung 980 Pro, PCIe4
    • 24TB additional storage: 3× Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus 8TB, PCIe4 (Storage Spaces)
  • Windows 10 (Enterprise LTSC 2021)
  • 17.3" 3940×2160 display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX211 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 93Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Dell Precision 7560 (work)

  • Intel Xeon W-11955M ("Tiger Lake")
    • 8×2.6 GHz base, 5.0 GHz turbo, hyperthreading ("Willow Cove")
  • 64GB DDR4-3200 ECC
  • NVIDIA RTX A2000 4GB
  • Storage:
    • 512GB system drive (Micron 2300)
    • 4TB additional storage (Sabrent Rocket Q4)
  • Windows 10 (Enterprise LTSC 2021)
  • 15.6" 3940×2160 display
  • Intel Wi-Fi AX210 (Wi-Fi 6E + Bluetooth)
  • 95Wh battery
  • IR webcam
  • Fingerprint reader

 

Previous

  • Dell Precision 7530, 7510, M4800, M6700
  • Dell Latitude E6520
  • Dell Inspiron 1720, 5150
  • Dell Latitude CPi
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5 hours ago, saperkus said:

Thank you for this information. I have checked the RTX MXM modules and I am quite afraid, that I might need to remove battery connector to even try to fit the card inside the chassis. Also I don't want to make extra holes in a prototype device. So, this is definitely not the road, which I would take.

 

To be frank, I have only heard that ThinkPads P70/P71 had these whitelists. Do you know any example models, which have MXM whitelists? I know, that HP ZBook 15 G3 does not have a whitelist (one user reported, that he was able to run GTX 1050 Ti), so I hope that 17 G3 also does not have one too...

 

Thank you. I was missing the Adlink name. With it, I've found your topic and I must say, that's some fantastic work there.

 

P4000/P5000 prices are excellent in US, but not so much where I live. I was able to find single P4000 locally and it costs over $550 and if I want to import one, I think I would need to pay a similar price in total (device + shipping + taxes). Did you had a chance to test P3200?

I have not but a fellow aw member tested p5200 in m18xr2. It works once you solder on the bios chip and flash it 

  • Like 1

Alienware Area-51M : Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.3Ghz    | nVidia GeForce RTX 2080    | AX210 | Samsung 970 Evo+ 
Alienware X14 R1 :       Intel Core i7 12700H 12th-Gen   | nVidia GeForce RTX 3060    | AX411 | SK Hynix 2TB PCIe4 
Alienware M18x R2 :    Intel Core i7 3920XM @ 4.7Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | Samsung 980 PRO   
Alienware 18 R1 :          Intel Core i7 4930MX @ 4.0Ghz | nVidia Quadro RTX 3000     | AX210 | SK Hynix 1TB NVMe 
Clevo X170SM-G:         Intel Core i7 10700K @ Stock     | nVidia GeForce RTX 2070S | AX210 | 256GB+2x512GB 


CS Studios YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CSStudiosYT 

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