saperkus Posted January 22 Share Posted January 22 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. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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