HP EliteBook 8440w—Application Performance and Futuremark

The 8440w is quick. There is no other way to describe it. The dual-core Core i7-620M is definitely a killer processor for simple processing tasks. While it doesn't have the amount of raw computing power as the quad-core i7 line, the 620M is faster in single and dual-threaded applications, even besting the 920XM in some cases.

3D Rendering—CINEBENCH R10

3D Rendering—CINEBENCH R10

Internet Performance

Video Encoding—x264

Video Encoding—x264

Cinebench, Peacekeeper, x264 HD encoding—you name it, computing performance-wise the 8440w is better than just about everything with a dual-core processor, and competitive with the lower-end quads. This is especially true in Peacekeeper and the single-threaded Cinebench, where the i7-620M tops the charts. Like the old Core 2 Duo/Quad argument on the desktop side, it becomes the difference between four cores versus two faster cores. If you're not doing heavily multithreaded work, the dual-core i7 is the better way to go.

Futuremark 3DMark05

Futuremark 3DMark06

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

Futuremark PCMark05

Futuremark PCMark Vantage

Now, Futuremark is a different story—the 8440w has a lower-end Quadro FX 380M that is based on the same core as the G 310M, which is based on the G 210M. As such, the FX 380M ends up somewhere between the two performance-wise. What this means is that the 8440w ends up pretty weak in non-workstation centric video benchmarks. So in both 3DMark and PCMark, the 8440w fares pretty poorly compared to some of the lower priced mainstream and gaming centric notebooks on the market.

HP EliteBook 8440w - In and Around HP EliteBook 8440w - Gaming and Workstation Performance
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  • sheltem - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Displayport also enables the usage of more than 2 monitors driven by a single card because a native it's digital signal does not require a ramdac.
  • mrphones - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    I have been using the Elitebook line of laptops at my company now for 2 years. The 6930P and now the 8440P. The only thing I was disappointed with HP about was they changed the docking station. All my previous models, NC6400, 6910P and 6930P models could use the same docking stations. Why HP did this, I don't know, but I have 12 of these 8440P models and they are nice.
  • KorruptioN - Sunday, August 15, 2010 - link

    Apparently this is because the current docking station connection cannot accommodate the DisplayPort traffic. I'm not too happy about it either, but oh well...
  • DanaG - Monday, August 16, 2010 - link

    The reason they changed it is for the DisplayPort availability, after all. If you get the 15" or 17" EliteBook with ATI, you can use up to 5 of the following ports at once, thanks to Eyefinity:

    On the laptop: LVDS (internal panel), VGA, DisplayPort.
    On the fanciest dock: 2 DVI, 2 DisplayPort.

    Regarding high-DPI, that's one reason I can't use desktops: all desktop displays have utter crap DPI. I wish I could buy even a laptop display (DreamColor 2* would be best) in a desktop enclosure!

    * 15" or 17", 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 (respectively), IPS, 30-bit color.
  • kasakka - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Seems like it still has that crappy touchstrip for volume controls and whatnot. It just works poorly in my experience.

    Also it's strange that they went with the full size Displayport instead of the Mini-Displayport. I guess they figured that since they're keeping that bulky VGA might have the full size DP too.

    To be honest I don't find the Elitebook line-up particularly impessive at all. A bit too bulky, mediocre keyboard and trackpad.
  • dlineate - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    I propose adding the Sony Vaio Z to the list.

    13.1" 1600x900, i5-540M/i6-620M, 1-2 64-256GB SSDs,
    BlueRay R, etc.. etc.
    All in ~3lbs! (starting @ ~$1900)
    Best of all, 1920x1080 display avail for only an extra $100.
    I know that's a crazy resolution, but bump your font size and you can still get more in your text editor because it'll be so crisp.

    Anyways, for portable workstations, I rate them proportional to $screen_res/$weight, with a constraint on weight to ~5lbs. This thing is by far the best by that metric imho.
    I mostly code, not compile or game, so I don't care about the CPU or GPU.

    Of course, the cost does approach infinity as weight approaches 0. =)

    Apparently in Europe you can get a kit that swaps the optical drive for standard hard drive, which I'd use to compliment a 64G SSD (which are not standard sizes).

    Other reviews say it's pretty sturdy. I'd love to see Anand review this.
    Or better, give one away.

    My only gripe is that it's a Sony, so getting *nix/bsd support likely a pita. I used to use a Picturebook, but they implement hardware in so many non-standard ways (glued together w/ windows "drivers") that I swore never again. Will probably change my mind though if no one else ever manufactures a small high res display ever again.

    PS What happened to the more reasonably priced Thinkpad X201s w/ 12" 1400x900?
  • strikeback03 - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Obviously what you call a workstation depends on what work you do with it, but I imagine they require professional level GPUs to call something a workstation. And the ThinkPad T series are not included in their list, so there must be more options they are considering.

    This HP keyboard has the FN key in the wrong spot and still has the stupid strip of buttons to the right of Backspace/Enter/shift, so I still very much prefer the Thinkpad keyboard.
  • seanleeforever - Monday, August 16, 2010 - link

    complete agree with strikeback03

    i have a elitebook for over half a year now and i could not stop complaining the stupid volume stripe (Vivek, did you even try to play that volume control at all? it is utterly useless and the single most stupid thing anyone can put on a laptop, let alone a BUSINESS laptop), i challenge you to precisely control volume to 20% 50% and 75%, then go back to 20%.. guess what, you cannot do it without overshoot and undershoot.

    the keyboard is great... really? you got to use some better keyboards because you standard is really too low. HP keyboard is alright. their texture and curvature and feedback response is lacking (but i suppose this is personal preference, many like Sony and apple's no feedback keyboard and i just hate them absolutely).

    now.. like strikeback03 said. the FN key is in the wrong place (as well as all other non-thinkpad keyboards). case in point, measure the distance of the 'ctrl' and 'z' 'x' 'c' of your favorite desktop keyboard, and measure that on thinkpad/hp notebook keyboard, you will find the thinkpad keyboard provides better travel distance when you perform copy/paste/undo.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - link

    On the keyboard layout, I couldn't disagree more! But then, it's totally a personal preference. Anand likes the Fn key in the bottom-left with the CTRL in what position. I can't stand that arrangement and invariably hit "Fn+C" and "Fn+V" (and various other combinations) when I want the CTRL key. You may be correct in saying that the CTRL key is closer to the CVXZ on ThinkPad, but then on virtually any destkop keyboard there's so much more space between the keys that I can't say I prefer the "close" arrangement.

    I also played with the 8440w and found it to be a decent system overall, but just too expensive. I could easily type without any major complaints, and the system feels very sturdy. Get a Quadro FX 880M in there (48 cores) and this would have been a much better mobile workstation.
  • Kishkumen - Saturday, August 14, 2010 - link

    Great review! I've been pondering upon the merits of the elitebook line for some time. I especially appreciate all the attention to detail you gave the LCD (as well as mentioning other good Matte display options though limited they may be). I hate how much LCD quality is glossed over in reviews (pun intended). Your review was everything I needed. Looking forward to your future work.

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