Notebookcheck

HP ZBook 17 G3 Workstation Review

The perfect workstation? HP's ZBook 17 G3 is a conventional workstation without the desire to be as thin as possible. Instead, it is focused on the performance. But can HP convince the demanding business customers with the new generation?

For the original German review, see here.

After we have already reviewed three modern ZBooks from HP (15u G315 G3 and Studio G3), we now have a closer look at the biggest model of the series, the ZBook 17 G3. You do not have to worry about the performance of this workstation, because the manufacturer has a clear focus on the performance and not the thinnest construction. This orientation is supported by the most powerful components you can currently get for a mobile device. The ZBook 17 G3, however, also convinces with individual configurations since HP offers a wide variety of components.

Our review model carries the designation TZV66EA and is currently one of the most expensive configurations at 4,500 Euros (~$5014). This is an extremely high price, especially when you look at the specs. They are not bad with a mobile Xeon processor, Nvidia Quadro M3000M GPU and 32 GB DDR4-RAM, but only one 256 GB PCIe-SSD seems a bit stingy. There is also a lot of headroom, particularly in terms of GPU with the optional Quadro M4000M (+730 Euros, ~$813) or M5000M (+1,750 Euros, ~$1950). This is also the case for the optional 4K DreamColor display (not yet available), because our model sports an FHD-IPS screen.

The biggest rivals for the HP ZBook 17 G3 are the Dell Precision 7710 and this year also a device from Lenovo, the ThinkPad P70. Another interesting contender is the MSI WT72, which does lack some business ports but still left a good impression in our review. If you need even more performance, you will have to get a system with a desktop processor. One example would be the Bullman E-Klasse Xeon 17. We will also compare the ZBook 17 G3 with its predecessor ZBook 17 G2 and see if an upgrade to the new model makes sense.

HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA (ZBook 17 G3 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M - 4096 MB, Core: 1050 MHz, Memory: 1253 MHz, GDDR5, 362.13, Optimus
Memory
32768 MB 
, DDR4-2133, Dual-Channel, 2/4 slots free, up to 64 GB
Display
17.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 127 PPI, SDC3854, IPS, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel CM236 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Headset, Card Reader: SD UHS-II, 1 SmartCard, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Sensors: Accelerometer
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 30 x 420 x 280 ( = 1.18 x 16.54 x 11.02 in)
Battery
96 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) + Windows 10 Pro (64 Bit)
Camera
Webcam: HD-Webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo speakers, Audio by Bang & Olufsen, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 200-Watt PSU, quick-start guide, warranty information, 2x 2.5-inch hard drive tray + connector cable, HP Performance Advisor, HP Remote Graphics Software, HP Velocity, HP Client Security, Microsoft Security Essentials, HP ePrint Driver, HP Recovery Manager, Foxit PhantomPDF Express, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
3.26 kg ( = 114.99 oz / 7.19 pounds), Power Supply: 987 g ( = 34.82 oz / 2.18 pounds)
Price
4500 Euro

 

Case

At a first and also second look, the HP ZBook 17 G3 is a bigger version of the recently reviewed ZBook 15 G3. Both devices actually got completely new cases compared to their predecessors but use the identical design. Our review unit is a pretty big machine compared to many slim notebooks with a height of three centimeters, but it actually lost 400 grams compared to the old model and is also 0.4 cm thinner. At 3.2 kg, the HP is also the lightest and at the same time the thinnest device within our comparison group but can occupy a bit more space on the desk due to the footprint (420 x 280 mm).

Thanks to the rounded edges at the bottom, the device appears to be much thinner than it really is. HP, similar to the smaller ZBook 15 G3, uses a combination of materials with different shades of gray, which create a very noble appearance in combination with the surrounding polished edge on top of the base unit. The material around the palm rest and the keyboard is matte and does not really attract fingerprints. The whole base unit is made of a magnesium-aluminum alloy, which provides excellent stability. Only the right side of the keyboard can be slightly pushed in, but you have to apply a lot force. The black plastic bottom panel once again falls slightly behind in terms of tactile feel but is also well-integrated. The keyboard of the big ZBook 17 G3 is also spill-water resistant and the notebook is tested according to the military standard MIL-STD-810 (humidity, temperatures, dust etc.).

Four status LEDs
Four status LEDs
Left: ZBook 17 G3, right: ZBook 15 G3
Left: ZBook 17 G3, right: ZBook 15 G3

The surface of the display cover has a dotted structure and is surrounded by a rubberized section, which improves the grip but is also susceptible to fingerprints. The stability, as expected, cannot quite keep up with the base unit but is still very good. You can twist the lid a bit, but we could not provoke picture distortions and the same applies for pressure on the back. Our review unit does, however, have a problem with the hinge, because it produces loud squeaking and creaking sounds when we open the lid or adjust the opening angle. We could not notice this issue with the other devices from the ZBook series, so this should be an isolated incident. The build quality is otherwise on a very high level – you will have a hard time finding a workstation with a better chassis right now.

The battery of the HP ZBook 17 G3 is screwed inside the case and therefore cannot be replaced on the go. There is no maintenance hatch, either, but you can remove the whole bottom panel with a few steps in return. More on that later.

From top to bottom: ZBook Studio G3, ZBook 15 G3, ZBook 17 G3
From top to bottom: ZBook Studio G3, ZBook 15 G3, ZBook 17 G3

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Connectivity

The ZBook 17 G3 does not make any compromises in terms of the connectivity and provides all modern ports. Compared to the predecessor, all the ports are now distributed across both sides. The USB ports on the left side in particular are a bit crowded though and the spacing could be more generous. The highlights are the two Thunderbolt 3 ports (40 Gbps, DisplayPort 1.2, USB 3.1 Gen 2, PCIe Gen 3) with the new USB-C connector. The lack of a proprietary docking port is therefore no problem, either. We listed corresponding solutions in the section Accessories. You can drive up to four individual displays: internal, VGA, and two out of three digital ports (HDMI or 2x Thunderbolt 3). If you use suitable monitors, you can connect two monitors (daisy chain) thanks to the MultiStream technology, which will increase the number of active panels to six. You can even drive six individual monitors with the optional docking stations.

The performance of the ports is on the good level of the smaller sibling ZBook 15 G3. We determined 310/317 MB/s (read/write) with our external Samsung SSDT1 and AS SSD shows 210/124 MB/s (read/write) for our reference SD-card from Toshiba (Exceria Pro UHS-II, 64 GB, up to 260 MB/s). Typical JPG pictures (~5 MB) are transferred at 114/99.8 MB/s (read/write) on average.

Front: no ports
Front: no ports
Right: SmartCard reader, headset, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, VGA, 2x Thunderbolt 3, power
Right: SmartCard reader, headset, USB 3.0, HDMI 1.4, VGA, 2x Thunderbolt 3, power
Left: Kensington lock, Gigabit-Ethernet, 3x USB 3.0 (1x Always-On), SD-card reader
Left: Kensington lock, Gigabit-Ethernet, 3x USB 3.0 (1x Always-On), SD-card reader
Rear: no ports
Rear: no ports

Communication

The ZBook 17 G3 supports both wired (Gigabit Ethernet, Intel I219-LM) as well as wireless network connections. The very popular and powerful WLAN module Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8260 supports all common standards including the fast 802.11ac in 2.4 and 5 GHz networks as well as Bluetooth 4.2. The theoretical transfer rate is 867 Mbps, and we can measure a very good 83-85 MB/s (802.11n: ~9 MB/s) under perfect conditions (1 meter to the router ASUS RT-AC56U). We did not notice any problems with the signal quality during our review.

The notebook is WWAN-ready, so there is an additional slot for a corresponding M.2-2242 module (HP lt4120 Qualcomm Snapdragon X5 LTE or HP hs3110 HSPA+ Intel), and the necessary antennas are already integrated. The according SIM slot is underneath the battery and therefore pretty tricky to access.

The HD webcam and the two microphones are located above the display. The sensor with 1280x720 pixels does its job, but that is pretty much it. We liked voice recording much better, where an external headset is not always necessary.

Security

Fingerprint scanner
Fingerprint scanner

The security features of the ZBook 17 G3 are very comprehensive and do not leave anything to be desired. Access to the notebook can be secured via SmartCard or fingerprint scanner, where you have to swipe your finger across the sensor. HP also implements a TPM 1.2/2.0 module (EAL4+), and you can setup several passwords for the system start and the access to the BIOS. It is also possible to disable individual ports. HP includes many software features in its Client Security software. Here, you can register fingerprints or encrypt the hard drive, for example. Some configurations are also shipped with self-encrypting hard drives.

Accessories

Besides the usual accessories like the power adapter (200 Watts), the quick-start guide and warranty information, the HP ZBook Studio G3 is also shipped with two 2.5-inch brackets as well as the corresponding connector cables. The optional docking station, the HP ZBook TB3 Dock, is very interesting. You only need one cable for the connection, which will also charge the notebook. HP offers three different models that only differ in terms of the power adapter (65, 150 and 200 watts) and can be used with all modern ZBook models. You can expand the port variety with the following ports: 4x USB 3.0, Ethernet, 1x Thunderbolt 3, 2x DisplayPort 1.2, 3.5 mm headset and a Kensington lock. Prices range between about 220 and 250 Euros (~$245 and ~$279) depending on the model.

Optional HP ZBook TB3 Docking Station
Optional HP ZBook TB3 Docking Station

Maintenance

The bottom panel of the ZBook 17 G3 is secured by Torx screws (T9) and can be removed very easily. After that you get access to all important components. Similar to the smaller ZBook 15 G3, the GPU is an MXM module and can be replaced. Four RAM slots (DDR4-SODIMM) can be equipped with up to 64 GB; our test model still has two free slots. The screwed battery indicates the position of the SIM slot underneath the battery. You can still access it, but the process is not particularly comfortable. It is also not possible to change the SIM cards quickly when you travel into another country, for instance. The necessary antennas for the WWAN module are already integrated.

HP uses the available space very well and you can install up to four storage devices. You get one individual M.2 as well as 2.5-inch slot each, and also a combined bay. HP definitely put some thought into the latter, because you can use both slots simultaneously. The M.2-SSD sits in a small depression and the 2.5-inch bracket can just be mounted on top.

MXM GPU and 4x RAM slots
MXM GPU and 4x RAM slots
Slots for the WWAN module (M.2-2242) and SIM (underneath the battery)
Slots for the WWAN module (M.2-2242) and SIM (underneath the battery)
Slots for the two 2.5-inch bays (cables provided)
Slots for the two 2.5-inch bays (cables provided)
M.2-2280 and 2.5-inch slot can be used simultaneously
M.2-2280 and 2.5-inch slot can be used simultaneously

Warranty

The warranty period of the HP ZBook 17 G3 is three years and includes a Pickup & Return service. There are also optional CarePacks to expand the duration as well as the scope of the service. An upgrade to three years On-Site service (product number: U4414E) is around 140 Euros (~$156), while 5 years On-Site service (U7861E) costs around 380 Euros (~$424).

Input Devices

Keyboard

Neither the size nor the functionality of the keyboard differs from the smaller sibling HP ZBook 15 G3, and you just get more unused space next to the input device. We cannot notice any differences during typing, either, so we can once again say that HP implements a very good chiclet keyboard, but it does waste some potential in terms of key travel and in the case of the 17-inch model also in terms of the layout. That a manufacturer uses identical parts to reduce cost is understandable, but the sometimes pretty small keys (arrow keys in particular) are not really necessary when you consider the available space.

The two-stage white illumination is by default deactivated 15 seconds after the last input, but this can be changed in the BIOS (longer time or always on). You can also swap the function of the Ctrl and Fn key in the BIOS, but not the allocation of the function keys F1-F12 (Fn Lock). There is no key combination for it, either. On the top right of the keyboard there are two additional buttons for the wireless modules as well as the speakers, and the status is indicated by different colors (white: active; orange: deactivated and mute, respectively).

Input devices
Input devices
Touchpad & PointStick
Touchpad & PointStick

Touchpad and PointStick

HP also waives a ClickPad for the big ZBook 17 G3 and implements a conventional touchpad with three dedicated buttons. The surface is conveniently sized at 10.3 x 5.9 cm and provides good gliding capabilities. The buttons have a pretty rich pressure point and create a comfortably quiet clicking sound. This is also the case for the three buttons above the touchpad, which can be used with the PointStick. It is also a good mouse replacement, even though the precision is not quite as good compared to the counterpart from Lenovo. We also noticed some unwanted movements from time to time, where the cursor would just follow one direction for a couple of seconds.

Display

Subpixel arrangement
Subpixel arrangement

HP is a bit conservative in respect of the display at the moment, because the very interesting 4K DreamColor display is not yet available. This means you have to live with one of the three following displays: a matte HD+ TN panel (1600x900), a matte FHD-IPS display (1920x1080) and a glossy FHD-IPS touchscreen (1920x1080). We are a bit surprised about the TN panel and you can also find corresponding configurations on the Internet. Our review unit is equipped with a matte FHD-IPS panel from Samsung (SDC3854), which only results in a pixel density of 127 PPI with the 17.3-inch screen. All the symbols and fonts are therefore pretty big and you can work comfortably without scaling (advantage with Windows 7), but high-res screens obviously provide a sharper image.

Subjectively, there is still not a lot to criticize. The sharpness is okay, the colors leave a good impression and you cannot see a blue cast. PWM is used to control the display brightness for stage 8/20 and lower. Because of the low frequency of just 200 Hz, there can be limitations in darker environments in particular (see box). You can only see some backlight bleeding with a dark picture and the highest luminance, but it was no problem in practice.

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 200 Hz40 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 200 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 40 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 200 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 58 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 5559 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

249
cd/m²
256
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
259
cd/m²
252
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
241
cd/m²
227
cd/m²
222
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 259 cd/m² Average: 243.1 cd/m² Minimum: 13 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 252 cd/m²
Contrast: 1200:1 (Black: 0.21 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.2 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.7 | - Ø
97% sRGB (Calman) 96% sRGB (Argyll) 62% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.28
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
IPS, 1920x1080
Dell Precision 7710
IPS LED, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
IPS, 3840x2160
MSI WT72-6QM
IPS, 1920x1080
Bullman E-Klasse 5
AH-IPS WLED, 1920x1080
HP ZBook 17 E9X11AA-ABA
LED IPS, 1920x1080
Response Times
-9%
10%
-11%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
50.4 (17.2, 33.2)
50 (17, 33)
1%
44 (17.2, 26.8)
13%
42 (13, 29)
17%
Response Time Black / White *
28.4 (7.2, 21.2)
36 (11, 25)
-27%
27.6 (4.8, 22.8)
3%
26 (7, 19)
8%
PWM Frequency
200 (40)
198 (25)
-1%
228 (95)
14%
86 (10, 15)
-57%
Screen
-17%
-31%
-49%
-25%
0%
Brightness
243
307
26%
341
40%
298
23%
335
38%
311
28%
Brightness Distribution
86
83
-3%
85
-1%
94
9%
89
3%
88
2%
Black Level *
0.21
0.33
-57%
0.4
-90%
0.46
-119%
0.44
-110%
0.359
-71%
Contrast
1200
1006
-16%
913
-24%
659
-45%
807
-33%
891
-26%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.2
3
-36%
3.8
-73%
5.77
-162%
3.73
-70%
2.04
7%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.7
4
-48%
6.09
-126%
4.87
-80%
2.84
-5%
2.45
9%
Gamma
2.28 105%
2 120%
2.3 104%
1.99 121%
2.12 113%
2.28 105%
CCT
6686 97%
7089 92%
6332 103%
7363 88%
6457 101%
6518 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62
62
0%
76.01
23%
56.04
-10%
55.45
-11%
93
50%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
96
97
1%
99.97
4%
85.27
-11%
84.39
-12%
100
4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-13% / -15%
-11% / -20%
-30% / -39%
-25% / -25%
0% / 0%

* ... smaller is better

CalMAN Grayscale pre-calibration
CalMAN Grayscale pre-calibration
CalMAN Colorspace pre-calibration
CalMAN Colorspace pre-calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker pre-calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker pre-calibration
CalMAN Grayscale post calibration
CalMAN Grayscale post calibration
CalMAN Colorspace post calibration
CalMAN Colorspace post calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps post calibration
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps post calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker post calibration
CalMAN ColorChecker post calibration

Almost all the display measurements are very good, only the luminance of the review unit clearly falls behind the rivals. We can only determine slightly more than 240 cd/m² on average. This is sufficient indoors in combination with the matte panel surface, but a more powerful background illumination would have been nice, especially when you consider the price. That's all our criticism though, because the other results are very good. The low black value of 0.21 cd/m² results in an extremely high contrast of 1200:1, and the average DeltaE-2000 deviations of the colors and the grayscale are already below 3 ex-works. Deviations are therefore not visible to the human eye. Color temperature and gamma value are also close to their respective ideal values. The results are even better after a calibration and the average deviations for the colors and the grayscale drop to just 0.5 and 0.6, respectively.

sRGB coverage: 96%
sRGB coverage: 96%
AdobeRGB coverage: 62%
AdobeRGB coverage: 62%

The display covers almost the whole sRGB color space (96%) and the wider AdobeRGB reference at least by 62%. The 4K panel of the ThinkPad P70 performs a bit better and the Dell Precision 7710 is on par. The optional DreamColor display will be interesting, even though HP does not give any specific information about the color gamut.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7.2 ms rise
↘ 21.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 65 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (26.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
50.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17.2 ms rise
↘ 33.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 83 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (43 ms).

Despite the matte panel surface, we would like to have a higher luminance in bright environments, so the handling would be more comfortable. The brightness is at least not reduced on battery power and you can still see the display content even on bright days. The viewing-angle stability of the IPS display is, as expected, very good. The contrast will only drop when you look from an angle from below, but there are no limitations. Even multiple people can look at the screen of the ZBook 17 G3 simultaneously.

In the sun (with reflection)
In the sun (with reflection)
In the sun (without reflection)
In the sun (without reflection)
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

HP's ZBook 17 G3 meets the requirements for a high-end workstation and is available with the fastest components you can currently get for a mobile device. However, you can also choose slower components, so the workstation can cover a wide range of applications. Every configuration is equipped with a quad-core processor from Intel (Core i5, Core 7, Xeon) as well as a professional GPU from AMD (FirePro W6150M) or Nvidia (Quadro M1000MM2000MM3000MM4000MM5000M). There are also numerous options for the memory and storage equipment, including ECC-RAM in combination with the mobile Xeon processors. Our review unit, however, uses common DDR4 memory.

Processor

The mobile Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5 is currently one of the fastest mobile processors and is based on the Skylake architecture. The clock is up to 3.8 GHz via Turbo Boost (4 cores: 3.4 GHz), but the chip is slightly held back by the TDP of 45 Watts when you really stress it. The clock drops to 3.3 GHz after 8 seconds in the Cinebench tests and even to 3.1 GHz under extreme load by Prime95. Our review unit is therefore slightly behind the Dell Precision 7710, where the processor can utilize its maximum performance all the time. Our review unit cannot maintain the maximum 3.8 GHz in the single-tests, either, and it will occasionally drop to 3.6 GHz.

Maximum Turbo Boost
Maximum Turbo Boost
TDP limitation at 45 Watts after 8 seconds
TDP limitation at 45 Watts after 8 seconds

The results are still very good and are usually only beaten by the previously mentioned rivals from Dell as well as the Bullman E-Klasse with the desktop processor (+7 up to +14%). The maximum consumption of the processor is limited to ~27 Watts on battery power, and the Turbo Boost is not available, either. This results in a performance drop of up to 20% in the benchmarks (8.16 vs. 6.57 points @CB11.5 Multi). More benchmarks with the E3-1535M v5 are available in our database.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
174 Points ∼100% +12%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
162 Points ∼93% +4%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
157 Points ∼90% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
156 Points ∼90%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
153 Points ∼88% -2%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
135 Points ∼78% -13%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
843 Points ∼100% +14%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
746 Points ∼88% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
742 Points ∼88%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
724 Points ∼86% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
699 Points ∼83% -6%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
657 Points ∼78% -11%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
1.95 Points ∼100% +7%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
1.84 Points ∼94% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
1.83 Points ∼94%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
1.77 Points ∼91% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
1.7 Points ∼87% -7%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
1.54 Points ∼79% -16%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
9.14 Points ∼100% +12%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
8.24 Points ∼90% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
8.16 Points ∼89%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
7.85 Points ∼86% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
7.63 Points ∼83% -6%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
7.11 Points ∼78% -13%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
8597 Points ∼100% +17%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
7608 Points ∼88% +3%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
7421 Points ∼86% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
7353 Points ∼86%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
6965 Points ∼81% -5%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
6635 Points ∼77% -10%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
31767 Points ∼100% +8%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
29416 Points ∼93%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
29375 Points ∼92% 0%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
27938 Points ∼88% -5%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
27072 Points ∼85% -8%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
24894 Points ∼78% -15%
Rendering Single 32Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
6398 Points ∼100% +12%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
5837 Points ∼91% +2%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
5708 Points ∼89%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
5627 Points ∼88% -1%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
5429 Points ∼85% -5%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
4993 Points ∼78% -13%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Intel Core i7-4790K
25082 Points ∼100% +13%
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
22496 Points ∼90% +2%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Intel Xeon E3-1535M v5
22147 Points ∼88%
MSI WT72-6QM
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5
21475 Points ∼86% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Intel Core i7-6820HQ
20682 Points ∼82% -7%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
Intel Core i7-4710MQ
19450 Points ∼78% -12%
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7353 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
29416 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6847 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6844
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
22147
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5708
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
99.7 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
8.16 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.83 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
116.08 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
742 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
156 Points
Help

System Performance

Thanks to the fast components, the handling of the ZBook 17 G3 is very responsive and there are basically no waiting times. The preloaded Windows 7 Professional (license for Windows 10 Pro included) boots quickly, and our inputs are always executed without delays. The PCMark results for our review unit are still just average, but the order can also change depending on the test. The Lenovo ThinkPad P70, for example, is beaten in all tests, while the Dell Precision 7710 is sometimes faster and sometimes slower than our review unit.

PCMark 7 - Score
MSI WT72-6QM
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M5000M, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
6657 Points ∼100% +21%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
4790K, Quadro K3100M, Samsung SSD SM951 256GB MZHPV256HDGL
6447 Points ∼97% +17%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5487 Points ∼82%
Dell Precision 7710
E3-1535M v5, FirePro W7170M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5072 Points ∼76% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
6820HQ, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
5003 Points ∼75% -9%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
4710MQ, FirePro M6100, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721075A9E630
3356 Points ∼50% -39%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
MSI WT72-6QM
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M5000M, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
5655 Points ∼100% +7%
Dell Precision 7710
E3-1535M v5, FirePro W7170M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5417 Points ∼96% +3%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
4790K, Quadro K3100M, Samsung SSD SM951 256GB MZHPV256HDGL
5372 Points ∼95% +2%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5271 Points ∼93%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
4710MQ, FirePro M6100, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721075A9E630
4595 Points ∼81% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
6820HQ, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
4411 Points ∼78% -16%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Dell Precision 7710
E3-1535M v5, FirePro W7170M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
5668 Points ∼100% +24%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
4710MQ, FirePro M6100, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721075A9E630
4890 Points ∼86% +7%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
4790K, Quadro K3100M, Samsung SSD SM951 256GB MZHPV256HDGL
4761 Points ∼84% +4%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4564 Points ∼81%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell Precision 7710
E3-1535M v5, FirePro W7170M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4770 Points ∼100% +15%
MSI WT72-6QM
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M5000M, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPU7
4731 Points ∼99% +14%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
4710MQ, FirePro M6100, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721075A9E630
4464 Points ∼94% +8%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
4790K, Quadro K3100M, Samsung SSD SM951 256GB MZHPV256HDGL
4355 Points ∼91% +5%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
4133 Points ∼87%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
6820HQ, Quadro M3000M, Samsung SSD PM871 MZNLN512HCJH
3345 Points ∼70% -19%
PCMark 7 Score
5487 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
4133 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4564 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5271 points
Help

Storage Devices

We already mentioned that the review unit can be equipped with up to four storage devices. The two M.2 slots are attached via PCIe-NVMe, while the other two slots are limited to SATA-III. Our review unit is equipped with the HP Z Turbo Drive, which indicates the PCIe-NVMe-SSD. Our model is provided by Samsung (SM951) and has a capacity of 256 GB. This is pretty meager considering the enormous price, and we would have at least expected the 512 GB version or an additional drive.

The sequential transfer rates are very high at ~1500/1200 MB/s (read/write) according to CrystalDiskMark, so the drive has a clear advantage over SATA-III SSDs (limited at around 500-550 MB/s). The advantage over the mechanical hard drive in the predecessor ZBook 17 G2 is particularly big, as it only managed about 85 MB/s on average. More benchmarks with HDDs/SSDs are available in our Tech section.

Samsung SM951 MZVPV256HDGL m.2 PCI-e
Sequential Read: 1481 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1243 MB/s
512K Read: 1202 MB/s
512K Write: 1163 MB/s
4K Read: 58.65 MB/s
4K Write: 207.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 832 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 377.9 MB/s

GPU Performance

The Nvidia Quadro M3000M is based on the current Maxwell GM 204 chip and is very similar to the consumer GeForce GTX 965M with its 1024 shaders. The video memory, however, is much bigger at 4 GB GDDR-VRAM, which is also the case for the 256-bit interface. Compared to its predecessor, the Quadro K3100M, both the performance as well as the efficiency should be much higher. Thanks to the Optimus support, the graphics are handled by the integrated Intel HD Graphics P530 when you use simple applications or in the power-saving mode.

The professional chip differs from the consumer GeForce cards in terms of a modified BIOS as well as special drivers, which are designed for stability. Comprehensive certifications also ensure a trouble-free operation between hardware and software. The drivers can result in a significant performance advantage in OpenGL-optimized applications in particular. We use the benchmarks SPECviewperf 11 and 12 for professional purposes. They cover the areas CAD, CAM, geology and medical MRI. Overall, the Quadro M3000M performs very well and is often more than twice as fast as the direct predecessor, the Quadro K3100M. Another interesting aspect is the comparison between the two Quadro M3000M GPUs. They are often on par, but our card is sometimes (Siemens NX, for example) much faster. The reason is probably the newer driver version. The AMD FirePro W7170M from the Dell Precision 7710 can only beat the Quadro M3000M in a handful of tests.

SPECviewperf 12
1900x1060 Solidworks (sw-03)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
101.01 fps ∼100% +19%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
84.84 fps ∼84%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
73 fps ∼72% -14%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
66.53 fps ∼66% -22%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
62 fps ∼61% -27%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
52.35 fps ∼52% -38%
1900x1060 Siemens NX (snx-02)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
86.87 fps ∼100% +32%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
65.79 fps ∼76%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
63 fps ∼73% -4%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
50.73 fps ∼58% -23%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
39.84 fps ∼46% -39%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
32 fps ∼37% -51%
1900x1060 Showcase (showcase-01)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
44.14 fps ∼100% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
43.81 fps ∼99%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
39.81 fps ∼90% -9%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
37 fps ∼84% -16%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
26.31 fps ∼60% -40%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
19 fps ∼43% -57%
1900x1060 Medical (medical-01)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
31.35 fps ∼100% +40%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
27 fps ∼86% +21%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
22.34 fps ∼71%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
17.46 fps ∼56% -22%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
16.27 fps ∼52% -27%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
10 fps ∼32% -55%
1900x1060 Maya (maya-04)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
69.57 fps ∼100% +38%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
50.38 fps ∼72%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
46 fps ∼66% -9%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
39.17 fps ∼56% -22%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
28 fps ∼40% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
23.08 fps ∼33% -54%
1900x1060 Energy (energy-01)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
6.86 fps ∼100% +41%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
4.85 fps ∼71%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
4.68 fps ∼68% -4%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
3.17 fps ∼46% -35%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
2.1 fps ∼31% -57%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
0.59 fps ∼9% -88%
1900x1060 Creo (creo-01)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
81.34 fps ∼100% +26%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
64.76 fps ∼80%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
50 fps ∼61% -23%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
42.61 fps ∼52% -34%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
42.17 fps ∼52% -35%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
29 fps ∼36% -55%
1900x1060 Catia (catia-04)
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
94.45 fps ∼100% +21%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
77.86 fps ∼82%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
58 fps ∼61% -26%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
45.24 fps ∼48% -42%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
44.02 fps ∼47% -43%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
33 fps ∼35% -58%
SPECviewperf 11
1920x1080 Siemens NX
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
67.36 fps ∼100% +35%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
61.76 fps ∼92% +24%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
49.91 fps ∼74%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
49 fps ∼73% -2%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
47.84 fps ∼71% -4%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
39 fps ∼58% -22%
1920x1080 Tcvis
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
56.28 fps ∼100%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
55.94 fps ∼99% -1%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
42 fps ∼75% -25%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
41.16 fps ∼73% -27%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
36 fps ∼64% -36%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
28.37 fps ∼50% -50%
1920x1080 SolidWorks
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
74 fps ∼100% +54%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
68.72 fps ∼93% +43%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
52 fps ∼70% +8%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
49.26 fps ∼67% +3%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
48.01 fps ∼65%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
35.28 fps ∼48% -27%
1920x1080 Pro/ENGINEER
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
22.46 fps ∼100%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
21 fps ∼93% -7%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
17.87 fps ∼80% -20%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
16.08 fps ∼72% -28%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
11.7 fps ∼52% -48%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
10.66 fps ∼47% -53%
1920x1080 Maya
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
106 fps ∼100% +84%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
99.72 fps ∼94% +73%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
85.96 fps ∼81% +49%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
71.59 fps ∼68% +24%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
57.76 fps ∼54%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
55 fps ∼52% -5%
1920x1080 Lightwave
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
84 fps ∼100% +62%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
77.78 fps ∼93% +50%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
59.58 fps ∼71% +15%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
56 fps ∼67% +8%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
51.87 fps ∼62%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
35.34 fps ∼42% -32%
1920x1080 Ensight
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
73.98 fps ∼100% +25%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
70 fps ∼95% +18%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
59.49 fps ∼80% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
59.1 fps ∼80%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
55.74 fps ∼75% -6%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
39 fps ∼53% -34%
1920x1080 Catia
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
61 fps ∼100% +14%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
55.25 fps ∼91% +3%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
53.44 fps ∼88%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
49.28 fps ∼81% -8%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
47 fps ∼77% -12%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
43.12 fps ∼71% -19%

Calculations can be transferred from the processor to the graphics card via the OpenCL interface, but the standards differ depending on the manufacturer. This includes Quick Sync (Intel), APP (AMD) or in our case CUDA, for example. Those methods are mainly used for picture and video conversions, financial analysis as well as encryption in practice. We use the two tools LuxMark 2.0 (ray tracing) and SiSoft Sandra 16 (GPGPU). LuxMark 2.0 shows the advantages of the new Maxwell GPU, because our Quadro M3000M can clearly beat the rivals and is even neck and neck with the supposedly much faster Quadro M5000M inside the MSI WT72The results are also very good in SiSoft Sandra 16, but the FirePro W7170M from AMD (Dell Precision 7710) is much faster in two of three tests.

LuxMark v2.0 64Bit
Room GPUs-only
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
1331 Samples/s ∼100% +3%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
1288 Samples/s ∼97%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
1258 Samples/s ∼95% -2%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
782 Samples/s ∼59% -39%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
598 Samples/s ∼45% -54%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
215 Samples/s ∼16% -83%
Sala GPUs-only
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
2288 Samples/s ∼100%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
2234 Samples/s ∼98% -2%
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
2179 Samples/s ∼95% -5%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
1412 Samples/s ∼62% -38%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
1084 Samples/s ∼47% -53%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
423 Samples/s ∼18% -82%
SiSoft Sandra 2016
Image Processing
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
527.4 MPix/s ∼100% +64%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
367.1 MPix/s ∼70% +14%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
322.56 MPix/s ∼61%
GP Cryptography (Higher Security AES256+SHA2-512)
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
12.74 GB/s ∼100%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
12.47 GB/s ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
11.12 GB/s ∼87% -13%
GP Financial Analysis (FP High/Double Precision)
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
66.36 KOPT/s ∼100% +104%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
32.97 KOPT/s ∼50% +2%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
32.46 KOPT/s ∼49%

DirectX applications, which also include games, are more dependent on the raw performance of the hardware. The Fire Strike test (Graphics) of the current 3DMark determines 6658 points for our ZBook 17 G3, which is just ahead of the ThinkPad P70, but the FirePro W7170M in the Dell is even a bit faster. The Quadro M5000M in the MSI WT72 has a significant advantage of around 36%.

It is interesting to compare the results with the consumer chips from the GeForce series. The GeForce GTX 965M, which has very similar specs, is 8% slower, while the GTX 970M is 15% faster.

You can compare the DirectX and the OpenGL performance (without optimizations) in the two benchmarks Unigine Heaven 3.0 and Unigine Valley 1.0, and the DirectX results are a bit better. The big OpenGL advantage (Unigine Heaven 3.0) compared to the Quadro M3000M in the ThinkPad P70 (+ 76%) is striking, which is also a result of the driver update.

The graphics performance is reduced by around 20% on battery power (8313 vs. 6711 points in 3DMark 11).

Unigine Heaven 3.0
1920x1080 OpenGL, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders AA:Off AF:Off
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
101.5 fps ∼100% +33%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
76.2 fps ∼75%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
59.3 fps ∼58% -22%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
48.8 fps ∼48% -36%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
43.4 fps ∼43% -43%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
35.8 fps ∼35% -53%
1920x1080 DX 11, Normal Tessellation, High Shaders AA:Off AF:Off
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
108.6 fps ∼100% +35%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
80.6 fps ∼74%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
79.3 fps ∼73% -2%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
76.9 fps ∼71% -5%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
56.2 fps ∼52% -30%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
37 fps ∼34% -54%
Unigine Valley 1.0
1920x1080 Extreme HD DirectX AA:x8
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
47.3 fps ∼100% +23%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
38.5 fps ∼81%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
37.8 fps ∼80% -2%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
30.7 fps ∼65% -20%
1920x1080 Extreme HD Preset OpenGL AA:x8
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
32.2 fps ∼100%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
26.6 fps ∼83% -17%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
22 fps ∼68% -32%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
9087 Points ∼100% +36%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
7624 Points ∼84% +15%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
6935 Points ∼76% +4%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
6658 Points ∼73%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
6415 Points ∼71% -4%
Schenker XMG A726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
6103 Points ∼67% -8%
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4372 Points ∼48% -34%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
4010 Points ∼44% -40%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
2855 Points ∼31% -57%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score
MSI WT72-6QM
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
7979 Points ∼100% +31%
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-7925
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
6719 Points ∼84% +10%
Dell Precision 7710
AMD FirePro W7170M
6180 Points ∼77% +1%
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
6108 Points ∼77%
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
5835 Points ∼73% -4%
Schenker XMG A726
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
5339 Points ∼67% -13%
MSI GE62-6QD16H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
4018 Points ∼50% -34%
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
AMD FirePro M6100
3644 Points ∼46% -40%
Bullman E-Klasse 5
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
2731 Points ∼34% -55%
3DMark 06 Standard
27895 points
3DMark 11 Performance
8586 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
91685 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
23083 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
6108 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Thanks to the fast GPU, the HP ZBook 17 G3 can also handle games really well. Our gaming table shows that even modern titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider easily run in the native FHD resolution. You should only waive the highest settings to ensure smooth gameplay in every situation. We did not have any problems with crashes or graphics errors during our review. More gaming benchmarks with the Quadro M3000M are available here.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 226.3182.7166.769.8fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 122.774.642.422.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 114.969.940.233.4fps

Emissions

System Noise

The two fans of the HP ZBook 17 G3 only know two states: off or not audible, respectively, and loud. However, the noise is still much more convenient compared to the recently reviewed ZBook Studio G3, because the fans are not acting independently and there is no pulsating, either. Almost 49 dB(A) under load is obviously still clearly audible, but the deep murmur was subjectively not annoying. Many of the rivals, particularly the ThinkPad P70 and the MSI WT72, are still much more restrained.

Another small issue of the ZBook 17 G3 is a quiet coil whining, which is mainly audible after load, but sometimes also while idling. Compared to other notebooks, however, it is pretty quiet and therefore hardly annoying.

Noise Level

Idle
30 / 30 / 30 dB(A)
Load
48.9 / 48.9 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30 dB(A)
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
Quadro M3000M
Dell Precision 7710
FirePro W7170M
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
Quadro M3000M
MSI WT72-6QM
Quadro M5000M
Bullman E-Klasse 5
Quadro K3100M
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
FirePro M6100
Noise
3%
7%
1%
3%
2%
off / environment *
30
30
-0%
30
-0%
Idle Minimum *
30
30
-0%
30
-0%
33.3
-11%
28.5
5%
29.2
3%
Idle Average *
30
30
-0%
30
-0%
33.4
-11%
28.5
5%
29.9
-0%
Idle Maximum *
30
30
-0%
30
-0%
33.5
-12%
28.5
5%
29.9
-0%
Load Average *
48.9
43.2
12%
36.5
25%
38.8
21%
47.8
2%
46.8
4%
Load Maximum *
48.9
47.13
4%
40.8
17%
40.2
18%
50.8
-4%
46.8
4%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The chassis of the HP ZBook 17 G3 basically does not warm up at all while idling and under light workloads. This will change under load, because we can measure up to 55 °C at the top and bottom of the base unit during our stress test. The surrounding areas will warm up as well, including the central keyboard area. You can also feel it during typing, but there are no limitations. All the rivals are cooler under load, especially the ThinkPad P70 and the predecessor ZBook 17 G2.

We use our stress test (Prime95 and FurMark for at least one hour) to check the behavior of the components in an extreme situation. The GPU is very stable and runs with a core clock between 987-1050 MHz (up to 69 °C) during the whole test. The situation is a bit different for the processor: The full 3.4 GHz is once again only available in the first 8 seconds, before the clock drops to 3.1 GHz. After another ~15 minutes, the chip will start to fluctuate between 3.0-3.1 GHz, which does not change over the course of the test. The maximum temperature of 93 °C is reached after about half an hour. A 3DMark 11 run immediately after the stress test did not determine a lower score.

Max. Load
 41.8 °C55.5 °C44.7 °C 
 31.7 °C39.5 °C31.7 °C 
 26.3 °C29.4 °C28.4 °C 
Maximum: 55.5 °C
Average: 36.6 °C
37.9 °C55.8 °C37.9 °C
29.2 °C45.3 °C28.8 °C
27.1 °C31.2 °C26.6 °C
Maximum: 55.8 °C
Average: 35.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  50.6 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Fennel FIRT 550-Pocket
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M3000M
Dell Precision 7710
E3-1535M v5, FirePro W7170M
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
6820HQ, Quadro M3000M
MSI WT72-6QM
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M5000M
Bullman E-Klasse 5
4790K, Quadro K3100M
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
4710MQ, FirePro M6100
Heat
6%
12%
5%
-12%
12%
Maximum Upper Side *
55.5
35.6
36%
39
30%
40.6
27%
42.3
24%
39.2
29%
Maximum Bottom *
55.8
55
1%
35.4
37%
42.6
24%
44.2
21%
37.2
33%
Idle Upper Side *
29.1
29.3
-1%
30.8
-6%
28.2
3%
41.6
-43%
28.9
1%
Idle Bottom *
29
32.8
-13%
33.1
-14%
38.6
-33%
43.9
-51%
33
-14%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Similar to the smaller ZBook 15 G3, the perforated grill above the keyboard suggests speakers that are faced towards the user. They are, however, located at the bottom front of the ZBook 17 G3 and direct the sound towards the bottom. The sound will be reflected towards the user on solid ground, but it can be a bit muffled on softer surfaces. You can actually notice a certain stereo effect due to the distance between both modules, and they leave a pretty good impression in general. They are really loud at up to 92 dB(A) and the sound is pretty balanced, but an additional subwoofer would have been nice. The performance is definitely sufficient for YouTube videos and some background music. The addition Bang & Olufsen refers to the software, which provides multiple presets including an equalizer. They will result in a slightly richer sound, especially at lower volume levels, but you should deactivate the software when you use good headphones.

Bang & Olufsen software
Bang & Olufsen software
Bang & Olufsen software
Bang & Olufsen software
One of the two speakers
One of the two speakers
Speaker measurements
Speaker measurements

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Our consumption measurements show pretty low idle values for the review unit, but the ZBook 17 G3 also benefits from its darker display and also the lower resolution compared to some rivals. The consumption will reach almost 160 Watts under load, so the bulky 200-Watt power adapter (~1 kg, 17 x 9.5 x 2.5 cm) is sufficient for our configuration.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.7 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 6.7 / 12.5 / 13.2 Watt
Load midlight 128.2 / 158.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
E3-1535M v5, Quadro M3000M, 1920x1080
Dell Precision 7710
E3-1535M v5, FirePro W7170M, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
6820HQ, Quadro M3000M, 3840x2160
MSI WT72-6QM
E3-1505M v5, Quadro M5000M, 1920x1080
Bullman E-Klasse 5
4790K, Quadro K3100M, 1920x1080
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
4710MQ, FirePro M6100, 1920x1080
Power Consumption
-47%
-31%
-108%
-175%
-164%
Idle Minimum *
6.7
6.04
10%
12.1
-81%
24.8
-270%
33.7
-403%
29.7
-343%
Idle Average *
12.5
15.2
-22%
19.7
-58%
29.7
-138%
39.3
-214%
41.6
-233%
Idle Maximum *
13.2
42.3
-220%
20.5
-55%
30.1
-128%
40.2
-205%
42.3
-220%
Load Average *
128.2
112.8
12%
94.3
26%
105.2
18%
148
-15%
136.1
-6%
Load Maximum *
158.9
182.2
-15%
139.6
12%
192.2
-21%
221
-39%
184
-16%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Inside the ZBook 17 G3 is a 6-cell battery with a capacity of 96 Wh. This is, together with the ThinkPad P70, the highest capacity within this comparison. Our realistic battery tests with a brightness of around 150 cd/m² determine runtimes of about 5 hours for the review unit. These are decent results for such a powerful device, but the ThinkPad P70 in particular lasts even longer. One reason is the PWM control of the ThinkPad, which is already working at these brightness levels. The review unit on the other hand only uses PWM for lower brightness levels.

In addition to our usual load test with the Battery Eater Classic Test, we also check the minimum battery runtime for workstations with a loop of the SPECviewperf 12 benchmark. The review unit only lasts 62 minutes before the battery is empty. This is the worst-case scenario. A complete recharge of the battery takes little more than 2.5 hours.

Maximum runtime (Battery Eater Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Battery Eater Reader's Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Video runtime
Video runtime
Minimum runtime (Battery Eater Classic)
Minimum runtime (Battery Eater Classic)
SPECviewperf 12
SPECviewperf 12
Charging
Charging
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 56min
WiFi Surfing v1.3 (IE 11)
4h 50min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 59min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 50min
HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA
96 Wh,  mAh
Dell Precision 7710
72 Wh,  mAh
Lenovo ThinkPad P70
96 Wh,  mAh
MSI WT72-6QM
 Wh, 86580 mAh
Bullman E-Klasse 5
82 Wh,  mAh
HP ZBook 17 G2 J8Z55ET
75 Wh,  mAh
Battery Runtime
-5%
-5%
-35%
-54%
-64%
Reader / Idle
956
775
-19%
464
-51%
413
-57%
166
-83%
162
-83%
H.264
299
283
-5%
452
51%
123
-59%
142
-53%
WiFi v1.3
290
365
26%
361
24%
245
-16%
144
-50%
Load
110
85
-23%
64
-42%
76
-31%
85
-23%
49
-55%
WiFi
149

Pros

+ great chassis
+ comparatively thin and light
+ very high performance
+ accurate display
+ good input devices
+ modern ports
+ very good expandability
+ fast WLAN
+ big selection of components

Cons

- loud and warm under load
- display could be brighter
- our review unit has a squeaky hinge
- processor cannot utilize its full potential under sustained loads
- reduced performance on battery
- battery not accessible from the outside anymore
- PWM
- location of the SIM slot
- very expensive

Verdict

In review: HP ZBook 17 G3. Test model courtesy of HP Germany.
In review: HP ZBook 17 G3. Test model courtesy of HP Germany.

Is the HP ZBook 17 G3 the perfect workstation? The answer is no, but HP still offers a very good device. We particularly like the current case design of the G3-series, which is certainly among the best in terms of quality. We get modern ports, a wide range of components and the maintainability is excellent.

One bigger drawback is the emissions, because some of the rivals perform much better, despite similarly powerful components. The Full HD display could not completely convince us, either. It is already very accurate out of the box, and the contrast is very high as well, but the luminance is much lower compared to the rivals, including the predecessor. The optional 4K DreamColor display should perform better in this respect, but corresponding configurations are not available yet. Another problem of our review unit is the squeaking hinge, but we consider it to be an isolated incident.

The HP ZBook 17 G3 is a very good workstation with modern interfaces and an excellent chassis. The tested configuration, however, is also the most expensive device by quite a margin but is still beaten by the rivals in some sections.

Another quite important aspect is obviously the price, and our test model is extremely expensive at more than 4,500 Euros (~$5014). It will certainly pay off to have a look at some lower-spec configurations, which already start at around 2,100 Euros (~$2340). We have now reviewed all current workstations from the big manufacturers, and it is not easy to determine a clear winner. The ZBook 17 G3 manages a slightly higher rating, but every device has its own set of advantages and drawbacks, so the personal preferences and obviously the planned usage scenario will be important as well. The emissions of the ZBook 17 G3 in particular still leave room for improvements.

HP ZBook 17 G3 TZV66eA - 05/24/2016 v5.1
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
94 / 98 → 96%
Keyboard
91%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
85 / 81 → 100%
Weight
55 / 66 → 80%
Battery
80%
Display
90%
Games Performance
89%
Application Performance
94%
Temperature
86 / 95 → 90%
Noise
81 / 90 → 90%
Audio
74%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
81%
89%
Workstation - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP ZBook 17 G3 Workstation Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2016-05-30 (Update: 2016-05-31)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.