HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 Review

HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 Review

HP ZBook Fury 15 G8

Can't take my eyes off of you
PROS
Beautiful 4K DreamColor display
processor with a scorching Core i9 core
ECC memory with up to 128 GB of RAM and 8 TB of storage capacity available
Excellent serviceability as well as safety.
CONS
Extremely high cost when all options are selected.
A GPU that costs an arm and a leg fails to impress Wi-Fi 6, not 6E

HP ZBOOK FURY 15 G8 SPECS

Laptop ClassBusiness, Workstation
ProcessorIntel Core i9-11950H
Processor Speed2.6 GHz
RAM (as Tested)32 GB
Boot Drive TypeSSD
Boot Drive Capacity (as Tested)1 TB
Screen Size15.6 inches
Native Display Resolution3840 by 2160
Touch ScreenNo
Panel TechnologyIPS
Variable Refresh SupportNone
Screen Refresh Rate120 Hz
Graphics ProcessorNvidia RTX A5000
Graphics Memory16 GB
Wireless Networking802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Dimensions (HWD)1.02 by 14.2 by 9.6 inches
Weight5.32 lbs
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
Tested Battery Life (Hours:Minutes)7:03

We are really proud of the meticulous performance benchmark testing that we have developed, but benchmarks aren’t everything. The HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 (starting at $2,369; $5,750 as tested) is a spectacularly fast and powerful mobile workstation that is ready to rip through the most demanding jobs in computer-aided design (CAD), computer-generated imagery (CGI), or data science. However, its fellow 15.6-inch flagships—the recently reviewed Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 and Dell Precision 7560—were a few ticks faster still in most of our measurements. Our Editors’ Choice award goes to the HP because of its svelte form and dazzling DreamColor display. Any of the three is an excellent option for processing enormous datasets or building beautiful virtual reality (VR) environments; nevertheless, the HP is the clear winner in this category.

The Absolute Pinnacle of Excellence

The ZBook Fury is the largest of HP’s laptop workstations, with screen sizes of 15.6 and 17.3 inches. It was designed to provide the utmost in performance, expandability, and security, and it has a laundry list of independent software vendor (ISV) certifications for specific applications. It is superior than the ZBook Power, which is designed for engineering students who are short on funds; the ZBook Firefly, which is intended for 2D designers looking for something lightweight; and the ZBook Studio, which is intended for video editors and content creators.

Although the Fury 15 G8 technically begins at $2,071 with an Intel Core i5 processor and a dull 250-nit panel, we do not honor laptops with integrated graphics as “workstations” and hence do not provide that category to notebooks with integrated graphics. Workstation users are likely to rely on a variety of ISV certifications, and these certifications require discrete GPUs. The actual Core i7 CPU, 400-nit screen, and Nvidia T1200 GPU are included in the real base model, which costs $2,369.

Our test unit comes equipped with an eight-core, 2.6GHz (5.0GHz turbo) Core i9-11950H CPU, Nvidia’s 16GB RTX A5000 graphics card, 32GB of memory, a 1TB NVMe solid-state drive, and HP’s finest mobile workstation screen, a 4K (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) DreamColor panel for a whopping price of $5,750. In addition, the unit has a 1TB NVMe The DreamColor display is capable of reaching a maximum brightness of 600 nits and has a refresh rate of 120Hz, which is significantly higher than the standard 60Hz. With Windows Hello, users have the option of bypassing the password prompt by using either a fingerprint reader or a face recognition webcam.

Screen options that don’t use DreamColor include a 4K touch panel made of Gorilla Glass and a 1080p display that uses HP’s Sure View Reflect privacy filter to prevent prying eyes from other aircraft passengers. There is space for up to 8 terabytes of solid-state storage and a maximum RAM loadout of 128 gigabytes (or 64 gigabytes of error-correcting code memory if you go with the Xeon W-11955M processor). You can gain access to two of the four memory sockets and three of the four M.2 slots by removing the bottom panel by sliding a latch in the opposite direction.

The Fury 15 G8 has a top made of aluminum and a bottom and inner structure made of magnesium. It has a height, width, and depth (HWD) of 1.02 by 14.2 by 9.6 inches and a weight of 5.32 pounds, which makes it roughly an ounce more portable than the Precision 7560. (1.08 by 14.2 by 9.5 inches, 5.42 pounds). With its dimensions of 1.24 by 14.7 by 9.9 inches and its weight of 6.32 pounds, the ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 is the most imposing of the bunch. Although it does not meet the criteria for a rugged laptop, the MIL-STD 810H torture tests for shock, vibration, and environmental extremes have been successfully completed by both the HP and the Lenovo. When you hold the screen corners or press the keyboard deck, there is no bend in the display.

The left edge of the device houses a SmartCard slot, an audio jack, an Ethernet port, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, and an audio jack. Additionally, there are slots for security locks and SmartCards. Along with the power connector, the SD card slot, HDMI and mini DisplayPort visual outputs, as well as two USB-C ports that are capable of Thunderbolt 4, are located on the right side of the device.

A Touchpad Featuring a Total of Six Buttons

It wouldn’t be an HP laptop review of mine if I didn’t complain about the cursor arrow keys being laid out in a row rather than the appropriate inverted T, with difficult-to-hit, half-height up and down arrows piled between the left and right sides of the keyboard. On the other hand, the ZBook’s keyboard is pleasurable to type on because it is brilliantly lighted and has a snappy feel. Above the numeric keypad you’ll find keys that are specifically designated for Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down, as well as top-row command keys that include a key to mute the microphone.

The ThinkPad-style pointing stick that is built in the keyboard is difficult to manipulate due to its small size and stiffness. On the other hand, the touchpad is of an appropriate size. Both rows of mouse buttons, one below the touchpad and one above (for the pointing stick), contain the central button that is commonly used in CAD and other professional programs; the clicks on the buttons are satisfying.

It’s disheartening to discover that the notebook you just spent over $6,000 on has the same old 720p webcam that looks cheap. The images that are captured by the camera are adequately bright and vivid, but fuzzy, and they contain some noise or static. The camera features a sliding security shutter.

I heard punchy drumbeats on the Fury that come out as merely static on other laptops, and it’s simple to make out overlapping recordings. The speakers above the keyboard pump out loud and surprisingly good sound, which is not harsh or tinny even at high volume and with respectable bass. The HP Audio Control program includes noise cancellation (the business even promotes anti-barking software to drown out dogs during conference calls), music, movie, and voice presets, as well as an equalizer. Additionally, the software includes music, movie, and voice presets.

When it comes to HP software, the company enhances Windows 10 Pro with a plethora of helpful utilities. These utilities range from one that temporarily freezes the keyboard and touchpad while you clean it (the Fury is rated to withstand 1,000 rubdowns with household wipes) to HP QuickDrop for transferring files between a PC and a phone, and ZCentral Remote Boost for allowing another system to access the workstation’s CPU and GPU. A sandboxed browser, protection for the BIOS, and tamper alerts will go off if someone removes the bottom panel as part of the comprehensive approach to security that has been taken. In addition, the software known as Tile is compatible with the Bluetooth subscription service, which makes it easier to locate a laptop that has been misplaced or stolen.

HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 Review

In most cases, I talk about the screen earlier in the post, but this time I’ve saved the best for last: The DreamColor panel offers ultra-fine details and letters that are free of pixelation around the edges, which is what you would expect from 4K resolution. However, it goes beyond that and offers colors that have been confirmed by Pantone that are lush, rich, and vivid. The viewing angles are very wide, the brightness and contrast are outstanding, and the white backgrounds are as pristine as snow that has been driven by a windstorm. The IPS technology used in the screen may not quite be able to compete with the really dark blacks offered by OLED displays, but in every other respect, it is absolutely outstanding.

The ZBook Fury 15 G8 Under the Microscope: Not the Absolute Fastest, but Still a Formidable Machine

I compared the performance of the Fury 15 G8 with that of HP’s more cheap ZBook Power G8 and a high-end not-quite-workstation designed for content makers, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4 in addition to its immediate competitors, the Dell Precision 7560 and the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2. The Extreme does not have any ISV certifications and instead use a consumer or gaming GPU from Nvidia’s GeForce line rather than the company’s professional RTX A-series graphics hardware. The table that follows provides an overview of the primary characteristics shared by the candidates.

Test System Configurations

PROCESSORGRAPHICSRAMSTORAGE
HP ZBook Fury 15 G8Intel Core i9-11950H (2.6GHz)Nvidia RTX A5000 (16GB, Max-Q)32GB RAM1TB SSD
Dell Precision 7560Intel Core i7-11850H (2.5GHz)Nvidia RTX A4000 (8GB)32GB RAM2TB SSD
HP ZBook Power G8Intel Core i7-11850H (2.5GHz)Nvidia RTX A2000 (4GB)64GB RAM2TB SSD
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2Intel Core i9-11950H (2.6GHz)Nvidia RTX A5000 (16GB, Max-Q)32GB RAM1TB SSD
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 4Intel Core i7-11800H (2.3GHz)Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB)16GB RAM512GB SSD

Examinations of Productivity

The primary benchmark that is used in UL’s PCMark 10 mimics a wide range of real-world productivity and content-creation processes. This benchmark is used to measure overall performance for office-centric operations such as word processing, spreadsheet editing, web surfing, and video conferencing. In addition, the Full System Drive test from PCMark 10 is carried out so that we may evaluate the load time and throughput of a laptop’s storage.

In order to evaluate how well a personal computer can handle tasks that need a lot of processing power, three benchmarks concentrate on the CPU and make use of all of the cores and threads it has. Maxon’s Cinebench R23 mimics popular applications such as PDF rendering, speech recognition, and machine learning using the company’s Cinema 4D engine. Primate Labs’ Geekbench 5.4 Pro, on the other hand, renders a complicated scenario using the company’s Geekbench 5.4 Pro software. In the end, we convert a video clip that is 12 minutes long from a 4K resolution to a 1080p resolution using the open-source video transcoder HandBrake 1.4. (lower times are better).

The workstation manufacturer Puget Systems will serve as our final productivity test. ‘ PugetBench for Photoshop is a benchmark for content creation and multimedia apps that evaluates a personal computer (PC) based on how well it runs the Creative Cloud version 22 of Adobe’s well-known image editor. It is an automated extension that conducts a range of general and GPU-accelerated Photoshop functions like opening, rotating, resizing, and saving a picture as well as applying masks, gradient fills, and filters. These processes can be carried out in a variety of different ways.

The Fury finished near the bottom of the pack in PCMark 10, but the rest of the pack as a whole wildly outperformed expectations. Even the lowest score was almost half a point higher than the 4,000 points that indicate excellent office productivity; these machines are completely unnecessary for Word and Excel. Its Core i9 central processing unit was awarded first position in Geekbench and HandBrake, as well as second place in Cinebench. And it was right there in the thick of it when we put it through our Photoshop test; its competitive performance and crisp, vibrant screen make it a fantastic pick for professionals who work with Photoshop.

Examinations of Graphics

We evaluate the graphics capabilities of Windows personal computers by running two DirectX 12 game simulations developed by UL’s 3DMark: Night Raid (which is less demanding and is appropriate for laptops with integrated graphics) and Time Spy (more demanding, suitable for gaming rigs with discrete GPUs).

We also conduct two tests from the cross-platform GPU benchmark known as GFXBench 5, which challenges both low-level routines like as texturing and high-level visual rendering similar to that of a game. Both the 1440p Aztec Ruins and the 1080p Car Chase tests exercise graphics and compute shaders by making use of the OpenGL programming interface and, in the case of the Car Chase test, hardware tessellation. These tests are produced offscreen to suit differing display resolutions. The higher the frame rate in terms of frames per second (fps), the better.

HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 Review

In our testing of gaming laptops equipped with GPUs based on Nvidia’s “Ampere” architecture, we discovered a concerningly wide range of variation, and it appears that this issue also affects the company’s professional graphics, which were once known as Quadro: The RTX A5000 found in the ZBook Fury came in second place, behind not only its counterpart found in the ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 but also the ostensibly slower model found in the Dell. This HP is, make no mistake, more than quick enough to enjoy gaming after hours, and it lets players appreciate its faster-than-60Hz screen; but, it is not as rapid as we imagined it to be.

Workstation-Particular Examinations

Two additional programs are executed in order to simulate apps for workstations. The first of these is called Blender, and it is a free and open-source 3D modeling, animation, simulation, and compositing software suite. We time how long it takes its built-in Cycles path tracer to render two photo-realistic scenes of BMW vehicles, one using the system’s central processing unit (CPU), and one using the graphics processing unit (GPU) (lower times are better).

The SPECviewperf 2020 test is the most critical one that we run on workstations. It renders, rotates, and zooms in and out of solid and wireframe models using viewsets from popular applications that are developed by independent software vendors (ISVs). The tests for 1080p resolution are carried out using the Creo CAD platform from PTC, the Maya modeling and simulation tools from Autodesk for cinema, television, and gaming, and the SolidWorks 3D rendering package from Dassault Systemes. It’s always better when there are more frames per second.

The flagship workstations performed equally well in Blender’s CPU test, which was won in a stunning upset by the Core i7 of the X1 Extreme, but the Fury’s GPU once again underperformed. In a similar vein, the Fury’s scores in SPECviewperf, while good, were not as high as those of its competitors, the Precision and the ThinkPad P15.

Tests on the Display and the Battery

Playing a locally saved 720p video clip (the open-source Blender movie Tears of Steel), with display brightness set to 50 percent and audio volume set to 100 percent, is how we test the battery life of laptops. Before beginning the test, we check that the battery has a full charge and turn off Wi-Fi as well as the illumination on the keyboard.

We also make use of a Datacolor SpyderX Elite monitor calibration sensor and its Windows software in order to evaluate the color saturation of a laptop screen. This involves determining what percentage of the sRGB, Adobe RGB, and DCI-P3 color gamuts or palettes the display is capable of displaying, as well as the display’s peak and 50 percent brightness levels measured in nits (candelas per square meter).

The battery life of mobile workstations is less critical than that of ultraportable laptops used by traveling executives because mobile workstations are typically plugged in for lengthy rendering sessions or data analysis. Therefore, the Fury’s seven hours of battery life is sufficient. Even though we were only able to see 99 percent of DCI-P3 as opposed to the panel’s advertised 100 percent, the DreamColor display from HP is more than just satisfactory. It offers outstanding color coverage and stellar brightness.

Compare with similar items

P ZBook Fury 15 G8Acer Predator Helios 300HP OMENHP ZBook Fury 15 G8-XeonHP ZBook FireflyAcer Predator Triton 300 SE
Computer Memory Size32 GB32 GB8 GB64 GB32 GB16 GB
Connectivity TechnologyHDMI, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, USBWirelessHDMI, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, USB
CPU ModelCore i7 FamilyCore i7Core i7XeonCore i7Core i7
CPU Model ManufacturerIntelIntelIntelIntelIntelIntel
CPU Speed2.5 GHz2.30 GHz2.5 GHz2.6 GHz2.80 GHz3.30 GHz
Display Resolution Maximum1920 x 1080 pixelsFHD (1920 x 1080) 144 Hz 3ms IPS pixels1920×1080 pixels1920 x 1080 pixels1920 x 1080 pixelsFHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz IPS pixels
Screen Size15.6 inches15.6 inches15.6 inches15.6 inches15.6 inches14 inches
Display TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) TechnologyLCDIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Graphics CoprocessorNVIDIA Intel RTX A3000 UHD GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860MNVIDIA Intel RTX A5000 UHD GraphicsIntel Iris Xe GraphicsDedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050Ti 4GB
Graphics DescriptionRTX A3000,UHD GraphicsDedicatedDedicatedRTX A5000,UHD GraphicsIntegratedDedicated
Hard Disk DescriptionFlash Memory Solid StateSSDSSDFlash Memory Solid Stateflash_memory_solid_stateSSD
Hard Disk Size512 GB1 TB256 GB512 GB512 GB512 GB
Hardware PlatformPCPCPCLinuxPCPC
Human Interface InputKeyboardKeyboardMicrophoneKeyboard, MicrophoneKeyboard
Item Dimensions9.5 x 14.2 x 1.02 inches14.31 x 10.04 x 0.9 inches9.67 x 15.07 x 0.61 inches9.5 x 14.2 x 1 inches9.25 x 14.25 x 0.76 inches9 x 12.7 x 0.7 inches
Item Weight5.18 lbs5.07 lbs4.68 lbs5.18 lbs3.85 lbs3.80 lbs
Operating SystemWindows 10 ProWindows 10Windows 8.1Ubuntu Linux 20.04Windows 10 ProWindows 11, Windows 10
Processor Count184144
RAM TypeDDR4 SDRAMDDR4 SDRAMDDR3 SDRAMDDR4 SDRAMDDR4 SDRAMDDR4 SDRAM
Wireless Communication Standard802.11ax, BluetoothBluetooth802.11acBluetoothBluetoothBluetooth
Wireless Communication TechnologyWi-Fi, BluetoothWi-FiBluetoothWi-Fi, BluetoothWi-FiWi-Fi

Verdict: The Winner When Looks Matter

We would suggest the Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2 if you are looking for the most powerful portable workstation that money can buy (and, debatably, the most comfortable keyboard). Our Dell Precision 7560 evaluation machine is the best option available if you are looking for a high-performing computer that costs less than $5,000. However, the majority of workstation applications are visual in nature, and the DreamColor display that comes standard on the HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 is easily the greatest laptop screen we have ever seen.

This, in addition to its unmatched expandability and security, makes up for the fact that it did not set any records when it came to the benchmarks. Even though any of the three titans would do a great job for you, our editors have decided that the Fury is the best mobile workstation overall, and we suspect that it would perform almost as well for $1,000 less if it had Nvidia’s RTX A4000 rather than the A5000 GPU.

HP ZBook Fury 15 G8 Review

HP ZBook Fury 15 G8

Can't take my eyes off of you
PROS
Beautiful 4K DreamColor display
processor with a scorching Core i9 core
ECC memory with up to 128 GB of RAM and 8 TB of storage capacity available
Excellent serviceability as well as safety.
CONS
Extremely high cost when all options are selected.
A GPU that costs an arm and a leg fails to impress Wi-Fi 6, not 6E


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