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New HP Envy 15 Laptop

After quite a bit of research, I pulled the trigger on a new HP Envy 15 system last Saturday. This system has a 1.6GHz Core i7 Q720, 6GB of RAM, a 7200rpm 500GB drive and an ATI HD Radeon 4830 with 1GB of video memory. The max screen resolution is 1920 x 1080.

There are four memory slots, so you could theoretically load it up with 16GB of RAM, if you were willing to spend an insane amount of money. It is more likely that I will get it up to 8GB of RAM, and leave it there for a while. The Envy series is modeled somewhat on the MacBook Pro, in that it is thin and light, with a magnesium case. It does tend to get somewhat warm on both sides of the keypad, and battery life may be a little on the low side.

It came loaded with x64 Windows 7 Home Premium, and a bunch of bloat-ware from HP. I formatted the drive, and installed x64 Windows 7 Enterprise, along with SQL Server 2008 and Office 2007. It runs much better with a clean install of Windows 7!


It has a 5.9 Windows Experience Index (WEI) rating, since Windows 7 caps the disk score at 5.9 unless you have an SSD.



It has a Geekbench score of 4830, which is about the same as a Dell PowerEdge 6800, with four, dual-core 3.4GHz Intel “Tulsa” processors (which ran a good portion of NewsGator.com for the past three years)…



Posted by Steve Jones on 12 November 2009

I am a little envious. Can't wait to see it at a UG meeting one day.

Posted by yusufanis on 13 November 2009

You cant beat my DELL Pres 4400 on L2 cache 12 MB :p

Posted by TheSQLGuru on 13 November 2009

SERIOUS envy here!  Alas I have to wait until at LEAST next year before I can upgrade again since I bought a new airplane this year.  :-)

Posted by al_kessler on 13 November 2009

Aptly named little monster and good point about the clean install.  Check the memory options - I think I read about the memory structure using three pipes so the optimum memory configuration is sets of 3 (3 xgig sticks).  I have seen several listed configs with the 8 gig option, however most are in 3's (3, 6, 9, 12, etc.).  Does HP say anything about it?

Posted by Glenn Berry on 13 November 2009

That is a good point about the memory channels, that is definitely how it works for the desktop Core i7 processors. On the other hand, I have seen quite a few benchmarks on the enthuisiast sites like AnandTech that show a fairly small difference between two channels and three channels, depending on the workload.

The upcoming 32nm Clarksfield and Arrandale mobile CPUs coming in early 2010 will be very attractive, with less heat and better battery life.


Posted by Tom Garth on 13 November 2009

I believe you voided at least part if not all of your warranty when you formatted and installed your own OS. Or did you manage to get a waiver on that?

Posted by Carlos Bossy on 14 November 2009

Did you order straight from HP?  I'm due for an upgrade and on the lookout for a top system, this might be just what I'm looking for.

Posted by Glenn Berry on 14 November 2009

I actually bought it at Micro Center in Denver. I'm not too worried about whether I might have voided the warranty. If I have any software issues, I can either figure them out myself or reinstall the OS as a last resort.

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