HP ZBook 15 Specifications
Technical white paper
HP ZBook 15 G2
Mobile Workstation
Perform on the go
Be productive in the office or in the field. Take advantage of the HP ZBook 15
G2’s powerful processing and graphics, simple scalability, and blazing-fast
connectivity to perform and collaborate at the speed of creativity.
Table of contents
OS/PXE Boot.............................................................................................................................................................................. 2
Power supply............................................................................................................................................................................. 5
Display options.......................................................................................................................................................................... 6
Multiple display support.................................................................................................................................................... 11
SATA to PCIe Technology transition for SSDs.................................................................................................................... 14
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation users may encounter difficulties loading a
Windows 7 image onto a system that is pre-loaded with Windows 8. This
problem stems from a system conflict in the preboot execution environment
(PXE, often pronounced ‘pixie’): Windows 7 does not support Secure Boot, a
UEFI BIOS feature enabled in Windows 8 systems. When Windows 7 is loaded
on a Windows 8 system, the Secure Boot firmware blocks the launch of the OS.
Secure Boot overview
Secure Boot is a feature to ensure that only authenticated code can start on a platform. The firmware is responsible
for preventing launch of an untrusted OS by verifying the publisher of the OS loader based on policy, and is designed to
mitigate root kit attacks.
Figure 1. UEFI Secure Boot flow
Verified OS
(e.g. Win8)
OS start
•Firmware enforces policy and only starts signed OS loaders it trusts.
•OS loader enforces signature verification of later OS components.
•The UEFI BIOS checks the signature of the OS loader before loading. If the signature is not valid, the UEFI BIOS will stop
the platform boot.
BIOS and UEFI background
As computer technology has advanced, the BIOS has expanded to handle new components, larger and more complex
chipsets, add-in cards, and other enhancements. This expansion has made the BIOS increasingly intricate. Development
of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is the computer industry’s solution to BIOS limitations. UEFI is a set of
modular interfaces that replaces the set of traditional BIOS interfaces between the OS and platform firmware.
UEFI is derived from high-level C language and is driver-based, scalable, and easy to debug and upgrade. UEFI uses a
modular, platform-independent architecture that can perform boot and other BIOS functions. For more information
about UEFI, go to hp.com/go/techcenter.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
A Windows 7 image will not boot on a Windows 8 system when Secure Boot is enabled because Windows 7 does not
support Secure Boot and is thus seen as an untrusted OS. If using PXE boot or another operating system loader on a
Windows 7 or a Windows 8 downgrade to Windows 7 pre-installed system to load a Windows 7 image, there will not
be any issues. However, if trying to load a Windows 7 based image on a Windows 8 pre-installed system, there will be
issues. In the field, customers are finding that when they tried to image the HP ZBook 15 G2 system as they have in the
past via PXE boot, the imaging process caused the system to fail and give three long beeps. While the three beeps may
be specific only to the HP ZBook 15 G2, the failure of the imaging process spans across all platforms. To avoid this issue,
users will need to perform the steps below before attempting to boot the system.
Platforms affected
This issue has been seen on all the first and second generation HP ZBook Mobile Workstations, as well as desktop
workstations and commercial PC’s due to the supported transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1.1
Steps to a solution for Mobile Workstations
Customers who have ordered a mobile workstation that is pre-loaded with Windows 8 may be able to load a Windows 7
image by turning off the Secure Boot option in the BIOS. To do that:
Step 1: Power on the unit and press the Escape key or F10 to enter the BIOS Menu
Step 2: Select the Advanced tab > Boot Options
Step 3: Scroll down and uncheck Secure Boot and select Accept when asked to disable Secure Boot
Step 4: Change Boot Mode to Legacy or UEFI Hybrid (With CSM)
Step 5: Press F10 again to save the change and exit BIOS Menu. Then, reboot the system.
After a reboot, the system will now be allowed to PXE boot to an OS deployment server.
Steps to a solution for Desktop Workstations
Customers who have ordered a workstation that is pre-loaded with Windows 8 may be able to load a Windows 7 image
by turning off the Secure Boot option in the BIOS. To do that:
Turn off the computer.
Turn on the computer and immediately press the F10 key repeatedly, about once every second, until the Computer
Setup Utility opens.
Use the left and right arrow keys to select the Security menu, then use the up and down arrow keys to select Secure
Boot Configuration, and then press Enter.
The Secure Boot Configuration warning displays. Press F10 to continue.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Use the up and down arrow keys to select Secure Boot, then use the left and right arrow keys to change the setting
to Disable.
Use the up and down arrow keys to select Legacy Support, then use the left and right arrow keys to change the
setting to Enable.
Press F10 to accept the changes.
Press F10 again, then press Enter twice to restart the computer.
As soon as the computer starts, a message may appear indicating that the boot mode has changed.
10. If this message does appear, type the four-digit code shown in the message, then press Enter to confirm the change.
NOTE: No text field displays for the code. This is expected behavior. When you type the numbers, the code is logged
without a text field
•For large scale deployment, the best answer is to order systems with Windows 7 (including Windows 7 with Windows
8/8.1 license) – these will come with the BIOS set properly for Windows 7.
•Custom Integration Services (CIS) can load custom images for deployment in over 100 countries, worldwide, so each
unit is configured exactly the same and ready to run when it arrives at the customer location (more on CIS).
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Power supply units
Save size and weight
The HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation takes the reliability and performance advantages of a workstation on the
go. With the latest in Intel® processor technology, NVIDIA® mobile graphics cards, and Thunderbolt™ 22 connectivity,
professionals can take their work with them wherever they travel. Such a capable system paired with a power supply to
provide all of the support it needs often makes the system a hefty load to carry, but the flexibility in configuring an HP
Mobile Workstation allows the user to select a smaller, lighter power brick. Though demanding workloads may require a
high wattage power supply, HP recommends the solution that best works for the needs of the user.
Function of the Power Supply
The function of the external power supply is to convert the 120V or 240V AC power, depending on the country, from a
wall outlet, into DC current that the computer is able to use. The workstation only pulls as much power from the landline
as it needs at the time to run all of the components and applications. Power supply units have an efficiency rating, stated
as a percentage of power the machine uses out of total power pulled from the source.
Traditionally, the HP ZBook 15 G2 is promoted to ship with the two options of power supply that best meet the demands
of a fully loaded machine running an intense workload, but that is not always the case. Many users do not fully utilize the
CPU and GPU while on maximum screen brightness simultaneously. Instead, they are using their mobile workstations for
more normal work flows with fewer power demands. They really do not make use of the full-fledged power supply and
end up carrying around extra dead weight. With a lower watt power supply, mobile workstation users are able to save
themselves the size and weight while taking their mobile workstation wherever their passion leads them.
What happens if the power supply is too low in wattage?
The HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation can be configured in the settings to run at full use, balanced, or power saving
modes that can be selected by the user. When the mobile workstation is connected to a land line, it will pull all of the
current it needs from the wall, up to the rating of the power supply. If the computer demands even more power, the
management system within the BIOS will automatically draw the additional power needed from the battery. In this
use case, it is possible to have the mobile workstation plugged in and still drain the battery. Frequent use like this can
degrade the overall life of the battery. If this happens often, the user should consider upgrading to a power option that
supports frequent, high-demand workflows. Another drawback of a low-watt power supply is the amount of heat created
as a by product seen when the power supply unit is reaching its maximum capacity. Though this can cause discomfort,
these units are designed so that heat is not a safety concern, nor does it effect the quality of the user experience.
The HP ZBook 15 G2 is compatible with several options of AC power adaptors that are offered as an after market option.
45 W
65 W
ZBook 15
90 W
120 W
150 W
180 W
200 W
230 W
* Indicates Configure to Order option
Configure to Order options
External HP 65 W Smart
AC adapter
External HP 150 W Slim
Smart AC adapter
External HP 200 W Slim
Smart AC adapter
External HP 230 W Slim
Smart AC adapter
106.0 x 47.0 x 28.0 mm
167.0 x 82.0 x 25.4 mm
172 x 96 x 25.4 mm
200 x 100 x 25.4 mm
280 g
565 g
748 g
840 g
Total cord length
12 feet (3.66 meters)
12 feet (3.66 meters)
12 feet (3.66 meters)
12 feet (3.66 meters)
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Switch it up
When workloads change or the user finds that they really need a different power supply, maybe to shed weight while
traveling or add support for a new application, all of the power supply sizes are offered as after market options that
customers can purchase at a later time. In the case of a professional using a docking station to connect at work, it is
highly recommended to use the higher wattage power supply option. For many of these users, the purpose of a docking
station is to connect to a larger or multiple displays, often to use more applications that require greater resources. For
this reason, it is best to choose the higher wattage power supply so that the user can work continuously without draining
the battery; HP recommends the External HP 230 W Slim Smart AC adapter for optimal performance on the HP ZBook 15
G2 Mobile Workstation.
More flexibility for more mobility
The HP ZBook 15 G2 is outfitted to support top quality professional applications on the go with speed and reliability. This
machine is easily configured to meet the flexible needs of the user as his or her needs change. A lower watt power supply
is lighter and smaller, providing ease of packing and carrying. While great for travel, lower wattage supply units may
not meet the demands of an everyday workload. In any case, the HP ZBook 15 G2 can also be configured to support any
requirements of the user.
Display options
As a mobile workstation customer, we know that viewing your work accurately
is critical to your success. You need the right display in order to accurately and
efficiently get your work done. When it comes to HP Mobile Workstations, we
know we have a lot to offer. Our HP ZBook 15 G2 offers plenty of horsepower
and different displays to choose from. On top of that, our mobile workstation
allows you to dock and take advantage of our HP ZDisplay monitors.
We know that many times people can get lost in the technical jargon and measures when it comes to comparing displays;
however, this section should give you the basic knowledge to understand all the terms and measurements involved when
evaluating different displays. After we give you an overview on the technical bits, we will tell you how to choose the best
display for your HP ZBook 15 G2. And, since we know many of you will also dock your HP ZBook and utilize HP ZDisplays
we will go over choosing those as well.
Display technology background and information
There are many different measures used to understand or express the performance of a mobile workstation level
display. Display resolution would be the most obvious measure as you would want the best resolution for your tasks;
however, there are more important and relevant measures of a display that should be taken into account. Screen
brightness, viewing angle, response rate, and bit-precision are all important factors that need to be taken into account
when considering displays.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
TN vs IPS displays
The two most popular types of displays are the Twisted-Nematic display (TN) and the In-Plane Switching display (IPS).
TN displays are the most common display type and also the oldest. While it is an older technology, it still has many
advantages like great response rates, high brightness, and low power needs. However, even with these advantages, the
bad viewing angles and color shifts make the TN display a compromise. IPS displays are a newer technology and improve
on many of the shortcomings seen with TN displays. IPS displays have great color reproduction and viewing angles filling
the areas that TN displays fall short in. IPS offers a great solution for a display that does it all and has taken the stage as
the best display technology. If you need a display that is fast and bright, or has low power needs then a TN display suits
the bill. On the other hand, if color, larger viewing angles, or a well-rounded display is important then you will want to go
for an IPS display.
Luminance and brightness, while being different terms and measurements, represent the same thing. While brightness
is a relative measure, luminance is an exact measurement of light output from your display. Luminance is measured in
candelas per square meter (cd/m2) often referred to as cdm or the shorthand nits. Simply put, a cdm is how much light
a screen is producing with the size of the screen already taken into account. This allows the comparison of a 24" display
to a 13" display in nits directly without having to adjust for different screen sizes. Another benefit of measuring screen
brightness in nits is how easy the scale is to understand, the more cdm equals the brighter the screen.
While luminance is an important value to keep in mind, you don’t always want the brightest monitor. If you work outside a
lot, or work in a bright environment with lots of windows and natural light then a brighter monitor is beneficial. However,
if you work in a lower light environment, such as an office or cubicle, then a bright monitor can sometimes cause eye
strain, headaches and other negative health effects. This should be scrutinized heavily as eye strain from a bright
monitor can be detrimental.
Viewing angles
When looking at a TN screen from an angle, the images on the display often look dimmer or disappear completely. This
issue is caused by the contrast ratio dropping dramatically, something related to the viewing angle of the screen that
refers to the degree which you can view the display from an angle without image degradation. When you tilt a TN mobile
workstation display up and down, the screen will gray out. Similarly, when you look at the TN screen from angles to the
left and right, the colors displayed will shift, as shown in figure 1 below. On the other hand, an IPS display has much
less shifts in contrast ratio and color shift when viewed off-axis. The maximum viewing angle an IPS display can have
is 178 degrees; however, that is with a contrast ratio of 10:1 versus a head on contrast ratio of 1000:1 and thus is not a
good number to go by. You want a monitor that looks good at the angles you will be working at, and it is important to
understand that while maximum viewing angle is measured, at a 10:1 contrast ratio the viewing quality is very low and
the quality of the display at usable angles should be more important.
Viewing angles for mobile workstations are usually measured in a left/right/down/up format. This means they have
an angle measurement for each viewing direction. A standard viewing angle (SVA) is 40/40/15/30. This means you can
view it 40 degrees to the left, 40 degrees to the right, 15 degrees down, and 30 degrees up while still having adequate
color and detail. The next step up, wide viewing angle (WVA), measures in at 60/60/50/50. The ultra-wide viewing angle
(UWVA) which is also available on our HP ZBook displays measures at 85/85/85/85. Below is a good figure to visually
explain the difference and effect that viewing angle has on a display. Viewing angle is important if you have multiple
people looking at one display since they need to see the screen clearly at different angles.
Figure 1. The effect viewing angles have for IPS and TN displays
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Refresh rates
The refresh rate of a display measures the amount of times the display is updated every second. A higher refresh rate
means decreased blurring and ghosting effects when using the display. Ghosting is the effect when an image or video
moves on your display and leaves a faint trail. This effect is most often seen in videos on older displays and can be
horribly distracting. Having a good refresh rate, commonly around 60 Hz (60 images/second), means that video playback
and display use is smooth.
Bit depth
Bit depth refers to the amount of colors a display can show. The most common display bit depths are eight- and tenbits per RGB channel. In the case of eight-bit per RGB, each pixel on a display can show 256 shades of red, 256 shades
of green, and 256 shades of blue. The next step up, ten-bit, can show 1024 shades of red, green, and blue. The biggest
difference between eight- and ten-bit depth is the number of discrete shades of gray that can be displayed. Ten-bit depth
is often needed for tasks like photo editing, animation, and designing. In these cases ten-bit depth displays offer over one
billion colors and allow users to have an even more color rich display. The differences can be seen most obviously when
working with gradients in Photoshop, such as the shading of a sky or ocean.
Aspect ratio
The proportional relationship between an image’s width and height is referred to as its aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is
usually written in the form width:height. The old common standard was a 4:3 format. However, with the advent of
widescreen displays that new standard is 16:9 which is the aspect ratio used for High Definition television. There are also
many other aspect ratios, including a 16:10 which is found in some notebook PC displays. When considering what aspect
ratio is right for you, understand that a 16:9 will allow for more work to be spread horizontally, and often allows for a
more comfortable keyboard layout. On the other hand, a 16:10 ratio will allows for slightly more vertical workspace.
Screen resolution is a measure of the amount of pixels a screen can display. Usually measured in the format “Width x
Height”, a display of 1920 x 1080 would contain 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels vertically. The total amount
of pixels on the display for this resolution would be 2,073,600 pixels. With a higher screen resolution you will get more
pixels, and thus more detail in images on your display. A 13" diagonal display with less pixels can’t show as much detail
of an image as the same size display with a higher pixel rating as shown in figure 2 and 3. In theory, a display with more
pixels should allow you to see more on your screen at once. However, due to large resolution increases lately and
changes in operating system behaviors that are outside of this scope, that is not always the case.
Figure 2. 720p display on an HP ZBook 15
Figure 3. 1080p display on an HP ZBook 15
Similar to resolution, you can also measure displays in pixels per inch (PPI). This is a simple measurement and takes into
account both screen size and the resolution of your screen to tell you how many pixels exist per square inch on your
display. Displays with a low PPI measurement will have less pixels per inch and a display that is less crisp than a display
with a high PPI measurement. Generally, if you are working with photos, videos, or jobs that need crispness you will want
a high PPI display.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Resolution types
Many different resolution displays exist and they all have different titles. The difference in all these displays and names is
simply the amount of pixels that the screen can display. Table 1, shown below, outlines the differences in the names and
resolutions of displays offered in the market.
Table 1.
High Definition
1280 x 720
High Definition Plus
1600 x 900
Full High Definition
1920 x 1080
Quad High Definition
2560 x 1440
Quad High Definition Plus
3200 x 1800
Ultra High Definition
3840 x 2160
Cinema 4K
Cinema High Definition
(4096 x 2160)
(5760 x 2880)
As mentioned earlier, higher resolution means you can display more on your screen at once. If you work with lots of
data, or need to be able to see a lot on your screen at once this is very important. Many times, mobile workstations are
in a docking station. In this case, the display itself may not be as important as the displays you can run from the docking
station. If you work a lot with images, video, or designs it is beneficial for you to have a higher resolution display.
Anti-Glare is a way of finishing the glass on a display so that it reflects less light. The main reason for this is to cut down
on user eye strain and allow the use of the display in bright or outdoor places. A matte finish anti-glare is the most
common and works by using a rough, matte surface to scatter light rather than reflecting it. It works well outdoors
and does a great job of cutting the reflection of artificial light. However, it can sometimes decrease the crispness of the
display and mute the color and contrast. Chemical anti-glare uses a chemical coating over a smooth surface to cut down
on the reflection of light. Chemical anti-glare allows for better display crispness and color reproduction but does not
decrease screen reflection as well as a matte finish.
Touch screen
The ability to interact with our devices using our fingertips is becoming more and more important. Touch screen
technology allows users to interact with their computer more intimately. Touchscreens also allow users to take
advantages of features included in Windows 8 and many programs. There are two main types of touch screen
technology: resistive and capacitive. Resistive touch works by detecting how much resistance to current changes when
a point is touched. It uses a glass layer and a film layer, both covered with a grid of electronic conductors. When the
film is pressed down and touches the glass, it completes a circuit. The location of the touch point is calculated based on
where the amount of resistance has changed. Resistive touch screens are cheap and have the ability to be used with any
object, not just a finger. However, they need to be calibrated at regular intervals, wear quickly, are usually thicker, and
sometimes distort display quality slightly. The final big disadvantage is that it only recognizes one touch at a time.
On the other hand, we have capacitive touch screens. These screens have no moving parts and rely on electrical
capacitance. When a finger touches the screen, the finger takes some of the charge from the layer of conductors at
that point. The charge is small so it’s not felt, but it is enough for the screen to notice it was touched and calculate the
location. The advantage of capacitive touch screens is that it can detect multiple touch points, it’s thinner, and there is
no issue with image quality. There are some hybrid models and also IR touch, but these fall outside of the scope of this
paper. We utilize capacitive touch technology in our mobile workstations to keep weight and heft down, while offering a
crisp and accurate display.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
HP display solutions
HP ZBook displays
Our HP ZBook 15 G2 is crafted to maximize your productivity. With three different options we offer displays to suit any
professional and cater to their needs. With a 15-inch diagonal screen size, there is a perfect display for you whether you
travel a lot, or need more screen real estate at your desk. With our multiple resolution, viewing angle, and brightness
options, you can choose the perfect display for your needs without breaking the bank. Whatever you are doing, or
whatever your job demands, HP’s ZBook 15 G2 has you covered.
Refresh rate*
Viewing angle
15.6" diagonal LED-backlit FHD
1920 x 1080
60 Hz
300 nits
15.6" diagonal LED-backlit FHD
1920 x 1080
60 Hz
300 nits
15.6” diagonal LED-backlit QHD+
3200 x 1800
60 Hz
210 nits
* All specifications represent the typical specifications provided by HP’s component manufacturers; actual performance may vary either higher or lower.
Choosing between these different screens boils down to what is important to you. What do you need to execute your
tasks and do your job? Our 15-inch displays come with a 16:9 aspect ratio which allows you a comfortable workspace and
keyboard layout. If you travel but also need the screen real estate and horsepower, the 15" diagonal HP ZBook display
fits the bill. With a beautiful full HD panel this is the perfect middle ground for any professional. If you value resolution or
need to be able to see details, a higher resolution display is going to be important, no matter what size; however, if you
mainly use your computer for word processing and Excel, a lower resolution display is a great way to save some money.
HP ZDisplays
While our HP ZBook displays offer so much, we know that you aren’t always going to be using them. Many of you will
be using a docking station to connect to our HP ZDisplays at your desk or office. HP ZDisplays offer great expandability
to the HP ZBook. With sizes ranging from 22" to 30" diagonal displays you can find the perfect size for your work. HP
ZDisplays offer the same great resolution, brightness, viewing angles, and quality of the HP ZBook display. However,
our HP ZDisplays let you work on a much larger screen and even with multiple monitors at once allowing you to be as
productive as possible.
Brightness (max)
1920 × 1080
250 nits
1920 × 1080
250 nits
1920 × 1080
300 nits
2560 × 1440
350 nits
2560 × 1440
350 nits
HP DreamColor Z24x
1920 × 1200
350 nits, calibrated
HP DreamColor Z27x
2560 × 1440
250 nits, calibrated
HP DreamColor
Hewlett Packard offers high-quality displays with our DreamColor technology in both our HP ZBooks and HP ZDisplays.
These displays offer brilliant ten-bit color that drive 1.07 billion colors onscreen. Factory calibrated for high color
accuracy and recalibrate-able with the DreamColor Calibration Solution or other professional measurement instruments
(Z27x only), allows users to excel in areas including animation, visual effects, post production, digital photography,
and digital pre-press. With 4k input support (Z27x only), HP ZDisplays offer high definition with beautiful color as well
as accurate brightness adjustment using candelas per square meter instead of relative brightness measurements. A
DreamColor display is a great addition on an HP ZBook or an HP ZDisplay. Both options carry the same specs and quality
to keep your work perfect. If you put the two displays side by side, the colors will be identical. One of the many amazing
reasons HP DreamColor is so great.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Displays are not a simple thing to understand and many times there is not a simple solution for all tasks. With different
resolutions, response rates, viewing angles, bit precision, and display types the choice of display can be overwhelming.
However, knowing what these measurements all mean and why they are important is helpful when choosing a display.
Hewlett Packard offers displays in our HP ZBooks that fit many different needs and specialize in things from touch
screens to high resolution and color accurate displays. Our HP ZBook displays and HP ZDisplays are used for any
workstation worthy job and with DreamColor and other enhancements can benefit professionals in any field.
Multiple display support
Utilizing display outputs from both the Integrated Intel® GPU (Graphics
Processing Unit) and the Discrete GPU, the HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
supports up to a maximum of six independent displays.
The number of independent displays supported depends on a number of
factors, including if a docking station is used, if a DisplayPort Hub or “daisychain” capable display is being used, and if Hybrid Graphics is enabled.
Due to more stringent color requirements, Dreamcolor panels only use display
outputs from the Discrete GPU, and thus the maximum number of independent
displays supported is reduced from six to four on SKUs with NVIDIA® graphics
and five on SKUs with AMD graphics.
HP ZBooks without Docking Station
HP ZBook 15 G2, without the use of a Docking Station, supports up to a maximum of four independent displays on SKU
with NVIDIA® graphics and five on SKUs with AMD graphics. These four displays are the internal panel plus three external
displays connected to the VGA, the DisplayPort (DP), and the Thunderbolt™ 22 Port connectors. On SKUs with AMD
graphics, an additional external display is supported for a maximum of five independent displays through the use of DP
1.2 “daisy-chain” feature (see below).
Table 3. Multiple Displays without Docking Station
HP ZBook 15 G2 with Hybrid Graphics Enabled
Displays without
Docking Station
Up to 4 of these displays
may be active:
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
HP ZBook 17 G2 with Hybrid Graphics Disabled
Up to 4 of these displays
may be active:
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
* The VGA and DisplayPort connector on the HP ZBook 15 G2 are disabled when using the Docking Station.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Docking Stations
The HP Docking Station has three display output connectors and the HP Advanced Docking Station has five display output
connectors. The standard Docking Station has VGA, DVI, and DP connectors.
The Advanced Docking Station has VGA and four digital display output connectors (two DVI and two DP). Of those four
digital display connectors, only two may be used at a time (two DVI, two DP or one DP and one DVI). When used together
with the HP ZBook 15 G2, a maximum of five independent displays are supported. These five displays are the internal
panel plus four external displays connected to three display output connectors from the standard or Advanced Docking
Station, and the Thunderbolt™ 22 connector from the HP ZBook 15 G2.
HP ZBook 15 G2 with Hybrid Graphics Enabled
HP ZBook 15 G2 with Hybrid Graphics Disabled
Displays with HP
Standard Docking
Up to 5 of these displays
may be active:
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
Dock’s VGA
Dock’s DisplayPort*3
Dock’s DVI
Up to 4 of these displays
may be active:4
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
Dock’s VGA
Dock’s DisplayPort*3
Dock’s DVI
Displays with HP
Advanced Docking
Up to 5 of these displays
may be active:
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
Dock’s VGA
Dock’s DisplayPort*3/DVI
Dock’s DisplayPort*3/DVI
Up to 4 of these displays
may be active:4
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
Dock’s VGA
Dock’s DisplayPort*3/DVI
Dock’s DisplayPort*3/DVI
*The VGA and DisplayPort connector on the HP ZBook 15 G2 are disabled when using the Docking Station.
DP 1.2 “daisy-chain” feature
DisplayPort v1.2 supports “Multi-Stream Transport”, which allows multiple video streams across a single DisplayPort
connection. This is commonly referred to as DP 1.2 “daisy-chain” feature where multiple displays may be driven by a
single DisplayPort connector.
The HP 2013 ZBook models, UltraSlim Docking Stations, Docking Station, and Advanced Docking Station support the
DisplayPort v1.2 “daisy-chain” feature. With the use of a DisplayPort 1.2 Hub or a DisplayPort 1.2 Display that supports
Multi-Stream Transport or “daisy-chaining”, a user may connect multiple external displays to a single DP connector on
either the ZBook or a supporting Docking station.
On all HP ZBooks, this capability provides for more flexibility on the type of displays that may be used. For example,
three DP displays may be connected with the use of a DP 1.2 Hub with all three DP monitors connected to the Hub, and
the Hub connected to the DP connector on the HP ZBook.
The maximum number of independent displays is increased to six with the use of DP 1.2 “daisy-chain” feature. This
requires Hybrid Graphics to be enabled, one monitor connected to VGA, and at least one daisy-chain connection on (A)
System DP, (B) Docking Station DP 1, (C) Docking Station DP 2.
Table 4. Multiple Displays with DP 1.2 Hub and/or DP 1.2 MST Monitor
Displays without Docking
Station and DP 1.2 Hub
HP ZBook 15 G2 with Hybrid Graphics enabled
HP ZBook 15 G2 with Hybrid Graphics disabled
Up to 6 displays may be active. A maximum of 2 of these
are from group A and 4 from group B.
Up to any 4 combination of these displays may
be active*4:
Group A:
Internal Panel
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
Displays connected to DP1.2 Hub*5
Group B:
Thunderbolt™ 22
Displays connected to DP1.2 Hub*5
Displays with Docking
Station and DP 1.2 Hub
Up to 6 displays may be active. A maximum of 2 of these
are from group A and 4 from group B.
Up to any 4 combination of these displays may be
Group A:
Internal Panel
Dock’s VGA
Internal Panel
Thunderbolt™ 22
Dock’s VGA
Dock’s DVI
Displays connected to DP1.2 Hub(s)*5
Group B:
Thunderbolt™ 22
Dock’s DVI
Displays connected to DP1.2 Hub(s)*5
* The VGA and DisplayPort connector on the HP ZBook 15 G2 are disabled when using the Docking Station.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Hybrid Graphics
By leveraging display outputs from both the integrated Intel® GPU and the discrete GPU, HP ZBook 15 G2 is able to
support a large number of independent displays. The usage of both integrated Intel GPU and the discrete GPU is available
when Hybrid Graphics is enabled.
Hybrid Graphics is always enabled by default on the HP Zbook 15 G2. When Hybrid Graphics is disabled (may be disabled
through BIOS Setup), the display outputs from the integrated Intel GPU are not available for use. As a result of this, the
maximum number of independent displays supported is reduced to four on these models with NVIDIA® graphics. With
AMD graphics, the maximum number of independent displays is five when Hybrid Graphics is disabled—however, two of
the external displays must be of DisplayPort type.
Special note on Hybrid Graphics during Pre-OS environment
With Hybrid Graphics, HP is using displays that may be connected to either one or both GPUs. Because the standard
industry support for Pre-OS session involves only one GPU, there is a standard industry limitation where only displays
connected to the integrated GPU may be used during PreOS. As such, display(s) attached to the discrete GPU are
not viewable during Pre-OS. For example, if users boot with the panel closed and an external display attached to a
DisplayPort connector driven by the discrete GPU, that display cannot show any image during Pre-OS session such as
during POST, when in BIOS setup, when running early diagnosis, when using Power-On Password, and so on.
HP has implemented special support to resolve this limitation. With Hybrid Graphics, any one display, whether it is
connected to the integrated or discrete GPU, is usable (viewable) during Pre-OS. This feature is called “Hybrid Graphics
Enhanced Display” and is by default enabled in BIOS. Users may disable this feature to only support Pre-OS session with
integrated GPU displays (which is typically limited to the internal Panel and VGA).
Multiple Displays Management
On the HP ZBook 15 G2, users may also use NVIDIA® Control Panel to manage multiple displays. (The screen shot for
NVIDIA® Control panel is listed below).
Tip: A quick way to enable all displays connected (up to the maximum supported) in extended desktop mode is to use
Windows presentation key and choose “Extend” mode. 1) Connect displays; 2) Press Windows logo key + P; 3) Select Extend.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
SATA to PCIe Technology transition
for SSDs
This section highlights the transition from SATA protocol to PCIe protocol as it
relates to Solid State Storage Devices. A new interface and form factor (M.2)
enables this transition of SSD devices onto the PCIe bus. M.2 provides support
for various devices, one of its primary focuses is on SSDs with support for either
the legacy SATA interface or the quickly developing PCI Express interface. This
transition creates great opportunity for performance improvements of SSDs on
the HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation. The HP Z Turbo Drive which is built on
the industry standard M.2 form factor is a PCIe based SSD storage device that
takes advantage of this opportunity. The SSD offering is transitioning from an
mSATA SSD offering on the HP ZBook G1 products to the M.2 SSD, now named
the HP Z Turbo Drive, offering on the HP ZBook 15 G2.
Why the transition from SATA to PCIe?
Today’s SATA HDDs and SATA SSDs have reached a performance ceiling. HDDs are limited by the mechanical nature of the
devices while SATA SSDs are limited by the 6 Gb/s (600 MB/s) ceiling of the SATA bus. Furthermore, the SATA-I/O working
group made a strategic decision to not enhance the performance of the SATA bus, instead opting to shift focus to the
multi-lane capabilities of PCI Express.
SATA SSD: At performance ceiling
SATA HDD: At performance ceiling
In order to support multi-lane PCIe devices, a new specification was needed to enable performance improvements of
storage in small devices. The PCI Express M.2 specification was created and provides the needed connectivity to the PCIe
bus providing both a significant performance bump today and performance growth for the foreseeable future.
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Introduction to M.2 interface and form factor
M.2 is a specification for internally mounted computer expansion cards and associated connectors. Through different
keying the M.2 specification supports multiple functions for add-in cards including such devices as WLAN (Wi-Fi), 3G/
LTE (WWAN), and solid-state drives (SSDs). Exposed buses through M.2 are SATA, PCI Express 3.0, SATA 3.0, and USB 3.0
buses. M.2 storage devices replace mSATA with a denser, more flexible physical specification that is most suitable for
SSDs, especially when utilized in small devices.
M.2 benefits and features
•Maximizes usage of card space
––Physical dimension specification comparison between mSATA and M.2
Board Area (mm)
30 x 50.95
22 x 30, 22 x 42, 22 x 60, 22 x 80, 22 x 110
––Longer modules and double-sided components population allows double the storage capacity within the footprint of
mSATA SSD devices.
•Four PCI Express lanes and one SATA 3.0 6 Gb/s port accessed through same connector.
––Compatibility to legacy storage interface (SATA).
––Same form-factor and interface provides path to the PCIe storage devices of the future.
•Reduces bottlenecks by connecting directly to the PCIe bus thus providing an excellent solution for those with large files
and big data workflows.
––Bandwidth to the SSDs increases due to lane aggregation
––Simpler storage hierarchy reduces latency
•Three storage interface options – M.2 provides a path from today’s technology to tomorrow’s.
––AHCI: Enables smooth transition to PCIe SSD storage devices. Through the use of existing driver, they can easily
transition to this new interface and enjoy the advantages.
––NVMe: Future implementation designed specifically for non-volatile memory, the new NVMe controller provides:
•Lower latency
•Lower command overhead
•E xploits the parallelism available in modern host HW and SW
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Performance advantage with HP Z Turbo Drive
As previously mentioned, current mSATA SSDs connected via a SATA connection are performance limited by the 6 Gb/s
ceiling of the SATA bus. With the implementation of the M.2 specification and use of PCIe SSD devices, performance levels
now exceed 6 Gb/s.
The HP ZBook 15 G2 takes advantage of this opportunity with introduction of HP Z Turbo Drive. The HP Z Turbo Drive is
a PCIe SSD storage device built on the industry standard M.2 form factor connected to the PCIe bus via the M.2 interface.
In an HP ZBook 15 G2 the HP Z Turbo Drive connects to two lanes of PCIe G2 while four lanes of PCIe are utilized in HP Z
Desktop Workstations.
HP Z Turbo Drive
HP Z Desktop Workstation
HP ZBook 15 G2
4 PCIe G2 lanes6
2 PCIe G2 lanes
>1000 MB/s (read)
>600 MB/s (read)
Sequential read
1080 MB/s
675 MB/s
Sequential write
800 MB/s
550 MB/s
The chart below shows a comparison of storage device performance measured in MB/s. Through direct connection to the
PCIe Bus the HP Z Turbo Drive is able to considerably exceed previous performance capabilities.
PCIe G2 x4
PCIe SSD - HP Z Turbo Drive:
Revolutionary performance increases
HP Z Turbo Drive (Desktop)
PCIe G2 x2
HP Z Turbo Drive (Mobile)
SATA SSD: At performance ceiling
SATA HDD: At performance ceiling
Detailed performance and benchmarking results
Figure 4.Sequential R/W performance* (MB/s)
Samsung Enterprise SATA SSD
Micron M550 SATA SSD
HP Z Turbo Drive (PCIe SSD) Mobile
HP Z Turbo Drive (PCIe SSD) Desktop
Sequential read
Sequential write
Technical white paper | HP ZBook 15 G2 Mobile Workstation
Resources, contacts, or additional links
HP ZBook Mobile Workstations
More information on Secure Boot
HP Consumer Support: Secure Boot (Windows 8)
More information on Custom Integration
HP Personal Systems: Configuration Services
Learn more at
Customer advantage
The HP Z Turbo Drive adds value to all targeted workstation customer segments. This offering
allows customers to realize performance gains due to improvements in storage performance.
Segments that have workflows that use large data files and access the data sequentially will
see the most improvement in their performance.
These specific segments are:
•Product Dev/AEC
•Media & Entertainment
•Oil and Gas
The transition from SATA to PCIe protocols for Solid State Devices enables customers to change
their use models and how they allocate their spending on workstation platforms. Continued
cost reductions in SSD devices will drive growth in usage. Additional growth is driven by the
performance improvement obtained with the move from SATA to PCIe protocol enabled by the
M.2 form factor. Utilizing the PCIe connection allows SSD devices to exceed 6 Gb/s performance.
The HP Z Turbo Drive offering on HP ZBook 15 G2 provides a huge performance gain over HDD,
enables large file/big data workflows, and offers impressive price/performance for NAND
components. Integrating the HP Z Turbo Drive technology into HP platforms increases the
flexibility of the storage subsystems and provides the user choice points around performance
and capacity that stand out in the industry.
Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers and/or software to take full
advantage of Windows functionality. See microsoft.com.
Thunderbolt™ 2 is available via an optional add-in card on Z1, Z230 SFF, Z230 Tower, Z440, Z640 and Z840 Workstations. It is standard on ZBook 15 and 17 Mobile Workstations.
Thunderbolt cable and Thunderbolt device (sold separately) must be compatible with Windows. To determine whether your device is Thunderbolt Certified for Windows, see
DisplayPort connector support a DisplayPort display, a HDMI display with an DP-to-HDMI dongle, a VGA display with a DP-to-VGA dongle, or a DVI display with a DP-to-DVI dongle.
With AMD Graphics, up to any 5 combination of these displays may be active when at least two external DisplayPort displays are used.
Multiple displays may be connected to DP 1.2 Hub. DP 1.2 Hub is connected to a DisplayPort connector on the HP ZBook or Docking Station.
Dependent on PCIe slot used and the capabilities of the M.2 module.
© Copyright 2014 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only
warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein
should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.
Intel and Thunderbolt are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. NVIDIA is a trademark and/or registered trademark of NVIDIA
Corporation in the U.S and other countries. Microsoft and Windows are U.S. registered trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies. AMD is a
trademark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
4AA5-4883ENW, September 2014
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