Left 4 Dead maxed out on Elitebook 8730w

BUSTED! Left 4 Dead works nicely with all settings maxed out on the HP Elitebook 8730w Mobile Workstation PC. The unit I used for testing had a T9400 2.53 GHz Intel Centrino 2 processor, 4 GB of RAM, 1 GB of graphics (Nvidia Quadro FX3700M), Windows Vista Ultimate and a lovely 17 inch Dream Color display. And the game settings were as follows:

  • 1920 x 1200 full HD resolution, played on full screen
  • Film grain – Maxed out
  • Anti-aliasing – 16X MSAA
  • 16X anisotropic filtering
  • Vertical sync and multicore rendering OFF
  • Shader detail – Very high
  • Effect, model/texture and paged pool memory – All high

The game ran smoothly at around 30 to 40 frames per second. In “normal” scenes, things were buttery smooth and in “horde” scenes (Where tons of zombies rush at you), frame rate dropped to 20-24 FPS – depending on your eyes, you may or may not notice it – but the difference wasn’t large and the game was still more than playable (I could smoothly spin round and round while spamming my machine gun without much frame stuttering).

I did notice, however, the graphics card would take a little “breather” now and then – the screen image would freeze for about 2 seconds before going back to normal. On the positive side, it doesn’t happen often; around once or twice per entire campaign (with 5 scenarios).

After 3 hours of non-stop gaming (using a gaming mouse + notebook keyboard), the Elitebook 8730w did feel slightly warm around the palmrest area and upper left side of the keyboard, and very hot at the bottom. Core Temp reports processor temperature hovers around 58 to 64 degrees Celcius when gaming but don’t worry, the magnesium-alloy casing does a good job at keeping the exterior deck comfortable warm (versus blazing hot).

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