ATI FirePro M5800 graphics leaked; coming to HP Elitebook 8540w!

ATI FirePro M5800 listed in a HP Elitebook 8540w document

Big, big, BIG new folks! In the specifications/overview section of a PDF document (PDF reader required! ATI FirePro M5800 is listed on Page 9) posted on the HP Elitebook 8540w support page. Initially said to use “exclusively Nvidia Quadro” cards (though I did beg to differ), looks like HP had a change of heart over choice of graphics on the new Elitebooks (after reading my widely-spread bright idea?) and will be giving those that lust for high-end performance (example: me) a dose of ATI graphics! Workstation-class graphics too!

For now, all we have is a name in the document: ATI FirePro M5800, yet I can draw several things from this piece of info alone. First off, this card will be part of ATI’s new workstation-class graphics line for notebooks, and will be equivalent to or better than Nvidia’s Quadro FX1800M/GeForce GT335M graphics cards. Several of my trusted sources have confirmed the news of ATI making a comeback to HP’s Elitebook mobile workstation notebooks. The ATI FirePro M5800 workstation card is expected to be derived from its ATI Mobility Radeon 5830 or 5850 consumer-counterpart and have 1 GB of DDR3/GDDR5 graphics memory. Given my cool experience (no pun intended) with HP’s new Elitebook 8440p/w and 8540w notebooks, I’d say the airflow/cooling of the 8540w will be more than enough to handle this new, fast and furious graphics from ATI!

Oh, there are also numerous other references to the ATI FirePro M5800 throughout the rest of the document as well (such as the fan/heatsink section). For those interested, go ahead and download it; it’s a pretty interesting read on the guts and components of the Elitebook 8540.

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  1. necrophyte February 2, 2010 Reply

    well, great news!

    i just hope they decide to put a mobility radeon 5800 (eg. 5830 or better like inside the envy would be AMAZING) into the 8540p as well!!!

    then its definitely mine as soon as available with such a gpu.

    i already lost all my hope regarding the new actually ABSOLUTELY PERFECT elitebooks, just because of that gpu choice FAIL…

  2. Dana February 2, 2010 Reply

    Another awesome thing about using the R800-series (HD5xxx) GPUs: Eyefinity. That is, they have 3 or 6 CRTCs (display controllers) on the GPU, so you can use 3 or 6 monitors at the same time; whether the number is 3 or 6, depends on the gpu).

    Dang, now I’m finding myself really wanting one, despite my current 8530w being enough for my needs.

  3. Dana February 2, 2010 Reply

    Another awesome thing about using the R800-series (HD5xxx) GPUs: Eyefinity. That is, they have 3 or 6 CRTCs (“CRT” / display Controllers) on the GPU, so you can use 3 or 6 monitors at the same time; whether the number is 3 or 6 depends on whih specific gpu it is.

    Dang, now I’m finding myself really wanting one, despite my current 8530w being enough for my needs.

  4. domiel February 3, 2010 Reply

    There is some fortuitous timing with this for open source fans as the drivers for the newest ATI GPUs have been released – sort of:

    Unfortunately for me I’m not planning on using Linux but I am wanting to use Open Solaris. Problem is ATI/AMD don’t seem to even have binary drivers for Solaris.

    So can someone clarify for me: I’m of the understanding that I can order an 8540w with a nVidia card and change it out at a later stage for an ATI card. Is this correct?

  5. necrophyte February 5, 2010 Reply


    regarding open source – dont know about official ATI drivers, but there certainly are some. however, ATI is very proud of their linux support, just read their gaming blog..

    regarding gpu exchange – we all hope that hp offers another (preferably a mobility radeon 5830) ATI gpu to choose from for the 8540p, which is far better and more widely usable than the only one offered now (nvidia nvs 5100m), as one already can choose from 3 (or 4 with the ATI fire pro?) different gpus for the 8540w.

    you could theoretically buy a 8540w with an nvidia gpu now and change it for an ATI one, but there are 2 problems:
    1. the gpu may be soldered onto the motherboard (often the case with hp notebooks), hence impossible to be replaced; only get a completely new motherboard with the desired gpu on it (buying a new notebook with the desired gpu would be worthier)
    2. hp often has a whitelist inside the bios (/uefi now probably as well) where the hardware components are listed that are allowed to be used and if the desired gpu isnt listed (ie. isnt offered officially by hp for that notebook – no matter whether p/w), it wont work, unless youd want to try to modify that.

  6. domiel February 9, 2010 Reply

    thanks necrophyte

    I’d heard somewhere that the gfx cards were on some kind of module… but I guess that depends upon the manufacturer – it would seem crazy for HP to create different motherboard revisions for each gfx card but I’ve seen sillier things in my time.

  7. necrophyte February 10, 2010 Reply

    thats right, theyre called MXM modules. afaik, there are several hp notebooks with MXM modules (among others the hp compaq/elitebooks 8###), but if possible at all, only gpus listed in the whitelist can be installed (only these will work, you can install any if they fit into the MXM module).

    present gpus use the MXM 3.0 module, while theyre all sorted by their “power” into classes (ie. sockets), i think I-IV. so the module generation, as well as the power/performance class have to be equal for the present and the aimed gpu in order to be able to replace a mobile gpu.

  8. Jerry February 13, 2010 Reply

    I just purchases an 8540w with the FX1800M, as this is a work station book so I wasn’t too worried about DX11 compatibility though I have always like ATI more than nvidia. That dream color display option sounds incredibly enticing though…sigh, I don’t even do graphics work though…I would totally be willing to buy a “replacement” dream color screen and the 5800M MXM module, but I am sure that would be close to $1000 through 3rd party channels and totally negate the awesome deal I got on my laptop. Are the ATI options usually cheaper than the nivida ones on the CTO options?

    • Brad February 14, 2010 Reply

      Hi Jerry, congratulations on your purchase! Well, historically, HP usually included “dated” ATI graphics options for the business notebooks compared to more up-to-date Nvidia options, so ATI options have always been cheaper (but less powerful). But generally speaking for typical ATI vs Nvidia comparisons, ATI usually packs more power for a lower price compared to Nvidia counterparts, giving better performance:cost ratio. Seeing this is the first time in ages that HP is including an “up to date” ATI option for their business notebooks, I expect it to be slightly cheaper/same performance or same price/better performance than existing Nvidia options.

      Which processor option did you go for with your 8540w and how are you finding the notebook so far?


  9. Jerry February 14, 2010 Reply

    Well I’m finding it in production…with a slight chance of arrival by march 3rd hehe, HP hasn’t updated their shipment times, but as the Chinese New Year just started so all shipments are delayed.

    I went with the 820QM processor, I have an envy right now, with the same processor and it barely gets 1.5 hours, which doesn’t bother me in the least I knew what I getting into but I am really interested in how the battery life will be on 8540w with the 8 cell.

  10. New HP owner February 14, 2010 Reply

    Friday, Feb. 12, 2010 became the proud owner of HP Envy 17″. I didn’t know it was such a special purchase. I can say, that so far I’d rate its worth as at least double what I paid. And, no one would guess where. (I’m embarrassed. I tell friends “never” buy a computer there.)

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