Dell's New Workstations Pack a Punch

Dell's new Precision series of workstations come out swinging with the latest Xeon CPUs and the fastest graphics options from Nvidia.

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Dell's new fleet of workstations have arrived, bringing with them the bleeding edge of technology and convenience. The new T7600, T5600 and T3600 have been outfitted for a range of tasks, from basic CAD rendering to sky-high data- and graphics-intensive applications.

The Precision T7600 offers the latest Intel Xeon CPUs in a dual socket configuration, in addition to the ability to use both Nvidia Quadro and Nvidia Tesla cards at the same time, thanks to four x16 PCI express slots. Dell bills this unit as the end-all, be-all workstation for nearly any environment, from scientific analyses to software engineering. Based on the specifications alone, a workstation like this seems most optimally geared towards building 3D computer games and offering realistic real-time renderings for intensive computer-aided design applications and 3D modeling tasks.

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The Precision T5600 is designed to take the power of the T7600 and shrink it for "space-constrained environments." Like the T7600, this unit comes equipped with Quadro and Tesla cards, ideal for 3D rendering applications, and dual Xeon processors. Although powerful and feature-packed, this until is not as expandable as its larger sibling.

The Precision T3600 was designed with a slight budget in mind, as Dell calls this its "mid-range" workstation. It comes with only a single CPU, but offers a maximum of 64GB of RAM and both Nvidia Quadro and Tesla card options. Dell sees CAD applications as ideally suited for this kind of hardware, and bills it as ideal for "mainstream 3D" tasks.

Last but not least, the Dell Precision T1650 is Dell's bridge between consumer-land desktop computers and the workstation world. It doesn't pack the same punch as the latest Precision Tx600 series, but it comes equipped with the latest iteration of Xeon CPUs and can earn "new ISV and graphic certifications."

Across the fleet, Dell has introduced innovations – like externally removable power supplies, making its easy to swap out faulty parts without unnecessary work. There are also fun perks like BIOS-integrated memory management that removes memory errors. When coupled with existing ECC (error-correcting code) RAM needed to drive Xeon CPUs, it makes these workstations incredibly reliable. The T7600 also has the distinction of offering front hot-swappable hard drive access. Because of the modular nature of the T7600, it also can be converted into a rack-mounted unit.

All four workstations will ship in May, starting at $1099 $1,879 and $2,149 for the T3600, T5600 and T7600, respectively. Dell has yet to release a price for the T1650, which will likely float in around $999.

Food for thought: Lenovo's recent refresh of workstations just arrived earlier this April. While Lenovo's can be similarly configured to Dell's offerings, Lenovo's target for the workstation market seems focused on price performance and energy efficiency, while Dell's workstations flex computing muscle.


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